Translated from Antwerp University in Belgium:
Friday, May 4, 2012
In Belgium and the Netherlands, 15 indigenous tick species live. Some of them suck blood from various animals (and humans), but most limit themselves to one specific species or species group (eg hedgehogs, sand martins, or bats). Of these specialized ticks, Ixodes arboricola is probably the least known. This species infects mainly birds that breed and sleep in tree cavities and nest boxes, but there is still little known about its ecology and distribution and its role in the spread of diseases in birds and humans.
For several years, the research group Evolutionary Ecology at the University of Antwerp have studied parasites of birds. Currently, they do research on the ecological interactions between ticks (Ixodidae) and tree cavity nesting birds. In this project, including the genetic variation of the ticks in relation to their hosts, the…
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