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Research effort on birds’ reservoir host potential for Lyme borreliosis: A systematic review and perspectives

Abstract : Zoonotic tick-borne diseases threat human and animal health. Understanding the role of hosts in the production of infected ticks in an epidemiological system is essential to be able to design effective measures to reduce the exposure of humans and animals to infectious tick bites. The reservoir host potential, i.e. number of infected ticks produced by a host species, depends on three components: tick production, realized reservoir competence and host density. The parameters and factors that determine the reservoir host potential need to be characterized to achieve a robust understanding of the dynamics of pathogen-tick-host systems, and thus to mitigate the acarological risk of emerging infections. Few studies have investigated the role of birds in the local spread of Lyme borreliosis Borrelia. Knowledge of the research effort on the reservoir host potential of birds in Lyme borreliosis Borrelia circulation is necessary to prioritize future research on this topic. We provide a systematic review of the research effort on components of the reservoir host potential of wild birds for Lyme borreliosis Borrelia circulation, and factors that modulate these components in the European epidemiological system. Our review of 242 selected publications showed that tick production has been 1.4 and 21 times more studied than realized reservoir competence and bird density respectively. Only one study achieved to characterize the global host reservoir potential of birds in a given epidemiological system. Investigated factors were mostly related to bird species identity, individual characteristics of birds and tick characteristics, whereas the influence of bird life-history traits have been largely under-investigated. Because simultaneous characterization of all parameters is notoriously complex, interdisciplinary research is needed to combine and accumulate independent field and laboratory investigations targeting each parameter on specific epidemiological system or host species. This can help gain an integrated appraisal of the functioning of the studied system at a local scale.
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https://hal-anses.archives-ouvertes.fr/anses-03330776
Contributor : Sophie Guitton <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, September 1, 2021 - 11:23:56 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 3, 2021 - 9:11:38 AM

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Amalia Rataud, Pierre-Yves Henry, Sara Moutailler, Maud Marsot. Research effort on birds’ reservoir host potential for Lyme borreliosis: A systematic review and perspectives. Transboundary and emerging diseases, Wiley-Blackwell, 2021, ⟨10.1111/tbed.14305⟩. ⟨anses-03330776⟩

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