Birds as disseminators of ixodid ticks and tick-borne pathogens: note on the relevance to migratory routes

Sándor Hornok 1 , Zsolt Karcza 2 , 3 , and Tibor Csörgő 3 , 4
  • 1 Department of Parasitology and Zoology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Szent István University, 1078 Budapest, István utca 2., Hungary
  • 2 Birdlife Hungary, 1021 Budapest, Költő utca 21., Hungary
  • 3 Ócsa Bird Ringing Station, 1089 Budapest, Orczy út 43., Hungary
  • 4 Department of Anatomy, Cell and Developmental Biology, Eötvös Loránd University, 1117 Budapest, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/c, Hungary


It has been a long studied issue, that birds are frequently infested with ixodid ticks, and consequently play a significant role in disseminating tick-borne pathogens (especially during their seasonal migration) and influence the epidemiology of relevant diseases. In connection with the first Hungarian molecular epidemiological survey on this topic the authors would like to note, that a new, ornithological aspect of similar researches may deserve future attention. Ticks removed from mid- and long-distance migratory birds and the tick-borne pathogens they may contain can be molecularly identified (i.e. with sequencing certain genes), and their sequences could be compared with others internationally available (deposited in the GenBank). This may provide clues for determining the place or country where the bird most likely acquired its tick-infestation, and thus for the probable route of seasonal migration.

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