Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the distribution of ticks in the Marmara region and the ratio of Borrelia burgdorferi infection caused by ticks (Ixodes spp). Methods: Live ticks collected from the Marmara region were brought to the laboratory. Ticks on patients who came to our laboratory with tick bites were removed using forceps. These ticks were examined by stereo microscope and identified. The patients were informed about ticks and tick-borne diseases. People bitten by Hyalomma ticks were directed to the infectious diseases clinic and were kept under observation. The presence of B. burgdorferi in these ticks was determined using dark-field microscopy and B. burgdorferi was cultured in vitro using Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly (BSK)-H medium. Results: Of the 462 ticks in our sample, 208 (45%) belonged to the genus Ixodes, 105 (22.7%) to Boophilus, 63 (13.6%) to Rhipicephalus, 61 (13.2%) to Hyalomma, 20 (4.3%) to Dermacentor, and 5 (1.1%) to Haemaphysalis. Ixodes was the most prevalent genus of ticks observed, and 194 of the 208 (93.3%) were I. ricinus. Patients diagnosed with Lyme disease were treated. Borrelia was observed in 4 (2.1%) I. ricinus ticks from Istanbul and Kastamonu using dark-field microscopy, and 6 ticks (3.1%) contained Borrelia that reproduced in the BSK-H medium. There was no clinical development of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever among the individuals under observation. Conclusion: Tick-borne Lyme disease does not receive the public attention that CCHF has, but our results indicate that it is an important public health problem.
Corresponding Author: Serhat Sirekbasan