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Hyalomma and Auwald ticks in the Hanover area
For the first time, a colored tick (or riparian tick) was found in the Hanover area. This is reported by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover (TiHo). According to veterinarians, the "tick is very dangerous especially for dogs". The four-legged friends could become infected with dog babesiosis (dog malaria). In addition, according to the doctors, the hyalomma tick has very probably settled in northern Germany. The reason why she fled is because she is considered to be the “carrier of the Crimean Congo viruses”. Appropriate protective measures are recommended by the TiHO.
Now the TiHo is starting an investigation into the actual spread of the new tick species in the Hanover region. For this purpose, the university is asking for support from the population. "For our research project, we ask you to send us Hyaloma or Auwald ticks with the location of the find," asks Professor Dr. Christina Strube in a press release. The location can either be specified with the postcode or with GPS data. If the ticks were found on an animal, the university asks you to name the species.
How do you recognize a riparian tick?
According to the TiHo, the riparian tick or colored tick (Dermacentor reticulatus) can be recognized by the white-marbled back structure (see picture). The marbled back shield covers the entire body of males, only the front third of the body in females. The outer edge is colored red-orange. The female colored ticks are around five millimeters in size. If they are soaked, they can swell up to a size of 16 millimeters. The males are somewhat smaller than the females and do not increase in size during the sucking act.
How dangerous is the riparian tick?
The riparian tick can transmit the Babesia canis canis virus, which can destroy the red blood cells in the blood of dogs. After infection, the animals often suffer from fever and are weakened because the tissues and organs are no longer adequately supplied with oxygen. The dogs need intensive therapy to recover from the diseases. In some cases, dog malaria is fatal. "Dog owners should therefore be particularly attentive and attach great importance to effective tick protection," advise the experts at TiHo.
How do you recognize a hyalomma tick?
"Ticks of the genus Hyalomma are conspicuously large and can be recognized by their striped legs," explains the TiHo team. The hyalomma tick is about five times the size of the domestic tick (the common wooden trestle). In addition, the hyalomma tick can move very quickly.
How does the hyalomma tick get to Germany?
The TiHo team suspects that this tropical and subtropical tick species was brought to Germany by migratory birds. This type of tick is usually not native to Germany. The hot summer of 2018 had created favorable conditions for the animals. The university emphasizes that the Hyalomma tick has been found on horses in the Hanover region several times.
How dangerous is the hyalomma tick?
"Hyalomma species can transmit, among other things, the Crimean Congo virus and bacteria of the Rickettsia genus," warns the TiHo. Both pathogens could be dangerous for humans and trigger severe fever diseases. While Crimean-Congo viruses have so far not been detected by a tick bite in Germany, researchers have already found rickettsiae that can trigger dangerous typhus in humans.
The Institute of Parasitology at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover Foundation would now like to investigate how widespread the new tick species are and whether they carry infectious agents. If you find one of the tick species mentioned above, the institute would be happy to send you an indication of the location. The shipping address is: Hannover University of Veterinary Medicine, Institute for Parasitology, Professor Strube, Bünteweg 17, 30559 Hannover. (vb)