Scientific Opinion on the Role of Tick Vectors in the Epidemiology of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever and African Swine Fever in Eurasia
The report provides an update on the role of the tick vectors in the epidemiology of African swine fever (ASF) and Crimean and Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in Eurasia, specifically to review of the geographical distribution of the relevant ticks with presentation of maps of their occurrence in Europe and Mediterranean basin; a description of the factors that define the relevant tick population dynamics and identify possible high risk areas in the EU; an update on the role of tick vectors associated with CCHF and ASF in Eurasia; and reviews available methods for the control of the relevant tick vectors. Data were collected through systematic literature review in a database from which maps of geographic distribution of ticks, CCHF virus and ASF virus were issued. The main vectors for CCHF are Hyalomma spp, Increase in the number of fragmented areas and the degradation of agricultural lands to bush lands are the two main factors in the creation of new foci of CCHF in endemic areas. Movement of livestock and wildlife species, which may carry infected ticks, contributes to the spread of the infection. The Middle East and Balkan countries are the most likely sources of introduction of CCHFV into other European countries. All the Ornithodoros species investigated so far can become infective with ASF virus and are perhaps biological vectors. These ticks are important in maintaining the local foci of the ASFV, but do not play an active role in the geographical spread of the virus. Wild boars have never been found infested by Ornithodoros spp. because wild boars normally do not rest inside protected burrows, but above the ground. There is no single ideal solution to the control of ticks relevant for CCHF or ASF. The integrated control approach is probably the most effective.