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High habitat richness limits the risk of tick-borne encephalitis in Europe: a multi-scale study

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Title
High habitat richness limits the risk of tick-borne encephalitis in Europe: a multi-scale study
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40
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CC Attribution 3.0 Germany:
You are free to use, adapt and copy, distribute and transmit the work or content in adapted or unchanged form for any legal purpose as long as the work is attributed to the author in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
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Release Date2023
LanguageEnglish
Producer
Production Year2023
Production PlaceWageningen

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Abstract
The transmission of Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus is governed by complex interactions between ticks and hosts and habitat features. So far, the relationship between biodiversity and TBE risk has been scarcely evaluated. Therefore by considering habitat richness as a proxy for biodiversity, we modelled the association between the habitat richness index (HRI) and the distribution of human TBE cases across Europe. Giulia Ferrari and her team validated their findings at local scale using municipality data collected in Trento and Belluno provinces, in northern Italy. They found a limiting effect of HRI on the presence of TBE cases in both Europe and northern Italy, with a significant role of wild mice as TBEV hosts. Their findings suggest that in highly diverse habitats the TBE risk decreases. Therefore biodiversity loss that is increasingly evident under ongoing global change could ultimately enhance disease risk for both humans and wildlife.
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