Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) is a viral haemorrhagic fever, transmitted to humans and other hosts by a tick vector of genus Haemaphysalis. It affects 400–500 people annually in the Western Ghats region of India through spring to summer season. To understand the species composition, distribution, and abundance of Haemaphysalis ticks in endemic taluks (sub-districts) of India, a surveillance for ticks was conducted between October 2017 and January 2018. In total 105 sites were selected based on grid sampling from five taluks representing five KFD endemic states in south India. A sum of 8373 ticks were collected by using standard flagging method. The study showed a wide distribution of host seeking tick species among the selected taluks, wherein Haemaphysalis spinigera was predominant in 3/5 taluks, Haemaphysalis bispinosa in 1/5 taluks, and both the species in 1/5 taluks. Further, the H. spinigera abundance was categorised and compared with the incidence of human cases during the same season. The grids with very high and high H. spinigera abundance had 70% of the 205 human cases reported. This method of tick surveillance could be efficiently used as a standard model for KFD transmission risk assessment and prediction of impending outbreaks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science