Parasit Vectors. 2018 Oct 24;11(1):556. doi: 10.1186/s13071-018-3131-y.

Tick-borne pathogens in Finland: comparison of Ixodes ricinus and I. persulcatus in sympatric and parapatric areas.

Laaksonen M1, Klemola T2, Feuth E3, Sormunen JJ2, Puisto A2, Mäkelä S2, Penttinen R4, Ruohomäki K2, Hänninen J4, Sääksjärvi IE4, Vuorinen I4, Sprong H5, Hytönen J3, Vesterinen EJ4,6.

Almost 3500 tick samples, originally collected via a nationwide citizen science campaign in 2015, were screened to reveal the prevalence and distribution of a wide spectrum of established and putative tick-borne pathogens vectored by Ixodes ricinus and I. persulcatus in Finland. The unique geographical distribution of these two tick species in Finland allowed us to compare pathogen occurrence between an I. ricinus-dominated area (southern Finland), an I. persulcatus-dominated area (northern Finland), and a sympatric area (central Finland).
Of the analysed ticks, almost 30% carried at least one pathogen and 2% carried more than one pathogen. A higher overall prevalence of tick-borne pathogens was observed in I. ricinus than in I. persulcatus: 30.0% (604/2014) versus 24.0% (348/1451), respectively. In addition, I. ricinus were more frequently co-infected than I. persulcatus: 2.4% (49/2014) versus 0.8% (12/1451), respectively. Causative agents of Lyme borreliosis, i.e. bacterial genospecies in Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato) group, were the most prevalent pathogens (overall 17%). “Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae” was found for the first time in I. ricinus ticks and in Finnish ticks in general. Moreover, Babesia divergens, B. venatorum and “Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis” were reported for the first time from the Finnish mainland.
The present study provides valuable information on the prevalence and geographical distribution of various tick-borne pathogens in I. ricinus and I. persulcatus ticks in Finland. Moreover, this comprehensive subset of ticks revealed the presence of rare and potentially dangerous pathogens. The highest prevalence of infected ticks was in the I. ricinus-dominated area in southern Finland, while the prevalence was essentially equal in sympatric and I. persulcatus-dominated areas. However, the highest infection rates for both species were in areas of their dominance, either in south or north Finland.



Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae:

Causes human disease and is a new species of rickettsiae of the spotted fever group.


  • hospitalized with fever
  • asthenia (weakness)
  • anorexia
  • nausea
  • headache
  • eschar (dead tissue that falls off healthy skin)
  • lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes)
  • meningitis-like manifestations: vomiting, neck stiffness, and Kernig’s sign.
  • Coma, renal dysfunction, respiratory acidosis then developed, and the patient died 4 days after admission to the hospital.
  • Laboratory tests showed a slight increase in the leukocyte count
  • elevated level of aspartate aminotransferase
  • proteinuria
  • increase in the level of cerebrospinal fluid protein and leukocyte count
  • Since none of the patients presented with rash, which is considered to be a typical sign of infections with species of rickettsiae of the spotted fever group their conditions were initially misdiagnosed, and they received penicillin G, leading to a prolonged hospitalization for approximately 20 days.
Babesia venatorum

Causes human disease:  B. venatorum was first known as Babesia sp. EU1 and was named after the Latin word for hunter because the first reported infected patients were 2 occupational hunters from Austria and Italy.


  • irregular fever (38.6°C–41.0°C) for 12 days
  • anemi
  • malaise
  • myalgia
  • fatigue
  • progressive weakness
  • shortness of breath
Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis:

Causes human disease:, and is an uncultured emerging bacterium that is in the family of Anaplasmosis. It’s close relatives Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Anaplasma phagocytophilum selectively infect the professional phagocytes monocytes/macrophages and neutrophilic granulocytes, which suggests that “Ca. Neoehrlichia mikurensis” may display tropism for leukocytes also.  Until now, no one has been able to grow “Ca. Neoehrlichia mikurensis”, which explains why  blood cultures remain negative.


  • immunosuppressive conditions
  • haematologic neoplasia
  • fever
  • myalgia (muscle pain)
  • arthralgia (joint pain)
  • Vascular events such as deep vein thrombosis, thromboembolic events, aneurysm and transitory ischemic accidents
  • skin manifestations, such as erythema nodosum or erysipelas-like rashes
  • elevated C-reactive protein levels
  • leukocytosis (neutrophilia) 
  • anemia

Ixodes ricinus tick, a.k.a castor bean tick, or sheep tick info:  I. ricinus can also transmit a number of pathogens including Babesia divergens (babesiosis), louping ill virus, tick-borne encephalitis virus, Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease) and Anaplasma phagocytophila (tick-borne fever of ruminants, human granulocytic anaplasmosis).  Add to this growing list “Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae,” a new species of rickettsiae of the spotted fever group.

Ioxodes persulcatus tick, a.k.a. Taiga tick info:  Transmits Russian Spring-Summer encephalitis and Lyme disease.

Babesia divergens, B. venatorum and “Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis” were reported for the first time from the Finnish mainland.

This article demonstrates why many in “Lyme land” remain ill.

You can’t diagnose what you can’t see, grow, and test for.

Authorities have absolutely no idea what is infecting everyone, and Lyme is only the tip of the ice-berg.