Unexpected Risks for Campers and Hikers: Tick-Borne Infections

Document Type: Review Article

Authors

1 Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Erciyes University, 38039, Kayseri, Turkey

2 Genome and Stem Cell Center (GENKOK), Department of Molecular Microbiology, University of Erciyes, 38039, Kayseri, Turkey

3 Department of Infectious Disease and Clinical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Erciyes University 38039, Kayseri, Turkey

4 Erciyes University Vectors and Vector-borne Diseases Research and Implementation Center 38039, Kayseri, Turkey

Abstract

Introduction: Camping and hiking are popular worldwide recreational activities. All age groups, elderly or young, immunocompetent or immunosupressive people may engage in these activities. During these activities, individuals may get injured or be exposed to pathogens. There is also a strong possibility of experiencing mosquito, lice, or tick bites, bee stings, or being bitten by scorpions, snakes, rodents, wild or feral animals. This study reviewed the current literature regarding tick-borne infections encountered during recreational activities.
Methods: PubMed and the Web of Science databases were searched for the keywords “campers,” “hikers,” and “tick borne infections.” Major reviews, research papers, and case series on campers and hikers were reviewed, and current articles for tick-borne infections were selected and summarized.
Results: People who engage in recreational activities are potentially at risk for infection from environmental sources. A group of important vector-borne diseases is tick-borne infections, the major agents of which are Babesia spp., Borrelia spp., Rickettsia spp., Ehrlichia spp., Francisella tularensis, Coxiella burnetii, Crimen-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), and Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE) viruses. These infections have a widespread geographical distribution.
Conclusion: Participating in outdoor recreational activities is increasing all over the world. While partaking in these activities, humans are frequently exposed to ticks and are potentially at risk for infection. To prevent infection, public and medical awareness is necessary.

Keywords


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