Abundance of Ixodes persulcatus ticks in Komi Republic as a function of an air temperature

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The sharp rising incidence of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) in Komi Republic at the North-east of European Russia was recorded last decades. Tick-bite incidence also was grown. Rapid rise of TBE incidence growth and Ixodidae ticks depends on a number of factors, and the impact of climate change being one of them. Ixodes persulcatus ticks is considered as a main vector of TBE in Komi. Our objective is to estimate the influence of air temperature change on the tickbite incidence and Ixodes persulcatus population in Komi. Komi Republic is located near the Polar circle where the northern frontier of Ixodes persulcatus ticks situated and we expected the growth of tick’s population. The number of Komi inhabitants seeking medical care after tick bites in 1992–2014 was considered. Gridded monthly air temperature data with grid size 0.5 degree were recalculated to temperature referred to Komi administrative units. The time series of annual number of tick victims from 1992 till 2014 and model air temperature from 1948 till 2016 for all Komi administrative units were compiled. We analyzed the data on tick-bite incidence in Komi administrative units in relation to changes in local annual average air temperature within the study area. The linear dependence of the tick-bite incidence on air temperature was established when of the tick-bite incidence is represented in logarithm form. The tick population depends not only on temperature but humidity, landcover and hosts. Described areas of Komi belong to humid climate, where precipitations exceed evaporation. Most of the Komi territory is covered by taiga with underwood, grass and bush. Hosts of the first and the major levels are represented by birds and rodents. The dependence of tick-bite incidence and temperature looks like “Malthus’s law”, but the development of population depends on temperature not on time. The exponential growth in the nearest future will ceased and the population will proceed to stable phase. Ticks population in Komi Republic is moving to the North and the air temperature determines the dynamics of population.

About the authors

A. A. Tronin

Scientific Research Center for Ecological Safety, Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
Email: a.a.tronin@ecosafety-spb.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7852-8396

Andrei A. Tronin, PhD, MD (Geology and Mineralogy), Director

SPIN-код: 9351-7746

197110, St. Petersburg, Korpusnaya str., 18.

Phone: +7 (812) 499-64-54 (office).

Russian Federation

N. K. Tokarevich

St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute

Email: zoonoses@mail.ru

PhD, MD (Medicine), Professor, Head of the Department of Zooanthroponoses

SPIN-код: 5311-4931

St. Petersburg


Russian Federation

B. R. Gnativ

Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology of Komi Republic

Email: fbuz11@mail.ru

PhD (Medicine), Medical Director


Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2020 Tronin A.A., Tokarevich N.K., Gnativ B.R.

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