During ancient Rome, Cato the Elder in “De Rustica” provided the first account on methods for the prevention and treatment of mange/scabies, which were deemed useful also to prevent the attachment of ticks. During Middle Ages, various authors referred on ectoparasites, although without quoting explicitly ticks. During the Renaissance, many “hippiatrics” and physicians were committed to fight against ectoparasites in humans and animals. In the 16th century, Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522–1605) established entomology as a science, giving the first systematic account on ectoparasites: the chapter five of Treatise VII, “De animalibus insectis”, named “De Ricino” is dedicated to ticks or other ectoparasites supposed to be –or accounted for being- ticks. Aldrovandi narrates on ticks –similar to ricinus seeds- attached to skin, sucking blood “sanguine satur est” and born in the grass “in herbis nascuntur”, referring also that ticks are called “garapatas” by Spaniards. With the introduction of the microscope and experimental medicine, Francesco Redi (1626– 1697), in his book “Esperienze intorno alla generazione degli insetti” (1668) described ectoparasites as reproducing by eggs fertilized by “coitus”; he provided 29 engraved plates of insects; outstanding are those relevant to the first rendition of ticks with eight legs. Successively, great scientists made contributions in parasitology, but not specifically in acarology/ixodology. During late ’800s and early ’900s, acarology became a well-established branch of entomology. Even if ixodological studies remained quite limited in Italy, we must remember Giovanni Canestrini who, in 1887, first described Boophilus microplus. During and between the two world wars, the interest in veterinary parasitology –and ixodologydiminished. Oleg Starkoff, a Russian émigré, professor of medical parasitology at the Institute of Parasitology in Rome, published in 1958 a comprehensive monograph on ticks of Italy. Between the ’60s and ’80s, Lorenzo Sobrero, at Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia, conducted pioneering research on Ixodidae ticks; he published with Giulio Manilla, a comprehensive monograph on the occurrence and geographical distribution of ticks in Italy. From late ’80s to-date, a growing number of scientists –from different research groups and disciplines, throughout Italy and from abroad- became actively involved in transdisciplinary researches on ticks and tick-borne diseases, adopting an integrated One Health approach. The Authors apologize for having probably overlooked some “historical” and “modern” Italian ixodologists. This work is dedicated to Raffaele Roncalli-Amici, an Italian scientist naturalized U.S. citizen, veterinarian, and passionate historian.

A preliminary account on the history of the Italian acarology-ixodology

De Meneghi Daniele;Zoccarato Ivo
2022

Abstract

During ancient Rome, Cato the Elder in “De Rustica” provided the first account on methods for the prevention and treatment of mange/scabies, which were deemed useful also to prevent the attachment of ticks. During Middle Ages, various authors referred on ectoparasites, although without quoting explicitly ticks. During the Renaissance, many “hippiatrics” and physicians were committed to fight against ectoparasites in humans and animals. In the 16th century, Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522–1605) established entomology as a science, giving the first systematic account on ectoparasites: the chapter five of Treatise VII, “De animalibus insectis”, named “De Ricino” is dedicated to ticks or other ectoparasites supposed to be –or accounted for being- ticks. Aldrovandi narrates on ticks –similar to ricinus seeds- attached to skin, sucking blood “sanguine satur est” and born in the grass “in herbis nascuntur”, referring also that ticks are called “garapatas” by Spaniards. With the introduction of the microscope and experimental medicine, Francesco Redi (1626– 1697), in his book “Esperienze intorno alla generazione degli insetti” (1668) described ectoparasites as reproducing by eggs fertilized by “coitus”; he provided 29 engraved plates of insects; outstanding are those relevant to the first rendition of ticks with eight legs. Successively, great scientists made contributions in parasitology, but not specifically in acarology/ixodology. During late ’800s and early ’900s, acarology became a well-established branch of entomology. Even if ixodological studies remained quite limited in Italy, we must remember Giovanni Canestrini who, in 1887, first described Boophilus microplus. During and between the two world wars, the interest in veterinary parasitology –and ixodologydiminished. Oleg Starkoff, a Russian émigré, professor of medical parasitology at the Institute of Parasitology in Rome, published in 1958 a comprehensive monograph on ticks of Italy. Between the ’60s and ’80s, Lorenzo Sobrero, at Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia, conducted pioneering research on Ixodidae ticks; he published with Giulio Manilla, a comprehensive monograph on the occurrence and geographical distribution of ticks in Italy. From late ’80s to-date, a growing number of scientists –from different research groups and disciplines, throughout Italy and from abroad- became actively involved in transdisciplinary researches on ticks and tick-borne diseases, adopting an integrated One Health approach. The Authors apologize for having probably overlooked some “historical” and “modern” Italian ixodologists. This work is dedicated to Raffaele Roncalli-Amici, an Italian scientist naturalized U.S. citizen, veterinarian, and passionate historian.
10th Tick and Tick-Borne Pathogen Conference
Murighiol, Romania
29/08-2/09/2022
Abstract book 10th Tick and Tick-Borne Pathogen Conference
TTP10
96
96
history, Italy, Ixodology
De Meneghi Daniele; Zoccarato Ivo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1873538
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