To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

Learning to live with tic… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

Contact form


Note! If you want an answer on a question you must specify your email address

Learning to live with ticks? The role of exposure and risk perceptions in protective behaviour against tick-borne diseases

Journal article
Authors Daniel Slunge
Anders Boman
Published in PLOS ONE
Volume 13
Issue 6
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Economics
Centre for Environment and Sustainability
Language en
Keywords ixodes-ricinus ticks, lyme-disease, endemic area, geographical-distribution, preventive behaviors, encephalitis, sweden, vaccination, communication, europe, Science & Technology - Other Topics
Subject categories Economics and Business


The purpose of this study is to analyse the role of risk perceptions and exposure for protective behaviour against tick bites and the related diseases Lyme borreliosis (LB) and tickborne encephalitis (TBE), both of which are growing health concerns. We use data from a national survey in Sweden with respondents in geographical areas with substantial differences in both abundance of ticks and incidence of LB and TBE. We find that the share of respondents who frequently use protective clothing (64%), perform tick checks (63%) or avoid tall grass while in areas with ticks (48%) is relatively high. However, the use of protective measures is uneven and a considerably lower share tuck their trousers into their socks (18%), use repellent against ticks (16%) or use a combination of protective measures. Thirty-one per cent of the respondents report one or more tick bites in the last year and 68% report one or more lifetime tick bites, indicating that it is difficult to protect oneself from tick bites. There is a strong positive association between exposure and checking the skin for ticks, but exposure is only weakly associated with other protective measures. Tick bites are perceived as a serious health risk by as many as 43% of the respondents. The perception that a single tick bite is serious is negatively associated with actual exposure to ticks, while the opposite is true for the perception that tick bites constitute a serious lifetime health risk. This indicates a learning effect in relation to risk perceptions and the performance of tick checks, but not in relation to other protective measures. Recommendations include informing people of the risks associated with tick bites, the efficacy of various protective measures and the importance of combining multiple types of protection. Given the high exposure to tick bites, the growing incidence of TBE and LB, and the difficulties in preventing tick bites, other preventive measures should be further discussed, including vaccination programmes. DALLA CW, 1990, WATER RESOURCES BULLETIN, V26, P451

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?