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