TBE, early summer meningoencephalitis, also called tick-borne encephalitis, is caused by the TBE virus found in the saliva of some ticks. Austria is one of the areas in Europe most affected by TBE. Ticks contaminated with TBE viruses are found in all federal states. Cases of the disease are reported annually from all federal provinces.
Domestic ticks could also benefit from climate change, as warmth and high humidity make ticks active. In dry conditions, on the other hand, the ticks retreat. Even with several consecutive days with a few degrees above zero, they go in search of hosts. As winters in Austria are becoming increasingly mild, ticks are now active almost all year round. This in turn extends the time during which they can transmit pathogens. As the average temperature also continues to rise at higher altitudes, ticks can survive there as well, multiplying and developing a permanent population.
We conduct research on the distribution of ticks and newly immigrated tick species, as well as the various pathogens transmitted by ticks.