Cerny et al.
Hard ticks and tick-borne pathogens in Mongolia – A review
Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2019; 10, article number 101268
Mongolia is characterized by long cold winters and relatively low precipitation, especially in the southern part of the country. However, ticks and tick-borne diseases are an important issue in human and veterinary medicine due to ticks of the genus Ixodes, Haemaphysalis, Dermacentor, Hyalomma and Rhipicephalus causing borreliosis, rickettsiosis, piroplasmosis and TBE. The distribution of hard tick species and the occurrence of diseases induced by tick bites in this country have been reviewed by Cerny et al.
The TBE virus has mostly been found in I. persulcatus ticks with the highest prevalence in the region (aimag) of Selenge (3.2 to 6%). In this region, 5% to 20% of individuals have been found TBE sero-positive. In regions where I. persulcatus is missing, TBE virus may be transmitted by D. silvarum. About 50 TBE patients are annually hospitalized in Mongolia and the fatality rate is about 10%. TBE sero-prevalence of 7% to 12% has been described in livestock including cattle, horses, sheep and goats. Due to the nomadic lifestyle of many Mongolians, unpasteurized milk is often consumed, and thus, there is the risk of alimentary infections. However, no studies have yet been conducted about this route of infection in Mongolia. Genetic analyses revealed that TBE virus strains isolated in Mongolia belong either to the Siberian or Far-Eastern subtype. The newly described Baikal subtype has been related to one fatal case in the Bulgan aimag.