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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The ixodid tick species attaching to domestic dogs and cats in Great Britain and Ireland.

The species of ixodid ticks, attached to dogs and cats presented to veterinary practices in Great Britain and Ireland were identified. Most host animals carried only one tick species with Ixodes ricinus Linné (Acari: Ixodidae) being the most common, identified on 52% of animals, Ixodes hexagonus Leach (Acari: Ixodidae) the second most common (on 39%) and Ixodes canisuga Johnston (Acari: Ixodidae) the third most common (on 11%). A significantly higher proportion of dogs than cats carried I. ricinus, while I. hexagonus was more frequently carried by cats. One animal carried a single specimen of Haemaphysalis punctata Canestrini & Fanzago (Acari: Ixodidae), one carried a Dermacentor reticulatus Fabricius (Acari: Ixodidae) but none carried Rhipicephalus sanguineus Latreille (Acari: Ixodidae). This indicates that the latter two species, vectors of 'exotic' tick-borne diseases, remain at low densities in Great Britain and Ireland. Retrospective information on exposure of the animals to different habitats and geographic regions was collected by questionnaire and subject to contingency table and logistic regression analysis. Woodlands and moorlands were habitats significantly associated with I. ricinus attachment. Exposure to urban parks was significantly associated with I. hexagonus attachment and exposure to boarding kennels and catteries was significantly associated with I. canisuga attachment. Ixodes hexagonus, rather than I. ricinus, was the ixodid tick species most likely to be encountered by urban populations of dogs and cats and, by inference, possibly also humans. The implications of these findings, for the transmission of tick-borne pathogens to dogs, cats and humans are discussed.[1]


  1. The ixodid tick species attaching to domestic dogs and cats in Great Britain and Ireland. Ogden, N.H., Cripps, P., Davison, C.C., Owen, G., Parry, J.M., Timms, B.J., Forbes, A.B. Med. Vet. Entomol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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