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Range Expansion of Tick Disease Vectors in North America: Implications for Spread of Tick-Borne Disease

1
Laboratory for Malaria and Vector Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD 20852, USA
2
Department of Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030478
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 3 March 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
Ticks are the major vectors of most disease-causing agents to humans, companion animals and wildlife. Moreover, ticks transmit a greater variety of pathogenic agents than any other blood-feeding arthropod. Ticks have been expanding their geographic ranges in recent decades largely due to climate change. Furthermore, tick populations in many areas of their past and even newly established localities have increased in abundance. These dynamic changes present new and increasing severe public health threats to humans, livestock and companion animals in areas where they were previously unknown or were considered to be of minor importance. Here in this review, the geographic status of four representative tick species are discussed in relation to these public health concerns, namely, the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, the Gulf Coast Tick, Amblyomma maculatum and the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Both biotic and abiotic factors that may influence future range expansion and successful colony formation in new habitats are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; habitats; hosts; Dermacentor variabilis; Amblyomma americanum; Amblyomma maculatum; Ixodes scapularis; abiotic factors; biotic factors climate change; habitats; hosts; Dermacentor variabilis; Amblyomma americanum; Amblyomma maculatum; Ixodes scapularis; abiotic factors; biotic factors
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Sonenshine, D.E. Range Expansion of Tick Disease Vectors in North America: Implications for Spread of Tick-Borne Disease. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 478.

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