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Table 5 Relative importance of mustelids for feeding the different stages of I. ricinus and for infecting I. ricinus larvae with B. burgdorferi (s.l.). Vertebrate species considered in our model host-community and the density that was used in these calculations. Mustelid species are shown in bold

From: Role of mustelids in the life-cycle of ixodid ticks and transmission cycles of four tick-borne pathogens

Species Density (1 km-2) Average I. ricinus burden Realized reservoir competence Relative importance for feeding/infecting (%)
Larvae Nymphs Adults Larvae Nymphs Adults B. burgdorferi (s.l.)
Apodemus sylvaticus 1200 5.2 0.1 0.0 0.2 31.8 5.7 0.0 15.8
Microtus agrestis 1000 5.6 0.4 0.0 0.6 28.6 14.8 1.2 51.6
Myodes glareolus 1200 4.7 0.2 0.0 0.3 28.7 7.0 0.0 21.8
Erinaceus europaeus 1 119.9 58.7 10.5 na 0.6 2.2 3.4 na
Capreolus capreolus 11 20.4 18.5 25.3 na 1.1 7.6 91.0 na
Vulpes vulpes 1 0.0 1.3 4.2 na 0.0 0.0 1.4 na
Meles meles 2.52 0.1 0.0 0.3 na 0.0 0.0 0.3 na
Mustela putorius 0.84 0.1 0.0 0.1 na 0.0 0.0 0.0 na
Martes martes 0.44 47.5 1.0 3.6 na 0.1 0.0 0.5 na
Martes foina 0.44 1.5 0.0 1.9 na 0.0 0.0 0.3 na
Cyanistes caeruleus 200 0.1 0.0 0.0 na 0.1 0.1 0.0 na
Erithacus rubecula 80 1.5 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.6 0.9 0.0 0.1
Fringilla coelebs 100 1.2 0.1 0.0 na 0.6 0.5 0.0 na
Parus major 100 0.8 0.3 0.0 0.2 0.4 1.0 0.0 0.2
Phylloscopus collybita 100 0.3 0.1 0.0 na 0.1 0.3 0.0 na
Prunella modularis 200 2.2 2.6 0.0 0.0 2.3 19.4 0.0 0.3
Sylvia atricapilla 40 0.5 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.3 0.0 0.0
Turdus merula 200 3.6 4.3 0.0 0.8 3.6 32.5 1.4 8.5
Turdus philomelos 80 2.8 2.6 0.0 0.5 1.2 7.6 0.5 1.8
  1. The realized reservoir competence is the proportion of feeding larvae that are infected with B. burgdorferi (s.l.). In these calculations, the relative importance for feeding ticks is dependent on the vertebrate composition, the densities of vertebrate species and their tick burdens (see Equation 1 and Hofmeester et al. [18]).
  2. Abbreviation: na, not applicable