Diversity and Coexistence of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Central Germany

In total, 2,000 Ixodes ricinus L. ticks were collected from a small recreational forest area in central Germany (Thuringia) and investigated for the presence of Borrelia spp., Babesia spp., Anaplasma spp., Rickettsia spp., Coxiella burnetii, and Francisella tularensis. Overall, 43.6 % of the ticks were infected with at least one pathogen. In 8.4% of ticks double infections were detected, and 1.6% harbored more than two pathogens. In this study, we present data on the coexistence of established and emerging pathogens in questing nymphs and adult ticks in a recreational area in central Germany, indicating the need for further studies for a reliable risk assessment.

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