Experts from Olomouc and Brno mapped the occurrence of four lesser-known tick-borne infections in the Czech Republic, which can endanger their health or even their lives in people with weakened immunity. The result of several years of research are maps showing the intensity of the occurrence of tick-borne pathogens in the Czech Republic, namely anaplasma, rickettsia, neoehrlichia and babesia. The resulting study provides an overview of the risk of local presence of these hitherto neglected infections. It will help in the prevention and diagnosis of diseases, said representatives of Palacky University (UP).
Experts from the Faculty of Science of the UP and the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences (VFU) in Brno worked on the study. “The issue of tick-borne infections is well publicized, but in addition to the well-known Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis, other, lesser-known infections lurk in ticks. Their importance grows with a growing proportion of people with weakened immunity or treatment with cytostatics, “said Pavel Široký from VFU.
According to experts, the current knowledge about the occurrence of these infections has so far been based on several local studies, so scientists from Olomouc and Brno decided to map the occurrence of these four infections. They gradually collected over 13,000 ticks in about 150 localities and found out what infections they transmit. “The results show that some pathogens such as rickettsia occur in almost all localities studied. Specifically, in 98 percent. Their prevalence, ie penetration, is quite uniform in the tick population and is around five percent. On the other hand, anaplasms, for example, occurred only in 78 percent of localities, but they showed significant local outbreaks, which we found in the Třebíč, Prostějov or Hodonín regions, where the prevalence exceeded 15 percent, “said the main author of the study Tomáš Václavík from the Department of Ecology and Environment, Faculty of Science, UP.
According to experts, infection of the four pathogens studied usually manifests itself in non-specific, flu-like clinical symptoms. Accurate diagnostics can only be performed by laboratory techniques. While a healthy person should not be endangered by this infection, people with weakened immunity can also suffer from life-threatening conditions. “There is a special situation, for example, in individuals with surgically removed spleens, for whom infections with ticks transmitted by protozoa of the genus Babesia are always extremely and life-threatening,” said Široký. He added that the study will contribute to a better understanding of the epidemiology and risk of tick-borne infections.
Source: Tyden.cz by www.tyden.cz.
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