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Spatio-temporal dynamics of Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille, 1806) populations (Acari, Ixodoidea) in a social housing complex at Marseilles

Gilot, B. ; Diop, S. and Laforge, M.L.

1992 - Volume: 33 Issue: 2 pages: 127-140


Dynamique spatio-temporelle des populations de Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille, 1806) (Acariens: Ixodoidea) dans une cité HLM de Marseille. - The brown dog tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus is known as the main reservoir and the most efficient (or even the only) vector of the Mediterranean Spotted Fever in the Meditterranean part of Southern France. The aim of this study is to delineate the areas populated by the tick in an ’HLM’ housing estate situated in the northern suburban districts of Marseille and to specify the dynamics of its populations in the summer period. Over 25 per cent of all estate houses have a dog. Though most of these pets are parasitized by R. sanguineus, dog parasitism seems on the whole to be kept under relative control. However, some microfocuses of ticks do exist. They are linked to the presence of a small number of hyperparasitised hosts and make it possible for the whole cycle to take place and the species to proliferate. Two types of microfocuses have been observed. The first one is called ’closed’ because the dog is confined indoors. The second, or ’open’ type, in which the dog is kept outside the house but very close to it, enables the spreading of the tick and the graft of the species in public areas (such as the place where dustbins are kept, or sports grounds). In restricted areas forming suitable ecological niches (with a screen against the wind and a high enough relative humidity) the engorged nymph is, of all stages, the most favourable to the spreading. In epidemiological terms. the consequence is an increased probability of the encountering of human with ticks, beyond the limits of the primary microfocuses. The larval stage is the shortest-lived one. The two orther stages (nymphs and adults) may be observed throughout the summer period. The observations performed during the summer of 1989 enable us to believe that a second wave of adults emerges in the month of August and becomes immediately active.

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1992 Gilot, B.; Diop, S. and Laforge, M.L.
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