Epidemiological situation of rickettsioses in EU/EFTA countries
This report characterises the different reporting systems for tick-borne rickettsioses in EU/EFTA countries and identifies and assesses the current epidemiological situation of these diseases. It is the first attempt to collect existing data on rickettsioses in EU/EFTA countries.
This report is the first effort to collect existing data on rickettsioses in EU/EFTA countries covering the period 2000–2010. It characterises the different reporting systems for tick-borne rickettsioses in EU/EFTA countries and identifies and assesses the current epidemiological situation of these diseases, in order to better understand the magnitude of tick-borne rickettsiosis in the region.
Rickettsioses are bacterial infectious diseases that occur in endemic areas across large regions of the world. They require the presence of competent reservoir hosts, vectors and the pathogen. Rickettsioses surveillance is currently implemented in 14 countries of the EU/EEA using different case definitions. Yet data from human cases should not be the only source of information to determine risk areas for infection.
As tick-borne pathogens are listed among emerging communicable disease globally, they are expected to constitute an increasing burden to societies due to increasing travel, increasing cohorts of immunocompromised persons, and ageing societies
Tick-borne rickesstioses epidemiology in EU and EFTA countries
Most of the cases of rickettsioses are reported from Italy, Portugal and Spain. In the most affected countries rickettsioses commonly occurred among males. The age distribution of cases was variable with cases among persons younger than 9 years and older than 60 years in Portugal and the older age group more affected in Spain.