Rhipicephalus sanguineus importation into the UK: surveillance, risk, public health awareness and one health response
Hansford KM, Phipps P, Cull B, Pietzsch ME, Medlock JM
As part of Public Health England's assessment of vectorborne disease risk to public health in the UK, tick specimens are regularly submitted by veterinarians for identification via the Tick Surveillance Scheme. Recently, a number of these specimens have been identified as the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. This species is non-endemic to the UK and presents a risk to both human and animal health due to its role in the transmission of various tickborne pathogens. Although current climatic conditions in the UK are unlikely to permit the survival of this species outdoors, indoor infestations can occur and this can present a risk of disease transmission within an infested property. This paper documents 40 importation events involving R sanguineus on recently travelled or imported dogs into the UK since 2012. It also provides details of the response following these detections in line with the One Health concept. With the increasing number of dogs travelling or being imported, it is likely that importation and infestation events in the UK will continue and may result in pathogen transmission. It is therefore important to raise awareness of this risk and share lessons learned to improve our prevention and response strategies to this emerging issue.
Vector Biology & Climate Modelling