Vector-borne Infectious Diseases in Climate Change Investigations (VICCI):

Project 4: Risk assessment of tick-borne diseases in bavarian public parks

Project Director

Sabine Schorn, Cornelia Silaghi, Kurt Pfister
Comparative Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, LMU Munich


The tick Ixodes ricinus is the most common tick species in Germany and of interest for human and animal health because of it`s role as a vector for viral, bacterial and protozoan pathogens. In the last decades some data about tick-borne pathogens were collected, although there is only little information available about public cityparks, which are frequently used for recreational activities.

For this reason ticks from public parks are screened in this study for the presence of the bacterial pathogens Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia of the Spotted Fever Group and Bartonella spp. as well as the protozoan pathogen Babesia spp.. Furthermore data about the presence and activity of ticks in urban public parks are collected depending on biological, climatic and geographical conditions.

In this project questing ticks were collected monthly with the flagging method at 9 sites in Munich, Augsburg, Regensburg, Ingolstadt and Berg at Lake Starnberg from April to September 2009. The ticks were counted and identified to species level. Data about air and soil temperature, humidity, wind, flora and fauna were recorded. The collected ticks will be screened by real time - and conventional PCR for the presence of pathogen DNA.

A space-time regression analysis will be carried out in collaboration with the Statistical Consulting Unit, Department of Statistics; LMU Munich.

Knowledge about tick-activity and the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens is an important prerequisite for risk assessment of human and animal diseases.