Ticks and tick-borne diseases in Cuba, half a century of scientific research

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Alvarez, Dasiel Obregón
Corona-González, Belkis
Rodríguez-Mallón, Alina
Gonzalez, Islay Rodríguez
Alfonso, Pastor
Noda Ramos, Angel A.
Díaz-Sánchez, Adrian A.
Navarrete, Maylin González
Fernández, Rafmary Rodríguez
Mellor, Luis Méndez
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Ticks and the vast array of pathogens they transmit, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and helminths, constitute a growing burden for human and animal health worldwide. In Cuba, the major tropical island in the Caribbean, ticks are an important cause of vector-borne diseases affecting livestock production, pet animal health and, to a lesser extent, human health. The higher number of tick species in the country belong to the Argasidae family and, probably less known, is the presence of an autochthonous tick species in the island, Ixodes capromydis. Herein, we provide a comprehensive review of the ticks and tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) affecting animal and human health in Cuba. The review covers research results including ecophysiology of ticks, the epidemiology of TBPs, and the diagnostic tools used currently in the country for the surveillance of TBPs. We also introduce the programs implemented in the country for tick control and the biotechnology research applied to the development of anti-tick vaccines.