A brief review: the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in urban and suburban areas

  • Justina Snegiriovaitė
  • Jana Radzijevskaja
  • Algimantas Paulauskas
Keywords: ticks, tick-borne pathogens, urban and suburban habitats


Ticks are widely distributed blood-sucking ectoparasites and vectors for numerous zoonotic pathogens that cause infectious diseases in humans and animals. The increase in the incidence of tick-borne diseases (TBD) is partially associated with climatic changes, such as shorter and warmer winters, prolonged growing seasons, and also with increasing urbanisation. In recent decades, a rising number of established populations of medically important ticks have been reported in urban and suburban areas such as city parks or suburban forests over many regions in Europe. The transformation of natural ecosystems into urban areas becomes actual significant problem because it could affect the circulation of tick-borne pathogens and increase the risk of infection for humans and domestic animals. Tick-borne pathogens, including Borrelia burgdorferi s. l., Rickettsia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis, and Babesia spp., have been detected in urban tick populations in Europe. Such places as parks, leisure-time areas, green spaces, and gardens become endemic zones of tick-borne pathogens. This review describes the investigations on the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in urbanised areas conducted in Europe during the last fifteen years (2005–2020).