Tick bites on humans in the agricultural and recreational areas in south-eastern Poland.
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Chair and Department of Biology and Parasitology, Medical University of Lublin, Radziwillowska 11, 20-080 Lublin, Poland. katarzyna.bartosik@umlub.pl.
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2011;18(1):151–157
The investigations were conducted in the Lublin province (south-eastern Poland) in areas of high agricultural and recreational value. Among the 418 patients admitted to medical clinics due to arthropod bites in the years 2003-2005, 184 people (44 percent) had been bitten by ticks. As shown by the research, high-risk groups include people whose stay in tick habitats is connected with their occupational work (54.5 percent) as well as recreation and tourism (45.5 percent). As many as 78.7 percent of the patients were attacked by Ixodes ricinus ticks in forests, and much fewer (31.3 percent) in other habitats located in urban and rural areas. In one case, a Dermacentor reticulatus female was attached to the skin. Ticks were most commony located on the upper (28.8 percent) and lower (27.2 percent) extremities, and on the abdomen (15.8 percent). Local skin reactions (57.6 percent) with predominance of erythema were the most prevalent. Combined local and systemic symptoms were reported less frequently (20.1 percent). The general symptoms were headache (10.8 percent of patients), fever (5.4 percent), lymphadenitis (5.9 percent) and arthralgia (4.3 percent). No lesions produced by tick bites were reported in 22.3 percent of the patients. Field studies conducted in 2003-2004 demonstrated that I. ricinus is a common species in the southern part of the Lublin province, where the density of nymphs and adult forms in various localities during the period of peak seasonal activity (in May) ranges from 18.5-26 specimens/1 h of collection. Two tick species, I. ricinus and D. reticulatus, occur in the northern part of the province. The density of I. ricinus nymphs and adult forms as well as D. reticulatus adults is in the range of 2.5-42 specimens/1 hr of collection and 19.5-64.0 speciments/1 hr of collection, respectively. Due to the high risk of tick attacks in the study area, there arises the necessity to permanent the monitoring of ticks numbers and tick-borne diseases.