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New strange species of ticks discovered in Sweden

New strange species of ticks discovered in Sweden

Photo: Anton de Jong and Giulio Grande/SVA
Researchers at SVA have discovered the tick species Dermacentor marginatus in Sweden.

A strange species of tick, the variegated sheep tick, was first discovered in Sweden when the state veterinary institute, SVA, analyzed the results they received. Now the SVA is urging the public to continue reporting.

The new tick species in Sweden has its scientific name Dermacentor hamarciatusIt is found in the Stockholm area. Its natural habitat is southern Europe, as well as Iran, Kazakhstan and the mountainous regions of Central Asia.

Dermacentor hamarciatusor the various sheep ticks as they are called in Swedish, can carry many different infectious agents, for example the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus and Coxiella burnetii, which causes Q fever.

Important mapping

– The new discovery shows that our monitoring could serve as an early warning signal for new tick species. It is important to map exotic tick species early on, such as those that exist now Dermacentor hamarciatusThey can carry viruses, bacteria and parasites that are not currently present in the country. This type of surveillance could help us be better prepared in case animals or humans become infected, says Ana Omazic, a researcher at SVA, in a press release.

The ten ticks not normally found in Sweden that were reported by the public last year tested negative for Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus. Analysis of other infectious agents is ongoing.

Want to get reports?

With tick season now underway across the country, the SVA is hoping for more reports and is urging the public to report both common and unusual tick discoveries via the web tool Tick ​​report.

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– Each report represents an important piece of the puzzle in the work of monitoring tick distribution, mapping the species present in the country, as well as assessing the risks of the spread of tick-borne diseases. We hope the public across the country will continue to help us by reporting tick discoveries to SVA over the summer. Everyone can contribute to research, says Anton de Jong, a researcher at SVA.