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Environmental factors driving fine-scale ixodid tick abundance patterns

Investigation published in Science of the total environment

December 20th, 2022

Tick abundance is an essential demographic parameter to infer tick-borne pathogen transmission risks. Spatiotemporal patterns of tick abundance are heterogeneous, so its determinants at small spatial scales need to be understood to reduce their negative effects on hosts. Current knowledge of these determinants is scarce, especially in Mediterranean environments, limiting the possibilities for designing efficient tick control strategies. With the goal of unravelling tick abundance determinants and informing new tick management strategies, we estimated tick burdens on 1965 wild ungulates in Doñana National Park, Spain, annually between 2010 and 2020. Under the hypothesis of a predominant host influence on tick abundance, we modelled the burdens of Rhipicephalus annulatus, Hyalomma lusitanicum, and Ixodes ricinus with relevant predictors grouped into four factors: i) environment; ii) host population; iii) host individual; and iv) land-use. Generalized linear mixed models with a zero-inflated negative binomial distribution were built. Additionally, we analysed the differential contribution to abundance of each factor by deviance partitioning. We finally estimated the similarity in the environmental space of tick species by analysing their niche overlap with the environmental principal component analysis method. Our work hypothesis was confirmed for R. annulatus and H. lusitanicum, but we found that tick abundance at a fine spatial scale is jointly driven by multiple drivers, including all four factors considered in this study. This result points out that understanding the demography of ticks is a complex multifactorial issue, even at small spatial scales. We found no niche differences between the three tick species at the study spatial scale, thus showing similar host and environmental dependencies. Overall results identify that host aggregation areas displaying environmentally favourable traits for ticks are relevant tick and vector-borne pathogen transmission hotspots. Our findings will facilitate the design of new strategies to reduce the negative effects of tick parasitism




Peralbo-Moreno A., Baz-Flores S., Cuadrado-Matias R., Barroso P., Triguero-Ocana R., Jiménez-Ruiz S., Herraiz C., Ruiz-Rodriguez C., Acevedo P. and Ruiz-Fons F.




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Environmental factors driving fine-scale ixodid tick abundance patterns

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Environmental factors driving fine-scale ixodid tick abundance patterns



Participants:

Gobierno de Castilla-La ManchaInstituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC). Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC). Universidad de Castilla La Mancha (UCLM). Gobierno de Castilla-La Mancha (JCCM).

Universidad ComplutenseServicio de Micobacterias (MYC). Centro de Vigilancia Sanitaria Veterinaria (VISAVET). Universidad Complutense (UCM).

Universidad de CórdobaDepartamento de Sanidad Animal. Facultad de Veterinaria. Universidad de Córdoba (UCO).







FACTOR YEAR Q
10.753 2021

PMID: 36084775

ISSN: 0048-9697



TITLE: Environmental factors driving fine-scale ixodid tick abundance patterns


JOURNAL: Sci Total Environ


NUMERACIÓN: 853:158633


AÑO: 2022


PUBLISHER: Elsevier


AUTHORS: Peralbo-Moreno A., Baz-Flores S., Cuadrado-Matias R., Barroso P., Triguero-Ocana R., Jiménez-Ruiz S., Herraiz C., Ruiz-Rodriguez C., Acevedo P. and Ruiz-Fons F.


DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158633


CITE THIS PUBLICATION:

Peralbo-Moreno A., Baz-Flores S., Cuadrado-Matias R., Barroso P., Triguero-Ocana R., Jiménez-Ruiz S., Herraiz C., Ruiz-Rodriguez C., Acevedo P. and Ruiz-Fons F. Environmental factors driving fine-scale ixodid tick abundance patterns. Science of the total environment. 853:158633. 2022. (A). ISSN: 0048-9697. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158633


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