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Journal of Medical Entomology








Tick-borne diseases are a growing problem in many parts of the world, and their surveillance and control touch on challenging issues in medical entomology, agricultural health, veterinary medicine, and biosecurity. Spatial approaches can be used to synthesize the data generated by integrative One Health surveillance systems, and help stakeholders, managers, and medical geographers understand the current and future distribution of risk. Here, we performed a systematic review of over 8,000 studies and identified a total of 303 scientific publications that map tick-borne diseases using data on vectors, pathogens, and hosts (including wildlife, livestock, and human cases). We find that the field is growing rapidly, with the major Ixodes-borne diseases (Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis in particular) giving way to monitoring efforts that encompass a broader range of threats. We find a tremendous diversity of methods used to map tick-borne disease, but also find major gaps: data on the enzootic cycle of tick-borne pathogens is severely underutilized, and mapping efforts are mostly limited to Europe and North America. We suggest that future work can readily apply available methods to track the distributions of tick-borne diseases in Africa and Asia, following a One Health approach that combines medical and veterinary surveillance for maximum impact.


© The Authors 2021.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license, which permits non-commercial reproduction and distribution of the work, in any medium, provided the original work is not altered or transformed in any way, and that the work is properly cited.

Original Publication Citation

Lippi, C. A., Ryan, S. J., White, A. L., Gaff, H. D., & Carlson, C. J. (2021). Trends and opportunities in tick-borne disease geography. Journal of Medical Entomology, 58(6), 2021-2029, Article tjab086.


0000-0002-4034-2684 (Gaff)