Giant ticks transmit typhus to humans

The University of Stuttgart has discovered the pathogen of typhus

For the first time in Germany, a human being is afflicted with typhus by the bite of a tropical giant tick. In the tick that had stung the man from the Siegen region, the exciter in question was proven, reported Wednesday at the Hohenheim University in Stuttgart. The owner of the horse had been infected at the end of July by a hyalomma tick. He has been successfully treated with antibiotics.

Experts are certain: the man got sick with ticks

For Ute Mackenstedt, parasitologist at Hohenheim University, the human disease provides new information: "We now know for sure that the tick hyalomma stings men, it is also clear that the transmission of typhus Animals are possible . "

The case of the Sauerland horse owner is officially treated as a suspect case because direct detection of the pathogen on patients according to experts was not possible. Nevertheless, they are convinced that it is a tick typhus.

Spotted fever causes rashes and a sensation of temperature rises in men, headaches and muscle pains and extreme joint pain. The Rickettsia aeschlimannii bacteria, which causes typhus, triggers a febrile infection in patients with extreme headaches, muscle aches and joint pain. Add to that the feeling of being burned. The rash, which gives its name to typhoid, is typical of the disease. With rapid antibiotic treatment, as in the case of NRW man, typhus heals without consequences. If it is not treated, typhus causes death in 40% of cases.

Easily distinguishable from local ticks

Hyalomma ticks come from the dry and semi-arid regions of Africa and Asia, but also from southern Europe – from Spain to Italy via the Turkey. Among local ticks such as the common male, they can easily be distinguished: they are up to two centimeters long, are much larger and have remarkably striped legs.