Molecular evidence of Rickettsia spp. in ixodid ticks and rodents in suburban, natural and rural habitats in Slovakia
A total of 704 unfed ticks of the species Ixodes ricinus collected in Denmark were screened for Rickettsia DNA by a genus-specific real-time PCR. Of the nymphs, 4.7% (31/662) were positive for rickettsial DNA. Among the positive ticks, we observed a seasonal and habitat variation. The infection rate was highest in May as compared to July, August, and October. Ecotone (high tick density) showed an elevated prevalence as compared to spruce or beech forests. Sequencing revealed only DNA from R. helvetica.