Veterinary World

     Open access and peer reviewed journal  

ISSN (Online): 2231-0916

ISSN (Print): 0972-8988


Home l Editorial board l Instructions for authors l Reviewer guideline l Open access policy l Archives l FAQ

Open Access

Copyright: The authors. This article is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

( which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

Review (Published online: 12-03-2015)

9. Tick-borne infections in human and animal population worldwide - José Brites-Neto, Keila Maria Roncato Duarte and Thiago Fernandes Martins

Veterinary World, 8(3): 301-315



   doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2015.301-315


José Brites-Neto: Department of Public Health, Americana, São Paulo, Brazil;

Keila Maria Roncato Duarte: Department of Genetics and Animal Reproduction, Institute of Animal Science, Nova Odessa, São Paulo, Brazil;

Thiago Fernandes Martins: Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil;


Received: 14-11-2014, Revised: 20-01-2015, Accepted: 25-01-2015, Published online: 12-03-2015


Corresponding author: José Brites-Neto, e-mail:

Citation: Brites-Neto J, Duarte KMR, Martins TF (2015) Tickborne infections in human and animal population worldwide, Veterinary World 8(3):301-315.

The abundance and activity of ectoparasites and its hosts are affected by various abiotic factors, such as climate and other organisms (predators, pathogens and competitors) presenting thus multiples forms of association (obligate to facultative, permanent to intermittent and superficial to subcutaneous) developed during long co-evolving processes. Ticks are ectoparasites widespread globally and its eco epidemiology are closely related to the environmental conditions. They are obligatory hematophagous ectoparasites and responsible as vectors or reservoirs at the transmission of pathogenic fungi, protozoa, viruses, rickettsia and others bacteria during their feeding process on the hosts. Ticks constitute the second vector group that transmit the major number of pathogens to humans and play a role primary for animals in the process of diseases transmission. Many studies on bioecology of ticks, considering the information related to their population dynamics, to the host and the environment, comes possible the application and efficiency of tick control measures in the prevention programs of vector-borne diseases. In this review were considered some taxonomic, morphological, epidemiological and clinical fundamental aspects related to the tick-borne infections that affect human and animal populations.

Keywords: acarology, argasidae, epidemiology, health public, ixodidae, parasitology veterinary, zoonosis.

1. Bowman, A.S. and Nuttall, P.A. (2008) Ticks: Biology, Disease and Control. Cambridge University Press, New York.
2. Barros-Battesti, D.M., Arzua, M. and Bechara, G.H. (2006) Carrapatos de Importância Médico-Veterinária da Região Neotropical: Um guia ilustrado para identificação de espécies. Vox/ICTTD-3/Butantan, São Paulo.
3. Sonenshine, D.E. and Roe, M. (2014) Biology of Ticks. 2nd ed., Vol. 1. Oxford University Press, New York.
4. Anderson, J.F. and Magnarelli, L.A. (2008) Biology of ticks. Infect. Dis. Clin. North. Am., 22: 195-215.
5. Nava, S., Guglielmone, A.A. and Mangold, A.J. (2009) An overview of systematics and evolution of ticks. Front. Biosci., 14: 2857-2877.
6. Mans B.J., de Klerk D., Pienaar R. and Latif A.A. (2011) Nuttalliella namaqua: A living fossil and closest relative to the ancestral tick lineage: Implications for the evolution of blood-feeding in ticks. PLoS One, 6(8): e23675.
PMid:21858204 PMCid:PMC3157464
7. Estrada-Pe-a, A., Mangold, A.J., Nava, S., Venzal, J.M., Labruna, M.B. and Guglielmone, A.A. (2010) A review of the systematics of the tick family Argasidae (Ixodida). Acarologia, 50(3): 317-333.
8. Nava, S., Venzal, J.M., Terassini, F.A., Mangold, A.J., Camargo, L.M.A. and Labruna, M.B. (2010) Description of a new argasid tick (Acari: Ixodida) from bat caves in brazilian amazon. J. Parasitol., 96(6): 1089-1101.
9. Rózsa, L. and Vas, Z. (2015) Co-extinct and critically co-endangered species of parasitic lice, and conservation-induced extinction: Should lice be reintroduced to their hosts?. Oryx, 49: 107-110.
10. Krantz, G.W. and Walter, D.E. (2009) A Manual of Acarology. 3rd ed. Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock, Texas.
11. Barros-Battesti, D.M., Onofrio, V.C., Nieri-Bastos, F.A., Soares, J.F., Marcili, A., Famadas, K.M., Faccini, J.L.H., Ramirez, D.G., Doyle, R.L., Martins, J.R., Junior, J.R., Guglielmone, A.A. and Labruna, M.B. (2012) Ornithodoros brasiliensis Aragão (Acari: Argasidae): Description of the larva, redescription of male and female, and neotype designation. Zootaxa, 3178: 22-32.
12. Burger, T.D., Shao, R., Labruna, M.B. and Barker, S.C. (2014) Molecular phylogeny of soft ticks (Ixodida: Argasidae) inferred from mitochondrial genome and nuclear rRNA sequences. Ticks Tick Borne Dis., 5: 195-207.
13. Barker, S.C. and Walker, A.R. (2014) Ticks of Australia. The species that infest domestic animals and humans. Zootaxa, 3816(1): 1-144.
14. Dantas-Torres, F., Onofrio, V.C. and Barros-Battesti, D.M. (2009) The ticks (Acari: Ixodida: argasidae, ixodidae) of Brazil. Syst. Appl. Acarol., 14: 30-46.
15. Reck, J., Marks, F.S., Guimarães, J.A., Termignoni, C. and Martins, J.R. (2013) Epidemiology of Ornithodoros brasiliensis (mouro tick) in the southern Brazilian highlands and the description of human and animal retrospective cases of tick parasitism. Ticks Tick Borne Dis., 4: 101-109.
16. Araya-Anchetta, A., Busch, J.D., Scoles, G.A. and Wagner, D.M. (2015) Thirty years of tick population genetics: A comprehensive review. Infect. Genet. Evol., 29: 164-179.
17. Barros-Battesti, D.M., Ramirez, D.G., Landulfo, G.A., Faccini, J.L.H., Dantas-Torres, F., Labruna, M.B., Venzal, J.M. and Onofrio, V.C. (2013) Immature argasid ticks: Diagnosis and keys for Neotropical region. Rev. Bras. Parasitol. Vet., 22(4): 443-456.
18. Guglielmone, A.A., Robbins, R.G., Apanaskevich, D.A., Petney, T.N., Estrada-Pe-a, A., Horak, I.G., Shao, R. and Barker, S.C. (2010) The argasidae, ixodidae and nuttalliellidae (acari: ixodida) of the world: A list of valid species names. Zootaxa, 2528: 1-28.
19. Guglielmone, A.A., Robbins, R.G., Apanaskevich, D.A., Petney, T.N., Estrada-Pe-a, A. and Horak, I.G. (2014) The Hard Ticks of the World (Acari: Ixodida: Ixodidae). Springer Science+Business Media, Dordrecht.
20. Beati, L., Nava, S., Burkman, E.J., Barros-Battesti, D.M., Labruna, M.B., Guglielmone, A.A., Cáceres, A.G., Guzmán-Cornejo, C.M., León, R., Durden, L.A. and Faccini, J.L.H. (2013) Amblyomma cajennense (Fabricius, 1787) (acari: ixodidae), the cayenne tick: Phylogeography and evidence for allopatric speciation. BMC Evol. Biol., 13: 267.
PMid:24320199 PMCid:PMC3890524
21. Nava, S., Beati, L., Labruna, M.B., Cáceres, A.G., Mangold, A.J. and Guglielmone, A.A. (2014) Reassessment of the taxonomic status of Amblyomma cajennense (Fabricius, 1787) with the description of three new species, Amblyomma tonelliae n. sp., Amblyomma interandinum n. sp. and Amblyomma patinoi n. sp., and reinstatement of Amblyomma mixtum Koch, 1844, and Amblyomma sculptum Berlese, 1888 (Ixodida: Ixodidae). Ticks Tick Borne Dis., 5(3): 252-276.
22. Estrada-Pe-a, A., Tarragona, E.L., Vesco, U., Meneghi, D., Mastropaolo, M., Mangold, A.J., Guglielmone, A.A. and Nava, S. (2014) Divergent environmental preferences and areas of sympatry of tick species in the Amblyomma cajennense complex (Ixodidae). Int. J. Parasitol., 44: 1081-1089.
23. Burger, T.D., Shao, R. and Barker, S.C. (2014) Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial genome sequences indicates that the cattle tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, contains a cryptic species. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 76: 241-253.
24. Dantas-Torres, F., Latrofa, M.S., Annoscia, G., Giannelli, A., Parisi, A. and Otranto, D. (2013) Morphological and genetic diversity of Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato from the new and old Worlds. Parasit. Vectors, 6: 213.
PMid:23880226 PMCid:PMC3735430
25. Gray, J., Dantas-Torres, F., Estrada-Pe-a, A. and Levin, M. (2013) Systematics and ecology of the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Ticks Tick Borne Dis., 4: 171-180.
26. Dantas-Torres, F. (2010) Biology and ecology of the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Parasit. Vectors, 3: 26.
PMid:20377860 PMCid:PMC2857863
27. Mathison, B.A. and Pritt, B.S. (2014) Laboratory identification of arthropod ectoparasites. Clin. Microbiol. Rev., 27(1): 48-67.
PMid:24396136 PMCid:PMC3910909
28. Jongejan, F. and Uilenberg, G. (2004) The global importance of ticks. Parasitology, 129: S3-S14.
29. Uspensky, I. (2014) Conditions of tick (Acari: Ixodoidea) population persistence in the urban environment. In: Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Urban Pests, OOK-Press Kft., Veszprém, Hungary. p203-210.
30. Blanton, L.S., Walker, D.H. and Bouyer, D.H. (2014) Rickettsiae and ehrlichiae within a city park: Is the urban dweller at risk? Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis., 14(2): 168-170.
31. Brites-Neto, J. and Brasil, J. (2014) Epidemiological monitoring of ticks in public woods in a risk area for Brazilian Spotted Fever. Bol. Epidemiol. Paul., 11(129): 7-15.
32. Pfäffle, M., Littwin, N., Muders, S.V. and Petney, T.N. (2013) The ecology of tick-borne diseases. Int. J. Parasitol., 43: 1059-1077.
33. Socolovschi, C., Mediannikov, O., Raoult, D. and Parola, P. (2009) The relationship between spotted fever group rickettsiae and ixodid ticks. Vet. Res., 40: 34.
PMid:19358804 PMCid:PMC2695030
34. Sonenshine, D.E. and Roe, M. (2014) Biology of Ticks. 2nd ed., Vol. 2. Oxford University Press, New York.
35. Mapholi, N.O., Marufu, M.C., Maiwashe, A., Banga, C.B., Muchenje, V., MacNeil, M.D., Chimony, M. and Dzama, K. (2014) Towards a genomics approach to tick (Acari: Ixodidae) control in cattle: A review. Ticks Tick Borne Dis., 5: 475-483.
36. Ramb, A., Ferreira, M.A., Barraviera, B. and Haddad, J.R.V. (2012) The first reported case of human tick paralysis in Brazil: A new induction pattern by immature stages. J. Venom. Anim. Toxins Incl. Trop. Dis., 18(4): 459-461.
37. Manzano-Román, R., Díaz-Martín, V., Fuente, J. and Pérez-Sánchez, R. (2012) Soft ticks as pathogen vectors: Distribution, surveillance and control. In: Shah, M.M., editor. Parasitology. InTech, Rijeka, Croatia. p125-162.
38. Dantas-Torres, F., Chomel, B.B. and Otranto, D. (2012) Ticks and tick-borne diseases: A one health perspective. Trends Parasitol., 28(10): 437-446.
39. Nuttall, P.A. (2009) Molecular characterization of tick-virus interactions. Front. Biosci., 14: 2466-2483.
40. Slovák, M., Kazimírová, M., Siebenstichová, M., Ustaníková, K., Klempa, B., Gritsun, T., Gould, E.A. and Nuttall, P.A. (2014) Survival dynamics of tick-borne encephalitis virus in Ixodes ricinus ticks. Ticks Tick Borne Dis., 5(6): 962-969.
41. Dobler, G. (2010) Zoonotic tick-borne flaviviruses. Vet. Microbiol., 140: 221-228.
42. Holbrook, M.R. (2012) Kyasanur forest disease. Antiviral Res. 96: 353-362.
PMid:23110991 PMCid:PMC3513490
43. Růžek, D., Yakimenko, V.V., Karan, L.S. and Tkachev, S.E. (2010) Omsk haemorrhagic fever. Lancet, 376: 2104-2113.
44. Lawrie, C.H., Uzcátegui, N.Y., Gould, E.A. and Nuttall, P.A. (2004) Ixodid and argasid tick species and west nile virus. Emerg. Infect. Dis., 10(4): 653-657.
PMid:15200855 PMCid:PMC3323096
45. Nemeth, N.M. and Oesterle, P.T. (2014) West Nile virus from an avian conservation perspective. Int. Zoo Yearbook., 48: 101-115.
46. Pujalte, G.G.A. and Chua, J.V. (2013) Tick-borne Infections in the United States. Prim. Care Clin. Office Pract., 40: 619-635.
47. Bente, D.A., Forrester, N.L., Watts, D.M., McAuley, A.J., Whitehouse, C.A. and Bray, M. (2013) Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever: History, epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical syndrome and genetic diversity. Antiviral Res., 100: 159-189.
48. Mertens, M., Schmidt, K., Ozkul, A. and Groschup, M.H. (2013) The impact of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus on public health. Antiviral Res., 98: 248-260.
49. Ebel, G.D. (2010) Update on powassan virus: Emergence of a North American tick-borne flavivirus. Annu. Rev. Entomol., 55: 95-110.
50. Dhama, K., Pawaiya, R.V.S., Chakraborty, S., Tiwari, R. and Verma, A.K. (2014) Powassan virus (POWV) Infection in animals and humans: A review. Asian J. Anim. Vet. Adv., 9: 177-189.
51. Jeffries, C.L., Mansfield, K.L., Phipps, L.P., Wakeley, P.R., Mearns, R., Schock, A., Bell, S., Breed, A.C., Fooks, A.R. and Johnson, N. (2014) Louping ill virus: An endemic tick-borne disease of Great Britain. J. Gen. Virol., 95: 1005-1014.
52. Costard, S., Mur, L., Lubroth, J., Sanchez-Vizcaino, J.M. and Pfeiffer, D.U. (2013) Epidemiology of African swine fever virus. Virus Res., 173: 191-197.
53. Nicholson, W.L., Allen, K.E., Mcquiston, J.H., Breitschwerdt, E.B. and Little, S.E. (2010) The increasing recognition of rickettsial pathogens in dogs and people. Trends Parasitol., 26(4): 205-212.
54. Parola, P., Paddock, C.D., Socolovschi, C., Labruna, M.B., Mediannikov, O., Kernif, T., Abdad, M.Y., Stenos, J., Bitam, I., Fournier, P.E. and Raoult, D. (2013) Update on tick-borne rickettsioses around the World: A geographic approach. Clin. Microbiol. Rev., 26(4): 657-702.
PMid:24092850 PMCid:PMC3811236
55. Waner, T., Mahan, S., Kelly, P. and Harrus, S. (2010) Rickettsiales. In: Gyles, C.L., Prescott, J.F., Songer, J.G. and Thoen, C.O., editors. Pathogenesis of Bacterial Infections in Animals. 4th ed. Blackwell Publishing, Ames, Iowa. p589-621.
56. Allsopp, B.A. (2010) Natural history of Ehrlichia ruminantium. Vet. Parasitol., 167: 123-135.
57. Ibrahim, M.B., Saeed, E.M.A., Hassan, S.M., Gameel, A.A., Suleiman, K.M. and Zaki, A.Z.S.A. (2013) Diagnosis of Ehrlichia ruminantium in ruminants in Central Sudan using polymerase chain reaction. J. Agric. Vet. Sci., 6(2): 59-68.
58. Mediannikov, O., Diatta, G., Fenollar, F., Sokhna, C., Trape, J.F. and Raoult, D. (2010) Tick-borne rickettsioses, neglected emerging diseases in rural senegal. PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis., 4(9): e821.
PMid:20856858 PMCid:PMC2939048
59. Labruna, M.B. (2013) Brazilian spotted fever: The role of capybaras. In: Moreira, J.R., Ferraz, K.M.P.M., Herrera, E.A. and Macdonald, D.W., editors. Capybara: Biology, Use and Conservation of an Exceptional Neotropical Species. Springer Science Business Media, New York. p371-383.
60. Labruna, M.B., Santos, F.C.P., Ogrzewalska, M., Nascimento, E.M.M., Colombo, S., Marcili, A. and Angerami, R.N. (2014) Genetic identification of rickettsial isolates from fatal cases of brazilian spotted fever and comparison with Rickettsia rickettsii isolates from the American continents. J. Clin. Microbiol., 52(10): 3788-3791.
61. Blanton, L.S. (2013) Rickettsial infections in the tropics and in the traveler. Curr. Opin. Infect. Dis., 26: 435-440.
62. Ogrzewalska, M., Saraiva, D.G., Moraes-Filho, J., Martins, T.F., Costa, F.B., Pinter, A. and Labruna, M.B. (2012) Epidemiology of Brazilian spotted fever in the Atlantic Forest, state of São Paulo, Brazil. Parasitology, 139: 1283-1300.
63. Del-Fiol, F.S., Junqueira, F.M., Rocha, M.C.P., Toledo, M.I. and Barberato-Filho, S. (2010) A febre maculosa no Brasil. Rev. Panam. Salud Publica. 27(6): 461-466.
64. Angerami, R.N., Câmara, M., Pacola, M.R., Rezende, R.C.M., Duarte, R.M.R., Nascimento, E.M.M., Colombo, S., Santos, F.C.P., Leite, R.M., Katz, G. and Silva, L.J. (2012) Features of Brazilian spotted fever in two different endemic areas in Brazil. Ticks Tick Borne Dis., 3: 345-347.
65. Vieira, R.F.C., Biondo, A.W., Guimarães, A.M.S., Santos, A.P., Santos, R.P., Dutra, L.H., Diniz, P.P.V.P., Morais, H.A., Messick, J.B., Labruna, M.B. and Vidotto, O. (2011) Ehrlichiosis in Brazil. Rev. Bras. Parasitol. Vet., 20(1): 1-12.
66. Myers, J.W. and Youssef, D. (2013) Human granulocytic anaplasmosis, human monocytic ehrlichiosis, and Ehrlichia ewingii ehrlichiosis. In: Myers, J.W., Moorman, J.P. and Salgado, C.D., editors. Gantz's Manual of Clinical Problems in Infectious Disease. 6th ed. Lippincott, Philadelphia, PA. p203-209.
67. Foley, J.E. and Nieto, N.C. (2010) Tularemia. Vet. Microbiol., 140: 332-338.
68. Gyuranecz, M., Rigó, K., Dán, Á., Földvári, G., Makrai, L., Dénes, B., Fodor, L., Majoros, G., Tirják, L. and Erdélyi, K. (2011) Investigation of the Ecology of Francisella tularensis during an Inter-Epizootic Period. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis., 11(8): 1031-1035.
69. Cutler, S.J. (2010) Relapsing fever – A forgotten disease revealed. J. Appl. Microbiol., 108: 1115-1122.
70. Dantas-Torres, F., Cameron, M.M., Colwell, D.D. and Otranto, D. (2014) A look into the Medical and Veterinary Entomology crystal ball. Med. Vet. Entomol., 28(1): 6-13.
71. Stanek, G., Wormser, G.P., Gray, J. and Strle, F. (2012) Lyme borreliosis. Lancet, 379: 461-473.
72. Stanek, G., Fingerle, V., Hunfeld, K.P., Jaulhac, B., Kaiser, R., Krause, A., Kristoferitsch, W., O'Connell, S., Ornstein, K., Strle, F. and Gray, J. (2011) Lyme borreliosis: Clinical case definitions for diagnosis and management in Europe. Clin. Microbiol. Infect., 17: 69-79.
73. Sood, S.K., O'Connell, S. and Weber, K. (2011) The emergence and epidemiology of Lyme Borreliosis in Europe and North America. In: Sood, S.K., editor. Lyme Borreliosis in Europe and North America: Epidemiology and Clinical Practice. 1st ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. p1-35.
74. Yoshinari, N.H., Mantovani, E., Bonoldi, V.L.N., Marangoni, R.G. and Gauditano, G. (2010) Doença de lyme-símile brasileira ou síndrome baggio-yoshinari: Zoonose exótica e emergente transmitida por carrapatos. Rev. Assoc. Med. Bras., 56(3): 363-369.
75. Bhate, C. and Schwartz, R.A. (2011) Lyme disease Part I. Advances and perspectives. J. Am. Acad. Dermatol., 64(4): 619-636.
76. O'Connell, S. (2014) Lyme borreliosis. Medicine, 42(1): 14-17.
77. Spolidorio, M.G., Labruna, M.B., Machado, R.Z., Moraes-Filho, J., Zago, A.M., Donatele, D.M., Pinheiro, S.R., Silveira, I., Caliari, K.M. and Yoshinari, N.H. (2010) Survey for tick-borne zoonoses in the State of Espirito Santo, Southeastern Brazil. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 83(1): 201-206.
PMid:20595502 PMCid:PMC2912600
78. Angelakis, E. and Raoult, D. (2010) Q fever. Vet. Microbiol., 140: 297-309.
79. Dalis, J.S., Kazeem, H.M., Kwaga, J.K.P. and Kwanashie, C.N. (2014) Severe generalized skin lesions due to mixed infection with Sporothrix schenkii and Dermatophilus congolensis in a bull from Jos, Nigeria. Vet. Microbiol., 172: 475-478.
80. Kalume, M.K., Losson, B. and Saegerman, C. (2011) Epidemiologie et controle de la theileriose bovine a Theileria parva en Afrique: Une revue de la litterature. Ann. Med. Vet., 155: 88-104.
81. Colwell, D.D., Dantas-Torres, F. and Otranto, D. (2011) Vector-borne parasitic zoonoses: Emerging scenarios and new perspectives. Vet. Parasitol., 182: 14-21.
82. González, B.C., Obregón, D., Alemán, Y., Alfonso, P., Vega, E., Díaz, A. and Martínez, S. (2014) Tendencias en el diagnóstico de la anaplasmosis bovina. Rev. Salud Anim., 36(2): 73-79.
83. Pérez de León, A.A., Strickman, D.A., Knowles, D.P., Fish, D., Thacker, E., Fuente, J., Krause, P.J., Wikel, S.K., Miller, R.S., Wagner, G.G., Almazán, C., Hillman, R., Messenger, M.T., Ugstad, P.O., Duhaime, R.A., Teel, P.D., Ortega-Santos, A., Hewitt, D.G., Bowers, E.J., Bent, S.J., Cochran, M.H., McElwain, T.F., Scoles, G.A., Suarez, C.E., Davey, R., Freeman, J.M.H., Lohmeyer, K., Li, A.Y., Guerrero, F.D., Kammlah, D.M., Phillips, P. and Pound, J.M. (2010) One Health approach to identify research needs in bovine and human babesioses: Workshop report. Parasit. Vectors, 3: 36.
84. Suarez, C.E., and Noh, S. (2011) Emerging perspectives in the research of bovine babesiosis and anaplasmosis. Vet. Parasitol., 180: 109-125.
85. Schnittger, L., Rodriguez, A.E., Florin-Christensen, M. and Morrison, D.A. (2012) Babesia: A world emerging. Infect. Genet. Evol., 12: 1788-1809.
86. Chaudhry, Z.I. (2012) Vector identification and their role in epidemiology of Canine Babesiosis. Indian J. Canine Pract., 4(1): 70-75.