Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/19602
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Ticks in the wrong boxes: assessing error in blanket-drag studies due to occasional sampling
Authors: Dobson, Andrew
Contact Email: andrew.dobson@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Ticks
Sampling
Blanket-dragging
Bias
Error
Disease risk
Issue Date: Dec-2013
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Citation: Dobson A (2013) Ticks in the wrong boxes: assessing error in blanket-drag studies due to occasional sampling, Parasites and Vectors, 6 (1), Art. No.: 344.
Abstract: BACKGROUND The risk posed by ticks as vectors of disease is typically assessed by blanket-drag sampling of host-seeking individuals. Comparisons of peak abundance between plots - either in order to establish their relative risk or to identify environmental correlates - are often carried out by sampling on one or two occasions during the period of assumed peak tick activity. METHODS This paper simulates this practice by 're-sampling' from model datasets derived from an empirical field study. Re-sample dates for each plot are guided by either the previous year's peak at the plot, or the previous year's peak at a similar, nearby plot. Results from single, double and three-weekly sampling regimes are compared. RESULTS Sampling on single dates within a two-month window of assumed peak activity has the potential to introduce profound errors; sampling on two dates (double sampling) offers greater precision, but three-weekly sampling is the least biased. CONCLUSIONS The common practice of sampling for the abundance of host-seeking ticks on single dates in each plot-year should be strenuously avoided; it is recommended that field acarologists employ regular sampling throughout the year at intervals no greater than three weeks, for a variety of epidemiological studies.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/19602
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-6-344
Rights: © 2013 Dobson; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Affiliation: Biological and Environmental Sciences

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