Browsing by Subject "LYME BORRELIOSIS"

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  • Laaksonen, Maija; Sajanti, Eeva; Sormunen, Jani J.; Penttinen, Ritva; Hanninen, Jari; Ruohomaki, Kai; Saaksjarvi, Ilari; Vesterinen, Eero J.; Vuorinen, Ilppo; Hytonen, Jukka; Klemola, Tero (2017)
    A national crowdsourcing-based tick collection campaign was organized in 2015 with the objective of producing novel data on tick distribution and tick-borne pathogens in Finland. Nearly 20 000 Ixodes ticks were collected. The collected material revealed the nationwide distribution of I. persulcatus for the first time and a shift northwards in the distribution of I. ricinus in Finland. A subset of 2038 tick samples containing both species was screened for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (the prevalence was 14.2% for I. ricinus and 19.8% for I. persulcatus), B. miyamotoi (0.2% and 0.4%, respectively) and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV; 0.2% and 3.0%, respectively). We also report new risk areas for TBEV in Finland and, for the first time, the presence of B. miyamotoi in ticks from mainland Finland. Most importantly, our study demonstrates the overwhelming power of citizen science in accomplishing a collection effort that would have been impossible with the scientific community alone.
  • Uusitalo, Ruut; Siljander, Mika; Dub, Timothee; Sane, Jussi; Sormunen, Jani J.; Pellikka, Petri; Vapalahti, Olli (2020)
    The numbers of reported human tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) cases in Europe have increased in several endemic regions (including Finland) in recent decades, indicative of an increasing threat to public health. As such, it is important to identify the regions at risk and the most influential factors associated with TBE distributions, particularly in understudied regions. This study aimed to identify the risk areas of TBE transmission in two different datasets based on human TBE disease cases from 2007 to 2011 (n = 86) and 2012-2017 (n = 244). We also examined which factors best explain the presence of human TBE cases. We used ensemble modelling to determine the relationship of TBE occurrence with environmental, ecological, and anthropogenic factors in Finland. Geospatial data including these variables were acquired from several open data sources and satellite and aerial imagery and, were processed in GIS software. Biomod2, an ensemble platform designed for species dis-tribution modelling, was used to generate ensemble models in R. The proportion of built-up areas, field, forest, and snow-covered land in November, people working in the primary sector, human population density, mean precipitation in April and July, and densities of European hares, white-tailed deer, and raccoon dogs best es-timated distribution of human TBE disease cases in the two datasets. Random forest and generalized boosted regression models performed with a very good to excellent predictive power (ROC = 0.89-0.96) in both time periods. Based on the predictive maps, high-risk areas for TBE transmission were located in the coastal regions in Southern and Western Finland (including the angstrom land Islands), several municipalities in Central and Eastern Finland, and coastal municipalities in Southern Lapland. To explore potential changes in TBE distributions in future climate, we used bioclimatic factors with current and future climate forecast data to reveal possible future hotspot areas. Based on the future forecasts, a slightly wider geographical extent of TBE risk was introduced in the angstrom land Islands and Southern, Western and Northern Finland, even though the risk itself was not increased. Our results are the first steps towards TBE-risk area mapping in current and future climate in Finland.
  • Sormunen, Jani J.; Andersson, Tommi; Aspi, Jouni; Back, Jaana; Cederberg, Tony; Haavisto, Noora; Halonen, Hanna; Hanninen, Jari; Inkinen, Jasmin; Kulha, Niko; Laaksonen, Maija; Loehr, John; Makela, Satu; Makinen, Katja; Norkko, Joanna; Paavola, Riku; Pajala, Pauliina; Petaja, Tuukka; Puisto, Anna; Sippola, Ella; Snickars, Martin; Sundell, Janne; Tanski, Niko; Uotila, Antti; Vesilahti, Ella-Maria; Vesterinen, Eero J.; Vuorenmaa, Silja; Ylonen, Hannu; Ylonen, Jari; Klemola, Tero (2020)
    In 2015 a long-term, nationwide tick and tick-borne pathogen (TBP) monitoring project was started by the Finnish Tick Project and the Finnish Research Station network (RESTAT), with the goal of producing temporally and geographically extensive data regarding exophilic ticks in Finland. In the current study, we present results from the first four years of this collaboration. Ticks were collected by cloth dragging from 11 research stations across Finland in May September 2015-2018 (2012-2018 in Seili). Collected ticks were screened for twelve different pathogens by qPCR: Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia valaisiana, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia miyamotoi, Babesia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia spp., Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis, Francisella tularensis, Bartonella spp. and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). Altogether 15 067 Ixodes ricinus and 46 Ixodes persulcatus were collected during 68 km of dragging. Field collections revealed different seasonal activity patterns for the two species. The activity of I. persulcatus adults (only one nymph detected) was unimodal, with activity only in May July, whereas Ixodes ricinus was active from May to September, with activity peaks in September (nymphs) or July August (adults). Overall, tick densities were higher during the latter years of the study. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato were the most common pathogens detected, with 48.9 +/- 8.4% (95% Cl) of adults and 25.3 +/- 4.4% of nymphs carrying the bacteria. No samples positive for F. tularensis, Bartonella or TBEV were detected. This collaboration project involving the extensive Finnish Research Station network has ensured enduring and spatially extensive, long-term tick data collection to the foreseeable future.
  • Cayol, Claire; Jääskeläinen, Anu; Koskela, Esa; Kyröläinen, Sami; Mappes, Tapio; Siukkola, Anja; Kallio, Eva R. (2018)
    The generalist tick Ixodes ricinus is the most important vector for tick-borne pathogens (TBP), including Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, in Europe. However, the involvement of other sympatric Ixodes ticks, such as the specialist vole tick I. trianguliceps, in the enzootic circulations of TBP remains unclear. We studied the distribution of I. ricinus and I. trianguliceps in Central Finland and estimated the TBP infection likelihood in the most common rodent host in relation with the abundance of the two tick species. Ixodes trianguliceps was encountered in all 16 study sites whereas I. ricinus was frequently observed only at a quarter of the study sites. The abundance of I. ricinus was positively associated with open water coverage and human population density around the study sites. Borrelia burgdorferi s. l.-infected rodents were found only in sites where I. ricinus was abundant, whereas the occurrence of other TBP was independent of I. ricinus presence. These results suggest that I. trianguliceps is not sufficient, at least alone, in maintaining the circulation of B. burgdorferi s. l. in wild hosts. In addition, anthropogenic factors might affect the distribution of I. ricinus ticks and, hence, their pathogens, thus shaping the landscape of tick-borne disease risk for humans.
  • Sormunen, Jani Jukka; Klemola, Tero; Hänninen, Jari; Mäkelä, Satu; Vuorinen, Ilppo; Penttinen, Ritva; Sääksjärvi, Ilari Eerikki; Vesterinen, Eero Juhani (2018)
    Ticks (Acari: Ixodoidea) are among the most common vectors of zoonotic pathogens worldwide. While research on tick-borne pathogens is abundant, few studies have thoroughly investigated small-scale spatial differences in their occurrence. Here, we used long-term cloth-dragging data of Ixodes ricinus and its associated, known and putative pathogens (Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., Borrelia miyamotoi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia spp., Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis, Bartonella spp., Babesia spp., and tick-borne encephalitis virus, TBEV) from a small, well-studied island in southwestern Finland to analyze potential temporal and spatial differences in pathogen prevalence and diversity between and within different biotopes. We found robust evidence indicating significant dissimilarities in B. burgdorferi s.l., A. phagocytophilum, Rickettsia, and Ca. N. mikurensis prevalence, even between proximal study areas on the island. Moreover, during the 6 years of the ongoing study, we witnessed the possible emergence of TBEV and Ca. N. mikurensis on the island. Finally, the stable occurrence of a protozoan pathogen that has not been previously reported in Finland, Babesia venatorum, was observed on the island. Our study underlines the importance of detailed, long-term tick surveys for public health. We propose that by more precisely identifying different environmental factors associated with the emergence and upkeep of enzootic pathogen populations through rigorous longitudinal surveys, we may be able to create more accurate models for both current and future pathogen distributions.
  • Eriksson, Pernilla; Schroder, Marika T.; Niiranen, Kirsi; Nevanlinna, Antti; Panelius, Jaana; Ranki, Annamari (2013)
  • Laaksonen, Maija; Klemola, Tero; Feuth, Eeva; Sormunen, Jani J.; Puisto, Anna; Mäkelä, Satu; Penttinen, Ritva; Ruohomäki, Kai; Hänninen, Jari; Sääksjärvi, Ilari E.; Vuorinen, Ilppo; Sprong, Hein; Hytönen, Jukka; Vesterinen, Eero J. (2018)
    BackgroundAlmost 3500 tick samples, originally collected via a nationwide citizen science campaign in 2015, were screened to reveal the prevalence and distribution of a wide spectrum of established and putative tick-borne pathogens vectored by Ixodes ricinus and I. persulcatus in Finland. The unique geographical distribution of these two tick species in Finland allowed us to compare pathogen occurrence between an I. ricinus-dominated area (southern Finland), an I. persulcatus-dominated area (northern Finland), and a sympatric area (central Finland).ResultsOf the analysed ticks, almost 30% carried at least one pathogen and 2% carried more than one pathogen. A higher overall prevalence of tick-borne pathogens was observed in I. ricinus than in I. persulcatus: 30.0% (604/2014) versus 24.0% (348/1451), respectively. In addition, I. ricinus were more frequently co-infected than I. persulcatus: 2.4% (49/2014) versus 0.8% (12/1451), respectively. Causative agents of Lyme borreliosis, i.e. bacterial genospecies in Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato) group, were the most prevalent pathogens (overall 17%). Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae was found for the first time in I. ricinus ticks and in Finnish ticks in general. Moreover, Babesia divergens, B. venatorum and Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis were reported for the first time from the Finnish mainland.ConclusionsThe present study provides valuable information on the prevalence and geographical distribution of various tick-borne pathogens in I. ricinus and I. persulcatus ticks in Finland. Moreover, this comprehensive subset of ticks revealed the presence of rare and potentially dangerous pathogens. The highest prevalence of infected ticks was in the I. ricinus-dominated area in southern Finland, while the prevalence was essentially equal in sympatric and I. persulcatus-dominated areas. However, the highest infection rates for both species were in areas of their dominance, either in south or north Finland.