Ticks are able to transmit zoonotic pathogens to humans including the most frequently reported , and the lesser known , , spp., and spp. Ticks also play an important role in the spread and maintenance of disease lifecycles. Lyme disease is currently the only tick-borne disease monitored by health professionals in Scotland, however, it is still underreported and misdiagnosed. In this study adult female ticks from 32 hedgehogs from various locations in Scotland were tested for the presence of tick-borne infections using PCR and confirmed by sequencing. PCR results showed there was an 18.75% incidence of , 34.38% of , 12.5% of spp., 3.13% of , and 3.13% of spp. 100% of the ticks were confirmed as Ixodes ricinusand from hedgehog hosts. A co-infection of and was found by PCR and has not been previously reported in the UK. was confirmed by sequencing as , however, has not been confirmed by sequencing. Another co-infection of spp., and spp. was found by PCR, however, not confirmed by sequencing. Detection of co-infections in human cases is difficult due to the similar nature of the infections, making it difficult to differentiate between pathogens. This study aims to develop a methodology capable of distinguishing between pathogens, identify the tick and host species, and determine the prevalence of tick-borne disease in Scotland by PCR.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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