Prevalence of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Hard Ticks That Attacked Human Hosts in Eastern Siberia

Maxim A. Khasnatinov, PhD; Galina A. Danchinova, PhD, ScD; Alexander V. Liapunov, PhD; Ellina L. Manzarova, Irina V. Petrova; Irina V. Petrova; Natalie A. Liapunovа (Bolotova); Innokentiy S. Solovarov

Scientific Center for Family Health and Human Reproduction Problems. Irkutsk, the Russian Federation

*Corresponding author: Maxim A. Khasnatinov, PhD. Scientific Center for Family Health and Human Reproduction Problems. Irkutsk, the Russian Federation. E-mail:

Published: December 15, 2017.  doi: 10.21103/Article7(4)_OA7


The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of tick-borne infections in humans. The prevalence of 4 tick-borne pathogens was studied in the population of Ixodid ticks attacking human hosts in Irkutsk city and neighbouring territories from 2007 to 2017.
Methods and Results: In total, 46,357 tick specimens detached from bitten people were analyzed. The antigen of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) was detected in each tick individually by ELISA assay using a commercial kit for the envelope protein E of TBEV. Total RNA and DNA were extracted from ticks using a RiboPrep kit. Reverse transcription was performed using a Reverta-L kit and RNA\DNA of TBEV; B. burgdorferi sensu lato, A. phagocytophylum and Ehrlichia muris\E. chaffeensis were detected using a real-time multiplex PCR kit.  In total, during 8 years of observations, I. persulcatus caused approximately 86% of bites, Dermacentor sp. 13.95 %, and H. concinna 0.05 %. The most prevalent tick-borne pathogen in I. persulcatus ticks was Lyme disease agent B. burgdorferi sensu lato, which was detected in 12±6.5% of specimens annually. A. phagocytophilum and Ehrlichia sp. were detected in 7.8±2.7% and 4.6±1.5% of specimens, respectively. TBEV was present in 1±0.7% of I. persulcatus.
Conclusion: I. persulcatus remains the most important vector of tick-borne diseases to humans in Eastern Siberia. D. nuttalli and D. silvarum are much less aggressive to humans and are less infected with major tick-borne pathogens. H. concinna does not play any significant role as a disease vector. However, a rigorous analysis of TBEV spread in the Dermacentor sp. population is necessary.

  1. Korenberg E, Likhacheva T. Analysis of the long-term dynamics of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and ixodid tick-borne borrelioses (ITBB) morbidity in Russia. Int J Med Microbiol. 2006;296(Suppl 40):54–8.
  2. Donoso Mantke O, Schädler R, Niedrig M. A survey on cases of tick-borne encephalitis in European countries. Euro Surveill. 2008;13(17). pii:18848.
  3. Hubalek Z. Epidemiology of Lyme borreliosis. Curr Probl Dermatol. 2009;37:31–50. doi: 10.1159/000213069.
  4. Ismail N, Bloch KC, McBride JW. Human ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. Clin Lab Med. 2010;30(1):261–92. doi: 10.1016/j.cll.2009.10.004.
  5. Prevention of tick-borne viral encephalitis. Sanitary rules SP3.1.3.2352-08. Moscow: Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare; 2008. 20p. (in Russian).
  6. Khasnatinov MA, Lyapunov АV, Danchinova GA, Chaporgina ЕА, Arbatskaya ЕV, Tunik TV, Petrova IV. Tick-borne encephalitis: the incidence and prevention of preclinical infection among victims bitten by Ixodid ticks. Epidemiol Inf Dis Current Items. 2012;5:19–24. [Article in Russian].
  7. Filippova NA. Ixodid ticks of the subfamily Ixodinae. Fauna of Russia and adjacent countries. Arachnida. Leningrad: Nauka; 1977, 4(4). [in Russian].
  8. Serdjukova GV. Ixodid ticks of USSR fauna. M., L.: Publishing house of the Academy of Sciences of USSR; 1956. [in Russian].
  9. Filippova N.A. Ixodid ticks of the subfamily Amblyomminae., "Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Countries. Arachnida.” St. Petersburg: Nauka; 1997, 4(5). [in Russian].
  10. Methodical instructions on epidemiology, diagnosis, clinical and prevention of Lyme disease. Edited by: Korenberg EI. Moscow: Ministry o HealthCare of USSR;1991, 15(6/12). [in Russian].
  11. Vershinin EK, Mel’nikova OV, Morozov IM. Haemaphysalis ticks in the southern part of Pribaikalie. Bull Irk State Univer, Series «Biology, Ecology». 2014;8:92–5. [Article in Russian].

The fully formatted PDF version is available.
Download Article
International Journal of Biomedicine. 2017;7(4):307-309. ©2017 International Medical Research and Development Corporation. All rights reserved.