LifestyleNew exotic tick species found in Sweden poses health risks

New exotic tick species found in Sweden poses health risks

Ticks can transmit serious diseases
Ticks can transmit serious diseases
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Klejdysz Tomasz

28 June 2024 10:57

The Swedish National Veterinary Institute has reported the discovery of a new, exotic species of tick in their country. This species had not been found in this part of the world until now.

Dermacentor marginatus is the name of the exotic tick, which the Swedes call the ornate sheep tick. This type of arachnid naturally occurs in southern Europe, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Central Asia's mountainous regions.

Dangerous tick in Sweden

The new species was observed in Stockholm. Thanks to a parasite monitoring programme that allows anyone to send unusual specimens to experts, it was subjected to studies.

According to the National Veterinary Institute's statement, Dermacentor marginatus can transmit dangerous viruses, including those causing Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. So far, this pathogen has not been found in ticks submitted for analysis. However, investigations into the presence of other viruses and bacteria, including the microorganism Coxiella burnetii, which causes Q fever, also known as goat fever, are ongoing.

Predictions are not good

According to scientists, although only single specimens of the ornate sheep tick have been found in Sweden, with climate change and rising temperatures, the spread of this species can be expected. The presence of new tick species in Scandinavia is also influenced by human and animal migrations, as well as the development of tourism.

The Swedish veterinary services encourage people to send in ticks found in the country for study. However, a photo of the specimen should first be sent via the institute's website. Experts also run a blog where they share the results of their research. Anna Omazic from the National Veterinary Institute emphasized how important it is to create a map of the occurrence of exotic tick species as early as possible to better prepare for cases of infection in animals or humans.

See also