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22 May 2020 Tick and Tickborne Pathogen Surveillance as a Public Health Tool in the United States
Rebecca J. Eisen, Christopher D. Paddock
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In recent decades, tickborne disease (TBD) cases and established populations of medically important ticks have been reported over expanding geographic areas, and an increasing number of tickborne bacteria, viruses, and protozoans have been recognized as human pathogens, collectively contributing to an increasing burden of TBDs in the United States.The prevention and diagnosis of TBDs depend greatly on an accurate understanding by the public and healthcare providers of when and where persons are at risk for exposure to human-biting ticks and to the pathogens these ticks transmit. However, national maps showing the distributions of medically important ticks and the presence or prevalence of tickborne pathogens are often incomplete, outdated, or lacking entirely. Similar deficiencies exist regarding geographic variability in host-seeking tick abundance. Efforts to accurately depict acarological risk are hampered by lack of systematic and routine surveillance for medically important ticks and their associated human pathogens. In this review, we: 1) outline the public health importance of tick surveillance; 2) identify gaps in knowledge regarding the distributions and abundance of medically important ticks in the United States and the presence and prevalence of their associated pathogens; 3) describe key objectives for tick surveillance and review methods appropriate for addressing those goals; and 4) assess current capacity and barriers to implementation and sustainability of tick surveillance programs.

Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2020. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Rebecca J. Eisen and Christopher D. Paddock "Tick and Tickborne Pathogen Surveillance as a Public Health Tool in the United States," Journal of Medical Entomology 58(4), 1490-1502, (22 May 2020).
Received: 26 March 2020; Accepted: 9 April 2020; Published: 22 May 2020

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