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Occurrence of Ixodes ricinus and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in urban recreation areas by example of Basel Switzerland Vorkommen von Ixodes ricinus und Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in staedtischen Naherholungsgebieten am Beispiel von Basel Schweiz



Occurrence of Ixodes ricinus and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in urban recreation areas by example of Basel Switzerland Vorkommen von Ixodes ricinus und Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in staedtischen Naherholungsgebieten am Beispiel von Basel Schweiz



Mitteilungen der Naturforschenden Gesellschaften Beider Basel, 8: 63-79



Hard ticks of the species Ixodes ricinus may transmit the spirochaetal bacteria Borrelia that leads to skin disease as well as chronic joint and nerve inflammation. Ticks prefer humid and tight underwood, where people are attacked during their presence in forests. It was the aim of this project to analyze the prevalence of ticks and their rate of infection by Borrelia in urban recreation areas of Basel, Switzerland. Six different urban areas including one park, two recreation areas and three forests in and around the city of Basel, were investigated for the presence of ticks monthly from April to August 2003. To catch the ticks the flagging method by pulling a white cloth through the undergrowth was used. The ticks collected were analyzed for Borrelia DNA with the Real Time PCR. In four out of the six recreation areas analyzed a total of 397 ticks (35 adults, 172 nymphs and 190 larvae) were collected. In the park and in one recreation area no I. ricinus were found. The different development of the tick-stages showed a varying seasonal distribution pattern: Adults and nymphs were mostly found during the first period of the analysis and larvae were present in the second period only. The average rate of infection with Borrelia was 16.4%. No Borrelia DNA was found in the larvae. It may be assumed that where ever ticks are present, there exists a risk of an infection with Borrelia. Therefore, it is important to protect oneself from tick bites even in urban recreation areas.

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Vorkommen von Ixodes ricinus und Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in staedtischen Naherholungsgebieten am Beispiel von Basel (Schweiz). Mitteilungen der Naturforschenden Gesellschaften Beider Basel 8: 63-79, 2005

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