Ticks (Acari: Ixodida) infesting humans in the provinces of Kelkit Valley, a Crimean-congo hemorrhagic fever endemic region in Turkey
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Ticks are mandatory blood feeding ectoparasites leading transmission of various tick-borne pathogens to human and animals. Since 2002, thousands of human tick bites and numerous Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever cases have been reported in several provinces in the Kelkit Valley region in Turkey. Despite increased cases of tick bites and tick-borne diseases, no taxonomic information is available about the tick species infesting humans in the region. In the present study, a tick survey on humans was performed to determine the species composition of ticks infesting humans in several provinces of Kelkit Valley. In the survey, 1,460 ticks (721 males, 516 females and 223 nymphs) were collected from tick-infested humans. A total of 19 tick species have been found on humans in the region, including 7 Hyalomma, 2 Argas, 2 Haemaphysalis, 2 Ixodes, Dermacentor and 3 Rhipicephalus species. Infestation of Dermacentor reticulatus on humans was documented for the first time in Turkey.