Distribution of ticks in the Western Palearctic: an updated systematic review (2015–2021)

Madeleine E Noll*, Richard Wall, Benjamin Makepeace, Hannah Vineer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


The distributions of ticks and tick-borne pathogens are thought to have changed rapidly over the last two decades, with their ranges expanding into new regions. This expansion has been driven by a range of environmental and socio-economic factors, including climate change. Spatial modelling is being increasingly used to track the current and future distributions of ticks and tick-borne pathogens and to assess the associated disease risk. However, such analysis is dependent on high-resolution occurrence data for each species. To facilitate such analysis, in this review we have compiled georeferenced tick locations in the Western Palearctic, with a resolution accuracy under 10 km, that were reported between 2015 and 2021.

The PubMed and Web of Science databases were searched for peer-reviewed papers documenting the distribution of ticks that were published between 2015 and 2021, using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The papers were then screened and excluded in accordance with the PRISMA fow chart. Coordinate-referenced tick locations along with information on identifcation and collection methods were extracted from each eligible publication. Spatial analysis was conducted using R software (version

From the 1491 papers identifed during the initial search, 124 met the inclusion criteria, and from these, 2267 coordinate-referenced tick records from 33 tick species were included in the fnal dataset. Over 30% of articles did not record the tick location adequately to meet inclusion criteria, only providing a location name or general location. Among the tick records, Ixodes ricinus had the highest representation (55%), followed by Dermacentor reticulatus (22.1%) and Ixodes frontalis (4.8%). The majority of ticks were collected from vegetation, with only 19.1% collected from hosts.

The data presented provides a collection of recent high-resolution, coordinate-referenced tick locations for use in spatial analyses, which in turn can be used in combination with previously collated datasets to analyse the changes in tick distribution and research in the Western Palearctic. In the future it is recommended that, where data privacy rules allow, high-resolution methods are routinely used by researchers to geolocate tick samples and ensure their work can be used to its full potential.
Original languageEnglish
Article number141
Number of pages16
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
Early online date24 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by MSD Animal Health UK.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


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