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New tick species discovered in Sweden thanks to the Report Tick program

One of IDAlert’s objectives is to enhance preparedness for new tick-borne infections. Our partner, the Swedish Veterinary Agency (SVA), launched the Report Tick web tool, a citizen science initiative used to monitor ticks and provide early warning signals. If a new tick species is found, there is a risk it may carry new infectious agents.

Read latest SVA Press Release (translated from Swedish)

During last year’s Report Tick campaign, a dozen ticks that are not typically found in Sweden were reported. These have been analyzed, and the Swedish Veterinary Agency (SVA) has confirmed the discovery of a new tick species, Dermacentor marginatus, for the first time in Sweden.

The tick was found in the Stockholm area and reported through SVA’s web tool, Report Tick. This tool is used to enhance preparedness against new tick species and tick-borne diseases. Dermacentor marginatus is naturally found in Southern Europe, as well as in Iran, Kazakhstan, and mountainous areas of Central Asia. In Sweden, it is known as the Ornate sheep tick.

“This discovery demonstrates that our surveillance system can function as an early warning for new tick species. It is crucial to promptly identify exotic tick species like Dermacentor marginatus, which can carry viruses, bacteria, and parasites that are not currently present in the country. This surveillance helps us be better prepared in case animals or humans become infected,” says Anna Omazic, researcher at SVA.

Dermacentor marginatus can carry various pathogens, including the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus and Coxiella burnetii, which causes Q fever. All unusual tick findings have been analyzed for these and other pathogens, such as rickettsiae and piroplasms. All tick finding analyses from last year were negative for the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus. Analysis of other pathogens is ongoing.

“The results are as expected. We are pleased that all ticks tested negative for the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, which can cause severe illness in humans. We will continue with detailed analysis and study of this new species before providing further information on the case,” says Giulio Grandi, veterinarian and parasitologist at SVA.

Continue Reporting Your Tick Findings

Tick season is now underway across the country, and SVA expects to receive more reports during the summer. If you live in Sweden, we encourage you to report both common and unusual tick findings through the Report Tick web tool.

“Each report is crucial for monitoring tick population distribution, identifying species present in the country, and assessing the risk of tick-borne disease spread. We hope the public throughout the country will continue to assist us by reporting tick findings to SVA during the summer. Everyone can contribute to the research,” says Anton De Jong, researcher at SVA.

For more information about ticks, you can follow the “FästBloggen” blog (in Swedish):
Original press release (in Swedish):

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