701 N Hermitage Rd Building 1, Lower Level
Hermitage PA 16148
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Taxonomy Codes:103T00000X 103TA0400X 103TA0700X 103TB0200X 103TC0700X 103TC2200X 103TF0000X 103TH0004X 103TH0100X 103TM1800X
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Vertical distribution of the tick Ixodes ricinus and tick-borne pathogens in the northern Moravian mountains correlated with climate warming (JesenÃky Mts., Czech Republic). - Central European journal of public health
A study of the vertical distribution of the common tick Ixodes ricinus and tick-borne pathogens--tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.--was performed in the highest part of the Jeseniky mountain area (the HrubÃ½ Jesenik Mts. with the highest summit Praded, 1,491 m above see level). Altogether 1,253 specimens of all tick stages (607 larvae, 614 nymphs, 8 females and 24 males) were collected at the altitude 990-1,300 m above sea level on 12 collection sites by the flagging method. Altogether 1,207 ticks (8 females, 24 males, 568 nymphs and 607 larvae) were examined for the presence of tick-borne encephalitis virus and B. burgdorferi s.l. None of the samples contained TBEV, 35 samples (6% of adult ticks, 5% of nymphs, 0.7% of larvae) were positive for B. burgdorferi s.l. The most prevalent genospecies were B. afzelii (44%), B. garinii (28%), less frequent were B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (5%), B. valaisiana (3%). The rather large number of ticks (in absolute numbers as well as recounted to the index: average number of nymphs/worker/collection hour) and the presence of all developmental stages clearly demonstrate that there are viable local tick populations in all the sites, and that recorded ticks were not randomly individuals brought into higher altitudes by birds or game animals. The results are compared with the long-term (2002-2007) monitoring of the tick altitudinal distribution in the Krkonose Mts. and the conditions, which allow ticks to establish local populations up to the timberline in both mountain areas, are discussed. Simultaneously, changes in climatic conditions (especially the air temperature) monitored at 3 meteorological stations in the area of the JesenÃky Mts. were compared with the records from another 8 stations in other mountain areas in the Czech Republic. A very similar statistically significant trend of increasing mean air temperatures during the last three decades is found at all analyzed stations. The trend is most pronounced in the spring and summer months with the highest activity of I. ricinus ticks.
Integration of a tick-borne encephalitis virus and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato into mountain ecosystems, following a shift in the altitudinal limit of distribution of their vector, Ixodes ricinus (Krkonose mountains, Czech Republic). - Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.)
The altitudinal shift in the limit of Ixodes ricinus occurrence above the previously established altitude of 750 m above sea level has been monitored over the long-term (2002-2008) in the Krkonose Mts. (Giant Mts.), the highest in the Czech Republic, along two vertical transects in their eastern and central parts (600-1020 and 600-1270 m). Ticks were collected by flagging three times annually, and examined individually by PCR or RT-PCR for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato or tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). A total of 5999 I. ricinus ticks were tested. TBEV RNA was detected in 26 ticks at up to 1140 m. Demonstration of TBEV in two larvae of I. ricinus indicates transovarial transmission. Similar infection rates in larvae and nymphs show vertical transmission in TBEV circulation to be very important under these mountain conditions. B. burgdorferi sensu stricto was found at up to 1040-1065 m, Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii up to 1080-1140 m, and Borrelia valaisiana up to 1270 m. The total infection rates of nymphs and larvae were 7.3% and 2%, respectively. B. garinii was the most prevalent (37%), followed by B. afzelii (29%), B. burgdorferi s.s. (11%), and B. valaisiana (9%). Double to quadruple coinfections were detected in 32% of the infected ticks, most frequently B. garinii/B. afzelii. Predominance of B. garinii and B. valaisiana over B. afzelii suggests that small passerine birds moving on the ground are responsible for permanent local populations of I. ricinus in mountain localities with low numbers of small terrestrial mammals. The detection of B. burgdorferi sensu lato and TBEV in host-seeking larvae indicates an autochthonic infection. Upon analysis of the local climate we consider climate warming to be responsible for the spreading of ticks and tick-transmitted pathogens to higher altitudes.
Extension of Ixodes ricinus ticks and agents of tick-borne diseases to mountain areas in the Czech Republic. - International journal of medical microbiology : IJMM
Along with the shift of the hard tick Ixodes ricinus to higher altitudes observed in the Czech Republic a corresponding shift of tick-borne infections to higher altitudes has been expected. Therefore, I. ricinus ticks, mainly nymphs, were investigated for the presence of tick-borne viruses, tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), Tribec and Eyach, and the spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in the Sumava and Krkonose Mountains (Czech Republic). The TBE virus and different genospecies of B. burgdorferi s.l. were detected by RT-PCR and PCR, respectively. TBE virus was detected in ticks at 620 and 720 m above sea level (a.s.l.), B. burgdorferi s.l. was detected in ticks up to 1065 m a.s.l. Four genospecies of B. burgdorferi s.l. were identified, B. afzelii, B. garinii, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, and B. valaisiana. Some nymphs carried multiple Borrelia infections. The conditions of tick-borne agents' distribution and potential epidemiological consequences are discussed.
Altitudinal distribution limit of the tick Ixodes ricinus shifted considerably towards higher altitudes in central Europe: results of three years monitoring in the Krkonose Mts. (Czech Republic). - Central European journal of public health
The aim of the study was to monitor present status of the Ixodes ricinus tick vertical distribution in the Krkonose Mts. (Czech Republic) and evaluate its potential changes. Two methods were used: monitoring of tick presence on dogs in 2001-2002 and direct monitoring of host-seeking ticks by flagging on two vertical transects reaching from 620 to 1270 m above sea level (a. s. l.) and from 600 to 1020 m in 2002-2003. Moreover ticks were monitored by flagging at another 13 localities situated in 800-1299 m a. s. l. in 2003. Both monitoring methods revealed an obvious shift in altitudinal distribution limit of the tick I. ricinus in the Krkonose Mts. They both showed that ticks recently penetrate even up to a timberline (approximately 1250 m a. s. l.). The number of recorded host-seeking ticks rapidly decreased with increasing altitude. Whereas the average number of recorded nymphs converted per 60 minutes of flagging reached 15.2-25.7 nymphs in 700-799 m a. s. l. and 3.3-23.3 in 800-899 m, it was 4-9.6 nymphs in 900-999 m, 1.5-1.7 nymphs in 1000-1099 m and only 0.2 nymph in 1100-1299 m a. s. l. The observed shift of the tick altitudinal distribution limit at the same time results in extension of areas with potential risk of tick-borne diseases.
The occurrence of Ixodes ricinus ticks and important tick-borne pathogens in areas with high tick-borne encephalitis prevalence in different altitudinal levels of the Czech Republic Part I. Ixodes ricinus ticks and tick-borne encephalitis virus. - Epidemiologie, mikrobiologie, imunologie : casopis Spolecnosti pro epidemiologii a mikrobiologii Ceske lekarske spolecnosti J.E. Purkyne
The aim of the three-year study (2011-2013) was to monitor population density of Ixodes ricinus ticks and its infection rate with the tick-borne encephalitis virus in areas with a high incidence of tick-borne encephalitis as reported in the previous decade 2001-2010. Such a comprehensive and long-term study based on existing epidemiolo-gical findings has not previously been conducted in Europe.In the areas of the ÃšstÃ nad Labem Region, Olomouc Region, South Bohemian Region, and Highlands Region, 600 m2 plots were selected in the local optimal I. ricinus habitats where tick flagging was performed every year in the spring-summer and autumn seasons of the questing activity. In total, 18,721 I. ricinus ticks (1448 females, 1425 males, and 15,848 nymphs) were collected and investigated.The results have shown that the differences in the infection rate of I. ricinus observed between regions are driven by variation in the density of the local I. ricinus populations which is influenced by the characteris-tics of the whole local biocenosis. The overall prevalence estimate of TBE virus in Ixodes ricinus ticks at the altitudes below 600 m a.s.l. was 0.096 % (95% CI 0.055-0.156) for nymphs, and 0.477 % (95% CI 0.272-0.773) for adults. The dynamics of the seasonal variation in I. ricinus populations, depending primarily on the climatic factors, are behind the interyear differences in the infection rate of ticks and, consequently, in the epidemiological situation of tick-borne encephalitis. The nymph to adult ratio was 5.5 on average but showed great interregional variability (from 10.3 in the ÃšstÃ nad Labem Region to 1.8 in the Highlands Region). It might be used in the future as one of the indicators of the composition of the local I. ricinus population and of the level of the circulation of tick-borne pathogens in zoonotic sphere and also for use in the health risk assessment in a given area. Despite the permanent expansion of ticks and tick-borne pathogens in higher altitudes the high risk limit for human infection with tick-borne encephalitis is 600 m a.s.l. in the Czech Republic.
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