Tick virus diseases
Shors, Teri Department of Biology and Microbiology, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Last reviewed:August 2017
- Concern about tick-borne viruses
- Life cycle of ticks
- Geographical distribution of ticks and tick-borne viruses
- Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment
- Prevention of tick virus diseases
- Climate change and Powassan virus encephalitis
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Infectious viral diseases spread through the bite of blood-feeding ticks. Tick-borne diseases have emerged as a public health concern, especially in Europe, Asia, and North America. They occur in pigs, sheep, goats, and humans and are caused by parasites, bacteria, or viruses. Most pathogens of human and agricultural significance are transmitted by hard ticks that belong to the Ixodidae family, in contrast to soft ticks belonging to the Argasidae family. For example, in North America, most of the human pathogens are associated with the black-legged or deer tick, Ixodes scapularis (Fig. 1). Hard ticks, unlike soft ticks, contain a hard scutum or outside shield, which bestows a unique pattern or color on these arachnids that aids in their identification. The focus of this overview is on viral diseases in humans that are transmitted by blood-feeding hard ticks. See also: Acari; Animal virus; Arachnida; Disease; Infectious disease; Ixodides; Medical bacteriology; Parasitology; Pathogen; Virus
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