In Germany, the tick-borne tick of the tropical giant was first infected with typhoid. A tick-borne pathogen has been detected in ticks, the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart said on Wednesday. A horse owner from the Siegen area (North Rhine-Westphalia) sent hyaloma cloths after a bite to tick researchers in Hohenheim in late July. A few days later he came to the hospital with severe symptoms and suspected typhoid ticks. He was successfully treated with antibiotics.
"Not only do we now know for sure that the hyaloma tick is killing people," said Ute Mackenstedt, a parasitologist at the University of Hohenheim. It is also clear that in Germany the transmission of tick typhus by animals is actually possible. In the future, doctors will have to consider infection as a possible cause and be vigilant, she said.
Rickettsia aeschlimannii causes feverish headache and muscle pain, extreme joint pain, and burning sensation. Typical of the disease is the rash, which gives the name typhoid. According to the Robert Koch Institute, typhoid fever is a rare disease in Germany.
The number of hyaloma ticks found increased significantly
The number of hyaloma ticks found in Germany has increased significantly in recent months over the previous year. "We have already found 50 specimens in Germany together in 2019. Last year, there were 35 in total," says Mackenstedt. Of the specimens found in 2019, according to Mackenstedt, nearly every second carries the typhoid pathogen. According to experts, hyaline cloths in Germany were also able to winter for the first time this year.
The case of a horse owner from the Siegen area is being treated as a suspicious case, as direct detection of pathogens on patients was not possible according to experts. "The treatment of the patient simply came first," said Gerhard Dobler, a doctor at the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology in Munich. "But just before tick bite, the typical symptoms and, above all, the evidence of pathogens in the tick do not give any other conclusion than that the case is tick typhus."
Significantly larger than domestic ticks
Hyaloma ticks originate from the dry and semi-arid regions of Africa, Asia and southern Europe – from Spain to Italy to Turkey. It can be easily distinguished from local ticks, like ordinary wood: up to two inches in length, much larger and with strikingly striped legs. So far, hyaline cloths have been transported to Germany with migratory birds, where they believe they can be spread more widely this year.
Hyaloma ticks can also transmit more dangerous pathogens, including the virus that causes Crimean Congo fever, which may be associated with severe bleeding. Last year, a total of 18 samples were sent and inspected from eight states (Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia, Brandenburg, Berlin and Schleswig-Holstein) and 17 more ticks were clear as hyaloma Ticks were detected. None of the tested ticks contained hemorrhagic fever in the Crimean Congo.
"You notice it when it revolves around you"
In any case, so-called wooden nettles are still dominated by the native nettle species, Mackenstedt said. Pathogens transmitted from it can cause Lyme disease and TBE (tick-borne encephalitis). While normal ticks are not easy to see when they attach to the human body, a person feels the onslaught of a tick's hyaloma, says expert Mackenstedt: "It's much bigger, you can tell when it runs on you." – dpa
<! – ->