Preliminary investigation on tick fauna in the neighborhood of Tarquinia, Lazio, Italy
Luciano Toma, Cristina Khoury, Riccardo Bianchi, Francesco Severini, Fabiola Mancini, Alessandra Ciervo, Daniele Ricci, Anna Maria, Marco Di Luca
Introduction. This study represents a preliminary inquiry on tick fauna composition carried
out in Maremma, Central Italy, where very few data are available.
Materials and methods. The study area was selected in the limestone hills surrounding
Tarquinia town, on the base of suitable elements directly affecting the tick occurrence
and the possible circulation of tick-borne pathogens, such as wild cattle rearing, kind of
vegetation and human activities. Since a proper understanding of tick ecology is critical
in predicting the risk of tick-borne pathogen transmission in a given area, a series of surveys
was planned in such area in 2011.
Results. One hundred fifty-four ticks belonging to 4 genera and 6 species, namely Ixodes
ricinus (n. = 109; 70%), Rhipicephalus bursa (n. = 18; 12%), Rhipicephalus turanicus (n. =
14; 9%), Rhipicephalus sanguineus (n. = 6; 4%), Hyalomma marginatum (n. = 4; 3%) and
Dermacentor marginatus (n. = 3; 2%) were identified and reported for the area.
Discussion. The results of this acarological research represent a significant contribution
to the knowledge of the tick fauna of rural areas in Northern Lazio Region, as first step
toward a future molecular investigation on pathogen circulation.