Emerging and Re-emerging Tickborne Diseases of Public Health Importance in India

  • N Balakrishnan Joint Director (Retd.), National Centre for Disease Control, Bangalore -560003, Karnataka, India.
Keywords: Tickborne Diseases, Emerging and Reemerging Diseases, Cremian Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, Indian Tick Typhus, KFD


Ticks have been associated with human afflictions since time immemorial as evidenced by earlier records from many countries of the world. They are the obligatory blood feeding arachnids and playing role as vectors for transmission of many infectious diseases in man and animals. Various wild and domestic animals are the reservoirs for Tick borne pathogens of livestock and human hosts. In recent times many of the newly emerging and reemerging diseases of zoonotic origin are found tobe transmitted by ticks. Tick borne diseases are prevalent in specific risk areas having favorable environmental conditions for the propagation of individual tick vector species. Indian Tick Typhus (ITT) was the first recognized Tick borne disease in India, is caused by Rickettsia conori, earlier reported sporadically from mountainous and forested areas and now increasingly reported from various states. Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) is are emerging zoonotic tickborne arboviral disease affecting monkeys and man. This disease was first discovered in 1957 from Shimoga district of Karnataka state following monkey deaths and human cases. The various causative factors for the first emergence of disease was attributed to deforestation, inundation of forest areas by construction of damand large-scale conversion into agricultural land and human inhabitations. The major vector ticks are Haemophysalis spinigera and H.turturis and the virus is maintained by various small mammals and birds. Monkeys are the susceptible and man is the dead-end host. In recent years the disease has reemerged from its territory to many districts of the Karnataka state and also centripetally spread to neighboring Kerala, TamilNadu, Goa and Maharashtra states. Cremian Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) is another emerging disease was first time reported from Gujarat in 2011, however cases were recorded from Rajasthan and UttarPradesh states. CCHF is the fatal Tick borne viral disease is transmitted by ticks of Hyalomma analoticum and H.marginatum. There are sporadic records available for the occurrence of other tickborne diseases viz., relapsingfever, Lymedisease and Ganjam virus disease from various parts of the country time to time. The current scenario of tickborne diseases in the country warrant urgent need for the systematic surveillance and initiation of appropriate control measures.

How to cite this article:
Balakrishnan N. Emerging and Re-emerging Tickborne Diseases of Public Health Importance in India. J Commun Dis 2020; 52(3): 27-32.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24321/0019.5138.202026


Mittal V. Prevention and control of zoonotic disease: Strengthening Inter sectorial collaboration. NCDC News

Letter 2015; 4(3): 1-4.

Balakrishnan N. Current scenario of Tickborne diseases in India: A review. J Commun Dis 2017; 14(2): 6-13.

Kumar K, Balakrishnan N, Sharma AK. Studies on the vertical distribution of tick of domestic animals and

their public health importance in Nilgiri Hills and adjoining areas of Tamil Nadu state (India). Int J Zool

, 6 pages.

Francisco Miled Pherez FM. Factors affecting the emergence and prevalence of vector borne infections

(VBI) and the role of vertical transmission (VT). J Vector Borne Dis 2007; 44: 157-65.

Dubal ZB, Barbudde SB, Singh NP. Epidemics of emerging and re-emerging-reemerging viral zoonotic diseases. J Commun Dis 2013; 45(3&4): 105-22.

Dash AP, Bhatia R, Sunyoto T, et al. Emerging and reemerging arboviral diseases in Southeast Asia. J Vector

Borne Dis 2013; 50(2): 77-84.

Mourya DT, Sandeep AB. Arboviral infectious: a threat for 21st century. In Major Tropical Diseases: Public

health Prospective (Eds: Kumar A, Rodrigues S, Dias A), Broadway Publication House, Goa. 2015; 211-239.

Ghosh S, Nagar G. Problem of ticks and Tickborne tick-borne disease in India with special emphasis on

progress in Tick Control research a review. J VectorBorne Dis 2014; 51: 259-270.

Work TH, Trapido H. Summary of preliminary report of investigation of virus research centre on an epidemic

disease affecting forest villagers and wild monkey in Shimoga district, Mysore, India. Indian J Med Res

; 11: 340-1.

Boshell J, Rajagopalan PK, Patil AP et al. Isolation of Kyasanur Forest Disease virus from Ixodid ticks: 1961-

Ind J Med Res 1958; 56: 541-568.

Goverdhan MK, Rajagopalan PK, Narasimhamurthy DPN, et al. Epizootiology of Kyasanur Forest disease in

wild monkeys of Shimoga district, Mysore state, India. J Med Res 1974; 62(4): 497-451.

Holbrook MR. Kyasanur forest disease. Antiviral Res 2012; 96(3): 353-362.

Balakrishnan N, Kumar N, Padda P et al. Kyasanur Forest Disease in Goa. NCDC News Letter 2015; 4(2): 2-3.

Sadanandane C, Elango A, Marja N et al. An outbreak of Kyasanur forest disease in the Wayanad and

Malappuram districts of Kerala, India. Ticks Tickborne Dis 2017; 8: 25-30.

Trapido H, Rajagopalan PK, Work TH et al. Kyasanur Forest Disease VIII, Isolation of Kyasanur Forest

Disease virus from naturally infected ticks of genus Haemaphysalis. Indian J Med Res 1959; 47: 133-138.

Geevarghese G, Mishra AC. Haemaphysalis ticks of India 1st edition. Elsevier Publications, 2011.

Kumar K, Sexena VK, Shivlal. Prevalence of vectors of Scrub typhus, Plague and Kyasanur Forest Disease

(KFD) in District Shimoga, Karnataka (India) In: Vector Borne Diseases, Epidemiology and Control, Scientific

Publishers (India). 2006; 205-212.

CD Alert. Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic fever (CCHF). NCDC Newsletter 2011; 14(1): 1-8.

Mourya DT, Yadav PD, Patil DY. Highly infectious Tickborne viral disease: KFD and Crimean Congo

Hemorrhagic fever in India. WHO South East Asia Journal of Public Health 2014; 3(1): 8-12.

Murhekar MV, Kasabi GS, Mehendale SM et al. On the transmission pattern of Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD)

in India. Infect Dis Poverty 2015; 4: 37.

Pattnaik P. Kyasanur forest disease: an epidemiological view in India. Rev Med Virol 2006; 16(3): 151-165.

Mourya DT, Yadav PD, Mehla R et al. Diagnosis of Kyasanur forest disease by nested RT-PCR, real-time

RT-PCR and IgM capture ELISA. J Virol Methods 2012; 186(1-2): 49-54.

Wang HH, Grant WE, Teel PD et al. Simulation of climate-tick-host-landscape interactions: Effects of

shifts in the seasonality of host population fluctuations of host densities. J Vector Ecol 2015; 40(20): 247-255.

Ghosh S, Azhahianambi P, Yadav MP. Upcoming and future strategies of tick control: a review. J Vector

Borne Dis 2007; 44(2): 79-89.