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An exotic tick found in Sweden. There is a risk that it will spread

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A new species of exotic tick has been found in Sweden near Stockholm. According to the National Veterinary Institute, these arachnids can be a vector of dangerous diseases. Experts warned that this species may spread to other regions of the country.

A previously undetected species of tick called Dermacentor marginatus – the Swedish National Veterinary Institute (SVA) announced on Thursday. The individuals came from the Stockholm area and were included in the study thanks to the parasite monitoring program, which allows anyone to send unusual specimens to experts.

Exotic tick

According to the SVA statement, D. marginatus occurs naturally in southern Europe, as well as in Iran, Kazakhstan and the mountainous areas of Central Asia. It is very similar to D. reticulatus, a species of tick previously found sporadically in Sweden. This species can transmit dangerous viruses, including the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus. This pathogen was not found in the ticks submitted for analysis, but analyzes are ongoing for the presence of other viruses and bacteria.

According to scientists, although only a few ticks have been found in Sweden, the spread of this species can be expected with climate change and rising temperatures. The presence of new species of ticks in Scandinavia is also influenced by the migration of people and animals, as well as the development of tourism.

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Swedish veterinary services encouraged people to send ticks found in the country. “It is important to map the occurrence of exotic tick species as early as possible in order to be better prepared for cases of infection of animals or humans,” emphasized Anna Omazic, SVA scientist.

Main photo source: asturfauna/Shutterstock

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