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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Tick (Ixodes ricinus) abundance and seasonality at recreational sites in the UK: Hazards in relation to fine-scale habitat types revealed by complementary sampling methods
Author(s): Dobson, Andrew
Taylor, Jennifer L
Randolph, Sarah E
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Keywords: Ixodes ricinus
Tick-borne disease hazard
Habitat type
Sampling method
Issue Date: Jun-2011
Date Deposited: 12-Nov-2013
Citation: Dobson A, Taylor JL & Randolph SE (2011) Tick (Ixodes ricinus) abundance and seasonality at recreational sites in the UK: Hazards in relation to fine-scale habitat types revealed by complementary sampling methods. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, 2 (2), pp. 67-74.
Abstract: The seasonal risk to humans of picking up Ixodes ricinus ticks in different habitats at 3 recreational sites in the UK was assessed. A comprehensive range of vegetation types was sampled at 3-weekly intervals for 2 years, using standard blanket-dragging complemented by woollen leggings and square ‘heel flags'. Ticks were found in all vegetation types sampled, including short grass close to car parks, but highest densities were consistently found in plots with trees present. Blankets picked up the greatest number of ticks, but heel flags provided important complementary counts of the immature stages in bracken plots; they showed clearly that the decline in tick numbers on blankets in early summer was due to the seasonal growth of vegetation that lifted the blanket clear of the typical questing height, but in reality ticks remained abundant through the summer. Leggings picked up only 11% of the total nymphs and 22% of total adults counted, but this still represented a significant hazard to humans. These results should prompt a greater awareness of the fine-scale distribution of this species in relation to human activities that determines the most likely zones of contact between humans and ticks. Risk communication may then be designed accordingly.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2011.03.002
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