Potential role of ticks of the species dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus in the circulation of parasitic protozoa: Theileria spp., Babesia spp. and Toxoplasma gondii in the natural environment
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Zakład Biologicznych Szkodliwości Zdrowotnych i Parazytologii, Instytut Medycyny Wsi im. W. Chodźki w Lublinie
ICAP (Central Asia) at Columbia University, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Angelina Wójcik-Fatla   

Zakład Biologicznych Szkodliwości Zdrowotnych i Parazytologii, Instytut Medycyny Wsi im. W. Chodźki w Lublinie, ul. Jaczewskiego 2, 20-090 Lublin
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2016;22(3):165–168
Introduction and objective:
Ticks are classified into obligatory eco-parasites of terrestrial vertebrates, including humans. They constitute a reservoir, sometimes a vector of many pathological microorganisms (bacteria, viruses and protozoa) threatening the health of humans and animals. The primary objective of the study was an attempt to evaluate whether ticks of the species Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus, commonly occurring in Poland, may constitute a potential vector and reservoir for the protozoa: Babesia, Theileria, and Toxoplasma gondii, and at the same time, play a role in the circulation of these pathogens in nature.

Brief description of the state of knowledge:
The genera Theileria spp., Babesia spp, and as has been found in recent years, Toxoplasma gondii belong to the group of protozoa occurring in ticks. The genera Theileria and Babesia create a great risk, mainly for animals, causing, among others, east coast fever, tropical theileriosis and babesiosis. In the case of Toxoplasma gondii, this protozoan is especially dangerous for pregnant women, and may cause permanent and irreversible foetal defects. Studies to-date confirm the presence of these protozoa in some species of ticks, as well as the possibility of co-occurrence of some of them in one individual tick

Summing up:
From the aspect of public health, studies concerning the potential role of ticks in the transmission of parasitic protozoa may contribute to the assessment of the actual risk of infection in the case of tick bites. The results concerning the role of ticks as an alternative route of transmission of T. gondii – the etiologic factor of toxoplasmosis, would be of a special importance for pregnant women.

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