Ticks on birds in Switzerland
2001 - Volume: 42 Issue: 1 pages: 3-19
Birds, hosts of several tick species, play an important role in the dissemination of ticks and tick-borne infectious agents. Examination of bird tick collections gathered during research studies of several years in Switzerland lead to an inventory of eleven tick species. The telotropic species Ixodes ricinus, feeding on birds only at larval and nymphal stages, is the most common. In Switzerland, I. ricinus is the vector of Lyme borreliosis (Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato), the tick-borne encephalitis (TBE virus) and cattle babesiosis (Babesia divergens). Passerine birds, and especially robins (Erithacus rubecula) and blackbirds (Turdus merula), are the main hosts of immature I. ricinus. Nymphs of Haemaphysalis punctata were rarely collected from birds in Switzerland. Five other hard and one soft bird-specific tick species were sampled: I. lividus, a strictly host-specific species, from sand martins (Riparia riparia) and their nests; I. arboricola from birds nesting or roosting in tree cavities; I. frontalis, I. festai and I. caledonicus collected in low numbers; Argas reflexus chiefly from domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica) and their nests. Hyalomma marginatum marginatum and Rhipicephalus simus were imported by migratory birds. Nymphs of I. hexagonus were found on a magpie (Pica pica).
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