Surveillance of silent disseminators before zoonotic agents emergence: Portuguese autochthonous ruminant breeds and tick network

Principal Investigator: 
Patrícia Barradas
Leader Institution: 
Research Team: 
Patrícia Barradas, João Mesquita, Alexandra Vieira e Brito, Ana Catarina Tavares
Funding entity: 
Period covered: 
01.09.2022 - 31.08.2023

Emerging infectious diseases are closely linked with human existence and our interactions with animals and nature. Ticks are strict hematophagous ectoparasites, distributed all over the world and are important vectors, amplifiers and even reservoirs of several pathogens. In addition to maintain tick enzootic cycles, animals can either be clinically affected by the same tick-borne pathogens as humans and/or play a role as reservoirs or sentinel pathogen hosts. Travel and trade seem to be the major thrusters of emerging pathogen dissemination, and livestock movement could enhance these agents' circulation. As tick-borne diseases have been acquiring importance in public and veterinary health, a One Health surveillance approach may lead to synergistic benefits. Due to the scarce data on the impact of arthropods in Portuguese autochthonous ruminant breeds, this project aims to perform a morphological and molecular characterization of ticks species affecting livestock and of the pathogens that they may transmit.