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Tick ecologists throughout Europe provided descriptions of
Lyme borreliosis habitats according to a standardised format and data for 105 habitats in 16 countries were received. The data showed that high risk situations, as defined by the presence of large numbers of B. burgdorferi sensu lato-infected nymphal I. ricinus, occur in heterogeneous deciduous woodland, usually with a recreational function and with a diverse fauna, usually including deer. Large numbers of ticks occurred in some other habitats, but infection prevalence was usually low. The situation for adult I. ricinus was similar but less clearly defined. Tick infection rates were found to be lower in western Europe than in the east, and the infection rate in I. persulcatus, the most easterly vector species, was markedly higher than in I. ricinus. In the vast majority of habitats the infection rate in adult I. ricinus was greater than in nymphs. Larvae were rarely found to be infected.