ON THE QUESTION OF EPIDEMIOLOGY AND INCIDENCE OF TICKBORNE ENCEPHALITIS BY UNKNOWN MEANS OF INFECTION,
NAVAL MEDICAL RESEARCH UNIT NO 3 CAIRO (EGYPT) DEPT OF MEDICAL ZOOLOGY
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At present, the infection mechanism of tickborne encephalitis cannot be established in 15-20 of cases. Until now there are no indications of the epidemiologic role played by Ixodes persulcatus P. Sch. males. Special tests have shown that I. persulcatus males attack warmblooded animals and man. The duration of their feeding depends on the proximity of the blood vessels and lasts from 5 minutes to 1-12 hours. Males begin to attach on the back surface of a human forearm 10-12 minutes after being placed there and feed for 15-30 minutes. Upon being disturbed, they rapidly withdraw their hypostome and can reattach after 3-7 minutes. Tickborne encephalitis virus is isolated from suspensions of males with the same frequency as from females. In 1958 and 1961, the infection was induced in white mice from bites of male ticks. It is obvious that certain cases of encephalitis can be associated with ixodid males, the bites of which are of short duration and painless. It is also possible, that the epidemic occurrence among the population depends precisely on male tick bites.