Bartonella are hemoparasites exploiting a range of mammals as reservoir hosts. Several species are zoonotic pathogens. Fleas, lice, and other arthropods, such as ticks, have been implicated as vectors. While the competence of ticks as vectors of Bartonella species has recently been demonstrated, the epidemiological significance of ticks as vectors of Bartonella species in wildlife populations remains unknown. We used the presence of deer at study sites to control the presence of Ixodes ricinus ticks, and used this system to determine whether I. ricinus contributes to the epidemiology of Bartonella species infections in small mammals. Ticks were present at all sites with deer, but were absent from all sites without deer; however, the abundance of ticks on small mammals did not affect the probability of wood mice being infected with Bartonella species. Data presented here indicate that I. ricinus is not involved in the transmission of Bartonella in woodland rodents.
Harrison, A., Bown, K. J., Montgomery, W. I., & Birtles, R. J. (2012). Ixodes ricinus is not an epidemiologically relevant vector of Bartonella species in the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus). Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 12(5), 366-371. https://doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2011.0807