Ticks are abundant in woodlands all across Europe from early spring to late autumn. They live by sucking blood from animals and occasionally bite humans.
Ticks themselves do not cause disease but if a tick is infected with a virus or bacterium, then that pathogen can be transmitted through the tick’s bite and cause disease in humans.
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a common tick-borne disease in Europe (along with Lyme borreliosis).
Borreliosis (Lyme disease)
Borreliosis, also known as Lyme disease, is transmitted by the bite of infected ticks. Most cases can be treated with antibiotics. No vaccine is available.
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is an emerging pathogen in Europe. Outbreaks have a case fatality rate between 5% and 40%. There is no validated therapy and no safe vaccine.
Rickettsiosis/rickettsioses are a group of diseases generally caused by species of Rickettsia. Most of the Rickettsioses are transmitted by ticks.
Tickborne encephalitis (TBE) is a viral infectious disease that attacks the central nervous system and can result in long-term neurological symptoms, and even death.
Tick-borne relapsing fever
Tick-borne relapsing fever is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected soft ticks. The disease is characterised by relapsing or recurring episodes of fever, often accompanied by headache, muscle and joint aches and nausea.
Small bites, big problems – Tick-borne diseases in Europe
Different ticks can transmit different diseases. Where are the ticks found in Europe? Why can disease transmission occur in late spring, summer, autumn?
Facts on ticks
Biology, entomology, epidemiology, health hazards - facts for experts about the two most common tick species in Europe: Ixodes ricinus and Hyalomma marginatum.