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Sample records for ixodes scapularis ticks

  1. Identification of 24 h Ixodes scapularis immunogenic tick saliva proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Lauren A.; Radulović, Željko M.; Kim, Tae K.; Porter, Lindsay M.; Mulenga, Albert

    2015-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis is arguably the most medically important tick species in the United States. This tick transmits 5 of the 14 human tick-borne disease (TBD) agents in the USA: Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, B. miyamotoi, Babesia microti, and Powassan virus disease. Except for the Powassan virus disease, I. scapularis-vectored TBD agents require more than 24 h post attachment to be transmitted. This study describes identification of 24 h immunogenic I. scapularis tick saliva proteins, which could provide opportunities to develop strategies to stop tick feeding before transmission of the majority of pathogens. A 24 h fed female I. scapularis phage display cDNA expression library was biopanned using rabbit antibodies to 24 h fed I. scapularis female tick saliva proteins, subjected to next generation sequencing, de novo assembly, and bioinformatic analyses. A total of 182 contigs were assembled, of which ~19% (35/182) are novel and did not show identity to any known proteins in GenBank. The remaining ~81% (147/182) of contigs were provisionally identified based on matches in GenBank including ~18% (27/147) that matched protein sequences previously annotated as hypothetical and putative tick saliva proteins. Others include proteases and protease inhibitors (~3%, 5/147), transporters and/or ligand binding proteins (~6%, 9/147), immunogenic tick saliva housekeeping enzyme-like (17%, 25/147), ribosomal protein-like (~31%, 46/147), and those classified as miscellaneous (~24%, 35/147). Notable among the miscellaneous class include antimicrobial peptides (microplusin and ricinusin), myosin-like proteins that have been previously found in tick saliva, and heat shock tick saliva protein. Data in this study provides the foundation for in-depth analysis of I. scapularis feeding during the first 24 h, before the majority of TBD agents can be transmitted. PMID:25825233

  2. Borrelia burgdorferi visualized in Ixodes scapularis tick excrement by immunofluorescence.

    PubMed

    Patton, Toni G; Brandt, Kevin S; Gilmore, Robert D

    2012-11-01

    The enzootic cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, involves Ixodes spp. ticks and vertebrates. Resident tick Borrelia, harbored inside the midgut, are eventually expelled with the tick's saliva into the vertebrate host when a tick consumes a blood meal. During this 4- to 5-day feeding period I. scapularis will defecate onto the host's skin. Previously we detected borrelial DNA in tick feces throughout engorgement. In this study we report the microscopic examination for B. burgdorferi in nymphal excrement. Using immunofluorescence assays, we observed Borrelia in all mouse skin and capsule fecal swabs tested, although we could not culture the spirochetes. These results update our previous analysis by revealing that spirochetes can also be visualized in tick excrement. Furthermore, the results emphasize that borrelial contamination by defecation is a possibility, and that caution should be exercised by researchers investigating pathogen/host/vector interactions. The biological significance of the presence of non-culturable Borrelia in tick feces during engorgement is unclear. PMID:22651382

  3. Molecular characterization of novel sulfotransferases from the tick, Ixodes scapularis

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Ixodes scapularis, commonly known as the blacklegged or deer tick, is the main vector of Lyme disease in the United States. Recent progress in transcriptome research has uncovered hundreds of different proteins expressed in the salivary glands of hard ticks, the majority of which have no known function, and include many novel protein families. We recently identified transcripts coding for two putative cytosolic sulfotransferases in these ticks which recognized phenolic monoamines as their substrates. In this current study, we characterize the genetic expression of these two cytosolic sulfotransferases throughout the tick life cycle as well as the enzymatic properties of the corresponding recombinant proteins. Interestingly, the resultant recombinant proteins showed sulfotransferase activity against both neurotransmitters dopamine and octopamine. Results The two sulfotransferase genes were coded as Ixosc SULT 1 & 2 and corresponding proteins were referred as Ixosc Sult 1 and 2. Using gene-specific primers, the sulfotransferase transcripts were detected throughout the blacklegged tick life cycle, including eggs, larvae, nymphs, adult salivary glands and adult midgut. Notably, the mRNA and protein levels were altered upon feeding during both the larval and nymphal life stages. Quantitative PCR results confirm that Ixosc SULT1 was statistically increased upon blood feeding while Ixosc SULT 2 was decreased. This altered expression led us to further characterize the function of these proteins in the Ixodid tick. The sulfotransferase genes were cloned and expressed in a bacterial expression system, and purified recombinant proteins Ixosc Sult 1(R) and 2(R) showed sulfotransferase activity against neurotransmitters dopamine and octopamine as well as the common sulfotransferase substrate p-nitrophenol. Thus, dopamine- or octopamine-sulfonation may be involved in altering the biological signal for salivary secretion in I. scapularis. Conclusions Collectively

  4. Studies abound on how far north Ixodes scapularis ticks are transported by birds.

    PubMed

    Scott, John D

    2016-03-01

    Several studies report migratory songbirds transporting ticks northward during spring migration in Canada. The blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, has been documented on Neotropical songbirds as far as Slave Lake, Alberta during northbound spring migration. In addition, Ixodes ticks have been collected from passerine migrants as far north as Watson Lake, Yukon (north of 60th latitude). The presence of Amblyomma ticks parasitizing long-distance migrants, which are moving from wintering grounds in the Neotropics to breeding grounds in Canada, confirms Neotropical songbirds transport ixodid ticks into Canada. Our avian, tick-host studies document 22 species of ticks on wild birds in Canada, and the majority of these species are not indigenous in Canada. Some of these songbird-transported ticks originate from as far south as Brazil. Clearly, passerine migrants transport ticks long distances into Canada during northward spring migration. The importation of ticks into Canada by migratory songbirds is no longer a "hypothesis," it is a fact. PMID:26739029

  5. Gut Microbiota of the Tick Vector Ixodes scapularis Modulate Colonization of the Lyme Disease Spirochete

    PubMed Central

    Narasimhan, Sukanya; Rajeevan, Nallakkandi; Liu, Lei; Zhao, Yang O.; Heisig, Julia; Pan, Jingyi; Eppler-Epstein, Rebecca; DePonte, Kathleen; Fish, Durland; Fikrig, Erol

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Arthopods, such as Ixodes ticks, serve as vectors for many human pathogens. The arthropod gut presents a pivotal microbial entry point and determines pathogen colonization and survival. We show that the gut microbiota of Ixodes scapularis, a major vector of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, influence spirochete colonization of ticks. Perturbing the gut microbiota of larval ticks reduced Borrelia colonization, with dysbiosed larvae displaying decreased expression of the transcription factor STAT. Diminished STAT expression corresponded to lower expression of peritrophin, a key glycoprotein scaffold of the glycan-rich mucus-like peritrophic matrix (PM) that separates the gut lumen from the epithelium. The integrity of the I. scapularis PM was essential for B. burgdorferi to efficiently colonize the gut epithelium. These data elucidate a functional link between the gut microbiota, STAT-signaling, and pathogen colonization in the context of the gut epithelial barrier of an arthropod vector. PMID:24439898

  6. Impact of Spring Bird Migration on the Range Expansion of Ixodes scapularis Tick Population.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaotian; Röst, Gergely; Zou, Xingfu

    2016-01-01

    Many observational studies suggest that seasonal migratory birds play an important role in spreading Ixodes scapularis, a vector of Lyme disease, along their migratory flyways, and they are believed to be responsible for geographic range expansion of I. scapularis in Canada. However, the interplay between the dynamics of I. scapularis on land and migratory birds in the air is not well understood. In this study, we develop a periodic delay meta-population model which takes into consideration the local landscape for tick reproduction within patches and the times needed for ticks to be transported by birds between patches. Assuming that the tick population is endemic in the source region, we find that bird migration may boost an already established tick population at the subsequent region and thus increase the risk to humans, or bird migration may help ticks to establish in a region where the local landscape is not appropriate for ticks to survive in the absence of bird migration, imposing risks to public health. This theoretical study reveals that bird migration plays an important role in the geographic range expansion of I. scapularis, and therefore our findings may suggest some strategies for Lyme disease prevention and control. PMID:26688012

  7. Bunyaviruses are common in male and female Ixodes scapularis ticks in central Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Joyce M; Ng, Terry Fei Fan; Suzuki, Yasutsugu; Tsujimoto, Hitoshi; Deng, Xutao; Delwart, Eric; Rasgon, Jason L

    2016-01-01

    The blacklegged tick Ixodes scapularis is widely distributed in the United States and transmits multiple pathogens to humans, wildlife and domestic animals. Recently, several novel viruses in the family Bunyaviridae (South Bay virus (SBV) and Blacklegged tick phlebovirus (BTPV)) were identified infecting female I. scapularis ticks collected in New York State. We used metagenomic sequencing to investigate the distribution of viruses infecting male and female I. scapularis ticks collected in Centre County, Pennsylvania. We identified both SBV and BTPV in both male and female ticks from all collection locations. The role of male I. scapularis in pathogen epidemiology has been overlooked because they rarely bite and are not considered important pathogen vectors. However, males may act as reservoirs for pathogens that can then be transmitted to females during mating. Our data highlight the importance of examining all potential avenues of pathogen maintenance and transmission throughout the vector-pathogen life cycle in order to understand the epidemiology of tick-borne pathogens. PMID:27602290

  8. Bunyaviruses are common in male and female Ixodes scapularis ticks in central Pennsylvania

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Yasutsugu; Tsujimoto, Hitoshi; Deng, Xutao; Delwart, Eric

    2016-01-01

    The blacklegged tick Ixodes scapularis is widely distributed in the United States and transmits multiple pathogens to humans, wildlife and domestic animals. Recently, several novel viruses in the family Bunyaviridae (South Bay virus (SBV) and Blacklegged tick phlebovirus (BTPV)) were identified infecting female I. scapularis ticks collected in New York State. We used metagenomic sequencing to investigate the distribution of viruses infecting male and female I. scapularis ticks collected in Centre County, Pennsylvania. We identified both SBV and BTPV in both male and female ticks from all collection locations. The role of male I. scapularis in pathogen epidemiology has been overlooked because they rarely bite and are not considered important pathogen vectors. However, males may act as reservoirs for pathogens that can then be transmitted to females during mating. Our data highlight the importance of examining all potential avenues of pathogen maintenance and transmission throughout the vector-pathogen life cycle in order to understand the epidemiology of tick-borne pathogens. PMID:27602290

  9. Distinctive amino acid composition profiles in salivary proteins of the tick Ixodes scapularis

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Austin L.; Friedman, Robert

    2012-01-01

    Bioinformatic analysis of the amino acid composition of proteins of the tick Ixodes scapularis showed that, in comparison to other secreted proteins, salivary proteins in general have higher frequencies of polar residues and lower frequencies of the non-polar residues leucine and valine. Computer prediction of linear B-cell epitopes showed that polar residues were associated with the presence of high-quality epitopes and that tick salivary proteins included significantly more proteins with predicted high-quality epitopes than did other secreted proteins. The results provided no evidence that salivary proteins as a whole have evolved characteristics minimizing their antigenicity to the vertebrate host. Certain salivary proteins may indeed have evolved low antigenicity, but the I. scapularis sialome include at least some apparently antigenic proteins that might be tested experimentally to determine whether they would be suitable candidates for anti-tick vaccines. PMID:22108016

  10. Ixodes scapularis Tick Saliva Proteins Sequentially Secreted Every 24 h during Blood Feeding.

    PubMed

    Kim, Tae Kwon; Tirloni, Lucas; Pinto, Antônio F M; Moresco, James; Yates, John R; da Silva Vaz, Itabajara; Mulenga, Albert

    2016-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis is the most medically important tick species and transmits five of the 14 reportable human tick borne disease (TBD) agents in the USA. This study describes LC-MS/MS identification of 582 tick- and 83 rabbit proteins in saliva of I. scapularis ticks that fed for 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h, as well as engorged but not detached (BD), and spontaneously detached (SD). The 582 tick proteins include proteases (5.7%), protease inhibitors (7.4%), unknown function proteins (22%), immunity/antimicrobial (2.6%), lipocalin (3.1%), heme/iron binding (2.6%), extracellular matrix/ cell adhesion (2.2%), oxidant metabolism/ detoxification (6%), transporter/ receptor related (3.2%), cytoskeletal (5.5%), and housekeeping-like (39.7%). Notable observations include: (i) tick saliva proteins of unknown function accounting for >33% of total protein content, (ii) 79% of proteases are metalloproteases, (iii) 13% (76/582) of proteins in this study were found in saliva of other tick species and, (iv) ticks apparently selectively inject functionally similar but unique proteins every 24 h, which we speculate is the tick's antigenic variation equivalent strategy to protect important tick feeding functions from host immune system. The host immune responses to proteins present in 24 h I. scapularis saliva will not be effective at later feeding stages. Rabbit proteins identified in our study suggest the tick's strategic use of host proteins to modulate the feeding site. Notably fibrinogen, which is central to blood clotting and wound healing, was detected in high abundance in BD and SD saliva, when the tick is preparing to terminate feeding and detach from the host. A remarkable tick adaptation is that the feeding lesion is completely healed when the tick detaches from the host. Does the tick concentrate fibrinogen at the feeding site to aide in promoting healing of the feeding lesion? Overall, these data provide broad insight into molecular mechanisms regulating different tick

  11. Ixodes scapularis Tick Saliva Proteins Sequentially Secreted Every 24 h during Blood Feeding

    PubMed Central

    Pinto, Antônio F. M.; Moresco, James; Yates, John R.; da Silva Vaz, Itabajara; Mulenga, Albert

    2016-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis is the most medically important tick species and transmits five of the 14 reportable human tick borne disease (TBD) agents in the USA. This study describes LC-MS/MS identification of 582 tick- and 83 rabbit proteins in saliva of I. scapularis ticks that fed for 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h, as well as engorged but not detached (BD), and spontaneously detached (SD). The 582 tick proteins include proteases (5.7%), protease inhibitors (7.4%), unknown function proteins (22%), immunity/antimicrobial (2.6%), lipocalin (3.1%), heme/iron binding (2.6%), extracellular matrix/ cell adhesion (2.2%), oxidant metabolism/ detoxification (6%), transporter/ receptor related (3.2%), cytoskeletal (5.5%), and housekeeping-like (39.7%). Notable observations include: (i) tick saliva proteins of unknown function accounting for >33% of total protein content, (ii) 79% of proteases are metalloproteases, (iii) 13% (76/582) of proteins in this study were found in saliva of other tick species and, (iv) ticks apparently selectively inject functionally similar but unique proteins every 24 h, which we speculate is the tick's antigenic variation equivalent strategy to protect important tick feeding functions from host immune system. The host immune responses to proteins present in 24 h I. scapularis saliva will not be effective at later feeding stages. Rabbit proteins identified in our study suggest the tick's strategic use of host proteins to modulate the feeding site. Notably fibrinogen, which is central to blood clotting and wound healing, was detected in high abundance in BD and SD saliva, when the tick is preparing to terminate feeding and detach from the host. A remarkable tick adaptation is that the feeding lesion is completely healed when the tick detaches from the host. Does the tick concentrate fibrinogen at the feeding site to aide in promoting healing of the feeding lesion? Overall, these data provide broad insight into molecular mechanisms regulating different tick

  12. Susceptibility of Four Tick Species Amblyomma americanum, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes scapularis, and Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Acari: Ixodidae) to Nootkatone

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The essential oil nootkatone has shown acaricidal activity on ticks. The toxicity of nootkatone was determined in laboratory assays using a vial coating technique against unfed nymphs of four Ixodid ticks: Amblyomma americanum L., Dermacentor variabilis (Say), Ixodes scapularis Say, and Rhipicepha...

  13. Intracellular Symbionts and Other Bacteria Associated with Deer Ticks (Ixodes scapularis) from Nantucket and Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

    PubMed Central

    Benson, Micah J.; Gawronski, Jeffrey D.; Eveleigh, Douglas E.; Benson, David R.

    2004-01-01

    The diversity of bacteria associated with the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) was assessed using PCR amplification, cloning, and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes originating from seven ticks collected from Nantucket Island and Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Mass. The majority of sequences obtained originated from gram-negative proteobacteria. Four intracellular bacteria were detected including strains of Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, and Wolbachia and an organism related to intracellular insect symbionts from the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides group. Several strains of members of the Sphingomonadaceae were also detected in all but one tick. The results provide a view of the diversity of bacteria associated with I. scapularis ticks in the field. PMID:14711698

  14. Reciprocal Regulation of NF-kB (Relish) and Subolesin in the Tick Vector, Ixodes scapularis

    PubMed Central

    Galindo, Ruth C.; Kocan, Katherine M.; Blouin, Edmour F.; Mitra, Ruchira; Alberdi, Pilar; Villar, Margarita; de la Fuente, José

    2013-01-01

    Background Tick Subolesin and its ortholog in insects and vertebrates, Akirin, have been suggested to play a role in the immune response through regulation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB)-dependent and independent gene expression via interaction with intermediate proteins that interact with NF-kB and other regulatory proteins, bind DNA or remodel chromatin to regulate gene expression. The objective of this study was to characterize the structure and regulation of subolesin in Ixodes scapularis. I. scapularis is a vector of emerging pathogens such as Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia microti that cause in humans Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis, respectively. The genome of I. scapularis was recently sequenced, and this tick serves as a model organism for the study of vector-host-pathogen interactions. However, basic biological questions such as gene organization and regulation are largely unknown in ticks and other arthropod vectors. Principal Findings The results presented here provide evidence that subolesin/akirin are evolutionarily conserved at several levels (primary sequence, gene organization and function), thus supporting their crucial biological function in metazoans. These results showed that NF-kB (Relish) is involved in the regulation of subolesin expression in ticks, suggesting that as in other organisms, different NF-kB integral subunits and/or unknown interacting proteins regulate the specificity of the NF-kB-mediated gene expression. These results suggested a regulatory network involving cross-regulation between NF-kB (Relish) and Subolesin and Subolesin auto-regulation with possible implications in tick immune response to bacterial infection. Significance These results advance our understanding of gene organization and regulation in I. scapularis and have important implications for arthropod vectors genetics and immunology highlighting the possible role of NF-kB and Subolesin/Akirin in vector

  15. Immunity against Ixodes scapularis Salivary Proteins Expressed within 24 Hours of Attachment Thwarts Tick Feeding and Impairs Borrelia Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Narasimhan, Sukanya; DePonte, Kathleen; Marcantonio, Nancy; Liang, Xianping; Royce, Thomas E.; Nelson, Kenneth F.; Booth, Carmen J.; Koski, Benjamin; Anderson, John F.; Kantor, Fred; Fikrig, Erol

    2007-01-01

    In North America, the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, an obligate haematophagus arthropod, is a vector of several human pathogens including Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease agent. In this report, we show that the tick salivary gland transcriptome and proteome is dynamic and changes during the process of engorgement. We demonstrate, using a guinea pig model of I. scapularis feeding and B. burgdorferi transmission, that immunity directed against salivary proteins expressed in the first 24 h of tick attachment — and not later — is sufficient to evoke all the hallmarks of acquired tick-immunity, to thwart tick feeding and also to impair Borrelia transmission. Defining this subset of proteins will promote a mechanistic understanding of novel I. scapularis proteins critical for the initiation of tick feeding and for Borrelia transmission. PMID:17505544

  16. Rickettsia buchneri sp. nov., a rickettsial endosymbiont of the blacklegged tick Ixodes scapularis

    PubMed Central

    Felsheim, Roderick F.; Burkhardt, Nicole Y.; Oliver, Jonathan D.; Heu, Chan C.; Munderloh, Ulrike G.

    2015-01-01

    We obtained a rickettsial isolate from the ovaries of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. The isolate (ISO7T) was grown in the Ixodes ricinus embryonic cell line IRE11. We characterized the isolate by transmission electron microscopy and gene sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of 11 housekeeping genes demonstrated that the isolate fulfils the criteria to be classified as a representative of a novel rickettsial species closely related to ‘Rickettsia monacensis’. These rickettsiae form a clade separate from other species of rickettsiae. Gene sequences indicated that several genes important in rickettsial motility, invasiveness and temperature adaptation were mutated (e.g. sca2, rickA, hsp22, pldA and htrA). We propose the name Rickettsia buchneri sp. nov. for this bacterium that infects the ovaries of the tick I. scapularis to acknowledge the pioneering contributions of Professor Paul Buchner (1886–1978) to research on bacterial symbionts. The type strain of R. buchneri sp. nov. is strain ISO-7T ( = DSM 29016T = ATCC VR-1814T). PMID:25563918

  17. Insights into the development of Ixodes scapularis: a resource for research on a medically important tick species.

    PubMed

    Kocan, Katherine M; de la Fuente, José; Coburn, Lisa A

    2015-01-01

    Ticks (Acari: Ixodida) are arthropod ectoparasites dependent on a bloodmeal from a vertebrate host at each developmental stage for completion of their life cycle. This tick feeding cycle impacts animal health by causing damage to hides, secondary infections, immune reactions and diseases caused by transmission of pathogens. The genus Ixodes includes several medically important species that vector diseases, including granulocytic anaplasmosis and Lyme disease. I. scapularis, commonly called the black-legged or deer tick, is a medically-important tick species in North America and therefore was the first tick genome to be sequenced, thus serving as an important resource for tick research. This Primer focuses on the normal developmental cycle and laboratory rearing of I. scapularis. Definition of normal morphology, along with a consistent source of laboratory-reared I. scapularis, are fundamental for all aspects of future research, especially the effects of genetic manipulation and the evaluation of tick vaccine efficacy. Recent research important for the advancement of tick research, namely the development of tick cell culture systems for study of ticks and tick-borne pathogens, RNA interference for genetic manipulation of ticks and discovery of candidate antigens for development of tick vaccines, are briefly presented along with areas to target for future research. PMID:26576940

  18. Identification and Characterization of Anaplasma phagocytophilum Proteins Involved in Infection of the Tick Vector, Ixodes scapularis

    PubMed Central

    Kocan, Katherine M.; Bonzón-Kulichenko, Elena; Alberdi, Pilar; Blouin, Edmour F.; Weisheit, Sabine; Mateos-Hernández, Lourdes; Cabezas-Cruz, Alejandro; Bell-Sakyi, Lesley; Vancová, Marie; Bílý, Tomáš; Meyer, Damien F.; Sterba, Jan; Contreras, Marinela; Rudenko, Nataliia; Grubhoffer, Libor; Vázquez, Jesús; de la Fuente, José

    2015-01-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an emerging zoonotic pathogen transmitted by Ixodes scapularis that causes human granulocytic anaplasmosis. Here, a high throughput quantitative proteomics approach was used to characterize A. phagocytophilum proteome during rickettsial multiplication and identify proteins involved in infection of the tick vector, I. scapularis. The first step in this research was focused on tick cells infected with A. phagocytophilum and sampled at two time points containing 10–15% and 65–71% infected cells, respectively to identify key bacterial proteins over-represented in high percentage infected cells. The second step was focused on adult female tick guts and salivary glands infected with A. phagocytophilum to compare in vitro results with those occurring during bacterial infection in vivo. The results showed differences in the proteome of A. phagocytophilum in infected ticks with higher impact on protein synthesis and processing than on bacterial replication in tick salivary glands. These results correlated well with the developmental cycle of A. phagocytophilum, in which cells convert from an intracellular reticulated, replicative form to the nondividing infectious dense-core form. The analysis of A. phagocytophilum differentially represented proteins identified stress response (GroEL, HSP70) and surface (MSP4) proteins that were over-represented in high percentage infected tick cells and salivary glands when compared to low percentage infected cells and guts, respectively. The results demonstrated that MSP4, GroEL and HSP70 interact and bind to tick cells, thus playing a role in rickettsia-tick interactions. The most important finding of these studies is the increase in the level of certain bacterial stress response and surface proteins in A. phagocytophilum-infected tick cells and salivary glands with functional implication in tick-pathogen interactions. These results gave a new dimension to the role of these stress response and surface

  19. Tissue-Specific Signatures in the Transcriptional Response to Anaplasma phagocytophilum Infection of Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes ricinus Tick Cell Lines

    PubMed Central

    Alberdi, Pilar; Mansfield, Karen L.; Manzano-Román, Raúl; Cook, Charlotte; Ayllón, Nieves; Villar, Margarita; Johnson, Nicholas; Fooks, Anthony R.; de la Fuente, José

    2016-01-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum are transmitted by Ixodes spp. ticks and have become one of the most common and relevant tick-borne pathogens due to their impact on human and animal health. Recent results have increased our understanding of the molecular interactions between Ixodes scapularis and A. phagocytophilum through the demonstration of tissue-specific molecular pathways that ensure pathogen infection, development and transmission by ticks. However, little is known about the Ixodes ricinus genes and proteins involved in the response to A. phagocytophilum infection. The tick species I. scapularis and I. ricinus are evolutionarily closely related and therefore similar responses are expected in A. phagocytophilum-infected cells. However, differences may exist between I. scapularis ISE6 and I. ricinus IRE/CTVM20 tick cells associated with tissue-specific signatures of these cell lines. To address this hypothesis, the transcriptional response to A. phagocytophilum infection was characterized by RNA sequencing and compared between I. scapularis ISE6 and I. ricinus IRE/CTVM20 tick cell lines. The transcriptional response to infection of I. scapularis ISE6 cells resembled that of tick hemocytes while the response in I. ricinus IRE/CTVM20 cells was more closely related to that reported previously in infected tick midguts. The inhibition of cell apoptosis by A. phagocytophilum appears to be a key adaptation mechanism to facilitate infection of both vertebrate and tick cells and was used to investigate further the tissue-specific response of tick cell lines to pathogen infection. The results supported a role for the intrinsic pathway in the inhibition of cell apoptosis by A. phagocytophilum infection of I. scapularis ISE6 cells. In contrast, the results in I. ricinus IRE/CTVM20 cells were similar to those obtained in tick midguts and suggested a role for the JAK/STAT pathway in the inhibition of apoptosis in tick cells infected with A. phagocytophilum. Nevertheless, tick

  20. Tissue-Specific Signatures in the Transcriptional Response to Anaplasma phagocytophilum Infection of Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes ricinus Tick Cell Lines.

    PubMed

    Alberdi, Pilar; Mansfield, Karen L; Manzano-Román, Raúl; Cook, Charlotte; Ayllón, Nieves; Villar, Margarita; Johnson, Nicholas; Fooks, Anthony R; de la Fuente, José

    2016-01-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum are transmitted by Ixodes spp. ticks and have become one of the most common and relevant tick-borne pathogens due to their impact on human and animal health. Recent results have increased our understanding of the molecular interactions between Ixodes scapularis and A. phagocytophilum through the demonstration of tissue-specific molecular pathways that ensure pathogen infection, development and transmission by ticks. However, little is known about the Ixodes ricinus genes and proteins involved in the response to A. phagocytophilum infection. The tick species I. scapularis and I. ricinus are evolutionarily closely related and therefore similar responses are expected in A. phagocytophilum-infected cells. However, differences may exist between I. scapularis ISE6 and I. ricinus IRE/CTVM20 tick cells associated with tissue-specific signatures of these cell lines. To address this hypothesis, the transcriptional response to A. phagocytophilum infection was characterized by RNA sequencing and compared between I. scapularis ISE6 and I. ricinus IRE/CTVM20 tick cell lines. The transcriptional response to infection of I. scapularis ISE6 cells resembled that of tick hemocytes while the response in I. ricinus IRE/CTVM20 cells was more closely related to that reported previously in infected tick midguts. The inhibition of cell apoptosis by A. phagocytophilum appears to be a key adaptation mechanism to facilitate infection of both vertebrate and tick cells and was used to investigate further the tissue-specific response of tick cell lines to pathogen infection. The results supported a role for the intrinsic pathway in the inhibition of cell apoptosis by A. phagocytophilum infection of I. scapularis ISE6 cells. In contrast, the results in I. ricinus IRE/CTVM20 cells were similar to those obtained in tick midguts and suggested a role for the JAK/STAT pathway in the inhibition of apoptosis in tick cells infected with A. phagocytophilum. Nevertheless, tick

  1. Genomic insights into the Ixodes scapularis tick vector of Lyme disease.

    PubMed

    Gulia-Nuss, Monika; Nuss, Andrew B; Meyer, Jason M; Sonenshine, Daniel E; Roe, R Michael; Waterhouse, Robert M; Sattelle, David B; de la Fuente, José; Ribeiro, Jose M; Megy, Karine; Thimmapuram, Jyothi; Miller, Jason R; Walenz, Brian P; Koren, Sergey; Hostetler, Jessica B; Thiagarajan, Mathangi; Joardar, Vinita S; Hannick, Linda I; Bidwell, Shelby; Hammond, Martin P; Young, Sarah; Zeng, Qiandong; Abrudan, Jenica L; Almeida, Francisca C; Ayllón, Nieves; Bhide, Ketaki; Bissinger, Brooke W; Bonzon-Kulichenko, Elena; Buckingham, Steven D; Caffrey, Daniel R; Caimano, Melissa J; Croset, Vincent; Driscoll, Timothy; Gilbert, Don; Gillespie, Joseph J; Giraldo-Calderón, Gloria I; Grabowski, Jeffrey M; Jiang, David; Khalil, Sayed M S; Kim, Donghun; Kocan, Katherine M; Koči, Juraj; Kuhn, Richard J; Kurtti, Timothy J; Lees, Kristin; Lang, Emma G; Kennedy, Ryan C; Kwon, Hyeogsun; Perera, Rushika; Qi, Yumin; Radolf, Justin D; Sakamoto, Joyce M; Sánchez-Gracia, Alejandro; Severo, Maiara S; Silverman, Neal; Šimo, Ladislav; Tojo, Marta; Tornador, Cristian; Van Zee, Janice P; Vázquez, Jesús; Vieira, Filipe G; Villar, Margarita; Wespiser, Adam R; Yang, Yunlong; Zhu, Jiwei; Arensburger, Peter; Pietrantonio, Patricia V; Barker, Stephen C; Shao, Renfu; Zdobnov, Evgeny M; Hauser, Frank; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J P; Park, Yoonseong; Rozas, Julio; Benton, Richard; Pedra, Joao H F; Nelson, David R; Unger, Maria F; Tubio, Jose M C; Tu, Zhijian; Robertson, Hugh M; Shumway, Martin; Sutton, Granger; Wortman, Jennifer R; Lawson, Daniel; Wikel, Stephen K; Nene, Vishvanath M; Fraser, Claire M; Collins, Frank H; Birren, Bruce; Nelson, Karen E; Caler, Elisabet; Hill, Catherine A

    2016-01-01

    Ticks transmit more pathogens to humans and animals than any other arthropod. We describe the 2.1 Gbp nuclear genome of the tick, Ixodes scapularis (Say), which vectors pathogens that cause Lyme disease, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, babesiosis and other diseases. The large genome reflects accumulation of repetitive DNA, new lineages of retro-transposons, and gene architecture patterns resembling ancient metazoans rather than pancrustaceans. Annotation of scaffolds representing ∼57% of the genome, reveals 20,486 protein-coding genes and expansions of gene families associated with tick-host interactions. We report insights from genome analyses into parasitic processes unique to ticks, including host 'questing', prolonged feeding, cuticle synthesis, blood meal concentration, novel methods of haemoglobin digestion, haem detoxification, vitellogenesis and prolonged off-host survival. We identify proteins associated with the agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis, an emerging disease, and the encephalitis-causing Langat virus, and a population structure correlated to life-history traits and transmission of the Lyme disease agent. PMID:26856261

  2. Genomic insights into the Ixodes scapularis tick vector of Lyme disease

    PubMed Central

    Gulia-Nuss, Monika; Nuss, Andrew B.; Meyer, Jason M.; Sonenshine, Daniel E.; Roe, R. Michael; Waterhouse, Robert M.; Sattelle, David B.; de la Fuente, José; Ribeiro, Jose M.; Megy, Karine; Thimmapuram, Jyothi; Miller, Jason R.; Walenz, Brian P.; Koren, Sergey; Hostetler, Jessica B.; Thiagarajan, Mathangi; Joardar, Vinita S.; Hannick, Linda I.; Bidwell, Shelby; Hammond, Martin P.; Young, Sarah; Zeng, Qiandong; Abrudan, Jenica L.; Almeida, Francisca C.; Ayllón, Nieves; Bhide, Ketaki; Bissinger, Brooke W.; Bonzon-Kulichenko, Elena; Buckingham, Steven D.; Caffrey, Daniel R.; Caimano, Melissa J.; Croset, Vincent; Driscoll, Timothy; Gilbert, Don; Gillespie, Joseph J.; Giraldo-Calderón, Gloria I.; Grabowski, Jeffrey M.; Jiang, David; Khalil, Sayed M. S.; Kim, Donghun; Kocan, Katherine M.; Koči, Juraj; Kuhn, Richard J.; Kurtti, Timothy J.; Lees, Kristin; Lang, Emma G.; Kennedy, Ryan C.; Kwon, Hyeogsun; Perera, Rushika; Qi, Yumin; Radolf, Justin D.; Sakamoto, Joyce M.; Sánchez-Gracia, Alejandro; Severo, Maiara S.; Silverman, Neal; Šimo, Ladislav; Tojo, Marta; Tornador, Cristian; Van Zee, Janice P.; Vázquez, Jesús; Vieira, Filipe G.; Villar, Margarita; Wespiser, Adam R.; Yang, Yunlong; Zhu, Jiwei; Arensburger, Peter; Pietrantonio, Patricia V.; Barker, Stephen C.; Shao, Renfu; Zdobnov, Evgeny M.; Hauser, Frank; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J. P.; Park, Yoonseong; Rozas, Julio; Benton, Richard; Pedra, Joao H. F.; Nelson, David R.; Unger, Maria F.; Tubio, Jose M. C.; Tu, Zhijian; Robertson, Hugh M.; Shumway, Martin; Sutton, Granger; Wortman, Jennifer R.; Lawson, Daniel; Wikel, Stephen K.; Nene, Vishvanath M.; Fraser, Claire M.; Collins, Frank H.; Birren, Bruce; Nelson, Karen E.; Caler, Elisabet; Hill, Catherine A.

    2016-01-01

    Ticks transmit more pathogens to humans and animals than any other arthropod. We describe the 2.1 Gbp nuclear genome of the tick, Ixodes scapularis (Say), which vectors pathogens that cause Lyme disease, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, babesiosis and other diseases. The large genome reflects accumulation of repetitive DNA, new lineages of retro-transposons, and gene architecture patterns resembling ancient metazoans rather than pancrustaceans. Annotation of scaffolds representing ∼57% of the genome, reveals 20,486 protein-coding genes and expansions of gene families associated with tick–host interactions. We report insights from genome analyses into parasitic processes unique to ticks, including host ‘questing', prolonged feeding, cuticle synthesis, blood meal concentration, novel methods of haemoglobin digestion, haem detoxification, vitellogenesis and prolonged off-host survival. We identify proteins associated with the agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis, an emerging disease, and the encephalitis-causing Langat virus, and a population structure correlated to life-history traits and transmission of the Lyme disease agent. PMID:26856261

  3. Systems biology of tissue-specific response to Anaplasma phagocytophilum reveals differentiated apoptosis in the tick vector Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    Ayllón, Nieves; Villar, Margarita; Galindo, Ruth C; Kocan, Katherine M; Šíma, Radek; López, Juan A; Vázquez, Jesús; Alberdi, Pilar; Cabezas-Cruz, Alejandro; Kopáček, Petr; de la Fuente, José

    2015-03-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an emerging pathogen that causes human granulocytic anaplasmosis. Infection with this zoonotic pathogen affects cell function in both vertebrate host and the tick vector, Ixodes scapularis. Global tissue-specific response and apoptosis signaling pathways were characterized in I. scapularis nymphs and adult female midguts and salivary glands infected with A. phagocytophilum using a systems biology approach combining transcriptomics and proteomics. Apoptosis was selected for pathway-focused analysis due to its role in bacterial infection of tick cells. The results showed tissue-specific differences in tick response to infection and revealed differentiated regulation of apoptosis pathways. The impact of bacterial infection was more pronounced in tick nymphs and midguts than in salivary glands, probably reflecting bacterial developmental cycle. All apoptosis pathways described in other organisms were identified in I. scapularis, except for the absence of the Perforin ortholog. Functional characterization using RNA interference showed that Porin knockdown significantly increases tick colonization by A. phagocytophilum. Infection with A. phagocytophilum produced complex tissue-specific alterations in transcript and protein levels. In tick nymphs, the results suggested a possible effect of bacterial infection on the inhibition of tick immune response. In tick midguts, the results suggested that A. phagocytophilum infection inhibited cell apoptosis to facilitate and establish infection through up-regulation of the JAK/STAT pathway. Bacterial infection inhibited the intrinsic apoptosis pathway in tick salivary glands by down-regulating Porin expression that resulted in the inhibition of Cytochrome c release as the anti-apoptotic mechanism to facilitate bacterial infection. However, tick salivary glands may promote apoptosis to limit bacterial infection through induction of the extrinsic apoptosis pathway. These dynamic changes in response to A

  4. To beat or not to beat a tick: comparison of DNA extraction methods for ticks (Ixodes scapularis).

    PubMed

    Ammazzalorso, Alyssa D; Zolnik, Christine P; Daniels, Thomas J; Kolokotronis, Sergios-Orestis

    2015-01-01

    Background. Blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) are important disease vectors in the United States, known to transmit a variety of pathogens to humans, including bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. Their importance as a disease vector necessitates reliable and comparable methods for extracting microbial DNA from ticks. Furthermore, to explore the population genetics or genomics of this tick, appropriate DNA extraction techniques are needed for both the vector and its microbes. Although a few studies have investigated different methods of DNA isolation from ticks, they are limited in the number and types of DNA extraction and lack species-specific quantification of DNA yield. Methods. Here we determined the most efficient and consistent method of DNA extraction from two different developmental stages of I. scapularis-nymph and adult-that are the most important for disease transmission. We used various methods of physical disruption of the hard, chitinous exoskeleton, as well as commercial and non-commercial DNA isolation kits. To gauge the effectiveness of these methods, we quantified the DNA yield and confirmed the DNA quality via PCR of both tick and microbial genetic material. Results. DNA extraction using the Thermo GeneJET Genomic DNA Purification Kit resulted in the highest DNA yields and the most consistent PCR amplification when combined with either cutting or bead beating with select matrices across life stages. DNA isolation methods using ammonium hydroxide as well as the MoBio PowerSoil kit also produced strong and successful PCR amplification, but only for females. Discussion. We contrasted a variety of readily available methods of DNA extraction from single individual blacklegged ticks and presented the results through a quantitative and qualitative assessment. PMID:26290800

  5. Evaluation of the speed of kill of sarolaner (Simparica™) against induced infestations of three species of ticks (Amblyomma maculatum, Ixodes scapularis, Ixodes ricinus) on dogs.

    PubMed

    Six, Robert H; Geurden, Thomas; Carter, Lori; Everett, William R; McLoughlin, A; Mahabir, Sean P; Myers, Melanie R; Slootmans, Nathalie

    2016-05-30

    The rapid speed of kill of sarolaner (Simparica™, Zoetis), a novel isoxazoline compound, was demonstrated against three tick species known to infest dogs in Europe or the United States. Efficacy was measured against an existing infestation and against subsequent weekly re-infestations for 35 days after treatment. Dogs were randomly allocated to treatment with a single oral dose of either placebo or sarolaner (2mg/kg) based on pre-treatment host-suitability tick counts. Dogs were infested with approximately 50 unfed adult Ixodes scapularis, Ixodes ricinus or Amblyomma maculatum ticks on Days-2, 7, 14, 21, 28 and 35. Tick counts were conducted at 4 (I. scapularis only), 8, 12 and 24h after treatment on Day 0 and after each subsequent re-infestation. No treatment-related adverse reactions occurred during any of these studies. Dogs in the placebo-treated groups maintained adequate tick infestations (recovery of 20-70% of applied ticks) throughout the duration of the studies. Following treatment, live tick counts were significantly reduced relative to placebo at the 8h post treatment counts indicating that sarolaner started killing existing infestations of ticks rapidly after treatment. Efficacy was 90.1% against I. ricinus, 98.8% against I. scapularis, and 99.2% against A. maculatum within 12h, and 100% efficacy was achieved at 24h after treatment against all three tick species. This speed of kill was maintained throughout the month with ≥95.7%, ≥98.7% and ≥89.6% efficacy against I. scapularis, I. ricinus, and A. maculatum, respectively, at 24h after re-infestation at least through Day 28. PMID:26928659

  6. Prevalence of the Lyme Disease Spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in Blacklegged Ticks, Ixodes scapularis at Hamilton-Wentworth, Ontario.

    PubMed

    Scott, John D; Anderson, John F; Durden, Lance A; Smith, Morgan L; Manord, Jodi M; Clark, Kerry L

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease has emerged as a major health concern in Canada, where the etiological agent, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), a spirochetal bacterium, is typically spread by the bite of certain ticks. This study explores the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. in blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, collected at Dundas, Ontario (a locality within the region of Hamilton-Wentworth). Using passive surveillance, veterinarians and pet groomers were asked to collect blacklegged ticks from dogs and cats with no history of travel. Additionally, I. scapularis specimens were submitted from local residents and collected by flagging. Overall, 12 (41%) of 29 blacklegged ticks were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing, two borrelial amplicons were characterized as B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), a genospecies pathogenic to humans and certain domestic animals. Notably, three different vertebrate hosts each had two engorged I. scapularis females removed on the same day and, likewise, one cat had three repeat occurrences of this tick species. These multiple infestations suggest that a population of I. scapularis may be established in this area. The local public health unit has been underreporting the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected I. scapularis in the area encompassing Dundas. Our findings raise concerns about the need to erect tick warning signs in parkland areas. Veterinarians, medical professionals, public health officials, and the general public must be vigilant that Lyme disease-carrying blacklegged ticks pose a public health risk in the Dundas area and the surrounding Hamilton-Wentworth region. PMID:27226771

  7. Prevalence of the Lyme Disease Spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in Blacklegged Ticks, Ixodes scapularis at Hamilton-Wentworth, Ontario

    PubMed Central

    Scott, John D.; Anderson, John F.; Durden, Lance A.; Smith, Morgan L.; Manord, Jodi M.; Clark, Kerry L.

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease has emerged as a major health concern in Canada, where the etiological agent, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), a spirochetal bacterium, is typically spread by the bite of certain ticks. This study explores the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. in blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, collected at Dundas, Ontario (a locality within the region of Hamilton-Wentworth). Using passive surveillance, veterinarians and pet groomers were asked to collect blacklegged ticks from dogs and cats with no history of travel. Additionally, I. scapularis specimens were submitted from local residents and collected by flagging. Overall, 12 (41%) of 29 blacklegged ticks were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing, two borrelial amplicons were characterized as B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), a genospecies pathogenic to humans and certain domestic animals. Notably, three different vertebrate hosts each had two engorged I. scapularis females removed on the same day and, likewise, one cat had three repeat occurrences of this tick species. These multiple infestations suggest that a population of I. scapularis may be established in this area. The local public health unit has been underreporting the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected I. scapularis in the area encompassing Dundas. Our findings raise concerns about the need to erect tick warning signs in parkland areas. Veterinarians, medical professionals, public health officials, and the general public must be vigilant that Lyme disease-carrying blacklegged ticks pose a public health risk in the Dundas area and the surrounding Hamilton-Wentworth region. PMID:27226771

  8. Tick Histamine Release Factor Is Critical for Ixodes scapularis Engorgement and Transmission of the Lyme Disease Agent

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Jianfeng; Narasimhan, Sukanya; Zhang, Lili; Liu, Lei; Wang, Penghua; Fikrig, Erol

    2010-01-01

    Ticks are distributed worldwide and affect human and animal health by transmitting diverse infectious agents. Effective vaccines against most tick-borne pathogens are not currently available. In this study, we characterized a tick histamine release factor (tHRF) from Ixodes scapularis and addressed the vaccine potential of this antigen in the context of tick engorgement and B. burgdorferi transmission. Results from western blotting and quantitative Reverse Transcription-PCR showed that tHRF is secreted in tick saliva, and upregulated in Borrelia burgdorferi-infected ticks. Further, the expression of tHRF was coincident with the rapid feeding phase of the tick, suggesting a role for tHRF in tick engorgement and concomitantly, for efficient B. burgdorferi transmission. Silencing tHRF by RNA interference (RNAi) significantly impaired tick feeding and decreased B. burgdorferi burden in mice. Interfering with tHRF by actively immunizing mice with recombinant tHRF, or passively transferring tHRF antiserum, also markedly reduced the efficiency of tick feeding and B. burgdorferi burden in mice. Recombinant tHRF was able to bind to host basophils and stimulate histamine release. Therefore, we speculate that tHRF might function in vivo to modulate vascular permeability and increase blood flow to the tick bite-site, facilitating tick engorgement. These findings suggest that blocking tHRF might offer a viable strategy to complement ongoing efforts to develop vaccines to block tick feeding and transmission of tick-borne pathogens. PMID:21124826

  9. The Prevalence of Zoonotic Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ixodes Scapularis Collected in the Hudson Valley, New York State

    PubMed Central

    Aliota, Matthew T.; Dupuis, Alan P.; Wilczek, Michael P.; Peters, Ryan J.; Ostfeld, Richard S.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Ixodes scapularis, the blacklegged tick, is capable of transmitting the pathogens that cause Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), babesiosis (Babesia microti), anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum), and to a lesser extent Powassan encephalitis (deer tick virus [DTV]). These pathogens represent significant public health problems, but little is known about the occurrence and co-infection prevalence of these pathogens in I. scapularis. Here, we used standard PCR and pathogen-specific primers to estimate the prevalence of infection of A. phagocytophilium, B. burgdorferi, B. microti, and Ehrlichia chaffeensis in questing nymph and adult I. scapularis collected from sites in Putnam and Dutchess counties in southern New York in 2011. To detect DTV infection, cell cultures were observed for the presence of cytopathic effects and positive results were confirmed via real time RT-PCR. In 466 individually sampled adult ticks, B. burgdorferi had the highest prevalence of infection (55%) followed by A. phagocytophilum (18.2%), DTV (3.4%), B. microti (3.2%), and E. chaffeensis (1.5%). Infection with two pathogens occurred in 13.3% of ticks, and 10 ticks were infected with three combinations of three pathogens. These results provide an estimate of the rate of co-infection, which then can help inform the epidemiological risk of contracting multiple zoonotic tick-borne pathogens within the Hudson Valley region of New York State. PMID:24689680

  10. Nymphal survival and habitat distribution of Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum ticks (Acari:Ixodidae) on Fire Island, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, H.S.; Zhioua, E.

    1996-01-01

    The distribution and survival of Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum were studied in deciduous and coniferous wooded habitats and in open habitats on Fire Island, New York, USA. The survival of nymphal I. scapularis in field enclosures was greater in forests than in open habitats, suggesting that greater survival contributes to the higher tick population in the woods. The nymphs of each species were more common in deciduous thickets (predominantly Aronia arbutifolia and Vaccinium corynbosum) than in coniferous woods (mostly Pinus rigida) in most but not all years. Larval I. scapularis were more common in coniferous sites in 1994, while the same ticks, as nymphs, were more common in deciduous sites in 1995. The survival of the nymphs was not consistently greater in either the deciduous or coniferous woods. Therefore, factors other than nymphal survival (e.g. larval overwintering survival and tick movement on hosts) probably influenced the relative nymph abundance in different forest types. Overall, the survival of A. americanum was far higher than that of I. scapularis.

  11. Virome Analysis of Amblyomma americanum, Dermacentor variabilis, and Ixodes scapularis Ticks Reveals Novel Highly Divergent Vertebrate and Invertebrate Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Simon Hedley; Sameroff, Stephen; Sanchez Leon, Maria; Jain, Komal; Lipkin, W. Ian

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT A wide range of bacterial pathogens have been identified in ticks, yet the diversity of viruses in ticks is largely unexplored. In the United States, Amblyomma americanum, Dermacentor variabilis, and Ixodes scapularis are among the principal tick species associated with pathogen transmission. We used high-throughput sequencing to characterize the viromes of these tick species and identified the presence of Powassan virus and eight novel viruses. These included the most divergent nairovirus described to date, two new clades of tick-borne phleboviruses, a mononegavirus, and viruses with similarity to plant and insect viruses. Our analysis revealed that ticks are reservoirs for a wide range of viruses and suggests that discovery and characterization of tick-borne viruses will have implications for viral taxonomy and may provide insight into tick-transmitted diseases. IMPORTANCE Ticks are implicated as vectors of a wide array of human and animal pathogens. To better understand the extent of tick-borne diseases, it is crucial to uncover the full range of microbial agents associated with ticks. Our current knowledge of the diversity of tick-associated viruses is limited, in part due to the lack of investigation of tick viromes. In this study, we examined the viromes of three tick species from the United States. We found that ticks are hosts to highly divergent viruses across several taxa, including ones previously associated with human disease. Our data underscore the diversity of tick-associated viruses and provide the foundation for further studies into viral etiology of tick-borne diseases. PMID:25056893

  12. Population-based passive tick surveillance and detection of expanding foci of blacklegged ticks Ixodes scapularis and the Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Nelder, Mark P; Russell, Curtis; Lindsay, L Robbin; Dhar, Badal; Patel, Samir N; Johnson, Steven; Moore, Stephen; Kristjanson, Erik; Li, Ye; Ralevski, Filip

    2014-01-01

    We identified ticks submitted by the public from 2008 through 2012 in Ontario, Canada, and tested blacklegged ticks Ixodes scapularis for Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Among the 18 species of ticks identified, I. scapularis, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes cookei and Amblyomma americanum represented 98.1% of the 14,369 ticks submitted. Rates of blacklegged tick submission per 100,000 population were highest in Ontario's Eastern region; D. variabilis in Central West and Eastern regions; I. cookei in Eastern and South West regions; and A. americanum had a scattered distribution. Rates of blacklegged tick submission per 100,000 population were highest from children (0-9 years old) and older adults (55-74 years old). In two health units in the Eastern region (i.e., Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District and Kingston-Frontenac and Lennox & Addington), the rate of submission for engorged and B. burgdorferi-positive blacklegged ticks was 47× higher than the rest of Ontario. Rate of spread for blacklegged ticks was relatively faster and across a larger geographic area along the northern shore of Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River, compared with slower spread from isolated populations along the northern shore of Lake Erie. The infection prevalence of B. burgdorferi in blacklegged ticks increased in Ontario over the study period from 8.4% in 2008 to 19.1% in 2012. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi-positive blacklegged ticks increased yearly during the surveillance period and, while increases were not uniform across all regions, increases were greatest in the Central West region, followed by Eastern and South West regions. The overall infection prevalence of A. phagocytophilum in blacklegged ticks was 0.3%. This study provides essential information on ticks of medical importance in Ontario, and identifies demographic and geographic areas for focused public education on the prevention of tick bites and tick-borne diseases. PMID:25171252

  13. Population-Based Passive Tick Surveillance and Detection of Expanding Foci of Blacklegged Ticks Ixodes scapularis and the Lyme Disease Agent Borrelia burgdorferi in Ontario, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Nelder, Mark P.; Russell, Curtis; Lindsay, L. Robbin; Dhar, Badal; Patel, Samir N.; Johnson, Steven; Moore, Stephen; Kristjanson, Erik; Li, Ye; Ralevski, Filip

    2014-01-01

    We identified ticks submitted by the public from 2008 through 2012 in Ontario, Canada, and tested blacklegged ticks Ixodes scapularis for Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Among the 18 species of ticks identified, I. scapularis, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes cookei and Amblyomma americanum represented 98.1% of the 14,369 ticks submitted. Rates of blacklegged tick submission per 100,000 population were highest in Ontario's Eastern region; D. variabilis in Central West and Eastern regions; I. cookei in Eastern and South West regions; and A. americanum had a scattered distribution. Rates of blacklegged tick submission per 100,000 population were highest from children (0–9 years old) and older adults (55–74 years old). In two health units in the Eastern region (i.e., Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District and Kingston-Frontenac and Lennox & Addington), the rate of submission for engorged and B. burgdorferi-positive blacklegged ticks was 47× higher than the rest of Ontario. Rate of spread for blacklegged ticks was relatively faster and across a larger geographic area along the northern shore of Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River, compared with slower spread from isolated populations along the northern shore of Lake Erie. The infection prevalence of B. burgdorferi in blacklegged ticks increased in Ontario over the study period from 8.4% in 2008 to 19.1% in 2012. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi-positive blacklegged ticks increased yearly during the surveillance period and, while increases were not uniform across all regions, increases were greatest in the Central West region, followed by Eastern and South West regions. The overall infection prevalence of A. phagocytophilum in blacklegged ticks was 0.3%. This study provides essential information on ticks of medical importance in Ontario, and identifies demographic and geographic areas for focused public education on the prevention of tick bites and tick-borne diseases. PMID:25171252

  14. What ticks do under your skin: two-photon intravital imaging of Ixodes scapularis feeding in the presence of the lyme disease spirochete.

    PubMed

    Bockenstedt, Linda K; Gonzalez, David; Mao, Jialing; Li, Ming; Belperron, Alexia A; Haberman, Ann

    2014-03-01

    Lyme disease, due to infection with the Ixodes-tick transmitted spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most common tick-transmitted disease in the northern hemisphere. Our understanding of the tick-pathogen-vertebrate host interactions that sustain an enzootic cycle for B. burgdorferi is incomplete. In this article, we describe a method for imaging the feeding of Ixodes scapularis nymphs in real-time using two-photon intravital microscopy and show how this technology can be applied to view the response of Lyme borrelia in the skin of an infected host to tick feeding. PMID:24600332

  15. What Ticks Do Under Your Skin: Two-Photon Intravital Imaging of Ixodes Scapularis Feeding in the Presence of the Lyme Disease Spirochete

    PubMed Central

    Bockenstedt, Linda K.; Gonzalez, David; Mao, Jialing; Li, Ming; Belperron, Alexia A.; Haberman, Ann

    2014-01-01

    Lyme disease, due to infection with the Ixodes-tick transmitted spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most common tick-transmitted disease in the northern hemisphere. Our understanding of the tick-pathogen-vertebrate host interactions that sustain an enzootic cycle for B. burgdorferi is incomplete. In this article, we describe a method for imaging the feeding of Ixodes scapularis nymphs in real-time using two-photon intravital microscopy and show how this technology can be applied to view the response of Lyme borrelia in the skin of an infected host to tick feeding. PMID:24600332

  16. Vector competence of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, for the recently recognized Lyme borreliosis spirochete Candidatus Borrelia mayonii.

    PubMed

    Dolan, Marc C; Hojgaard, Andrias; Hoxmeier, J Charles; Replogle, Adam J; Respicio-Kingry, Laurel B; Sexton, Christopher; Williams, Martin A; Pritt, Bobbi S; Schriefer, Martin E; Eisen, Lars

    2016-07-01

    A novel species within the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, provisionally named Borrelia mayonii, was recently found to be associated with Lyme borreliosis in the Upper Midwest of the United States. Moreover, B. mayonii was detected from host-seeking Ixodes scapularis, the primary vector of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto in the eastern United States. We therefore conducted a study to confirm the experimental vector competence of I. scapularis for B. mayonii (strain MN14-1420), using colony ticks originating from adults collected in Connecticut and CD-1 white mice. Larvae fed on mice 10 weeks after needle-inoculation with B. mayonii acquired spirochetes and maintained infection through the nymphal stage at an average rate of 12.9%. In a transmission experiment, 40% of naïve mice exposed to a single infected nymph developed viable infections, as compared with 87% of mice fed upon by 2-3 infected nymphs. Transmission of B. mayonii by one or more feeding infected nymphs was uncommon up to 48h after attachment (one of six mice developed viable infection) but occurred frequently when nymphs were allowed to remain attached for 72-96h or feed to completion (11 of 16 mice developed viable infection). Mice infected via tick bite maintained viable infection with B. mayonii, as determined by ear biopsy culture, for at least 28 weeks. Our results demonstrate that I. scapularis is capable of serving as a vector of B. mayonii. This finding, together with data showing that field-collected I. scapularis are infected with B. mayonii, indicate that I. scapularis likely is a primary vector to humans of this recently recognized Lyme borreliosis spirochete. PMID:26922324

  17. Efficacy and environmental persistence of nootkatone for the control of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in the residential landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We evaluated the ability of the plant-derived compound nootkatone to control nymphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, applied to the perimeter of lawns around homes in Lyme disease endemic areas of Connecticut. Three formulations of nootkatone ranging from 0.05 to 0.84% (0.06 to 1.03 g...

  18. Nuclear Markers Reveal Predominantly North to South Gene Flow in Ixodes scapularis, the Tick Vector of the Lyme Disease Spirochete

    PubMed Central

    Van Zee, Janice; Piesman, Joseph F.; Hojgaard, Andrias; Black IV, William Cormack

    2015-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis, the tick vector of the Lyme disease spirochete, is distributed over most of the eastern United States, but >80% of all Lyme disease cases occur in the northeast. The role that genetic differences between northern and southern tick populations play in explaining this disparate distribution of Lyme disease cases is unclear. The present study was conducted with 1,155 SNP markers in eight nuclear genes; the 16S mitochondrial gene was examined for comparison with earlier studies. We examined 350 I. scapularis from 7 states covering a representative area of the species. A demographic analysis using Bayesian Extended Skyline Analysis suggested that I. scapularis populations in Mississippi and Georgia began expanding 500,000 years ago, those in Florida and North Carolina 200,000 years ago and those from Maryland and New Jersey only during the past 50,000 years with an accompanying bottleneck. Wisconsin populations only began expanding in the last 20,000 years. Analysis of current migration patterns suggests large amounts of gene flow in northern collections and equally high rates of gene flow among southern collections. In contrast there is restricted and unidirectional gene flow between northern and southern collections, mostly occurring from northern into southern populations. Northern populations are characterized by nymphs that quest above the leaf litter, are easy to collect by flagging, frequently feed on mammals such as rodents and shrews, commonly attach to people, and about 25% of which are infected with B. burgdorferi. If there is a genetic basis for these behaviors, then the patterns detected in this study are of concern because they suggest that northern I. scapularis populations with a greater ability to vector B. burgdorferi to humans are expanding south. PMID:26536360

  19. Loop analysis for pathogens: niche partitioning in the transmission graph for pathogens of the North American tick Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    Davis, Stephen; Bent, Stephen J

    2011-01-21

    In population biology, loop analysis is a method of decomposing a life cycle graph into life history pathways so as to compare the relative contributions of pathways to the population growth rate across species and populations. We apply loop analysis to the transmission graph of five pathogens known to infect the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis. In this context loops represent repeating chains of transmission that could maintain the pathogen. They hence represent completions of the life cycle, in much the same way as loops in a life cycle graph do for plants and animals. The loop analysis suggests the five pathogens fall into two distinct groups. Borellia burgdorferi, Babesia microti and Anaplasma phagocytophilum rely almost exclusively on a single loop representing transmission to susceptible larvae feeding on vertebrate hosts that were infected by nymphs. Borellia miyamotoi, in contrast, circulates among a separate set of host types and utilizes loops that are a mix of vertical transmission and horizontal transmission. For B. miyamotoi the main loop is from vertebrate hosts to susceptible nymphs, where the vertebrate hosts were infected by larvae that were infected from birth. The results for Powassan virus are similar to B. miyamotoi. The predicted impacts of the known variation in tick phenology between populations of I. scapularis in the Midwest and Northeast of the United States are hence markedly different for the two groups. All of these pathogens benefit, though, from synchronous activity of larvae and nymphs. PMID:20950628

  20. How far north are migrant birds transporting the tick Ixodes scapularis in Canada? Insights from stable hydrogen isotope analyses of feathers.

    PubMed

    Ogden, N H; Barker, I K; Francis, C M; Heagy, A; Lindsay, L R; Hobson, K A

    2015-09-01

    Lyme disease is emerging in Canada because of northward range expansion of the tick vector Ixodes scapularis. It is hypothesised that I. scapularis feeding on passerine birds migrating north in spring are important in founding new I. scapularis populations leading to northward range expansion. However, there are no studies on how far north I. scapularis may be carried, only inferences from passive tick surveillance. We used stable hydrogen isotope (δ(2)H) analysis of rectrices collected from northward migrating, I. scapularis-carrying, passerine birds captured in Canada to estimate how far north I. scapularis may be carried. Rectrices are usually grown close to breeding sites and their δ(2)H values reflect those in the environment, which vary strongly with latitude in North America. Passerines usually return to their breeding or natal sites so δ(2)H values of rectrices of northward migrating birds can identify the likely latitudinal bands of their intended destinations. In 2006 we analysed δ(2)H from rectrices of 73 I. scapularis-carrying birds captured at five migration monitoring stations, mainly from southern Ontario. Values of δ(2)H ranged from -33 to -124‰, suggesting 19/71 (26.7%) birds were destined for latitude band B (the most southerly part of Ontario), 40/71 (56.3%) birds were destined for band C (which extends from southern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes to southern James Bay) and 12/71 (16.9%) birds were destined for bands D and E (which extend from northern Ontario and Quebec into the southern Canadian Arctic). This indicates that many I. scapularis-carrying migratory birds in spring have destinations far north in Canada, including some farther north than the current region of climatic suitability for I. scapularis. These findings support the hypothesis that I. scapularis may continue to be spread north by spring migrating passerines. Some thrush species may be particularly implicated in far northward dispersion of I. scapularis. PMID

  1. No Observed Effect of Landscape Fragmentation on Pathogen Infection Prevalence in Blacklegged Ticks (Ixodes scapularis) in the Northeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Zolnik, Christine P.; Falco, Richard C.; Kolokotronis, Sergios-Orestis; Daniels, Thomas J.

    2015-01-01

    Pathogen prevalence within blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis Say, 1821) tends to vary across sites and geographic regions, but the underlying causes of this variation are not well understood. Efforts to understand the ecology of Lyme disease have led to the proposition that sites with higher host diversity will result in lower disease risk due to an increase in the abundance of inefficient reservoir species relative to the abundance of species that are highly competent reservoirs. Although the Lyme disease transmission cycle is often cited as a model for this “dilution effect hypothesis”, little empirical evidence exists to support that claim. Here we tested the dilution effect hypothesis for two pathogens transmitted by the blacklegged tick along an urban-to-rural gradient in the northeastern United States using landscape fragmentation as a proxy for host biodiversity. Percent impervious surface and habitat fragment size around each site were determined to assess the effect of landscape fragmentation on nymphal blacklegged tick infection with Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Our results do not support the dilution effect hypothesis for either pathogen and are in agreement with the few studies to date that have tested this idea using either a landscape proxy or direct measures of host biodiversity. PMID:26430734

  2. Role of Migratory Birds in Introduction and Range Expansion of Ixodes scapularis Ticks and of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Canada▿

    PubMed Central

    Ogden, N. H.; Lindsay, L. R.; Hanincová, K.; Barker, I. K.; Bigras-Poulin, M.; Charron, D. F.; Heagy, A.; Francis, C. M.; O'Callaghan, C. J.; Schwartz, I.; Thompson, R. A.

    2008-01-01

    During the spring in 2005 and 2006, 39,095 northward-migrating land birds were captured at 12 bird observatories in eastern Canada to investigate the role of migratory birds in northward range expansion of Lyme borreliosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, and their tick vector, Ixodes scapularis. The prevalence of birds carrying I. scapularis ticks (mostly nymphs) was 0.35% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.30 to 0.42), but a nested study by experienced observers suggested a more realistic infestation prevalence of 2.2% (95% CI = 1.18 to 3.73). The mean infestation intensity was 1.66 per bird. Overall, 15.4% of I. scapularis nymphs (95% CI = 10.7 to 20.9) were PCR positive for Borrelia burgdorferi, but only 8% (95% CI = 3.8 to 15.1) were positive when excluding nymphs collected at Long Point, Ontario, where B. burgdorferi is endemic. A wide range of ospC and rrs-rrl intergenic spacer alleles of B. burgdorferi were identified in infected ticks, including those associated with disseminated Lyme disease and alleles that are rare in the northeastern United States. Overall, 0.4% (95% CI = 0.03 to 0.41) of I. scapularis nymphs were PCR positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum. We estimate that migratory birds disperse 50 million to 175 million I. scapularis ticks across Canada each spring, implicating migratory birds as possibly significant in I. scapularis range expansion in Canada. However, infrequent larvae and the low infection prevalence in ticks carried by the birds raise questions as to how B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum become endemic in any tick populations established by bird-transported ticks. PMID:18245258

  3. Geographic uniformity of the Lyme disease spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) and its shared history with tick vector (Ixodes scapularis) in the Northeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Wei-Gang; Dykhuizen, Daniel E; Acosta, Michael S; Luft, Benjamin J

    2002-03-01

    Over 80% of reported cases of Lyme disease in the United States occur in coastal regions of northeastern and mid-Atlantic states. The genetic structure of the Lyme disease spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) and its main tick vector (Ixodes scapularis) was studied concurrently and comparatively by sampling natural populations of I. scapularis ticks along the East Coast from 1996 to 1998. Borrelia is genetically highly diverse at the outer surface protein ospC. Since Borrelia is highly clonal, the ospC alleles can be used to define clones. A newly designed reverse line blotting (RLB) assay shows that up to 10 Borrelia clones can infect a single tick. The clone frequencies in Borrelia populations are the same across the Northeast. On the other hand, I. scapularis populations show strong regional divergence (among northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and southern states) as well as local differentiation. The high genetic diversity within Borrelia populations and the disparity in the genetic structure between Borrelia and its tick vector are likely consequences of strong balancing selection on local Borrelia clones. Demographically, both Borrelia and I. scapularis populations in the Northeast show the characteristics of a species that has recently expanded from a population bottleneck. Major geological and ecological events, such as the last glacial maximum (18,000 years ago) and the modern-day expansion of tick habitats, are likely causes of the observed "founder effects" for the two organisms in the Northeast. We therefore conclude that the genetic structure of B. burgdorferi has been intimately shaped by the natural history of its main vector, the northern lineage of I. scapularis ticks. PMID:11901105

  4. Geographic uniformity of the Lyme disease spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) and its shared history with tick vector (Ixodes scapularis) in the Northeastern United States.

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Wei-Gang; Dykhuizen, Daniel E; Acosta, Michael S; Luft, Benjamin J

    2002-01-01

    Over 80% of reported cases of Lyme disease in the United States occur in coastal regions of northeastern and mid-Atlantic states. The genetic structure of the Lyme disease spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) and its main tick vector (Ixodes scapularis) was studied concurrently and comparatively by sampling natural populations of I. scapularis ticks along the East Coast from 1996 to 1998. Borrelia is genetically highly diverse at the outer surface protein ospC. Since Borrelia is highly clonal, the ospC alleles can be used to define clones. A newly designed reverse line blotting (RLB) assay shows that up to 10 Borrelia clones can infect a single tick. The clone frequencies in Borrelia populations are the same across the Northeast. On the other hand, I. scapularis populations show strong regional divergence (among northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and southern states) as well as local differentiation. The high genetic diversity within Borrelia populations and the disparity in the genetic structure between Borrelia and its tick vector are likely consequences of strong balancing selection on local Borrelia clones. Demographically, both Borrelia and I. scapularis populations in the Northeast show the characteristics of a species that has recently expanded from a population bottleneck. Major geological and ecological events, such as the last glacial maximum (18,000 years ago) and the modern-day expansion of tick habitats, are likely causes of the observed "founder effects" for the two organisms in the Northeast. We therefore conclude that the genetic structure of B. burgdorferi has been intimately shaped by the natural history of its main vector, the northern lineage of I. scapularis ticks. PMID:11901105

  5. Developing a temperature-driven map of the basic reproductive number of the emerging tick vector of Lyme disease Ixodes scapularis in Canada.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaotian; Duvvuri, Venkata R; Lou, Yijun; Ogden, Nicholas H; Pelcat, Yann; Wu, Jianhong

    2013-02-21

    A mechanistic model of the tick vector of Lyme disease, Ixodes scapularis, was adapted to a deterministic structure. Using temperature normals smoothed by Fourier analysis to generate seasonal temperature-driven development rates and host biting rates, and a next generation matrix approach, the model was used to obtain values for the basic reproduction number (R(0)) for I. scapularis at locations in southern Canada where the tick is established and emerging. The R(0) at Long Point, Point Pelee and Chatham sites where I. scapularis are established, was estimated at 1.5, 3.19 and 3.65, respectively. The threshold temperature conditions for tick population survival (R(0)=1) were shown to be the same as those identified using the mechanistic model (2800-3100 cumulative annual degree days >0°C), and a map of R(0) for I. scapularis, the first such map for an arthropod vector, was drawn for Canada east of the Rocky Mountains. This map supports current risk assessments for Lyme disease risk emergence in Canada. Sensitivity analysis identified host abundance, tick development rates and summer temperatures as highly influential variables in the model, which is consistent with our current knowledge of the biology of this tick. The development of a deterministic model for I. scapularis that is capable of providing values for R(0) is a key step in our evolving ability to develop tools for assessment of Lyme disease risk emergence and for development of public health policies on surveillance, prevention and control. PMID:23206385

  6. A snapshot of the Ixodes scapularis degradome.

    PubMed

    Mulenga, Albert; Erikson, Kelly

    2011-08-15

    Parasitic encoded proteases are essential to regulating interactions between parasites and their hosts and thus they represent attractive anti-parasitic druggable and/or vaccine target. We have utilized annotations of Ixodes scapularis proteases in gene bank and version 9.3 MEROPS database to compile an index of at least 233 putatively active and 150 putatively inactive protease enzymes that are encoded by the I. scapularis genome. The 233 putatively active protease homologs hereafter referred to as the degradome (the full repertoire of proteases encoded by the I. scapularis genome) represent ~1.14% of the 20485 putative I. scapularis protein content. Consistent with observations in other animals, the content of the I. scapularis degradome is ~6.0% (14/233) aspartic, ~19% (44/233) cysteine, ~40% (93/233) metallo, ~28.3% (66/233) serine and ~6.4% (15/233) threonine proteases. When scanned against other tick sequences, ~11% (25/233) of I. scapularis putatively active proteases are conserved in other tick species with ≥ 60% amino acid identity levels. The I. scapularis genome does not apparently encode for putatively inactive aspartic proteases. Of the 150 putative inactive protease homologs none are from the aspartic protease class, ~8% (12/150) are cysteine, ~58.7% (88/150) metallo, 30% (45/150) serine and ~3.3% (5/150) are threonine proteases. The I. scapularis tick genome appears to have evolutionarily lost proteolytic activity of at least 6 protease families, C56 and C64 (cysteine), M20 and M23 (metallo), S24 and S28 (serine) as revealed by a lack of the putatively active proteases in these families. The overall protease content is comparable to other organisms. However, the paucity of the S1 chymotrypsin/trypsin-like serine protease family in the I. scapularis genome where it is ~12.7% (28/233) of the degradome as opposed to ~22-48% content in other blood feeding arthropods, Pediculus humanus humanus, Anopheles gambiae, Aedes Aegypti and Culex pipiens

  7. Implications of climate change on the distribution of the tick vector Ixodes scapularis and risk for Lyme disease in the Texas-Mexico transboundary region

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Disease risk maps are important tools that help ascertain the likelihood of exposure to specific infectious agents. Understanding how climate change may affect the suitability of habitats for ticks will improve the accuracy of risk maps of tick-borne pathogen transmission in humans and domestic animal populations. Lyme disease (LD) is the most prevalent arthropod borne disease in the US and Europe. The bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi causes LD and it is transmitted to humans and other mammalian hosts through the bite of infected Ixodes ticks. LD risk maps in the transboundary region between the U.S. and Mexico are lacking. Moreover, none of the published studies that evaluated the effect of climate change in the spatial and temporal distribution of I. scapularis have focused on this region. Methods The area of study included Texas and a portion of northeast Mexico. This area is referred herein as the Texas-Mexico transboundary region. Tick samples were obtained from various vertebrate hosts in the region under study. Ticks identified as I. scapularis were processed to obtain DNA and to determine if they were infected with B. burgdorferi using PCR. A maximum entropy approach (MAXENT) was used to forecast the present and future (2050) distribution of B. burgdorferi-infected I. scapularis in the Texas-Mexico transboundary region by correlating geographic data with climatic variables. Results Of the 1235 tick samples collected, 109 were identified as I. scapularis. Infection with B. burgdorferi was detected in 45% of the I. scapularis ticks collected. The model presented here indicates a wide distribution for I. scapularis, with higher probability of occurrence along the Gulf of Mexico coast. Results of the modeling approach applied predict that habitat suitable for the distribution of I. scapularis in the Texas-Mexico transboundary region will remain relatively stable until 2050. Conclusions The Texas-Mexico transboundary region appears to be part of a

  8. Susceptibility of four tick species, Amblyomma americanum, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes scapularis, and Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Acari: Ixodidae), to nootkatone from essential oil of grapefruit.

    PubMed

    Flor-Weiler, Lina B; Behle, Robert W; Stafford, Kirby C

    2011-03-01

    Toxicity of nootkatone was determined in laboratory assays against unfed nymphs of Amblyomma americanum L., Dermacentor variabilis (Say), Ixodes scapularis Say, and Rhipicephalus sanguineus Latreille. We determined the 50% lethal concentration (LC50) and 90% lethal concentration (LC90) of nootkatone by recording tick mortality 24 h after exposure in treated glass vials. Nymphs were susceptible to nootkatone with LC50 values of 0.352, 0.233, 0.169, and 0.197 microg/cm2, and LC90 values of 1.001, 0.644, 0.549, and 0.485 microg/cm2 for A. americanum, D. variabilis, I. scapularis, and R. sanguineus, respectively. The LC50 value for R. sanquineus was not significantly different from D. variabilis or I. scapularis. Other LC50 comparisons were significantly different. The LC90 for A. americanum was higher when compared with the three other tick species, which were not significantly different. Because nootkatone is volatile, we measured the amount of nootkatone recovered from duplicate-treated vials before tick exposure and from vials after tick exposure. Nootkatone recovered from vials before exposure ranged from 82 to 112% of the expected amounts. The nootkatone recovered after the 24-h exposure period ranged from 89% from vials coated with higher concentrations of nootkatone, down to 29% from vials coated with low nootkatone concentrations. Determination of the nootkatone residue after vial coating demonstrated loss of the active compound while verifying the levels of tick exposure. Toxicity of low concentrations of nootkatone to the active questing stage of ticks reported in this study provides a reference point for future formulation research to exploit nootkatone as a safe and environment-friendly tick control. PMID:21485368

  9. Teratological Nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) From Wisconsin.

    PubMed

    Larson, Scott R; Paskewitz, Susan M

    2016-03-01

    Abnormalities of physiological development (teratological forms) in ticks are rare. The occurrence of gigantism, dwarfism, gynandromorphs, missing legs, extra legs, and asymmetries is most often reported from lab-reared specimens, but has been observed in field-collected specimens. All morphologically anomalous ticks (besides gynandromorphy) described to date are from species other than Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae). Here we describe four teratological I. scapularis nymphs collected while dragging vegetation in Wisconsin in 2015, including two asymmetrical ticks, one with a missing leg, and one with an extra leg. PMID:26681790

  10. Pathogenicity of entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Deuteromycetes) to Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhioua, E.; Browning, M.; Johnson, P.W.; Ginsberg, H.S.; LeBrun, R.A.

    1997-01-01

    The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is highly pathogenic to the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Spore concentrations of 108/ml for engorged larvae and 107/ml for engorged females resulted in 100% tick mortality, 2 wk post-infection. The LC50 value for engorged larvae (concentration to kill 50% of ticks) was 107 spores/ml. Metarhizium anisopliae shows considerable potential as a microbial control agent for the management of Ixodes scapularis.

  11. A blood meal-induced Ixodes scapularis tick saliva serpin inhibits trypsin and thrombin, and interferes with platelet aggregation and blood clotting.

    PubMed

    Ibelli, Adriana M G; Kim, Tae K; Hill, Creston C; Lewis, Lauren A; Bakshi, Mariam; Miller, Stephanie; Porter, Lindsay; Mulenga, Albert

    2014-05-01

    Ixodes scapularis is a medically important tick species that transmits causative agents of important human tick-borne diseases including borreliosis, anaplasmosis and babesiosis. An understanding of how this tick feeds is needed prior to the development of novel methods to protect the human population against tick-borne disease infections. This study characterizes a blood meal-induced I. scapularis (Ixsc) tick saliva serine protease inhibitor (serpin (S)), in-house referred to as IxscS-1E1. The hypothesis that ticks use serpins to evade the host's defense response to tick feeding is based on the assumption that tick serpins inhibit functions of protease mediators of the host's anti-tick defense response. Thus, it is significant that consistent with hallmark characteristics of inhibitory serpins, Pichia pastoris-expressed recombinant IxscS-1E1 (rIxscS-1E1) can trap thrombin and trypsin in SDS- and heat-stable complexes, and reduce the activity of the two proteases in a dose-responsive manner. Additionally, rIxscS-1E1 also inhibited, but did not apparently form detectable complexes with, cathepsin G and factor Xa. Our data also show that rIxscS-1E1 may not inhibit chymotrypsin, kallikrein, chymase, plasmin, elastase and papain even at a much higher rIxscS-1E1 concentration. Native IxscS-1E1 potentially plays a role(s) in facilitating I. scapularis tick evasion of the host's hemostatic defense as revealed by the ability of rIxscS-1E1 to inhibit adenosine diphosphate- and thrombin-activated platelet aggregation, and delay activated partial prothrombin time and thrombin time plasma clotting in a dose-responsive manner. We conclude that native IxscS-1E1 is part of the tick saliva protein complex that mediates its anti-hemostatic, and potentially inflammatory, functions by inhibiting the actions of thrombin, trypsin and other yet unknown trypsin-like proteases at the tick-host interface. PMID:24583183

  12. Elimination of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Rodent Reservoirs and Ixodes scapularis Ticks Using a Doxycycline Hyclate-Laden Bait

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, Marc C.; Schulze, Terry L.; Jordan, Robert A.; Dietrich, Gabrielle; Schulze, Christopher J.; Hojgaard, Andrias; Ullmann, Amy J.; Sackal, Cherilyn; Zeidner, Nordin S.; Piesman, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    A field trial was conducted in a Lyme disease-endemic area of New Jersey to determine the efficacy of a doxycyline hyclate rodent bait to prophylactically protect and cure small-mammal reservoirs and reduce infection rates in questing Ixodes scapularis ticks for Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. The doxycycline-laden bait was formulated at a concentration of 500 mg/kg and delivered during the immature tick feeding season in rodent-targeted bait boxes. The percentage of infected small mammals recovered from treated areas after 2 years of treatment was reduced by 86.9% for B. burgdorferi and 74% for A. phagocytophilum. Infection rates in questing nymphal ticks for both B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum were reduced by 94.3% and 92%, respectively. Results from this study indicate that doxycycline-impregnated bait is an effective means of reducing infection rates for B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum in both rodent reservoirs and questing I. scapularis ticks. PMID:22144454

  13. Isolation of deer tick virus (Powassan virus, lineage II) from Ixodes scapularis and detection of antibody in vertebrate hosts sampled in the Hudson Valley, New York State

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Deer tick virus, DTV, is a genetically and ecologically distinct lineage of Powassan virus (POWV) also known as lineage II POWV. Human incidence of POW encephalitis has increased in the last 15 years potentially due to the emergence of DTV, particularly in the Hudson Valley of New York State. We initiated an extensive sampling campaign to determine whether POWV was extant throughout the Hudson Valley in tick vectors and/or vertebrate hosts. Methods More than 13,000 ticks were collected from hosts or vegetation and tested for the presence of DTV using molecular and virus isolation techniques. Vertebrate hosts of Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick) were trapped (mammals) or netted (birds) and blood samples analyzed for the presence of neutralizing antibodies to POWV. Maximum likelihood estimates (MLE) were calculated to determine infection rates in ticks at each study site. Results Evidence of DTV was identified each year from 2007 to 2012, in nymphal and adult I. scapularis collected from the Hudson Valley. 58 tick pools were positive for virus and/or RNA. Infection rates were higher in adult ticks collected from areas east of the Hudson River. MLE limits ranged from 0.2-6.0 infected adults per 100 at sites where DTV was detected. Virginia opossums, striped skunks and raccoons were the source of infected nymphal ticks collected as replete larvae. Serologic evidence of POWV infection was detected in woodchucks (4/6), an opossum (1/6), and birds (4/727). Lineage I, prototype POWV, was not detected. Conclusions These data demonstrate widespread enzootic transmission of DTV throughout the Hudson Valley, in particular areas east of the river. High infection rates were detected in counties where recent POW encephalitis cases have been identified, supporting the hypothesis that lineage II POWV, DTV, is responsible for these human infections. PMID:24016533

  14. A determination of the spatial concordance between Lyme disease incidence and habitat probability of its primary vector Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick).

    PubMed

    Atkinson, Samuel F; Sarkar, Sahotra; Aviña, Aldo; Schuermann, Jim A; Williamson, Phillip

    2014-11-01

    The spatial distribution of Ixodes scapularis, the most common tick vector of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, the cause of Lyme disease in humans, has not been studied previously in Texas, United States of America. It has only rarely been reported in this state, so its local, spatial relationship to the distribution of this disease is unknown. From an epidemiological perspective, one would tend to hypothesise that there should be a high degree of spatial concordance between habitat suitability for the tick and incidence of the disease. Both maximum-entropy modelling of the tick's habitat probability and modelling of human incidence of Lyme disease using spatially adaptive filters provide reliable portrayals of the spatial distributions of these phenomena. Even though rates of human cases of Lyme disease as well as rates of Ixodes ticks infected with Borrelia bacteria are both relatively low in Texas, the best data currently available indicate that the assumption of high levels of spatial concordance would not be correct in Texas (Kappa coefficient of agreement = 0.039). It will take substantially more data to provide conclusive findings and to understand the results reported here, but this study provides an approach to begin understanding the discrepancy. PMID:25545937

  15. Elemol and Amyris Oil Repel the Ticks Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae) in Laboratory Bioassays

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The essential oil from Amyris balsamifera (Rutaceae) and elemol, a principal constituent of the essential oil of Osage orange, Maclura pomifera (Moraceae) were evaluated in in vitro and in vivo laboratory bioassays for repellent activity against host-seeking nymphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes sc...

  16. Autocrine/paracrine dopamine in the salivary glands of the blacklegged tick Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    Koči, Juraj; Simo, Ladislav; Park, Yoonseong

    2014-03-01

    Dopamine (DA) is known to be the most potent activator of tick salivary secretion, which is an essential component of successful tick feeding. We examined the quantitative changes of catecholamines using a method coupling high-pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-ECD). We also investigated the levels of catecholamines conjugated to other molecules utilising appropriate methods to hydrolyse the conjugates. Three different biological samples, salivary glands, synganglia, ovaries and haemolymph were compared, and the largest quantity of DA was detected in salivary gland extracts (up to ∼100pg/tick), supporting the hypothesis that autocrine/paracrine dopamine activates salivary secretion. Quantitative changes of catecholamines in the salivary glands over the entire blood feeding duration were examined. The amount of dopamine in the salivary glands increased until the day 5 of feeding, at which the rapid engorgement phase began. We also detected a small but significant amount of norepinephrine in the salivary glands. Interestingly, saliva collected after induction of salivary secretion by the cholinergic agonist pilocarpine contained a large amount of DA sulphate with a trace amount of DA, suggesting a potential biological role of DA sulphate in tick saliva. PMID:24503219

  17. Pathogenicity of Bacillus thuringiensis variety kurstaki to Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhioua, E.; Heyer, K.; Browning, M.; Ginsberg, H.S.; LeBrun, R.A.

    1999-01-01

    Pathogenicity of the entomopathogenic bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki de Barjac & Lemille was tested against the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say. Engorged larvae dipped in a solution of 108 spores per ml showed 96% mortality, 3 wk post-infection. The LC50 value for engorged larvae (concentration required to kill 50% of ticks) was 107 spores/ml. Bacillus thuringiensis shows considerable potential as a microbial control agent for the management of Ixodes scapularis.

  18. Validation of Internal Reference Genes for Real-Time Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction Studies in the Tick, Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)

    PubMed Central

    Koči, Juraj; Šimo, Ladislav; Park, Yoonseong

    2013-01-01

    Obtaining reliable gene expression data using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction(qPCR)is highly dependent on the choice of normalization method. We tested the expression stability of multiple candidate genes in the salivary glands (SG) and synganglia (SYN) of female Ixodes scapularis (Say) ticks in multiple blood-feeding phases. We found that the amount of total RNA in both the SG and SYN increases dramatically during tick feeding, with 34× and 5.8× increases from 62 and 7.1 ng of unfed tick, respectively. We tested candidate genes that were predicted from I. scapularis genome data to encode glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gapdh), ribosomal protein L13A (l13a), TATA box-binding protein (tbp), ribosomal protein S4 (rps4), glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (gpdh), and beta-glucuronidase (gusb). The geNorm and NormFinder algorithms were used to analyze data from different feeding phases (i.e., daily samples from unfed to fully engorged females over a 7-d period in three replicate experiments). We found that the rps4 and l13a genes showed highly stable expression patterns over the feeding duration in both the SG and SYN. Furthermore, the highly expressed rps4 gene makes it useful as a normalization factor when we perform studies using minute amounts of dissected tissue for qPCR. We conclude that rps4 and l13a, whether individually or as a pair, serve as suitable internal reference genes for qRT-PCR studies in the SG and SYN of I. scapularis. PMID:23427655

  19. Infection of Immature Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) by Membrane Feeding.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Jonathan D; Lynn, Geoffrey E; Burkhardt, Nicole Y; Price, Lisa D; Nelson, Curtis M; Kurtti, Timothy J; Munderloh, Ulrike G

    2016-03-01

    A reduction in the use of animals in infectious disease research is desirable for animal welfare as well as for simplification and standardization of experiments. An artificial silicone-based membrane-feeding system was adapted for complete engorgement of adult and nymphal Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae), and for infecting nymphs with pathogenic, tick-borne bacteria. Six wild-type and genetically transformed strains of four species of bacteria were inoculated into sterile bovine blood and fed to ticks. Pathogens were consistently detected in replete nymphs by polymerase chain reaction. Adult ticks that ingested bacteria as nymphs were evaluated for transstadial transmission. Borrelia burgdorferi and Ehrlichia muris-like agent showed high rates of transstadial transmission to adult ticks, whereas Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Rickettsia monacensis demonstrated low rates of transstadial transmission/maintenance. Artificial membrane feeding can be used to routinely maintain nymphal and adult I. scapularis, and infect nymphs with tick-borne pathogens. PMID:26721866

  20. Evidence of female sex pheromones and characterization of the cuticular lipids of unfed, adult male versus female blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    Carr, Ann L; Sonenshine, Daniel E; Strider, John B; Roe, R Michael

    2016-04-01

    Copulation in Ixodes scapularis involves physical contact between the male and female (on or off the host), male mounting of the female, insertion/maintenance of the male chelicerae in the female genital pore (initiates spermatophore production), and the transfer of the spermatophore by the male into the female genital pore. Bioassays determined that male mounting behavior/chelicerae insertion required direct contact with the female likely requiring non-volatile chemical cues with no evidence of a female volatile sex pheromone to attract males. Unfed virgin adult females and replete mated adult females elicited the highest rates of male chelicerae insertion with part fed virgin adult females exhibiting a much lower response. Whole body surface hexane extracts of unfed virgin adult females and males, separately analyzed by GC-MS, identified a number of novel tick surface associated compounds: fatty alcohols (1-hexadecanol and 1-heptanol), a fatty amide (erucylamid), aromatic hydrocarbons, a short chain alkene (1-heptene), and a carboxylic acid ester (5β-androstane). These compounds are discussed in terms of their potential role in female-male communication. The two most abundant fatty acid esters found were butyl palmitate and butyl stearate present in ratios that were sex specific. Only 6 n-saturated hydrocarbons were identified in I. scapularis ranging from 10 to 18 carbons. PMID:26864785

  1. Repellent efficacy of DEET, Icaridin, and EBAAP against Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes scapularis nymphs (Acari, Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Büchel, Kerstin; Bendin, Juliane; Gharbi, Amina; Rahlenbeck, Sibylle; Dautel, Hans

    2015-06-01

    Repellent efficacy of 10% EBAAP (3-[N-butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester) and 10% Icaridin ((2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 1-methylpropyl ester)) were evaluated against 20% DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) in human subject trials against ticks. Responses of host-seeking nymphs of the European castor bean tick (Ixodes ricinus L.; Acari: Ixodidae) and the North American blacklegged tick (I. scapularis Say; Acari: Ixodidae) were compared. Tests were carried out according to the US-EPA standard protocol with ethanolic solutions of the active ingredients of repellents being applied to the forearm of 10 volunteers. The upward movement of ticks was monitored until repellent failure taking up to 12.5 h. Application of 20% DEET resulted in median complete protection times (CPT; Kaplan-Meier median) between 4 and 4.5 h, while 10% EBAAP yielded CPTs of 3.5-4h. No significant differences were found between the efficacies of two repellents nor between the two species tested. The median of the CPT of a 10% Icaridin solution was 5h in nymphs of I. scapularis, but 8h in those of I. ricinus (P<0.01). Based on these studies, EBAAP and Icaridin are efficacious alternatives to DEET in their repellent activity against nymphs of the two Ixodes ticks with Icaridin demonstrating particularly promising results against I. ricinus. Future research should investigate whether similar results occur when adult Ixodes ticks or other tick species are tested. PMID:25936273

  2. Comparative bioinformatics, temporal and spatial expression analyses of Ixodes scapularis organic anion transporting polypeptides

    PubMed Central

    Radulović, Željko; Porter, Lindsay M.; Kim, Tae K.; Mulenga, Albert

    2015-01-01

    Organic anion-transporting polypeptides (Oatps) are an integral part of the detoxification mechanism in vertebrates and invertebrates. These cell surface proteins are involved in mediating the sodium-independent uptake and/or distribution of a broad array of organic amphipathic compounds and xenobiotic drugs. This study describes bioinformatics and biological characterization of 9 Oatp sequences in the Ixodes scapularis genome. These sequences have been annotated on the basis of 12 transmembrane domains, consensus motif D-X-RW-(I,V)-GAWW-X-G-(F,L)-L, and 11 conserved cysteine amino acid residues in the large extracellular loop 5 that characterize the Oatp superfamily. Ixodes scapularis Oatps may regulate non-redundant cross-tick species conserved functions in that they did not cluster as a monolithic group on the phylogeny tree and that they have orthologs in other ticks. Phylogeny clustering patterns also suggest that some tick Oatp sequences transport substrates that are similar to those of body louse, mosquito, eye worm, and filarial worm Oatps. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that all 9 I. scapularis Oatp sequences were expressed during tick feeding. Ixodes scapularis Oatp genes potentially regulate functions during early and/or late-stage tick feeding as revealed by normalized mRNA profiles. Normalized transcript abundance indicates that I. scapularis Oatp genes are strongly expressed in unfed ticks during the first 24 h of feeding and/or at the end of the tick feeding process. Except for 2 I. scapularis Oatps, which were expressed in the salivary glands and ovaries, all other genes were expressed in all tested organs, suggesting the significance of I. scapularis Oatps in maintaining tick homeostasis. Different I. scapularis Oatp mRNA expression patterns were detected and discussed with reference to different physiological states of unfed and feeding ticks. PMID:24582512

  3. Tick Genomics: The Ixodes genome project and beyond

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ticks and mites (subphylum Chelicerata; subclass Acari) are important pests of animals and plants worldwide. The Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick) genome sequencing project marks the beginning of the genomics era for the field of acarology. This project is the first to sequence the genome of a...

  4. Evidence for competition between Ixodes scapularis and Dermacentor albipictus feeding concurrently on white-tailed deer.

    PubMed

    Baer-Lehman, Marcie L; Light, Theo; Fuller, Nathan W; Barry-Landis, Katherine D; Kindlin, Craig M; Stewart, Richard L

    2012-11-01

    Competition among ticks, and among ectoparasites generally, has rarely been demonstrated. Ixodes scapularis and Dermacentor albipictus are both hard ticks commonly found feeding on deer harvested at Letterkenny Army Depot, in south central Pennsylvania, USA. The two species have contrasting life histories resulting in D. albipictus spending notably more time on the shared host. We hypothesized that this would give D. albipictus an advantage in locating and occupying optimal attachment sites (highly vascularized areas like the head and ears). Ticks were collected from 224 hunter-killed deer in December 2005 and November 2006 to determine if there is evidence of competition for attachment sites when these two species concurrently infest deer. A timed sample (3 min per region) of representative ticks was collected from the head (ears, face and neck regions) and body (axillae regions). Ixodes scapularis was more abundant and prevalent overall than D. albipictus. Dermacentor albipictus was found almost exclusively on the head, whereas I. scapularis was more evenly distributed, but somewhat more abundant on the body than on the head. The proportion of I. scapularis on the head was reduced at high D. albipictus abundances, but I. scapularis abundance did not alter the distribution of D. albipictus. This study supports the hypothesis of competition for preferred attachment sites between these two species of ticks, and suggests that D. albipictus may be competitively dominant over I. scapularis on the head region of concurrently infested white-tailed deer. PMID:22644381

  5. Transcriptome of the Female Synganglion of the Black-Legged Tick Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) with Comparison between Illumina and 454 Systems

    PubMed Central

    Egekwu, Noble; Sonenshine, Daniel E.; Bissinger, Brooke W.; Roe, R. Michael

    2014-01-01

    Illumina and 454 pyrosequencing were used to characterize genes from the synganglion of female Ixodes scapularis. GO term searching success for biological processes was similar for samples sequenced by both methods. However, for molecular processes, it was more successful for the Illumina samples than for 454 samples. Functional assignments of transcripts predicting neuropeptides, neuropeptide receptors, neurotransmitter receptors and other genes of interest was done, supported by strong e-values (<−6), and high consensus sequence alignments. Transcripts predicting 15 putative neuropeptide prepropeptides ((allatostatin, allatotropin, bursicon α, corticotropin releasing factor (CRF), CRF-binding protein, eclosion hormone, FMRFamide, glycoprotein A, insulin-like peptide, ion transport peptide, myoinhibitory peptide, inotocin ( =  neurophysin-oxytocin), Neuropeptide F, sulfakinin and SIFamide)) and transcripts predicting receptors for 14 neuropeptides (allatostatin, calcitonin, cardioacceleratory peptide, corazonin, CRF, eclosion hormone, gonadotropin-releasing hormone/AKH-like, insulin-like peptide, neuropeptide F, proctolin, pyrokinin, SIFamide, sulfakinin and tachykinin) are reported. Similar to Dermacentor variabilis, we found transcripts matching pro-protein convertase, essential for converting neuropeptide hormones to their mature form. Additionally, transcripts predicting 6 neurotransmitter/neuromodulator receptors (acetylcholine, GABA, dopamine, glutamate, octopamine and serotonin) and 3 neurotransmitter transporters (GABA transporter, noradrenalin-norepinephrine transporter and Na+-neurotransmitter/symporter) are described. Further, we found transcripts predicting genes for pheromone odorant receptor, gustatory receptor, novel GPCR messages, ecdysone nuclear receptor, JH esterase binding protein, steroidogenic activating protein, chitin synthase, chitinase, and other genes of interest. Also found were transcripts predicting genes for spermatogenesis

  6. Repellency of two terpenoid compounds isolated from Callicarpa americana (Lamiaceae) against Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum ticks.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Blacklegged (deer) ticks and lone star ticks are of medical importance in many areas of the U.S. Repellents are a last line of personal protection against tick bites. In Mississippi, as a traditional practice to protect draft animals from against biting insects, leaves of American beautyberry, Calli...

  7. Effects of tick control by acaricide self-treatement of white-tailed deer on host-seeking tick infection prevalence and entomologic risk for Ixodes scapularis-borne pathogens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We evaluated the effects of tick control by acaricide self-treatment of white-tailed deer on the infection prevalence and entomologic risk for three I. scapularis-borne bacteria in host-seeking ticks. Ticks were collected from vegetation in areas treated with the ‘4-Poster’ device and from control a...

  8. Relative humidity and activity patterns of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berger, K.A.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Gonzalez, L.; Mather, T.N.

    2014-01-01

    Laboratory studies have shown clear relationships between relative humidity (RH) and the activity and survival of Ixodes scapularis Say (blacklegged tick). However, field studies have produced conflicting results. We examined this relationship using weekly tick count totals and hourly RH observations at three field sites, stratified by latitude, within the state of Rhode Island. Records of nymphal tick abundance were compared with several RH-related variables (e.g., RH at time of sampling and mean weekly daytime RH). In total, 825 nymphs were sampled in 2009, a year of greater precipitation, with a weighted average leaf litter RH recorded at time of sampling of 85.22%. Alternatively, 649 nymphs were collected in 2010, a year of relatively low precipitation, and a weighted average RH recorded at time of sampling was 75.51%. Negative binomial regression analysis of tick count totals identified cumulative hours <82% RH threshold as a significant factor observed in both years (2009: P = 0.0037; 2010: P < 0.0001). Mean weekly daytime RH did not significantly predict tick activity in either year. However, mean weekly daytime RH recorded with 1-wk lag before sample date was a significant variable (P = 0.0016) in 2010. These results suggest a lag effect between moisture availability and patterns of tick activity and abundance. Differences in the relative importance of each RH variable between years may have been due to abnormally wet summer conditions in 2009.

  9. Toxicity and repellency of plant essential oils against the arthropod disease vectors Phlebotomus papatasi and Ixodes scapularis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The sand fly Phlebotomus papatasi is an important blood feeder and the main vector of the trypanosomatid protozoa Leishmania major, which causes leishmaniasis in parts of the Afro-Eurasian region. The black- legged tick Ixodes scapularis is the primary tick vector of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorfe...

  10. CONTROL OF IXODES SCAPULARIS AND AMBLYOMMA AMERICANUM USING THE '4-POSTER' TREATMENT DEVICE ON DEER IN MARYLAND

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Deer self-treatment devices (`4-posters¿) were evaluated for their efficacy in reducing populations of blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, and lone star ticks, Amblyomma americanum. At each of 3 locations in Maryland, 25 `4-posters¿ were operated in approximately 518 ha study areas. Populations ...

  11. Sustained control of Gibson Island, MD populations of Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanium (Acari:Ixodidae) by community-administered '4-Poster' deer self-treatment bait stations.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In 1998, 25 ‘4-poster’ tick control devices were deployed on Gibson Island, MD as part of the USDA Northeast Area-Wide Tick Control Project (NEATCP). Treatments concluded in June, 2002, having achieved 80 and 99.5% control of blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, and lone star ticks, Amblyomma ameri...

  12. Invertebrate Specific D1-like Dopamine Receptor in Control of Salivary Glands in the Black-Legged Tick Ixodes scapularis

    PubMed Central

    Šimo, Ladislav; Koči, Juraj; Kim, Donghun; Park, Yoonseong

    2014-01-01

    The control of tick salivary secretion, which plays a crucial role in compromising the host immune system, involves complex neural mechanisms. Dopamine is known to be the most potent activator of salivary secretion, as a paracrine/autocrine factor. We describe the invertebrate specific D1-like dopamine receptor (InvD1L), which is highly expressed in tick salivary glands. The InvD1L phylogenic clade was found only in invertebrates, suggesting that this receptor was lost in the vertebrates during evolution. InvD1L expressed in CHO-K1 cells was activated by dopamine with a median effective dose (EC50) of 1.34 μM. Immunohistochemistry using the antibody raised against InvD1L revealed two different types of immunoreactivities: basally located axon terminals that are colocalized with myoinhibitory peptide (MIP) and SIFamide neuropeptides, and longer axon-like processes that are positive only for the InvD1L antibody and extended to the apical parts of the acini. Both structures were closely associated with the myoepithelial cell, as visualized by beta-tubulin antibody, lining the acinar lumen in a web-like fashion. Subcellular localizations of InvD1L in the salivary gland suggest that InvD1L modulates the neuronal activities including MIP/SIFamide varicosities, and leads the contraction of myoepithelial cells and/or of the acinar valve to control the efflux of the luminal content. Combining the previously described D1 receptor with its putative function for activating an influx of fluid through the epithelial cells of acini, we propose that complex control of the tick salivary glands is mediated through two different dopamine receptors, D1 and InvD1L, for different downstream responses of the acinar cells. PMID:24307522

  13. Seasonal activity and host associations of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in southeastern Missouri.

    PubMed

    Kollars, T M; Oliver, J H; Kollars, P G; Durden, L A

    1999-11-01

    Based on tick collections recovered from wild vertebrates and by dragging, the seasonal occurrence of adult blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say, extended from October through May in southeastern Missouri. Adult activity was bimodal with the higher peak occurring in November followed by a lower peak in February. The activity of immature I. scapularis had the general pattern of that found in the Northeast where Lyme disease is hyperendemic, with larval activity (July) peaking after that of nymphs (May and June). Vertebrates varied in their importance as hosts of I. scapularis. White-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginanus (Zimmerman), and coyotes, Canis latrans Say, were the primary hosts of adult I. scapularis. Broad-headed skinks, Eumeces laticeps (Schneider), and eastern fence lizards, Sceloporus undulatus (Latreille), were the primary hosts of nymphal I. scapularis. The broad-headed skink, 5-lined skink, Eumeces fasciatus (L.), and Carolina wren, Thryothorus ludovicianus (Latham), were the primary hosts of larval I. scapularis. Homeotherms were important hosts of immature I. scapularis, accounting for 30% of nymphs and 39% of larvae collected. The eastern cottontail rabbit, Sylvilagus floridanus (Allen), may play an important role in the epidemiology of Lyme disease in Missouri. Isolates of Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner were made from ticks recovered from rabbits, making the cottontail rabbit a key species for further study of the epidemiology of Lyme borreliosis in Missouri. PMID:10593072

  14. Experimental use of two standard tick collection methods to evaluate the relative effectiveness of several plant-derived and synthetic repellents against Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Schulze, Terry L; Jordan, Robert A; Dolan, Marc C

    2011-12-01

    We used two standard tick collection methods to test the relative effectiveness of two natural product compounds (nootkatone and carvacrol, classified as an eremophilene sesquiterpene and a monoterpene, respectively, that are derived from botanical sources) with commercially-available plant-derived (EcoSMART Organic Insect Repellent, comprised of plant essential oils) and permethrin-based (Repel Permanone) repellents against Ixodes scapularis Say and Amblyomma americanum (L.). Cloth drags were equally effective in sampling both species of host-seeking nymphs, whereas CO, traps attracted primarily A. americanum. All four repellents performed well on drags, with nootkatone and Permanone Repel (100% repelled through 14 d) slightly more effective than carvacrol and EcoSMART (90.7% and 97.7% repelled at 14 d, respectively) at repelling I. scapularis nymphs. Although the same trend in percent repellency was noted in the CO2 trap trial against both A. americanum nymphs and adults, EcoSMART outperformed Permanone in repelling A. Americanum nymphs after 14 d in the drag trial. Generally, the effectiveness of all repellents tested declined over time. The use of tick drags and CO2 traps was rapid, inexpensive, and easy to use in determining the relative effectiveness of repellents in the field. PMID:22299371

  15. Multiple functions of Na/K-ATPase in dopamine-induced salivation of the Blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Donghun; Urban, Joshua; Boyle, Daniel L.; Park, Yoonseong

    2016-01-01

    Control of salivary secretion in ticks involves autocrine dopamine activating two dopamine receptors: D1 and Invertebrate-specific D1-like dopamine receptors. In this study, we investigated Na/K-ATPase as an important component of the secretory process. Immunoreactivity for Na/K-ATPase revealed basal infolding of lamellate cells in type-I, abluminal interstitial (epithelial) cells in type-II, and labyrinth-like infolding structures opening towards the lumen in type-III acini. Ouabain (10 μmol l−1), a specific inhibitor of Na/K-ATPase, abolished dopamine-induced salivary secretion by suppressing fluid transport in type III acini. At 1 μmol l−1, ouabain, the secreted saliva was hyperosmotic. This suggests that ouabain also inhibits an ion resorptive function of Na/K-ATPase in the type I acini. Dopamine/ouabain were not involved in activation of protein secretion, while dopamine-induced saliva contained constitutively basal level of protein. We hypothesize that the dopamine-dependent primary saliva formation, mediated by Na/K-ATPase in type III and type II acini, is followed by a dopamine-independent resorptive function of Na/K-ATPase in type I acini located in the proximal end of the salivary duct. PMID:26861075

  16. Passive Surveillance of Ixodes scapularis (Say), Their Biting Activity, and Associated Pathogens in Massachusetts.

    PubMed

    Xu, Guang; Mather, Thomas N; Hollingsworth, Craig S; Rich, Stephen M

    2016-08-01

    A passive surveillance of tick-borne pathogens was conducted over a 7-year period (2006-2012), in which a total of 3551 ticks were submitted to the University of Massachusetts for PCR testing. The vast majority of these ticks were Ixodes scapularis from Massachusetts (N = 2088) and hence were the focus of further analysis. Two TaqMan duplex qPCR assays were developed to test I. scapularis ticks for the presence of three human pathogens: Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti. I. scapularis submissions were concentrated from Cape Cod, the eastern half of the state outside of the Boston metropolitan area, parts of Franklin and Hampshire counties along the Quabbin Reservoir watershed, and southwestern Berkshire county. Differences in seasonal activity pattern were observed for different developmental stages of I. scapularis. The largest proportion of tick bite victims were age 9 years and under. Nymphal ticks were found more often on lower extremities of their hosts, while more adult ticks were found on the head. Overall infection rate of B. burgdorferi, A. phagocytophilum, and B. microti in human-biting ticks was 29.6%, 4.6%, and 1.8%, respectively. B. burgdorferi-infected ticks were widely distributed, but A. phagocytophilum- and B. microti-infected I. scapularis were found mainly in the eastern half of the state. We found that 1.8%, 1.0%, and 0.4% of ticks were coinfected by B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum, B. burgdorferi and B. microti, and A. phagocytophilum and B. microti, respectively, and 0.3% of ticks had triple coinfection. PMID:27248292

  17. Passive Surveillance of Ixodes scapularis (Say), Their Biting Activity, and Associated Pathogens in Massachusetts

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Guang; Mather, Thomas N.; Hollingsworth, Craig S.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A passive surveillance of tick-borne pathogens was conducted over a 7-year period (2006–2012), in which a total of 3551 ticks were submitted to the University of Massachusetts for PCR testing. The vast majority of these ticks were Ixodes scapularis from Massachusetts (N = 2088) and hence were the focus of further analysis. Two TaqMan duplex qPCR assays were developed to test I. scapularis ticks for the presence of three human pathogens: Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti. I. scapularis submissions were concentrated from Cape Cod, the eastern half of the state outside of the Boston metropolitan area, parts of Franklin and Hampshire counties along the Quabbin Reservoir watershed, and southwestern Berkshire county. Differences in seasonal activity pattern were observed for different developmental stages of I. scapularis. The largest proportion of tick bite victims were age 9 years and under. Nymphal ticks were found more often on lower extremities of their hosts, while more adult ticks were found on the head. Overall infection rate of B. burgdorferi, A. phagocytophilum, and B. microti in human-biting ticks was 29.6%, 4.6%, and 1.8%, respectively. B. burgdorferi-infected ticks were widely distributed, but A. phagocytophilum- and B. microti-infected I. scapularis were found mainly in the eastern half of the state. We found that 1.8%, 1.0%, and 0.4% of ticks were coinfected by B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum, B. burgdorferi and B. microti, and A. phagocytophilum and B. microti, respectively, and 0.3% of ticks had triple coinfection. PMID:27248292

  18. Highly variable acquisition rates of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) by birds on an Atlantic barrier island.

    PubMed

    Mitra, S S; Buckley, P A; Buckley, F G; Ginsberg, H S

    2010-11-01

    Acquisition of ticks by bird hosts is a central process in the transmission cycles of many tick-borne zoonoses, but tick recruitment by birds has received little direct study. We documented acquisition of Ixodes scapularis Say on birds at Fire Island, NY, by removing ticks from mist-netted birds, and recording the number of ticks on birds recaptured within 4 d of release. Eight bird species acquired at least 0.8 ticks bird(-1) day(-1) during the seasonal peak for at least one age class of I. scapularis. Gray Catbirds, Eastern Towhees, Common Yellowthroats, and Northern Waterthrushes collectively accounted for 83% of all tick acquisitions; and six individuals apportioned among Black-billed Cuckoo, Gray Catbird, Eastern Towhee, and Common Yellowthroat were simultaneously infested with both larvae and nymphs. Bird species with the highest acquisition rates were generally ground foragers, whereas birds that did not acquire ticks in our samples generally foraged above the ground. Tick acquisition by birds did not differ between deciduous and coniferous forests. Among the 15 bird species with the highest recruitment rates, acquisition of nymphs was not correlated with acquisition of larvae. Tick acquisition rates by individual bird species were not correlated with the reservoir competence of those species for Lyme borreliae. However, birds with high tick acquisition rates can contribute large numbers of infected ticks, and thus help maintain the enzootic cycle, even if their levels of reservoir competence are relatively low. PMID:21175049

  19. Differential salivary gland transcript expression profile in Ixodes scapularis nymphs upon feeding or flavivirus infection

    PubMed Central

    McNally, Kristin L.; Mitzel, Dana N.; Anderson, Jennifer M.; Ribeiro, José M. C.; Valenzuela, Jesus G.; Myers, Timothy G.; Godinez, Alvaro; Wolfinbarger, James B.; Best, Sonja M.; Bloom, Marshall E.

    2011-01-01

    Ixodid ticks are vectors of human diseases such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and tick-borne encephalitis. These diseases cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide and are transmitted to humans during tick feeding. The tick-host-pathogen interface is a complex environment where host responses are modulated by the molecules in tick saliva to enable the acquisition of a blood meal. Disruption of host responses at the site of the tick bite may also provide an advantage for pathogens to survive and replicate. Thus, the molecules in tick saliva not only aid the tick in securing a nutrient-rich blood meal, but can also enhance the transmission and acquisition of pathogens. To investigate the effect of feeding and flavivirus infection on the salivary gland transcript expression profile in ticks, a first-generation microarray was developed using ESTs from a cDNA library derived from Ixodes scapularis salivary glands. When the salivary gland transcript profile in ticks feeding over the course of 3 days was compared to that in unfed ticks, a dramatic increase in transcripts related to metabolism was observed. Specifically, 578 transcripts were up-regulated compared to 151 down-regulated transcripts in fed ticks. When specific time points post attachment were analyzed, a temporal pattern of gene expression was observed. When Langat virus-infected ticks were compared to mock-infected ticks, transcript expression changes were observed at all 3 days of feeding. Differentially regulated transcripts include putative secreted proteins, lipocalins, Kunitz domain-containing proteins, anti-microbial peptides, and transcripts of unknown function. These studies identify salivary gland transcripts that are differentially regulated during feeding or in the context of flavivirus infection in Ixodes scapularis nymphs, a medically important disease vector. Further analysis of these transcripts may identify salivary factors that affect the transmission or replication of

  20. Pathogenicity of Steinernema carpocapsae and Steinernema glaseri (Nematoda:Steinernematidae) to Ixodes Scapularis (Acari:Ixodidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhioua, E.; LeBrun, R.A.; Ginsberg, H.S.; Aeschliman, A.

    1995-01-01

    The entomopathogenic nematodes Steinernema carpocapsae (Weiser) and S. glaseri (Steiner) are pathogenic to engorged adult, blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis (Say), but not to unfed females, engorged nymphs, or engorged larvae. Nematodes apparently enter the tick through the genital pore, thus precluding infection of immature ticks. The timing of tick mortality, and overall mortality after 17 d, did not differ between infections by S. carpocapsae and S. glaseri. These nematodes typically do not complete their life cycles or produce infective juveniles in I. scapularis. However, both species successfully produced infective juveniles when the tick body was slit before nematode infection. Mortality of engorged I. scapularis females infected by S. carpocapsae was greater than uninfected controls, but did not vary significantly with nematode concentration (50-3,000 infective juveniles per 5-cm-diameter petri dish). The LC50 was 347.8 infective juveniles per petri dish (5 ticks per dish). Hatched egg masses of infected ticks weighed less than those of uninfected controls. Mortality of infected ticks was greatest between 20 and 30?C, and was lower at 15?C.

  1. Pathogenicity of Steinernema carpocapsae and S. glaseri (Nematoda: Steinernematidae) to Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Zhioua, E; Lebrun, R A; Ginsberg, H S; Aeschlimann, A

    1995-11-01

    The entomopathogenic nematodes Steinernema carpocapsae (Weiser) and S. glaseri (Steiner) are pathogenic to engorged adult, blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis (Say), but not to unfed females, engorged nymphs, or engorged larvae. Nematodes apparently enter the tick through the genital pore, thus precluding infection of immature ticks. The timing of tick mortality, and overall mortality after 17 d, did not differ between infections by S. carpocapsae and S. glaseri. These nematodes typically do not complete their life cycles or produce infective juveniles in I. scapularis. However, both species successfully produced infective juveniles when the tick body was slit before nematode infection. Mortality of engorged I. scapularis females infected by S. carpocapsae was greater than uninfected controls, but did not vary significantly with nematode concentration (50-3,000 infective juveniles per 5-cm-diameter petri dish). The LC50 was 347.8 infective juveniles per petri dish (5 ticks per dish). Hatched egg masses of infected ticks weighed less than those of uninfected controls. Mortality of infected ticks was greatest between 20 and 30 degrees C, and was lower at 15 degrees C. PMID:8551517

  2. Differential salivary gland transcript expression profile in Ixodes scapularis nymphs upon feeding or flavivirus infection.

    PubMed

    McNally, Kristin L; Mitzel, Dana N; Anderson, Jennifer M; Ribeiro, José M C; Valenzuela, Jesus G; Myers, Timothy G; Godinez, Alvaro; Wolfinbarger, James B; Best, Sonja M; Bloom, Marshall E

    2012-02-01

    Ixodid ticks are vectors of human diseases such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and tick-borne encephalitis. These diseases cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide and are transmitted to humans during tick feeding. The tick-host-pathogen interface is a complex environment where host responses are modulated by the molecules in tick saliva to enable the acquisition of a blood meal. Disruption of host responses at the site of the tick bite may also provide an advantage for pathogens to survive and replicate. Thus, the molecules in tick saliva not only aid the tick in securing a nutrient-rich blood meal, but can also enhance the transmission and acquisition of pathogens. To investigate the effect of feeding and flavivirus infection on the salivary gland transcript expression profile in ticks, a first-generation microarray was developed using ESTs from a cDNA library derived from Ixodes scapularis salivary glands. When the salivary gland transcript profile in ticks feeding over the course of 3 days was compared to that in unfed ticks, a dramatic increase in transcripts related to metabolism was observed. Specifically, 578 transcripts were up-regulated compared to 151 down-regulated transcripts in response to feeding. When specific time points post attachment were analyzed, a temporal pattern of gene expression was observed. When Langat virus-infected ticks were compared to mock-infected ticks, transcript expression changes were observed at all 3 days of feeding. Differentially regulated transcripts include putative secreted proteins, lipocalins, Kunitz domain-containing proteins, anti-microbial peptides, and transcripts of unknown function. These studies identify salivary gland transcripts that are differentially regulated during feeding or in the context of flavivirus infection in Ixodes scapularis nymphs, a medically important disease vector. Further analysis of these transcripts may identify salivary factors that affect the transmission or

  3. The crystal structures of two salivary cystatins from the tick Ixodes scapularis and the effect of these inhibitors on the establishment of Borrelia burgdorferi infection in a murine model

    SciTech Connect

    Kotsyfakis, Michalis; Horka, Helena; Salat, Jiri; Andersen, John F.

    2010-11-17

    We have previously demonstrated that two salivary cysteine protease inhibitors from the Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease) vector Ixodes scapularis - namely sialostatins L and L2 - play an important role in tick biology, as demonstrated by the fact that silencing of both sialostatins in tandem results in severe feeding defects. Here we show that sialostatin L2 - but not sialostatin L - facilitates the growth of B. burgdorferi in murine skin. To examine the structural basis underlying these differential effects of the two sialostatins, we have determined the crystal structures of both sialostatin L and L2. This is the first structural analysis of cystatins from an invertebrate source. Sialostatin L2 crystallizes as a monomer with an 'unusual' conformation of the N-terminus, while sialostatin L crystallizes as a domain-swapped dimer with an N-terminal conformation similar to other cystatins. Deletion of the 'unusual' N-terminal five residues of sialostatin L2 results in marked changes in its selectivity, suggesting that this region is a particularly important determinant of the biochemical activity of sialostatin L2. Collectively, our results reveal the structure of two tick salivary components that facilitate vector blood feeding and that one of them also supports pathogen transmission to the vertebrate host.

  4. Emergence of Ixodes scapularis and Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease vector and agent, in Ohio.

    PubMed

    Wang, Peng; Glowacki, Meaghan N; Hoet, Armando E; Needham, Glen R; Smith, Kathleen A; Gary, Richard E; Li, Xin

    2014-01-01

    Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne disease in the United States, is caused by a tick-borne infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. Currently, Ohio is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be non-endemic for Lyme disease. The low incidence of Lyme disease in this state was largely attributed to the absence of the transmitting vector, Ixodes scapularis, commonly known as the blacklegged tick. However, a tick surveillance program established by Ohio Department of Health indicated that the number of I. scapularis in Ohio had increased sharply in recent years, from 0 - 5 ticks per year during 1983-2008 to 15 in 2009, 40 in 2010, and 184 in 2011. During the fall deer hunting season, examination of deer heads submitted to Ohio Department of Agriculture found 29 I. scapularis from 7 counties in 2010 and 1,830 from 25 counties in 2011. As of 2012, the tick had been found in 57 of the 88 counties of Ohio. In addition, all three active stages (larva, nymph, and adult) of I. scapularis were found in Tiverton Township of Coshocton County, demonstrating the presence of established tick populations at this central Ohio location. Of 530 nymphal or adult I. scapularis analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), 32 (6.1%) tested positive for the B. burgdorferi flaB gene, ranging from 36 to 390,000 copies per tick. Antibodies to B. burgdorferi antigens were detected in 2 of 10 (20%) field-captured Peromyscus leucopus from Tiverton Township, and in 41 of 355 (11.5%) dogs residing in Ohio. Collectively, these data suggest that the enzootic life cycle of B. burgdorferi has become established in Ohio, which poses risk of Lyme disease to people and animals in the area. PMID:24926441

  5. Emergence of Ixodes scapularis and Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease vector and agent, in Ohio

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Peng; Glowacki, Meaghan N.; Hoet, Armando E.; Needham, Glen R.; Smith, Kathleen A.; Gary, Richard E.; Li, Xin

    2014-01-01

    Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne disease in the United States, is caused by a tick-borne infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. Currently, Ohio is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be non-endemic for Lyme disease. The low incidence of Lyme disease in this state was largely attributed to the absence of the transmitting vector, Ixodes scapularis, commonly known as the blacklegged tick. However, a tick surveillance program established by Ohio Department of Health indicated that the number of I. scapularis in Ohio had increased sharply in recent years, from 0 - 5 ticks per year during 1983–2008 to 15 in 2009, 40 in 2010, and 184 in 2011. During the fall deer hunting season, examination of deer heads submitted to Ohio Department of Agriculture found 29 I. scapularis from 7 counties in 2010 and 1,830 from 25 counties in 2011. As of 2012, the tick had been found in 57 of the 88 counties of Ohio. In addition, all three active stages (larva, nymph, and adult) of I. scapularis were found in Tiverton Township of Coshocton County, demonstrating the presence of established tick populations at this central Ohio location. Of 530 nymphal or adult I. scapularis analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), 32 (6.1%) tested positive for the B. burgdorferi flaB gene, ranging from 36 to 390,000 copies per tick. Antibodies to B. burgdorferi antigens were detected in 2 of 10 (20%) field-captured Peromyscus leucopus from Tiverton Township, and in 41 of 355 (11.5%) dogs residing in Ohio. Collectively, these data suggest that the enzootic life cycle of B. burgdorferi has become established in Ohio, which poses risk of Lyme disease to people and animals in the area. PMID:24926441

  6. Population and Demographic Structure of Ixodes scapularis Say in the Eastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Sakamoto, Joyce M.; Goddard, Jerome; Rasgon, Jason L.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The most significant vector of tick-borne pathogens in the United States is Ixodes scapularis Say (the blacklegged tick). Previous studies have identified significant genetic, behavioral and morphological differences between northern vs. southern populations of this tick. Because tick-borne pathogens are dependent on their vectors for transmission, a baseline understanding of the vector population structure is crucial to determining the risks and epidemiology of pathogen transmission. Methods We investigated population genetic variation of I. scapularis populations in the eastern United States using a multilocus approach. We sequenced and analyzed the mitochondrial COI and 16S genes and three nuclear genes (serpin2, ixoderin B and lysozyme) from wild specimens. Results We identified a deep divergence (3–7%) in I. scapularis COI gene sequences from some southern specimens, suggesting we had sampled a different Ixodes species. Analysis of mitochondrial 16S rRNA sequences did not support this hypothesis and indicated that all specimens were I. scapularis. Phylogenetic analysis and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) supported significant differences between northern vs. southern populations. Demographic analysis suggested that northern populations had experienced a bottleneck/expansion event sometime in the past, possibly associated with Pleistocene glaciation events. Conclusions Similar to other studies, our data support the division of northern vs. southern I. scapularis genetic lineages, likely due to differences in the demographic histories between these geographic regions. The deep divergence identified in some COI gene sequences highlights a potential hazard of relying solely on COI for species identification (“barcoding”) and population genetics in this important vector arthropod. PMID:25025532

  7. Occurrence of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) on a selected segment of the Appalachian Trail.

    PubMed

    Oliver, J; Howard, J J

    1998-01-01

    A 918-km section of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail from the West Virginia-Maryland border to the Massachusetts-Vermont border was surveyed for the presence of Ixodes scapularis Say. The trail and its edges were drag-sampled during 4 hikes between May and October 1991. Trips were designed to survey areas of the Appalachian Trail when I. scapularis might be questing and to revisit states endemic for Lyme disease during differing times. After sampling for ticks, meteorological and ecological characteristics were measured at each site. In total, 1,776 km of the Appalachian Trail were hiked during 88 d and resulted in sampling 489 sites. All life stages of Ixodes scapularis (n = 46) were collected from 21 sites within a 331-km range of the Appalachian Trail between Salisbury, CT, to Delaware Water Gap, PA. This segment of Appalachian Trial is easily accessible to a large urban population and should be posted with tick warning signs to alert the public to the presence of I. scapularis. PMID:9542345

  8. Woodland type and spatial distribution of nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, H.S.; Zhioua, E.; Mitra, Siddhartha; Fischer, J.; Buckley, P.A.; Verret, F.; Underwood, H.B.; Buckley, F.G.

    2004-01-01

    Spatial distribution patterns of black-legged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, in deciduous and coniferous woodlands were studied by sampling ticks in different woodland types and at sites from which deer had been excluded and by quantifying movement patterns of tick host animals (mammals and birds) at the Lighthouse Tract, Fire Island, NY, from 1994 to 2000. Densities of nymphal ticks were greater in deciduous than coniferous woods in 3 of 7 yr. Only engorged ticks survived the winter, and overwintering survival of engorged larvae in experimental enclosures did not differ between deciduous and coniferous woods. Nymphs were not always most abundant in the same forest type as they had been as larvae, and the habitat shift between life stages differed in direction in different years. Therefore, forest type by itself did not account for tick distribution patterns. Nymphal densities were lower where deer had been excluded compared with areas with deer present for 3 yr after exclusion, suggesting that movement patterns of vertebrate hosts influenced tick distribution, but nymphal densities increased dramatically in one of the enclosures in the fourth year. Therefore, movements of ticks on animal hosts apparently contribute substantially to tick spatial distribution among woodland types, but the factor(s) that determine spatial distribution of nymphal I. scapularis shift from year to year.

  9. Coinfections Acquired from Ixodes Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Swanson, Stephen J.; Neitzel, David; Reed, Kurt D.; Belongia, Edward A.

    2006-01-01

    The pathogens that cause Lyme disease (LD), human anaplasmosis, and babesiosis can coexist in Ixodes ticks and cause human coinfections. Although the risk of human coinfection differs by geographic location, the true prevalence of coinfecting pathogens among Ixodes ticks remains largely unknown for the majority of geographic locations. The prevalence of dually infected Ixodes ticks appears highest among ticks from regions of North America and Europe where LD is endemic, with reported prevalences of ≤28%. In North America and Europe, the majority of tick-borne coinfections occur among humans with diagnosed LD. Humans coinfected with LD and babesiosis appear to have more intense, prolonged symptoms than those with LD alone. Coinfected persons can also manifest diverse, influenza-like symptoms, and abnormal laboratory test results are frequently observed. Coinfecting pathogens might alter the efficiency of transmission, cause cooperative or competitive pathogen interactions, and alter disease severity among hosts. No prospective studies to assess the immunologic effects of coinfection among humans have been conducted, but animal models demonstrate that certain coinfections can modulate the immune response. Clinicians should consider the likelihood of coinfection when pursuing laboratory testing or selecting therapy for patients with tick-borne illness. PMID:17041141

  10. Variation in the Microbiota of Ixodes Ticks with Regard to Geography, Species, and Sex

    PubMed Central

    Van Treuren, Will; Ponnusamy, Loganathan; Brinkerhoff, R. Jory; Gonzalez, Antonio; Parobek, Christian M.; Juliano, Jonathan J.; Andreadis, Theodore G.; Falco, Richard C.; Ziegler, Lorenza Beati; Hathaway, Nicholas; Keeler, Corinna; Emch, Michael; Bailey, Jeffrey A.; Roe, R. Michael; Apperson, Charles S.; Knight, Rob

    2015-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis is the principal vector of Lyme disease on the East Coast and in the upper Midwest regions of the United States, yet the tick is also present in the Southeast, where Lyme disease is absent or rare. A closely related species, I. affinis, also carries the pathogen in the South but does not seem to transmit it to humans. In order to better understand the geographic diversity of the tick, we analyzed the microbiota of 104 adult I. scapularis and 13 adult I. affinis ticks captured in 19 locations in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut, and New York. Initially, ticks from 4 sites were analyzed by 454 pyrosequencing. Subsequently, ticks from these sites plus 15 others were analyzed by sequencing with an Illumina MiSeq machine. By both analyses, the microbiomes of female ticks were significantly less diverse than those of male ticks. The dissimilarity between tick microbiomes increased with distance between sites, and the state in which a tick was collected could be inferred from its microbiota. The genus Rickettsia was prominent in all locations. Borrelia was also present in most locations and was present at especially high levels in one site in western Virginia. In contrast, members of the family Enterobacteriaceae were very common in North Carolina I. scapularis ticks but uncommon in I. scapularis ticks from other sites and in North Carolina I. affinis ticks. These data suggest substantial variations in the Ixodes microbiota in association with geography, species, and sex. PMID:26150449

  11. Comparison of survival patterns of northern and southern genotypes of the North American tick Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) under northern and southern conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, Howard S.; Rulison, Eric L.; Azevedo, Alexandra; Pang, Genevieve C.; Kuczaj, Isis M.; Tsao, Jean I.; LeBrun, Roger A.

    2014-01-01

    Conclusions: Our results suggest that conditions in southern North America are less hospitable than in the north to populations of I. scapularis. Southern conditions might have resulted in ecological or behavioral adaptations that contribute to the relative rarity of I. scapularis borne diseases, such as Lyme borreliosis, in the southern compared to the northern United States.

  12. Comparison of survival patterns of northern and southern genotypes of the North American tick Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) under northern and southern conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, Howard S.; Rulison, Eric L.; Azevedo, Alexandra; Pang, Genevieve C.; Kuczaj, Isis M.; Tsao, Jean I.; LeBrun, Roger A.

    2014-01-01

    Our results suggest that conditions in southern North America are less hospitable than in the north to populations of I. scapularis. Southern conditions might have resulted in ecological or behavioral adaptations that contribute to the relative rarity of I. scapularis borne diseases, such as Lyme borreliosis, in the southern compared to the northern United States.

  13. County-Scale Distribution of Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the Continental United States.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Rebecca J; Eisen, Lars; Beard, Charles B

    2016-03-01

    The blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, is the primary vector to humans in the eastern United States of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, as well as causative agents of anaplasmosis and babesiosis. Its close relative in the far western United States, the western blacklegged tick Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls, is the primary vector to humans in that region of the Lyme disease and anaplasmosis agents. Since 1991, when standardized surveillance and reporting began, Lyme disease case counts have increased steadily in number and in geographical distribution in the eastern United States. Similar trends have been observed for anaplasmosis and babesiosis. To better understand the changing landscape of risk of human exposure to disease agents transmitted by I. scapularis and I. pacificus, and to document changes in their recorded distribution over the past two decades, we updated the distribution of these species from a map published in 1998. The presence of I. scapularis has now been documented from 1,420 (45.7%) of the 3,110 continental United States counties, as compared with 111 (3.6%) counties for I. pacificus. Combined, these vectors of B. burgdorferi and other disease agents now have been identified in a total of 1,531 (49.2%) counties spread across 43 states. This marks a 44.7% increase in the number of counties that have recorded the presence of these ticks since the previous map was presented in 1998, when 1,058 counties in 41 states reported the ticks to be present. Notably, the number of counties in which I. scapularis is considered established (six or more individuals or one or more life stages identified in a single year) has more than doubled since the previous national distribution map was published nearly two decades ago. The majority of county status changes occurred in the North-Central and Northeastern states, whereas the distribution in the South remained fairly stable. Two previously distinct foci for I. scapularis in the

  14. Geographical and environmental factors driving the increase in the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    Khatchikian, Camilo E; Prusinski, Melissa; Stone, Melissa; Backenson, P Bryon; Wang, Ing-Nang; Levy, Michael Z; Brisson, Dustin

    2012-10-01

    The population densities of many organisms have changed dramatically in recent history. Increases in the population density of medically relevant organisms are of particular importance to public health as they are often correlated with the emergence of infectious diseases in human populations. Our aim is to delineate increases in density of a common disease vector in North America, the blacklegged tick, and to identify the environmental factors correlated with these population dynamics. Empirical data that capture the growth of a population are often necessary to identify environmental factors associated with these dynamics. We analyzed temporally- and spatially-structured field collected data in a geographical information systems framework to describe the population growth of blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) and to identify environmental and climatic factors correlated with these dynamics. The density of the ticks increased throughout the study's temporal and spatial ranges. Tick density increases were positively correlated with mild temperatures, low precipitation, low forest cover, and high urbanization. Importantly, models that accounted for these environmental factors accurately forecast future tick densities across the region. Tick density increased annually along the south-to-north gradient. These trends parallel the increases in human incidences of diseases commonly vectored by I. scapularis. For example, I. scapularis densities are correlated with human Lyme disease incidence, albeit in a non-linear manner that disappears at low tick densities, potentially indicating that a threshold tick density is needed to support epidemiologically-relevant levels of the Lyme disease bacterium. Our results demonstrate a connection between the biogeography of this species and public health. PMID:24371541

  15. Geographic information systems and spatial analysis of adult Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in the Middle Atlantic region of the U.S.A

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bunnell, J.E.; Price, S.D.; Das, A.; Shields, T.M.; Glass, G.E.

    2003-01-01

    In the Middle Atlantic region of the U.S.A., the vector of Lyme disease, human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and other human and veterinary pathogens is the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say. In 1997 and 1998, 663 adult I. scapularis ticks were collected from 320 transects spanning 66,400 km2 in five states of the Middle Atlantic region. Tick abundance patterns were clustered, with relatively high numbers along the coastal plain of the Chesapeake Bay, decreasing to the west and south. There were significant associations between tick abundance and land cover, distance to water, distance to forest edge, elevation, and soil type.

  16. Transovarial transmission of Borrelia spirochetes by Ixodes scapularis: a summary of the literature and recent observations.

    PubMed

    Rollend, Lindsay; Fish, Durland; Childs, James E

    2013-02-01

    Transovarial transmission (TOT) of Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato), the agent of Lyme disease, by the Ixodes persulcatus group of hard ticks (Ixodidae) has frequently been reported in the literature since the discovery of Lyme disease 1982. Evidence for and against TOT by B. burgdorferi has led to uncertainty and confusion in the literature, causing misconceptions that may have public health consequences. In this report, we review the published information implicating B. burgdorferi as a bacterium transovarially transmitted among ticks of the Ixodes persulcatus group and present new data indicating the transovarially transmitted agent is actually Borrelia miyamotoi. B. miyamotoi, first described in 1995, is antigenically and phylogenetically related to B. burgdorferi, although more closely related to the relapsing fever-group Borrelia typically transmitted by soft ticks (Argasidae). Borrelia infections of unfed larvae derived from egg clutches of wild-caught Ixodes scapularis are demonstrated to result from transovarial transmission of B. miyamotoi, not B. burgdorferi. The presence of this second Borrelia species, apparently sympatric with B. burgdorferi worldwide also may explain other confusing observations reported on Borrelia/Ixodes relationships. PMID:23238242

  17. Population genetic structure of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis at an apparent spatial expansion front.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Rebecca R; Gaines, David; Gilliam, Will F; Brinkerhoff, R Jory

    2014-10-01

    Modeling and empirical evidence suggests that Lyme disease is undergoing geographic expansion from principal foci in the midwestern and northeastern United States. Virginia is at the southern edge of the current expansion zone and has seen dramatic rise in human Lyme disease cases since 2007, potentially owing to a recent increase in vector abundance. Ixodes scapularis is known throughout the eastern US but behavioral or physiological variation between northern and southern lineages might lead northern-variant ticks to more frequently parasitize humans. We hypothesized that recent spatial and numerical increase in Lyme disease cases is associated with demographic and/or spatial expansion of I. scapularis and that signals of these phenomena would be detectable and discernable in population genetic signals. In summer and fall 2011, we collected nymphal I. scapularis by drag sampling and adult I. scapularis from deer carcasses at hunting check stations at nine sites arranged along an east-west transect through central Virginia. We analyzed 16S mtDNA sequences data from up to 24 I. scapularis individuals collected from each site and detected a total of 24 haplotypes containing 29 segregating sites. We found no evidence for population genetic structure among these sites but we did find strong signals of both demographic and spatial expansion throughout our study system. We found two haplotypes (one individual each) representing a lineage of ticks that is only found in the southeastern United States, with the remaining individuals representing a less genetically diverse clade that is typical of the northern United States, but that has also been detected in the American South. Taken together, these results lead us to conclude that I. scapularis populations in Virginia are expanding and that this expansion may account for recent observed increases in Lyme disease. PMID:24882702

  18. Diapause in ticks of the medically important Ixodes ricinus species complex.

    PubMed

    Gray, Jeremy S; Kahl, Olaf; Lane, Robert S; Levin, Michael L; Tsao, Jean I

    2016-07-01

    Four members of the Ixodes ricinus species complex, Ixodes pacificus, Ixodes persulcatus, Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes scapularis, have, between them, a worldwide distribution within the northern hemisphere. They are responsible for the transmission of several animal and human pathogens, including the causal agents of Lyme borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis and human babesiosis. Despite the importance of these ticks as vectors, the knowledge and understanding of the role that diapause plays in their complex life cycles are confused and incomplete. In view of the continuing geographic spread of these tick species, as well as the effects of climate change on vector-borne diseases, it is timely to encourage research on diapause phenomena to improve understanding of their biology and of pathogen transmission dynamics. In our review we seek to clarify thinking on the topic and to address gaps in our knowledge that require the attention of researchers. PMID:27263092

  19. Flagging versus dragging as sampling methods for nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rulison, Eric L.; Kuczaj, Isis; Pang, Genevieve; Hickling, Graham J.; Tsao, Jean I.; Ginsberg, Howard S.

    2013-01-01

    The nymphal stage of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae), is responsible for most transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, to humans in North America. From 2010 to fall of 2012, we compared two commonly used techniques, flagging and dragging, as sampling methods for nymphal I. scapularis at three sites, each with multiple sampling arrays (grids), in the eastern and central United States. Flagging and dragging collected comparable numbers of nymphs, with no consistent differences between methods. Dragging collected more nymphs than flagging in some samples, but these differences were not consistent among sites or sampling years. The ratio of nymphs collected by flagging vs dragging was not significantly related to shrub density, so habitat type did not have a strong effect on the relative efficacy of these methods. Therefore, although dragging collected more ticks in a few cases, the numbers collected by each method were so variable that neither technique had a clear advantage for sampling nymphal I. scapularis.

  20. Field Applications of Entomopathogenic Fungi Beauveria bassiana (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) and Metarhizium anisopliae F52 (Hypocreales: Nectriaceae) for the Control of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two commercial formulations of Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo-Crivelli) Vuillemin were applied to residential sites in Old Lyme, Connecticut for the control of nymphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis in 1999 and 2000. The pyrethroid bifenthrin was applied to other homes for comparison with B....

  1. Effect of a botanical acaricide on Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) and nontarget arthropods.

    PubMed

    Elias, Susan P; Lubelczyk, Charles B; Rand, Peter W; Staples, Joseph K; St Amand, Theodore W; Stubbs, Constance S; Lacombe, Eleanor H; Smith, Leticia B; Smith, Robert P

    2013-01-01

    We tested the effectiveness of the rosemary oil-based insecticide, Eco-Exempt IC2, to control all stages of Ixodes scapularis (Say) in southern Maine. We selected plots in oak-pine forest where I. scapularis is endemic and recorded the abundance of ticks and nontarget arthropods before and after applications of IC2, bifenthrin (a synthetic pyrethroid), and water (reference treatment). Licensed applicators applied high-pressure spray treatments during the summer nymphal and fall adult seasonal peaks. Both acaricides sprayed during the summer nymphal season reduced nymphal I. scapularis/hour to zero. IC2 was as effective as bifenthrin in controlling nymphs through the rest of the nymphal season and also controlled adult ticks 9 mo postspray compared with 16 mo for bifenthrin, and both acaricides reduced larvae through 14 mo postspray. Both acaricides sprayed during the fall adult season reduced adult I. scapularis/hour to zero; IC2 controlled adult ticks 6 mo postspray compared with 1 yr for bifenthrin. Both fall-applied acaricides controlled nymphs 9 mo postspray and reduced larvae up to 10 mo postspray. Impacts on some nontarget arthropods was assessed. Colleoptera, Hymenoptera, and Collembola declined 1 wk postspray in acaricide-treated plots, and in IC2 plots all numbers rebounded by 20 d postspray. For bees and other flower-visiting insects there were no detectable reductions in nests produced, number emerged from nests, or number of foraging visits to flowering plants in IC2 or bifenthrin plots. IC2 was phytotoxic to the leafy portions of select understory plants that appeared to recover by the next growing season. PMID:23427661

  2. Implications of climate change on the distribution of the tick vector Ixodes scapularis and risk for Lyme disease in the Texas-Mexico transboundary region

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Disease risk maps are important tools that help ascertain the likelihood of exposure to specific infectious agents. Understanding how climate change may affect the suitability of habitats for ticks will improve the accuracy of risk maps of tick-borne pathogen transmission in humans and domestic anim...

  3. Spatial distribution of larval Ixodes scapularis (Acari:Ixodidae) on Peromyscus leucopus and Microtus pennsylvanicus at two island sites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Markowski, D.; Hyland, K.E.; Ginsberg, H.S.

    1997-01-01

    Larval blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, were collected from white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus, on Prudence Island (where Microtus pennsylavanicus were not captured) and from meadow voles, M. pennsylvanicus, on Patience Island (where P. leucopus was absent) in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island from June to October 1992. Ixodes scapularis larvae were also collected by flagging in the vicinity of host captures. On both islands, the relative density of larvae changed from July to September in samples from hosts, but not in flagging samples. Consequently, different sampling techniques can give different assessments of tick populations. Larvae were highly aggregated on both of the host species throughout the sampling period. As the mean relative density of larvae increased in the environment (based on flagging samples), larvae on the hosts became more dense and more crowded. Increased densities of larvae in the environment were not correlated with increased patchiness in the distribution of larvae among host animals on either island. Changes in the spatial distribution of larval I. scapularis on each host species had similar trends as larval densities and distributions within the environment. These results suggest that M. pennsylvanicus can serve as an alternative host for immature I. scapularis in a P. leucopus-free environment and have similar distributional characteristics.

  4. The neuropeptidomics of Ixodes scapularis synganglion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ticks (Ixodoidea) likely transmit the greatest variety of human and animal pathogens of any arthropod vector. Despite their medical significance only few data are available about the messenger molecules in the central nervous system that coordinate all physiological processes in these animals, inclu...

  5. Influence of deer abundance on the abundance of questing adult Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, H.S.; Zhioua, E.

    1999-01-01

    Nymphal and adult Ixodes scapularis Say were sampled by flagging at 2 sites on a barrier island, Fire Island, NY, and at 2 sites on the nearby mainland. Nymphal densities did not differ consistently between island and mainland sites, but adult densities were consistently lower on the island. We tested whether lower adult densities on the island resulted from greater nymphal mortality on the island than the mainland, or whether adult ticks on the island were poorly sampled by flagging because they had attached abundantly to deer, which were common on Fire Island. Differential nymphal mortality on islands vs. mainland did not explain this difference in adult densities because survival of flat and engorged nymphs in enclosures was the same at island and mainland sites. Ticks were infected by parasitic wasps on the island and not the mainland, but the infection rate (4.3%) was too low to explain the difference in adult tick densities. In contrast, exclusion of deer by game fencing on Fire Island resulted in markedly increased numbers of adult ticks in flagging samples inside compared to samples taken outside the exclosures. Therefore, the scarcity of adult ticks in flagging samples on Fire Island resulted, at least in part, from the ticks being unavailable to flagging samples because they were on deer hosts. Differences in the densities of flagged ticks inside and outside the exclosures were used to estimate the percentage of questing adults on Fire Island that found deer hosts, excluding those that attached to other host species. Approximately 56% of these questing adult ticks found deer hosts in 1995 and 50% found deer hosts in 1996. Therefore, in areas where vertebrate hosts are highly abundant, large proportions of the questing tick population can find hosts. Moreover, comparisons of tick densities at different sites by flagging can potentially be biased by differences in host densities among sites.

  6. Motor Rotation Is Essential for the Formation of the Periplasmic Flagellar Ribbon, Cellular Morphology, and Borrelia burgdorferi Persistence within Ixodes scapularis Tick and Murine Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Sultan, Syed Z.; Sekar, Padmapriya; Zhao, Xiaowei; Manne, Akarsh; Liu, Jun; Wooten, R. Mark

    2015-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi must migrate within and between its arthropod and mammalian hosts in order to complete its natural enzootic cycle. During tick feeding, the spirochete transmits from the tick to the host dermis, eventually colonizing and persisting within multiple, distant tissues. This dissemination modality suggests that flagellar motor rotation and, by extension, motility are crucial for infection. We recently reported that a nonmotile flaB mutant that lacks periplasmic flagella is rod shaped and unable to infect mice by needle or tick bite. However, those studies could not differentiate whether motor rotation or merely the possession of the periplasmic flagella was crucial for cellular morphology and host persistence. Here, we constructed and characterized a motB mutant that is nonmotile but retains its periplasmic flagella. Even though ΔmotB bacteria assembled flagella, part of the mutant cell is rod shaped. Cryoelectron tomography revealed that the flagellar ribbons are distorted in the mutant cells, indicating that motor rotation is essential for spirochetal flat-wave morphology. The ΔmotB cells are unable to infect mice, survive in the vector, or migrate out of the tick. Coinfection studies determined that the presence of these nonmotile ΔmotB cells has no effect on the clearance of wild-type spirochetes during murine infection and vice versa. Together, our data demonstrate that while flagellar motor rotation is necessary for spirochetal morphology and motility, the periplasmic flagella display no additional properties related to immune clearance and persistence within relevant hosts. PMID:25690096

  7. Linkages of Weather and Climate With Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae), Enzootic Transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi, and Lyme Disease in North America.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Rebecca J; Eisen, Lars; Ogden, Nicholas H; Beard, Charles B

    2016-03-01

    Lyme disease has increased both in incidence and geographic extent in the United States and Canada over the past two decades. One of the underlying causes is changes during the same time period in the distribution and abundance of the primary vectors: Ixodes scapularis Say and Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls in eastern and western North America, respectively. Aside from short periods of time when they are feeding on hosts, these ticks exist in the environment where temperature and relative humidity directly affect their development, survival, and host-seeking behavior. Other important factors that strongly influence tick abundance as well as the proportion of ticks infected with the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, include the abundance of hosts for the ticks and the capacity of tick hosts to serve as B. burgdorferi reservoirs. Here, we explore the linkages between climate variation and: 1) duration of the seasonal period and the timing of peak activity; 2) geographic tick distributions and local abundance; 3) enzootic B. burgdorferi transmission cycles; and 4) Lyme disease cases. We conclude that meteorological variables are most influential in determining host-seeking phenology and development, but, while remaining important cofactors, additional variables become critical when exploring geographic distribution and local abundance of ticks, enzootic transmission of B. burgdorferi, and Lyme disease case occurrence. Finally, we review climate change-driven projections for future impact on vector ticks and Lyme disease and discuss knowledge gaps and research needs. PMID:26681789

  8. A climate-based model predicts the spatial distribution of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis in the United States.

    PubMed Central

    Brownstein, John S; Holford, Theodore R; Fish, Durland

    2003-01-01

    An understanding of the spatial distribution of the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, is a fundamental component in assessing human risk for Lyme disease in much of the United States. Although a county-level vector distribution map exists for the United States, its accuracy is limited by arbitrary categories of its reported presence. It is unknown whether reported positive areas can support established populations and whether negative areas are suitable for established populations. The steadily increasing range of I. scapularis in the United States suggests that all suitable habitats are not currently occupied. Therefore, we developed a spatially predictive logistic model for I. scapularis in the 48 conterminous states to improve the previous vector distribution map. We used ground-observed environmental data to predict the probability of established I. scapularis populations. The autologistic analysis showed that maximum, minimum, and mean temperatures as well as vapor pressure significantly contribute to population maintenance with an accuracy of 95% (p < 0.0001). A cutoff probability for habitat suitability was assessed by sensitivity analysis and was used to reclassify the previous distribution map. The spatially modeled relationship between I. scapularis presence and large-scale environmental data provides a robust suitability model that reveals essential environmental determinants of habitat suitability, predicts emerging areas of Lyme disease risk, and generates the future pattern of I. scapularis across the United States. PMID:12842766

  9. Biases associated with several sampling methods used to estimate abundance of Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Schulze, T L; Jordan, R A; Hung, R W

    1997-11-01

    Several tick sampling methods were evaluated for ixodes scapularis Say and Amblyomma americanum (I.) in oak-dominated mixed hard-wood, pitch pine-dominated, and mixed hardwood and pine forests in coastal New Jersey. Walking surveys were more efficient for collecting I. scapularis adults than dragging by a factor of > 2:1. In contrast, drag sampling yielded nearly twice as many A. americanum adults compared with walking surveys. I. scapularis subadults were rarely collected during walking surveys. A. americanum nymphs were collected from drags approximately 3:1 over walking surveys. Twice as many A. americanum larvae were obtained from drags compared with walking surveys. All developmental stages of A. americanum responded positively to carbon dioxide. Pitfall traps and leaf litter samples collected very few ticks. Tick distribution among habitats varied significantly with the sampling method chosen, and the relative ranking of sites with respect to tick abundance varied depending on the stage of tick sampled. Failure to recognize the biases in these commonly used sampling techniques can potentially lead to incorrect conclusions that can have significant adverse public health consequences. PMID:9439115

  10. Genotypic diversity of an emergent population of Borrelia burgdorferi at a coastal Maine island recently colonized by Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    MacQueen, Douglas D; Lubelczyk, Charles; Elias, Susan P; Cahill, Bruce K; Mathers, Amy J; Lacombe, Eleanor H; Rand, Peter W; Smith, Robert P

    2012-06-01

    The recent range expansion of Ixodes scapularis has been accompanied by the emergence of Borrelia burgdorferi. The development of genetic diversity in B. burgdorferi at these sites of emergence and its relationship to range expansion is poorly understood. We followed colonization of I. scapularis on a coastal Maine island over a 17-year period. B. burgdorferi's emergence was documented, as was expansion of ospC strain diversity. Ticks collected from rodents and vegetation were examined for the presence of B. burgdorferi. Sequencing and reverse line blot were used to detect B. burgdorferi ospC major groups (oMG). No I. scapularis were found until year four of the study, after which time they increased in abundance. No B. burgdorferi was detected by darkfield microscopy in I. scapularis until 10 years into the study, when 4% of adult ticks were infected. Seven years later, 43% of adult ticks were infected. In 2003, one oMG accounted for 91% of B. burgdorferi strains. This "founder" strain persisted in 2005, but by 2007 was a minority of the 7 oMGs present. Given the island's isolation, gene flow by avian introduction of multiple strains is suggested in the development of B. burgdorferi oMG diversity. PMID:22217172

  11. Repellent activity of fractioned compounds from Chamaecyparis nootkatensis essential oil against nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Dietrich, Gabrielle; Dolan, Marc C; Peralta-Cruz, Javier; Schmidt, Jason; Piesman, Joseph; Eisen, Rebecca J; Karchesy, Joseph J

    2006-09-01

    Preliminary repellent activity of 14 natural products isolated from essential oil components extracted from the heartwood of Alaska yellow cedar, Chamaecyparis nootkatensis (D. Don) Spach., were evaluated against nymphal Ixodes scapularis Say in a laboratory bioassay and compared with technical grade N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (deet). Four hours after treatment, nootkatone and valencene-13-ol had repellent concentration (RC)50 values of 0.0458 and 0.0712% (wt:vol), respectively; two additional Alaska yellow cedar compounds, nootkatone 1 --> 10 epoxide and carvacrol had reported RC50 values of 0.0858 and 0.112%, respectively. The observed RC50 value for deet was 0.0728% (wt:vol). Although not statistically significantly more active than deet, the ability of these natural products to repel ticks at relatively low concentrations may represent a potential alternative to synthetic commercial repellents. PMID:17017233

  12. Anti-complement activity of the Ixodes scapularis salivary protein Salp20.

    PubMed

    Hourcade, Dennis E; Akk, Antonina M; Mitchell, Lynne M; Zhou, Hui-fang; Hauhart, Richard; Pham, Christine T N

    2016-01-01

    Complement, a major component of innate immunity, presents a rapid and robust defense of the intravascular space. While regulatory proteins protect host cells from complement attack, when these measures fail, unrestrained complement activation may trigger self-tissue injury, leading to pathologic conditions. Of the three complement activation pathways, the alternative pathway (AP) in particular has been implicated in numerous disease and injury states. Consequently, the AP components represent attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. The common hard-bodied ticks from the family Ixodidae derive nourishment from the blood of their mammalian hosts. During its blood meal the tick is exposed to host immune effectors, including the complement system. In defense, the tick produces salivary proteins that can inhibit host immune functions. The Salp20 salivary protein of Ixodes scapularis inhibits the host AP pathway by binding properdin and dissociating C3bBbP, the active C3 convertase. In these studies we examined Salp20 activity in various complement-mediated pathologies. Our results indicate that Salp20 can inhibit AP-dependent pathogenesis in the mouse. Its efficacy may be part in due to synergic effects it provides with the endogenous AP regulator, factor H. While Salp20 itself would be expected to be highly immunogenic and therefore inappropriate for therapeutic use, its emergence speaks for the potential development of a non-immunogenic Salp20 mimic that replicates its anti-properdin activity. PMID:26675068

  13. Evidence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi infection in cats after exposure to wild-caught adult Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    Lappin, Michael R; Chandrashekar, Ramaswamy; Stillman, Brett; Liu, Jiayou; Mather, Thomas N

    2015-07-01

    Cats are infected by Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi when exposed to infected Ixodes scapularis (black-legged ticks). The purpose of our study was to allow wild-caught I. scapularis to feed on healthy research cats (n = 4) and temporally evaluate for A. phagocytophilum DNA in blood by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay as well as for antibody responses to the B. burgdorferi C6 peptide, to the A. phagocytophilum P44 peptide, and to a novel A. phagocytophilum peptide (P44-4). Prior to I. scapularis infestation, all cats were negative for antibodies against both organisms based on a kit optimized for dog serum, and negative for A. phagocytophilum DNA in blood using a conventional PCR assay. Using the pre-infestation samples, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detecting antibodies against the P44-4 peptide was optimized. Cats were infested with wild-caught I. scapularis for 7 days. Genomic DNA of A. phagocytophilum was amplified from the blood before antibodies were detected in all 4 cats. Antibodies against the C6 peptide, P44 peptide, and P44-4 peptide were detected in the sera of all 4 cats. Antibodies against P44-4 were detected prior to those against P44 in 3 out of 4 cats. The results suggest that a PCR assay should be considered in acutely ill cats with suspected anaplasmosis that are seronegative. PMID:26179101

  14. Susceptibility of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) to Metarhizium brunneum F52 (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) using three exposure assays in the laboratory.

    PubMed

    Bharadwaj, Anuja; Stafford, Kirby C

    2012-02-01

    An emulsifiable concentrate (EC) and granular (G) formulation of the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium brunneum strain F52 (formerly Metarhizium anisopliae strain F52) were tested against unfed adults and nymphs of Ixodes scapularis Say in the laboratory. Three exposure methods; dip, surface contact, and direct spray application, and three exposure time intervals (3, 30, and 300 min) were used to evaluate the EC formulation. Application rates ranged from 2.6 x 10(2) to 2.6 x 10(8) conidia/cm2. The surface treatment was used for granular formulation with concentrations ranging from 2.3 x 10(5) to 2.3 x 10(7) conidia/cm2 for same three exposure times. Both the EC and G formulations of this fungus were highly pathogenic against I. scapularis adults and nymphs. Logistic regression analysis found formulation, spore concentration, time of exposure, and observation period were significant or highly significant factors influencing tick mortality. For adult I. scapularis, the spray application with the EC formulation of M. brunneum F52 resulted in a lower LC50 (5.9 x 10(4) conidia/cm2) at 30 min than surface exposure to the EC (LC50 = 1.3 x 10(6) conidia/cm2) or G formulation (LC50 = 8.1 x 10(5) conidia/cm2). At higher concentrations, fungal activity was evident in adult I. scapularis held at 5 degrees C suggesting the fungus may provide control in the cooler fall season. While the observed pathogenicity of a fungus against ticks can be dependent upon the bioassay assessment, we found nymphs and adults of I. scapularis to be highly susceptible to M. brunneum F52, regardless of the exposure method used. PMID:22420275

  15. Microhabitat-independent regional differences in survival of unfed Ixodes scapularis nymphs (Acari:Ixodidae) in Connecticut.

    PubMed

    Bertrand, M R; Wilson, M L

    1997-03-01

    The effects of habitat and microclimate on survival of unfed nymphal black-legged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say (approximately I. damnini Spielman, Clifford, Piesman & Corwin), were studied under natural conditions in southcentral and northwestern Connecticut. At both coastal and inland locations, survival of 3 groups of 20 wild-caught questing nymphs placed in nylon mesh bags was monitored in each of 3 different habitats (field, forest canopy, and forest/field edge) during summer 1995. Simultaneously, soil temperature, ground-level air temperature, and relative humidity were measured continuously within each habitat at both sites. The number of ticks surviving in each habitat was monitored weekly. Average daily survival rates of nymphs were related inversely to soil temperature but were not related to air temperature or humidity. Overall, nymphal ticks at the inland site survived significantly longer than those at the coastal site; however, no significant differences in mortality rates were found among habitats. These results suggest that inland environmental conditions are suitable for lengthy survival of unfed nymphal I. scapularis in regions where this tick is not yet abundant. PMID:9103759

  16. Isolation and propagation of a Spiroplasma sp. from Slovakian Ixodes ricinus ticks in Ixodes spp. cell lines

    PubMed Central

    Bell-Sakyi, Lesley; Palomar, Ana M.; Kazimirova, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Ixodes spp. ticks are known to occasionally harbour spiroplasmas – helical mycoplasmas in the class Mollicutes; a previous study in Slovakia reported an overall prevalence of Spiroplasma ixodetis of 3% in Ixodes ricinus. In the present study, extracts of unfed adult I. ricinus ticks collected from vegetation in south-western Slovakia were added to a panel of cell lines derived from I. ricinus and Ixodes scapularis embryos. The cultures were monitored by preparation and examination of Giemsa-stained cytocentrifuge smears at intervals over the subsequent 16–18 months. Spiroplasma-like microorganisms were detected in cultures of both tick species after 2–3 months and subcultured onto fresh, uninfected cells of the appropriate cell line up to seven times. Molecular analysis using PCR assays targeting fragments of the 16S rRNA, ITS and rpoB genes confirmed the identity of the microorganisms as a Spiroplasma sp., with between 98.9% and 99.5% similarity to S. ixodetis. The sequences of the spiroplasmas isolated from three different pools of ticks collected on two different occasions were identical for all three genes tested. PMID:26003954

  17. Evaluation of Metarhizium anisopliae strain F52 (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) for control of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Bharadwaj, Anuja; Stafford, Kirby C

    2010-09-01

    Field efficacy of an emulsifiable concentrate formulation of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae strain F52 for the control of Ixodes scapularis nymphs was evaluated at residential sites in northwestern Connecticut in 2007. Two spray applications with two rates, 3.2 x 10(5) and 1.3 x 10(6) spores/cm2, were made: the first on 8-9 May, 2-3 wk before nymphal activity, and the second on 29 June or 2 July when ticks were active. There was no significant difference in nymphal abundance between the three treatment groups (P = 0.490) after the first application, indicating that preseason or early applications are not effective, despite a bioasaay with yellow mealworms that showed spores in the treated areas was infective for at least 1 mo postapplication. By contrast, there was a significant difference in the number of nymphs collected between the treatments and control 3 wk (F = 16.928, df = 2, P < 0.001) and 5 wk (F = 6.627, df = 2, P = 0.002) after the second application. During the 3 wk after the second application, 87.1 and 96.1% fewer ticks were collected from lower and higher rate-treated sites, respectively, and after 5 wk, tick reductions were 53.2 and 73.8%, respectively. Over one- third (36.4% of 173) of the nymphs collected from the treated sites developed mycosis from M. anisopliae. The application of M. anisopliae strain F52 could provide another tool for the integrated approach to managing ticks in the residential landscape. PMID:20939382

  18. Control of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) with topical self-application of permethrin by white-tailed deer inhabiting NASA, Beltsville, Maryland.

    PubMed

    Solberg, V B; Miller, J A; Hadfield, T; Burge, R; Schech, J M; Pound, J M

    2003-06-01

    We report the first successful area-wide reduction of Ixodes scapularis by using minimal amounts of permethrin self-applied by free-ranging white-tailed deer in as little as 3 y of nearly continuous treatment. The study to control all active stages of L. scapularis Say was initiated in April 1995, at the Goddard Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Beltsville, Maryland (treated location), and the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, Maryland (non-treated location). The locations had similar flora and fauna, and pre-treatment sampling (April to October 1995) of deer, plots, and mice for I. scapularis indicated nearly similar tick populations at both locations. After pre-treatment sampling, 4 deer '4-poster' stations were placed at NASA, while the control area received none. Ten percent permethrin, supplied to 4 roller covers on each station, was passively transferred to the head, neck, and ears of free-ranging deer feeding at the stations. This treatment resulted in elimination of adult I. scapularis on sampled deer (100% control) by the 2nd y of treatment and reductions of immature tick stages on mice. During the 3rd y of treatment, adult, nymphal, and larval questing ticks were reduced by 91-100% from sampled plots, and nymphal and larval ticks were reduced by 70-95% on sampled mice. PMID:12831136

  19. Insight into the sialome of the castor bean tick, Ixodes ricinus

    PubMed Central

    Chmelař, Jindřich; Anderson, Jennifer M; Mu, Jianbing; Jochim, Ryan C; Valenzuela, Jesus G; Kopecký, Jan

    2008-01-01

    Background In recent years, there have been several sialome projects revealing transcripts expressed in the salivary glands of ticks, which are important vectors of several human diseases. Here, we focused on the sialome of the European vector of Lyme disease, Ixodes ricinus. Results In the attempt to describe expressed genes and their dynamics throughout the feeding period, we constructed cDNA libraries from four different feeding stages of Ixodes ricinus females: unfed, 24 hours after attachment, four (partially fed) and seven days (fully engorged) after attachment. Approximately 600 randomly selected clones from each cDNA library were sequenced and analyzed. From a total 2304 sequenced clones, 1881 sequences forming 1274 clusters underwent subsequent functional analysis using customized bioinformatics software. Clusters were sorted according to their predicted function and quantitative comparison among the four libraries was made. We found several groups of over-expressed genes associated with feeding that posses a secretion signal and may be involved in tick attachment, feeding or evading the host immune system. Many transcripts clustered into families of related genes with stage-specific expression. Comparison to Ixodes scapularis and I. pacificus transcripts was made. Conclusion In addition to a large number of homologues of the known transcripts, we obtained several novel predicted protein sequences. Our work contributes to the growing list of proteins associated with tick feeding and sheds more light on the dynamics of the gene expression during tick feeding. Additionally, our results corroborate previous evidence of gene duplication in the evolution of ticks. PMID:18489795

  20. Molecular and pharmacological characterization of two D(1)-like dopamine receptors in the Lyme disease vector, Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Jason M; Ejendal, Karin F K; Watts, Val J; Hill, Catherine A

    2011-08-01

    Advancements in tick neurobiology may impact the development of acaricides to control those species that transmit human and animal diseases. Here, we report the first cloning and pharmacological characterization of two neurotransmitter binding G protein-coupled receptors in the Lyme disease (blacklegged) tick, Ixodes scapularis. The genes IscaGPRdop1 and IscaGPRdop2 were identified in the I. scapularis genome assembly and predicted as orthologs of previously characterized D(1)-like dopamine receptors in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and honeybee Apis mellifera. Heterologous expression in HEK 293 cells demonstrated that each receptor functioned as a D(1)-like dopamine receptor because significant increases in levels of intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) were detected following dopamine treatment. Importantly, the receptors were distinct in their pharmacological properties regarding concentration-dependent response to dopamine, constitutive activity, and response to other biogenic amines. Exposure to a variety of dopamine receptor agonists and antagonists further demonstrated a D(1)-like pharmacology of these dopamine receptors and highlighted their differential activities in vitro. PMID:21457782

  1. Ability of two natural products, nootkatone and carvacrol, to suppress Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae) in a Lyme disease endemic area of New Jersey.

    PubMed

    Dolan, Marc C; Jordan, Robert A; Schulze, Terry L; Schulze, Christopher J; Manning, Mark Cornell; Ruffolo, Daniel; Schmidt, Jason P; Piesman, Joseph; Karchesy, Joseph J

    2009-12-01

    We evaluated the ability of the natural, plant-derived acaricides nootkatone and carvacrol to suppress Ixodes scapularis Say and Amblyomma americanum (L.) (Acari: Ixodidae). Aqueous formulations of 1 and 5% nootkatone applied by backpack sprayer to the forest litter layer completely suppressed I. scapularis nymphs through 2 d. Thereafter, the level of reduction gradually declined to < or =50% at 28 d postapplication. Against A. americanum nymphs, 1% nootkatone was less effective, but at a 5% concentration, the level of control was similar or greater to that observed with I. scapularis through 21 d postapplication. Initial applications of 0.05% carvacrol were ineffective, but a 5% carvacrol formulation completely suppressed nymphs of both species through 2 d and resulted in significant reduction in I. scapularis and A. americanum nymphs through 28 and 14 d postapplication, respectively. Backpack sprayer applications of 5% nootkatone to the shrub and litter layers resulted in 100% control of I. scapularis adults through 6 d, but the level of reduction declined to 71.5% at 28 d postapplication. By contrast, high-pressure applications of 2% nootkatone to the litter layer resulted in 96.2-100% suppression of both I. scapularis and A. americanum nymphs through 42 d, whereas much lower control was obtained from the same formulation applied by backpack sprayer. Backpack sprayer application of a 3.1% nootkatone nanoemulsion resulted in 97.5-98.9 and 99.3-100% reduction in I. scapularis and A. americanum nymphs, respectively, at 1 d postapplication. Between 7 d and 35 d postapplication, the level of control varied between 57.1% and 92.5% for I. scapularis and between 78.5 and 97.1% for A. americanum nymphs. The ability of natural products to quickly suppress and maintain significant control of populations of these medically important ticks at relatively low concentrations may represent a future alternative to the use of conventional synthetic acaricides. PMID:20069863

  2. Comparison of synganglion neuropeptides, neuropeptide receptors and neurotransmitter receptors and their gene expression in response to feeding in Ixodes scapularis (Ixodidae) vs. Ornithodoros turicata (Argasidae).

    PubMed

    Egekwu, N; Sonenshine, D E; Garman, H; Barshis, D J; Cox, N; Bissinger, B W; Zhu, J; M Roe, R

    2016-02-01

    Illumina GAII high-throughput sequencing was used to compare expressed genes for female synganglion neuropeptides, neuropeptide receptors and neurotransmitter receptors of the soft tick Ornithodoros turicata with the hard tick Ixodes scapularis. Gene ontology molecular level three mapping revealed no significant differences amongst the same categories represented in O. turicata and I. scapularis. Transcripts predicting 22 neuropeptides or their receptors in the O. turicata synganglion were similar to annotations for 23 neuropeptides or receptors previously identified from I scapularis, with minor exceptions. A transcript predicting ecdysis triggering hormone receptor was identified in O. turicata; transcripts encoding for proprotein convertase and glycoprotein B were identified in both species. Transcripts predicting the same neurotransmitter receptors were found in the synganglion of both species. Gene expression of the transcripts showed numerous differences in response to feeding. Major differences were observed in expression of genes believed important in regulating slow vs. rapid feeding, blood water elimination, cuticle synthesis plasticity and in signalling reproductive activity. Although the glutamate receptor was strongly upregulated in both species, the gamma aminobutyric acid receptor, which inhibits glutamate, was upregulated significantly only in I. scapularis. These differences are consistent with the slow vs. rapid action of the pharyngeal pump in the two species. PMID:26783017

  3. Infection of Ixodes spp. tick cells with different Anaplasma phagocytophilum isolates induces the inhibition of apoptotic cell death.

    PubMed

    Alberdi, Pilar; Ayllón, Nieves; Cabezas-Cruz, Alejandro; Bell-Sakyi, Lesley; Zweygarth, Erich; Stuen, Snorre; de la Fuente, José

    2015-09-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an intracellular rickettsial pathogen transmitted by Ixodes spp. ticks, which causes granulocytic anaplasmosis in humans, horses and dogs and tick-borne fever (TBF) in ruminants. In the United States, human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA) is highly prevalent while TBF has not been reported. However, in Europe the situation is the opposite, with high prevalence for TBF in sheep and low prevalence of HGA. The origin of these differences has not been identified and our hypothesis is that different A. phagocytophilum isolates impact differently on tick vector capacity through inhibition of apoptosis to establish infection of the tick vector. In this study we used three different isolates of A. phagocytophilum of human, canine and ovine origin to infect the Ixodes ricinus-derived cell line IRE/CTVM20 and the Ixodes scapularis-derived cell line ISE6 in order to characterize the effect of infection on the level of tick cell apoptosis. Inhibition of apoptosis was observed by flow cytometry as early as 24h post-infection for both tick cell lines and all three isolates of A. phagocytophilum, suggesting that pathogen infection inhibits apoptotic pathways to facilitate infection independently of the origin of the A. phagocytophilum isolate and tick vector species. However, infection with A. phagocytophilum isolates inhibited the intrinsic apoptosis pathway at different levels in I. scapularis and I. ricinus cells. These results suggested an impact of vector-pathogen co-evolution on the adaptation of A. phagocytophilum isolates to grow in tick cells as each isolate grew better in the tick cell line derived from its natural vector species. These results increase our understanding of the mechanisms of A. phagocytophilum infection and multiplication and suggest that multiple mechanisms may affect disease prevalence in different geographical regions. PMID:26183310

  4. Pathogenicity of Metarhizium anisopliae (Deuteromycetes) and permethrin to Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) nymphs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hornbostel, V.L.; Zhioua, E.; Benjamin, M.A.; Ginsberg, H.S.; Ostfeld, R.S.

    2005-01-01

    Effectiveness of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, for controlling nymphal Ixodes scapularis, was tested in laboratory and field trials. In the laboratory, M. anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin strain ESC1 was moderately pathogenic, with an LC50 of 107 spores/ml and induced 70% mortality at 109 spores/ml. In a field study, however, 109 spores/ml M. anisopliae did not effectively control questing I. scapularis nymphs, and significant differences were not detected in pre- and post-treatment densities. For nymphs collected and returned to the laboratory for observation, mortality was low in treatment groups, ranging from 20 to 36%. To assess whether a chemical acaricide would synergistically enhance pathogenicity of the fungus, we challenged unfed nymphal I. scapularis with combinations of M. anisopliae and permethrin, a relatively safe pyrethroid acaricide, in two separate bioassays. Significant interactions between M. anisopliae and permethrin were not observed, supporting neither synergism nor antagonism.

  5. Genotypic Variation and Mixtures of Lyme Borrelia in Ixodes Ticks from North America and Europe

    PubMed Central

    Crowder, Chris D.; Matthews, Heather E.; Schutzer, Steven; Rounds, Megan A.; Luft, Benjamin J.; Nolte, Oliver; Campbell, Scott R.; Phillipson, Curtis A.; Li, Feng; Sampath, Ranga; Ecker, David J.; Eshoo, Mark W.

    2010-01-01

    Background Lyme disease, caused by various species of Borrelia, is transmitted by Ixodes ticks in North America and Europe. Studies have shown the genotype of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.) or the species of B. burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) affects the ability of the bacteria to cause local or disseminated infection in humans. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a multilocus PCR electrospray mass spectrometry assay to determine the species and genotype Borrelia from ticks collected in New York, Connecticut, Indiana, Southern Germany, and California and characterized isolates from parts of the United States and Europe. These analyses identified 53 distinct genotypes of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto with higher resolution than ospC typing. Genotypes of other members of the B. burgdorferi sensu lato complex were also identified and genotyped including B. afzelii, B. garinii, B. lusitaniae, B. spielmanii, and B. valaisiana. While each site in North America had genotypes unique to that location, we found genotypes shared between individual regions and two genotypes found across the United States. Significant B. burgdorferi s.s. genotypic diversity was observed between North America and Europe: only 6.6% of US genotypes (3 of 45) were found in Europe and 27% of the European genotypes (3 of 11) were observed in the US. Interestingly, 39% of adult Ixodes scapularis ticks from North America were infected with more than one genotype of B. burgdorferi s.s. and 22.2% of Ixodes ricinus ticks from Germany were infected with more than one genotype of B. burgdorferi s.l. Conclusions/Significance The presence of multiple Borrelia genotypes in ticks increases the probability that a person will be infected with more than one genotype of B. burgdorferi, potentially increasing the risks of disseminated Lyme disease. Our study indicates that the genotypic diversity of Borrelia in ticks in both North America and Europe is higher then previously reported and can have

  6. Field applications of entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae F52 (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) for the control of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Stafford, Kirby C; Allan, Sandra A

    2010-11-01

    Two commercial formulations of Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo-Crivelli) Vuillemin were applied to residential sites in Old Lyme, CT, for the control of nymphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, in 1999 and 2000. The pyrethroid bifenthrin was applied to other premises for comparison with B. bassiana. A wood chip barrier was installed and maintained at six of the treated properties. In 1999, control of I. scapularis nymphs ranged from 74.5 to 83.0% on lawns without wood chips and from 88.9 to 90% on lawns with wood chip barriers. As a control check, no ticks (n = 23) collected at pretreatment or control sites died from B. bassiana, although 15 of 18 nymphs from treated lawns developed mycoses. Control of I. scapularis on the lawns in 2000 with the two B. bassiana products was lower, as follows: 38.0 and 58.7% without the barrier and 56.9 and 55.1% with the wood chip barrier. Posttreatment differences in nymphal numbers between treatments and control were significant (P = 0.005 and P = 0.039, 1999 and 2000, respectively). The bifenthrin provided 86 and 87% control each year, respectively. The application of Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin strain F52 to 9 residential sites in Westport and Weston, CT, in 2002 provided significant (P = 0.034; P = 0.039) reductions in nymphal tick abundance with 55.6 and 84.6% fewer ticks on lawn and woodland plots, respectively. These results suggest the application of entomopathogenic fungi could provide another approach for the control of I. scapularis nymphs in residential or similar landscapes. PMID:21175060

  7. Ixodes ticks: serum species sensitivity of anticomplement activity.

    PubMed

    Lawrie, C H; Randolph, S E; Nuttall, P A

    1999-12-01

    Ixodid ticks feed for extended periods of up to 2 weeks or more. To complete engorgement, they must overcome their host's innate immune mechanisms of which the complement system is a major component. Using in vitro assays, salivary gland extracts of the ixodid ticks, Ixodes ricinus, I. hexagonus, and I. uriae, were shown to inhibit activity of the alternative pathway of complement. The ability of the different Ixodes species to inhibit complement activity varied with the animal species used as a complement serum source. Serum species sensitivity correlates to the reported host range of the tick species tested. PMID:10600446

  8. Suppression of host-seeking Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae) nymphs after dual applications of plant-derived acaricides in New Jersey.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Robert A; Dolan, Marc C; Piesman, Joseph; Schulze, Terry L

    2011-04-01

    We evaluated the ability of dual applications of natural, plant-derived acaricides to suppress nymphal Ixodes scapularis Say and Amblyomma americanum (L.) (Acari: Ixodidae) in a Lyme disease endemic area of New Jersey. An aqueous formulation of 2% nootkatone provided >90% control of I. scapularis through 7 d. Control declined to 80.9% at 14 d, and a second application was made that provided >95% control through the remaining 4 wk of the nymphal season. Nootkatone provided >90% control of A. americanum through 35 d postapplication. Applications of 2% carvacrol and EcoTrol T&O resulted in rapid knockdown of both tick species, but control declined significantly to 76.7 and 73.7%, respectively, after 14 d when a second application was made that extended control of both tick species to between 86.2 and 94.8% at 21 d. Subsequently, control declined steadily in all plots by 42 d postapplication except for I. scapularis in carvacrol-treated plots, where levels of control >90% were observed through 35 d. Of the three compounds tested, 2% nootkatone provided the most consistent results, with 96.5 and 91.9% control of I. scapularis and A. americanum through 42 and 35 d, respectively. The ability of plant-derived natural products to quickly suppress and maintain significant control of populations of these medically important ticks may represent a future alternative to the use of conventional synthetic acaricides. In addition, the demonstrated efficacy of properly-timed backpack sprayer application may enable homeowner access to these minimal-risk acaricides. PMID:21510219

  9. Changes in the Proteome of Langat-Infected Ixodes scapularis ISE6 Cells: Metabolic Pathways Associated with Flavivirus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Grabowski, Jeffrey M.; Perera, Rushika; Roumani, Ali M.; Hedrick, Victoria E.; Inerowicz, Halina D.; Hill, Catherine A.; Kuhn, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Background Ticks (Family Ixodidae) transmit a variety of disease causing agents to humans and animals. The tick-borne flaviviruses (TBFs; family Flaviviridae) are a complex of viruses, many of which cause encephalitis and hemorrhagic fever, and represent global threats to human health and biosecurity. Pathogenesis has been well studied in human and animal disease models. Equivalent analyses of tick-flavivirus interactions are limited and represent an area of study that could reveal novel approaches for TBF control. Methodology/Principal Findings High resolution LC-MS/MS was used to analyze the proteome of Ixodes scapularis (Lyme disease tick) embryonic ISE6 cells following infection with Langat virus (LGTV) and identify proteins associated with viral infection and replication. Maximal LGTV infection of cells and determination of peak release of infectious virus, was observed at 36 hours post infection (hpi). Proteins were extracted from ISE6 cells treated with LGTV and non-infectious (UV inactivated) LGTV at 36 hpi and analyzed by mass spectrometry. The Omics Discovery Pipeline (ODP) identified thousands of MS peaks. Protein homology searches against the I. scapularis IscaW1 genome assembly identified a total of 486 proteins that were subsequently assigned to putative functional pathways using searches against the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database. 266 proteins were differentially expressed following LGTV infection relative to non-infected (mock) cells. Of these, 68 proteins exhibited increased expression and 198 proteins had decreased expression. The majority of the former were classified in the KEGG pathways: “translation”, “amino acid metabolism”, and “protein folding/sorting/degradation”. Finally, Trichostatin A and Oligomycin A increased and decreased LGTV replication in vitro in ISE6 cells, respectively. Conclusions/Significance Proteomic analyses revealed ISE6 proteins that were differentially expressed at the peak of LGTV

  10. Efficacy of sarolaner in the prevention of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum transmission from infected Ixodes scapularis to dogs.

    PubMed

    Honsberger, Nicole A; Six, Robert H; Heinz, Thomas J; Weber, Angela; Mahabir, Sean P; Berg, Thomas C

    2016-05-30

    The efficacy of sarolaner (Simparica™, Zoetis) to prevent transmission primarily of Borrelia burgdorferi and secondarily of Anaplasma phagocytophilum from infected wild-caught Ixodes scapularis to dogs was evaluated in a placebo-controlled laboratory study. Twenty-four purpose-bred laboratory Beagles seronegative for B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum antibodies were allocated randomly to one of three treatment groups: placebo administered orally on Days 0 and 7, or sarolaner at 2mg/kg administered orally on Day 0 (28 days prior to tick infestation) or on Day 7 (21 days prior to tick infestation). On Day 28, each dog was infested with approximately 25 female and 25 male wild caught adult I. scapularis that were determined to have prevalence of 57% for B. burgdorferi and 6.7% for A. phagocytophilum by PCR. In situ tick counts were conducted on Days 29 and 30. On Day 33, all ticks were counted and removed. Acaricidal efficacy was calculated based on the reduction of geometric mean live tick counts in the sarolaner-treated groups compared to the placebo-treated group for each tick count. Blood samples collected from each dog on Days 27, 49, 63, 77, 91 and 104 were tested for the presence of B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum antibodies using the SNAP(®) 4Dx(®) Plus Test, and quantitatively assayed for B. burgdorferi antibodies using an ELISA test. Skin biopsies collected on Day 104 were tested for the presence of B. burgdorferi by bacterial culture and PCR. Geometric mean live tick counts for placebo-treated dogs were 14.8, 12.8, and 19.1 on Days 29, 30, and 33, respectively. The percent reductions in mean live tick counts at 1, 2, and 5 days after infestation were 86.3%, 100%, and 100% for the group treated with sarolaner 21 days prior to infestation, and 90.9%, 97.1%, and 100% for the group treated with sarolaner 28 days prior to infestation. Geometric mean live tick counts for both sarolaner-treated groups were significantly lower than those for the

  11. Homogeneity of Powassan virus populations in naturally infected Ixodes scapularis

    SciTech Connect

    Brackney, Doug E.; Brown, Ivy K.; Nofchissey, Robert A.; Fitzpatrick, Kelly A.; Ebel, Gregory D.

    2010-07-05

    Powassan virus (POWV, Flaviviridae: Flavivirus) is the sole North American member of the tick-borne encephalitis complex and consists of two distinct lineages that are maintained in ecologically discrete enzootic transmission cycles. The underlying genetic mechanisms that lead to niche partitioning in arboviruses are poorly understood. Therefore, intra- and interhost genetic diversity was analyzed to determine if POWV exists as a quasispecies in nature and quantify selective pressures within and between hosts. In contrast to previous reports for West Nile virus (WNV), significant intrahost genetic diversity was not observed. However, pN (0.238) and d{sub N}/d{sub S} ratios (0.092) for interhost diversity were similar to those of WNV. Combined, these data suggest that purifying selection and/or population bottlenecks constrain quasispecies diversity within ticks. These same selective and stochastic mechanisms appear to drive minor sequence changes between ticks. Moreover, Powassan virus populations seem not to be structured as quasispecies in naturally infected adult deer ticks.

  12. Tick paralysis in Australia caused by Ixodes holocyclus Neumann

    PubMed Central

    Hall-Mendelin, S; Craig, S B; Hall, R A; O’Donoghue, P; Atwell, R B; Tulsiani, S M; Graham, G C

    2011-01-01

    Ticks are obligate haematophagous ectoparasites of various animals, including humans, and are abundant in temperate and tropical zones around the world. They are the most important vectors for the pathogens causing disease in livestock and second only to mosquitoes as vectors of pathogens causing human disease. Ticks are formidable arachnids, capable of not only transmitting the pathogens involved in some infectious diseases but also of inducing allergies and causing toxicoses and paralysis, with possible fatal outcomes for the host. This review focuses on tick paralysis, the role of the Australian paralysis tick Ixodes holocyclus, and the role of toxin molecules from this species in causing paralysis in the host. PMID:21396246

  13. Natural hybridization between Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes persulcatus ticks evidenced by molecular genetics methods.

    PubMed

    Kovalev, S Y; Golovljova, I V; Mukhacheva, T A

    2016-02-01

    The recently shown phenomenon of natural hybridization between Ixodes persulcatus and Ixodes pavlovskyi ticks (Kovalev et al., 2015) stimulated similar studies in the sympatric zones of other tick species. In the present paper, 265 Ixodes ricinus and I. persulcatus ticks from Estonia were subjected to a search for interspecific hybrids based on nuclear (ITS2) and mitochondrial (cox1) markers as well as morphological features. Surprisingly, only 72.1% of ticks morphologically identified as I. ricinus actually were I. ricinus both at nuclear and mitochondrial markers, while the accuracy of morphological species identification for I. persulcatus was 99.3%. Among ticks morphologically identified as I. ricinus, 24.6% turned out to be interspecific hybrids and 3.3% were I. persulcatus. Generally, about 11% of the individuals studied were shown to be interspecific hybrids with different levels of nuclear DNA introgression. The analysis of hybrid populations proved the mating pair female I. ricinus×male I. persulcatus to form hybrids more efficiently, then female I. persulcatus×male I. ricinus. The same trend can be observed for backcrosses preferentially mating with I. ricinus. Hybridization between I. ricinus and I. persulcatus proved the existing view about their reproductive isolation to be untenable. Interspecific hybridization occurring between both closely (I. persulcatus and I. pavlovskyi) and more distantly (I. ricinus and I. persulcatus) related Ixodes species could introduce novel alleles that modify vector competence, host use or the ability to exploit diverse microhabitats. PMID:26460161

  14. Prevalence and phylogenetic analysis of Babesia spp. in Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes persulcatus ticks in Latvia.

    PubMed

    Capligina, Valentina; Berzina, Inese; Bormane, Antra; Salmane, Ineta; Vilks, Karlis; Kazarina, Alisa; Bandere, Dace; Baumanis, Viesturs; Ranka, Renate

    2016-03-01

    Babesia spp. are tick-borne protozoan parasites that have been reported in many European countries and are considered to be emerging pathogens. Several Babesia spp. have been identified in ticks in Latvia. Recently, canine babesiosis cases were diagnosed for the first time in Latvia; therefore, continued studies on the prevalence and occurrence of new species are warranted. In the present study, questing tick samples collected in 2005-2007 were screened for the presence of Babesia spp.; in total, 432 Ixodes ricinus and 693 Ixodes persulcatus ticks were analyzed. Babesia spp. were detected in 1.4% of the I. ricinus ticks and in 1.9% of I. persulcatus ticks. Sequencing revealed that ixodid ticks in Latvia contained Babesia microti, Babesia capreoli, and Babesia venatorum. Babesia microti was the most prevalent species, accounting for 58% of all positive samples; moreover, two distinct B. microti genotypes were identified. Phylogenetic analysis of the full-length 18S rRNA gene of two B. capreoli/B. divergens isolates indicated a closer relationship to the B. capreoli clade than B. divergens. This is the first report of B. venatorum in I. persulcatus ticks in Latvia. Our results suggest that both I. ricinus and I. persulcatus ticks play important roles in the epidemiology of these zoonotic pathogens in Latvia. PMID:26481239

  15. Characterization of Gut-associated Cathepsin D Hemoglobinase from Tick Ixodes ricinus (IrCD1)*

    PubMed Central

    Sojka, Daniel; Franta, Zdeněk; Frantová, Helena; Bartošová, Pavla; Horn, Martin; Váchová, Jana; O'Donoghue, Anthony J.; Eroy-Reveles, Alegra A.; Craik, Charles S.; Knudsen, Giselle M.; Caffrey, Conor R.; McKerrow, James H.; Mareš, Michael; Kopáček, Petr

    2012-01-01

    To identify the gut-associated tick aspartic hemoglobinase, this work focuses on the functional diversity of multiple Ixodes ricinus cathepsin D forms (IrCDs). Out of three encoding genes representing Ixodes scapularis genome paralogs, IrCD1 is the most distinct enzyme with a shortened propeptide region and a unique pattern of predicted post-translational modifications. IrCD1 gene transcription is induced by tick feeding and is restricted to the gut tissue. The hemoglobinolytic role of IrCD1 was further supported by immunolocalization of IrCD1 in the vesicles of tick gut cells. Properties of recombinantly expressed rIrCD1 are consistent with the endo-lysosomal environment because the zymogen is autoactivated and remains optimally active in acidic conditions. Hemoglobin cleavage pattern of rIrCD1 is identical to that produced by the native enzyme. The preference for hydrophobic residues at the P1 and P1′ position was confirmed by screening a novel synthetic tetradecapeptidyl substrate library. Outside the S1-S1′ regions, rIrCD1 tolerates most amino acids but displays a preference for tyrosine at P3 and alanine at P2′. Further analysis of the cleavage site location within the peptide substrate indicated that IrCD1 is a true endopeptidase. The role in hemoglobinolysis was verified with RNAi knockdown of IrCD1 that decreased gut extract cathepsin D activity by >90%. IrCD1 was newly characterized as a unique hemoglobinolytic cathepsin D contributing to the complex intestinal proteolytic network of mainly cysteine peptidases in ticks. PMID:22539347

  16. Topical treatment of white-tailed deer with an acaricide for the control of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in a Connecticut Lyme borreliosis hyperendemic Community.

    PubMed

    Stafford, Kirby C; Denicola, Anthony J; Pound, J Mathews; Miller, J Allen; George, John E

    2009-08-01

    The 4-Poster device for the topical treatment of white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann), against ticks using the acaricide amitraz, was evaluated in a Lyme borreliosis endemic community in Connecticut. As part of a 5-year project from 1997 to 2002, 21-24 of the 4-Posters were distributed at residential sites in Old Lyme, CT, in a core treatment area of approximately 5.2 km(2) in fall 1997. The 4-Posters were active October to mid-December and March into May, corresponding to the peak periods of activity for adult Ixodes scapularis in this particular area. Corn consumption ranged from 361 to 4789 kg/month for October and November and 696-3130 kg/month during April. Usage of 4-Posters by deer generally was high (>90%), except during acorn masts in fall 1998 and 2001. Amitraz was applied by rollers at the estimated rate of 1.3 g active ingredient/ha/year. The abundance of host-seeking I. scapularis nymphs declined significantly (p < 0.001) in the core treatment area, as compared to a control community in Old Saybrook, CT, through 2004, over the project period from 1998 to 2003, from 9.3/100m(2) to 0.97/100m(2), rising to 1.90/100m(2) in 2004. From 1999 through 2003, there were 46.1%, 49.6%, 63.4%, 64.6%, and 70.2% reductions, respectively, in the nymphal tick population in comparison with the untreated community and initial tick abundance in 1998. Control of I. scapularis adults declined to only 19.1% in 2004; 2 years after the treatment of deer was discontinued. Differences in nymphal tick abundance between the control and core treatment area were significant in 1999 (p = 0.042) and highly significant in 2001 (p < 0.001) and 2002 (p = 0.002). The passive topical application to deer of the acaricide amitraz resulted in a significant decrease in the population of free-living I. scapularis nymphs in the treated core in Connecticut. PMID:19650731

  17. Reprolysin metalloproteases from Ixodes persulcatus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Rhipicephalus microplus ticks.

    PubMed

    Ali, Abid; Tirloni, Lucas; Isezaki, Masayoshi; Seixas, Adriana; Konnai, Satoru; Ohashi, Kazuhiko; da Silva Vaz Junior, Itabajara; Termignoni, Carlos

    2014-08-01

    Metalloproteases (MPs) have been considered essential for blood feeding and other physiological functions in several hematophagous animals, including ticks. We report the characterization of MP sequences of three important ticks from Asia, Africa and America: Ixodes persulcatus (Ip-MPs), Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Rs-MPs) and R. microplus (BrRm-MPs). Amino acid sequence identity between R. microplus and R. sanguineus MPs ranged from 76 to 100 %, and identities among I. persulcatus, I. ricinus and I. scapularis MP sequences ranged from 88 to 97 %. This high sequence identity and typical functional motifs show that all sequences are MPs. The presence of a zinc binding site, a Met-turn and cysteine rich domain at the C-terminal region indicates that these proteins belong to the reproplysin family of MPs. Differences in amino acid sequences of BrRm-MP1, BrRm-MP2, BrRm-MP4 and BrRm-MP5 (from Porto Alegre strain ticks) were 6, 2, 7 and 5 %, respectively, when compared with sequences deposited in GenBank for the same genes from other R. microplus isolates. Analyses of MPs predicted that they have various highly antigenic regions. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed the presence of transcripts in salivary glands of partially and fully fed female ticks. None of these transcripts were observed in males (except BrRm-MP4) and eggs. These enzymes may be functional components required during tick feeding to manipulate host defenses and support tick hematophagy. PMID:24687173

  18. Comparison of tick-borne microorganism communities in Ixodes spp. of the Ixodes ricinus species complex at distinct geographical regions.

    PubMed

    Movila, Alexandru; Dubinina, Helen V; Sitnicova, Natalia; Bespyatova, Liubov; Uspenskaia, Inga; Efremova, Galina; Toderas, Ion; Alekseev, Andrey N

    2014-05-01

    Characterizing the tick-borne microorganism communities of Ixodes ricinus (sheep tick) and Ixodes persulcatus (taiga tick) from the I. ricinus species complex in distinct geographical regions of Eastern Europe and European Russia, we demonstrated differences between the two ticks. Taiga ticks were more frequently mono- and co-infected than sheep ticks: 24.4 % (45/184 tested ticks) versus 17.5 % (52/297) and 4.3 % (8/184) versus 3.4 % (10/297), respectively. Ginsberg co-infection index values were significant at the various sites. Diversity of the tick-borne microorganism communities was estimated by the Shannon index, reaching values of 1.71 ± 0.46 and 1.20 ± 0.15 at the sheep-tick and the taiga-tick harbored sites, respectively. Richness of the tick-borne microorganism community in the sheep tick collection sites was about twice the value of the taiga tick collection sites. Future investigations are warranted to further characterize the peculiarities of the tick-borne microorganism communities among the ticks of the Ixodes ricinus complex. PMID:24356921

  19. Preliminary survey for entomopathogenic fungi associated with Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in southern New York and New England, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhioua, E.; Ginsberg, H.S.; Humber, R.A.; LeBrun, R.A.

    1999-01-01

    Free-living larval, nymphal and adult Ixodes scapularis Say were collected from scattered locales in southern New England and New York to determine infection rates with entomopathogenic fungi. Infection rates of larvae, nymphs, males, and females were 0% (571), 0% (272), 0% (57), and 4.3% (47), respectively. Two entomopathogenic fungi were isolated from field-collected I. scapularis females from Fire Island, New York. Isolates were identified as Verticillium lecanii (Zimmermann) Viegas and Verticillium sp. (a member of the Verticillium lecanii species complex).

  20. [EFFECT OF PYRETHROIDS ON TAIGA TICKS (IXODES PERSULCATUS IXODIDAE)].

    PubMed

    Germant, O M; Shashina, N I

    2016-01-01

    Nonspecific prevention of infections, the agents of which are transmitted by Ixodes ticks, is aimed at stopping the suction of the ticks to humans and is substantially based one the use of acaricides. The most interesting group of compounds to be used to individually protect humans is pyrethroids that cause different nerve conduction disturbances in the ticks, which result in their paralysis and death more significantly rapidly than the compounds from other chemical groups. The effect of 8 pyrethroids was investigated when the taiga ticks were in contact with the tissue treated with the compounds. The relationship of the chemical structure of pyrethroids with their acaricidal activity was analyzed from motor activity values and knockdown time. The test pyreithroids, in order of decreasing acaricidal activity, are imiprothrin cyphenothrin, cyfluthrin, alpha-cyperamethrin, zeta-cyperimethrin fenothrin, flumethrin. PMID:27029149

  1. Climate change and Ixodes tick-borne diseases of humans.

    PubMed

    Ostfeld, Richard S; Brunner, Jesse L

    2015-04-01

    The evidence that climate warming is changing the distribution of Ixodes ticks and the pathogens they transmit is reviewed and evaluated. The primary approaches are either phenomenological, which typically assume that climate alone limits current and future distributions, or mechanistic, asking which tick-demographic parameters are affected by specific abiotic conditions. Both approaches have promise but are severely limited when applied separately. For instance, phenomenological approaches (e.g. climate envelope models) often select abiotic variables arbitrarily and produce results that can be hard to interpret biologically. On the other hand, although laboratory studies demonstrate strict temperature and humidity thresholds for tick survival, these limits rarely apply to field situations. Similarly, no studies address the influence of abiotic conditions on more than a few life stages, transitions or demographic processes, preventing comprehensive assessments. Nevertheless, despite their divergent approaches, both mechanistic and phenomenological models suggest dramatic range expansions of Ixodes ticks and tick-borne disease as the climate warms. The predicted distributions, however, vary strongly with the models' assumptions, which are rarely tested against reasonable alternatives. These inconsistencies, limited data about key tick-demographic and climatic processes and only limited incorporation of non-climatic processes have weakened the application of this rich area of research to public health policy or actions. We urge further investigation of the influence of climate on vertebrate hosts and tick-borne pathogen dynamics. In addition, testing model assumptions and mechanisms in a range of natural contexts and comparing their relative importance as competing models in a rigorous statistical framework will significantly advance our understanding of how climate change will alter the distribution, dynamics and risk of tick-borne disease. PMID:25688022

  2. Climate change and Ixodes tick-borne diseases of humans

    PubMed Central

    Ostfeld, Richard S.; Brunner, Jesse L.

    2015-01-01

    The evidence that climate warming is changing the distribution of Ixodes ticks and the pathogens they transmit is reviewed and evaluated. The primary approaches are either phenomenological, which typically assume that climate alone limits current and future distributions, or mechanistic, asking which tick-demographic parameters are affected by specific abiotic conditions. Both approaches have promise but are severely limited when applied separately. For instance, phenomenological approaches (e.g. climate envelope models) often select abiotic variables arbitrarily and produce results that can be hard to interpret biologically. On the other hand, although laboratory studies demonstrate strict temperature and humidity thresholds for tick survival, these limits rarely apply to field situations. Similarly, no studies address the influence of abiotic conditions on more than a few life stages, transitions or demographic processes, preventing comprehensive assessments. Nevertheless, despite their divergent approaches, both mechanistic and phenomenological models suggest dramatic range expansions of Ixodes ticks and tick-borne disease as the climate warms. The predicted distributions, however, vary strongly with the models' assumptions, which are rarely tested against reasonable alternatives. These inconsistencies, limited data about key tick-demographic and climatic processes and only limited incorporation of non-climatic processes have weakened the application of this rich area of research to public health policy or actions. We urge further investigation of the influence of climate on vertebrate hosts and tick-borne pathogen dynamics. In addition, testing model assumptions and mechanisms in a range of natural contexts and comparing their relative importance as competing models in a rigorous statistical framework will significantly advance our understanding of how climate change will alter the distribution, dynamics and risk of tick-borne disease. PMID:25688022

  3. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi (Spirochaetales: Spirochaetaceae), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae), and Babesia microti (Piroplasmida: Babesiidae) in Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) collected from recreational lands in the Hudson Valley Region, New York State.

    PubMed

    Prusinski, M A; Kokas, J E; Hukey, K T; Kogut, S J; Lee, J; Backenson, P B

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say, were collected from 27 sites in eight New York State counties from 2003 to 2006 to determine the prevalence and distribution of tick-borne pathogens in public-use areas over a 4-yr period. In total, 11,204 I. scapularis (3,300 nymphs and 7,904 adults) were individually analyzed using polymerase chain reaction to detect the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi (causative agent of Lyme disease), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (formerly Ehrlichia phagocytophila, causative agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis), and Babesia microti (causative agent of human babesiosis). Overall prevalence of B. burgdorferi, A. phagocytophilum, and B. microti was 14.4, 6.5, and 2.7% in nymphs and 45.7, 12.3, and 2.5% in adult ticks, respectively. Rates varied geographically and temporally during the time period examined, and were related to measurements of tick density. Average rate ofpolymicrobial infection for nymphs and adults, respectively, was 1.5 and 8.5% overall, with 0.5 and 6.3% coinfection of B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum, 1.0 and 1.5% B. burgdorferi and B. microti, and 0.05 and 0.6% A. phagocytophilum and B. microti. Thirty-three individual adult ticks from seven study sites in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, and Rockland counties tested positive for simultaneous infection with all three agents by multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay. PMID:24605473

  4. Anaplasma phagocytophilum in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks from Romania.

    PubMed

    Matei, Ioana Adriana; Kalmár, Zsuzsa; Magdaş, Cristian; Magdaş, Virginia; Toriay, Hortenzia; Dumitrache, Mirabela Oana; Ionică, Angela Monica; D'Amico, Gianluca; Sándor, Attila D; Mărcuţan, Daniel Ioan; Domşa, Cristian; Gherman, Călin Mircea; Mihalca, Andrei Daniel

    2015-04-01

    Granulocytic anaplasmosis is a common vector-borne disease of humans and animals with natural transmission cycle that involves tick vectors, among which Ixodes ricinus is the most important. The present paper reports the prevalence and geographical distribution of A. phagocytophilum in 10,438 questing Ixodes ricinus ticks collected at 113 locations from 40 counties of Romania. The unfed ticks were examined for the presence of A. phagocytophilum by PCR targeting a portion of ankA gene. The overall prevalence of infection was 3.42%, with local prevalences ranging between 0.29% and 22.45%, with an average prevalence of 5.39% in the infected localities. The infection with A. phagocytophilum was detected in 72 out of 113 localities and in 34 out of 40 counties. The highest prevalence was recorded in females followed by males and nymphs. The results and the distribution model have shown a large distribution of A. phagocytophilum, covering Romania's entire territory. This study is the first large scale survey of the presence of A. phagocytophilum in questing I. ricinus ticks from Romania. PMID:25838178

  5. Efficacy of plant-derived and synthetic compounds on clothing as repellents against Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Jordan, Robert A; Schulze, Terry L; Dolan, Marc C

    2012-01-01

    We conducted field trials to compare the relative repellent activity of two natural product compounds (nootkatone and carvacrol) with commercially available plant-derived (EcoSMART organic insect repellent) and permethrin-based (Repel Permanone) repellents against adult Ixodes scapularis Say and Amblyomma americanum (L.) (Acari: Ixodidae) by using treated coveralls. One day after treatment, nootkatone and carvacrol provided 100% repellency of I. scapularis adults, with nootkatone maintaining complete protection through 3 d, whereas carvacrol showed steadily declining repellency against I. scapularis during the 7-d course of the trials. Nootkatone was at least as effective against host-seeking A. americanum as against I. scapularis through 3 d. Carvacrol provided little protection against A. americanum adults. Both natural compounds performed well initially in comparison with the commercial products. After 7 d, nootkatone was the most effective against both species followed in order of activity by Permanone, EcoSMART, and carvacrol. Nootkatone seems to have offer considerable potential as a clothing repellent against both I. scapularis and A. americanum. PMID:22308777

  6. [Morphofunctional changes in the midgut of ticks of the genus Ixodes (Acarina: Ixodidae) during life cycle].

    PubMed

    Grigor'eva, L A

    2009-01-01

    Morphofunctional investigations of five Ixodes species (Ixodes pacificus, I. pavlovsky, I. persulcatus, I. ricinus and I. scapularis) were carried out. It was established, that the change of midgut epithelium lags at the each next developmental stage, and it is not synchronized with general processes of metamorphosis and organogenesis during molts. The midgut epithelium of a previous phase of the life cycle persists and functions during the feeding stage at the next phase. PMID:19957908

  7. Seasonal activity of nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in different habitats in New Jersey.

    PubMed

    Lord, C C

    1995-01-01

    Activity patterns of nymphal Ixodes scapularis Say were compared between habitat types (dominant tree types: mixed deciduous, oak, white pine, red cedar, sassafras, and spicebush). Both the time of peak abundance and the relative abundance of questing nymphs at the peak were compared. Several smoothing algorithms were tested with the data to determine if they could be used to estimate the time of peak abundance more accurately. Determination of the time of peak abundance using the raw data or simple moving averages was susceptible to outliers. Weighted averages were less susceptible to outliers. The seasonal pattern of nymphal abundance was similar in all habitat types. Variation in the time of peak abundance between habitats was low. Peak densities were lower in deciduous habitats (0.24 +/- 0.05 nymphs per square meter) than in nondeciduous habitats (0.85 +/- 0.15 nymphs per square meter); this could have resulted from higher host use of the nondeciduous areas. These data suggest that there are differences in the population dynamics of nymphs found in different habitats. PMID:7869344

  8. Molecular identification and bioinformatics analysis of a potential anti-vector vaccine candidate, 15-kDa salivary gland protein (Salp15), from Ixodes affinis ticks.

    PubMed

    Sultana, Hameeda; Patel, Unnati; Toliver, Marcée; Maggi, Ricardo G; Neelakanta, Girish

    2016-02-01

    Salp15, a 15-kDa salivary gland protein plays an important role in tick blood-feeding and transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis. The comparative studies reveal that Salp15 is a genetically conserved protein across various Ixodes species. In this study, we have identified a Salp15 homolog, designated as Iaff15, from Ixodes affinis ticks that are the principal enzootic vectors of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto in the southeastern part of the United States. Comparison of the annotated amino acid sequences showed that Iaff15 share 81% homology with I. sinensis Salp15 homolog and 64% homology with I. scapularis Salp15. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Iaff15 come within the same clade with I. sinensis, I. scapularis, and I. pacificus Salp15 homologs. The bioinformatics analysis of the posttranslational modifications prediction revealed that all the Salp15 family members contain glycosylation sites. In addition, Iaff15 carried a higher number of Casein Kinase II phosphorylation sites in comparison to the other Salp15 family members. Collectively, high sequence conservation distributed over the entire amino acids sequence not only suggests an important role for Iaff15 in I. affinis blood feeding and vector-pathogen interactions but may also lead to the development of an anti-vector vaccine against this group of ticks. PMID:26296588

  9. Prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi in Ixodes Ticks in Europe and the United States

    PubMed Central

    Crowder, Chris D.; Carolan, Heather E.; Rounds, Megan A.; Honig, Vaclav; Mothes, Benedikt; Haag, Heike; Nolte, Oliver; Luft, Ben J.; Grubhoffer, Libor; Ecker, David J.; Schutzer, Steven E.

    2014-01-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi, a relapsing fever-related spirochete transmitted by Ixodes ticks, has been recently shown to be a human pathogen. To characterize the prevalence of this organism in questing Ixodes ticks, we tested 2,754 ticks for a variety of tickborne pathogens by PCR and electrospray-ionization mass spectrometry. Ticks were collected from California, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Indiana in the United States and from Germany and the Czech Republic in Europe from 2008 through 2012. In addition, an isolate from Japan was characterized. We found 3 distinct genotypes, 1 for North America, 1 for Europe, and 1 for Japan. We found B. miyamotoi infection in ticks in 16 of the 26 sites surveyed, with infection prevalence as high as 15.4%. These results show the widespread distribution of the pathogen, indicating an exposure risk to humans in areas where Ixodes ticks reside. PMID:25280366

  10. Conjunctival Attachment of a Live Paralysis Tick, Ixodes holocyclus, in a Child: A Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Teong, Joanne M.Y.; Adler, Paul A.; Doggett, Stephen L.; Daneshvar, Dariush; Shields, Melissa K.

    2015-01-01

    We describe a rare clinical finding of conjunctival tick attachment in a child. A 10-year-old boy presented to the clinic with right-eye itch. He was found to have a live tick firmly attached to his right temporal conjunctiva. The tick was identified as the larval stage of the paralysis tick, Ixodes holocyclus. The tick was removed completely by conjunctival excision. Although various methods of removing a tick have been described in the literature, the goal of treatment is the safe and complete removal of the tick to prevent further transmission of pathogens, allergens, and toxins to the patient. PMID:25969685

  11. Natural hybridization of the ticks Ixodes persulcatus and Ixodes pavlovskyi in their sympatric populations in Western Siberia.

    PubMed

    Kovalev, Sergey Y; Mikhaylishcheva, Maria S; Mukhacheva, Tatyana A

    2015-06-01

    Hybridization of ticks of the genus Ixodes has been described for several species under laboratory conditions although no molecular genetics evidence confirming interspecific hybridization in nature is available. We have designed a real time PCR targeted on nuclear (ITS2) and mitochondrial (cox1) markers to accurately identify tick species and to detect interspecific hybrids of Ixodes persulcatus and Ixodes pavlovskyi in their sympatric populations in Western Siberia. A survey of 783 individual ticks from a suburb of Tomsk showed that 44.2% of ticks belong to I. pavlovskyi species and 55.8% to I. persulcatus, based on the mtDNA data. Results obtained with the nuclear marker were not consistent, indicating that approximately 10% of the ticks were hybrids and about 5% revealed mtDNA introgression. Both hybridization and introgression have been shown to occur bidirectionally but more efficiently in the mating pair female I. pavlovskyi×male I. persulcatus than vice versa. The existence of the first generation hybrids and backcrosses challenges the existing view about effective reproductive barriers between I. pavlovskyi and I. persulcatus. While using only mitochondrial markers can lead to errors in determining tick species, we propose to use nuclear or both markers instead. The results obtained in the present paper and published earlier suggest that hybridization between closely related tick species in their sympatric zones is common rather than exceptional. The role of hybrid populations of vectors in the evolution of transmitted pathogens is also discussed. PMID:25858121

  12. Survey of ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) and tick-borne pathogens in North Dakota.

    PubMed

    Russart, Nathan M; Dougherty, Michael W; Vaughan, Jefferson A

    2014-09-01

    Ticks were sampled at nine locations throughout North Dakota during early summer of 2010, using flagging techniques and small mammals trapping. In total, 1,762 ticks were collected from eight of the nine locations. The dominant species were Dermacentor variabilis (Say) (82%), found throughout the state, and Ixodes scapularis Say (17%), found in northeastern counties. A few nymphal and adult I. scapularis tested positive for Borrelia burgdorferi (3%) and Anaplasma phagocytophilum (8%). This is the first report of I. scapularis and associated pathogens occurring in North Dakota and provides evidence for continued westward expansion of this important vector tick species in the United States. PMID:25276942

  13. Characterization of spirochetes isolated from ticks (Ixodes tanuki, Ixodes turdus, and Ixodes columnae) and comparison of the sequences with those of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato strains.

    PubMed Central

    Fukunaga, M; Hamase, A; Okada, K; Inoue, H; Tsuruta, Y; Miyamoto, K; Nakao, M

    1996-01-01

    Ixodes persulcatus serves as a tick vector for Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii in Japan; however, unidentified spirochetes have been isolated from other species of ticks. In this study, 13 isolates from ticks (6 from Ixodes tanuki, 6 from Ixodes turdus, and 1 from Ixodes columnae) and 3 isolates from voles (Clethrionomys rufocanus) were characterized by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, rRNA gene restriction fragment length polymorphism, partial sequencing of the outer surface protein C (OspC) gene, whole DNA-DNA hybridization, and 16S rRNA gene sequence comparison. All of the results revealed that these Borrelia strains clearly represent at least two new species. A third is also likely, although additional strains have to be isolated and characterized before a separate species is designated. We designated all isolates of I. tanuki and C. rufocanus as group Hk501 and all isolates of I. turdus as group Ya501. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences distinguished these Borrelia strains from those belonging to hitherto known Borrelia species. Furthermore, the genomic groups, each with its own tick vectors with enzootic cycles, were quite different from each other and also from those of Lyme disease Borrelia species known to occur in Japan. The results of 16S rRNA gene sequence comparison suggest that the strain Am501 from I. columnae is related to group Hk501, although its level of DNA relatedness is less than 70%. PMID:8779571

  14. Developing Novel Technology for the Control of Ticks of Veterinary and Human Importance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Among approximately 670 tick species in the world, the southern cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus and the black-legged tick Ixodes scapularis received the most attention in the United States due to their roles as the vectors of disease agents affecting cattle and humans, respectively. ...

  15. Comparative Metagenomic Profiling of Symbiotic Bacterial Communities Associated with Ixodes persulcatus, Ixodes pavlovskyi and Dermacentor reticulatus Ticks.

    PubMed

    Kurilshikov, Alexander; Livanova, Natalya N; Fomenko, Nataliya V; Tupikin, Alexey E; Rar, Vera A; Kabilov, Marsel R; Livanov, Stanislav G; Tikunova, Nina V

    2015-01-01

    Ixodes persulcatus, Ixodes pavlovskyi, and Dermacentor reticulatus ticks inhabiting Western Siberia are responsible for the transmission of a number of etiological agents that cause human and animal tick-borne diseases. Because these ticks are abundant in the suburbs of large cities, agricultural areas, and popular tourist sites and frequently attack people and livestock, data regarding the microbiomes of these organisms are required. Using metagenomic 16S profiling, we evaluate bacterial communities associated with I. persulcatus, I. pavlovskyi, and D. reticulatus ticks collected from the Novosibirsk region of Russia. A total of 1214 ticks were used for this study. DNA extracted from the ticks was pooled according to tick species and sex. Sequencing of the V3-V5 domains of 16S rRNA genes was performed using the Illumina Miseq platform. The following bacterial genera were prevalent in the examined communities: Acinetobacter (all three tick species), Rickettsia (I. persulcatus and D. reticulatus) and Francisella (D. reticulatus). B. burgdorferi sensu lato and B. miyamotoi sequences were detected in I. persulcatus and I. pavlovskyi but not in D. reticulatus ticks. The pooled samples of all tick species studied contained bacteria from the Anaplasmataceae family, although their occurrence was low. DNA from A. phagocytophilum and Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis was first observed in I. pavlovskyi ticks. Significant inter-species differences in the number of bacterial taxa as well as intra-species diversity related to tick sex were observed. The bacterial communities associated with the I. pavlovskyi ticks displayed a higher biodiversity compared with those of the I. persulcatus and D. reticulatus ticks. Bacterial community structure was also diverse across the studied tick species, as shown by permutational analysis of variance using the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity metric (p = 0.002). Between-sex variation was confirmed by PERMANOVA testing in I. persulcatus (p = 0

  16. Comparative Metagenomic Profiling of Symbiotic Bacterial Communities Associated with Ixodes persulcatus, Ixodes pavlovskyi and Dermacentor reticulatus Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Kurilshikov, Alexander; Livanova, Natalya N.; Fomenko, Nataliya V.; Tupikin, Alexey E.; Rar, Vera A.; Kabilov, Marsel R.; Livanov, Stanislav G.; Tikunova, Nina V.

    2015-01-01

    Ixodes persulcatus, Ixodes pavlovskyi, and Dermacentor reticulatus ticks inhabiting Western Siberia are responsible for the transmission of a number of etiological agents that cause human and animal tick-borne diseases. Because these ticks are abundant in the suburbs of large cities, agricultural areas, and popular tourist sites and frequently attack people and livestock, data regarding the microbiomes of these organisms are required. Using metagenomic 16S profiling, we evaluate bacterial communities associated with I. persulcatus, I. pavlovskyi, and D. reticulatus ticks collected from the Novosibirsk region of Russia. A total of 1214 ticks were used for this study. DNA extracted from the ticks was pooled according to tick species and sex. Sequencing of the V3-V5 domains of 16S rRNA genes was performed using the Illumina Miseq platform. The following bacterial genera were prevalent in the examined communities: Acinetobacter (all three tick species), Rickettsia (I. persulcatus and D. reticulatus) and Francisella (D. reticulatus). B. burgdorferi sensu lato and B. miyamotoi sequences were detected in I. persulcatus and I. pavlovskyi but not in D. reticulatus ticks. The pooled samples of all tick species studied contained bacteria from the Anaplasmataceae family, although their occurrence was low. DNA from A. phagocytophilum and Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis was first observed in I. pavlovskyi ticks. Significant inter-species differences in the number of bacterial taxa as well as intra-species diversity related to tick sex were observed. The bacterial communities associated with the I. pavlovskyi ticks displayed a higher biodiversity compared with those of the I. persulcatus and D. reticulatus ticks. Bacterial community structure was also diverse across the studied tick species, as shown by permutational analysis of variance using the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity metric (p = 0.002). Between-sex variation was confirmed by PERMANOVA testing in I. persulcatus (p = 0

  17. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes cf. neuquenensis and Ixodes sigelos ticks from the Patagonian region of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Sebastian, Patrick S; Bottero, Maria Noelia Saracho; Carvalho, Luis; Mackenstedt, Ute; Lareschi, Marcela; Venzal, José M; Nava, Santiago

    2016-10-01

    This study was conducted to detect Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection in ixodid ticks from the Patagonia region in the south of Argentina. Therefore, ticks were collected on rodents in the provinces of Chubut, Río Negro and Santa Cruz. These ticks were identified as nymphs of Ixodes cf. neuquenensis and Ixodes sigelos. The B. burgdorferi s.l. infection was tested by a battery of PCR methods targeting the gene flagellin (fla) and the rrfA-rrlB intergenic spacer region (IGS). Three pools of I. sigelos nymphs from Chubut and Santa Cruz provinces as well as one pool of I. cf. neuquenensis nymphs from Río Negro province were tested positive in the fla-PCR. The samples of I. sigelos were also positive for the IGS-PCR. Phylogenetically, the haplotypes found in the positive ticks belong to the B. burgdorferi s.l. complex, and they were closely related to Borrelia chilensis, a genospecies isolated from Ixodes stilesi in Chile. The pathogenic relevance of the Borrelia genospecies detected in both I. neuquenensis and I. sigelos is unknown. PMID:27372197

  18. How ticks get under your skin: insertion mechanics of the feeding apparatus of Ixodes ricinus ticks.

    PubMed

    Richter, Dania; Matuschka, Franz-Rainer; Spielman, Andrew; Mahadevan, L

    2013-12-22

    The tick Ixodes ricinus uses its mouthparts to penetrate the skin of its host and to remain attached for about a week, during which time Lyme disease spirochaetes may pass from the tick to the host. To understand how the tick achieves both tasks, penetration and attachment, with the same set of implements, we recorded the insertion events by cinematography, interpreted the mouthparts' function by scanning electron microscopy and identified their points of articulation by confocal microscopy. Our structural dynamic observations suggest that the process of insertion and attachment occurs via a ratchet-like mechanism with two distinct stages. Initially, the two telescoping chelicerae pierce the skin and, by moving alternately, generate a toehold. Subsequently, a breaststroke-like motion, effected by simultaneous flexure and retraction of both chelicerae, pulls in the barbed hypostome. This combination of a flexible, dynamic mechanical ratchet and a static holdfast thus allows the tick to solve the problem of how to penetrate skin and also remain stuck for long periods of time. PMID:24174106

  19. How ticks get under your skin: insertion mechanics of the feeding apparatus of Ixodes ricinus ticks

    PubMed Central

    Richter, Dania; Matuschka, Franz-Rainer; Spielman, Andrew; Mahadevan, L.

    2013-01-01

    The tick Ixodes ricinus uses its mouthparts to penetrate the skin of its host and to remain attached for about a week, during which time Lyme disease spirochaetes may pass from the tick to the host. To understand how the tick achieves both tasks, penetration and attachment, with the same set of implements, we recorded the insertion events by cinematography, interpreted the mouthparts’ function by scanning electron microscopy and identified their points of articulation by confocal microscopy. Our structural dynamic observations suggest that the process of insertion and attachment occurs via a ratchet-like mechanism with two distinct stages. Initially, the two telescoping chelicerae pierce the skin and, by moving alternately, generate a toehold. Subsequently, a breaststroke-like motion, effected by simultaneous flexure and retraction of both chelicerae, pulls in the barbed hypostome. This combination of a flexible, dynamic mechanical ratchet and a static holdfast thus allows the tick to solve the problem of how to penetrate skin and also remain stuck for long periods of time. PMID:24174106

  20. Avian tick paralysis caused by Ixodes brunneus in the southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Luttrell, M.P.; Creekmore, L.H.; Mertins, J.W.

    1996-01-01

    Between 1988 and 1994, 16 definitive and 26 presumptive cases of tick paralysis were diagnosed in 10 species of birds from five southeastern states in the USA. All birds had engorged adult female Ixodes brunneus ticks on the head region and were partially paralyzed or dead. Cases occurred in the winter and early spring months, and most birds were passerines found in private yards or near feeders. All stages of I. brunneus feed exclusively on birds, and this species previously has been associated with avian tick paralysis. Little is known concerning the life cycle of this ixodid tick and its impact on wild bird populations.

  1. Seasonal correlation of sporadic schizophrenia to Ixodes ticks and Lyme borreliosis

    PubMed Central

    Fritzsche, Markus

    2002-01-01

    Background Being born in winter and spring is considered one of the most robust epidemiological risk factors for schizophrenia. The aetiology and exact timing of this birth excess, however, has remained elusive so far. Since during phylogeny, Borrelia DNA has led to multiple germ-line mutations within the CB1 candidate gene for schizophrenia, a meta analysis has been performed of all papers on schizophrenic birth excesses with no less than 3000 cases each. All published numerical data were then plotted against the seasonal distributions of Ixodes ticks worldwide. Results In the United States, Europe and Japan the birth excesses of those individuals who later in life develop schizophrenia mirror the seasonal distribution of Ixodes ticks nine months earlier at the time of conception. South of the Wallace Line, which limits the spread of Ixodes ticks and Borrelia burgdorferi into Australia, seasonal trends are less significant, and in Singapore, being non-endemic for Ixodes ticks and Lyme disease, schizophrenic birth excesses are absent. Conclusion At present, it cannot be excluded that prenatal infection by B. burgdorferi is harmful to the implanting human blastocyst. The epidemiological clustering of sporadic schizophrenia by season and locality rather emphasises the risk to the unborn of developing a congenital, yet preventable brain disorder later in life. PMID:12453316

  2. Ectoparasites of Microtus californicus and Possible Emergence of an Exotic Ixodes Species Tick in California.

    PubMed

    Poulsen, Amanda; Conroy, Chris; Foley, Patrick; Ott-Conn, Caitlin; Roy, Austin; Brown, Richard; Foley, Janet

    2015-09-01

    California voles (Microtus californicus Peale) harbor fleas and ticks, may be infected with vector-borne pathogens, and could themselves suffer from disease and serve as a source of infection for people and other animals. Here we summarize publications, museum archives, and recent records of ticks and fleas from California voles. There have been 18 flea species reported on California voles with geographic locations reported for 13. During recent statewide surveys, we found six flea species, with the highest species richness in Humboldt County. We found three of five previously reported tick species as well as a tick resembling the eastern North American tick Ixodes minor Neumann (which we here designate Ixodes "Mojave morphotype") on isolated Amargosa voles and Owens Valley voles (Microtus californicus vallicola Bailey) in Inyo County in 2012 and 2014. Additional incidental observations of this Mojave morphotype tick were on a western harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotis Baird) at the Mojave site and a montane vole (Microtus montanus Peale) in the Owens Valley, both in March, 2014. We cannot rule out that this tick species has been present in remote areas of California but gone unrecognized, but these data are consistent with recent introduction of this tick, possibly from migrating birds. Changes in the ectoparasite fauna suggest changing ecologies of vectors and vector-borne pathogens that could influence animals and people as well. PMID:26336217

  3. Molecular Investigations of Rickettsia helvetica infection in dogs, foxes, humans, and Ixodes ticks.

    PubMed

    Boretti, Felicitas S; Perreten, Andrea; Meli, Marina L; Cattori, Valentino; Willi, Barbara; Wengi, Nicole; Hornok, Sándor; Honegger, Hanspeter; Hegglin, Daniel; Woelfel, Roman; Reusch, Claudia E; Lutz, Hans; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina

    2009-05-01

    Rickettsia helvetica, a tick-borne member of the spotted-fever-group rickettsiae, is a suspected pathogen in humans; however, its role in animals is unknown. The aims of this study were to establish a R. helvetica-specific real-time TaqMan PCR assay and apply it to the analysis of tick vectors (to determine potential exposure risk) and blood samples from Canidae and humans (to determine prevalence of infection). The newly designed 23S rRNA gene assay for R. helvetica was more sensitive than a published citrate synthase gene (gltA) assay for several rickettsiae. Blood samples from 884 dogs, 58 foxes, and 214 human patients and 2,073 ticks (Ixodes spp.) collected from either vegetation or animals were analyzed. Although the maximal likelihood estimate of prevalence was 12% in unfed ticks and 36% in ticks collected from animals, none of the 1,156 blood samples tested PCR positive. Ticks from cats were more frequently PCR positive than ticks from dogs. Sequencing of the 23S rRNA and/or the gltA gene of 17 tick pools confirmed the presence of R. helvetica. Additionally, Rickettsia monacensis, which has not been previously found in Switzerland, was identified. In conclusion, R. helvetica was frequently detected in the tick population but not in blood samples. Nevertheless, due to the broad host range of Ixodes ticks and the high rate of infestation with this agent (i.e., R. helvetica was 13 times more frequent in unfed ticks than the tick-borne encephalitis virus), many mammals may be exposed to R. helvetica. The PCR assay described here represents an important tool for studying this topic. PMID:19329665

  4. Molecular Evidence of Bartonella spp. in Questing Adult Ixodes pacificus Ticks in California

    PubMed Central

    Chang, C. C.; Chomel, B. B.; Kasten, R. W.; Romano, V.; Tietze, N.

    2001-01-01

    Ticks are the vectors of many zoonotic diseases in the United States, including Lyme disease, human monocytic and granulocytic ehrlichioses, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Most known Bartonella species are arthropod borne. Therefore, it is important to determine if some Bartonella species, which are emerging pathogens, could be carried or transmitted by ticks. In this study, adult Ixodes pacificus ticks were collected by flagging vegetation in three sites in Santa Clara County, Calif. PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism and partial sequencing of 273 bp of the gltA gene were applied for Bartonella identification. Twenty-nine (19.2%) of 151 individually tested ticks were PCR positive for Bartonella. Male ticks were more likely to be infected with Bartonella than female ticks (26 versus 12%, P = 0.05). None of the nine ticks collected at Baird Ranch was PCR positive for Bartonella. However, 7 (50%) of 14 ticks from Red Fern Ranch and 22 (17%) of 128 ticks from the Windy Hill Open Space Reserve were infected with Bartonella. In these infected ticks, molecular analysis showed a variety of Bartonella strains, which were closely related to a cattle Bartonella strain and to several known human-pathogenic Bartonella species and subspecies: Bartonella henselae, B. quintana, B. washoensis, and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii. These findings indicate that I. pacificus ticks may play an important role in Bartonella transmission among animals and humans. PMID:11283031

  5. Siberian subtype tick-borne encephalitis virus in Ixodes ricinus in a newly emerged focus, Finland.

    PubMed

    Jääskeläinen, Anu; Tonteri, Elina; Pieninkeroinen, Ilkka; Sironen, Tarja; Voutilainen, Liina; Kuusi, Markku; Vaheri, Antti; Vapalahti, Olli

    2016-02-01

    The first tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) cases in Kotka, Finland appeared in 2010. Altogether ten human cases have been diagnosed by 2014. Four had long-lasting sequelae. We collected 195 Ixodes ricinus ticks, nine rodents, and eleven shrews from the archipelago of Kotka in 2011. Three Siberian subtype TBE virus (TBEV) strains were isolated from the ticks and three mammals were positive for TBEV antibodies. The archipelago of Kotka is a newly emerged TBE focus of Siberian subtype TBEV circulating notably in I. ricinus. The patients had on average longer hospitalization than reported for the European subtype infection. PMID:26548609

  6. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi DNA in museum specimens of Ixodes dammini ticks.

    PubMed

    Persing, D H; Telford, S R; Rys, P N; Dodge, D E; White, T J; Malawista, S E; Spielman, A

    1990-09-21

    In order to investigate the potential for Borrelia burgdorferi infection before the recognition of Lyme disease as a clinical entity, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to examine museum specimens of Ixodes dammini (deer ticks) for the presence of spirochete-specific DNA sequences. One hundred and thirty-six archival tick specimens were obtained representing various continental U.S. locations; DNA sequences characteristic of modern day isolates of B. burgdorferi were detected in 13 1940s specimens from Montauk Point and Hither Hills, Long Island, New York. Five archival specimens of Dermacentor variabilis (dog tick) from the same collection and 118 Ixodes specimens from other endemic and nonendemic sites were negative. These data suggest that the appearance of the Lyme disease spirochete in suitable arthropod vectors preceded, by at least a generation, the formal recognition of this disease as a clinical entity in the United States. PMID:2402635

  7. The role of deer as vehicles to move ticks, Ixodes ricinus, between contrasting habitats.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Fons, Francisco; Gilbert, Lucy

    2010-08-01

    In Europe the most important hosts maintaining Ixodes ricinus tick populations are deer. Therefore, excluding deer by fencing or culling are potential tick management tools. Here we test the hypothesis that deer act as vehicles for moving ticks between two distinct habitats: forest and open heather moorland. We utilised an ideal "natural experiment" whereby forests were either fenced or unfenced to prevent or allow deer to move between habitats. We aimed to test the hypothesis that deer cause a net movement of ticks from high tick density areas, i.e. forests, to low tick density areas, i.e. open moorland. We recorded I. ricinus and host abundance in 10 unfenced and seven fenced forests and their respective surrounding heather moorland. We found that fenced forests had fewer deer and fewer I. ricinus nymphs than unfenced forests. However, we found no evidence that fencing forests reduced I. ricinus abundance on adjacent heather moorland. Thus there was insufficient evidence for our hypothesis that deer cause a net movement of ticks from forest onto adjacent moorland. However, we found that deer abundance generally correlates with I. ricinus abundance. We conclude that fencing can be used as a tool to reduce ticks and disease risk in forests, but that fencing forests is unlikely to reduce ticks or disease risk on adjacent moorland. Instead, reducing deer numbers could be a potential tool to reduce tick abundance with implications for disease mitigation. PMID:20211625

  8. Vaccination with cyclin-dependent kinase tick antigen confers protection against Ixodes infestation.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Helga; Moraes, Jorge; Githaka, Naftaly; Martins, Renato; Isezaki, Masayoshi; Vaz, Itabajara da Silva; Logullo, Carlos; Konnai, Satoru; Ohashi, Kazuhiko

    2015-07-30

    Among arthropods, ticks lead as vectors of animal diseases and rank second to mosquitoes in transmitting human pathogens. Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) participate in cell cycle control in eukaryotes. CDKs are serine/threonine protein kinases and these catalytic subunits are activated or inactivated at specific stages of the cell cycle. To determine the potential of using CDKs as anti-tick vaccine antigens, hamsters were immunized with recombinant Ixodes persulcatus CDK10, followed by a homologous tick challenge. Though it was not exactly unexpected, IpCDK10 vaccination significantly impaired tick blood feeding and fecundity, which manifested as low engorgement weights, poor oviposition, and a reduction in 80% of hatching rates. These findings may underpin the development of more efficacious anti-tick vaccines based on the targeting of cell cycle control proteins. PMID:26073111

  9. Abundance estimation of Ixodes ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) on roe deer (Capreolus capreolus)

    PubMed Central

    Lödige, Christina; Alings, Matthias; Vor, Torsten; Rühe, Ferdinand

    2010-01-01

    Despite the importance of roe deer as a host for Ixodes ticks in central Europe, estimates of total tick burden on roe deer are not available to date. We aimed at providing (1) estimates of life stage and sex specific (larvae, nymphs, males and females, hereafter referred to as tick life stages) total Ixodes burden and (2) equations which can be used to predict the total life stage burden by counting the life stage on a selected body area. Within a period of 1½ years, we conducted whole body counts of ticks from 80 hunter-killed roe deer originating from a beech dominated forest area in central Germany. Averaged over the entire study period (winter 2007–summer 2009), the mean tick burden per roe deer was 64.5 (SE ± 10.6). Nymphs were the most numerous tick life stage per roe deer (23.9 ± 3.2), followed by females (21.4 ± 3.5), larvae (10.8 ± 4.2) and males (8.4 ± 1.5). The individual tick burden was highly aggregated (k = 0.46); levels of aggregation were highest in larvae (k = 0.08), followed by males (k = 0.40), females (k = 0.49) and nymphs (k = 0.71). To predict total life stage specific burdens based on counts on selected body parts, we provide linear equations. For estimating larvae abundance on the entire roe deer, counts can be restricted to the front legs. Tick counts restricted to the head are sufficient to estimate total nymph burden and counts on the neck are appropriate for estimating adult ticks (females and males). In order to estimate the combined tick burden, tick counts on the head can be used for extrapolation. The presented linear models are highly significant and explain 84.1, 77.3, 90.5, 91.3, and 65.3% (adjusted R2) of the observed variance, respectively. Thus, these models offer a robust basis for rapid tick abundance assessment. This can be useful for studies aiming at estimating effects of abiotic and biotic factors on tick abundance, modelling tick population dynamics, modelling tick-borne pathogen

  10. Wild Birds and Urban Ecology of Ticks and Tick-borne Pathogens, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2005–2010

    PubMed Central

    Goldberg, Tony L.; Kitron, Uriel D.; Brawn, Jeffrey D.; Anderson, Tavis K.; Loss, Scott R.; Walker, Edward D.; Hamer, Gabriel L.

    2012-01-01

    Bird-facilitated introduction of ticks and associated pathogens is postulated to promote invasion of tick-borne zoonotic diseases into urban areas. Results of a longitudinal study conducted in suburban Chicago, Illinois, USA, during 2005–2010 show that 1.6% of 6,180 wild birds captured in mist nets harbored ticks. Tick species in order of abundance were Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, Ixodes dentatus, and I. scapularis, but 2 neotropical tick species of the genus Amblyomma were sampled during the spring migration. I. scapularis ticks were absent at the beginning of the study but constituted the majority of ticks by study end and were found predominantly on birds captured in areas designated as urban green spaces. Of 120 ticks, 5 were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, spanning 3 ribotypes, but none were infected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Results allow inferences about propagule pressure for introduction of tick-borne diseases and emphasize the large sample sizes required to estimate this pressure. PMID:23017244

  11. Wild birds and urban ecology of ticks and tick-borne pathogens, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2005-2010.

    PubMed

    Hamer, Sarah A; Goldberg, Tony L; Kitron, Uriel D; Brawn, Jeffrey D; Anderson, Tavis K; Loss, Scott R; Walker, Edward D; Hamer, Gabriel L

    2012-10-01

    Bird-facilitated introduction of ticks and associated pathogens is postulated to promote invasion of tick-borne zoonotic diseases into urban areas. Results of a longitudinal study conducted in suburban Chicago, Illinois, USA, during 2005-2010 show that 1.6% of 6,180 wild birds captured in mist nets harbored ticks. Tick species in order of abundance were Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, Ixodes dentatus, and I. scapularis, but 2 neotropical tick species of the genus Amblyomma were sampled during the spring migration. I. scapularis ticks were absent at the beginning of the study but constituted the majority of ticks by study end and were found predominantly on birds captured in areas designated as urban green spaces. Of 120 ticks, 5 were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, spanning 3 ribotypes, but none were infected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Results allow inferences about propagule pressure for introduction of tick-borne diseases and emphasize the large sample sizes required to estimate this pressure. PMID:23017244

  12. Ticks and tick-borne pathogens in South Bohemia (Czech Republic)--Spatial variability in Ixodes ricinus abundance, Borrelia burgdorferi and tick-borne encephalitis virus prevalence.

    PubMed

    Hönig, V; Svec, P; Halas, P; Vavruskova, Z; Tykalova, H; Kilian, P; Vetiskova, V; Dornakova, V; Sterbova, J; Simonova, Z; Erhart, J; Sterba, J; Golovchenko, M; Rudenko, N; Grubhoffer, L

    2015-07-01

    Spatial distribution of Ixodes ricinus tick host-seeking activity, as well as prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) were studied in the TBE endemic area of South Bohemia (Czech Republic). High variability in tick abundance detected in a network of 30 study sites was most closely associated with characteristics of vegetation cover. Of 11,182 tested tick samples, 12% carried DNA of spirochete from B. burgdorferi s.l. complex. B. afzelii and B. garinii prevailed among spirochete species. The presence of B. spielmanii in the region was confirmed. The median number of borrelial genome copies in positive samples reached 6.6 × 10(3) by real-time PCR. The total prevalence of TBEV in pooled samples reached 0.32% (20,057 samples tested), at least one TBEV positive tick was present in 21 out of 30 sampling sites. PMID:25976235

  13. Efficacy of a granular formulation containing Metarhizium brunneum F52 (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) microsclerotia against nymphs of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixoididae).

    PubMed

    Behle, Robert W; Jackson, Mark A; Flor-Weiler, Lina B

    2013-02-01

    Technical improvements in the production and formulation of microbial agents will increase the potential for development of biological pesticides that are able to compete with chemical insecticides in the marketplace. Here we report the efficacy of a simple granule formulation containing microsclerotia of Metarhizium brunneum (Petch) (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) for control of unfed and fed nymphs of Ixodes scpaularis Say (Acari: Ixoididae). Microsclerotial granules of M. brunneum applied to moist potting mix produce infective conidia within 2 wk and conidia remained viable for up to 8 wk after application. Microsclerotial granules produced from 3.05 x 10(9) to 1.24 x 10(10) conidia g(-1) granules in potting mix. Both unfed and fed nymphs were susceptible to infection when exposed to treated potting soil with up to 56 and 74% mortality, respectively. M. brunneum demonstrated a transtadial infection for fed nymphs exposed to treated potting mix with signs of a fungal infection becoming apparent only after molting into adults. High conidial production rates from microsclerotial granules of M. brunneum combined with significant tick mortality support the need for additional research to evaluate the efficacy of this treatment technology as a biopesticide option for control of ticks. PMID:23448015

  14. Borrelia garinii in Seabird Ticks (Ixodes uriae), Atlantic Coast, North America

    PubMed Central

    Muzaffar, Sabir Bin; Lavers, Jennifer; Lacombe, Eleanor H.; Cahill, Bruce K.; Lubelczyk, Charles B.; Kinsler, Allen; Mathers, Amy J.; Rand, Peter W.

    2006-01-01

    Borrelia garinii is the most neurotropic of the genospecies of B. burgdorferi sensu lato that cause Lyme disease in Europe, where it is transmitted to avian and mammalian reservoir hosts and to humans by Ixodes ricinus. B. garinii is also maintained in an enzootic cycle in seabirds by I. uriae, a tick found at high latitudes in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. To determine whether B. garinii is present in seabird ticks on the Atlantic Coast of North America, we examined 261 I. uriae ticks by polyclonal antiborrelial fluorescent antibody. Ten of 61 ticks from Gull Island, Newfoundland, were positive for borreliae by this screen. Amplicons of DNA obtained by PCR that targeted the B. garinii rrs-rrla intergenic spacer were sequenced and matched to GenBank sequences for B. garinii. The potential for introduction of this agent into the North American Lyme disease enzootic is unknown. PMID:17326943

  15. Vector Competence of the Tick Ixodes ricinus for Transmission of Bartonella birtlesii

    PubMed Central

    Reis, Caroline; Cote, Martine; Le Rhun, Danielle; Lecuelle, Benoit; Levin, Michael L.; Vayssier-Taussat, Muriel; Bonnet, Sarah I.

    2011-01-01

    Bartonella spp. are facultative intracellular vector-borne bacteria associated with several emerging diseases in humans and animals all over the world. The potential for involvement of ticks in transmission of Bartonella spp. has been heartily debated for many years. However, most of the data supporting bartonellae transmission by ticks come from molecular and serological epidemiological surveys in humans and animals providing only indirect evidences without a direct proof of tick vector competence for transmission of bartonellae. We used a murine model to assess the vector competence of Ixodes ricinus for Bartonella birtlesii. Larval and nymphal I. ricinus were fed on a B. birtlesii-infected mouse. The nymphs successfully transmitted B. birtlesii to naïve mice as bacteria were recovered from both the mouse blood and liver at seven and 16 days after tick bites. The female adults successfully emitted the bacteria into uninfected blood after three or more days of tick attachment, when fed via membrane feeding system. Histochemical staining showed the presence of bacteria in salivary glands and muscle tissues of partially engorged adult ticks, which had molted from the infected nymphs. These results confirm the vector competence of I. ricinus for B. birtlesii and represent the first in vivo demonstration of a Bartonella sp. transmission by ticks. Consequently, bartonelloses should be now included in the differential diagnosis for patients exposed to tick bites. PMID:21655306

  16. The vector tick Ixodes ricinus feeding on an arboreal rodent-the edible dormouse Glis glis.

    PubMed

    Fietz, Joanna; Langer, Franz; Havenstein, Nadine; Matuschka, Franz-Rainer; Richter, Dania

    2016-04-01

    The reservoir competence and long life expectancy of edible dormice, Glis glis, suggest that they serve as efficient reservoir hosts for Lyme disease (LD) spirochetes. Their arboreality, however, may reduce the probability to encounter sufficient questing Ixodes ricinus ticks to acquire and perpetuate LD spirochetes. To define the potential role of this small arboreal hibernator in the transmission cycle of LD spirochetes, we examined their rate and density of infestation with subadult ticks throughout the season of activity. Of the 1081 edible dormice that we captured at five study sites in Southern Germany and inspected for ticks at 2946 capture occasions, 26 % were infested with at least one and as many as 26 subadult ticks on their ear pinnae. The distribution of ticks feeding on edible dormice was highly aggregated. Although only few individuals harbored nymphal ticks soon after their emergence from hibernation, the rate of nymphal infestation increased steadily throughout the season and reached about 35 % in September. Dormice inhabiting a site with few conspecifics seemed more likely to be infested by numerous ticks, particularly nymphs, than those individuals living in densely populated sites. Male dormice were more likely to be parasitized by numerous nymphs than were females, independent of their age and body mass. Our observation that season, population density, and sex affect the rates of ticks feeding on edible dormice suggests that the contribution of edible dormice to the transmission cycle of LD spirochetes depends mainly on their ranging behavior and level of activity. PMID:26670314

  17. Detection of tick-borne pathogens in roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), in questing ticks (Ixodes ricinus), and in ticks infesting roe deer in southern Germany.

    PubMed

    Overzier, Evelyn; Pfister, Kurt; Herb, Ingrid; Mahling, Monia; Böck, Georg; Silaghi, Cornelia

    2013-06-01

    The hard tick Ixodes ricinus is the most common tick in Central Europe and plays an important role as a vector of several pathogens. In the complex life cycles of these pathogens, the role of wild animals as natural reservoirs has been discussed. The aims of this study were to investigate the role of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) as a potential reservoir host for Babesia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Rickettsia spp. Therefore, we explored the differences in the infection rates of roe deer and engorged and questing ticks with these pathogens from a single forest site with special attention to coinfection. Blood, spleen, and skin samples of a total of 95 roe deer individuals were screened by molecular methods for these pathogens from September 2010 to January 2012 in the 'Angelberger Forst' (Bavaria, Germany). Moreover, 331 engorged ticks from 44 roe deer individuals and 199 host-seeking ticks from the same area were screened. Altogether, the following prevalence rates and a high diversity of species were detected for the respective pathogens in individual animals and ticks: (i) Babesia spp.: roe deer, 89.5%; engorged ticks, 7.3%; questing ticks: adults, 2.5%, nymphs, 3.3%. Sequencing revealed B. venatorum, B. capreoli, and B. microti. (ii) A. phagocytophilum: roe deer 98.9%; engorged ticks, 86.1%; questing ticks: adults, 8.9%, nymphs, 0.8%. (iii) Rickettsia spp.: roe deer, 0%; engorged ticks, 16.6%; questing ticks: adults, 13.9%, nymphs, 17.5%. Sequencing revealed R. helvetica. Furthermore, several coinfections were detected in both roe deer and ticks. The high prevalence rates of B. capreoli and A. phagocytophilum in roe deer support their role as reservoir hosts for these pathogens, but no evidence for a role of roe deer in the life cycle of R. helvetica could be provided. PMID:23571115

  18. Distribution of Ticks and the Risk of Lyme Disease and Other Tick-Borne Pathogens of Public Health Significance in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Clow, Katie M; Ogden, Nicholas H; Lindsay, L Robbin; Michel, Pascal; Pearl, David L; Jardine, Claire M

    2016-04-01

    Over the past two decades, the northward spread of Ixodes scapularis across Ontario, Canada, has accelerated and the risk of Lyme disease has increased. Active surveillance is a recognized and effective method for detecting reproducing populations of I. scapularis. In this study, we conducted field sampling consistent with an active surveillance approach from May to October 2014 at 104 sites in central, eastern, and southern Ontario to determine the current distribution of I. scapularis and other tick species, and enhance our understanding of the geographic risk associated with Borrelia burgdorferi and other tick-borne pathogens of public health significance in this region. I. scapularis was present at 20 of the 104 sites visited. Individuals of the tick species Dermacentor variabilis, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, and Ixodes dentatus were also collected. I. scapularis was positive by PCR for B. burgdorferi at five sites. These sites formed a significant spatial cluster in eastern Ontario. No ticks were PCR positive for Borrelia miyamotoi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti. This study provides an up-to-date picture of the distribution of I. scapularis and other tick species, and the risk of B. burgdorferi and other pathogens of public health significance in central, eastern, and southern Ontario. This information may allow for more effective surveillance efforts and public health interventions for Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases in this region. PMID:26870937

  19. Different Ecological Niches for Ticks of Public Health Significance in Canada

    PubMed Central

    Gabriele-Rivet, Vanessa; Arsenault, Julie; Badcock, Jacqueline; Cheng, Angela; Edsall, Jim; Goltz, Jim; Kennedy, Joe; Lindsay, L. Robbin; Pelcat, Yann; Ogden, Nicholas H.

    2015-01-01

    Tick-borne diseases are a growing public health concern as their incidence and range have increased in recent decades. Lyme disease is an emerging infectious disease in Canada due to northward expansion of the geographic range of Ixodes scapularis, the principal tick vector for the Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi, into central and eastern Canada. In this study the geographical distributions of Ixodid ticks, including I. scapularis, and environmental factors associated with their occurrence were investigated in New Brunswick, Canada, where few I. scapularis populations have been found to date. Density of host-seeking ticks was evaluated by drag sampling of woodland habitats in a total of 159 sites. Ixodes scapularis ticks (n = 5) were found on four sites, Ixodes muris (n = 1) on one site and Haemaphysalis leporispalustris (n = 243) on 41 sites. One of four adult I. scapularis ticks collected was PCR-positive for B. burgdorferi. No environmental variables were significantly associated with the presence of I. scapularis although comparisons with surveillance data in neighbouring provinces (Québec and Nova Scotia) suggested that temperature conditions may be too cold for I. scapularis (< 2800 annual degree days above 0°C [DD > 0°C]) across much of New Brunswick. In contrast, the presence of H. leporispalustris, which is a competent vector of tularaemia, was significantly (P < 0.05) associated with specific ranges of mean DD > 0°C, mean annual precipitation, percentage of clay in site soil, elevation and season in a multivariable logistic regression model. With the exception of some localized areas, temperature conditions and deer density may be too low for the establishment of I. scapularis and Lyme disease risk areas in New Brunswick, while environmental conditions were suitable for H. leporispalustris at many sites. These findings indicate differing ecological niches for two tick species of public health significance. PMID:26131550

  20. Synanthropic birds influence the distribution of Borrelia species: analysis of Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on passerine birds.

    PubMed

    Dubska, Lenka; Literak, Ivan; Kocianova, Elena; Taragelova, Veronika; Sverakova, Veronika; Sychra, Oldrich; Hromadko, Miloslav

    2011-02-01

    Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from 835 birds and from vegetation in the Czech Republic were analyzed. Host-seeking ticks (n = 427) were infected predominantly by Borrelia afzelii (25%). Ticks (n = 1,012) from songbirds (Passeriformes) were infected commonly by Borrelia garinii (12.1%) and Borrelia valaisiana (13.4%). Juveniles of synanthropic birds, Eurasian blackbirds (Turdus merula) and song thrushes (Turdus philomelos), were major reservoir hosts of B. garinii. PMID:21148704

  1. Field and Laboratory Evaluations of the Efficacy of DEET Repellent against Ixodes Ticks.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, Kohei; Komagata, Osamu; Hayashi, Toshihiko; Itokawa, Kentaro; Morikawa, Shigeru; Sawabe, Kyoko; Tomita, Takashi

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to clarify the efficacy of a currently available N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET) repellent against tick species in Japan. We performed 2 different field trials: "human trap," and "flag-dragging." In total, 482 ticks were collected from white flannel cloths in the field studies. The collected tick species were Ixodes persulcatus and I. ovatus, which accounted for 5.3% and 94.7% of the ticks in the human trap test and 31.4% and 68.6% in the flag-dragging test, respectively. The repellency levels of DEET-treated flannel cloths in the human trap and flag-dragging tests were 84.0% and 99.7%, respectively. The escape times for I. persulcatus and I. ovatus female adults from DEET-treated flannel cloths were determined. The median escape times for I. persulcatus and I. ovatus on DEET-treated flannel cloths were 48 s (95% confidence interval [CI]: 30-96) and 10 s (95% CI: 5-24), respectively. In contrast, many ticks remained on the untreated flannel cloths for 10 min after mounting. These results indicate that DEET repellents appear to prevent tick bites and that the use of DEET repellents against ticks is an effective personal protection measure. PMID:26073735

  2. Borrelia infection in Ixodes pararicinus ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) from northwestern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Nava, Santiago; Barbieri, Amalia M; Maya, Leticia; Colina, Rodney; Mangold, Atilio J; Labruna, Marcelo B; Venzal, José M

    2014-11-01

    The aim of this work was to describe for the first time the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infecting ticks in Argentina. Unfed specimens of Ixodes pararicinus collected from vegetation in Jujuy Province were tested for Borrelia infection by PCR targeting the gene flagellin (fla), the rrfA-rrlB intergenic spacer region (IGS) and the 16S rDNA (rrs) gene. One male and one female of I. pararicinus collected in Jujuy were found to be positive to Borrelia infection with the three molecular markers tested. Phylogenetically, the Borrelia found in I. pararicinus from Jujuy belongs to the B. burgdorferi s.l complex, and it was similar to one of the genospecies detected in I. aragaoi from Uruguay. Also, this genospecies is closely related to two genospecies known from USA, Borrelia americana and the Borrelia sp. genospecies 1. The epidemiological risk that implies the infection with Borrelia in I. paracinus ticks from Argentina appears to be low because the genospecies detected is not suspected of having clinical relevance and there are no records of Ixodes ticks biting humans in the southern cone of South America. Further studies are needed to assess accurately if there is risk of borreliosis transmitted by ticks in South America. PMID:24979685

  3. A formulation to encapusulate nootkatone oil for tick control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nootkatone is a component of grapefruit oil that is toxic to the disease vectoring tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, but unfortunately causes phytotoxicity to treated plants and has a short residual activity due to volatility. We prepared an encapsulated formulation of nootkatone using lignin to compare...

  4. Seasonal changes in the fatty acid profile of the tick Ixodes ricinus (Acari, Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Cuber, Piotr; Urbanek, Aleksandra; Naczk, Aleksandra; Stepnowski, Piotr; Gołębiowski, Marek

    2016-06-01

    Fatty acids (FAs) from nymphs, females and males of Ixodes ricinus were analysed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Ticks were collected from May to October 2013. The most abundant FAs were 18:1, 18:0, 16:0 and 18:2 which are also dominant FAs of insects. Adults contained higher concentrations of FAs in general than nymphs because they contain more fat body and probably a thicker layer of epicuticular lipids. Larger quantities of FAs > 20 carbon atoms in the carboxylic chain were present in females, which generally show higher content of lipids essential for oogenesis, whereas there were similar amounts of 14-18 in both sexes. In September and October, ticks contained large concentrations of the majority of FAs except for 18:1, the most abundant one in ticks collected from May through August. Thus, most FAs, especially those with more than 20 C atoms, tend to increase at lower temperatures. PMID:26976134

  5. Immunity-related genes in Ixodes scapularis—perspectives from genome information

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Alexis A.; Pal, Utpal

    2014-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis, commonly known as the deer tick, transmits a wide array of human and animal pathogens including Borrelia burgdorferi. Despite substantial advances in our understanding of immunity in model arthropods, including other disease vectors, precisely how I. scapularis immunity functions and influences persistence of invading pathogens remains largely unknown. This review provides a comprehensive analysis of the recently sequenced I. scapularis genome for the occurrence of immune-related genes and related pathways. We will also discuss the potential influence of immunity-related genes on the persistence of tick-borne pathogens with an emphasis on the Lyme disease pathogen B. burgdorferi. Further enhancement of our knowledge of tick immune responses is critical to understanding the molecular basis of the persistence of tick-borne pathogens and development of novel interventions against the relevant infections. PMID:25202684

  6. Two Different Virulence-Related Regulatory Pathways in Borrelia burgdorferi Are Directly Affected by Osmotic Fluxes in the Blood Meal of Feeding Ixodes Ticks.

    PubMed

    Bontemps-Gallo, Sébastien; Lawrence, Kevin; Gherardini, Frank C

    2016-08-01

    Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, is a vector-borne illness that requires the bacteria to adapt to distinctly different environments in its tick vector and various mammalian hosts. Effective colonization (acquisition phase) of a tick requires the bacteria to adapt to tick midgut physiology. Successful transmission (transmission phase) to a mammal requires the bacteria to sense and respond to the midgut environmental cues and up-regulate key virulence factors before transmission to a new host. Data presented here suggest that one environmental signal that appears to affect both phases of the infective cycle is osmolarity. While constant in the blood, interstitial fluid and tissue of a mammalian host (300 mOsm), osmolarity fluctuates in the midgut of feeding Ixodes scapularis. Measured osmolarity of the blood meal isolated from the midgut of a feeding tick fluctuates from an initial osmolarity of 600 mOsm to blood-like osmolarity of 300 mOsm. After feeding, the midgut osmolarity rebounded to 600 mOsm. Remarkably, these changes affect the two independent regulatory networks that promote acquisition (Hk1-Rrp1) and transmission (Rrp2-RpoN-RpoS) of B. burgdorferi. Increased osmolarity affected morphology and motility of wild-type strains, and lysed Hk1 and Rrp1 mutant strains. At low osmolarity, Borrelia cells express increased levels of RpoN-RpoS-dependent virulence factors (OspC, DbpA) required for the mammalian infection. Our results strongly suggest that osmolarity is an important part of the recognized signals that allow the bacteria to adjust gene expression during the acquisition and transmission phases of the infective cycle of B. burgdorferi. PMID:27525653

  7. Two Different Virulence-Related Regulatory Pathways in Borrelia burgdorferi Are Directly Affected by Osmotic Fluxes in the Blood Meal of Feeding Ixodes Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Bontemps-Gallo, Sébastien; Lawrence, Kevin; Gherardini, Frank C.

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, is a vector-borne illness that requires the bacteria to adapt to distinctly different environments in its tick vector and various mammalian hosts. Effective colonization (acquisition phase) of a tick requires the bacteria to adapt to tick midgut physiology. Successful transmission (transmission phase) to a mammal requires the bacteria to sense and respond to the midgut environmental cues and up-regulate key virulence factors before transmission to a new host. Data presented here suggest that one environmental signal that appears to affect both phases of the infective cycle is osmolarity. While constant in the blood, interstitial fluid and tissue of a mammalian host (300 mOsm), osmolarity fluctuates in the midgut of feeding Ixodes scapularis. Measured osmolarity of the blood meal isolated from the midgut of a feeding tick fluctuates from an initial osmolarity of 600 mOsm to blood-like osmolarity of 300 mOsm. After feeding, the midgut osmolarity rebounded to 600 mOsm. Remarkably, these changes affect the two independent regulatory networks that promote acquisition (Hk1-Rrp1) and transmission (Rrp2-RpoN-RpoS) of B. burgdorferi. Increased osmolarity affected morphology and motility of wild-type strains, and lysed Hk1 and Rrp1 mutant strains. At low osmolarity, Borrelia cells express increased levels of RpoN-RpoS-dependent virulence factors (OspC, DbpA) required for the mammalian infection. Our results strongly suggest that osmolarity is an important part of the recognized signals that allow the bacteria to adjust gene expression during the acquisition and transmission phases of the infective cycle of B. burgdorferi. PMID:27525653

  8. Dynamics of digestive proteolytic system during blood feeding of the hard tick Ixodes ricinus

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Ticks are vectors of a wide variety of pathogens causing severe diseases in humans and domestic animals. Intestinal digestion of the host blood is an essential process of tick physiology and also a limiting factor for pathogen transmission since the tick gut represents the primary site for pathogen infection and proliferation. Using the model tick Ixodes ricinus, the European Lyme disease vector, we have previously demonstrated by genetic and biochemical analyses that host blood is degraded in the tick gut by a network of acidic peptidases of the aspartic and cysteine classes. Results This study reveals the digestive machinery of the I. ricinus during the course of blood-feeding on the host. The dynamic profiling of concentrations, activities and mRNA expressions of the major digestive enzymes demonstrates that the de novo synthesis of peptidases triggers the dramatic increase of the hemoglobinolytic activity along the feeding period. Overall hemoglobinolysis, as well as the activity of digestive peptidases are negligible at the early stage of feeding, but increase dramatically towards the end of the slow feeding period, reaching maxima in fully fed ticks. This finding contradicts the established opinion that blood digestion is reduced at the end of engorgement. Furthermore, we show that the digestive proteolysis is localized intracellularly throughout the whole duration of feeding. Conclusions Results suggest that the egressing proteolytic system in the early stage of feeding and digestion is a potential target for efficient impairment, most likely by blocking its components via antibodies present in the host blood. Therefore, digestive enzymes are promising candidates for development of novel 'anti-tick' vaccines capable of tick control and even transmission of tick-borne pathogens. PMID:21156061

  9. High Prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi among Adult Blacklegged Ticks from White-Tailed Deer

    PubMed Central

    Hickling, Graham J.; Tsao, Jean I.

    2016-01-01

    We compared the prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi infection in questing and deer-associated adult Ixodes scapularis ticks in Wisconsin, USA. Prevalence among deer-associated ticks (4.5% overall, 7.1% in females) was significantly higher than among questing ticks (1.0% overall, 0.6% in females). Deer may be a sylvatic reservoir for this newly recognized zoonotic pathogen. PMID:26811985

  10. Widespread dispersal of Borrelia burgdorferi-infected ticks collected from songbirds across Canada.

    PubMed

    Scott, John D; Anderson, John F; Durden, Lance A

    2012-02-01

    Millions of Lyme disease vector ticks are dispersed annually by songbirds across Canada, but often overlooked as the source of infection. For clarity on vector distribution, we sampled 481 ticks (12 species and 3 undetermined ticks) from 211 songbirds (42 species/subspecies) nationwide. Using PCR, 52 (29.5%) of 176 Ixodes ticks tested were positive for the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. Immature blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis , collected from infested songbirds had a B. burgdorferi infection prevalence of 36% (larvae, 48%; nymphs, 31%). Notably, Ixodes affinis is reported in Canada for the first time and, similarly, Ixodes auritulus for the initial time in the Yukon. Firsts for bird-parasitizing ticks include I. scapularis in Quebec and Saskatchewan. We provide the first records of 3 tick species cofeeding on passerines (song sparrow, Swainson's thrush). New host records reveal I. scapularis on the blackpoll warbler and Nashville warbler. We furnish the following first Canadian reports of B. burgdorferi-positive ticks: I. scapularis on chipping sparrow, house wren, indigo bunting; I. auritulus on Bewick's wren; and I. spinipalpis on a Bewick's wren and song sparrow. First records of B. burgdorferi-infected ticks on songbirds include the following: the rabbit-associated tick, Ixodes dentatus, in western Canada; I. scapularis in Quebec, Saskatchewan, northern New Brunswick, northern Ontario; and Ixodes spinipalpis (collected in British Columbia). The presence of B. burgdorferi in Ixodes larvae suggests reservoir competency in 9 passerines (Bewick's wren, common yellowthroat, dark-eyed junco, Oregon junco, red-winged blackbird, song sparrow, Swainson's thrush, swamp sparrow, and white-throated sparrow). We report transstadial transmission (larva to nymph) of B. burgdorferi in I. auritulus. Data suggest a possible 4-tick, i.e., I. angustus, I. auritulus, I. pacificus, and I. spinipalpis, enzootic cycle of B. burgdorferi on Vancouver Island

  11. From Chemistry to Behavior. Molecular Structure and Bioactivity of Repellents against Ixodes ricinus Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Fabbro, Simone Del; Nazzi, Francesco

    2013-01-01

    Tick-borne zoonoses are considered as emerging diseases. Tick repellents represent an effective tool for reducing the risk of tick bite and pathogens transmission. Previous work demonstrated the repellent activity of the phenylpropanoid eugenol against Ixodes ricinus; here we investigate the relationship between molecular structure and repellency in a group of substances related to that compound. We report the biological activity of 18 compounds varying for the presence/number of several moieties, including hydroxyl and methoxy groups and carbon side-chain. Each compound was tested at different doses with a bioassay designed to measure repellency against individual tick nymphs. Both vapor pressure and chemical features of the tested compounds appeared to be related to repellency. In particular, the hydroxyl and methoxy groups as well as the side-chain on the benzene ring seem to play a role. These results are discussed in light of available data on chemical perception in ticks. In the course of the study new repellent compounds were identified; the biological activity of some of them (at least as effective as the “gold standard” repellent DEET) appears to be very promising from a practical point of view. PMID:23805329

  12. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi s. l. in Ixodes ricinus ticks from four localities in Bavaria, Germany.

    PubMed

    Vögerl, Maria; Zubriková, Dana; Pfister, Kurt

    2012-01-01

    As a part of a larger survey a total of 599 Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from four locations (Neustadt an der Waldnaab, Amberg, Poppenricht and Lintach) in the north of the Upper Palatinate in Bavaria were investigated for infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s. l.) species using the 5S-23S intergenic spacer of rRNA gene as a target in a nested PCR (Rijpkema et al., 1995) and a sequencing method. Overall, 15.8% ticks were infected with B. burgdorferi s. I. Borrelia afzelii (43.1%) was the predominant genospecies, followed by Borrelia valaisiana (14.7%), Borrelia garinii (13.7%) and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (6.3%). Also Borrelia spielmanii was found (1.1%). Of the infected ticks, 21.1% harbored multiple infections with B. burgdorferi s. I. The highest number of infected ticks was found in Amberg (22.5%) and the lowest number in Neustadt an der Waldnaab (11.9%). In Poppenricht and Lintach, the numbers of infected ticks were 12% and 18.7%, respectively. Human pathogenic Borrelia species were found to be prevalent at each study site thus representing the potential risk for people living and visiting these areas. PMID:23045802

  13. Infestation of urban populations of the Northern white-breasted hedgehog, Erinaceus roumanicus, by Ixodes spp. ticks in Poland.

    PubMed

    Dziemian, S; Michalik, J; Pi Łacińska, B; Bialik, S; Sikora, B; Zwolak, R

    2014-12-01

    Infestation by the nest-dwelling Ixodes hexagonus Leach and the exophilic Ixodes ricinus (Linnaeus) (Ixodida: Ixodidae) on the Northern white-breasted hedgehog, Erinaceus roumanicus (Erinaceomorpha: Erinaceidae), was investigated during a 4-year study in residential areas of the city of Poznań, west-central Poland. Of 341 hedgehogs, 303 (88.9%) hosted 10 061 Ixodes spp. ticks encompassing all parasitic life stages (larvae, nymphs, females). Ixodes hexagonus accounted for 73% and I. ricinus for 27% of the collected ticks. Male hedgehogs carried significantly higher tick burdens than females. Analyses of seasonal prevalence and abundance of I. hexagonus revealed relatively stable levels of infestation of all parasitic stages, with a modest summer peak in tick abundance noted only on male hosts. By contrast, I. ricinus females and nymphs peaked in spring and declined steadily thereafter in summer and autumn, whereas the less abundant larvae peaked in summer. This is the first longterm study to evaluate the seasonal dynamics of both tick species on populations of wild hedgehogs inhabiting urban residential areas. PMID:24861150

  14. Driving forces for changes in geographical distribution of Ixodes ricinus ticks in Europe

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Many factors are involved in determining the latitudinal and altitudinal spread of the important tick vector Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) in Europe, as well as in changes in the distribution within its prior endemic zones. This paper builds on published literature and unpublished expert opinion from the VBORNET network with the aim of reviewing the evidence for these changes in Europe and discusses the many climatic, ecological, landscape and anthropogenic drivers. These can be divided into those directly related to climatic change, contributing to an expansion in the tick’s geographic range at extremes of altitude in central Europe, and at extremes of latitude in Scandinavia; those related to changes in the distribution of tick hosts, particularly roe deer and other cervids; other ecological changes such as habitat connectivity and changes in land management; and finally, anthropogenically induced changes. These factors are strongly interlinked and often not well quantified. Although a change in climate plays an important role in certain geographic regions, for much of Europe it is non-climatic factors that are becoming increasingly important. How we manage habitats on a landscape scale, and the changes in the distribution and abundance of tick hosts are important considerations during our assessment and management of the public health risks associated with ticks and tick-borne disease issues in 21st century Europe. Better understanding and mapping of the spread of I. ricinus (and changes in its abundance) is, however, essential to assess the risk of the spread of infections transmitted by this vector species. Enhanced tick surveillance with harmonized approaches for comparison of data enabling the follow-up of trends at EU level will improve the messages on risk related to tick-borne diseases to policy makers, other stake holders and to the general public. PMID:23281838

  15. Detection of Bartonella spp. in Ixodes ricinus ticks and Bartonella seroprevalence in human populations.

    PubMed

    Müller, Andreas; Reiter, Michael; Schötta, Anna Margarita; Stockinger, Hannes; Stanek, Gerold

    2016-07-01

    Ticks are vectors for many bacterial, protozoan and viral pathogens and are potential vectors for Bartonella species. Hunters and foresters, therefore, may be regarded as high-risk groups for Bartonella infections. The aims of this study were (i) to identify Bartonella species in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks collected in all provinces of Austria, and (ii) to determine the prevalence of antibodies to Bartonella species in hunters and blood donors in eastern Austria. A total of 515 larval, nymphal and adult I. ricinus, collected throughout Austria in 2005, were selected from the tick library at the Institute for Hygiene and Applied Immunology of the Medical University of Vienna and screened in a specific real-time PCR that targeted a region of the ssrA gene of Bartonella species. The overall Bartonella infection rate was 2.1% (11/515) and the highest rate, 7.5% (4/53), was found in ticks from Vienna. This finding was confirmed by screening a further 60 I. ricinus collected from Vienna in 2013: of these, 6.7% (4/60) were positive for Bartonella spp. The rate of infection was always higher in adult ticks. Sequence analysis in the Bartonella-positive ticks identified several species, including B. henselae, B. doshiae and B. grahamii. To our knowledge this is the first time that these species have been identified in I. ricinus in Austria. Prevalence of IgG antibodies against B. henselae and B. quintana was determined in serum samples from hunters (100) and blood donors (100): in hunters 23% were positive for B. quintana and in 2 samples (2%), antibodies to both B. quintana and B. henselae were detected; in blood donors 22% were positive for B. quintana, 1% for B. henselae and 5% for both. These results indicate that exposure to ticks does not constitutes a relevant risk for Bartonella infection. PMID:26997137

  16. Molecular evidence for bacterial pathogens in Ixodes ricinus ticks infesting Shetland ponies.

    PubMed

    Skotarczak, Bogumiła; Wodecka, Beata; Rymaszewska, Anna; Adamska, Małgorzata

    2016-06-01

    Ixodes ricinus has the potential to transmit zoonotic pathogens to humans and domestic animals. The feeding I. ricinus (n = 1737) collected from 49 Shetland ponies and questing ones from vegetation (n = 371) were tested for the presence and differentiation of the bacterial species. DNA of I. ricinus ticks was examined with PCR and sequencing analysis to identify species of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl), Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Rickettsia spp. Altogether, 24.3 % I. ricinus of the infested horses and 12.4 % ticks from vegetation carried at least one pathogen species. Horse-feeding ticks (19.2 %) were significantly more frequently infected with Borrelia spp. than questing ticks (4.8 %). Among Bbsl species, in I. ricinus infesting ponies, B. garinii, B. afzelii, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. valaisiana and B. lusitanie and one species, B. miyamotoi related to relapsing fever group, were detected. The 73 flaB gene sequences of Borrelia obtained from feeding I. ricinus have been deposited in GenBank. Among Rickettsia species, two were identified: R. helvetica which was dominant and R. monacensis. Infections with more than one pathogenic species, involving mostly Bbsl and R. helvetica were detected in 6.3 % of infected ticks collected from horses. Shetland ponies may play an important role in the epidemiological cycle of Bbsl and probably could contribute to the natural cycle of A. phagocytophilum and R. helvetica as host for infected ticks. The awareness about these infectious agents in ticks from ponies might be an important criterion for the risk assessment of human diseases, especially as these animals are maintained for recreational purposes. PMID:26920921

  17. Coinfection by Ixodes Tick-Borne Pathogens: Ecological, Epidemiological, and Clinical Consequences.

    PubMed

    Diuk-Wasser, Maria A; Vannier, Edouard; Krause, Peter J

    2016-01-01

    Ixodes ticks maintain a large and diverse array of human pathogens in the enzootic cycle, including Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia microti. Despite the poor ecological fitness of B. microti, babesiosis has recently emerged in areas endemic for Lyme disease. Studies in ticks, reservoir hosts, and humans indicate that coinfection with B. burgdorferi and B. microti is common, promotes transmission and emergence of B. microti in the enzootic cycle, and causes greater disease severity and duration in humans. These interdisciplinary studies may serve as a paradigm for the study of other vector-borne coinfections. Identifying ecological drivers of pathogen emergence and host factors that fuel disease severity in coinfected individuals will help guide the design of effective preventative and therapeutic strategies. PMID:26613664

  18. Parasitism of mustelids by ixodid ticks (Acari: Ixodidae), Maine and New Hampshire, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    Lubelczyk, Charles; Lacombe, Eleanor H; Elias, Susan P; Beati, Lorenza; Rand, Peter W; Smith, Robert P

    2014-06-01

    Ticks collected from mustelids from four counties in Maine and one in New Hampshire were identified after harvest. Of the 18 fishers Martes pennanti Erxleben, two mink Neovison vison Schreber, and one long-tailed weasel Mustela frenata Lichtenstein, 589 ticks were collected and identified. They were identified as, in order of abundance, Ixodes gregsoni Lindquist, Wu, and Redner (158 larvae, 189 nymphs, four adults), Ixodes cookei Packard (99 larvae, 77 nymphs, six adults), Ixodes scapularis Say (53 adults), Dermacentor variabilis Say (two nymphs), and Ixodes angustus Neumann (one nymph). Seasonally, all but the D. variabilis were collected in winter. This study reports the first record of adult I. scapularis from a M. pennanti in the northeastern United States. PMID:24690190

  19. Towards an Evolutionary Understanding of Questing Behaviour in the Tick Ixodes ricinus

    PubMed Central

    Tomkins, Joseph L.; Aungier, Jennifer; Hazel, Wade; Gilbert, Lucy

    2014-01-01

    The tick Ixodes ricinus finds its hosts by climbing vegetation and adopting a sit-and-wait tactic. This “questing” behaviour is known to be temperature-dependent, such that questing increases with temperature up to a point where the vapor pressure deficit (drying effect) forces ticks down to rehydrate in the soil or mat layer. Little if any attention has been paid to understanding the questing of ticks from an evolutionary perspective. Here we ask whether populations from colder climatic conditions respond differently in terms of the threshold temperature for questing and the rate of response to a fixed temperature. We find significant variation between populations in the temperature sensitivity of questing, with populations from cooler climates starting questing at lower temperatures than populations from warmer temperatures. Cool climate populations also quest sooner when the temperature is held constant. These patterns are consistent with local adaptation to temperature either through direct selection or acclimation and challenge the use of fixed thresholds for questing in modeling the spread of tick populations. Our results also show how both time and temperature play a role in questing, but we are unable to explain the relationship in terms of degree-time used to model Arthropod development. We find that questing in response to temperature fits well with a quantitative genetic model of the conditional strategy, which reveals how selection on questing may operate and hence may be of value in understanding the evolutionary ecology of questing. PMID:25333919

  20. Isolation and characterization of tick-borne encephalitis virus from Ixodes persulcatus in Mongolia in 2012.

    PubMed

    Muto, Memi; Bazartseren, Boldbaatar; Tsevel, Bazartseren; Dashzevge, Erdenechimeg; Yoshii, Kentaro; Kariwa, Hiroaki

    2015-07-01

    Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is a zoonotic virus belonging to the genus Flavivirus, in the family Flaviviridae. The virus, which is endemic in Europe and northern parts of Asia, causes severe encephalitis. Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) has been reported in Mongolia since the 1980s, but details about the biological characteristics of the endemic virus are lacking. In this study, 680 ticks (Ixodes persulcatus) were collected in Selenge aimag, northern Mongolia, in 2012. Nine Mongolian TBEV strains were isolated from tick homogenates. A sequence analysis of the envelope protein gene revealed that all isolates belonged to the Siberian subtype of TBEV. Two strains showed similar growth properties in cultured cells, but their virulence in mice differed. Whole genome sequencing revealed only thirteen amino acid differences between these Mongolian TBEV strains. Our results suggest that these naturally occurring amino acid mutations affected the pathogenicity of Mongolian TBEV. Our results may be an important platform for monitoring TBEV to evaluate the epidemiological risk in TBE endemic areas of Mongolia. PMID:26025267

  1. Arthropod repellency, especially tick (Ixodes ricinus), exerted by extract from Artemisia abrotanum and essential oil from flowers of Dianthus caryophyllum.

    PubMed

    Tunón, H; Thorsell, W; Mikiver, A; Malander, I

    2006-06-01

    A toluene extract of southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum) and the essential oil from flowers of carnation (Dianthus caryophyllum ) exerted pronounced a repellent effect both against ticks (nymphs of Ixodes ricinus) and yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti). The most potent repellents found were coumarin and thujyl alcohol from A. abrotanum and phenylethanol from D. caryophyllum where coumarin and thujyl alcohol were also detected. PMID:16624501

  2. Potential role of deer tick virus in Powassan encephalitis cases in Lyme disease-endemic areas of New York, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    El Khoury, Marc Y; Camargo, Jose F; White, Jennifer L; Backenson, Bryon P; Dupuis, Alan P; Escuyer, Kay L; Kramer, Laura; St George, Kirsten; Chatterjee, Debarati; Prusinski, Melissa; Wormser, Gary P; Wong, Susan J

    2013-12-01

    Powassan virus, a member of the tick-borne encephalitis group of flaviviruses, encompasses 2 lineages with separate enzootic cycles. The prototype lineage of Powassan virus (POWV) is principally maintained between Ixodes cookei ticks and the groundhog (Marmota momax) or striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), whereas the deer tick virus (DTV) lineage is believed to be maintained between Ixodes scapularis ticks and the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus). We report 14 cases of Powassan encephalitis from New York during 2004-2012. Ten (72%) of the patients were residents of the Lower Hudson Valley, a Lyme disease-endemic area in which I. scapularis ticks account for most human tick bites. This finding suggests that many of these cases were caused by DTV rather than POWV. In 2 patients, DTV infection was confirmed by genetic sequencing. As molecular testing becomes increasingly available, more cases of Powassan encephalitis may be determined to be attributable to the DTV lineage. PMID:24274334

  3. Spotted fever Rickettsia species in Hyalomma and Ixodes ticks infesting migratory birds in the European Mediterranean area

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background A few billion birds migrate annually between their breeding grounds in Europe and their wintering grounds in Africa. Many bird species are tick-infested, and as a result of their innate migratory behavior, they contribute significantly to the geographic distribution of pathogens, including spotted fever rickettsiae. The aim of the present study was to characterize, in samples from two consecutive years, the potential role of migrant birds captured in Europe as disseminators of Rickettsia-infected ticks. Methods Ticks were collected from a total of 14,789 birds during their seasonal migration northwards in spring 2009 and 2010 at bird observatories on two Mediterranean islands: Capri and Antikythira. All ticks were subjected to RNA extraction followed by cDNA synthesis and individually assayed with a real-time PCR targeting the citrate synthase (gltA) gene. For species identification of Rickettsia, multiple genes were sequenced. Results Three hundred and ninety-eight (2.7%) of all captured birds were tick-infested; some birds carried more than one tick. A total number of 734 ticks were analysed of which 353 ± 1 (48%) were Rickettsia-positive; 96% were infected with Rickettsia aeschlimannii and 4% with Rickettsia africae or unidentified Rickettsia species. The predominant tick taxon, Hyalomma marginatum sensu lato constituted 90% (n = 658) of the ticks collected. The remaining ticks were Ixodes frontalis, Amblyomma sp., Haemaphysalis sp., Rhipicephalus sp. and unidentified ixodids. Most ticks were nymphs (66%) followed by larvae (27%) and adult female ticks (0.5%). The majority (65%) of ticks was engorged and nearly all ticks contained visible blood. Conclusions Migratory birds appear to have a great impact on the dissemination of Rickettsia-infected ticks, some of which may originate from distant locations. The potential ecological, medical and veterinary implications of such Rickettsia infections need further examination. PMID:25011617

  4. Development of genomic resources for the tick Ixodes ricinus: isolation and characterization of single nucleotide polymorphisms.

    PubMed

    Quillery, E; Quenez, O; Peterlongo, P; Plantard, O

    2014-03-01

    Assessing the genetic variability of the tick Ixodes ricinus-an important vector of pathogens in Europe-is an essential step for setting up antitick control methods. Here, we report the first identification of a set of SNPs isolated from the genome of I. ricinus, by applying a reduction in genomic complexity, pyrosequencing and new bioinformatics tools. Almost 1.4 million of reads (average length: 528 nt) were generated with a full Roche 454 GS FLX run on two reduced representation libraries of I. ricinus. A newly developed bioinformatics tool (DiscoSnp), which isolates SNPs without requiring any reference genome, was used to obtain 321 088 putative SNPs. Stringent selection criteria were applied in a bioinformatics pipeline to select 1768 SNPs for the development of specific primers. Among 384 randomly SNPs tested by Fluidigm genotyping technology on 464 individuals ticks, 368 SNPs loci (96%) exhibited the presence of the two expected alleles. Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium tests conducted on six natural populations of ticks have shown that from 26 to 46 of the 384 loci exhibited significant heterozygote deficiency. PMID:24119113

  5. Sympatric occurrence of Ixodes ricinus, Dermacentor reticulatus and Haemaphysalis concinna ticks and Rickettsia and Babesia species in Slovakia.

    PubMed

    Svehlová, Andrea; Berthová, Lenka; Sallay, Balázs; Boldiš, Vojtech; Sparagano, Olivier A E; Spitalská, Eva

    2014-09-01

    Vojka nad Dunajom in the south-west of the Slovak Republic is a locality with sympatric occurrence of 3 species of ticks. This study investigated the spatial distribution of Dermacentor reticulatus, Ixodes ricinus, and Haemaphysalis concinna ticks in this area and determined the prevalence of Babesia and Rickettsia species in questing adults of these tick species considered as potential risk for humans and animals. Ticks were collected by blanket dragging over the vegetation from September 2011 to October 2012. All ticks were subjected to DNA extraction and individually assayed with PCR-based methods targeting the gltA, sca4, 23S rRNA genes of Rickettsia spp. and the 18S rRNA gene of Babesia spp. D. reticulatus was the dominant species occurring in this area (67.7%, n=600), followed by I. ricinus (31.8%, n=282) and H. concinna (0.5%, n=4) ticks. Rickettsial infection was determined in 10.8% (n=65) and 11.7% (n=33) of D. reticulatus and I. ricinus ticks, respectively. Babesia spp. infection was confirmed in 1.8% (n=11) of D. reticulatus and 0.4% (n=1) of I. ricinus ticks. DNA of 6 different pathogenic tick-borne species, Rickettsia helvetica, Rickettsia monacensis, Rickettsia slovaca, Rickettsia raoultii, Babesia canis, and Babesia venatorum were identified in this locality with sympatric occurrence of I. ricinus, D. reticulatus, and H. concinna ticks. PMID:24973275

  6. Ixodes ricinus Tick Lipocalins: Identification, Cloning, Phylogenetic Analysis and Biochemical Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Beaufays, Jérôme; Adam, Benoît; Decrem, Yves; Prévôt, Pierre-Paul; Santini, Sébastien; Brasseur, Robert; Brossard, Michel; Lins, Laurence

    2008-01-01

    Background During their blood meal, ticks secrete a wide variety of proteins that interfere with their host's defense mechanisms. Among these proteins, lipocalins play a major role in the modulation of the inflammatory response. Methodology/Principal Findings Screening a cDNA library in association with RT-PCR and RACE methodologies allowed us to identify 14 new lipocalin genes in the salivary glands of the Ixodes ricinus hard tick. A computational in-depth structural analysis confirmed that LIRs belong to the lipocalin family. These proteins were called LIR for “Lipocalin from I. ricinus” and numbered from 1 to 14 (LIR1 to LIR14). According to their percentage identity/similarity, LIR proteins may be assigned to 6 distinct phylogenetic groups. The mature proteins have calculated pM and pI varying from 21.8 kDa to 37.2 kDa and from 4.45 to 9.57 respectively. In a western blot analysis, all recombinant LIRs appeared as a series of thin bands at 50–70 kDa, suggesting extensive glycosylation, which was experimentally confirmed by treatment with N-glycosidase F. In addition, the in vivo expression analysis of LIRs in I. ricinus, examined by RT-PCR, showed homogeneous expression profiles for certain phylogenetic groups and relatively heterogeneous profiles for other groups. Finally, we demonstrated that LIR6 codes for a protein that specifically binds leukotriene B4. Conclusions/Significance This work confirms that, regarding their biochemical properties, expression profile, and sequence signature, lipocalins in Ixodes hard tick genus, and more specifically in the Ixodes ricinus species, are segregated into distinct phylogenetic groups suggesting potential distinct function. This was particularly demonstrated by the ability of LIR6 to scavenge leukotriene B4. The other LIRs did not bind any of the ligands tested, such as 5-hydroxytryptamine, ADP, norepinephrine, platelet activating factor, prostaglandins D2 and E2, and finally leukotrienes B4 and C4. PMID:19096708

  7. Length of tick repellency depends on formulation of the repellent compound (icaridin = Saltidin®): tests on Ixodes persulcatus and Ixodes ricinus placed on hands and clothes.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Ghaffar, Fathy; Al-Quraishy, Saleh; Mehlhorn, Heinz

    2015-08-01

    The present study had the aim to test the repellent potential of the compound icaridin = Saltidin® against the tick species Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes persulcatus using different formulations of the compound. Tests were done on backs of impregnated human hands, on impregnated linen cloth and versus impregnated dog hair. It was found that 1. Ixodes persulcatus-the common Eastern European, Russian Ixodes species is significantly sensitive to icaridin = Saltidin® as I. ricinus protecting for the test period of 5 h. This is an important finding, since I. persulcatus is the vector of agents of the severe Eastern meningoencephalitis; 2. that this repellent compound acts similarly on both I. ricinus and I. persulcatus, when sprayed either on naked skin or on cloths; 3. that there are only slight differences in duration of the repellency when using different formulations containing icaridin = Saltidin®; 4. that icaridin = Saltidin® sprayed on dog hair has identical repellent effects like those seen on human skin and cloths; thus, this compound can also be used to protect animals such as dogs, cats, horses; and 5. that the icaridin = Saltidin® did not induce a bad sensation on skin, nor bad smells; furthermore, it was not sticky and did not leave residuals neither on clothes nor on dog's hair. PMID:25952705

  8. Darkness induces mobility, and saturation deficit limits questing duration, in the tick Ixodes ricinus.

    PubMed

    Perret, Jean-Luc; Guerin, Patrick M; Diehl, Peter A; Vlimant, Michéle; Gern, Lise

    2003-06-01

    The behaviour of Ixodes ricinus nymphs was recorded in 10-day experiments using computer-assisted video-tracking, in the absence of any host stimuli. These ticks switch spontaneously from questing in a desiccating atmosphere to quiescence in a water-saturated atmosphere after dark. Quantification of both questing and quiescence duration demonstrates that questing duration is inversely related to saturation deficit whereas quiescence duration is not. Distance walked after quiescence increased with desiccating conditions, while the distance walked after questing remained unchanged. Almost all locomotor activities of I. ricinus occurred during darkness under either a 14 h:10 h L:D or a 8 h:4 h L:D cycle. We established that all life stages of I. ricinus are equipped to sense shifts in light intensity with bilaterally placed strings of photoreceptors. This permits I. ricinus to use onset of darkness to trigger mobility when desiccation risk is reduced in nature. PMID:12728002

  9. Comparison of flagging, walking, trapping, and collecting from hosts as sampling methods for northern deer ticks, Ixodes dammini, and lone-star ticks, Amblyomma americanum (Acari:Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Ginsberg, H S; Ewing, C P

    1989-09-01

    Ticks were sampled by flagging, collecting from the investigator's clothing (walking samples), trapping with dry-ice bait, and collecting from mammal hosts on Fire Island, NY, U.S.A. The habitat distribution of adult deer ticks, Ixodes dammini, was the same in simultaneous collections from the investigator's clothing and from muslin flags. Walking and flagging samples can both be biased by differences between investigators, so the same person should do comparative samples whenever possible. Walking samples probably give a more accurate estimate than flagging samples of the human risk of encountering ticks. However, ticks (such as immature I. dammini) that seek hosts in leaf litter and ground-level vegetation are poorly sampled by walking collections. These ticks can be sampled by flagging at ground level. Dry-ice-baited tick-traps caught far more lone-star ticks, Amblyomma americanum, than deer ticks, even in areas where deer ticks predominated in flagging samples. In comparisons of tick mobility in the lab, nymphal A. americanum were more mobile than nymphal I. dammini in 84% of the trials. Therefore, the trapping bias may result from increased trap encounter due to more rapid movement by A. americanum, although greater attraction to carbon dioxide may also play a role. Tick traps are useful for intraspecific between-habitat comparisons. Early in their seasonal activity period, larval I. dammini were better represented in collections from mouse hosts than in flagging samples. Apparently, sampling from favored hosts can detect ticks at low population levels, but often cannot be used to get accurate estimates of pathogen prevalence in questing ticks. PMID:2806016

  10. Ixodes ricinus is the dominant questing tick in forest habitats in Romania: the results from a countrywide dragging campaign.

    PubMed

    Mihalca, A D; Gherman, C M; Magdaş, C; Dumitrache, M O; Györke, A; Sándor, A D; Domşa, C; Oltean, M; Mircean, V; Mărcuţan, D I; D'Amico, G; Păduraru, A O; Cozma, V

    2012-10-01

    In 2010 and 2011, questing ticks were collected from 188 forested locations in all the 41 counties of Romania using the dragging method. The total of 13,771 ticks collected belonged to eleven species: Ixodes ricinus (86.9 %), Dermacentor marginatus (9.5 %), Haemaphysalis punctata (2.6 %), H. concinna (0.6 %), H. sulcata (0.3 %), H. parva (0.1 %), Hyalomma marginatum (0.02 %), D. reticulatus (0.02 %), I. crenulatus (0.007 %), I. hexagonus (0.007 %) and I. laguri (0.007 %). Ixodes ricinus was present in 97.7 % (n = 180) of locations, occurring exclusively in 41.7 % of the locations, whereas it was the dominant species in 38.8 % of the other locations, accounting for over 70 % of the total tick community. The following most common questing ticks were D. marginatus, H. punctata and H. concinna. Ixodes ricinus co-occurred with one, two or three sympatric species. The occurrence of D. reticulatus in forested habitats from Romania was found to be accidental. PMID:22547023

  11. Population genetic structure of the tree-hole tick Ixodes arboricola (Acari: Ixodidae) at different spatial scales

    PubMed Central

    Van Oosten, A R; Heylen, D J A; Jordaens, K; Backeljau, T; Matthysen, E

    2014-01-01

    The endophilic tick Ixodes arboricola infests cavity-nesting birds, and its dispersal strongly depends on the movements of its host. Population genetic structure of I. arboricola was studied with seven polymorphic microsatellite markers. We collected 268 ticks from 76 nest boxes in four woodlots near Antwerp, Belgium. These nest boxes are mainly used by the principal hosts of I. arboricola, the great tit Parus major and the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus. As these birds typically return to the same cavity for roosting or breeding, ticks within nest boxes were expected to be highly related, and tick populations were expected to be spatially structured among woodlots and among nest boxes within woodlots. In line with the expectations, genetic population structure was found among woodlots and among nest boxes within woodlots. Surprisingly, there was considerable genetic variation among ticks within nest boxes. This could be explained by continuous gene flow from ticks from nearby tree holes, yet this remains to be tested. A pairwise relatedness analysis conducted for all pairs of ticks within nest boxes showed that relatedness among larvae was much higher than among later instars, which suggests that larvae are the most important instar for tick dispersal. Overall, tick populations at the studied spatial scale are not as differentiated as predicted, which may influence the scale at which host–parasite evolution occurs. PMID:24781806

  12. The High Prevalence and Diversity of Chlamydiales DNA within Ixodes ricinus Ticks Suggest a Role for Ticks as Reservoirs and Vectors of Chlamydia-Related Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Pilloux, Ludovic; Aeby, Sébastien; Gaümann, Rahel; Burri, Caroline; Beuret, Christian

    2015-01-01

    The Chlamydiales order is composed of nine families of strictly intracellular bacteria. Among them, Chlamydia trachomatis, C. pneumoniae, and C. psittaci are established human pathogens, whereas Waddlia chondrophila and Parachlamydia acanthamoebae have emerged as new pathogens in humans. However, despite their medical importance, their biodiversity and ecology remain to be studied. Even if arthropods and, particularly, ticks are well known to be vectors of numerous infectious agents such as viruses and bacteria, virtually nothing is known about ticks and chlamydia. This study investigated the prevalence of Chlamydiae in ticks. Specifically, 62,889 Ixodes ricinus ticks, consolidated into 8,534 pools, were sampled in 172 collection sites throughout Switzerland and were investigated using pan-Chlamydiales quantitative PCR (qPCR) for the presence of Chlamydiales DNA. Among the pools, 543 (6.4%) gave positive results and the estimated prevalence in individual ticks was 0.89%. Among those pools with positive results, we obtained 16S rRNA sequences for 359 samples, allowing classification of Chlamydiales DNA at the family level. A high level of biodiversity was observed, since six of the nine families belonging to the Chlamydiales order were detected. Those most common were Parachlamydiaceae (33.1%) and Rhabdochlamydiaceae (29.2%). “Unclassified Chlamydiales” (31.8%) were also often detected. Thanks to the huge amount of Chlamydiales DNA recovered from ticks, this report opens up new perspectives on further work focusing on whole-genome sequencing to increase our knowledge about Chlamydiales biodiversity. This report of an epidemiological study also demonstrates the presence of Chlamydia-related bacteria within Ixodes ricinus ticks and suggests a role for ticks in the transmission of and as a reservoir for these emerging pathogenic Chlamydia-related bacteria. PMID:26386066

  13. Detection of Wolbachia in the tick Ixodes ricinus is due to the presence of the hymenoptera endoparasitoid Ixodiphagus hookeri.

    PubMed

    Plantard, Olivier; Bouju-Albert, Agnès; Malard, Marie-Astrid; Hermouet, Axelle; Capron, Gilles; Verheyden, Hélène

    2012-01-01

    The identification of micro-organisms carried by ticks is an important issue for human and animal health. In addition to their role as pathogen vectors, ticks are also the hosts for symbiotic bacteria whose impact on tick biology is poorly known. Among these, the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis has already been reported associated with Ixodes ricinus and other tick species. However, the origins of Wolbachia in ticks and their consequences on tick biology (known to be very diverse in invertebrates, ranging from nutritional symbionts in nematodes to reproductive manipulators in insects) are unknown. Here we report that the endoparasitoid wasp Ixodiphagus hookeri (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Encyrtidae)--strictly associated with ticks for their development--infested at almost 100% prevalence by a W. pipientis strain belonging to a Wolbachia supergroup that has already been reported as associated with other hymenopteran parasitoids. In a natural population of I. ricinus that suffers high parasitism rates due to I. hookeri, we used specific PCR primers for both hymenopteran and W. pipientis gene fragments to show that all unfed tick nymphs parasitized by I. hookeri also harbored Wolbachia, while unparasitized ticks were Wolbachia-free. We demonstrated experimentally that unfed nymphs obtained from larvae exposed to I. hookeri while gorging on their vertebrate host also harbor Wolbachia. We hypothesize that previous studies that have reported W. pipientis in ticks are due to the cryptic presence of the endoparasitoid wasp I. hookeri. This association has remained hidden until now because parasitoids within ticks cannot be detected until engorgement of the nymphs brings the wasp eggs out of diapause. Finally, we discuss the consequences of this finding for our understanding of the tick microbiome, and their possible role in horizontal gene transfer among pathogenic and symbiotic bacteria. PMID:22292021

  14. Detection of Wolbachia in the Tick Ixodes ricinus is Due to the Presence of the Hymenoptera Endoparasitoid Ixodiphagus hookeri

    PubMed Central

    Plantard, Olivier; Bouju-Albert, Agnès; Malard, Marie-Astrid; Hermouet, Axelle; Capron, Gilles; Verheyden, Hélène

    2012-01-01

    The identification of micro-organisms carried by ticks is an important issue for human and animal health. In addition to their role as pathogen vectors, ticks are also the hosts for symbiotic bacteria whose impact on tick biology is poorly known. Among these, the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis has already been reported associated with Ixodes ricinus and other tick species. However, the origins of Wolbachia in ticks and their consequences on tick biology (known to be very diverse in invertebrates, ranging from nutritional symbionts in nematodes to reproductive manipulators in insects) are unknown. Here we report that the endoparasitoid wasp Ixodiphagus hookeri (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Encyrtidae) – strictly associated with ticks for their development - is infested at almost 100% prevalence by a W. pipientis strain belonging to a Wolbachia supergroup that has already been reported as associated with other hymenopteran parasitoids. In a natural population of I. ricinus that suffers high parasitism rates due to I. hookeri, we used specific PCR primers for both hymenopteran and W. pipientis gene fragments to show that all unfed tick nymphs parasitized by I. hookeri also harbored Wolbachia, while unparasitized ticks were Wolbachia-free. We demonstrated experimentally that unfed nymphs obtained from larvae exposed to I. hookeri while gorging on their vertebrate host also harbor Wolbachia. We hypothesize that previous studies that have reported W. pipientis in ticks are due to the cryptic presence of the endoparasitoid wasp I. hookeri. This association has remained hidden until now because parasitoids within ticks cannot be detected until engorgement of the nymphs brings the wasp eggs out of diapause. Finally, we discuss the consequences of this finding for our understanding of the tick microbiome, and their possible role in horizontal gene transfer among pathogenic and symbiotic bacteria. PMID:22292021

  15. 'Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii', an endosymbiont of the tick Ixodes ricinus with a unique intramitochondrial lifestyle.

    PubMed

    Sassera, Davide; Beninati, Tiziana; Bandi, Claudio; Bouman, Edwin A P; Sacchi, Luciano; Fabbi, Massimo; Lo, Nathan

    2006-11-01

    An intracellular bacterium with the unique ability to enter mitochondria exists in the European vector of Lyme disease, the hard tick Ixodes ricinus. Previous phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA gene sequences suggested that the bacterium formed a divergent lineage within the Rickettsiales (Alphaproteobacteria). Here, we present additional phylogenetic evidence, based on the gyrB gene sequence, that confirms the phylogenetic position of the bacterium. Based on these data, as well as electron microscopy (EM), in situ hybridization and other observations, we propose the name 'Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii' for this bacterium. The symbiont appears to be ubiquitous in females of I. ricinus across the tick's distribution, while lower prevalence is observed in males (44%). Based on EM and in situ hybridization studies, the presence of 'Candidatus M. mitochondrii' in females appears to be restricted to ovarian cells. The bacterium was found to be localized both in the cytoplasm and in the intermembrane space of the mitochondria of ovarian cells. 'Candidatus M. mitochondrii' is the first bacterium to be identified that resides within animal mitochondria. PMID:17082386

  16. Detection of a novel Rickettsia (Alphaproteobacteria: Rickettsiales) in rotund ticks (Ixodes kingi) from Saskatchewan, Canada.

    PubMed

    Anstead, Clare A; Chilton, Neil B

    2013-04-01

    A novel Rickettsia was detected in the rotund tick, Ixodes kingi Bishopp, 1911, based on comparative DNA sequence analyses of 4 genes; the rickettsial-specific 17-kDa antigen gene, citrate synthase gene (gltA), the outer surface membrane protein A gene (ompA), and the 16S rRNA gene. The rickettsiae in I. kingi differed in nucleotide sequence from those of other Rickettsia species by 5.8-18.3% for the 17-kDa gene, 0.9-13.9% for gltA, 5.5-22.8% for ompA, and 0.9-1.6% for the 16S rRNA gene. Phylogenetic analyses of the sequence data revealed that this putative new species of Rickettsia, provisionally named Candidatus Rickettsia kingi, does not belong to the spotted fever group or typhus group of rickettsiae, but represents a sister taxon to R. canadensis and Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae. This novel Rickettsia was found in 60 of the 87 (69%) ticks examined, which included all feeding life cycle stages of I. kingi. Although adult I. kingi occasionally parasitize dogs and humans, it remains to be determined if this Rickettsia is pathogenic to these host species. PMID:23419865

  17. Francisella tularensis: No Evidence for Transovarial Transmission in the Tularemia Tick Vectors Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus

    PubMed Central

    Genchi, Marco; Prati, Paola; Vicari, Nadia; Manfredini, Andrea; Sacchi, Luciano; Clementi, Emanuela; Bandi, Claudio; Epis, Sara; Fabbi, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Background Tularemia is a zoonosis caused by the Francisella tularensis, a highly infectious Gram-negative coccobacillus. Due to easy dissemination, multiple routes of infection, high environmental contamination and morbidity and mortality rates, Francisella is considered a potential bioterrorism threat and classified as a category A select agent by the CDC. Tick bites are among the most prevalent modes of transmission, and ticks have been indicated as a possible reservoir, although their reservoir competence has yet to be defined. Tick-borne transmission of F. tularensis was recognized in 1923, and transstadial transmission has been demonstrated in several tick species. Studies on transovarial transmission, however, have reported conflicting results. Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of ticks as reservoirs for Francisella, assessing the transovarial transmission of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica in ticks, using experimentally-infected females of Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus. Results Transmission electron microscopy and fluorescence in situ hybridization showed F. tularensis within oocytes. However, cultures and bioassays of eggs and larvae were negative; in addition, microscopy techniques revealed bacterial degeneration/death in the oocytes. Conclusions These results suggest that bacterial death might occur in oocytes, preventing the transovarial transmission of Francisella. We can speculate that Francisella does not have a defined reservoir, but that rather various biological niches (e.g. ticks, rodents), that allow the bacterium to persist in the environment. Our results, suggesting that ticks are not competent for the bacterium vertical transmission, are congruent with this view. PMID:26244842

  18. Comparative analysis of the roles of Ixodes persulcatus and I. trianguliceps ticks in natural foci of ixodid tick-borne borrelioses in the Middle Urals, Russia.

    PubMed

    Korenberg, Edward I; Kovalevskii, Yurii V; Gorelova, Natalya B; Nefedova, Valentina V

    2015-04-01

    Long-term studies on natural foci of ixodid tick-borne borrelioses (ITBB) have been performed in Chusovskoi district of Perm region, the Middle Urals, where the vectors of these infections are represented by two ixodid tick species: the taiga tick Ixodes persulcatus and many times less abundant vole tick I. trianguliceps. Over 10 years, more than 6000 half-engorged ticks were collected from small forest mammals using the standard procedure, and 1027 I. persulcatus and 1142 I. trianguliceps ticks, individually or in pools, were used to inoculate BSK-2 medium. As a result, 199 Borrelia isolates were obtained. Among them, 177 isolates were identified, and the rrf(5S)-rrl(23S) intergenic spacer sequence was determined in 57 isolates. The prevalence of Borrelia infection in I. persulcatus larvae and nymphs averaged 31.0 and 53.3%, while that in I. trianguliceps larvae, nymphs, and adult ticks was five to ten times lower: 2.6, 10.2, and 8.1%, respectively. Each of the two tick species was found to carry both ITBB agents circulating in the Middle Ural foci (Borrelia garinii and B. afzelii), but the set of genogroups and genovariants of these spirochetes in I. trianguliceps proved to be far less diverse. According to the available data, this tick, compared to I. persulcatus, is generally less susceptible to Borrelia infection (especially by B. afzelii). Taking into account of its relatively low abundance, it appears that I. trianguliceps cannot seriously influence the course of epizootic process in ITBB foci of the study region, whereas highly abundant I. persulcatus with the high level of Borrelia infection is obviously a key component of these parasitic systems. A similar situation may well be typical for the entire geographic range shared by the two tick species. PMID:25843812

  19. The High Diversity and Global Distribution of the Intracellular Bacterium Rickettsiella in the Polar Seabird Tick Ixodes uriae.

    PubMed

    Duron, Olivier; Cremaschi, Julie; McCoy, Karen D

    2016-04-01

    Obligate intracellular bacteria of the Rickettsiella genus are emerging as both widespread and biologically diverse in arthropods. Some Rickettsiella strains are highly virulent entomopathogenic agents, whereas others are maternally inherited endosymbionts exerting very subtle manipulations on host phenotype to promote their own spread. Recently, a variety of Rickettsiella strains have been reported from ticks, but their biology is entirely unknown. In the present study, we examined the incidence and diversity of Rickettsiella in 11 geographically distinct populations of the polar seabird tick Ixodes uriae. We found Rickettsiella in most tick populations with a prevalence ranging from 3 to 24 %. 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and GroEL gene sequences revealed an unexpected diversity of Rickettsiella, with 12 genetically distinct Rickettsiella strains present in populations of I. uriae. Phylogenetic investigations further revealed that these Rickettsiella strains do not cluster within a tick-specific clade but rather exhibit distinct evolutionary origins demonstrating frequent horizontal transfers between distantly related arthropod species. Tick rearing further showed that Rickettsiella are present in eggs laid by infected females with no evidence of abortive development. Using this data set, we discuss the potential biological significance of Rickettsiella in seabird ticks. Most notably, we suggest that these organisms may not be pathogenic forms but rather use more subtle adaptive strategies to persist within tick populations. PMID:26573831

  20. Control of Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus tick infestations in rabbits vaccinated with the Q38 Subolesin/Akirin chimera.

    PubMed

    Contreras, Marinela; de la Fuente, José

    2016-06-01

    Diseases transmitted by ticks greatly impact human and animal health and their control is important for the eradication of tick-borne diseases. Vaccination is an environmentally friendly alternative for tick control. Recent results have suggested that Subolesin/Akirin (SUB/AKR) are good candidate antigens for the control of arthropod vector infestations. Here, we describe the effect of vaccination with the Q38 chimera containing SUB/AKR conserved protective epitopes on Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus tick larval mortality, feeding and molting. We demonstrated that Q38 vaccination had an efficacy of 99.9% and 46.4% on the control of I. ricinus and D. reticulatus larvae by considering the cumulative effect on reducing tick survival and molting. The effect of the Q38 vaccine on larval feeding and molting is essential to reduce tick infestations and supports that Q38 might be a candidate universal antigen for the control of multiple tick species that can infest the same host. PMID:27154388

  1. A ten-year study of tick biting in Mississippi: implications for human disease transmission.

    PubMed

    Goddard, Jerome

    2002-01-01

    To determine exactly which tick species bit people in Mississippi, information was gathered on ticks involved in human biting cases for the ten-year period, January 1, 1990-December 31, 1999. Specimens were identified by the author and, in most cases, confirmed by personnel at the Institute of Arthropodology and Parasitology, Georgia Southern University. A total of 119 ticks were recovered from 73 humans during the study period. Seven tick species were represented; most common included the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, the gulf coast tick, A. maculatum, the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, and the black-legged deer tick, Ixodes scapularis. Interestingly, no immature Ixodes scapularis were collected. there were several unusual records. Twelve larvae of Amblyomma tuberculatum, a species associated with the gopher tortoise, were removed from a patient. Two Dermacentor albipictus larvae were collected from an elderly woman with no travel history except her backyard. One Dermacentor sp. nymph, removed from a man in central MS, was not even a North American species. One adult female Dermacentor variabilis was involved in a clinical case of tick paralysis. These findings indicate that, although we know which tick species are common human biters, unusual/unreported tick-human interactions may be more common than we think. PMID:12853269

  2. The phenology of ticks and the effects of long-term prescribed burning on tick population dynamics in southwestern Georgia and northwestern Florida.

    PubMed

    Gleim, Elizabeth R; Conner, L Mike; Berghaus, Roy D; Levin, Michael L; Zemtsova, Galina E; Yabsley, Michael J

    2014-01-01

    Some tick populations have increased dramatically in the past several decades leading to an increase in the incidence and emergence of tick-borne diseases. Management strategies that can effectively reduce tick populations while better understanding regional tick phenology is needed. One promising management strategy is prescribed burning. However, the efficacy of prescribed burning as a mechanism for tick control is unclear because past studies have provided conflicting data, likely due to a failure of some studies to simulate operational management scenarios and/or account for other predictors of tick abundance. Therefore, our study was conducted to increase knowledge of tick population dynamics relative to long-term prescribed fire management. Furthermore, we targeted a region, southwestern Georgia and northwestern Florida (USA), in which little is known regarding tick dynamics so that basic phenology could be determined. Twenty-one plots with varying burn regimes (burned surrounded by burned [BB], burned surrounded by unburned [BUB], unburned surrounded by burned [UBB], and unburned surrounded by unburned [UBUB]) were sampled monthly for two years while simultaneously collecting data on variables that can affect tick abundance (e.g., host abundance, vegetation structure, and micro- and macro-climatic conditions). In total, 47,185 ticks were collected, of which, 99% were Amblyomma americanum, 0.7% were Ixodes scapularis, and fewer numbers of Amblyomma maculatum, Ixodes brunneus, and Dermacentor variabilis. Monthly seasonality trends were similar between 2010 and 2011. Long-term prescribed burning consistently and significantly reduced tick counts (overall and specifically for A. americanum and I. scapularis) regardless of the burn regimes and variables evaluated. Tick species composition varied according to burn regime with A. americanum dominating at UBUB, A. maculatum at BB, I. scapularis at UBB, and a more even composition at BUB. These data indicate that

  3. The Phenology of Ticks and the Effects of Long-Term Prescribed Burning on Tick Population Dynamics in Southwestern Georgia and Northwestern Florida

    PubMed Central

    Gleim, Elizabeth R.; Conner, L. Mike; Berghaus, Roy D.; Levin, Michael L.; Zemtsova, Galina E.; Yabsley, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    Some tick populations have increased dramatically in the past several decades leading to an increase in the incidence and emergence of tick-borne diseases. Management strategies that can effectively reduce tick populations while better understanding regional tick phenology is needed. One promising management strategy is prescribed burning. However, the efficacy of prescribed burning as a mechanism for tick control is unclear because past studies have provided conflicting data, likely due to a failure of some studies to simulate operational management scenarios and/or account for other predictors of tick abundance. Therefore, our study was conducted to increase knowledge of tick population dynamics relative to long-term prescribed fire management. Furthermore, we targeted a region, southwestern Georgia and northwestern Florida (USA), in which little is known regarding tick dynamics so that basic phenology could be determined. Twenty-one plots with varying burn regimes (burned surrounded by burned [BB], burned surrounded by unburned [BUB], unburned surrounded by burned [UBB], and unburned surrounded by unburned [UBUB]) were sampled monthly for two years while simultaneously collecting data on variables that can affect tick abundance (e.g., host abundance, vegetation structure, and micro- and macro-climatic conditions). In total, 47,185 ticks were collected, of which, 99% were Amblyomma americanum, 0.7% were Ixodes scapularis, and fewer numbers of Amblyomma maculatum, Ixodes brunneus, and Dermacentor variabilis. Monthly seasonality trends were similar between 2010 and 2011. Long-term prescribed burning consistently and significantly reduced tick counts (overall and specifically for A. americanum and I. scapularis) regardless of the burn regimes and variables evaluated. Tick species composition varied according to burn regime with A. americanum dominating at UBUB, A. maculatum at BB, I. scapularis at UBB, and a more even composition at BUB. These data indicate that

  4. Tick as a model for the study of a primitive complement system.

    PubMed

    Kopacek, Petr; Hajdusek, Ondrej; Buresova, Veronika

    2012-01-01

    Ticks are blood feeding parasites transmitting a wide variety of pathogens to their vertebrate hosts. The transmitted pathogens apparently evolved efficient mechanisms enabling them to evade or withstand the cellular or humoral immune responses within the tick vector. Despite its importance, our knowledge of tick innate immunity still lags far beyond other well established invertebrate models, such as drosophila, horseshoe crab or mosquitoes. However, the recent release of the American deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, genome and feasibility of functional analysis based on RNA interference (RNAi) facilitate the development of this organism as a full-value model for deeper studies of vector-pathogen interactions. PMID:22127888

  5. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of DNA from Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Ixodes ricinus ticks.

    PubMed

    Muntean, Cristina M; Stefan, Razvan; Bindea, Maria; Cozma, Vasile

    2013-06-01

    In this work we present a method for detection of motile and immotile Borrelia burgdorferi genomic DNA, in relation with infectious and noninfectious spirochetes. An FT-IR study of DNA isolated from B. burgdorferi sensu lato strains and from positive and negative Ixodes ricinus ticks, respectively, is reported. Motile bacterial cells from the species B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii were of interest. Also, FT-IR absorbance spectra of DNA from immotile spirochetes of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, in the absence and presence of different antibiotics (doxycycline, erythromycin, gentamicin, penicillin V or phenoxymethylpenicillin, tetracycline, respectively) were investigated. FT-IR spectra, providing a high molecular structural information, have been analyzed in the wavenumber range 400-1800 cm(-1). FT-IR signatures, spectroscopic band assignments and structural interpretations of these DNAs are reported. Spectral differences between FT-IR absorbances of DNAs from motile bacterial cells and immotile spirochetes, respectively, have been found. Particularly, alterations of the sugar-phosphate B-form chain in the case of DNA from Borrelia immotile cells, as compared with DNA from B. burgdorferi sensu lato motile cells have been observed. Based on this work, specific B. burgdorferi sensu lato and I. ricinus DNA-ligand interactions, respectively, might be further investigated using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. PMID:23563637

  6. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of DNA from Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Ixodes ricinus ticks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muntean, Cristina M.; Stefan, Razvan; Bindea, Maria; Cozma, Vasile

    2013-06-01

    In this work we present a method for detection of motile and immotile Borrelia burgdorferi genomic DNA, in relation with infectious and noninfectious spirochetes. An FT-IR study of DNA isolated from B. burgdorferi sensu lato strains and from positive and negative Ixodes ricinus ticks, respectively, is reported. Motile bacterial cells from the species B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii were of interest. Also, FT-IR absorbance spectra of DNA from immotile spirochetes of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, in the absence and presence of different antibiotics (doxycycline, erythromycin, gentamicin, penicillin V or phenoxymethylpenicillin, tetracycline, respectively) were investigated. FT-IR spectra, providing a high molecular structural information, have been analyzed in the wavenumber range 400-1800 cm-1. FT-IR signatures, spectroscopic band assignments and structural interpretations of these DNAs are reported. Spectral differences between FT-IR absorbances of DNAs from motile bacterial cells and immotile spirochetes, respectively, have been found. Particularly, alterations of the sugar-phosphate B-form chain in the case of DNA from Borrelia immotile cells, as compared with DNA from B. burgdorferi sensu lato motile cells have been observed. Based on this work, specific B. burgdorferi sensu lato and I. ricinus DNA-ligand interactions, respectively, might be further investigated using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.

  7. Ticks associated with domestic dogs and cats in Florida, USA.

    PubMed

    Burroughs, Jennifer E; Thomasson, J Alex; Marsella, Rosanna; Greiner, Ellis C; Allan, Sandra A

    2016-05-01

    Voluntary collections of ticks from domestic dogs and cats by veterinary practitioners across Florida, USA, were conducted over a 10 month period. Of the 1337 ticks submitted, five species of ixodid ticks were identified and included Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Amblyomma americanum, A. maculatum, Dermacentor variabilis, and Ixodes scapularis. Most ticks were collected from dogs (98.4 %) with the most predominant species being R. sanguineus (94.3 %). Of the ticks collected from cats (1.6 %), A. americanum were the most common (74 %). Only R. sanguineus were collected throughout the state, with the other species collected only in central and north Florida. The tick species collected from dogs and cats represent a risk to these domestic species as well as associated humans for a range of tick-borne diseases in Florida. PMID:26888081

  8. Changes in the geographical distribution and abundance of the tick Ixodes ricinus during the past 30 years in Sweden

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Ixodes ricinus is the main vector in Europe of human-pathogenic Lyme borreliosis (LB) spirochaetes, the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and other pathogens of humans and domesticated mammals. The results of a previous 1994 questionnaire, directed at people living in Central and North Sweden (Svealand and Norrland) and aiming to gather information about tick exposure for humans and domestic animals, suggested that Ixodes ricinus ticks had become more widespread in Central Sweden and the southern part of North Sweden from the early 1980s to the early 1990s. To investigate whether the expansion of the tick's northern geographical range and the increasing abundance of ticks in Sweden were still occurring, in 2009 we performed a follow-up survey 16 years after the initial study. Methods A questionnaire similar to the one used in the 1994 study was published in Swedish magazines aimed at dog owners, home owners, and hunters. The questionnaire was published together with a popular science article about the tick's biology and role as a pathogen vector in Sweden. The magazines were selected to get information from people familiar with ticks and who spend time in areas where ticks might be present. Results Analyses of data from both surveys revealed that during the near 30-year period from the early 1980s to 2008, I. ricinus has expanded its distribution range northwards. In the early 1990s ticks were found in new areas along the northern coastline of the Baltic Sea, while in the 2009 study, ticks were reported for the first time from many locations in North Sweden. This included locations as far north as 66°N and places in the interior part of North Sweden. During this 16-year period the tick's range in Sweden was estimated to have increased by 9.9%. Most of the range expansion occurred in North Sweden (north of 60°N) where the tick's coverage area doubled from 12.5% in the early 1990s to 26.8% in 2008. Moreover, according to the respondents, the abundance

  9. In vitro establishment and propagation of a Brazilian strain of Anaplasma marginale with appendage in IDE8 (Ixodes scapularis) cells

    PubMed Central

    Bastos, Camila V.; Passos, Lygia M. F.; Vasconcelos, Maria Mercês C.; Ribeiro, Múcio F. B.

    2009-01-01

    A Brazilian isolate of Anaplasma marginale with appendage was successfully established and maintained in vitro in a tick cell line (IDE8). Infection was confirmed by optical and transmission electron microscopy. In addition, primers MSP1aNF2 and MSP1aNR2 amplified products from DNA extracted from infected IDE8 cells. Comparisons with partial sequences of the msp1α gene and the complete genome of A. marginale confirmed that the sequences of amplified fragments were from the A. marginale genome. This is the first establishment of a Brazilian A. marginale isolate in tick cells, representing a new system for biological and molecular studies and also a new source of material for diagnosis and development of vaccines. PMID:24031379

  10. Emerging Tick-borne Rickettsia and Ehrlichia at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Fort Eustis, Virginia.

    PubMed

    Miller, Melissa K; Jiang, Ju; Truong, Melissa; Yarina, Tamasin; Evans, Holly; Christensen, Timothy P; Richards, Allen L

    2016-01-01

    Four species of ticks known to parasitize humans (Amblyomma americanum (lone star tick), Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick), Amblyomma maculatum (Gulf Coast tick), and Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick)) were collected at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Fort Eustis, Virginia during 2009. These ticks were tested individually (adults and nymphs) and in pools of 15 (larvae) for pathogens of public health importance within the genera: Rickettsia, Borrelia, and Ehrlichia, by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays and, where appropriate, multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Of the 340 A americanum ticks tested, a minimum of 65 (19%), 4 (1%), 4 (1%), and one (<1%) were positive for Rickettsia amblyommii, B lonestari, E ewingii and E chaffeensis, respectively. One of 2 (50%) A maculatum ticks collected was found to be positive for R parkeri by MLST and qPCR analyses. All 33 D variabilis ticks were negative for evidence of rickettsial infections. Likewise, no pathogenic organisms were detected from the single Ixodes scapularis tick collected. Pathogenic rickettsiae and ehrlichiae are likely emerging and cause under-recognized diseases, which threaten people who live, work, train, or otherwise engage in outdoor activities at, or in the vicinity of, Fort Eustis, Virginia. PMID:27613206

  11. Ixodes tick saliva suppresses the keratinocyte cytokine response to TLR2/TLR3 ligands during early exposure to Lyme borreliosis.

    PubMed

    Bernard, Quentin; Gallo, Richard L; Jaulhac, Benoît; Nakatsuji, Teruaki; Luft, Benjamin; Yang, Xiahoua; Boulanger, Nathalie

    2016-01-01

    Ixodes hard tick induces skin injury by its sophisticated biting process. Its saliva plays a key role to enable an efficient blood meal that lasts for several days. We hypothesized that this feeding process may also be exploited by pathogens to facilitate their transmission, especially in the context of arthropod-borne diseases. To test this, we used Lyme borreliosis as a model. This bacterial infection is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato transmitted by Ixodes. We co-incubated Borrelia with human keratinocytes in the presence of poly (I: C), a dsRNA TLR3 agonist generated by skin injury. This induced a strong cytokine response from human primary keratinocytes that was much greater than that induced by Borrelia alone. OspC, a TLR2/1 agonist and a major surface lipoprotein of Borrelia also amplified the process. Interestingly, tick saliva inhibited cytokine responses by keratinocytes to these TLR agonists. We propose that Borrelia uses the immunoprivileged site produced by tick saliva to facilitate its transmission. PMID:26307945

  12. Correlation of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato prevalence in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks with specific abiotic traits in the western palearctic.

    PubMed

    Estrada-Peña, Agustín; Ortega, Carmelo; Sánchez, Nely; Desimone, Lorenzo; Sudre, Bertrand; Suk, Jonathan E; Semenza, Jan C

    2011-06-01

    This meta-analysis of reports examining ticks throughout the Western Palearctic region indicates a distinct geographic pattern for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato prevalence in questing nymphal Ixodes ricinus ticks. The greatest prevalence was reported between the 5°E and 25°E longitudes based on an analysis of 123 collection points with 37,940 nymphal tick specimens (87.43% of total nymphs; 56.35% of total ticks in the set of reports over the target area). Climatic traits, such as temperature and vegetation stress, and their seasonality correlated with Borrelia prevalence in questing ticks. The greatest prevalence was associated with mild winter, high summer, and low seasonal amplitude of temperatures within the range of the tick vector, higher vegetation indices in the May-June period, and well-connected vegetation patches below a threshold at which rates suddenly drop. Classification of the target territory using a qualitative risk index derived from the abiotic variables produced an indicator of the probability of finding infected ticks in the Western Palearctic region. No specific temporal trends were detected in the reported prevalence. The ranges of the different B. burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies showed a pattern of high biodiversity between 4°W and 20°E, partially overlapping the area of highest prevalence in ticks. Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii are the dominant species in central Europe (east of ∼25°E), but B. garinii may appear alone at southern latitudes and Borrelia lusitaniae is the main indicator species for meridional territories. PMID:21498767

  13. Molecular Phylogeny of a tick, Ixodes granulatus (Acari: Ixodidae) based on cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) marker

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lah, Ernieenor Faraliana Che; Yaakop, Salmah; Ahamad, Mariana; George, Ernna; Nor, Shukor Md

    2014-09-01

    Identification of a local species of tick, Ixodes granulatus from the family Ixodidae is essential because it has potential to be vector for spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsia and tick thypus. The aim of this study is to portray the relationships among several populations of I. granulatus collected from different species of animal hosts and localities in Peninsular Malaysia. Polymerase Chain Reaction was conducted by amplifying mitochondrial DNA marker, namely cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) sequences from 15 individual ticks that attached to five different hosts caught from three different localities. Confirmation of the species identity was accomplished using BLAST program. Neighbor-joining (NJ) and Maximum Parsimony (MP) tree based on COI sequences were constructed by using PAUP 4.0b10 to identify the relationship among species. The result of this study showed a high genetic heterogeneity between I. granulatus and other species of the same genus (7.2-23.7%). Furthermore, a low intraspecific variation was observed among the species of I. granulatus collected from different localities (0-3.7%). This study produced the first establishment of molecular marker for clarifying genetic species variation and diversity of local I. granulatus tick which contribute to the control of tick-borne infections.

  14. A Rickettsiella Bacterium from the Hard Tick, Ixodes woodi: Molecular Taxonomy Combining Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST) with Significance Testing

    PubMed Central

    Leclerque, Andreas; Kleespies, Regina G.

    2012-01-01

    Hard ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) are known to harbour intracellular bacteria from several phylogenetic groups that can develop both mutualistic and pathogenic relationships to the host. This is of particular importance for public health as tick derived bacteria can potentially be transmitted to mammals, including humans, where e.g. Rickettsia or Coxiella act as severe pathogens. Exact molecular taxonomic identification of tick associated prokaryotes is a necessary prerequisite of the investigation of their relationship to both the tick and possible vertebrate hosts. Previously, an intracellular bacterium had been isolated from a monosexual, parthenogenetically reproducing laboratory colony of females of the hard tick, Ixodes woodi Bishopp, and had preliminarily been characterized as a “Rickettsiella-related bacterium”. In the present molecular taxonomic study that is based on phylogenetic reconstruction from both 16 S ribosomal RNA and protein-encoding marker sequences complemented with likelihood-based significance testing, the bacterium from I. woodi has been identified as a strain of the taxonomic species Rickettsiella grylli. It is the first time that a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) approach based on a four genes comprising MLST scheme has been implemented in order to classify a Rickettsiella-like bacterium to this species. The study demonstrated that MLST holds potential for a better resolution of phylogenetic relationships within the genus Rickettsiella, but requires sequence determination from further Rickettsiella-like bacteria in order to complete the current still fragmentary picture of Rickettsiella systematics. PMID:22675436

  15. Survey of Ixodes pacificus Ticks in California Reveals a Diversity of Microorganisms and a Novel and Widespread Anaplasmataceae Species

    PubMed Central

    Eshoo, Mark W.; Carolan, Heather E.; Massire, Christian; Chou, Danny M.; Crowder, Chris D.; Rounds, Megan A.; Phillipson, Curtis A.; Schutzer, Steven E.; Ecker, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Ixodes pacificus ticks can harbor a wide range of human and animal pathogens. To survey the prevalence of tick-borne known and putative pathogens, we tested 982 individual adult and nymphal I. pacificus ticks collected throughout California between 2007 and 2009 using a broad-range PCR and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS) assay designed to detect a wide range of tick-borne microorganisms. Overall, 1.4% of the ticks were found to be infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, 2.0% were infected with Borrelia miyamotoi and 0.3% were infected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum. In addition, 3.0% were infected with Babesia odocoilei. About 1.2% of the ticks were co-infected with more than one pathogen or putative pathogen. In addition, we identified a novel Anaplasmataceae species that we characterized by sequencing of its 16S rRNA, groEL, gltA, and rpoB genes. Sequence analysis indicated that this organism is phylogenetically distinct from known Anaplasma species with its closest genetic near neighbors coming from Asia. The prevalence of this novel Anaplasmataceae species was as high as 21% at one site, and it was detected in 4.9% of ticks tested statewide. Based upon this genetic characterization we propose that this organism be called ‘Candidatus Cryptoplasma californiense’. Knowledge of this novel microbe will provide awareness for the community about the breadth of the I. pacificus microbiome, the concept that this bacterium could be more widely spread; and an opportunity to explore whether this bacterium also contributes to human or animal disease burden. PMID:26375033

  16. Mating strategies and multiple paternity, assessed by microsatellites, of the dispersal-limited, ectoparasitic tree-hole tick, Ixodes arboricola.

    PubMed

    Van Oosten, A R; Matthysen, E; Heylen, D J A

    2016-08-01

    Multiple mating is common among ticks, a large group of haematophagous ectoparasites, but multiple paternity has rarely been investigated. Multiple paternity may be common because the resultant increased genetic diversity allows ticks to rapidly evolve in relation to host responses and increases colonisation potential in novel habitats. Knowledge concerning mating systems is important because ticks may have profound effects on their hosts and are the principal transmitters of many pathogenic agents. In the current study, we investigated the mating system of the nidicolous tick Ixodes arboricola. These ticks attach to their bird hosts in the nest, which restricts gene flow but facilitates finding a partner off-host. Having genetically variable offspring may be beneficial for ticks which may encounter very different conditions when dispersed to the nest of another host type. We conducted an experiment in which female ticks fed on great tit nestlings and mated with two males in three treatments of the females: mating with both males before feeding, mating with one male before and the other male after feeding, or mating with both males after feeding. We investigated paternity with microsatellites. In a complementary experiment we investigated male preference for unfed or engorged females, and measured mating duration. We predicted (i) there would be multiple mating by I. arboricola males and females, leading to multiple paternity, and (ii) males would prefer to mate with engorged females and those matings would last longer because engorged females present a higher probability of successful reproduction. We found multiple paternity within clutches but no indications of sperm precedence. Males preferred to mate with engorged females and those matings lasted significantly longer, even including attachment beyond egg deposition. We suggest such mate guarding and male preference for mating after feeding is adaptive because there is no first male precedence. Male preference

  17. Identifying the last bloodmeal of questing sheep tick nymphs (Ixodes ricinus L.) using high resolution melting analysis.

    PubMed

    Collini, Margherita; Albonico, Francesca; Hauffe, Heidi C; Mortarino, Michele

    2015-06-15

    The sheep tick, Ixodes ricinus L., is an important hematophagous vector of zoonotic disease of both veterinary and public health importance in Europe. Risk models for tick-borne diseases can be improved by identifying the main hosts of this species in any given area. However, this generalist tick stays on a host for only a few days a year over its life cycle, making the study of its feeding ecology difficult. In contrast, ticks can easily be collected from vegetation when they are questing. Molecular methods have proved to be a reliable alternative to field observation, but most current methods have low sensitivity and/or low identification success (i.e. hosts are only identified to taxonomic levels higher than species). In this study we use Real-time PCR coupled with High Resolution Melting Analysis (HRMA) to identify the source of the last bloodmeal in questing tick nymphs. Twenty of the most important tick hosts were grouped taxonomically and six group-specific primer sets, targeting short mitochondrial DNA regions, were designed de novo. Firstly, we show that these primers successfully amplify target host DNA (from host tissue or engorged ticks), and that HRMA can be used to reliably identify hosts to species (or genera in the case of Sorex and Apodemus). Secondly, the new protocol was tested on field-collected questing nymphs. Bloodmeal source was identified in 65.4% of 52 individuals. In 83.3% of these, the host was identified to species or genera using HRMA alone. Moreover, the primer sets designed here can unequivocally identify mixed bloodmeals. The combination of sensitivity and identification success together with the closed-tube and single step approach that minimizes contamination, make Real-time HRMA a good alternative to current methods for bloodmeal identification. PMID:25941127

  18. A rickettsia-like organism from Ixodes uriae ticks collected on the Kerguelen Islands (French Subantarctic Territories).

    PubMed

    Chastel, C; Demazure, M; Chastel, O; Genevois, F; Legrand, M C; Grulet, O; Odermatt, M; Le Goff, F

    1993-02-01

    A rickettsia-like microorganism was isolated in suckling mice from Ixodes uriae ticks collected from penguins breeding on Mayes Island, Kerguelen Archipelago, French Subantarctic Territories. At isolation, this agent mimicked a tick-borne arbovirus. Finally, electron microscopy studies of infected suckling mouse livers showed the presence of inclusions filled with pleomorphic microorganism in the cytoplasm of some hepatocytes, sometimes dividing by binary fission and thus of obviously non-viral nature. No firm serological relationship was demonstrated with Chlamydia psittaci, C. trachomatis, C. pneumoniae, Coxiella burnetti, Cowdria ruminentium, Ehrlichia canis, E. phagocytophila, E. risticii or the WSU/1044 agent. The exact taxonomic position of the "Mayes" agent remains to be clarified. PMID:8105647

  19. Diverse Borrelia burgdorferi Strains in a Bird-Tick Cryptic Cycle ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Hamer, Sarah A.; Hickling, Graham J.; Sidge, Jennifer L.; Rosen, Michelle E.; Walker, Edward D.; Tsao, Jean I.

    2011-01-01

    The blacklegged tick Ixodes scapularis is the primary vector of the most prevalent vector-borne zoonosis in North America, Lyme disease (LD). Enzootic maintenance of the pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi by I. scapularis and small mammals is well documented, whereas its “cryptic” maintenance by other specialist ticks and wildlife hosts remains largely unexplored because these ticks rarely bite humans. We quantified B. burgdorferi infection in a cryptic bird-rabbit-tick cycle. Furthermore, we explored the role of birds in maintaining and moving B. burgdorferi strains by comparing their genetic diversity in this cryptic cycle to that found in cycles vectored by I. scapularis. We examined birds, rabbits, and small mammals for ticks and infection over a 4-year period at a focal site in Michigan, 90 km east of a zone of I. scapularis invasion. We mist netted 19,631 birds that yielded 12,301 ticks, of which 86% were I. dentatus, a bird-rabbit specialist. No resident wildlife harbored I. scapularis, and yet 3.5% of bird-derived ticks, 3.6% of rabbit-derived ticks, and 20% of rabbit ear biopsy specimens were infected with B. burgdorferi. We identified 25 closely related B. burgdorferi strains using an rRNA gene intergenic spacer marker, the majority (68%) of which had not been reported previously. The presence of strains common to both cryptic and endemic cycles strongly implies bird-mediated dispersal. Given continued large-scale expansion of I. scapularis populations, we predict that its invasion into zones of cryptic transmission will allow for bridging of novel pathogen strains to humans and animals. PMID:21257811

  20. 'Candidatus Rickettsia mendelii', a novel basal group rickettsia detected in Ixodes ricinus ticks in the Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Hajduskova, Eva; Literak, Ivan; Papousek, Ivo; Costa, Francisco B; Novakova, Marketa; Labruna, Marcelo B; Zdrazilova-Dubska, Lenka

    2016-04-01

    A novel rickettsial sequence in the citrate synthase gltA gene indicating a novel Rickettsia species has been detected in 7 out of 4524 Ixodes ricinus ticks examined within several surveys performed in the Czech Republic from 2005 to 2009. This new Candidatus Rickettsia sp. sequence has been found in 2 nymphs feeding on wild birds (Luscinia megarhynchos and Erithacus rubecula), in a male tick from vegetation, and 4 ticks feeding on a dog (3 males, 1 female tick). Portions of the ompA, ompB, sca4, and htrA genes were not amplifiable in these samples. A maximum likelihood tree of rickettsiae based on comparisons of partial amino acid sequences of citrate synthase and nucleotide sequences of 16S rDNA genes and phylogenetic analysis revealed a basal position of the novel species in the proximity of R. bellii and R. canadensis. The novel species has been named 'Candidatus Rickettsia mendelii' after the founder of genetics, Gregor Mendel. PMID:26873811

  1. Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Questing Ixodes ricinus Ticks: Comparison of Prevalences and Partial 16S rRNA Gene Variants in Urban, Pasture, and Natural Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Pfister, Kurt; Thiel, Claudia; Herb, Ingrid; Mahling, Monia; Silaghi, Cornelia

    2013-01-01

    Urban, natural, and pasture areas were investigated for prevalences and 16S rRNA gene variants of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks. The prevalences differed significantly between habitat types, and year-to-year variations in prevalence and habitat-dependent occurrence of 16S rRNA gene variants were detected. PMID:23263964

  2. Dispersal and distribution of the tick Ixodes uriae within and among seabird host populations: the need for a population genetic approach.

    PubMed

    McCoy, K D; Boulinier, T; Chardine, J W; Danchin, E; Michalakis, Y

    1999-04-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize the spatial distribution of the tick Ixodes uriae within and among populations of its seabird hosts and to consider the potential insight that could be gained by a population genetic approach to the issue of dispersal of this tick. Analyses of data collected around the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland, indicated that both the prevalence and mean abundance of ticks varied significantly among sample locations. Whereas ticks were found on all 4 host species examined (Rissa tridactyla, Uria aalge, Alca torda, Fratercula arctica), infestation prevalence and mean abundance differed among the species. On R. tridactyla, ticks were significantly aggregated at the among-nest scale and nestling infestation was spatially autocorrelated. Conversely, ticks were not aggregated among chicks within nests. These results enabled us to make a priori predictions regarding tick dispersal and host specificity and suggest there may be spatial structure of Ixodes uriae populations at both macro- and microgeographic scales. Investigating the population genetic structure of ticks within and among populations of hosts with different breeding biologies should provide direct insight into the metapopulation dynamics of such a spatially structured system. PMID:10219295

  3. Molecular Characterization of Tick Salivary Gland Glutaminyl Cyclase

    PubMed Central

    Adamson, Steven W.; Browning, Rebecca E.; Chao, Chien-Chung; Bateman, Robert C.; Ching, Wei-Mei; Karim, Shahid

    2013-01-01

    Glutaminyl cyclase (QC) catalyzes the cyclization of N-terminal glutamine residues into pyroglutamate. This post-translational modification extends the half-life of peptides and, in some cases, is essential in binding to their cognate receptor. Due to its potential role in the post-translational modification of tick neuropeptides, we report the molecular, biochemical and physiological characterization of salivary gland QC during the prolonged blood-feeding of the black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and the gulf-coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum). QC sequences from I. scapularis and A. maculatum showed a high degree of amino acid identity to each other and other arthropods and residues critical for zinc-binding/catalysis (D159, E202, and H330) or intermediate stabilization (E201, W207, D248, D305, F325, and W329) are conserved. Analysis of QC transcriptional gene expression kinetics depicts an upregulation during the blood-meal of adult female ticks prior to fast feeding phases in both I. scapularis and A. maculatum suggesting a functional link with blood meal uptake. QC enzymatic activity was detected in saliva and extracts of tick salivary glands and midguts. Recombinant QC was shown to be catalytically active. Furthermore, knockdown of QC-transcript by RNA interference resulted in lower enzymatic activity, and small, unviable egg masses in both studied tick species as well as lower engorged tick weights for I. scapularis. These results suggest that the post-translational modification of neurotransmitters and other bioactive peptides by QC is critical to oviposition and potentially other physiological processes. Moreover, these data suggest that tick-specific QC-modified neurotransmitters/hormones or other relevant parts of this system could potentially be used as novel physiological targets for tick control. PMID:23770496

  4. The more the merrier--experimental evidence for density-dependent feeding facilitation in the bird-specialised tick Ixodes arboricola.

    PubMed

    Van Oosten, A R; Matthysen, E; Heylen, D J A

    2016-03-01

    Similar to many other parasites, the distribution of ticks among hosts is strongly skewed, with few hosts harbouring the majority of parasites. Because parasite-induced impairment of host health, parasite population growth and pathogen transmission are density-dependent, understanding why tick distributions are skewed is important for the population and evolutionary dynamics of both parasite and host. However, there is currently no knowledge concerning parasites that strongly depend on individual hosts. Here, we investigated the effects of tick density on feeding performance in the nidicolous tree-hole tick, Ixodes arboricola, which feeds on cavity-nesting birds and is the carrier of several tick-borne pathogens. Nidicolous ticks reside in or close to their hosts' nests and therefore depend strongly on individual hosts and their offspring. Increased feeding success at higher densities (facilitation) may therefore be detrimental to the ticks themselves. We investigated the effects of tick density on feeding performance of I. arboricola by infesting great tit nestlings with one to five adult ticks, which is within the natural range. There was no effect of tick density on initial attachment success, attachment after 48 h or engorgement weight, but tick recovery rates increased significantly with tick density. We also found a modest increase in nestling body mass with tick density, suggesting that birds over-compensate resource drainage by the ticks and, by doing this, anticipate the costs of a tick-rich environment. Our results indicate that nidicolous ticks perform better when feeding in aggregation. This may have important consequences for population dynamics and consequently pathogen transmission. PMID:26709107

  5. Is the small mammal (Clethrionomys glareolus) or the tick vector (Ixodes ricinus) the primary overwintering reservoir for the Lyme borreliosis spirochete in Sweden?

    PubMed

    Tälleklint, L; Jaenson, T G

    1995-10-01

    We determined the capacity of bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) to infect feeding Ixodes ricinus ticks with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (infectivity), during June to October 1991 and June to September 1992 in south-central Sweden. In both years, the infectivity of older voles to ticks was higher in August to September (48% to 59%) than in June to July (20% to 32%). We propose that the infectivity of bank vole populations in Sweden decreases during winter and spring due to death of highly infective voles and recruitment of uninfective young ones, and that the tick vector, rather than the mammalian host, is the primary overwintering reservoir of B. burgdorferi. PMID:8592387

  6. Transmission risk of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato from Ixodes ricinus ticks to humans in southwest Germany.

    PubMed Central

    Maiwald, M.; Oehme, R.; March, O.; Petney, T. N.; Kimmig, P.; Naser, K.; Zappe, H. A.; Hassler, D.; von Knebel Doeberitz, M.

    1998-01-01

    The risk of Borrelia burgdorferi infection and the value of antibiotic prophylaxis after tick bite are controversial. In this study, performed in two areas of southwestern Germany, ticks were collected from 730 patients and examined by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for B. burgdorferi. To assess whether transmission of B. burgdorferi occurred, the patients were clinically and serologically examined after tick removal and during follow-up examinations. Data from all tick bites gave a total transmission rate of 2.6% (19 patients). Eighty-four ticks (11.3%) were PCR positive. Transmission occurred to 16 (26.7%) of 60 patients who were initially seronegative and could be followed up after the bite of an infected tick. These results indicate that the transmission rate from infected ticks in Europe is higher than previously assumed. Examination of ticks and antibiotic prophylaxis in the case of positivity appears to be indicated. PMID:9747761

  7. Coexistence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. genospecies within Ixodes ricinus ticks from central and eastern Poland.

    PubMed

    Sytykiewicz, Hubert; Karbowiak, Grzegorz; Chorostowska-Wynimko, Joanna; Szpechciński, Adam; Supergan-Marwicz, Marta; Horbowicz, Marcin; Szwed, Magdalena; Czerniewicz, Paweł; Sprawka, Iwona

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of the study was to assess the prevalence and coinfection rates of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genotypes in Ixodes ricinus (L.) ticks sampled from diverse localities in central and eastern regions of Poland. In years 2009-2011, questing nymphs and adults of I. ricinus were collected using a flagging method at 18 localities representing distinct ecosystem types: urban green areas, suburban forests and rural woodlands. Molecular detection of B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies was based on amplification of a fla gene using nested PCR technique, subsequent PCR-RFLP analysis and bidirectional sequencing. It was revealed that 45 samples (2.1%) harboured two different B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies, whereas triple infections with various spirochetes was found in 11 (0.5%) individuals. Generally, the highest average coinfection rates were evidenced in arachnids gathered at rural woodlands, intermediate at suburban forests, while the lowest were recorded at urban green areas. Overall, single spirochete infections were noted in 16.3% (n = 352/2,153) ticks. Importantly, it is the first report evidencing the occurrence of Borrelia miyamotoi (0.3%, n = 7/2153) in I. ricinus populations within central Poland. Circumstantial variability of B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies in the common tick individuals sampled at various habitat types in central and eastern Poland was displayed. The coexistence of two or three different spirochete genospecies in single adult ticks, as well as the presence of B. miyamotoi were demonstrated. Therefore, further studies uncovering the co-circulation of the tested bacteria and other human pathogens in I. ricinus ticks are required. PMID:26408587

  8. Allozyme polymorphism of Mdh and alpha-Gpdh in Ixodes ricinus populations: comparison of borreliae-infected and uninfected ticks.

    PubMed

    Radulović, Zeljko; Milutinović, Marija; Andelković, Marko; Vujcić, Zoran; Tomanović, Snezana; Bozić, Natasa; Marinković, Dragoslav

    2006-01-01

    Ixodes ricinus Linnaeus (Acari: Ixodidae) ticks are vectors of numerous infectious diseases in humans and animals. The allozyme variability of MDH and alpha-Gpdh was detected by native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in I. ricinus natural populations in three localities in Serbia. Four alleles of Mdh locus (MDH 1, MDH 2, MDH 3 and MDH X) and four alleles of alpha-Gpdh locus (VS, S, F and VF) were detected. Interpopulation differences in Mdh and alpha-Gpdh allele frequencies were statistically insignificant. Significant difference in alpha-Gpdh allele frequencies between males and females was recorded in the largest sample only. Differences in allele frequencies, detected between borreliae-infected and uninfected I. ricinus ticks, were close to the level of statistical significance, especially for alpha-Gpdh locus. Clear significant difference appeared in females when sexes were tested separatelly (P = 0.037). It is interesting that genotypes containing rarer alleles (MDH 1 and S) were infected in higher proportion in comparison to other genotypes. Our results point towards a possible role of Mdh and alpha-Gpdh loci in I. ricinus ticks in the determination of energy requirements for host seeking. Sex differences in alpha-Gpdh allele frequencies suggest that selective pressure, concerning efficiency of reserve materials utilisation, points to alpha-Gpdh rather than to Mdh locus. PMID:17072538

  9. Rickettsia helvetica and R. monacensis infections in immature Ixodes ricinus ticks derived from sylvatic passerine birds in west-central Poland.

    PubMed

    Biernat, Beata; Stańczak, Joanna; Michalik, Jerzy; Sikora, Bożena; Cieniuch, Stella

    2016-09-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the importance of forest passerine birds in spreading ixodid ticks infected with rickettsiae of spotted fever group (SFG) in sylvatic habitats in western Poland. In total, 834 immature Ixodes ricinus ticks were found on 64 birds of 11 species which were captured during the tick-questing season between May and September of 2006. Ground-foraging passerines hosted most of the ticks compared with arboreal species, and therefore, only the former group was included into a detailed analysis. Significant predominance of larvae over nymphs was observed (581 vs. 253, respectively). Blackbirds and song thrushes hosted 82 % (n = 681) of the ticks collected from all infested passerines. The overall prevalence range of SF rickettsiae (including Rickettsia helvetica and Rickettsia monacensis) in bird-derived ticks was 10.5-26.9 %, exceeding that in questing ticks, and in ticks feeding on rodents and deer reported earlier from the same study area. This high prevalence of infection in immature I. ricinus ticks feeding on passerine birds strongly implies that they are involved in the enzootic maintenance of spotted fever group rickettsiae in the tick vector populations occurring in sylvatic habitats. PMID:27164834

  10. Woodland biodiversity management as a tool for reducing human exposure to Ixodes ricinus ticks: a preliminary study in an english woodland.

    PubMed

    Medlock, J M; Shuttleworth, H; Copley, V; Hansford, K M; Leach, S

    2012-12-01

    This paper presents preliminary findings towards developing a UK-specific approach to reducing public exposure to woodland questing Ixodes ricinus tick populations by harnessing existing biodiversity-enhancing woodland ride (i.e., linear non-wooded herbaceous habitat either side of track within woodland) management strategies. This preliminary study in an English woodland firstly assesses whether ecological and environmental factors determine presence and density of questing Ixodes ricinus along woodland rides. Secondly, it sets these findings in the context of woodland ride management guidelines in England in order to understand what impact ride management strategies might have on numbers of questing ticks and tick survival. Nymph and adult I. ricinus presence and abundance were modelled in relation to relevant microclimate and ecological parameter variables. Predictor variables for increased questing nymph abundance included ride orientation, mat depth, occurrence of bracken/bramble and animal tracks, ride/path width, and sward height. Ticks thrive in the ecotonal habitat of a woodland ride, therefore we urge woodland managers to consider the impact of their ride management on ticks and human exposure to ticks. Possible recommendations for mitigating questing I. ricinus in line with biodiversity management guidelines rides are discussed in this paper and include seasonal mowing regimes, management of mulch/mat, and bracken/bramble management through use of scalloped ride edges. PMID:23181853

  11. [Genetic diversity of the tick-borne encephalitis virus in Ixodes persulcatus ticks in northeastern European Russia].

    PubMed

    Mikriukova, T P; Chausov, E V; Konovalova, S N; Kononova, Iu V; Protopopova, E V; Kartashov, M Iu; Trnovoĭ, V A; Glushkova, L I; Korabel'nikov, I V; Egorova, I Iu; Loktev, V B

    2014-01-01

    The genetic diversity of the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) in the PCR-positive Taiga ticks collected in the Republic of Komi in 2010 was evaluated. The analyses of nucleotide sequences of the 5'-NCR fragments of viral genome from ticks had shown that 13 isolates of TBEV from 16 sequencing variants were represented by the highly pathogenic Far Eastern genotype of the TBEV and only 3 isolates were identified as the Siberian genotype of TBEV. The nucleotide sequences of 5'-NCR of viral genome strongly varied variable in individual ticks. Variability for the A1 element has been observed in all the tested samples, and for elements C1, B2, CS B--in more than 50%. A2 element and ATG codon of the 5'-NCR remained completely conservative. Computer simulation of conformations of the 5'-NCR of TBEV genome demonstrated the possibility of significant changes of the spatial structure of the 5'-NCR of viral genome in individual taiga ticks. The obtained data confirm the hypothesis that the variability in the 5'-NCR of TBEV genome can be crucial for efficient replication of TBEV in different hosts. PMID:25272463

  12. Isolation of Lyme disease Borrelia from puffins (Fratercula arctica) and seabird ticks (Ixodes uriae) on the Faeroe Islands.

    PubMed

    Gylfe; Olsen, B; Strasevicius, D; Marti Ras, N; Weihe, P; Noppa, L; Ostberg, Y; Baranton, G; Bergström, S

    1999-04-01

    This is the first report on the isolation of Lyme disease Borrelia from seabirds on the Faeroe Islands and the characteristics of its enzootic cycle. The major components of the Borrelia cycle include the puffin (Fratercula arctica) as the reservoir and Ixodes uriae as the vector. The importance of this cycle and its impact on the spread of human Lyme borreliosis have not yet been established. Borrelia spirochetes isolated from 2 of 102 sampled puffins were compared to the borreliae previously obtained from seabird ticks, I. uriae. The rrf-rrl intergenic spacer and the rrs and the ospC genes were sequenced and a series of phylogenetic trees were constructed. Sequence data and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis grouped the strains together with Borrelia garinii. In a seroepidemiological survey performed with residents involved in puffin hunting on the Faeroe Islands, 3 of 81 serum samples were found to be positive by two commonly used clinical tests: a flagellin-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blotting. These three positive serum samples also had high optical density values in a whole-cell ELISA. The finding of seropositive Faeroe Islanders who are regularly exposed to I. uriae indicate that there may be a transfer of B. garinii by this tick species to humans. PMID:10074497

  13. Life cycle of the taiga tick Ixodes persulcatus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the North-West of Russia.

    PubMed

    Grigoryeva, L A; Stanyukovich, M K

    2016-07-01

    The life cycle of Ixodes persulcatus lasts 3 years in the conditions of the Leningrad province (North-West Russia), the development of each phase taking a year. The normal age of the taiga tick is 3 years. The calendar age of larvae and nymphs reaches 11-12 months under favorable abiotic and biotic factors, while the calendar age of adults does not exceed 11 months. At the preimaginal phases of development the ticks that breed in August can feed before or after winter. However, their metamorphosis begins and reaches completion within the same timeframes (from late June to early August) and lasts for about 30-50 (60) days. The survival rate of hungry and engorged larvae and nymphs after wintering is quite high (88.6-100 %). We explain the low activity of larvae and nymphs in late summer and autumn by incomplete development. Morphogenetic diapause of engorged larvae and nymphs interrupts digestion but not metamorphosis which starts only in late June and July after the complete absorption of blood from the gut cavity. PMID:26979586

  14. Early Immunologic Events at the Tick-Host Interface

    PubMed Central

    Heinze, Dar M.; Carmical, J. Russ; Aronson, Judith F.; Thangamani, Saravanan

    2012-01-01

    Ixodes species ticks are competent vectors of tick-borne viruses including tick-borne encephalitis and Powassan encephalitis. Tick saliva has been shown to facilitate and enhance viral infection. This likely occurs by saliva-mediated modulation of host responses into patterns favorable for viral infection and dissemination. Because of the rapid kinetics of tick-borne viral transmission, this modulation must occur as early as tick attachment and initiation of feeding. In this study, cutaneous bite-site lesions were analyzed using Affymetrix mouse genome 430A 2.0 arrays and histopathology at 1, 3, 6, and 12 hours after uninfected Ixodes scapularis nymphal tick attachment. At 1 and 3 hrs after attachment, the gene expression profile is markedly different than at later time points. Upregulated gene ontology term clusters enriched at 1 and 3 hrs were related to post-translational modification. At 6 and 12 hrs, cytoskeletal rearrangements, DNA replication/cell division, inflammation, and chemotaxis were prominent clusters. At 6 and 12 hrs, extracellular matrix, signaling, and DNA binding clusters were downregulated. Histopathological analysis shows minimal inflammation at 1 and 3 hrs but an appreciable neutrophil infiltrate at 6 and 12 hrs. In addition, putative hyperemia, localized necrosis, and increased ECM deposition were identified. Putting the gene expression and histopathology analysis together suggests early tick feeding is characterized by modulation of host responses in resident cells that merges into a nascent, neutrophil-driven immune response by 12 hrs post-attachment. PMID:23077588

  15. Unique strains of Anaplasma phagocytophilum segregate among diverse questing and non-questing Ixodes tick species in the western United States

    PubMed Central

    Rejmanek, Daniel; Freycon, Pauline; Bradburd, Gideon; Dinstell, Jenna; Foley, Janet

    2013-01-01

    The emerging tick-borne pathogen Anaplasma phagocytophilum infects humans, domestic animals, and wildlife throughout the Holarctic. In the western U.S., the ecology of A. phagocytophilum is particularly complex, with multiple pathogen strains, tick vectors, and reservoir hosts. A recent phylogenetic analysis of A. phagocytophilum strains isolated from various small mammal hosts in California documented distinct clustering of woodrat strains separate from sciurid (chipmunk and squirrel) strains. Here, we identified strains of A. phagocytophilum in various Ixodes tick species in California and related these genotypes to those found among reservoir and clinical hosts from the same areas. The sequences from all of the nidicolous (nest-dwelling) Ixodes ticks grouped within a clade that also contained all of the woodrat-origin A. phagocytophilum strains. Two of the I. pacificus sequences were also grouped within this woodrat clade, while the remaining five belonged to a less genetically diverse clade that included several sciurid-origin strains as well as a dog, a horse, and a human strain. By comparing A. phagocytophilum strains from multiple sources concurrently, we were able to gain a clearer picture of how A. phagocytophilum strains in the western U.S. are partitioned, which hosts and vectors are most likely to be infected with a particular strain, and which tick species and reservoir hosts pose the greatest health risk to humans and domestic animals. PMID:23994335

  16. Vaccinomics Approach to Tick Vaccine Development.

    PubMed

    Contreras, Marinela; Villar, Margarita; Alberdi, Pilar; de la Fuente, José

    2016-01-01

    Ticks are blood-feeding arthropod ectoparasites that transmit disease-causing pathogens to humans and animals worldwide. Vaccines using tick antigens have proven to be cost-effective and environmental friendly for the control of vector infestations and pathogen infection and transmission. However, new strategies are needed to identify tick protective antigens for development of improved vaccines. These strategies will be greatly enhanced by vaccinomics approaches starting from the study of tick-host-pathogen molecular interactions and ending in the characterization and validation of vaccine formulations. The discovery of tick antigens that affect both tick infestations and pathogen infection/transmission could be used for vaccines targeting human and animal populations at risk and reservoir species to reduce host exposure to ticks while reducing the number of infected ticks and their vector capacity for pathogens that affect human and animal health. In this chapter, we describe methods of the vaccinomics platform using transcriptomics and proteomics for the identification of candidate protective antigens in Ixodes scapularis, the vector for human and animal granulocytic anaplasmosis, tick-borne encephalitis, and Lyme disease. PMID:27076305

  17. IrAE – an asparaginyl endopeptidase (legumain) in the gut of the hard tick Ixodes ricinus

    PubMed Central

    Sojka, Daniel; Hajdušek, Ondřej; Dvořák, Jan; Sajid, Mohammed; Franta, Zdeněk; Schneider, Eric L.; Craik, Charles S.; Vancová, Marie; Burešová, Veronika; Bogyo, Matthew; Sexton, Kelly B.; McKerrow, James H.; Caffrey, Conor R.; Kopáček, Petr

    2008-01-01

    Ticks are ectoparasitic blood-feeders and important vectors for pathogens including arboviruses, rickettsiae, spirochetes and protozoa. As obligate blood-feeders, one possible strategy to retard disease transmission is disruption of the parasite’s ability to digest host proteins. However, the constituent peptidases in the parasite gut and their potential interplay in the digestion of the blood meal are poorly understood. We have characterized a novel asparaginyl endopeptidase (legumain) from the hard tick Ixodes ricinus (termed IrAE), which is the first such characterization of a clan CD family C13 cysteine peptidase (protease) in arthropods. By RT-PCR of different tissues, IrAE mRNA was only expressed in the tick gut. Indirect immunofluorescence and electron microscopy localized IrAE in the digestive vesicles of gut cells and within the peritrophic matrix. IrAE was functionally expressed in Pichia pastoris and reacted with a specific peptidyl fluorogenic substrate, and acyloxymethyl ketone and aza-asparagine Michael acceptor inhibitors. IrAE activity was unstable at pH ≥ 6.0 and was shown to have a strict specificity for asparagine at P1 using a positional scanning synthetic combinatorial library. The enzyme hydrolyzed protein substrates with a pH optimum of 4.5, consistent with the pH of gut cell digestive vesicles. Thus, IrAE cleaved the major protein of the blood meal, hemoglobin, to a predominant peptide of 4 kDa. Also, IrAE trans-processed and activated the zymogen form of Schistosoma mansoni cathepsin B1 – an enzyme contributing to hemoglobin digestion in the gut of that bloodfluke. The possible functions of IrAE in the gut digestive processes of I. ricinus are compared with those suggested for other hematophagous parasites. PMID:17336985

  18. Comparative efficacy of two fipronil spot-on formulations against experimental tick infestations (Ixodes ricinus) in dogs.

    PubMed

    Bonneau, Stéphane; Gupta, Sandeep; Cadiergues, Marie-Christine

    2010-08-01

    A parallel-group-design, randomized, unicentre and blinded controlled study was undertaken to assess the efficacy of a new fipronil-based spot-on formulation applied once to dogs against experimental Ixodes ricinus infestations. Six dogs served as negative controls (group 1), six dogs served as positive controls (group 2) receiving the original fipronil spot-on (Frontline(R) spot-on Dog, Merial) at a dosage of 0.67 mL for a dog weighing from 2 to 10 kg and 1.34 mL for a dog weighing from 10.1 to 20 kg and six dogs were treated with a 10% w/v fipronil-based spot-on solution (Effipro(R) Spot-on, Virbac SA) at an identical dosage (group 3, 0.67 mL for a dog weighing from 2 to 10 kg and 1.34 mL for a dog weighing from 10.1 to 20 kg). Each dog was sedated and subsequently infested with 50 unfed adult I. ricinus on days -7, -2, 7, 14, 21, 28 and 35. Forty-eight hours after the treatment and 48 h after each challenge (days -5, 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and 37), the population of the remaining ticks was assessed for each animal. Geometric mean tick counts obtained were reduced by 99% and 94% on day 2 in groups 2 and 3, respectively, compared to the negative control group. Dogs were protected from re-infestations with an efficacy of >90% for 3 weeks in group 2 and for 5 weeks in group 3. Both 10% w/v fipronil-based spot-on solutions, despite different vehicles, were equally able to eradicate tick infestation, to prevent new infestations and were equally well tolerated. PMID:20556429

  19. New Records of Ixodes affinis (Acari: Ixodidae) Parasitizing Avian Hosts in Southeastern Virginia.

    PubMed

    Heller, Erin L; Wright, Chelsea L; Nadolny, Robyn M; Hynes, Wayne L; Gaff, Holly D; Walters, Eric L

    2016-03-01

    Ixodes affinis Neumann (Acari: Ixodidae) is a hard-bodied tick species distributed throughout much of the southeastern United States. Although I. affinis does not parasitize humans, it is a competent vector of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, the causative-agent of Lyme disease, and thus contributes to the enzootic maintenance of this pathogen. This study presents evidence of I. affinis parasitizing five new host passerine species. During 2012-2014, 1,888 birds were captured and examined for ticks, and 18 immature I. affinis were collected from 12 birds-six Carolina Wrens (Thyrothorus ludovicianus); two Brown Thrashers (Toxostoma rufum); and one American Robin (Turdus migratorius), Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus), Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), and White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis). Of 15 larvae and 3 nymphs collected, one nymph tested positive for B. burgdorferi DNA. I. affinis was found co-feeding on birds with immature Amblyomma americanum (L.), Ixodes brunneus Koch, Ixodes dentatus Marx, Ixodes scapularis Say, and Haemaphysalis leporispalustris Packard. The results of this research provide a better understanding of I. affinis hosts and identify avian taxa that may play a role in the maintenance and dispersal of this tick species. PMID:26586535

  20. Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) and spirochetes (spirochaetaceae: spirochaetales) recovered from birds on a Georgia Barrier Island.

    PubMed

    Durden, L A; Oliver, J H; Kinsey, A A

    2001-03-01

    From September 1997 through July 1999, 300 individuals and 46 species of birds were mist-netted and screened for ticks and spirochetes on St. Catherine's Island, Liberty County, GA. Seventy-six (25%) of the birds were parasitized by a meal intensity of 4.6 ticks. Seasonally, more birds were infested with ticks during the summer (50% in 1998, 34% in 1999) than in spring (15% in 1998, 11% in 1999) or fall (21% in 1997, 20% in 1998), mainly because of severe infestations on some birds by immature stages of the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (L.), during this season. Eight species ofticks were recovered from 14 species of birds during this study: A. americanum (74 nymphs, 168 larvae); the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say (11 nymphs, 28 larvae), the Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum Koch (two nymphs, 29 larvae); Ixodes minor Neumann (16 larvae); the rabbit tick. Haemaphysalis leporispalustris (Packard) (one nymph, 14 larvae); the bird tick Ixodes brunneus Koch (two larvae); the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis (Say) (one nymph); and Ixodes affinis Neumann (one larva). The Carolina wren was parasitized by more species of ticks (seven) than any other bird species, followed by the northern cardinal (five), white-throated sparrow (four) and painted bunting (three). Spirochetes were isolated in BSK II medium from one tick (a nymphal A. americanum) and from skin biopsies of 12 (4%) of the individual birds (three downy woodpeckers, three northern waterthrushes, two Carolina wrens, one American redstart, one pine warbler, one Swainson's thrush, and one white-eyed vireo) all in fall 1997. This concentrated phenology of spirochete isolations might reflect periodic amplification or recrudescence of spirochetes in reservoir avian hosts. PMID:11296828

  1. Activity periods and questing behavior of the seabird tick Ixodes uriae (Acari: Ixodidae) on Gull Island, Newfoundland: the role of puffin chicks.

    PubMed

    Muzaffar, Sabir B; Jones, Ian L

    2007-04-01

    Questing behavior of Ixodes uriae and their associated seasonal, host-feeding patterns are crucial to our understanding of tick life history strategies and the ecology of diseases that they transmit. Consequently, we quantified questing behavior of nymphs and adult female I. uriae ticks at Gull Island, a seabird colony in Newfoundland, Canada, to examine seasonal variation of off-host and on-host tick activity. We sampled a total of 133 adult Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica), 152 puffin chicks, and 145 herring gull (Larus argentatus) chicks for ticks during the breeding seasons of 2004 and 2005. Questing ticks were sampled by dragging a white flannel cloth across the grassy breeding areas during the mo of May, June, July, and August. Nymph questing activity reached a peak during mid-July (79 and 110 individuals/hr in 2004 and 2005, respectively). The prevalence of nymphs and adult female ticks on different seabird hosts varied between years and during the seasons. Puffin chicks had the highest prevalence (above 70% in July) of nymphs in both years and this was correlated with questing activity. Female ticks rarely fed on puffin chicks, but were prevalent on adult puffins and gulls, although prevalence and questing of ticks were not correlated in these hosts. These patterns of off-host and on-host tick activity suggests that I. uriae ticks likely use a combination of questing and passive waiting, e.g., in puffin burrows, to detect hosts, depending on the tick stage and the host species. PMID:17539407

  2. Tick control: trapping, biocontrol, host management and other alternative strategies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, Howard S.

    2014-01-01

    Biology of Ticks is the most comprehensive work on tick biology and tick-borne diseases. This second edition is a multi-authored work, featuring the research and analyses of renowned experts across the globe. Spanning two volumes, the book examines the systematics, biology, structure, ecological adaptations, evolution, genomics and the molecular processes that underpin the growth, development and survival of these important disease-transmitting parasites. Also discussed is the remarkable array of diseases transmitted (or caused) by ticks, as well as modern methods for their control. This book should serve as a modern reference for students, scientists, physicians, veterinarians and other specialists. Volume I covers the biology of the tick and features chapters on tick systematics, tick life cycles, external and internal anatomy, and others dedicated to specific organ systems, specifically, the tick integument, mouthparts and digestive system, salivary glands, waste removal, salivary glands, respiratory system, circulatory system and hemolymph, fat body, the nervous and sensory systems and reproductive systems. Volume II includes chapters on the ecology of non-nidicolous and nidicolous ticks, genetics and genomics (including the genome of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis) and immunity, including host immune responses to tick feeding and tick-host interactions, as well as the tick's innate immune system that prevents and/or controls microbial infections. Six chapters cover in depth the many diseases caused by the major tick-borne pathogens, including tick-borne protozoa, viruses, rickettsiae of all types, other types of bacteria (e.g., the Lyme disease agent) and diseases related to tick paralytic agents and toxins. The remaining chapters are devoted to tick control using vaccines, acaricides, repellents, biocontrol, and, finally, techniques for breeding ticks in order to develop tick colonies for scientific study.

  3. Tick community composition in Midwestern US habitats in relation to sampling method and environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Rynkiewicz, Evelyn C; Clay, Keith

    2014-01-01

    The ranges of many tick species are changing due to climate change and human alteration of the landscape. Understanding tick responses to environmental conditions and how sampling method influences measurement of tick communities will improve our assessment of human disease risk. We compared tick sampling by three collection methods (dragging, CO2 trapping and rodent surveys) in adjacent forested and grassland habitats in the lower Midwest, USA, and analyzed the relationship between tick abundance and microclimate conditions. The study areas were within the overlapping ranges of three tick species, which may provide conditions for pathogen exchange and spread into new vectors. Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick) was found using all methods, Amblyomma americanum (lonestar tick) was found by dragging and CO2 trapping and Ixodes scapularis (blacklegged deer tick) was found only on rodents. Proportion of each species differed significantly among sampling methods. More ticks were found in forests compared to open habitats. Further, more ticks were collected by dragging and from rodents in hotter, drier conditions. Our results demonstrate that multiple sampling methodologies better measure the tick community and that microclimate conditions strongly influence the abundance and activity of individual tick species. PMID:24705853

  4. Tissue Distribution of the Ehrlichia muris-Like Agent in a Tick Vector

    PubMed Central

    Lynn, Geoffrey E.; Oliver, Jonathan D.; Nelson, Curtis M.; Felsheim, Roderick F.; Kurtti, Timothy J.; Munderloh, Ulrike G.

    2015-01-01

    Human pathogens transmitted by ticks undergo complex life cycles alternating between the arthropod vector and a mammalian host. While the latter has been investigated to a greater extent, examination of the biological interactions between microbes and the ticks that carry them presents an equally important opportunity for disruption of the disease cycle. In this study, we used in situ hybridization to demonstrate infection by the Ehrlichia muris-like organism, a newly recognized human pathogen, of Ixodes scapularis ticks, a primary vector for several important human disease agents. This allowed us to assess whole sectioned ticks for the patterns of tissue invasion, and demonstrate generalized dissemination of ehrlichiae in a variety of cell types and organs within ticks infected naturally via blood feeding. Electron microscopy was used to confirm these results. Here we describe a strong ehrlichial affinity for epithelial cells, neuronal cells of the synganglion, salivary glands, and male accessory glands. PMID:25781930

  5. Tissue distribution of the Ehrlichia muris-like agent in a tick vector.

    PubMed

    Lynn, Geoffrey E; Oliver, Jonathan D; Nelson, Curtis M; Felsheim, Roderick F; Kurtti, Timothy J; Munderloh, Ulrike G

    2015-01-01

    Human pathogens transmitted by ticks undergo complex life cycles alternating between the arthropod vector and a mammalian host. While the latter has been investigated to a greater extent, examination of the biological interactions between microbes and the ticks that carry them presents an equally important opportunity for disruption of the disease cycle. In this study, we used in situ hybridization to demonstrate infection by the Ehrlichia muris-like organism, a newly recognized human pathogen, of Ixodes scapularis ticks, a primary vector for several important human disease agents. This allowed us to assess whole sectioned ticks for the patterns of tissue invasion, and demonstrate generalized dissemination of ehrlichiae in a variety of cell types and organs within ticks infected naturally via blood feeding. Electron microscopy was used to confirm these results. Here we describe a strong ehrlichial affinity for epithelial cells, neuronal cells of the synganglion, salivary glands, and male accessory glands. PMID:25781930

  6. Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in small mammal hosts of Ixodes ticks, western United States.

    PubMed

    Foley, Janet E; Nieto, Nathan C; Adjemian, Jennifer; Dabritz, Haydee; Brown, Richard N

    2008-07-01

    A total of 2,121 small mammals in California were assessed for Anaplasma phagocytophilum from 2006 through 2008. Odds ratios were >1 for 4 sciurids species and dusky-footed woodrats. High seroprevalence was observed in northern sites. Ten tick species were identified. Heavily infested rodent species included meadow voles, woodrats, deer mice, and redwood chipmunks. PMID:18598645

  7. Observations on changes in abundance of questing Ixodes ricinus, castor bean tick, over a 35-year period in the eastern part of its range (Russia, Tula region).

    PubMed

    Korotkov, Yu; Kozlova, T; Kozlovskaya, L

    2015-06-01

    Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) L. transmit a wide variety of pathogens to vertebrates including viruses, bacteria and protozoa. Understanding of the epidemiology of tick-borne infections requires basic knowledge of the regional and local factors influencing tick population dynamics. The present study describes the results of monitoring of a questing I. ricinus population, conducted over 35 years (1977-2011) in the eastern, poorly studied part of its range (Russia, Tula region). We have found that the multiannual average abundance of ticks is small and varies depending on the biotope and degree of urban transformation. Tick abundance for the first 14 years of observations (1977-1990) was at the lower limit of the sensitivity of our methods throughout the study area (0.1-0.9 specimens per 1-km transect). In the following 21 years (1991-2011), a manifold increase in abundance was observed, which reached 18.1 ± 1.8 individuals per 1-km transect in moist floodplain terraces, and 4.8 ± 0.9 in xerophylic hill woods. Long-term growth of tick abundance occurred in spite of a relatively constant abundance of small mammals and only minor fluctuations in the abundance of large wild animals. Climate and anthropogenic changes appear to be the main contributors to increased abundance of the tick. PMID:25631747

  8. Growth of Ehrlichia canis, the causative agent of canine monocytic ehrlichiosis, in vector and non-vector ixodid tick cell lines.

    PubMed

    Ferrolho, Joana; Simpson, Jennifer; Hawes, Philippa; Zweygarth, Erich; Bell-Sakyi, Lesley

    2016-06-01

    Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis is caused by Ehrlichia canis, a small gram-negative coccoid bacterium that infects circulating monocytes. The disease is transmitted by the brown dog tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus s.l. and is acknowledged as an important infectious disease of dogs and other members of the family Canidae worldwide. E. canis is routinely cultured in vitro in the canine monocyte-macrophage cell line DH82 and in non-vector Ixodes scapularis tick cell lines, but not in cells derived from its natural vector. Here we report infection and limited propagation of E. canis in the tick cell line RSE8 derived from the vector R. sanguineus s.l., and successful propagation through six passages in a cell line derived from the experimental vector Dermacentor variabilis. In addition, using bacteria semi-purified from I. scapularis cells we attempted to infect a panel of cell lines derived from non-vector species of the tick genera Amblyomma, Dermacentor, Hyalomma, Ixodes and Rhipicephalus with E. canis and, for comparison, the closely-related Ehrlichia ruminantium, causative agent of heartwater in ruminants. Amblyomma and non-vector Dermacentor spp. cell lines appeared refractory to infection with E. canis but supported growth of E. ruminantium, while some, but not all, cell lines derived from Hyalomma, Ixodes and Rhipicephalus spp. ticks supported growth of both pathogens. We also illustrated and compared the ultrastructural morphology of E. canis in DH82, RSE8 and I. scapularis IDE8 cells. This study confirms that E. canis, like E. ruminantium, is able to grow not only in cell lines derived from natural and experimental tick vectors but also in a wide range of other cell lines derived from tick species not known to transmit this pathogen. PMID:26837859

  9. The roles of birds, lizards, and rodents as hosts for the western black-legged tick Ixodes pacificus.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Lars; Eisen, Rebecca J; Lane, Robert S

    2004-12-01

    We compared the infestation by ixodid ticks of lizards, rodents, and birds collected simultaneously within areas representing common habitat types in Mendocino County, CA. Lizards were infested only by Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls, birds by I. pacificus and Haemaphysalis leporispalustris (Packard), and rodents by I. pacificus, I. spinipalpis Hadwen and Nuttall, I. woodi Bishopp, Dermacentor occidentalis Marx, and D. variabilis (Say). Infestation by I. pacificus larvae and nymphs of lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis Baird and Girard; Elgaria spp.) and western gray squirrels (Sciurus griseus Ord) (means of 9-35 larvae and 5-6 nymphs per animal) was several times greater than for Neotoma fuscipes Baird woodrats, Peromyscus spp. mice, and birds (means of 0.9-3.5 larvae and 0-0.3 nymphs). Overall, Borrelia-refractory lizards accounted for 84% of I. pacificus larvae and 91% of nymphs collected from animals in dense woodlands. Bird species frequently utilizing tick-questing substrates such as leaf litter (guild I birds) were more heavily infested by I. pacificus subadults (5.2 larvae and 1.0 nymphs per bird) than guild IV birds with minimal perceived contact with tick-questing substrates (0.08 larvae and 0.06 nymphs per bird). Notably, guild I birds carried similar larval loads and at least 20-fold higher nymphal loads relative to woodrats and mice. Only guild IV birds carried as few I. pacificus nymphs as did these rodents. The ratios of larvae to nymphs suggest that, relative to birds, lizards, and squirrels (infested by 1.3-6.0 larvae per nymph), nocturnally active ground-dwelling rodents such as woodrats and mice are underutilized by the nymphal stage (69 to >100 larvae per nymph). The western gray squirrel and guild I-II birds (e.g., the dark-eyed junco, Junco hyemalis [L.]) were the only potential reservoirs of Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt, and Brenner (the causative agent of Lyme disease in North America) that were frequently infested

  10. Seasonality of Ixodes ricinus Ticks on Vegetation and on Rodents and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato Genospecies Diversity in Two Lyme Borreliosis–Endemic Areas in Switzerland

    PubMed Central

    Pérez, David; Kneubühler, Yvan; Rais, Olivier

    2012-01-01

    Abstract We compared Ixodes ricinus questing density, the infestation of rodents by immature stages, and the diversity of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (sl) in questing ticks and ticks collected from rodents in two Lyme borreliosis (LB)-endemic areas in Switzerland (Portes-Rouges [PR] and Staatswald [SW]) from 2003 to 2005. There were variations in the seasonal pattern of questing tick densities among years. Questing nymphs were globally more abundant at PR than at SW, but the proportion of rodents infested by immature ticks was similar (59.4% and 61%, respectively). Questing tick activity lasted from February to November with a strong decline in June. The seasonal pattern of ticks infesting rodents was different. Ticks infested rodents without decline in summer, suggesting that the risk of being bitten by ticks remains high during the summer. Rodents from SW showed the highest infestation levels (10±21.6 for larvae and 0.54±1.65 for nymphs). The proportion of rodents infested simultaneously by larvae and nymphs (co-feeding ticks) was higher at SW (28%) than at PR (11%). Apodemus flavicollis was the species the most frequently infested by co-feeding ticks, and Myodes glareolus was the most infective rodent species as measured by xenodiagnosis. At PR, the prevalence of B. burgdorferi sl in questing ticks was higher (17.8% for nymphs and 32.4% for adults) than at SW (10.4% for nymphs and 24.8% for adults), with B. afzelii as the dominant species, but B. garinii, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, and B. valaisiana were also detected. Rodents transmitted only B. afzelii (at PR and at SW) and B. bavariensis (at SW) to ticks, and no mixed infection by additional genospecies was observed in co-feeding ticks. This implies that co-feeding transmission does not contribute to genospecies diversity. However, persistent infections in rodents and co-feeding transmission contribute to the perpetuation of B. afzelii in nature. PMID:22607074

  11. [Life cycle of the taiga tick ixodes persulcatus in taiga forests of the eastern Sayan Plateau].

    PubMed

    2014-01-01

    The Ixodes persulcatus life cycle has been studied in natural environments of taiga fo- rests in The Eastern Sayan Plateau (56 10' N, 91 30' E). Engorged larvae and nymphs de- velop with a morphogenetic diapause or without diapause, with ratio of these two ways of development for larvae and nymphs 77.25/22.75% and 43.43/56.57%, respectively. The hypothetic season hemipopulation consists of 34.5 +/- 4.5, 50.1 +/- 1.3, 13.2 +/- 4.0 n 2.2% of unfed imagoes, completing 3-year, 4-year, 5-year, and 6-year life cycles, respectively. Mean life span is 3.83 +/- 0.10 years per generation. The "life table" predicting the probability to complete life cycle through phases from egg to adult, was developed. PMID:25507834

  12. [Life cycle of the taiga tick ixodes persulcatus in taiga forests of the eastern Sayan Plateau].

    PubMed

    Korotkov, Iu S

    2014-01-01

    The Ixodes persulcatus life cycle has been studied in natural environments of taiga fo- rests in The Eastern Sayan Plateau (56 10' N, 91 30' E). Engorged larvae and nymphs de- velop with a morphogenetic diapause or without diapause, with ratio of these two ways of development for larvae and nymphs 77.25/22.75% and 43.43/56.57%, respectively. The hypothetic season hemipopulation consists of 34.5 +/- 4.5, 50.1 +/- 1.3, 13.2 +/- 4.0 n 2.2% of unfed imagoes, completing 3-year, 4-year, 5-year, and 6-year life cycles, respectively. Mean life span is 3.83 +/- 0.10 years per generation. The "life table" predicting the probability to complete life cycle through phases from egg to adult, was developed. PMID:25434236

  13. Isolation and characterization of Borrelia burgdorferi strains from Ixodes ricinus ticks in the southern England

    PubMed Central

    Sorouri, Rahim; Ramazani, Ali; Karami, Ali; Ranjbar, Reza; Guy, Edward C.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the spiral-shaped bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. We investigated the presence and prevalence of Borrelia species in ticks from the southern England. Methods: One hundred fifty-five cases (103 adult and 52 nymphal ticks) were collected from animal carcases. The midguts were removed, cultured in Barbour/Stoenner/Kelly II (BSK-II) and Barbour/ Stoenner/Kelly F (BSK-F) media and examined by IF, dark-field microscopy, and nested PCR. Results: From a total 155 cultured ticks, two showed evidence of spirochetes and denoted as SO-1 and SO-2 strains. The availability of these two isolates enabled their antigenic characterization with SDS-PAGE and western blotting and comparison with two standard isolates. These studies identified six protein antigens with molecular weights of 18, 30, 39, 47, 60 and 88 kDa with particular promise for detecting specific immune responses to B. burgdorferi infection including Lyme disease. We also investigated the effect of repeated subculture on the antigenic pattern of UK isolate of B. burgdorferi. Conclusion: As a result of this study, antigenic differences have been seen between the UK isolates and the foreign isolates used as laboratory standards. PMID:26191500

  14. Cold storage and cryopreservation of tick cell lines

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Tick cell lines are now available from fifteen ixodid and argasid species of medical and veterinary importance. However, some tick cell lines can be difficult to cryopreserve, and improved protocols for short- and long-term low temperature storage will greatly enhance their use as tools in tick and tick-borne pathogen research. In the present study, different protocols were evaluated for cold storage and cryopreservation of tick cell lines derived from Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decoloratus, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes scapularis. For short-term cold storage, cells were kept under refrigeration at 6°C for 15, 30 and 45 days. For cryopreservation in liquid nitrogen, use of a sucrose-phosphate-glutamate freezing buffer (SPG) as cryoprotectant was compared with dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) supplemented with sucrose. Cell viability was determined by the trypan blue exclusion test and cell morphology was evaluated in Giemsa-stained cytocentrifuge smears. Results Cold storage at 6°C for up to 30 days was successful in preserving R. (B.) microplus, R. (B.) decoloratus, I. ricinus and I. scapularis cell lines; lines from the latter three species could be easily re-cultivated after 45 days under refrigeration. While cell lines from all four tick species cryopreserved with 6% DMSO were successfully resuscitated, the R. (B.) decoloratus cells did not survive freezing in SPG and of the other three species, only the R. (B.) microplus cells resumed growth during the observation period. Conclusions This constitutes the first report on successful short-term refrigeration of cells derived from R. (B.) decoloratus, R. (B.) microplus, and I. ricinus, and use of SPG as an alternative to DMSO for cryopreservation, thus making an important contribution to more reliable and convenient tick cell culture maintenance. PMID:20388200

  15. Passive tick surveillance, dog seropositivity, and incidence of human Lyme disease

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, J.L.; Ginsberg, H.S.; Zhioua, E.; Whitworth, U.G., Jr.; Markowski, D.; Hyland, K.E.; Hu, R.

    2004-01-01

    Data on nymphal Ixodes scapularis ticks submitted by the public to the University of Rhode Island Tick Research Laboratory for testing from 1991 to 2000 were compared with human case data from the Rhode Island Department of Health to determine the efficacy of passive tick surveillance at assessing human risk of Lyme disease. Numbers of ticks submitted were highly correlated with human cases by county (r = 0.998, n = 5 counties) and by town (r = 0.916, n = 37 towns), as were the numbers of positive ticks submitted (r = 0.989 by county, r = 0.787 by town). Human cases were correlated with ticks submitted by town each year, and with positive ticks in all but 2 years. Thus, passive tick surveillance effectively assessed geographical risk of human Lyme disease. In contrast, tick submissions through time were not correlated with human cases from year to year. Dog seropositivity was significantly correlated with human cases by county in both years tested, but by town in only one of two years. Numbers of ticks submitted were correlated with dog seropositivity by county but not by town, apparently because of high variability among towns with small sample sizes. Our results suggest that passive tick surveillance, using ticks submitted by the public for Lyme spirochete testing, can be used to assess the geographical distribution of Lyme disease risk, but cannot reliably predict Lyme incidence from year to year.

  16. Climate of origin affects tick (Ixodes ricinus) host-seeking behavior in response to temperature: implications for resilience to climate change?

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Lucy; Aungier, Jennifer; Tomkins, Joseph L

    2014-01-01

    Climate warming is changing distributions and phenologies of many organisms and may also impact on vectors of disease-causing pathogens. In Europe, the tick Ixodes ricinus is the primary vector of medically important pathogens (e.g., Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis). How might climate change affect I. ricinus host-seeking behavior (questing)? We hypothesize that, in order to maximize survival, I. ricinus have adapted their questing in response to temperature in accordance with local climates. We predicted that ticks from cooler climates quest at cooler temperatures than those from warmer climates. This would suggest that I. ricinus can adapt and therefore have the potential to be resilient to climate change. I. ricinus were collected from a cline of climates using a latitudinal gradient (northeast Scotland, North Wales, South England, and central France). Under laboratory conditions, ticks were subjected to temperature increases of 1°C per day, from 6 to 15°C. The proportion of ticks questing was recorded five times per temperature (i.e., per day). The theoretical potential to quest was then estimated for each population over the year for future climate change projections. As predicted, more ticks from cooler climates quested at lower temperatures than did ticks from warmer climates. The proportion of ticks questing was strongly associated with key climate parameters from each location. Our projections, based on temperature alone, suggested that populations could advance their activity season by a month under climate change, which has implications for exposure periods of hosts to tick-borne pathogens. Our findings suggest that I. ricinus have adapted their behavior in response to climate, implying some potential to adapt to climate change. Predictive models of I. ricinus dynamics and disease risk over continental scales would benefit from knowledge of these differences between populations. PMID:24772293

  17. Efficacy testing of several Ixodes ricinus tick repellents: different results with different assays.

    PubMed

    Dautel, Hans; Dippel, Cornelia; Werkhausen, Anita; Diller, Roland

    2013-04-01

    In the European Union (EU), tick repellents for humans need to be registered and approved by the authorities in order to be marketed. As there are currently no specific technical guidelines for product evaluation, we compared 3 different test methods: the mechanical moving object bioassay (MOB), and 2 assays involving human volunteers. For the latter, procedures according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Stiftung Warentest (StiWa), a German consumer care organization, were used. Two repellents, Autan(®) (AU), based on 20% Picaridin [2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid-1-methylpropyl ester], and ZeckWeck (ZW), based on 12.5g/100g Citriodiol™ (main compound: p-menthane-3,8-diol) were tested with all 3 assays. Three repellents, Anti Brumm(®) naturelle, based on 20% Citriodiol™ (main compound: p-menthane-3,8-diol), G090141, based on 20% EBAAP (ethyl buthyl acetyl aminopropionate), and G090152, based on 10% decanoic acid (capric acid), which is contained in Zanzarin(®), were tested according to the EPA and the StiWa procedures. The EPA assay indicated a significantly higher repellency of the products AU and G090141 than the StiWa test, but no difference between assays could be detected for the remaining 3 products. Also the corresponding protection times were significantly longer (approximately 4h) when determined according to EPA versus to StiWa for 3 of the products, whilst the difference was insignificant for ZW and G090152. Additionally, significantly lower numbers of ticks initially walked onto the repellent-treated skin when tested according to EPA versus to StiWa in all products except ZW and G090152. Thus, the StiWa protocol appears to pose higher demands on a repellent than the EPA method. Contrary to expectation, the MOB showed the same or even lower product efficacy when compared to the EPA and StiWa tests. Particularly, the percentage of ticks clinging to repellent-treated filter paper was significantly higher than

  18. Assessing the abundance, seasonal questing activity, and Borrelia and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) prevalence of Ixodes ricinus ticks in a Lyme borreliosis endemic area in Southwest Finland.

    PubMed

    Sormunen, Jani J; Klemola, Tero; Vesterinen, Eero J; Vuorinen, Ilppo; Hytönen, Jukka; Hänninen, Jari; Ruohomäki, Kai; Sääksjärvi, Ilari E; Tonteri, Elina; Penttinen, Ritva

    2016-02-01

    Studies have revealed that Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) have become more abundant and their geographical distribution extended northwards in some Nordic countries during the past few decades. However, ecological data of tick populations in Finland are sparse. In the current study, I. ricinus abundance, seasonal questing activity, and their Borrelia spp. and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) prevalence were evaluated in a Lyme borreliosis endemic area in Southwest Finland, Seili Island, where a previous study mapping tick densities was conducted 12 years earlier. A total of 1940 ticks were collected from five different biotopes by cloth dragging during May-September 2012. The overall tick density observed was 5.2 ticks/100m(2) for nymphs and adults. Seasonal questing activity of ticks differed between biotopes and life stages: bimodal occurrences were observed especially for nymphal and adult ticks in forested biotopes, while larvae in pastures exhibited mostly unimodal occurrence. Prevalence of Borrelia and TBEV in ticks was evaluated using conventional and real-time PCR. All samples were negative for TBEV. Borrelia prevalence was 25.0% for adults (n=44) and the minimum infection rate (MIR) 5.6% for pooled nymph samples (191 samples, 1-14 individuals per sample; 30/191 positive). No Borrelia were detected in pooled larval samples (63 samples, 1-139 individuals per sample). Five species of Borrelia were identified from the samples: B. afzelii, B. burgdorferi s.s., B. garinii, B. valaisiana and B. miyamotoi. In Finland, B. valaisiana and B. miyamotoi have previously been reported from the Åland Islands but not from the mainland or inner archipelago. The results of the present study suggest an increase in I. ricinus abundance on the island. PMID:26548608

  19. Differences in prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma spp. infection among host-seeking Dermacentor occidentalis, Ixodes pacificus, and Ornithodoros coriaceus ticks in northwestern California

    PubMed Central

    Lane, Robert S.; Mun, Jeomhee; Peribáñez, Miguel A.; Fedorova, Natalia

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies revealed that the Pacific Coast tick (Dermacentor occidentalis) is infected occasionally with the agents of Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) or human granulocytic anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum) and that it is an inefficient experimental vector of B. burgdorferi. The relationship of the pajahuello tick (Ornithodoros coriaceus) to each of these bacterial zoonotic agents has not been reported. The primary bridging vector of both bacterial zoonotic agents to humans is the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus). Because of the spatial and temporal overlap of D. occidentalis and O. coriaceus populations with those of I. pacificus in natural foci of B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum in northwestern California, we conducted field and laboratory studies to determine if the Pacific Coast tick or the pajahuello tick potentially may serve as secondary vectors of either bacterium. Our findings reconfirmed that wild-caught D. occidentalis ticks are infected infrequently with B. burgdorferi or A. phagocytophilum, but some adult ticks from dense woodlands or chaparral were found to contain 2 important veterinary pathogens for the first time (Anaplasma bovis, A. ovis). The high prevalence of A. bovis infection (4.3%, n=185 ticks) within chaparral-derived ticks suggests that D. occidentalis could be an efficient vector of this rickettsia. Experimental attempts to transmit borreliae or Anaplasma spp. that may have been present in >100 wild-caught D. occidentalis adults to naïve rabbits were unsuccessful. Anaplasma spp. were not detected in O. coriaceus, but one (4.3%) of 23 nymphs was infected with B. bissettii. This finding and an antecedent report of a B. burgdorferi-like spirochete from the same tick species demonstrate that O. coriaceus sometimes acquires and transstadially passes Lyme disease group spirochetes. I. pacificus nymphs inhabiting a woodland nidus of B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum had a 5-fold higher prevalence of

  20. Ixodid ticks on white-tailed deer and feral swine in Florida.

    PubMed

    Allan, S A; Simmons, L A; Burridge, M J

    2001-06-01

    A state-wide survey was conducted in Florida during the 1997-99 hunting seasons to examine white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and feral swine (Sus scrofa) for potential indigenous vectors of the rickettsial agent of heartwater, Cowdria ruminantium. A total of 504 white-tailed deer and 166 feral swine was examined from 30 wildlife management areas across the state. Amblyomma maculatum, an experimental vector of C. ruminantium, was common on both deer and feral swine throughout the state. Of the collection of 3,169 ticks, 34.5% were Ixodes scapularis Say, 34.0% Amblyomma americanum (L.), 25.5% Amblyomma maculatum Koch, 5.8% Dermacentor variabilis (Say), 0.4% Ixodes affinis Neumann, 0.03% Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille) and 0.01% Amblyomma auricularium (Conil). The only exotic tick collected was A. auricularium, which is found on armadillos in Central and South America and is not known to be associated with any disease. Overall, the most prevalent species on deer were I. scapularis (51.1%) and A. maculatum (35.8%), with A. americanum less prevalent (16.0%) and D. variabilis (3.0%) and I. affinis (1.9%) rare. On feral swine, the most prevalent species were I. scapularis (69.7%) and D. variabilis (56.9%), with A. maculatum (16.2%) and A. americanum (4.6%) less common. The geographic distribution of ticks differed significantly throughout the state. Both A. maculatum and Dermacentor variabilis were more prevalent on deer from southern Florida compared to northern and central Florida. In contrast, A. americanum were more prevalent in northern and central Florida but rare in southern Florida, and I. scapularis were more common in southern compared to northern Florida. These geographic differences may reflect differences in the risk of tick-borne diseases to domestic animals, wildlife and humans within Florida. PMID:11469190

  1. The effectiveness of permethrin-treated deer stations for control of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis on Cape Cod and the islands: a five-year experiment

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The use of animal host-targeted pesticide application to control blacklegged ticks, which transmit the Lyme disease bacterium between wildlife hosts and humans, is receiving increased attention as an approach to Lyme disease risk management. Included among the attractive features of host-targeted approaches is the reduced need for broad-scale pesticide usage. In the eastern USA, one of the best-known of these approaches is the corn-baited “4-poster” deer feeding station, so named because of the four pesticide-treated rollers that surround the bait troughs. Wildlife visitors to these devices receive an automatic topical application of acaricide, which kills attached ticks before they can reproduce. We conducted a 5-year controlled experiment to estimate the effects of 4-poster stations on tick populations in southeastern Massachusetts, where the incidence of Lyme disease is among the highest in the USA. Methods We deployed a total of forty-two 4-posters among seven treatment sites and sampled for nymph and adult ticks at these sites and at seven untreated control sites during each year of the study. Study sites were distributed among Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. The density of 4-poster deployment was lower than in previous 4-poster studies and resembled or possibly exceeded the levels of effort considered by county experts to be feasible for Lyme disease risk managers. Results Relative to controls, blacklegged tick abundance at treated sites was reduced by approximately 8.4%, which is considerably less than in previous 4-poster studies. Conclusions In addition to the longer duration and greater replication in our study compared to others, possible but still incomplete explanations for the smaller impact we observed include the lower density of 4-poster deployment as well as landscape and mammalian community characteristics that may complicate the ecological relationship between white-tailed deer and blacklegged tick populations. PMID

  2. Distribution of Ticks and Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in the Upper Connecticut River Valley of Vermont

    PubMed Central

    Serra, Abigail C.; Warden, Paul S.; Fricker, Colin R.; Giese, Alan R.

    2014-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis (Black-legged Tick) has expanded its range in recent decades. To establish baseline data on the abundance of the Black-legged Tick and Borrelia burgdorferi (causative agent of Lyme disease) at the edge of a putative range expansion we collected 1398 ticks from five locations along the Connecticut River in Vermont. Collection locations were approximately evenly distributed between the villages of Ascutney and Guildhall. Relative abundance and distribution by species varied across sites. Black-legged Ticks dominated our collections (n = 1348, 96%), followed by Haemaphysalis leporispalustris (Rabbit Tick, n = 45, 3%) and Dermacentor variabilis (American Dog Tick, n = 5, <1%). Black-legged Tick abundance ranged from 6198 ticks per survey hectare (all life stages combined) at the Thetford site to zero at the Guildhall site. There was little to no overlap of tick species across sites. Phenology of Black-legged Ticks matched published information from other regions of the northeastern USA. Prevalence of B. burgdorferi in adult Black-legged Ticks was 8.9% (n = 112). PMID:25473255

  3. Topical Treatment of White-Tailed Deer with an Acaricide for the Control of Ixodes Scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in a Connecticut Lyme Borreliosis Hyperendemic Community

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The 4-Poster device for the topical treatment of white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann), against ticks using the acaricide amitraz, was evaluated in a Lyme borreliosis endemic community in Connecticut. As part of a 5-year project from 1997 to 2002, 21–24 of the 4-Posters were distrib...

  4. The effectiveness of permethrin-treated deer stations for control of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis on Cape Cod and the islands: a five year experiment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The use of animal host-targeted pesticide application to control blacklegged ticks, which transmit the Lyme disease bacterium between wildlife hosts and humans, is receiving increased attention as an approach to Lyme disease risk management. Included among the attractive features...

  5. The effectiveness of permethrin-treated deer stations for control of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis on Cape Cod and the Islands

    EPA Science Inventory

    The use of animal host-targeted pesticide application to control blacklegged ticks, which transmit the Lyme disease bacterium between wildlife hosts and humans, is receiving increased attention as an approach to Lyme disease risk management. Included among the attractive feature...

  6. Acaricidal Treatment of White-Tailed Deer to Control Ixodes Scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in a New York Lyme Disease-Endemic Community

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The 4-Poster device for the topical treatment of white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann) against ticks using the acaricide amitraz was evaluated in a Lyme borreliosis endemic community in Connecticut. As part of a 5-year project from 1997 to 2002, 21–24 of the 4-Posters were distribut...

  7. Borrelia burgdorferi and tick proteins supporting pathogen persistence in the vector

    PubMed Central

    Kung, Faith; Anguita, Juan; Pal, Utpal

    2013-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, a pathogen transmitted by Ixodes ticks, is responsible for a prevalent illness known as Lyme disease, and a vaccine for human use is unavailable. Recently, genome sequences of several B. burgdorferi strains and Ixodes scapularis ticks have been determined. In addition, remarkable progress has been made in developing molecular genetic tools to study the pathogen and vector, including their intricate relationship. These developments are helping unravel the mechanisms by which Lyme disease pathogens survive in a complex enzootic infection cycle. Notable discoveries have already contributed to understanding the spirochete gene regulation accounting for the temporal and spatial expression of B. burgdorferi genes during distinct phases of the lifecycle. A number of pathogen and vector gene products have also been identified that contribute to microbial virulence and/or persistence. These research directions will enrich our knowledge of vector-borne infections and contribute towards the development of preventative strategies against Lyme disease. PMID:23252492

  8. Immune Cell Targets of Infection at the Tick-Skin Interface during Powassan Virus Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Hermance, Meghan E.; Santos, Rodrigo I.; Kelly, Brent C.; Valbuena, Gustavo; Thangamani, Saravanan

    2016-01-01

    Powassan virus (POWV) is a tick-borne flavivirus that can result in a severe neuroinvasive disease with 50% of survivors displaying long-term neurological sequelae. Human POWV cases have been documented in Canada, the United States, and Russia. Although the number of reported POWV human cases has increased in the past fifteen years, POWV remains one of the less studied human pathogenic flaviviruses. Ixodes ticks are the vectors for POWV, and the virus is transmitted to a host’s skin very early during the tick feeding process. Central to the successful transmission of a tick-borne pathogen are complex interactions between the host immune response and early tick-mediated immunomodulation, all of which initially occur at the skin interface. In our prior work, we examined the cutaneous immune gene expression during the early stages of POWV-infected Ixodes scapularis feeding. The present study serves to further investigate the skin interface by identifying early cell targets of infection at the POWV-infected tick feeding site. An in vivo infection model consisting of POWV-infected ticks feeding on mice for short durations was used in this study. Skin biopsies from the tick feeding sites were harvested at various early time points, enabling us to examine the skin histopathology and detect POWV viral antigen in immune cells present at the tick feeding site. The histopathology from the present study demonstrates that neutrophil and mononuclear cell infiltrates are recruited earlier to the feeding site of a POWV-infected tick versus an uninfected tick. This is the first report demonstrating that macrophages and fibroblasts contain POWV antigens, which suggests that they are early cellular targets of infection at the tick feeding site. These data provide key insights towards defining the complex interactions between the host immune response and early tick-mediated immunomodulation. PMID:27203436

  9. Assessment of the prophylactic speed of kill of Frontline Tri-Act(®) against ticks (Ixodes ricinus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus) on dogs.

    PubMed

    Beugnet, Frédéric; Halos, Lénaïg; Liebenberg, Julian; Fourie, Josephus

    2016-01-01

    The objective of the study was to assess the speed of kill of a single topical treatment with a combination of fipronil and permethrin (Frontline Tri-Act(®)/Frontect(®)) against experimental infestations of Ixodes ricinus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks on dogs. In this parallel group designed, randomised, single centre, controlled efficacy study, 16 healthy adult dogs were allocated to two groups: 8 dogs were treated with the topical combination on Day 0 and the other 8 dogs served as untreated controls. Each dog was exposed in a crate to 100 I. ricinus (50 females, 50 males) and 50 R. sanguineus (25 males, 25 females) on Days 2, 7, 14, 21 and 28. Ticks were counted in situ at 6 and 12 h after exposure and removed at 24 h after exposure. Frontline Tri-Act(®) was effective (≥90%) against both R. sanguineus and I. ricinus tick infestations at 6, 12 and 24 h after exposure, from 2 to 28 days after treatment. This is the first time that a topical ectoparasiticide has demonstrated a preventive killing effect against these two tick species in 6 h for a full month. PMID:26795064

  10. Assessment of the prophylactic speed of kill of Frontline Tri-Act® against ticks (Ixodes ricinus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus) on dogs

    PubMed Central

    Beugnet, Frédéric; Halos, Lénaïg; Liebenberg, Julian; Fourie, Josephus

    2016-01-01

    The objective of the study was to assess the speed of kill of a single topical treatment with a combination of fipronil and permethrin (Frontline Tri-Act®/Frontect®) against experimental infestations of Ixodes ricinus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks on dogs. In this parallel group designed, randomised, single centre, controlled efficacy study, 16 healthy adult dogs were allocated to two groups: 8 dogs were treated with the topical combination on Day 0 and the other 8 dogs served as untreated controls. Each dog was exposed in a crate to 100 I. ricinus (50 females, 50 males) and 50 R. sanguineus (25 males, 25 females) on Days 2, 7, 14, 21 and 28. Ticks were counted in situ at 6 and 12 h after exposure and removed at 24 h after exposure. Frontline Tri-Act® was effective (≥90%) against both R. sanguineus and I. ricinus tick infestations at 6, 12 and 24 h after exposure, from 2 to 28 days after treatment. This is the first time that a topical ectoparasiticide has demonstrated a preventive killing effect against these two tick species in 6 h for a full month. PMID:26795064

  11. Population structure of the lyme borreliosis spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus) in Northern California.

    PubMed

    Girard, Yvette A; Travinsky, Bridgit; Schotthoefer, Anna; Fedorova, Natalia; Eisen, Rebecca J; Eisen, Lars; Barbour, Alan G; Lane, Robert S

    2009-11-01

    Factors potentially contributing to the lower incidence of Lyme borreliosis (LB) in the far-western than in the northeastern United States include tick host-seeking behavior resulting in fewer human tick encounters, lower densities of Borrelia burgdorferi-infected vector ticks in peridomestic environments, and genetic variation among B. burgdorferi spirochetes to which humans are exposed. We determined the population structure of B. burgdorferi in over 200 infected nymphs of the primary bridging vector to humans, Ixodes pacificus, collected in Mendocino County, CA. This was accomplished by sequence typing the spirochete lipoprotein ospC and the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer (IGS). Thirteen ospC alleles belonging to 12 genotypes were found in California, and the two most abundant, ospC genotypes H3 and E3, have not been detected in ticks in the Northeast. The most prevalent ospC and IGS biallelic profile in the population, found in about 22% of ticks, was a new B. burgdorferi strain defined by ospC genotype H3. Eight of the most common ospC genotypes in the northeastern United States, including genotypes I and K that are associated with disseminated human infections, were absent in Mendocino County nymphs. ospC H3 was associated with hardwood-dominated habitats where western gray squirrels, the reservoir host, are commonly infected with LB spirochetes. The differences in B. burgdorferi population structure in California ticks compared to the Northeast emphasize the need for a greater understanding of the genetic diversity of spirochetes infecting California LB patients. PMID:19783741

  12. Cross-Species Interferon Signaling Boosts Microbicidal Activity within the Tick Vector.

    PubMed

    Smith, Alexis A; Navasa, Nicolas; Yang, Xiuli; Wilder, Cara N; Buyuktanir, Ozlem; Marques, Adriana; Anguita, Juan; Pal, Utpal

    2016-07-13

    Evolution of hematophagy in blood-sucking parasites likely involves communication with their hosts. We find that Ixodes ticks are responsive to IFNγ acquired in a blood meal from mice infected with the Lyme disease-causing bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, leading to induction of antimicrobial responses. Ixodes ticks parasitizing B. burgdorferi-infected mice upregulated an I. scapularis Rho-like GTPase (IGTPase). IGTPase knockdown enhanced B. burgdorferi levels in post-fed ticks, suggesting this protein controls spirochete survival. Notably, IGTPase was only induced during pathogen acquisition from mice and not upon transmission to naive hosts. Microinjection of ticks with IFNγ induced IGTPase, and ticks parasitizing IFNγ knockout mice, failed to upregulate IGTPase. Additionally, ticks lacking the transcription factor STAT, which signals downstream of IFNγ, did not induce IGTPase. IGTPase expression induced antimicrobial peptides, including Dae2, previously shown to inhibit B. burgdorferi. These results identify an interspecies signaling cascade allowing ticks to detect invading bacteria and mount microbicidal responses. PMID:27374407

  13. Functional insights into recombinant TROSPA protein from Ixodes ricinus.

    PubMed

    Figlerowicz, Marek; Urbanowicz, Anna; Lewandowski, Dominik; Jodynis-Liebert, Jadwiga; Sadowski, Czeslaw

    2013-01-01

    Lyme disease (also called borreliosis) is a prevalent chronic disease transmitted by ticks and caused by Borrelia burgdorferi s. l. spirochete. At least one tick protein, namely TROSPA from I. scapularis, commonly occurring in the USA, was shown to be required for colonization of the vector by bacteria. Located in the tick gut, TROSPA interacts with the spirochete outer surface protein A (OspA) and initiates the tick colonization. Ixodes ricinus is a primary vector involved in B. burgdorferi s. l. transmission in most European countries. In this study, we characterized the capacities of recombinant TROSPA protein from I. ricinus to interact with OspA from different Borrelia species and to induce an immune response in animals. We also showed that the N-terminal part of TROSPA (a putative transmembrane domain) is not involved in the interaction with OspA and that reduction of the total negative charge on the TROSPA protein impaired TROSPA-OspA binding. In general, the data presented in this paper indicate that recombinant TROSPA protein retains the capacity to form a complex with OspA and induces a significant level of IgG in orally immunized rats. Thus, I. ricinus TROSPA may be considered a good candidate component for an animal vaccine against Borrelia. PMID:24204685

  14. Mevalonate-Farnesal Biosynthesis in Ticks: Comparative Synganglion Transcriptomics and a New Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jiwei; Khalil, Sayed M.; Mitchell, Robert D.; Bissinger, Brooke W.; Egekwu, Noble; Sonenshine, Daniel E.; Roe, R. Michael

    2016-01-01

    Juvenile hormone (JH) controls the growth, development, metamorphosis, and reproduction of insects. For many years, the general assumption has been that JH regulates tick and other acarine development and reproduction the same as in insects. Although researchers have not been able to find the common insect JHs in hard and soft tick species and JH applications appear to have no effect on tick development, it is difficult to prove the negative or to determine whether precursors to JH are made in ticks. The tick synganglion contains regions which are homologous to the corpora allata, the biosynthetic source for JH in insects. Next-gen sequencing of the tick synganglion transcriptome was conducted separately in adults of the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, and the relapsing fever tick, Ornithodoros turicata as a new approach to determine whether ticks can make JH or a JH precursor. All of the enzymes that make up the mevalonate pathway from acetyl-CoA to farnesyl diphosphate (acetoacetyl-CoA thiolase, HMG-S, HMG-R, mevalonate kinase, phosphomevalonate kinase, diphosphomevalonate decarboxylase, and farnesyl diphosphate synthase) were found in at least one of the ticks studied but most were found in all three species. Sequence analysis of the last enzyme in the mevalonate pathway, farnesyl diphosphate synthase, demonstrated conservation of the seven prenyltransferase regions and the aspartate rich motifs within those regions typical of this enzyme. In the JH branch from farnesyl diphosphate to JH III, we found a putative farnesol oxidase used for the conversion of farnesol to farnesal in the synganglion transcriptome of I. scapularis and D. variabilis. Methyltransferases (MTs) that add a methyl group to farnesoic acid to make methyl farnesoate were present in all of the ticks studied with similarities as high as 36% at the amino acid level to insect JH acid methyltransferase (JHAMT). However, when the tick MTs were compared to

  15. Mevalonate-Farnesal Biosynthesis in Ticks: Comparative Synganglion Transcriptomics and a New Perspective.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jiwei; Khalil, Sayed M; Mitchell, Robert D; Bissinger, Brooke W; Egekwu, Noble; Sonenshine, Daniel E; Roe, R Michael

    2016-01-01

    Juvenile hormone (JH) controls the growth, development, metamorphosis, and reproduction of insects. For many years, the general assumption has been that JH regulates tick and other acarine development and reproduction the same as in insects. Although researchers have not been able to find the common insect JHs in hard and soft tick species and JH applications appear to have no effect on tick development, it is difficult to prove the negative or to determine whether precursors to JH are made in ticks. The tick synganglion contains regions which are homologous to the corpora allata, the biosynthetic source for JH in insects. Next-gen sequencing of the tick synganglion transcriptome was conducted separately in adults of the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, and the relapsing fever tick, Ornithodoros turicata as a new approach to determine whether ticks can make JH or a JH precursor. All of the enzymes that make up the mevalonate pathway from acetyl-CoA to farnesyl diphosphate (acetoacetyl-CoA thiolase, HMG-S, HMG-R, mevalonate kinase, phosphomevalonate kinase, diphosphomevalonate decarboxylase, and farnesyl diphosphate synthase) were found in at least one of the ticks studied but most were found in all three species. Sequence analysis of the last enzyme in the mevalonate pathway, farnesyl diphosphate synthase, demonstrated conservation of the seven prenyltransferase regions and the aspartate rich motifs within those regions typical of this enzyme. In the JH branch from farnesyl diphosphate to JH III, we found a putative farnesol oxidase used for the conversion of farnesol to farnesal in the synganglion transcriptome of I. scapularis and D. variabilis. Methyltransferases (MTs) that add a methyl group to farnesoic acid to make methyl farnesoate were present in all of the ticks studied with similarities as high as 36% at the amino acid level to insect JH acid methyltransferase (JHAMT). However, when the tick MTs were compared to

  16. Hemocytic rickettsia-like organisms in ticks: serologic reactivity with antisera to Ehrlichiae and detection of DNA of agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis by PCR.

    PubMed

    Magnarelli, L A; Stafford, K C; Mather, T N; Yeh, M T; Horn, K D; Dumler, J S

    1995-10-01

    Ixodid ticks were collected from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and British Columbia (Canada) during 1991 to 1994 to determine the prevalence of infection with hemocytic (blood cell), rickettsia-like organisms. Hemolymph obtained from these ticks was analyzed by direct and indirect fluorescent antibody (FA) staining methods with dog, horse, or human sera containing antibodies to Ehrlichia canis, Ehrlichia equi, or Rickettsia rickettsii. Of the 693 nymphal and adult Amblyomma americanum, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes scapularis, and Ixodes pacificus ticks tested with dog anti-E. canis antiserum, 209 (32.5%) contained hemocytic bacteria. The prevalence of infected ticks varied greatly with species and locale. In parallel tests of duplicate hemolymph preparations from adult I. scapularis ticks, the hemocytic organisms reacted positively with E. canis and/or E. equi antisera, including sera from persons who had granulocytic ehrlichiosis. In separate PCR analyses, DNA of the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis was detected in 59 (50.0%) of 118 adult and in 1 of 2 nymphal I. scapularis ticks tested from Connecticut. There was no evidence of Ehrlichia chaffeensis DNA in these ticks. In indirect FA tests of hemolymph for spotted fever group rickettsiae, the overall prevalence of infection was less than 4%. Specificity tests of antigens and antisera used in these studies revealed no cross-reactivity between E. canis and E. equi or between any of the ehrlichial reagents and those of R. rickettsii. The geographic distribution of hemocytic microorganisms with shared antigens to Ehrlichia species or spotted fever group rickettsiae is widespread. PMID:8567911

  17. Habitat-related variation in infestation of lizards and rodents with Ixodes ticks in dense woodlands in Mendocino County, California.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Rebecca J; Eisen, Lars; Lane, Robert S

    2004-01-01

    During the spring and early summer of 2002, we examined the relative importance of Borrelia-refractory lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis, Elgaria spp.) versus potential Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.)-reservoirs (rodents) as hosts for Ixodes pacificus immatures in 14 woodland areas (six oak, five mixed oak/Douglas fir, and three redwood/tanoak areas) distributed throughout Mendocino County, California. Lizards were estimated to serve as hosts for 93-98% of all larvae and > or =99.6% of all nymphs infesting lizards or rodents in oak woodlands and oak/Douglas fir sites in the southern part of the county. In redwood/tanoak woodlands and oak/Douglas fir sites in northern Mendocino County, the contribution of rodents to larval feedings reached 36-69% but lizards still accounted for 94-100% of nymphal bloodmeals. From late April to mid-June, I. pacificus larvae were recovered from 95 to 96% of lizards and dusky-footed woodrats (Neotoma fuscipes) and from 59% of Peromyscus spp. mice. In contrast, 99% of lizards but few woodrats (15%) and none of the mice were infested by nymphs. Comparisons of tick loads for 19 lizard-Peromyscus spp. mouse pairings, where the lizard and mouse were captured within 10m of each other, revealed that the lizards harbored 36 times more larvae and >190 times more nymphs than the mice. In oak woodlands, loads of I. pacificus larvae decreased from late April/early May to late June for S. occidentalis lizards but increased for Peromyscus spp. mice. We conclude that the relative utilization of Borrelia-refractory lizards, as compared to rodents, by I. pacificus larvae was far higher in dry oak woodlands than in moister habitats such as redwood/tanoak and oak/Douglas fir woodlands in northern Mendocino County. Non-lizard-infesting potential enzootic vectors of B. burgdorferi s.l. (I. angustus and I. spinipalpis) were recorded from rodents in three of six oak woodland areas, two of five oak/Douglas fir woodland areas, and two of three redwood

  18. Effects of global changes on the climatic niche of the tick Ixodes ricinus inferred by species distribution modelling

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Global climate change can seriously impact on the epidemiological dynamics of vector-borne diseases. In this study we investigated how future climatic changes could affect the climatic niche of Ixodes ricinus (Acari, Ixodida), among the most important vectors of pathogens of medical and veterinary concern in Europe. Methods Species Distribution Modelling (SDM) was used to reconstruct the climatic niche of I. ricinus, and to project it into the future conditions for 2050 and 2080, under two scenarios: a continuous human demographic growth and a severe increase of gas emissions (scenario A2), and a scenario that proposes lower human demographic growth than A2, and a more sustainable gas emissions (scenario B2). Models were reconstructed using the algorithm of “maximum entropy”, as implemented in the software Maxent 3.3.3e; 4,544 occurrence points and 15 bioclimatic variables were used. Results In both scenarios an increase of climatic niche of about two times greater than the current area was predicted as well as a higher climatic suitability under the scenario B2 than A2. Such an increase occurred both in a latitudinal and longitudinal way, including northern Eurasian regions (e.g. Sweden and Russia), that were previously unsuitable for the species. Conclusions Our models are congruent with the predictions of range expansion already observed in I. ricinus at a regional scale and provide a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the future climatically suitable areas for I. ricinus at a continental scale. Although the use of SDM at a higher resolution should be integrated by a more refined analysis of further abiotic and biotic data, the results presented here suggest that under future climatic scenarios most of the current distribution area of I. ricinus could remain suitable and significantly increase at a continental geographic scale. Therefore disease outbreaks of pathogens transmitted by this tick species could emerge in previous non

  19. American Black Bears as Hosts of Blacklegged Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) in the Northeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Zolnik, Christine P; Makkay, Amanda M; Falco, Richard C; Daniels, Thomas J

    2015-09-01

    Ticks and whole blood were collected from American black bears (Ursus americanus Pallas) between October 2011 and October 2012 across four counties in northwestern New Jersey, an area where blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis Say) and their associated tick-borne pathogens are prevalent. Adult American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis Say) were the most frequently collected tick species in late spring, whereas adult and nymphal blacklegged ticks were found in both the late spring and fall months. Additionally, for blacklegged ticks, we determined the quality of bloodmeals that females acquired from black bears compared with bloodmeals from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman), the most important host for the adult stage of this tick species. Measures of fecundity after feeding on each host species were not significantly different, suggesting that the bloodmeal a female blacklegged tick acquires from a black bear is of similar quality to that obtained from a white-tailed deer. These results establish the American black bear as both a host and quality bloodmeal source to I. scapularis. Thus, black bears may help support blacklegged tick populations in areas where they are both present. In addition, samples of black bear blood were tested for DNA presence of three tick-borne pathogens. Anaplasma phagocytophilum Foggie and Babesia microti Franca were found in 9.2 and 32.3% of blood samples, respectively. All blood samples were quantitative polymerase chain reaction-negative for Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt, & Brenner. Although circulating pathogens were found in blood, the status of black bears as reservoirs for these pathogens remains unknown. PMID:26336232

  20. Surveillance for Ixodes pacificus and the tick-borne pathogens Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi in birds from California's Inner Coast Range.

    PubMed

    Dingler, Regina J; Wright, Stan A; Donohue, Ann M; Macedo, Paula A; Foley, Janet E

    2014-06-01

    We investigated the involvement of birds in the ecology of the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus, and its associated zoonotic bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, at two interior coast-range study sites in northern California. Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the agent of granulocytic anaplasmosis (GA), and B. burgdorferi s.s., the agent of Lyme disease (LD), are tick-borne pathogens that are well established in California. We screened blood and ticks from 349 individual birds in 48 species collected in 2011 and 2012 using pathogen-specific PCR. A total of 617 immature I. pacificus was collected with almost three times as many larvae than nymphs. There were 7.5 times more I. pacificus at the Napa County site compared to the Yolo County site. Two of 74 (3%) nymphal pools from an Oregon junco (Junco hyemalis) and a hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) and 4 individual larvae (all from Oregon juncos) were PCR-positive for B. burgdorferi. Blood samples from a golden-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) and a European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) were positive for A. phagocytophilum DNA at very low levels. Birds that forage on ground or bark and nest on the ground, as well as some migratory species, are at an increased risk for acquiring I. pacificus. Our findings show that birds contribute to the ecologies of LD and GA in California by serving as a blood-meal source, feeding and transporting immature I. pacificus, and sometimes as a source of Borrelia infection. PMID:24690191

  1. Tick receptor for outer surface protein A from Ixodes ricinus — the first intrinsically disordered protein involved in vector-microbe recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbanowicz, Anna; Lewandowski, Dominik; Szpotkowski, Kamil; Figlerowicz, Marek

    2016-04-01

    The tick receptor for outer surface protein A (TROSPA) is the only identified factor involved in tick gut colonization by various Borrelia species. TROSPA is localized in the gut epithelium and can recognize and bind the outer surface bacterial protein OspA via an unknown mechanism. Based on earlier reports and our latest observations, we considered that TROSPA would be the first identified intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) involved in the interaction between a vector and a pathogenic microbe. To verify this hypothesis, we performed structural studies of a TROSPA mutant from Ixodes ricinus using both computational and experimental approaches. Irrespective of the method used, we observed that the secondary structure content of the TROSPA polypeptide chain is low. In addition, the collected SAXS data indicated that this protein is highly extended and exists in solution as a set of numerous conformers. These features are all commonly considered hallmarks of IDPs. Taking advantage of our SAXS data, we created structural models of TROSPA and proposed a putative mechanism for the TROSPA-OspA interaction. The disordered nature of TROSPA may explain the ability of a wide spectrum of Borrelia species to colonize the tick gut.

  2. Tick receptor for outer surface protein A from Ixodes ricinus - the first intrinsically disordered protein involved in vector-microbe recognition.

    PubMed

    Urbanowicz, Anna; Lewandowski, Dominik; Szpotkowski, Kamil; Figlerowicz, Marek

    2016-01-01

    The tick receptor for outer surface protein A (TROSPA) is the only identified factor involved in tick gut colonization by various Borrelia species. TROSPA is localized in the gut epithelium and can recognize and bind the outer surface bacterial protein OspA via an unknown mechanism. Based on earlier reports and our latest observations, we considered that TROSPA would be the first identified intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) involved in the interaction between a vector and a pathogenic microbe. To verify this hypothesis, we performed structural studies of a TROSPA mutant from Ixodes ricinus using both computational and experimental approaches. Irrespective of the method used, we observed that the secondary structure content of the TROSPA polypeptide chain is low. In addition, the collected SAXS data indicated that this protein is highly extended and exists in solution as a set of numerous conformers. These features are all commonly considered hallmarks of IDPs. Taking advantage of our SAXS data, we created structural models of TROSPA and proposed a putative mechanism for the TROSPA-OspA interaction. The disordered nature of TROSPA may explain the ability of a wide spectrum of Borrelia species to colonize the tick gut. PMID:27112540

  3. Tick receptor for outer surface protein A from Ixodes ricinus — the first intrinsically disordered protein involved in vector-microbe recognition

    PubMed Central

    Urbanowicz, Anna; Lewandowski, Dominik; Szpotkowski, Kamil; Figlerowicz, Marek

    2016-01-01

    The tick receptor for outer surface protein A (TROSPA) is the only identified factor involved in tick gut colonization by various Borrelia species. TROSPA is localized in the gut epithelium and can recognize and bind the outer surface bacterial protein OspA via an unknown mechanism. Based on earlier reports and our latest observations, we considered that TROSPA would be the first identified intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) involved in the interaction between a vector and a pathogenic microbe. To verify this hypothesis, we performed structural studies of a TROSPA mutant from Ixodes ricinus using both computational and experimental approaches. Irrespective of the method used, we observed that the secondary structure content of the TROSPA polypeptide chain is low. In addition, the collected SAXS data indicated that this protein is highly extended and exists in solution as a set of numerous conformers. These features are all commonly considered hallmarks of IDPs. Taking advantage of our SAXS data, we created structural models of TROSPA and proposed a putative mechanism for the TROSPA-OspA interaction. The disordered nature of TROSPA may explain the ability of a wide spectrum of Borrelia species to colonize the tick gut. PMID:27112540

  4. [Conjugated variability of spontaneous activity and behavioral response to olfactory stimuli in the taiga tick (Ixodes persulcatus)].

    PubMed

    Romashchenko, A V; Shnaĭder, E P; Petrovskiĭ, D V; Moshkin, M P

    2013-01-01

    According to -the automatic tracing of the movement of ticks in a Petri dish, motivational variability of the spontaneous activity and behavioral response of the taiga tick to olfactory stimuli was analyzed. In the studied sample, two groups of ticks that differ in the movement trajectory in the absence of stimulus were isolated, including ticks that mainly moved on the edge of the dish at maximum accessible height (group 1) and ticks that mainly moved at the bottom and wall of the dish (group 2). It was registered that ticks of group 1 (as opposed to ticks of group 2) demonstrated a pronounced behavioral response to olfactory stimuli (human synthetic pheromones and ammonia) and negative geotaxis. It was established that belonging to these groups depended On the time of day when the testing was performed and did not depend on the physiological age and infectious status. PMID:25510114

  5. Bacteria associated with Amblyomma cajennense tick eggs.

    PubMed

    Machado-Ferreira, Erik; Vizzoni, Vinicius Figueiredo; Piesman, Joseph; Gazeta, Gilberto Salles; Soares, Carlos Augusto Gomes

    2015-12-01

    Ticks represent a large group of pathogen vectors that blood feed on a diversity of hosts. In the Americas, the Ixodidae ticks Amblyomma cajennense are responsible for severe impact on livestock and public health. In the present work, we present the isolation and molecular identification of a group of culturable bacteria associated with A. cajennense eggs from females sampled in distinct geographical sites in southeastern Brazil. Additional comparative analysis of the culturable bacteria from Anocentor nitens, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Ixodes scapularis tick eggs were also performed. 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses identified 17 different bacterial types identified as Serratia marcescens, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Enterobacter spp., Micrococcus luteus, Ochrobactrum anthropi, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus spp., distributed in 12 phylogroups. Staphylococcus spp., especially S. sciuri, was the most prevalent bacteria associated with A. cajennense eggs, occurring in 65% of the samples and also frequently observed infecting A. nitens eggs. S. maltophilia, S. marcescens and B. cereus occurred infecting eggs derived from specific sampling sites, but in all cases rising almost as pure cultures from infected A. cajennense eggs. The potential role of these bacterial associations is discussed and they possibly represent new targets for biological control strategies of ticks and tick borne diseases. PMID:26537602

  6. Bacteria associated with Amblyomma cajennense tick eggs

    PubMed Central

    Machado-Ferreira, Erik; Vizzoni, Vinicius Figueiredo; Piesman, Joseph; Gazeta, Gilberto Salles; Soares, Carlos Augusto Gomes

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Ticks represent a large group of pathogen vectors that blood feed on a diversity of hosts. In the Americas, the Ixodidae ticks Amblyomma cajennense are responsible for severe impact on livestock and public health. In the present work, we present the isolation and molecular identification of a group of culturable bacteria associated with A. cajennense eggs from females sampled in distinct geographical sites in southeastern Brazil. Additional comparative analysis of the culturable bacteria from Anocentor nitens, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Ixodes scapularis tick eggs were also performed. 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses identified 17 different bacterial types identified as Serratia marcescens, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Enterobacter spp., Micrococcus luteus, Ochrobactrum anthropi, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus spp., distributed in 12 phylogroups. Staphylococcus spp., especially S. sciuri, was the most prevalent bacteria associated with A. cajennense eggs, occurring in 65% of the samples and also frequently observed infecting A. nitens eggs. S. maltophilia, S. marcescens and B. cereus occurred infecting eggs derived from specific sampling sites, but in all cases rising almost as pure cultures from infected A. cajennense eggs. The potential role of these bacterial associations is discussed and they possibly represent new targets for biological control strategies of ticks and tick borne diseases. PMID:26537602

  7. The United States Department of Agriculture's Northeast Area-wide Tick Control Project: summary and conclusions.

    PubMed

    Pound, Joe Mathews; Miller, John Allen; George, John E; Fish, Durland; Carroll, John F; Schulze, Terry L; Daniels, Thomas J; Falco, Richard C; Stafford, Kirby C; Mather, Thomas N

    2009-08-01

    From 1997 to 2002, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Northeast Area-wide Tick Control Project used acaricide-treated 4-Poster Deer Treatment Bait Stations in five eastern states to control ticks feeding on white-tailed deer. The objectives of this host-targeted technology were to reduce free-living blacklegged (Ixodes scapularis Say) and lone star (Amblyomma americanum [L.]) tick populations and thereby to reduce the risk of tick-borne disease. During 2002 to 2004, treatments were suspended, and tick population recovery rates were assayed. Subsequently, the major factors that influenced variations in efficacy were extrapolated to better understand and improve this technology. Treatments resulted in significant reductions in free-living populations of nymphal blacklegged ticks at six of the seven sites, and lone star ticks were significantly reduced at all three sites where they were present. During the study, maximal significant (p < or = 0.05) efficacies against nymphal blacklegged and lone star ticks at individual sites ranged from 60.0 to 81.7 and 90.9 to 99.5%, respectively. The major environmental factor that reduced efficacy was the occurrence of heavy acorn masts, which provided an alternative food resource for deer. Although the 4-Poster technology requires 1 or more years to show efficacy, this host-targeted intervention was demonstrated to be an efficacious, economical, safe, and environment-friendly alternative to area-wide spraying of acaricide to control free-living populations of these tick species. PMID:19650739

  8. Ability of experimentally infected chickens to infect ticks with the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Piesman, J; Dolan, M C; Schriefer, M E; Burkot, T R

    1996-03-01

    Chickens were used as a laboratory model to determine the conditions affecting the ability of birds to infect ticks with Lyme disease spirochetes. Chicks (Gallus gallus) were exposed to 12 nymphal Ixodes scapularis at one week or three weeks of age. Xenodiagnostic larval ticks fed these birds at weekly intervals thereafter. Chicks exposed to infected nymphs at one week of age infected 87% of larvae at three weeks of age, but only infected 3% of larvae at four weeks and 0% of larvae at five weeks. Chicks exposed to nymphs at three weeks of age infected only 12% of larvae at four weeks, and 0% thereafter. Thus, experimentally infected chicks can infect larval ticks, but only for a brief interval after exposure. Young chicks are more infectious than older chickens. The immune response of infected chicks was rapid and directed against diverse antigens. PMID:8600769

  9. Effect of temperature on feeding period of larval blacklegged ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) on eastern fence lizards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rulison, Eric L.; LeBrun, Roger A.; Ginsberg, Howard S.

    2014-01-01

    Ambient temperature can influence tick development time, and can potentially affect tick interactions with pathogens and with vertebrate hosts. We studied the effect of ambient temperature on duration of attachment of larval blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say, to eastern fence lizards, Sceloporus undulatus (Bose & Daudin). Feeding periods of larvae that attached to lizards under preferred temperature conditions for the lizards (WARM treatment: temperatures averaged 36.6°C at the top of the cage and 25.8°C at the bottom, allowing behavioral thermoregulation) were shorter than for larvae on lizards held under cool conditions (COOL treatment temperatures averaged 28.4°C at top of cage and 24.9°C at the bottom). The lizards were infested with larvae four times at roughly monthly intervals. Larval numbers successfully engorging and dropping declined and feeding period was longer after the first infestation.

  10. Exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi and other tick-borne pathogens in Gettysburg National Military Park, South-Central Pennsylvania, 2009.

    PubMed

    Han, George S; Stromdahl, Ellen Y; Wong, David; Weltman, Andre C

    2014-04-01

    Since 1998, Lyme disease cases have increased in south-central Pennsylvania, which includes Gettysburg National Military Park (NMP). Limited information is available about tick populations or pathogens in this area, and no data regarding frequency of tick bites or prevention measures among Gettysburg NMP employees are available. To address these gaps, ticks were collected, classified, and replaced (to minimize disruptions to tick populations) at two sites within Gettysburg NMP during April-September, 2009, among eight nonremoval samplings. On two additional occasions during May and June, 2009, ticks were collected and removed from the two original sites plus 10 additional sites and tested for tick-borne pathogens by using PCR. A self-administered anonymous survey of Gettysburg NMP employees was conducted to determine knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding tick-borne diseases. Peak Ixodes scapularis nymph populations were observed during May-July. Of 115 I. scapularis ticks tested, 21% were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, including 18% of 74 nymphs and 27% of 41 adults; no other pathogen was identified. The entomologic risk index was calculated at 1.3 infected nymphs/hour. An adult and nymph Amblyomma americanum were also found, representing the first confirmed field collection of this tick in Pennsylvania, but no pathogens were detected. The survey revealed that most park employees believed Lyme disease was a problem at Gettysburg NMP and that they frequently found ticks on their skin and clothing. However, use of personal preventive measures was inconsistent, and 6% of respondents reported contracting Lyme disease while employed at Gettysburg NMP. These findings indicate a need to improve surveillance for tick bites among employees and enhance prevention programs for park staff and visitors. PMID:24689815

  11. Spirochetes in ticks and antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in white-tailed deer from Connecticut, New York State, and North Carolina.

    PubMed

    Magnarelli, L A; Anderson, J F; Apperson, C S; Fish, D; Johnson, R C; Chappell, W A

    1986-04-01

    Ticks were screened for spirochetes and serum samples from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were assayed for antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi during 1983-1984. Using fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled rabbit antibodies produced to B. burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, spirochetes were detected in Ixodes dammini (10.5% of 1,193) and Dermacentor albipictus (0.6% of 157) adults from Connecticut, I. dammini nymphs (49.1% of 108) and adults (64.7% of 99) from Armonk, New York, and in I. scapularis (0.4% of 531) and Amblyomma americanum (3.5% of 173) adults from North Carolina. Infected ticks were either seeking hosts or feeding on deer during the summer and fall. Direct fluorescent antibody staining also revealed spirochetes in two larvae of I. scapularis that emerged from eggs deposited by separate females in the laboratory. Using indirect immunofluorescence tests, antibodies to B. burgdorferi were identified in white-tailed deer living in tick-infested areas of all three states. Aside from minor cross-reactivity, there was no serologic evidence of Treponema or Leptospira infections. Ixodes dammini is a primary vector of B. burgdorferi in northeastern United States, but in North Carolina, other ixodid ticks may transmit this spirochete to humans and wildlife. PMID:3520030

  12. Host blood meal-dependent growth ensures transovarial transmission and transstadial passage of Rickettsia sp. phylotype G021 in the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus)

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Du; Lane, Robert S.; Moore, Benjamin D.; Zhong, Jianmin

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we explored the growth dynamics of Rickettsia sp. phylotype G021 during transovarial transmission and transstadial passage by Ixodes pacificus using real-time quantitative PCR. Four parental engorged I. pacificus females were allowed to complete their developmental stages until the F2-generation eggs yielded unfed larvae. All eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults tested through 2 generations were found to be infected with phylotype G021. Hence, we conclude that the efficiency of transovarial transmission and transstadial passage of this phylotype in I. pacificus was 100%. Acquisition of a blood meal by all 3 parasitic stages (larva, nymph, adult) significantly increased the rickettsial burden as fed larvae, nymphs, and adults had respective 19-, 12-, and 313-fold increases of rickettsiae compared with unfed ticks representing each developmental stage. I. pacificus eggs contained high rickettsial burdens at the time of oviposition. While I. pacificus egg cells underwent rapid proliferation during early embryonic development, the rickettsiae remained relatively quiescent, which resulted in depressed numbers of phylotype G021 per tick cell. However, the rickettsial burden remained constant over a period of 56 days, as the rate of I. pacificus cell division slowed during later embryonic development. PMID:23876278

  13. Host blood meal-dependent growth ensures transovarial transmission and transstadial passage of Rickettsia sp. phylotype G021 in the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus).

    PubMed

    Cheng, Du; Lane, Robert S; Moore, Benjamin D; Zhong, Jianmin

    2013-09-01

    In this study, we explored the growth dynamics of Rickettsia sp. phylotype G021 during transovarial transmission and transstadial passage by Ixodes pacificus using real-time quantitative PCR. Four parental engorged I. pacificus females were allowed to complete their developmental stages until the F2-generation eggs yielded unfed larvae. All eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults tested through 2 generations were found to be infected with phylotype G021. Hence, we conclude that the efficiency of transovarial transmission and transstadial passage of this phylotype in I. pacificus was 100%. Acquisition of a blood meal by all 3 parasitic stages (larva, nymph, adult) significantly increased the rickettsial burden as fed larvae, nymphs, and adults had respective 19-, 12-, and 313-fold increases of rickettsiae compared with unfed ticks representing each developmental stage. I. pacificus eggs contained high rickettsial burdens at the time of oviposition. While I. pacificus egg cells underwent rapid proliferation during early embryonic development, the rickettsiae remained relatively quiescent, which resulted in depressed numbers of phylotype G021 per tick cell. However, the rickettsial burden remained constant over a period of 56 days, as the rate of I. pacificus cell division slowed during later embryonic development. PMID:23876278

  14. Characterization of the B-cell inhibitory protein factor in Ixodes ricinus tick saliva: a potential role in enhanced Borrelia burgdoferi transmission

    PubMed Central

    Hannier, Sigrid; Liversidge, Janet; Sternberg, Jeremy M; Bowman, Alan S

    2004-01-01

    We recently described the inhibition of host B lymphocytes by Ixodes ricinus tick saliva. In this study, we characterized the factor responsible for this activity and examined the modulation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)- and Borrelia burgdorferi outer surface protein (Osp)-induced proliferation of naive murine B lymphocytes by an enriched fraction of this factor. The B-lymphocyte inhibitory activity was destroyed by trypsin treatment, indicating that a proteinaceous factor was responsible for this activity. The removal of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) from tick salivary glands extracts (SGE) showed that this B-cell inhibitory protein (BIP) was not a GST. Gel filtration liquid chromatography indicated that BIP has a native molecular weight of ≈ 18 000. An enrichment protocol, using a combination of anion-exchange and reverse-phase liquid chromatography, was established. BIP-enriched fractions did not suppress T-cell proliferation. Delayed addition of BIP-enriched fractions, up to 7 hr after LPS addition, inhibited the proliferation of isolated B cells. BIP-enriched fractions dramatically inhibited both OspA- and OspC-induced proliferation of isolated B cells. These results strongly suggest that BIP may facilitate B. burgdorferi transmission by preventing B-cell activation, and also highlights the potential of BIP as a therapeutic agent in B-cell maladies. PMID:15500628

  15. Efficacy of deltamethrin (Butox® 7.5 pour on) against nymphs and adults of ticks (Ixodes ricinus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus) in treated hair of cattle and sheep.

    PubMed

    Mehlhorn, Heinz; Schumacher, Bärbel; Jatzlau, Antje; Abdel-Ghaffar, Fathy; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A S; Klimpel, Sven; Pohle, Herbert

    2011-04-01

    Ticks are known to be able to transmit a broad spectrum of agents of diseases in cattle or sheep. Therefore, measurements are needed to keep ticks away from the body of any ruminant belonging to the agricultural life stock. The present study dealt with investigations to measure the efficacy of the insecticide deltamethrin (Butox® 7.5 pour on) against specimens of two important species (Ixodes ricinus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus). Four sheep and four young cattle were treated lege arte along the vertebral column with 10 ml Butox® (deltamethrin) per sheep or 30 ml Butox® per cattle. Day 7, 14, 21, and 28 after the treatment, hair was shaved off from the head, ears, the back, belly, and the feet being collected in separate, suitable plastic bags, and transported to the institute, where these hair were brought into close contact with either adult and/or nymph stages of I. ricinus and R. sanguineus. As results, strong, acaricidal effects were seen, which varied according to the parasite species, the origin of the hair (e.g., head, leg, etc.) and according to the period after the treatment. In sheep, the acaricidal effect was noted for the whole period of 28 days along the whole body with respect to adults and nymphs of I. ricinus, while the acaricidal effects of deltamethrin were reduced for R. sanguineus stages beginning at day 21 after treatment. In cattle, the full acaricidal effect was seen for 21 days in I. ricinus stages and for 14 days in R. sanguineus, while the acaricidal efficacy became reduced after these periods of full action-beginning at the hair taken from the legs. Only R. sanguineus adults did not show any reaction on day 28 after treatment. Besides these acaricidal effects, repellent effects were also noted. Full repellency for both species was seen during the first 14 days in sheep and cattle against Ixodes and Rhipicephalus, while the repellency was later reduced, especially in contact with hair from the legs. As conclusion, deltamethrin, besides

  16. Variable strength of forest stand attributes and weather conditions on the questing activity of Ixodes ricinus ticks over years in managed forests.

    PubMed

    Lauterbach, Ralf; Wells, Konstans; O'Hara, Robert B; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Renner, Swen C

    2013-01-01

    Given the ever-increasing human impact through land use and climate change on the environment, we crucially need to achieve a better understanding of those factors that influence the questing activity of ixodid ticks, a major disease-transmitting vector in temperate forests. We investigated variation in the relative questing nymph densities of Ixodes ricinus in differently managed forest types for three years (2008-2010) in SW Germany by drag sampling. We used a hierarchical Bayesian modeling approach to examine the relative effects of habitat and weather and to consider possible nested structures of habitat and climate forces. The questing activity of nymphs was considerably larger in young forest successional stages of thicket compared with pole wood and timber stages. Questing nymph density increased markedly with milder winter temperatures. Generally, the relative strength of the various environmental forces on questing nymph density differed across years. In particular, winter temperature had a negative effect on tick activity across sites in 2008 in contrast to the overall effect of temperature across years. Our results suggest that forest management practices have important impacts on questing nymph density. Variable weather conditions, however, might override the effects of forest management practices on the fluctuations and dynamics of tick populations and activity over years, in particular, the preceding winter temperatures. Therefore, robust predictions and the detection of possible interactions and nested structures of habitat and climate forces can only be quantified through the collection of long-term data. Such data are particularly important with regard to future scenarios of forest management and climate warming. PMID:23372852

  17. Variable Strength of Forest Stand Attributes and Weather Conditions on the Questing Activity of Ixodes ricinus Ticks over Years in Managed Forests

    PubMed Central

    Lauterbach, Ralf; Wells, Konstans; O'Hara, Robert B.; Renner, Swen C.

    2013-01-01

    Given the ever-increasing human impact through land use and climate change on the environment, we crucially need to achieve a better understanding of those factors that influence the questing activity of ixodid ticks, a major disease-transmitting vector in temperate forests. We investigated variation in the relative questing nymph densities of Ixodes ricinus in differently managed forest types for three years (2008–2010) in SW Germany by drag sampling. We used a hierarchical Bayesian modeling approach to examine the relative effects of habitat and weather and to consider possible nested structures of habitat and climate forces. The questing activity of nymphs was considerably larger in young forest successional stages of thicket compared with pole wood and timber stages. Questing nymph density increased markedly with milder winter temperatures. Generally, the relative strength of the various environmental forces on questing nymph density differed across years. In particular, winter temperature had a negative effect on tick activity across sites in 2008 in contrast to the overall effect of temperature across years. Our results suggest that forest management practices have important impacts on questing nymph density. Variable weather conditions, however, might override the effects of forest management practices on the fluctuations and dynamics of tick populations and activity over years, in particular, the preceding winter temperatures. Therefore, robust predictions and the detection of possible interactions and nested structures of habitat and climate forces can only be quantified through the collection of long-term data. Such data are particularly important with regard to future scenarios of forest management and climate warming. PMID:23372852

  18. Evolutionary conserved microRNAs are ubiquitously expressed compared to tick-specific miRNAs in the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that act as regulators of gene expression in eukaryotes modulating a large diversity of biological processes. The discovery of miRNAs has provided new opportunities to understand the biology of a number of species. The cattle tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, causes significant economic losses in cattle production worldwide and this drives us to further understand their biology so that effective control measures can be developed. To be able to provide new insights into the biology of cattle ticks and to expand the repertoire of tick miRNAs we utilized Illumina technology to sequence the small RNA transcriptomes derived from various life stages and selected organs of R. microplus. Results To discover and profile cattle tick miRNAs we employed two complementary approaches, one aiming to find evolutionary conserved miRNAs and another focused on the discovery of novel cattle-tick specific miRNAs. We found 51 evolutionary conserved R. microplus miRNA loci, with 36 of these previously found in the tick Ixodes scapularis. The majority of the R. microplus miRNAs are perfectly conserved throughout evolution with 11, 5 and 15 of these conserved since the Nephrozoan (640 MYA), Protostomian (620MYA) and Arthropoda (540 MYA) ancestor, respectively. We then employed a de novo computational screening for novel tick miRNAs using the draft genome of I. scapularis and genomic contigs of R. microplus as templates. This identified 36 novel R. microplus miRNA loci of which 12 were conserved in I. scapularis. Overall we found 87 R. microplus miRNA loci, of these 15 showed the expression of both miRNA and miRNA* sequences. R. microplus miRNAs showed a variety of expression profiles, with the evolutionary-conserved miRNAs mainly expressed in all life stages at various levels, while the expression of novel tick-specific miRNAs was mostly limited to particular life stages and/or tick organs. Conclusions Anciently acquired mi

  19. Tryptogalinin Is a Tick Kunitz Serine Protease Inhibitor with a Unique Intrinsic Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Valdés, James J.; Schwarz, Alexandra; Cabeza de Vaca, Israel; Calvo, Eric; Pedra, Joao H. F.

    2013-01-01

    Background A salivary proteome-transcriptome project on the hard tick Ixodes scapularis revealed that Kunitz peptides are the most abundant salivary proteins. Ticks use Kunitz peptides (among other salivary proteins) to combat host defense mechanisms and to obtain a blood meal. Most of these Kunitz peptides, however, remain functionally uncharacterized, thus limiting our knowledge about their biochemical interactions. Results We discovered an unusual cysteine motif in a Kunitz peptide. This peptide inhibits several serine proteases with high affinity and was named tryptogalinin due to its high affinity for β-tryptase. Compared with other functionally described peptides from the Acari subclass, we showed that tryptogalinin is phylogenetically related to a Kunitz peptide from Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, also reported to have a high affinity for β-tryptase. Using homology-based modeling (and other protein prediction programs) we were able to model and explain the multifaceted function of tryptogalinin. The N-terminus of the modeled tryptogalinin is detached from the rest of the peptide and exhibits intrinsic disorder allowing an increased flexibility for its high affinity with its inhibiting partners (i.e., serine proteases). Conclusions By incorporating experimental and computational methods our data not only describes the function of a Kunitz peptide from Ixodes scapularis, but also allows us to hypothesize about the molecular basis of this function at the atomic level. PMID:23658744

  20. Ticks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, H.S.; Faulde, M.K.

    2008-01-01

    The most common vector-borne diseases in both Europe and North America are transmitted by ticks. Lyme borreliosis (LB), a tick-borne bacterial zoonosis, is the most highly prevalent. Other important tick-borne diseases include TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Europe, Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) in North America, and numerous less common tick-borne bacterial, viral, and protozoan diseases on both continents. The major etiological agent of LB is Borrelia burgdorferi in North America, while in Europe several related species of Borrelia can also cause human illness. These Borrelia genospecies differ in clinical manifestations, ecology (for example, some have primarily avian and others primarily mammalian reservoirs), and transmission cycles, so the epizootiology of LB is more complex in Europe than in North America. Ticks dwell predominantly in woodlands and meadows, and in association with animal hosts, with only limited colonization of human dwellings by a few species. Therefore, suburbanization has contributed substantially to the increase in tick-borne disease transmission in North America by fostering increased exposure of humans to tick habitat. The current trend toward suburbanization in Europe could potentially result in similar increases in transmission of tick-borne diseases. Incidence of tick-borne diseases can be lowered by active public education campaigns, targeted at the times and places of greatest potential for encounter between humans and infected ticks. Similarly, vaccines (e.g., against TBE) are most effective when made available to people at greatest risk, and for high-prevalence diseases such as LB. Consultation with vector-borne disease experts during the planning stages of new human developments can minimize the potential for residents to encounter infected ticks (e.g., by appropriate dwelling and landscape design). Furthermore, research on tick vectors, pathogens, transmission ecology, and on

  1. Oral Vaccination With Vaccinia Virus Expressing the Tick Antigen Subolesin Inhibits Tick Feeding and Transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi Vaccination

    PubMed Central

    Bensaci, Mekki; Bhattacharya, Debaditya; Clark, Roger; Hu, Linden T.

    2014-01-01

    Immunization with the Ixodes scapularis protein, subolesin, has previously been shown to protect hosts against tick infestation and to decrease acquisition of Anaplsma marginale and Babesia bigemina. Here we report the efficacy of subolesin expressed from Vaccinia virus for use as an orally delivered reservoir–targeted vaccine for prevention of tick infestation and acquisition/transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi to its tick and mouse hosts. We cloned subolesin into Vaccinia virus and showed that it is expressed from mammalian cells infected with the recombinant virus in vitro. We then vaccinated mice by oral gavage. A single dose of the vaccine was sufficient for mice to generate antibody response to subolesin. Vaccination with the subolesin expressing Vaccinia virus inhibited tick infestation by 52% compared to control vaccination with Vaccinia virus and reduced uptake of B. burgdorferi among the surviving ticks that fed to repletion by 34%. There was a reduction in transmission of B. burgdorferi to uninfected vaccinated mice of 40% compared to controls. These results suggest that subolesin has potential as a component of a reservoir targeted vaccine to decrease B. burgdorferi, Babesia and Anaplasma species infections in their natural hosts. PMID:22864146

  2. Efficacy of a granular formulation containing Metarhizium brunneum F52 (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) microsclerotia against nymphs of the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixoididae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Technical improvements in the production and formulation of microbial agents will increase the potential for development of biological pesticides able to compete with chemical insecticides in the marketplace. Here we report the efficacy of a simple granule formulation containing microsclerotia of Me...

  3. Deorphanization and target validation of cross-tick species conserved novel Amblyomma americanum tick saliva protein

    PubMed Central

    Mulenga, Albert; Kim, Tae Kwon; Ibelli, Adriana Mércia Guaratini

    2013-01-01

    We previously identified a cross-tick species conserved tick feeding stimuli responsive Amblyomma americanum (Aam) AV422 gene. This study demonstrates that AamAV422 belongs to a novel group of arthropod proteins that is characterized by 14 cysteine amino acid residues: C23-X7/9-C33-X23/24-C58-C8-C67X7-X75-X23-C99-X15-C115-X10-C126X24/25/33-C150C151-X7-C159-X8-X168-X23/24-C192-X9/10-C202 predicted to form seven disulfide bonds. We show that AamAV422 protein is a ubiquitously expressed protein that is injected into the host within the first 24 h of the tick attaching onto the host as revealed by western blotting analyses of recombinant (r)AamAV422, tick saliva and dissected tick organ protein extracts using antibodies to 24 h and 48 h tick saliva proteins (TSPs). Native AamAV422 is apparently involved with mediating tick anti-hemostasis and anti-complement functions in that rAamAV422 delayed plasma clotting time in a dose responsive manner by up to ~160 s, prevented platelet aggregation by up to ~16% and caused ~24% reduction in production of terminal complement complexes. Target validation analysis revealed that rAamAV422 is a potential candidate for a cocktail or multivalent tick vaccine preparation in that RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated silencing of AamAV422 mRNA caused a statistically significant (~44%) reduction in tick engorgement weights, which is proxy for amounts of ingested blood. We speculate that AamAV422 is a potential target antigen for development of the highly desired universal tick vaccine in that consistent with high conservation among ticks, antibodies to 24 h Ixodes scapularis TSPs specifically bound rAamAV422. We discuss data in this study in the context of advancing the biology of tick feeding physiology and discovery of potential target antigens for tick vaccine development. PMID:23428900

  4. Identifying sources of tick blood meals using unidentified tandem mass spectral libraries

    PubMed Central

    Önder, Özlem; Shao, Wenguang; Kemps, Brian D.; Lam, Henry; Brisson, Dustin

    2013-01-01

    Rapid and reliable identification of the vertebrate species on which a disease vector previously parasitized is imperative to study ecological factors that affect pathogen distribution and can aid the development of public health programs. Here we describe a proteome profiling technique designed to identify the source of blood meals of hematophagous arthropods. This method employs direct spectral matching and thus does not require a priori knowledge of any genetic or protein sequence information. Using this technology, we detect remnants of blood in blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) and correctly determine the vertebrate species from which the blood was derived even six months after the tick had fed. This biological fingerprinting methodology is sensitive, fast, cost-effective, and can potentially be adapted for other biological and medical applications when existing genome-based methods are impractical or ineffective. PMID:23612287

  5. [Parasitological factors impeding the transmission of the agent of babesiosis (Babesia microti) to man from the tick Ixodes persulcatus].

    PubMed

    Korenberg, E I; Nefedova, V V; Kovalevsky, Yu V; Sorokina, Yu V; Gorelova, N B

    2015-01-01

    Based on the analysis of own and literature data, it is concluded that the following ma- in permanent system of ecologicalarasitological factors prevents the effective vector functions of the tick I. persulcatus in transmission of B. microti: lack of distinct nymphs' anthropophily; small spontaneous invasion of hungry adults; a duration of the parasitic phase in humans is insufficient to complete the sporogonic development, because victims interrupt the phase. Therefore, not excluding the possibility of sporadic babesiosis disea- ses, it can be stated that within the boundaries of a vast territory, where the taiga tick is the only potential source of infection for humans, the B. microti infection has not, and will not reach significant values in infectious pathology. PMID:26016332

  6. Soluble cysteine-rich tick saliva proteins Salp15 and Iric-1 from E. coli.

    PubMed

    Kolb, Philipp; Vorreiter, Jolanta; Habicht, Jüri; Bentrop, Detlef; Wallich, Reinhard; Nassal, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Ticks transmit numerous pathogens, including borreliae, which cause Lyme disease. Tick saliva contains a complex mix of anti-host defense factors, including the immunosuppressive cysteine-rich secretory glycoprotein Salp15 from Ixodes scapularis ticks and orthologs like Iric-1 from Ixodes ricinus. All tick-borne microbes benefit from the immunosuppression at the tick bite site; in addition, borreliae exploit the binding of Salp15 to their outer surface protein C (OspC) for enhanced transmission. Hence, Salp15 proteins are attractive targets for anti-tick vaccines that also target borreliae. However, recombinant Salp proteins are not accessible in sufficient quantity for either vaccine manufacturing or for structural characterization. As an alternative to low-yield eukaryotic systems, we investigated cytoplasmic expression in Escherichia coli, even though this would not result in glycosylation. His-tagged Salp15 was efficiently expressed but insoluble. Among the various solubility-enhancing protein tags tested, DsbA was superior, yielding milligram amounts of soluble, monomeric Salp15 and Iric-1 fusions. Easily accessible mutants enabled epitope mapping of two monoclonal antibodies that, importantly, cross-react with glycosylated Salp15, and revealed interaction sites with OspC. Free Salp15 and Iric-1 from protease-cleavable fusions, despite limited solubility, allowed the recording of (1)H-(15)N 2D NMR spectra, suggesting partial folding of the wild-type proteins but not of Cys-free variants. Fusion to the NMR-compatible GB1 domain sufficiently enhanced solubility to reveal first secondary structure elements in (13)C/(15)N double-labeled Iric-1. Together, E. coli expression of appropriately fused Salp15 proteins may be highly valuable for the molecular characterization of the function and eventually the 3D structure of these medically relevant tick proteins. PMID:25628987

  7. Ixodid ticks associated with feral swine in Texas.

    PubMed

    Sanders, David M; Schuster, Anthony L; McCardle, P Wesley; Strey, Otto F; Blankenship, Terry L; Teel, Pete D

    2013-12-01

    Ixodid ticks were collected from feral swine in eight Texas ecoregions from 2008-2011. Sixty-two percent of 806 feral swine were infested with one or more of the following species: Amblyomma americanum, A. cajennense, A. maculatum, Dermacentor albipictus, D. halli, D. variabilis, and Ixodes scapularis. Juvenile and adult feral swine of both sexes were found to serve as host to ixodid ticks. Longitudinal surveys of feral swine at four geographic locations show persistent year-round tick infestations of all gender-age classes for tick species common to their respective geographic locations and ecoregions. Amblyomma americanum, A. cajennense, A. maculatum and D. variabilis were collected from 66% of feral swine harvested through an abatement program in seven ecoregions from March to October in 2009. These results indicate westward geographic expansion of D. variabilis. Summary results show feral swine are competent hosts for ixodid species responsible for the transmission of pathogens and diminished well-being in livestock, wildlife, and humans. PMID:24581367

  8. Associations of passerine birds, rabbits, and ticks with Borrelia miyamotoi and Borrelia andersonii in Michigan, U.S.A.

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Wild birds contribute to maintenance and dissemination of vectors and microbes, including those that impact human, domestic animal, and wildlife health. Here we elucidate roles of wild passerine birds, eastern cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus), and Ixodes dentatus ticks in enzootic cycles of two spirochetes, Borrelia miyamotoi and B. andersonii in a region of Michigan where the zoonotic pathogen B. burgdorferi co-circulates. Methods Over a four-year period, wild birds (n = 19,631) and rabbits (n = 20) were inspected for tick presence and ear tissue was obtained from rabbits. Samples were tested for Borrelia spirochetes using nested PCR of the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region (IGS) and bidirectional DNA sequencing. Natural xenodiagnosis was used to implicate wildlife reservoirs. Results Ixodes dentatus, a tick that specializes on birds and rabbits and rarely bites humans, was the most common tick found, comprising 86.5% of the 12,432 ticks collected in the study. The relapsing fever group spirochete B. miyamotoi was documented for the first time in ticks removed from wild birds (0.7% minimum infection prevalence; MIP, in I. dentatus), and included two IGS strains. The majority of B. miyamotoi-positive ticks were removed from Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis). Borrelia andersonii infected ticks removed from birds (1.6% MIP), ticks removed from rabbits (5.3% MIP), and rabbit ear biopsies (5%) comprised twelve novel IGS strains. Six species of wild birds were implicated as reservoirs for B. andersonii. Frequency of I. dentatus larval and nymphal co-feeding on birds was ten times greater than expected by chance. The relatively well-studied ecology of I. scapularis and the Lyme disease pathogen provides a context for understanding how the phenology of bird ticks may impact B. miyamotoi and B. andersonii prevalence and host associations. Conclusions Given the current invasion of I. scapularis, a human biting species that serves as a

  9. A formulation to encapsulate nootkatone for tick control.

    PubMed

    Behle, Robert W; Flor-Weiler, Lina B; Bharadwaj, Anuja; Stafford, Kirby C

    2011-11-01

    Nootkatone is a component of grapefruit oil that is toxic to the disease-vectoring tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, but unfortunately causes phytotoxicity to treated plants and has a short residual activity due to volatility. We prepared a lignin-encapsulated nootkatone formulation to compare with a previously used emulsifiable formulation for volatility, plant phytotoxicity, and toxicity to unfed nymphs of I. scapularis. Volatility of nootkatone was measured directly by trapping nootkatone vapor in a closed system and indirectly by measuring nootkatone residue on treated filter paper after exposure to simulated sunlight (Xenon). After 24 h in the closed system, traps collected only 15% of the nootkatone applied as the encapsulated formulation compared with 40% applied as the emulsifiable formulation. After a 1-h light exposure, the encapsulated formulation retained 92% of the nootkatone concentration compared with only 26% retained by the emulsifiable formulation. For plant phytotoxicity, cabbage, Brassica oleracea L., leaves treated with the encapsulated formulation expressed less necrosis, retaining greater leaf weight compared with leaves treated with the emusifiable formulation. The nootkatone in the emulsifiable formulation was absorbed by cabbage and oat, Avena sativa L., plants (41 and 60% recovered 2 h after application, respectively), as opposed to 100% recovery from the plants treated with encapsulated nootkatone. Using a treated vial technique, encapsulated nootkatone was significantly more toxic to I. scapularis nymphs (LC50 = 20 ng/cm2) compared with toxicity of the emulsifiable formulation (LC50 = 35 ng/cm2). Thus, the encapsulation of nootkatone improved toxicity for tick control, reduced nootkatone volatility, and reduced plant phytotoxicity. PMID:22238870

  10. Genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes ricinus ticks from the Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy.

    PubMed

    Pecchioli, Elena; Hauffe, Heidi C; Tagliapietra, Valentina; Bandi, Claudio; Genchi, Claudio; Rizzoli, Annapaola

    2007-02-01

    Sequences of the variable intergenic spacer region 5S (rrfA) 23S (rrlB) rRNA were used to identify Borrelia genospecies present in Ixodes ricinus nymphs collected from the Lamar Lakes area of the Province of Trento, Italy (overall prevalence=6.3%). Four genospecies were identified, one for the first time in this Province (B. valaisiana), and three which have been noted previously (B. afzelii, B. garinii, and B. burgdorferi s.s.). In order to compare the genetic variability of these genospecies in Trento with that at a European level, our 21 sequences (15 new haplotypes) and all appropriate European Borrelia sequences registered in GenBank (up to the end of 2004) were subjected to a phylogenetic analysis (for a total of 73 sequences and 43 haplotypes). Clusters of sequences representing the five main European genospecies (afzelii, garinii, burgdorferi s.s., valaisiana, lusitaniae) are well-supported. At least two other groups of haplotypes (genospecies) are suggested by our analysis; moreover, divergent evolution may be occurring in several genospecies. The maximum uncorrected pairwise differences between sequences within genospecies ranges from 1.5% (B. burgdorferi s.s.), to 2.3% (B. garinii and B. valaisiana) to 4.7% (B. afzelii), and are not correlated with geographical distribution. Within the Province of Trento, these values for the same genospecies are 1.5%, 2.3%, 0.9%, 1.9%, respectively. These high mutation rates within genospecies suggest that the sequencing of haplotypes should continue if we are to fully understand and monitor the evolution and epidemiology of Borrelia. PMID:17137840

  11. Whole-Chain Tick Saliva Proteins Presented on Hepatitis B Virus Capsid-Like Particles Induce High-Titered Antibodies with Neutralizing Potential

    PubMed Central

    Kolb, Philipp; Wallich, Reinhard; Nassal, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Ticks are vectors for various, including pathogenic, microbes. Tick saliva contains multiple anti-host defense factors that enable ticks their bloodmeals yet also facilitate microbe transmission. Lyme disease-causing borreliae profit specifically from the broadly conserved tick histamine release factor (tHRF), and from cysteine-rich glycoproteins represented by Salp15 from Ixodes scapularis and Iric-1 from Ixodes ricinus ticks which they recruit to their outer surface protein C (OspC). Hence these tick proteins are attractive targets for anti-tick vaccines that simultaneously impair borrelia transmission. Main obstacles are the tick proteins´ immunosuppressive activities, and for Salp15 orthologs, the lack of efficient recombinant expression systems. Here, we exploited the immune-enhancing properties of hepatitis B virus core protein (HBc) derived capsid-like particles (CLPs) to generate, in E. coli, nanoparticulate vaccines presenting tHRF and, as surrogates for the barely soluble wild-type proteins, cysteine-free Salp15 and Iric-1 variants. The latter CLPs were exclusively accessible in the less sterically constrained SplitCore system. Mice immunized with tHRF CLPs mounted a strong anti-tHRF antibody response. CLPs presenting cysteine-free Salp15 and Iric-1 induced antibodies to wild-type, including glycosylated, Salp15 and Iric-1. The broadly distributed epitopes included the OspC interaction sites. In vitro, the anti-Salp15 antibodies interfered with OspC binding and enhanced human complement-mediated killing of Salp15 decorated borreliae. A mixture of all three CLPs induced high titered antibodies against all three targets, suggesting the feasibility of combination vaccines. These data warrant in vivo validation of the new candidate vaccines´ protective potential against tick infestation and Borrelia transmission. PMID:26352137

  12. Efficacy of a novel oral formulation of sarolaner (Simparica™) against five common tick species infesting dogs in the United States.

    PubMed

    Six, Robert H; Everett, William R; Young, David R; Carter, Lori; Mahabir, Sean P; Honsberger, Nicole A; Myers, Melanie R; Holzmer, Susan; Chapin, Sara; Rugg, Jady J

    2016-05-30

    The efficacy of a single oral treatment with sarolaner (Simparica™, Zoetis), a novel isoxazoline compound, was evaluated against five tick species known to infest dogs in the United States. A total of 10 laboratory studies, two against each species, were conducted using adult purpose-bred mongrels or Beagle dogs. In each study, 16 dogs were randomly allocated to one of two treatment groups based on pre-treatment host-suitability tick counts. Dogs were infested with approximately 50 unfed adult Amblyomma americanum, Amblyomma maculatum, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes scapularis or Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks on Days -2, 5, 12, 19, 26 and 33. On Day 0, dogs were treated with a placebo or a sarolaner tablet providing a minimum dose of 2 mg/kg. Tick counts were conducted 48h after treatment and after each subsequent weekly re-infestation. There were no treatment-related adverse reactions during any of the studies. Dogs in the placebo-treated group maintained tick infestations throughout the studies. Geometric mean live tick counts were significantly lower (P≤0.0001) in the sarolaner-treated group compared to the tick counts in the placebo group at all timepoints. Treatment with sarolaner resulted in ≥99.6% efficacy against existing infestations of all five tick species within 48h. The efficacy against weekly post-treatment re-infestations of all tick species was ≥96.9% for at least 35 days after treatment. Thus, a single dose of sarolaner administered orally at the minimum dosage of 2mg/kg, resulted in excellent efficacy within 48h against existing tick infestations, and against weekly re-infestations for 35 days after treatment. These studies confirmed that administration of the minimum dose of sarolaner will provide rapid treatment of existing infestations and give at least one month of control against re-infestation by the common tick species affecting dogs in the US. PMID:26935819

  13. The Rare ospC Allele L of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Stricto, Commonly Found among Samples Collected in a Coastal Plain Area of the Southeastern United States, Is Associated with Ixodes affinis Ticks and Local Rodent Hosts Peromyscus gossypinus and Sigmodon hispidus

    PubMed Central

    Golovchenko, Maryna; Grubhoffer, Libor; Oliver, James H.

    2013-01-01

    The rare ospC allele L was detected in 30% of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto strains cultured from a tick species, Ixodes affinis, and two rodent host species, Peromyscus gossypinus and Sigmodon hispidus, collected in a coastal plain area of Georgia and South Carolina, in the southeastern United States. PMID:23220965

  14. Efficacy and environmental persistence of nootkatone for the control of the blacklegged tick (Acari: Ixodidae) in residential landscapes.

    PubMed

    Bharadwaj, Anuja; Stafford, Kirby C; Behle, Robert W

    2012-09-01

    The ability of the plant-derived compound nootkatone to control nymphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, was evaluated at lawn perimeter plots at homes in Lyme disease endemic areas of Connecticut. Three formulations of nootkatone ranging from 0.05 to 0.84% (0.06 - 1.03 g AI/m2) were applied by a hydraulic sprayer from 2008 to 2010. In 2008, the 0.84% emulsifiable nootkatone formulation provided 100% control of I. scapularis through week 1, but declined to 49 and 0% by 2 and 3 wk posttreatment, respectively. A combination of 0.05% nootkatone and entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium brunneum Petch F52, resulted in 50% control for the first week posttreatment and no control in subsequent weeks. The 0.84% emulsifiable nootkatone formulation was phytotoxic, although no damage was observed with the 0.05% formulation with Metarhizium. Residual analysis of nootkatone collected on filter paper disks showed that > or = 95% of the emulsified nootkatone for both formulations was lost within 7 d after application. A lignin-encapsulated nootkatone formulation (0.56 and 0.46% in 2009 and 2010, respectively) provided 100% control of I. scapularis for 8 wk in 2009 and, in 2010, 67% control at approximately 1 wk posttreatment with respect to the pretreatment counts, although there was no difference in tick abundance posttreatment. A 0.60% Maillard-reaction encapsulated nootkatone formulation in 2010 provided a similar level of control (62%). Nootkatone in the lignin and Maillard formulations were more persistent than the emulsifiable formulation. Little or no phytotoxicity was observed with the encapsulated formulations. Encapsulating nootkatone reduced phytotoxicity and appeared to reduce environmental loss. While nootkatone can provide effective tick control, further work is needed to refine formulations to address phytotoxicity, yet provide sufficient material to control ticks. PMID:23025184

  15. Anaplasma phagocytophilum Inhibits Apoptosis and Promotes Cytoskeleton Rearrangement for Infection of Tick Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ayllón, Nieves; Villar, Margarita; Busby, Ann T.; Kocan, Katherine M.; Blouin, Edmour F.; Bonzón-Kulichenko, Elena; Galindo, Ruth C.; Mangold, Atilio J.; Alberdi, Pilar; Pérez de la Lastra, José M.; Vázquez, Jesús

    2013-01-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum causes human granulocytic anaplasmosis. Infection with this zoonotic pathogen affects gene expression in both the vertebrate host and the tick vector, Ixodes scapularis. Here, we identified new genes, including spectrin alpha chain or alpha-fodrin (CG8) and voltage-dependent anion-selective channel or mitochondrial porin (T2), that are involved in A. phagocytophilum infection/multiplication and the tick cell response to infection. The pathogen downregulated the expression of CG8 in tick salivary glands and T2 in both the gut and salivary glands to inhibit apoptosis as a mechanism to subvert host cell defenses and increase infection. In the gut, the tick response to infection through CG8 upregulation was used by the pathogen to increase infection due to the cytoskeleton rearrangement that is required for pathogen infection. These results increase our understanding of the role of tick genes during A. phagocytophilum infection and multiplication and demonstrate that the pathogen uses similar strategies to establish infection in both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. PMID:23630955

  16. The heat is on: Killing blacklegged ticks in residential washers and dryers to prevent tickborne diseases.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Christina A; Hayes, Catherine M; Markowitz, Molly A; Flynn, Jacqueline J; Graham, Alan C; Delorey, Mark J; Mead, Paul S; Dolan, Marc C

    2016-07-01

    Reducing exposure to ticks can help prevent Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases. Although it is currently recommended to dry clothes on high heat for one hour to kill ticks on clothing after spending time outdoors, this recommendation is based on a single published study of tick survival under various washing conditions and a predetermined one-hour drying time. We conducted a series of tests to investigate the effects of temperature, humidity, and drying time on killing nymphal and adult blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis). Muslin bags containing 5 ticks each were washed then dried or dried only with six cotton towels during each drying cycle. All nymphal and adult ticks were killed when exposed to wash cycles when the water temperature reached ≥54°C (≥130°F); however, 50% of ticks survived hot water washes when the water temperature was <54°C. The majority (94%) of ticks survived warm washes [temperature range, 27-46°C (80-115°F)] and all ticks survived cold washes [15-27°C (59-80°F)]. When subsequently dried on high heat setting [54-85°C (129-185°F)], it took 50min to kill all ticks (95% confidence limit, 55min). Most significantly, we found that all adult and nymphal ticks died when placed directly in the dryer with dry towels and dried for 4min on high heat (95% confidence limit, 6min). We have identified effective, easily implemented methods to rid clothing of ticks after spending time outdoors. Placing clothing directly in a dryer and drying for a minimum of 6min on high heat will effectively kill ticks on clothing. If clothing is soiled and requires washing first, our results indicate clothing should be washed with water temperature ≥54°C (≥130°F) to kill ticks. When practiced with other tick-bite prevention methods, these techniques could further reduce the risk of acquiring tickborne diseases. PMID:27156138

  17. Detection of bacteria related to Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii in tick cell lines.

    PubMed

    Najm, Nour-Addeen; Silaghi, Cornelia; Bell-Sakyi, Lesley; Pfister, Kurt; Passos, Lygia M Friche

    2012-01-01

    Many ticks have been shown to be infected with intracellular bacteria. One of these bacteria is Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii which is the only characterized bacterium that has the ability to invade the mitochondria within ovarian cells and consume them without any effect on the female tick's reproduction. In the present study, eight cell lines derived from the ticks Ixodes ricinus, Ixodes scapularis, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decoloratus were examined for the presence of the bacterium Ca. Midichloria mitochondrii. PCR assays for this bacterium were carried out using two sets of primers targeting the eubacterial 16SrRNA gene and a set of primers specific for the gyrB gene of Ca. Midichloria mitochondrii. With the 16S rRNA primers, DNA was amplified from two cell lines (R. (B.) decoloratus line BDE/CTVM14 and I. ricinus line IRE/CTVM19) on one out of three occasions each. Sequencing of the PCR products showed that the two cell lines gave sequences with 100% similarity to Ca. Midichloria mitochondrii. However, all cell lines, including the two positive cell lines, were negative with the specific primers. Phylogenetic analysis shows that our sequences belong to the subclass α-proteobacteria. They were identical to the sequences amplified from the tick I. ricinus. The results suggest that two cell lines, IRE/CTVM19 and BDE/CTVM14, may contain bacteria closely related to Ca. Midichloria mitochondrii and identical with it in a 350-bp part of the 16S rRNA gene sequence. To our knowledge, this constitutes the first report of the presence of DNA similar to the DNA of Ca. Midichloria mitochondrii in tick cell lines. PMID:21748354

  18. Prevalence of Human-Active and Variant 1 Strains of the Tick-Borne Pathogen Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Hosts and Forests of Eastern North America

    PubMed Central

    Keesing, Felicia; McHenry, Diana J.; Hersh, Michelle; Tibbetts, Michael; Brunner, Jesse L.; Killilea, Mary; LoGiudice, Kathleen; Schmidt, Kenneth A.; Ostfeld, Richard S.

    2014-01-01

    Anaplasmosis is an emerging infectious disease caused by infection with the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum. In the eastern United States, A. phagocytophilum is transmitted to hosts through the bite of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. We determined the realized reservoir competence of 14 species of common vertebrate hosts for ticks by establishing the probability that each species transmits two important strains of A. phagocytophilum (A. phagocytophilum human-active, which causes human cases, and A. phagocytophilum variant 1, which does not) to feeding larval ticks. We also sampled questing nymphal ticks from ∼150 sites in a single county over 2 years and sampled over 6 years at one location. White-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) and Eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) were the most competent reservoirs for infection with the A. phagocytophilum human-active strain. Across the county, prevalence in ticks for both strains together was 8.3%; ticks were more than two times as likely to be infected with A. phagocytophilum human-active as A. phagocytophilum variant 1. PMID:24865688

  19. Diversity of piroplasms detected in blood-fed and questing ticks from several states in the United States.

    PubMed

    Shock, Barbara C; Moncayo, Abelardo; Cohen, Sara; Mitchell, Elizabeth A; Williamson, Phillip C; Lopez, Gaylord; Garrison, Laurel E; Yabsley, Michael J

    2014-06-01

    Piroplasms in the genera Babesia, Theileria, and Cytauxzoon are tick-borne parasites that may be animal and human pathogens. Most piroplasms with known life cycles are transmitted by ixodid ticks; however, for many species, the vector is unknown. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and diversity of piroplasms in ticks from several US states. Piroplasm-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were used to test 1631 ticks from Georgia (n=486), Kentucky (n=103), Pennsylvania (n=1), Tennessee (n=626), and Texas (n=414). Ticks were either questing (n=42) or collected from animals (n=627) or humans (n=962). The 2 primary species tested were Dermacentor variabilis (n=702) and Amblyomma americanum (n=743), but Amblyomma cajennense (n=99), Amblyomma maculatum (n=16), Ixodes scapularis (n=4), I. woodi (n=1), and unidentified Amblyomma spp. nymphs (n=64) were also tested. A low prevalence of piroplasms was detected with 37 (2.3%), 35 (2.1%), and 9 (0.6%) ticks positive for Theileria spp., Babesia spp., or Cytauxzoon felis, respectively. Based on sequence analysis, at least 6 Babesia spp. were detected and 15 of the 35 (41%) Babesia-positive ticks were A. americanum, 19 (56%) were D. variabilis, and one (3%) was an I. scapularis. Nine Babesia-positive ticks were removed from humans from Kentucky (n=1), Georgia (n=2), Texas (n=5), and Pennsylvania (n=1). Three Babesia-positive ticks were questing A. americanum which represents the first report of Babesia-infected questing Amblyomma in the US. Theileria infections were only detected in A. americanum, and all sequences were similar to white-tailed deer associated Theileria spp. C. felis was only detected in D. variabilis. These data suggest that A. americanum may be a vector of Babesia spp., although experimental studies are needed to confirm vector competence. Finally, these data demonstrate a high diversity of piroplasms in both questing and partially fed ticks in the US; although, host-blood meals can

  20. Efficacy of an imidacloprid/flumethrin collar against fleas, ticks, mites and lice on dogs

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The studies reported here were conducted to ascertain the efficacy of imidacloprid/flumethrin incorporated in a slow-release matrix collar, against infestations of dogs by fleas, ticks, mites and lice. Efficacy was evaluated against the flea Ctenocephalides felis felis, the ticks Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Ixodes ricinus, Ixodes scapularis, Dermacentor reticulatus and Dermacentor variabilis, the mite Sarcoptes scabiei and the biting louse Trichodectes canis. Methods Groups of collar-treated dogs (n = 7–10) were infested with fleas and/or ticks at monthly intervals at least, over a period of up to 8 months. Efficacy against fleas was evaluated 24 to 48 h after treatment and 24 h after each re-infestation. Efficacy against ticks was evaluated at 48 h (acaricidal), 6 h (repellent) and 48 h (sustained) after infestation. The effect of regular shampooing or immersion in water on the efficacy of the collars was also tested. Efficacy against flea larvae was assessed by incubating blanket samples after dog contact with viable flea eggs. Effectiveness against lice and mites was evaluated after treatment of naturally infested animals. With the exception of the mites, efficacy was calculated by comparison with untreated negative control groups. Results Efficacy against fleas (24 h) generally exceeded 95%, and against flea larvae it exceeded 99% for 8 months. Sustained acaricidal (48 h) efficacy, covering a period of 8 months was 100% against I. ricinus, starting 2 days after treatment (in vivo), and 100% against I. scapularis (in vitro), above 97% against R. sanguineus, generally above 97% against D. reticulatus and above 90% for D. variabilis. Repellent (6 h) efficacy 2 days after treatment and continuing for 8 months was consistently 100% against I. ricinus, and above 90% against R. sanguineus. Regular shampooing affected efficacy against fleas and ticks to a lesser extent than regular immersion in water. The collars eliminated

  1. The tick salivary protein sialostatin L inhibits the Th9-derived production of the asthma-promoting cytokine interleukin-9 and is effective in the prevention of experimental asthma1

    PubMed Central

    Horka, Helena; Staudt, Valérie; Klein, Matthias; Taube, Christian; Reuter, Sebastian; Dehzad, Nina; Andersen, John F.; Kopecky, Jan; Schild, Hansjörg; Kotsyfakis, Michalis; Hoffmann, Markus; Gerlitzki, Bastian; Stassen, Michael; Bopp, Tobias; Schmitt, Edgar

    2012-01-01

    Ticks developed a multitude of different immune evasion strategies in order to obtain a blood meal. Sialostatin L is an immunosuppressive cysteine protease inhibitor present in the saliva of the hard tick Ixodes scapularis. Herein we demonstrate that sialostatin L strongly inhibits the production of IL-9 by Th9 cells. Since we could show recently that Th9-derived IL-9 is essentially involved in the induction of asthma symptoms, sialostatin L was used for the treatment of experimental asthma. Application of sialostatin L in a model of experimental asthma almost completely abrogated airway hyperresponsiveness and eosinophilia. Our data suggest that sialostatin L can prevent experimental asthma, most likely by inhibiting the IL-9 production of Th9 cells. Thus, alternative to IL-9 neutralization sialostatin L provides the basis for the development of innovative therapeutic strategies to treat asthma. PMID:22327077

  2. Soluble cysteine-rich tick saliva proteins Salp15 and Iric-1 from E. coli

    PubMed Central

    Kolb, Philipp; Vorreiter, Jolanta; Habicht, Jüri; Bentrop, Detlef; Wallich, Reinhard; Nassal, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Ticks transmit numerous pathogens, including borreliae, which cause Lyme disease. Tick saliva contains a complex mix of anti-host defense factors, including the immunosuppressive cysteine-rich secretory glycoprotein Salp15 from Ixodes scapularis ticks and orthologs like Iric-1 from Ixodesricinus. All tick-borne microbes benefit from the immunosuppression at the tick bite site; in addition, borreliae exploit the binding of Salp15 to their outer surface protein C (OspC) for enhanced transmission. Hence, Salp15 proteins are attractive targets for anti-tick vaccines that also target borreliae. However, recombinant Salp proteins are not accessible in sufficient quantity for either vaccine manufacturing or for structural characterization. As an alternative to low-yield eukaryotic systems, we investigated cytoplasmic expression in Escherichia coli, even though this would not result in glycosylation. His-tagged Salp15 was efficiently expressed but insoluble. Among the various solubility-enhancing protein tags tested, DsbA was superior, yielding milligram amounts of soluble, monomeric Salp15 and Iric-1 fusions. Easily accessible mutants enabled epitope mapping of two monoclonal antibodies that, importantly, cross-react with glycosylated Salp15, and revealed interaction sites with OspC. Free Salp15 and Iric-1 from protease-cleavable fusions, despite limited solubility, allowed the recording of 1H–15N 2D NMR spectra, suggesting partial folding of the wild-type proteins but not of Cys-free variants. Fusion to the NMR-compatible GB1 domain sufficiently enhanced solubility to reveal first secondary structure elements in 13C/15N double-labeled Iric-1. Together, E. coli expression of appropriately fused Salp15 proteins may be highly valuable for the molecular characterization of the function and eventually the 3D structure of these medically relevant tick proteins. PMID:25628987

  3. Temporal Changes in Outer Surface Proteins A and C of the Lyme Disease-Associated Spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, during the Chain of Infection in Ticks and Mice

    PubMed Central

    Schwan, Tom G.; Piesman, Joseph

    2000-01-01

    The Lyme disease-associated spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, is maintained in enzootic cycles involving Ixodes ticks and small mammals. Previous studies demonstrated that B. burgdorferi expresses outer surface protein A (OspA) but not OspC when residing in the midgut of unfed ticks. However, after ticks feed on blood, some spirochetes stop making OspA and express OspC. Our current work examined the timing and frequency of OspA and OspC expression by B. burgdorferi in infected Ixodes scapularis nymphs as they fed on uninfected mice and in uninfected I. scapularis larvae and nymphs as they first acquired spirochetes from infected mice. Smears of midguts from previously infected ticks were prepared at 12- or 24-h intervals following attachment through repletion at 96 h, and spirochetes were stained for immunofluorescence for detection of antibodies to OspA and OspC. As shown previously, prior to feeding spirochetes in nymphs expressed OspA but not OspC. During nymphal feeding, however, the proportion of spirochetes expressing OspA decreased, while spirochetes expressing OspC became detectable. In fact, spirochetes rapidly began to express OspC, with the greatest proportion of spirochetes having this protein at 48 h of attachment and then with the proportion decreasing significantly by the time that the ticks had completed feeding. In vitro cultivation of the spirochete at different temperatures showed OspC to be most abundant when the spirochetes were grown at 37°C. Yet, the synthesis of this protein waned with continuous passage at this temperature. Immunofluorescence staining of spirochetes in smears of midguts from larvae and nymphs still attached or having completed feeding on infected mice demonstrated that OspA but not OspC was produced by these spirochetes recently acquired from mice. Therefore, the temporal synthesis of OspC by spirochetes only in feeding ticks that were infected prior to the blood meal suggests that this surface protein is involved in

  4. Repellency of MyggA Natural spray (para-menthane-3,8-diol) and RB86 (neem oil) against the tick Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the field in east-central Sweden.

    PubMed

    Garboui, Samira S; Jaenson, Thomas G T; Pålsson, K

    2006-01-01

    In the field in south-central Sweden, we tested by randomised, standardised methodology the potential anti-tick repellent activity of two concentrations of MyggA Natural spray (containing PMD) (4.2 and 3.2 g/m2) and one of RB86 (with 70% neem oil containing azadirachtin) (3 g/m2) to host seeking nymphs of Ixodes ricinus. Each substance was applied separately to 1 m2 cotton flannel cloths. Nymphal ticks on the cloths, pulled over the vegetation, were recorded at 10-m stops. Nymphal numbers recorded differed significantly between treated cloths [4.2 or 3.2 g MyggA Natural spray/m2 and 3 g RB86/m2] and the untreated control (df = 3, chi2 = 112.74, P < 0.0001). Nymphal numbers also differed significantly among collectors (df = 3, chi2 = 15.80, P < 0.001). Repellency of treated cloths, i.e., 4.2 or 3.2 g MyggA Natural spray/m2 and 3 g RB 86/m2 declined from day 0 (i.e. the day of impregnation) to day 3 after impregnation from 77 to 24%, 58 to 16% and 47 to 0.5%, respectively. This study suggests that all three treatments have significant repellent activities against I. ricinus nymphs. PMID:17103083

  5. DGGE Identification of Microorganisms Associated with Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato- or Anaplasma phagocytophilum-Infected Ixodes ricinus Ticks from Northwest Norway

    PubMed Central

    Vadseth, Hanne Tjelle

    2013-01-01

    Ticks acquire a wide range of microorganisms as a natural part of their lifecycle. Bacteria, viruses, and protozoa can be transmitted to ticks during feeding and free-living phases. DGGE profiling is a molecular method to describe the microbial population associated with ticks and demonstrate some of the complexity and variety of tick-borne microorganisms. The present study profiled a total of 120 I. ricinus ticks, which were divided into three equally sized groups. We found that B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected ticks presented a pattern consisting of bacterial Pseudomonas spp. (67.5%), Bacillus spp. (50%), and Sphingomonas spp. (77.5%), while A. phagocytophilum-infected ticks were associated with Pseudomonas spp. (82.5%) and Sphingomonas spp. (57.5%). All profiles had one or more Pseudomonas species present, and the intramitochondrial endosymbiont Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii was present in more than 25% of the samples. Statistical analysis demonstrated that the microbial communities were not significantly different between the groups and that the groups could not be characterised by a specific microbial population. PMID:24282414

  6. Tick infestation risk and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. infection-induced increase in host-finding efficacy of female Ixodes ricinus under natural conditions.

    PubMed

    Faulde, Michael K; Robbins, Richard G

    2008-02-01

    An investigation of the risk of human tick infestation, together with the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. infection, was conducted in a sylvatic habitat in western Germany to provide data needed for future risk-benefit evaluations of acaricides used for clothing impregnation. Additionally, data were collected on behavioural changes in Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.-infected adult female I. ricinus ticks and the possible impact of such changes on host-finding efficacy. The risk of I. ricinus-infestation was determined by collecting from the protective clothing of volunteers and by dragging in known tick-infested sites in the Kühkopf Mountain area, Koblenz, Germany, from June through October 2006. The overall tick infestation rate per person per hour was 7.4+/-5.5, with the following sex- and stage-specific differences: males 0.32+/-0.37, females 1.1+/-1.2, nymphs 3.6+/-4.4, larvae 2.4+/-3.5. Concurrent dragging revealed an average 19.4+/-16.2 times higher infestation rate as well as a markedly lower infection rate with borreliae in adult I. ricinus ticks when compared to ticks collected from exposed human volunteers. Although the difference in infection rates was statistically significant (P<0.023) only in adult female ticks, our data indicate that B. burgdorferi s.l. infection may increase host-finding efficacy in adult I. ricinus. The overall exposure risk was 1.0 B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected ticks per person per hour of exposure, or 0.25 ticks per 100 m walking distance in the study area. PMID:18273686

  7. Lyme disease risk not amplified in a species-poor vertebrate community: similar Borrelia burgdorferi tick infection prevalence and OspC genotype frequencies

    PubMed Central

    States, S.L.; Brinkerhoff, R. J.; Carpi, G.; Steeves, T.K.; Folsom-O'Keefe, C.; DeVeaux, M.; Diuk-Wasser, M.A.

    2015-01-01

    The effect of biodiversity declines on human health are currently debated, but empirical assessments are lacking. Lyme disease provides a model system to assess relationships between biodiversity and human disease because the etiologic agent, Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted in the United States by the generalist black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis) among a wide range of mammalian and avian hosts. The ‘dilution effect’ hypothesis predicts that species-poor host communities dominated by white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) will pose the greatest human risk because P. leucopus infects the largest numbers of ticks, resulting in higher human exposure to infected I. scapularis ticks. P. leucopus-dominated communities are also expected to maintain a higher frequency of those B. burgdorferi outer surface protein C (ospC) genotypes that this host species more efficiently transmits (‘multiple niche polymorphism’ hypothesis). Because some of these genotypes are human invasive, an additive increase in human disease risk is expected in species-poor settings. We assessed these theoretical predictions by comparing I. scapularis nymphal infection prevalence, density of infected nymphs and B. burgdorferi genotype diversity at sites on Block Island, RI, where P. leucopus dominates the mammalian host community, to species-diverse sites in northeastern Connecticut. We found no support for the dilution effect hypothesis; B. burgdorferi nymphal infection prevalence was similar between island and mainland and the density of B. burgdorferi infected nymphs was higher on the mainland, contrary to what is predicted by the dilution effect hypothesis. Evidence for the multiple niche polymorphism hypothesis was mixed: there was lower ospC genotype diversity at island than mainland sites, but no overrepresentation of genotypes with higher fitness in P. leucopus or that are more invasive in humans. We conclude that other mechanisms explain similar nymphal infection prevalence in

  8. Nuclease Tudor-SN Is Involved in Tick dsRNA-Mediated RNA Interference and Feeding but Not in Defense against Flaviviral or Anaplasma phagocytophilum Rickettsial Infection

    PubMed Central

    Ayllón, Nieves; Naranjo, Victoria; Hajdušek, Ondrej; Villar, Margarita; Galindo, Ruth C.; Kocan, Katherine M.; Alberdi, Pilar; Šíma, Radek; Cabezas-Cruz, Alejandro; Rückert, Claudia; Bell-Sakyi, Lesley; Kazimírová, Mária; Havlíková, Sabína; Klempa, Boris; Kopáček, Petr; de la Fuente, José

    2015-01-01

    Tudor staphylococcal nuclease (Tudor-SN) and Argonaute (Ago) are conserved components of the basic RNA interference (RNAi) machinery with a variety of functions including immune response and gene regulation. The RNAi machinery has been characterized in tick vectors of human and animal diseases but information is not available on the role of Tudor-SN in tick RNAi and other cellular processes. Our hypothesis is that tick Tudor-SN is part of the RNAi machinery and may be involved in innate immune response and other cellular processes. To address this hypothesis, Ixodes scapularis and I. ricinus ticks and/or cell lines were used to annotate and characterize the role of Tudor-SN in dsRNA-mediated RNAi, immune response to infection with the rickettsia Anaplasma phagocytophilum and the flaviviruses TBEV or LGTV and tick feeding. The results showed that Tudor-SN is conserved in ticks and involved in dsRNA-mediated RNAi and tick feeding but not in defense against infection with the examined viral and rickettsial pathogens. The effect of Tudor-SN gene knockdown on tick feeding could be due to down-regulation of genes that are required for protein processing and blood digestion through a mechanism that may involve selective degradation of dsRNAs enriched in G:U pairs that form as a result of adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing. These results demonstrated that Tudor-SN plays a role in tick RNAi pathway and feeding but no strong evidence for a role in innate immune responses to pathogen infection was found. PMID:26186700

  9. Different Populations of Blacklegged Tick Nymphs Exhibit Differences in Questing Behavior That Have Implications for Human Lyme Disease Risk

    PubMed Central

    Arsnoe, Isis M.; Hickling, Graham J.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; McElreath, Richard; Tsao, Jean I.

    2015-01-01

    Animal behavior can have profound effects on pathogen transmission and disease incidence. We studied the questing (= host-seeking) behavior of blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) nymphs, which are the primary vectors of Lyme disease in the eastern United States. Lyme disease is common in northern but not in southern regions, and prior ecological studies have found that standard methods used to collect host-seeking nymphs in northern regions are unsuccessful in the south. This led us to hypothesize that there are behavior differences between northern and southern nymphs that alter how readily they are collected, and how likely they are to transmit the etiological agent of Lyme disease to humans. To examine this question, we compared the questing behavior of I. scapularis nymphs originating from one northern (Lyme disease endemic) and two southern (non-endemic) US regions at field sites in Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Florida. Laboratory-raised uninfected nymphs were monitored in circular 0.2 m2 arenas containing wooden dowels (mimicking stems of understory vegetation) for 10 (2011) and 19 (2012) weeks. The probability of observing nymphs questing on these stems (2011), and on stems, on top of leaf litter, and on arena walls (2012) was much greater for northern than for southern origin ticks in both years and at all field sites (19.5 times greater in 2011; 3.6–11.6 times greater in 2012). Our findings suggest that southern origin I. scapularis nymphs rarely emerge from the leaf litter, and consequently are unlikely to contact passing humans. We propose that this difference in questing behavior accounts for observed geographic differences in the efficacy of the standard sampling techniques used to collect questing nymphs. These findings also support our hypothesis that very low Lyme disease incidence in southern states is, in part, a consequence of the type of host-seeking behavior exhibited by southern populations of the key Lyme disease vector. PMID

  10. Different populations of blacklegged tick nymphs exhibit differences in questing behavior that have implications for human lyme disease risk.

    PubMed

    Arsnoe, Isis M; Hickling, Graham J; Ginsberg, Howard S; McElreath, Richard; Tsao, Jean I

    2015-01-01

    Animal behavior can have profound effects on pathogen transmission and disease incidence. We studied the questing (= host-seeking) behavior of blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) nymphs, which are the primary vectors of Lyme disease in the eastern United States. Lyme disease is common in northern but not in southern regions, and prior ecological studies have found that standard methods used to collect host-seeking nymphs in northern regions are unsuccessful in the south. This led us to hypothesize that there are behavior differences between northern and southern nymphs that alter how readily they are collected, and how likely they are to transmit the etiological agent of Lyme disease to humans. To examine this question, we compared the questing behavior of I. scapularis nymphs originating from one northern (Lyme disease endemic) and two southern (non-endemic) US regions at field sites in Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Florida. Laboratory-raised uninfected nymphs were monitored in circular 0.2 m2 arenas containing wooden dowels (mimicking stems of understory vegetation) for 10 (2011) and 19 (2012) weeks. The probability of observing nymphs questing on these stems (2011), and on stems, on top of leaf litter, and on arena walls (2012) was much greater for northern than for southern origin ticks in both years and at all field sites (19.5 times greater in 2011; 3.6-11.6 times greater in 2012). Our findings suggest that southern origin I. scapularis nymphs rarely emerge from the leaf litter, and consequently are unlikely to contact passing humans. We propose that this difference in questing behavior accounts for observed geographic differences in the efficacy of the standard sampling techniques used to collect questing nymphs. These findings also support our hypothesis that very low Lyme disease incidence in southern states is, in part, a consequence of the type of host-seeking behavior exhibited by southern populations of the key Lyme disease vector. PMID

  11. Different populations of blacklegged tick nymphs exhibit differences in questing behavior that have implications for human lyme disease risk

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arsnoe, Isis M.; Hickling, Graham J.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; McElreath, Richard; Tsao, Jean I.

    2015-01-01

    Animal behavior can have profound effects on pathogen transmission and disease incidence. We studied the questing (= host-seeking) behavior of blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) nymphs, which are the primary vectors of Lyme disease in the eastern United States. Lyme disease is common in northern but not in southern regions, and prior ecological studies have found that standard methods used to collect host-seeking nymphs in northern regions are unsuccessful in the south. This led us to hypothesize that there are behavior differences between northern and southern nymphs that alter how readily they are collected, and how likely they are to transmit the etiological agent of Lyme disease to humans. To examine this question, we compared the questing behavior of I. scapularis nymphs originating from one northern (Lyme disease endemic) and two southern (non-endemic) US regions at field sites in Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Florida. Laboratory-raised uninfected nymphs were monitored in circular 0.2 m2 arenas containing wooden dowels (mimicking stems of understory vegetation) for 10 (2011) and 19 (2012) weeks. The probability of observing nymphs questing on these stems (2011), and on stems, on top of leaf litter, and on arena walls (2012) was much greater for northern than for southern origin ticks in both years and at all field sites (19.5 times greater in 2011; 3.6-11.6 times greater in 2012). Our findings suggest that southern origin I. scapularis nymphs rarely emerge from the leaf litter, and consequently are unlikely to contact passing humans. We propose that this difference in questing behavior accounts for observed geographic differences in the efficacy of the standard sampling techniques used to collect questing nymphs. These findings also support our hypothesis that very low Lyme disease incidence in southern states is, in part, a consequence of the type of host-seeking behavior exhibited by southern populations of the key Lyme disease vector.

  12. The Rickettsia Endosymbiont of Ixodes pacificus Contains All the Genes of De Novo Folate Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Bodnar, James; Mortazavi, Bobak; Laurent, Timothy; Deason, Jeff; Thephavongsa, Khanhkeo; Zhong, Jianmin

    2015-01-01

    Ticks and other arthropods often are hosts to nutrient providing bacterial endosymbionts, which contribute to their host’s fitness by supplying nutrients such as vitamins and amino acids. It has been detected, in our lab, that Ixodes pacificus is host to Rickettsia species phylotype G021. This endosymbiont is predominantly present, and 100% maternally transmitted in I. pacificus. To study roles of phylotype G021 in I. pacificus, bioinformatic and molecular approaches were carried out. MUMmer genome alignments of whole genome sequence of I. scapularis, a close relative to I. pacificus, against completely sequenced genomes of R. bellii OSU85-389, R. conorii, and R. felis, identified 8,190 unique sequences that are homologous to Rickettsia sequences in the NCBI Trace Archive. MetaCyc metabolic reconstructions revealed that all folate gene orthologues (folA, folC, folE, folKP, ptpS) required for de novo folate biosynthesis are present in the genome of Rickettsia buchneri in I. scapularis. To examine the metabolic capability of phylotype G021 in I. pacificus, genes of the folate biosynthesis pathway of the bacterium were PCR amplified using degenerate primers. BLAST searches identified that nucleotide sequences of the folA, folC, folE, folKP, and ptpS genes possess 98.6%, 98.8%, 98.9%, 98.5% and 99.0% identity respectively to the corresponding genes of Rickettsia buchneri. Phylogenetic tree constructions show that the folate genes of phylotype G021 and homologous genes from various Rickettsia species are monophyletic. This study has shown that all folate genes exist in the genome of Rickettsia species phylotype G021 and that this bacterium has the genetic capability for de novo folate synthesis. PMID:26650541

  13. The Rickettsia Endosymbiont of Ixodes pacificus Contains All the Genes of De Novo Folate Biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Daniel J; Torkelson, Jessica L; Bodnar, James; Mortazavi, Bobak; Laurent, Timothy; Deason, Jeff; Thephavongsa, Khanhkeo; Zhong, Jianmin

    2015-01-01

    Ticks and other arthropods often are hosts to nutrient providing bacterial endosymbionts, which contribute to their host's fitness by supplying nutrients such as vitamins and amino acids. It has been detected, in our lab, that Ixodes pacificus is host to Rickettsia species phylotype G021. This endosymbiont is predominantly present, and 100% maternally transmitted in I. pacificus. To study roles of phylotype G021 in I. pacificus, bioinformatic and molecular approaches were carried out. MUMmer genome alignments of whole genome sequence of I. scapularis, a close relative to I. pacificus, against completely sequenced genomes of R. bellii OSU85-389, R. conorii, and R. felis, identified 8,190 unique sequences that are homologous to Rickettsia sequences in the NCBI Trace Archive. MetaCyc metabolic reconstructions revealed that all folate gene orthologues (folA, folC, folE, folKP, ptpS) required for de novo folate biosynthesis are present in the genome of Rickettsia buchneri in I. scapularis. To examine the metabolic capability of phylotype G021 in I. pacificus, genes of the folate biosynthesis pathway of the bacterium were PCR amplified using degenerate primers. BLAST searches identified that nucleotide sequences of the folA, folC, folE, folKP, and ptpS genes possess 98.6%, 98.8%, 98.9%, 98.5% and 99.0% identity respectively to the corresponding genes of Rickettsia buchneri. Phylogenetic tree constructions show that the folate genes of phylotype G021 and homologous genes from various Rickettsia species are monophyletic. This study has shown that all folate genes exist in the genome of Rickettsia species phylotype G021 and that this bacterium has the genetic capability for de novo folate synthesis. PMID:26650541

  14. Reducing Tick-Borne Disease in Alabama: Linking Health Risk Perception with Spatial Analysis Using the NASA Earth Observing System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hemmings, S.; Renneboog, N.; Firsing, S.; Capilouto, E.; Harden, J.; Hyden, R.; Tipre, M.; Zhang, Y.

    2010-01-01

    Lyme disease (LD) accounts for most vector-borne disease reports in the U.S., and although its existence in Alabama remains controversial, other tick-borne illnesses (TBI) such as Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI) pose a health concern in the state. Phase One of the Marshall Space Flight Center-UAB DEVELOP study of TBI identified the presence of the chain of infection for LD (Ixodes scapularis ticks carrying Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria) and STARI (Amblyomma americanum ticks and an as-yet-unconfirmed agent) in Alabama. Both LD and STARI are associated with the development of erythema migrans rashes around an infected tick bite, and while treatable with oral antibiotics, a review of educational resources available to state residents revealed low levels of prevention information. To improve prevention, recognition, and treatment of TBI in Alabama, Phase Two builds a health communication campaign based on vector habitat mapping and risk perception assessment. NASA Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) satellite imagery identified likely tick habitats using remotely sensed measurements of vegetation vigor (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) and soil moisture. Likely tick habitats, identified as those containing both high vegetation density and soil moisture, included Oak Mountain State Park, Bankhead National Forest, and Talladega National Forest. To target a high-risk group -- outdoor recreation program participants at Alabama universities -- the study developed a behavior survey instrument based on existing studies of LD risk factors and theoretical constructs from the Social Ecological Model and Health Belief Model. The survey instrument was amended to include geographic variables in the assessment of TBI knowledge, attitudes, and prevention behaviors, and the vector habitat model will be expanded to incorporate additional environmental variables and in situ data. Remotely sensed environmental data combined with

  15. Repellency to ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) of extracts of Nigella sativa (Ranunculaceae) and the anti-inflammatory DogsBestFriend™.

    PubMed

    Carroll, J F; Babish, J G; Pacioretty, L M; Kramer, M

    2016-09-01

    Motivated by observations that the canine anti-inflammatory cream DogsBestFriend™ (DBF) appeared to deter flies, mosquitoes, and ticks from treated animals, repellent efficacy bioassays using four species of ticks were conducted with three extracts of Nigella sativa L. (Ranunculaceae), a constituent of DBF. The DBF cream was tested against nymphs of lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (L.). In vertical filter paper assays, the three extracts applied at 0.413 mg extract/cm(2) filter paper repelled 96.7-100 % of brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille) nymphs, whereas, at the same rate, only one extract repelled >90 % A. americanum nymphs. Adult (mixed sexes) American dog ticks, Dermacentor variabilis (Say), required a higher concentration to be repelled effectively; two extracts, applied at 0.827 mg extract/cm(2) filter paper, repelled ≥90 % of the D. variabilis. In contrast, all extracts applied at much lower concentration (0.206 mg extract/cm(2) filter paper) repelled 100 % adult blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say (only females tested). Of the two more repellent extracts, one lost most of its activity against A. americanum nymphs in <4 h when applied at 0.827 mg extract/cm(2) filter paper, whereas the other repelled 66.7 % of the nymphs at 192 h after application. At 0.206 mg extract/cm(2) filter paper, one extract was as repellent as deet against A. americanum nymphs. In a vertical bioassay in which nylon organdy was substituted for filter paper, DBF, at the rates of 1.67 and 0.835 mg cream/cm(2), repelled 76.7 and 30.0 % A. americanum nymphs, respectively. These findings indicate that when applied appropriately DBF should afford some protection to canines against tick bites. PMID:27394440

  16. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Stricto ospC Alleles Associated with Human Lyme Borreliosis Worldwide in Non-Human-Biting Tick Ixodes affinis and Rodent Hosts in Southeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Golovchenko, Maryna; Hönig, Václav; Mallátová, Nadja; Krbková, Lenka; Mikulášek, Peter; Fedorova, Natalia; Belfiore, Natalia M.; Grubhoffer, Libor; Lane, Robert S.; Oliver, James H.

    2013-01-01

    Comparative analysis of ospC genes from 127 Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto strains collected in European and North American regions where Lyme disease is endemic and where it is not endemic revealed a close relatedness of geographically distinct populations. ospC alleles A, B, and L were detected on both continents in vectors and hosts, including humans. Six ospC alleles, A, B, L, Q, R, and V, were prevalent in Europe; 4 of them were detected in samples of human origin. Ten ospC alleles, A, B, D, E3, F, G, H, H3, I3, and M, were identified in the far-western United States. Four ospC alleles, B, G, H, and L, were abundant in the southeastern United States. Here we present the first expanded analysis of ospC alleles of B. burgdorferi strains from the southeastern United States with respect to their relatedness to strains from other North American and European localities. We demonstrate that ospC genotypes commonly associated with human Lyme disease in European and North American regions where the disease is endemic were detected in B. burgdorferi strains isolated from the non-human-biting tick Ixodes affinis and rodent hosts in the southeastern United States. We discovered that some ospC alleles previously known only from Europe are widely distributed in the southeastern United States, a finding that confirms the hypothesis of transoceanic migration of Borrelia species. PMID:23263953

  17. Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis Agent Infection in a Pony Vaccinated with a Borrelia burgdorferi Recombinant OspA Vaccine and Challenged by Exposure to Naturally Infected Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Yung-Fu; McDonough, Sean P.; Chang, Chao-Fu; Shin, Kwang-Soon; Yen, William; Divers, Thomas

    2000-01-01

    A pony was vaccinated with recombinant OspA vaccine (rOspA) and then exposed 3 months later to Borrelia burgdorferi-infected ticks (Ixodes scapularis) collected in Westchester County, N.Y. At 2 weeks after tick exposure, the pony developed a high fever (105°F). Buffy coat smears showed that 20% of neutrophils contained ehrlichial inclusion bodies (morulae). Flunixin Meglumine (1 g daily) was given for 2 days, and the body temperature returned to normal. PCR for ehrlichial DNA was performed on blood samples for 10 consecutive days beginning when the pony was first febrile. This pony was monitored for another 3.5 months but developed no further clinical signs. The 44-kDa immunodominant human granulocytic ehrlichiosis antigen gene was amplified by PCR and cloned into a pCR2.1 vector. DNA sequence analysis of this gene showed it was only 8 bp different (99% identity) from the results reported by others (J.W. Ijdo et al., Infect. Immun. 66:3264–3269, 1998). Western blot analysis, growth inhibition assays, and repeated attempts to isolate B. burgdorferi all demonstrated the pony was protected against B. burgdorferi infection. These results highlight the potential for ticks to harbor and transmit several pathogens simultaneously, which further complicates the diagnosis and vaccination of these emerging tick-borne diseases. PMID:10618280

  18. Tick Saliva Enhances Powassan Virus Transmission to the Host, Influencing Its Dissemination and the Course of Disease

    PubMed Central

    Hermance, Meghan E.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Powassan virus (POWV) is an encephalitic tick-borne flavivirus which can result in serious neuroinvasive disease with up to a 10% case fatality rate. The study objective was to determine whether the salivary gland extract (SGE) from Ixodes scapularis ticks facilitates the transmission and dissemination of POWV in a process known as saliva-activated transmission. Groups of BALB/c mice were footpad inoculated with either a high dose of POWV with and without SGE or a low dose of POWV with and without SGE. Mice from each group were sacrificed daily. Organ viral loads and gene expression profiles were evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR. Both groups of mice infected with high-dose POWV showed severe neurological signs of disease preceding death. The presence of SGE did not affect POWV transmission or disease outcome for mice infected with the high dose of POWV. Neuroinvasion, paralysis, and death occurred for all mice infected with the low dose of POWV plus SGE; however, for mice infected with the low dose of POWV in the absence of SGE, there were no clinical signs of infection and no mice succumbed to disease. Although this group displayed low-level viremias, all mice were completely healthy, and it was the only group in which POWV was cleared from the lymph nodes. We conclude that saliva-activated transmission occurs in mice infected with a low dose of POWV. Our study is the first to demonstrate virus dose-dependent saliva-activated transmission, warranting further investigation of the specific salivary factors responsible for enhancing POWV transmission. IMPORTANCE Powassan virus (POWV) is a tick-borne flavivirus that continues to emerge in the United States, as is evident by the surge in number and expanding geographic range of confirmed cases in the past decade. This neuroinvasive virus is transmitted to humans by infected tick bites. Successful tick feeding is facilitated by a collection of pharmacologically active factors in tick saliva. In a process

  19. Vector of Trypanosoma copemani identified as Ixodes sp.

    PubMed

    Austen, J M; Ryan, U M; Friend, J A; Ditcham, W G F; Reid, S A

    2011-06-01

    A total of 41 ticks were collected from 15 quokkas on Bald Island and 2 ticks from a Gilbert's potoroo from Two Peoples Bay. Three species of Ixodid ticks Ixodes australiensis, Ixodes hirsti and Ixodes myrmecobii were identified on the quokkas known to have a high prevalence of Trypanosoma copemani. Tick faeces from ticks isolated from 8 individual quokkas and a Gilbert's potoroo were examined with one identified as positive for trypanosomes. Faecal examination revealed trypanosomes similar to in vitro life-cycle stages of T. copemani. In total 12 ticks were dissected and trypanosomes found in sections of their midgut and haemolymph, 49 and 117 days after collection. Tick faeces, salivary glands and midguts from I. australiensis were screened using an 18S rRNA PCR with amplification seen only from the midguts. Sequencing showed 100% homology to T. copemani (genotype A) and 99.9% homology to the wombat (AII) isolate of T. copemani. Trypanosomes were only detected in I. australiensis as neither I. hirsti nor I. myrmecobii survived the initial 30-day storage conditions. We therefore identify a vector for T. copemani as I. australiensis and, given the detection of trypanosomes in the faeces, suggest that transmission is via the faecal-oral route. PMID:21518469

  20. [Detection of Babesia spp. DNA in small mammals and ixodic ticks on the territory of north Ural, west Siberia and far east of Russia].

    PubMed

    Rar, V A; Epikhina, T I; Livanova, N N; Panov, V V; Pukhovskaia, N M; Vysochina, N P; Ivanov, L I

    2010-01-01

    Totally, 932 small mammals and 458 questing adult Ixodes persulcatus from Sverdlovsk and Novosibirsk regions and Khabarovsk Territory, as well as 128 Haemaphysalis japonica, 34 H. concinna and 29 Dermacentor silvarum from Khabarovsk Territory were examined for the presence of Babesia by nested PCR based on the 18S rRNA gene. Babesia microti DNA was found in samples of small mammals from all the studied regions--in 36.2% of samples from Sverdlovsk region, 5.3% of samples from Novosibirsk region, and 6.7% of samples from Khabarovsk Territory. The determined B. microti 18S rRNA gene sequences from Novosibirsk region (6 sequences) and from Khabarovsk Territory (10 sequences) were identical to each other and to the sequences of pathogenic for human B. microti US-type, while the determined B. microti 18S rRNA gene sequences from Sverdlovsk region (12 sequences) were identical to those of B. microti strain Munich. B. microti were found most frequently in samples of Myodes spp., they were found also in Microtus spp., Apodemus spp., Sorer spp., and Sicista betulinav. It was shown that one of 347 analyzed I. persulcatus from Novosibirsk region and one of 77 I. persulcatus from Khabarovsk Territory contained B. microti US-type DNA. One I. persulcatus from Novosibirsk region contained B. divergens DNA. In this work B. divergens was for the first time determined in I. persulcatus and B. microti in I. persulcatus in Asian part of Russia. Three different genetic variants of Babesia sensu stricto were found in three H. japonica from Khabarovsk Territory. The first genetic variant was closely related to Babesia sp. revealed in a feral raccoon in Japan (99.9% similarity on the basis of 18S rRNA gene sequences). Two others Babesia genetic variants were most similar to the ovine pathogen Babesia crassa (97.1-97.6% similarity on the basis of 18S rRNA gene sequences). PMID:20886686

  1. Vaccination against Bm86 Homologues in Rabbits Does Not Impair Ixodes ricinus Feeding or Oviposition.

    PubMed

    Coumou, Jeroen; Wagemakers, Alex; Trentelman, Jos J; Nijhof, Ard M; Hovius, Joppe W

    2014-01-01

    Human tick-borne diseases that are transmitted by Ixodes ricinus, such as Lyme borreliosis and tick borne encephalitis, are on the rise in Europe. Diminishing I. ricinus populations in nature can reduce tick exposure to humans, and one way to do so is by developing an anti-vector vaccine against tick antigens. Currently, there is only one anti-vector vaccine available against ticks, which is a veterinary vaccine based on the tick antigen Bm86 in the gut of Rhipicephalus microplus. Bm86 vaccine formulations cause a reduction in the number of Rhipicephalus microplus ticks that successfully feed, i.e. lower engorgement weights and a decrease in the number of oviposited eggs. Furthermore, Bm86 vaccines reduce transmission of bovine Babesia spp. Previously two conserved Bm86 homologues in I. ricinus ticks, designated as Ir86-1 and Ir86-2, were described. Here we investigated the effect of a vaccine against recombinant Ir86-1, Ir86-2 or a combination of both on Ixodes ricinus feeding. Recombinant Ixodes ricinus Bm86 homologues were expressed in a Drosophila expression system and rabbits were immunized with rIr86-1, rIr86-2, a combination of both or ovalbumin as a control. Each animal was infested with 50 female adults and 50 male adults Ixodes ricinus and tick mortality, engorgement weights and egg mass were analyzed. Although serum IgG titers against rIr86 proteins were elicited, no effect was found on tick feeding between the rIr86 vaccinated animals and ovalbumin vaccinated animals. We conclude that vaccination against Bm86 homologues in Ixodes ricinus is not an effective approach to control Ixodes ricinus populations, despite the clear effects of Bm86 vaccination against Rhipicephalus microplus. PMID:25919587

  2. Vaccination against Bm86 Homologues in Rabbits Does Not Impair Ixodes ricinus Feeding or Oviposition

    PubMed Central

    Coumou, Jeroen; Wagemakers, Alex; Trentelman, Jos J.; Nijhof, Ard M.; Hovius, Joppe W.

    2015-01-01

    Human tick-borne diseases that are transmitted by Ixodes ricinus, such as Lyme borreliosis and tick borne encephalitis, are on the rise in Europe. Diminishing I. ricinus populations in nature can reduce tick exposure to humans, and one way to do so is by developing an anti-vector vaccine against tick antigens. Currently, there is only one anti-vector vaccine available against ticks, which is a veterinary vaccine based on the tick antigen Bm86 in the gut of Rhipicephalus microplus. Bm86 vaccine formulations cause a reduction in the number of Rhipicephalus microplus ticks that successfully feed, i.e. lower engorgement weights and a decrease in the number of oviposited eggs. Furthermore, Bm86 vaccines reduce transmission of bovine Babesia spp. Previously two conserved Bm86 homologues in I. ricinus ticks, designated as Ir86-1 and Ir86-2, were described. Here we investigated the effect of a vaccine against recombinant Ir86-1, Ir86-2 or a combination of both on Ixodes ricinus feeding. Recombinant Ixodes ricinus Bm86 homologues were expressed in a Drosophila expression system and rabbits were immunized with rIr86-1, rIr86-2, a combination of both or ovalbumin as a control. Each animal was infested with 50 female adults and 50 male adults Ixodes ricinus and tick mortality, engorgement weights and egg mass were analyzed. Although serum IgG titers against rIr86 proteins were elicited, no effect was found on tick feeding between the rIr86 vaccinated animals and ovalbumin vaccinated animals. We conclude that vaccination against Bm86 homologues in Ixodes ricinus is not an effective approach to control Ixodes ricinus populations, despite the clear effects of Bm86 vaccination against Rhipicephalus microplus. PMID:25919587

  3. Life cycle of Ixodes (Ixodes) loricatus (Acari: Ixodidae) under laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Schumaker, T T; Labruna, M B; Abel, I dos S; Clerici, P T

    2000-09-01

    The life cycle of Ixodes (Ixodes) loricatus Neumann, reared in the laboratory, is described. Engorged females collected from opossums trapped in the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo, Brazil, which were used to start the laboratory colonies, were designated as BMG and CSP, respectively. Larval and nymphal ticks from both colonies fed separately on Rattus norvergicus Berkenhout or Calomys callosus Rengger, whereas Didelphis marsupialis L and Didelphis albiventris Lund were used as hosts for BMG and CSP adults, respectively. Biological and developmental data obtained from ticks of both the BMG and CSP colonies that were reared separately for two consecutive generations were compared. The percentage of fed or molted ticks reared on C. callosus was higher than that recorded for ticks fed on R. norvergicus in the majority of the observations. Despite significant differences among several of the biological parameters, the pattern of the life cycles of the two tick colonies was similar. Results indicated that the mean life cycle duration of I. (I.) loricatus was approximately 7 mo from parental oviposition to the occurrence of F1 eggs, regardless of geographic origin or host species. PMID:11004783

  4. Co-Infection of Blacklegged Ticks with Babesia microti and Borrelia burgdorferi Is Higher than Expected and Acquired from Small Mammal Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Hersh, Michelle H.; Ostfeld, Richard S.; McHenry, Diana J.; Tibbetts, Michael; Brunner, Jesse L.; Killilea, Mary E.; LoGiudice, Kathleen; Schmidt, Kenneth A.; Keesing, Felicia

    2014-01-01

    Humans in the northeastern and midwestern United States are at increasing risk of acquiring tickborne diseases – not only Lyme disease, but also two emerging diseases, human granulocytic anaplasmosis and human babesiosis. Co-infection with two or more of these pathogens can increase the severity of health impacts. The risk of co-infection is intensified by the ecology of these three diseases because all three pathogens (Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti) are transmitted by the same vector, blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis), and are carried by many of the same reservoir hosts. The risk of exposure to multiple pathogens from a single tick bite and the sources of co-infected ticks are not well understood. In this study, we quantify the risk of co-infection by measuring infection prevalence in 4,368 questing nymphs throughout an endemic region for all three diseases (Dutchess County, NY) to determine if co-infections occur at frequencies other than predicted by independent assortment of pathogens. Further, we identify sources of co-infection by quantifying rates of co-infection on 3,275 larval ticks fed on known hosts. We find significant deviations of levels of co-infection in questing nymphs, most notably 83% more co-infection with Babesia microti and Borrelia burgdorferi than predicted by chance alone. Further, this pattern of increased co-infection was observed in larval ticks that fed on small mammal hosts, but not on meso-mammal, sciurid, or avian hosts. Co-infections involving A. phagocytophilum were less common, and fewer co-infections of A. phagocytophilum and B. microti than predicted by chance were observed in both questing nymphs and larvae fed on small mammals. Medical practitioners should be aware of the elevated risk of B. microti/B. burgdorferi co-infection. PMID:24940999

  5. ANTIDotE: anti-tick vaccines to prevent tick-borne diseases in Europe

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Ixodes ricinus transmits bacterial, protozoal and viral pathogens, causing disease and forming an increasing health concern in Europe. ANTIDotE is an European Commission funded consortium of seven institutes, which aims to identify and characterize tick proteins involved in feeding and pathogen transmission. The knowledge gained will be used to develop and evaluate anti-tick vaccines that may prevent multiple human tick-borne diseases. Strategies encompassing anti-tick vaccines to prevent transmission of pathogens to humans, animals or wildlife will be developed with relevant stakeholders with the ultimate aim of reducing the incidence of tick-borne diseases in humans. PMID:24559082

  6. Molecular and pharmacological characterization of the Chelicerata pyrokinin receptor from the southern cattle tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yunlong; Nachman, Ronald J; Pietrantonio, Patricia V

    2015-05-01

    We identified the first pyrokinin receptor (Rhimi-PKR) in Chelicerata and analyzed structure-activity relationships of cognate ligand neuropeptides and their analogs. Based on comparative and phylogenetic analyses, this receptor, which we cloned from larvae of the cattle tick Rhipicephalus microplus (Acari: Ixodidae), is the ortholog of the insect pyrokinin (PK)/pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN)/diapause hormone (DH) neuropeptide family receptor. Rhimi-PKR functional analyses using calcium bioluminescence were performed with a developed stable recombinant CHO-K1 cell line. Rhimi-PKR was activated by four endogenous PKs from the Lyme disease vector, the tick Ixodes scapularis (EC50s range: 85.4 nM-546 nM), and weakly by another tick PRX-amide peptide, periviscerokinin (PVK) (EC50 = 24.5 μM). PK analogs with substitutions of leucine, isoleucine or valine at the C-terminus for three tick PK peptides, Ixosc-PK1, Ixosc-PK2, and Ixosc-PK3, retained their potency on Rhimi-PKR. Therefore, Rhimi-PKR is less selective and substantially more tolerant than insect PK receptors of C-terminal substitutions of leucine to isoleucine or valine, a key structural feature that serves to distinguish insect PK from PVK/CAP2b receptors. In females, ovary and synganglion had the highest Rhimi-PKR relative transcript abundance followed by the rectal sac, salivary glands, Malpighian tubules, and midgut. This is the first pharmacological analysis of a PK/PBAN/DH-like receptor from the Chelicerata, which will now permit the discovery of the endocrinological roles of this neuropeptide family in vectors of vertebrate pathogens. PMID:25747529

  7. Why so many unknown genes? Partitioning orphans from a representative transcriptome of the lone star tick Amblyomma americanum

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Genomic resources within the phylum Arthropoda are largely limited to the true insects but are beginning to include unexplored subphyla, such as the Crustacea and Chelicerata. Investigations of these understudied taxa uncover high frequencies of orphan genes, which lack detectable sequence homology to genes in pre-existing databases. The ticks (Acari: Chelicerata) are one such understudied taxon for which genomic resources are urgently needed. Ticks are obligate blood-feeders that vector major diseases of humans, domesticated animals, and wildlife. In analyzing a transcriptome of the lone star tick Amblyomma americanum, one of the most abundant disease vectors in the United States, we find a high representation of unannotated sequences. We apply a general framework for quantifying the origin and true representation of unannotated sequences in a dataset and for evaluating the biological significance of orphan genes. Results Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were derived from different life stages and populations of A. americanum and combined with ESTs available from GenBank to produce 14,310 ESTs, over twice the number previously available. The vast majority (71%) has no sequence homology to proteins archived in UniProtKB. We show that poor sequence or assembly quality is not a major contributor to this high representation by orphan genes. Moreover, most unannotated sequences are functional: a microarray experiment demonstrates that 59% of functional ESTs are unannotated. Lastly, we attempt to further annotate our EST dataset using genomic datasets from other members of the Acari, including Ixodes scapularis, four other tick species and the mite Tetranychus urticae. We find low homology with these species, consistent with significant divergence within this subclass. Conclusions We conclude that the abundance of orphan genes in A. americanum likely results from 1) taxonomic isolation stemming from divergence within the tick lineage and limited genomic

  8. Oral Immunization with OspC Does Not Prevent Tick-Borne Borrelia burgdorferi Infection

    PubMed Central

    Melo, Rita; Richer, Luciana; Johnson, Daniel L.; Gomes-Solecki, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Oral vaccination strategies are of interest to prevent transmission of Lyme disease as they can be used to deliver vaccines to humans, pets, and to natural wildlife reservoir hosts of Borrelia burgdorferi. We developed a number of oral vaccines based in E. coli expressing recombinant OspC type K, OspB, BBK32 from B. burgdorferi, and Salp25, Salp15 from Ixodes scapularis. Of the five immunogenic candidates only OspC induced significant levels of antigen-specific IgG and IgA when administered to mice via the oral route. Antibodies to OspC did not prevent dissemination of B. burgdorferi as determined by the presence of spirochetes in ear, heart and bladder tissues four weeks after challenge. Next generation sequencing of genomic DNA from ticks identified multiple phyletic types of B. burgdorferi OspC (A, D, E, F, I, J, K, M, Q, T, X) in nymphs that engorged on vaccinated mice. PCR amplification of OspC types A and K from flat and engorged nymphal ticks, and from heart and bladder tissues collected after challenge confirmed sequencing analysis. Quantification of spirochete growth in a borreliacidal assay shows that both types of spirochetes (A and K) survived in the presence of OspC-K specific serum whereas the spirochetes were killed by OspA specific serum. We show that oral vaccination of C3H-HeN mice with OspC-K induced significant levels of antigen-specific IgG. However, these serologic antibodies did not protect mice from infection with B. burgdorferi expressing homologous or heterologous types of OspC after tick challenge. PMID:26990760

  9. Oral Immunization with OspC Does Not Prevent Tick-Borne Borrelia burgdorferi Infection.

    PubMed

    Melo, Rita; Richer, Luciana; Johnson, Daniel L; Gomes-Solecki, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Oral vaccination strategies are of interest to prevent transmission of Lyme disease as they can be used to deliver vaccines to humans, pets, and to natural wildlife reservoir hosts of Borrelia burgdorferi. We developed a number of oral vaccines based in E. coli expressing recombinant OspC type K, OspB, BBK32 from B. burgdorferi, and Salp25, Salp15 from Ixodes scapularis. Of the five immunogenic candidates only OspC induced significant levels of antigen-specific IgG and IgA when administered to mice via the oral route. Antibodies to OspC did not prevent dissemination of B. burgdorferi as determined by the presence of spirochetes in ear, heart and bladder tissues four weeks after challenge. Next generation sequencing of genomic DNA from ticks identified multiple phyletic types of B. burgdorferi OspC (A, D, E, F, I, J, K, M, Q, T, X) in nymphs that engorged on vaccinated mice. PCR amplification of OspC types A and K from flat and engorged nymphal ticks, and from heart and bladder tissues collected after challenge confirmed sequencing analysis. Quantification of spirochete growth in a borreliacidal assay shows that both types of spirochetes (A and K) survived in the presence of OspC-K specific serum whereas the spirochetes were killed by OspA specific serum. We show that oral vaccination of C3H-HeN mice with OspC-K induced significant levels of antigen-specific IgG. However, these serologic antibodies did not protect mice from infection with B. burgdorferi expressing homologous or heterologous types of OspC after tick challenge. PMID:26990760

  10. Tick Removal

    MedlinePlus

    ... ticks Tickborne diseases abroad Borrelia miyamotoi Borrelia mayonii Tick Removal Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir If ... a tick quite effectively. How to remove a tick Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick ...

  11. Determination of the effective dose of a novel oral formulation of sarolaner (Simparica™) for the treatment and month-long control of fleas and ticks on dogs.

    PubMed

    McTier, Tom L; Six, Robert H; Fourie, Josephus J; Pullins, Aleah; Hedges, Laura; Mahabir, Sean P; Myers, Melanie R

    2016-05-30

    Three laboratory studies were conducted to determine the appropriate dose of sarolaner, a novel isoxazoline, for the treatment and month-long control of infestations of fleas and ticks on dogs. In the first study, dogs were treated orally with sarolaner suspension formulations at 1.25, 2.5 or 5.0mg/kg, and infested with Dermacentor reticulatus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks and with Ctenocephalides felis felis (cat flea) prior to treatment and then weekly for up to 8 weeks. Fleas and ticks were counted 48h after treatment and after each subsequent infestation at 24h for fleas and 48h for ticks. The lowest dose of sarolaner (1.25mg/kg) provided 100% efficacy against fleas from treatment through Day 35 and 98.4% at Day 56. This dose of sarolaner resulted in 99.7-100% control of both species of ticks through Day 28. In Study 2, dogs were dosed orally with placebo or sarolaner suspension formulations at 0.625, 1.25 or 2.5mg/kg and infested with Ixodes scapularis prior to treatment and weekly for 6 weeks, Amblyomma americanum (pretreatment and Day 26), Dermacentor variabilis (Day 33) and A. maculatum (Day 41). Ixodes scapularis was the most susceptible; the lowest dose (0.625mg/kg) providing>95% efficacy through Day 43. Efficacy against D. variabilis on Day 35 was>95% at 1.25 and 2.5mg/kg, whereas the 0.625mg/kg dose gave only 61.4% efficacy. Amblyomma spp. were the least susceptible ticks; efficacy of the 1.25mg/kg dose at Day 28 for A. americanum was markedly lower (88.5%) than achieved for D. reticulatus (100%) at Day 28 and also lower than for D. variabilis at Day 35 (96.2%). In Study 3, dogs were dosed orally with placebo or sarolaner in the proposed commercial tablet (Simparica™) at 1.0, 2.0 or 4.0mg/kg, and infested with A. maculatum, one of the ticks determined to be dose limiting, prior to treatment and then weekly for 5 weeks. All doses gave 100% control of the existing infestation. The two highest dosages resulted in >93% control of subsequent challenges

  12. [Study of the heterogeneity of 16s rRNA gene and groESL operone in the dna samples of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia muris, and "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" determined in the Ixodes persulcatus ticks in the area of Urals, Siberia, and far east of Russia].

    PubMed

    Rar, V A; Epikhina, T I; Livanova, N N; Panov, V V; Doroshenko, E K; Pukhovskaia, N M; Vysochina, N P; Ivanov, L I

    2011-01-01

    A total of 3552 Ixodes persulcatus from Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk regions and Khabarovsk Territory were examined on the Ehrlichia and Anaplasma presence by nested PCR based on the 16S rRNA gene. Both Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Ehrlichia muris DNA were found in I. persulcatus in all studied regions. A. Phagocytophilum was detected in 1.3-6.3% of ticks and E. muris - in 2.0-14.1% of ticks. Moreover, "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" DNA was found in 8 ticks collected in Novosibirsk, Irkutsk Regions and Khabarovsk Territory. Partial nucleotide sequences of 16S rRNA gene and groESL operone (1240-1300 bp) were determined for 65 samples of A. Phagocytophilum, 17 samples of E. muris and 4 samples of "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis". Nucleotide sequences of 16S rRNA gene and groESL operone of E. muris and "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" were shown to be highly conservative, and nucleotide sequences of groESL operone of both E. muris and "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" differed from the sequences found previously in other species of Ixodid tick. On the basis of analysis of the 16S rRNA gene and groESL operone sequences it was concluded that all revealed samples A. Phagocytophilum could be divided into 2 groups. GroESL operone sequences of A. Phagocytophilum from the first group were identical to each other but significantly differed from the known groESL operone sequences (less than 98.2% of similarity), whereas their 16S rRNA gene sequences were identical to the sequence of widely distributed and pathogenic for human A. Phagocytophilum genetic variant (CAHU-HGEl, GenBank AF093788) or differed from it by a single nucleotide substitution. The nucleotide sequences of groESL operone of A. Phagocytophilum from the second group differed from each other by 1-4 nucleotides and were closely related (99.2-99.4% of similarity) to the sequences of groESL operone ofA. phagocytophilum isolates found in Europe in Ixodes ricinus and roe deer. The

  13. The putative role of Rhipicephalus microplus salivary serpins in the tick-host relationship.

    PubMed

    Tirloni, Lucas; Kim, Tae Kwon; Coutinho, Mariana Loner; Ali, Abid; Seixas, Adriana; Termignoni, Carlos; Mulenga, Albert; da Silva Vaz, Itabajara

    2016-04-01

    Inflammation and hemostasis are part of the host's first line of defense to tick feeding. These systems are in part serine protease mediated and are tightly controlled by their endogenous inhibitors, in the serpin superfamily (serine protease inhibitors). From this perspective ticks are thought to use serpins to evade host defenses during feeding. The cattle tick Rhipicephalus microplus encodes at least 24 serpins, of which RmS-3, RmS-6, and RmS-17 were previously identified in saliva of this tick. In this study, we screened inhibitor functions of these three saliva serpins against a panel of 16 proteases across the mammalian defense pathway. Our data confirm that Pichia pastoris-expressed rRmS-3, rRmS-6, and rRmS-17 are likely inhibitors of pro-inflammatory and pro-coagulant proteases. We show that rRmS-3 inhibited chymotrypsin and cathepsin G with stoichiometry of inhibition (SI) indices of 1.8 and 2.0, and pancreatic elastase with SI higher than 10. Likewise, rRmS-6 inhibited trypsin with SI of 2.6, chymotrypsin, factor Xa, factor XIa, and plasmin with SI higher than 10, while rRmS-17 inhibited trypsin, cathepsin G, chymotrypsin, plasmin, and factor XIa with SI of 1.6, 2.6, 2.7, 3.4, and 9.0, respectively. Additionally, we observed the formation of irreversible complexes between rRmS-3 and chymotrypsin, rRmS-6/rRmS-17 and trypsin, and rRmS-3/rRmS-17 and cathepsin G, which is consistent with typical mechanism of inhibitory serpins. In blood clotting assays, rRmS-17 delayed plasma clotting by 60 s in recalcification time assay, while rRmS-3 and rRmS-6 did not have any effect. Consistent with inhibitor function profiling data, 2.0 μM rRmS-3 and rRmS-17 inhibited cathepsin G-activated platelet aggregation in a dose-responsive manner by up to 96% and 95% respectively. Of significant interest, polyclonal antibodies blocked inhibitory functions of the three serpins. Also notable, antibodies to Amblyomma americanum, Ixodes scapularis, and Rhipicephalus sanguineus

  14. Ticks and tick-borne pathogens in wild birds in Greece.

    PubMed

    Diakou, Anastasia; Norte, Ana Cláudia; Lopes de Carvalho, Isabel; Núncio, Sofia; Nováková, Markéta; Kautman, Matej; Alivizatos, Haralambos; Kazantzidis, Savas; Sychra, Oldřich; Literák, Ivan

    2016-05-01

    Wild birds are common hosts of ticks and can transport them for long distances, contributing to the spreading of tick-borne pathogens. The information about ticks on birds and tick-borne pathogens in Greece is limited. The present study aimed to evaluate the prevalence and species of ticks infesting wild resident birds (mostly small passerines) in Greece, and to assess Borrelia and Rickettsia infection in the collected ticks. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. was performed by nested PCR targeting the flaB gene. Rickettsia spp. were detected by PCR targeting the gltA and ompA genes. Seven (2 %) out of 403 birds examined in northern Greece in 2013 were infested with 15 ticks, identified as Ixodes frontalis, Ixodes acuminatus, Hyalomma marginatum, Hyalomma aegyptium and Hyalomma sp. All ticks were negative for Borrelia spp. while four of them were positive for rickettsiae (Rickettsia aeschlimannii in H. aegyptium and Rickettsia sp. in I. frontalis, H. aegyptium and H. marginatum). Ixodes acuminatus is reported for the first time in Greece and Sylvia borin is reported as a new host record for I. acuminatus. PMID:26847630

  15. Distribution of Ixodes ricinus L., 1758 and Ixodes persulcatus Shulze, 1930 (Parasitoformes, Ixodidae) in Russia and adjacent countries in view of observable climate changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yasyukevich, V. V.; Kazakova, E. V.; Popov, I. O.; Semenov, S. M.

    2009-08-01

    Possible changes in the area inhabited by the ticks Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes persulcatus, the main transmitters of tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease in Russia, caused by temperature changes in 1976-2005 compared to 1946-1975 are discussed. It is shown that these changes could result in some areal expansion of these species. In the European part of Russia, I. ricinus expanded its areal boundaries to the east 100-300 km. I. persulcatus expanded its areal in the Asian part of Russia. Its boundary moved to the north and northeast 100-300 km. Areal expansion both of species has not been observed.

  16. Assessment of decorin-binding protein A to the infectivity of Borrelia burgdorferi in the murine models of needle and tick infection

    PubMed Central

    Blevins, Jon S; Hagman, Kayla E; Norgard, Michael V

    2008-01-01

    Background Decorin-binding proteins (Dbps) A and B of Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, are surface-exposed lipoproteins that presumably bind to the extracellular matrix proteoglycan, decorin. B. burgdorferi infects various tissues including the bladder, heart, joints, skin and the central nervous system, and the ability of B. burgdorferi to bind decorin has been hypothesized to be important for this disseminatory pathogenic strategy. Results To determine the role of DbpBA in the infectious lifecycle of B. burgdorferi, we created a DbpBA-deficient mutant of B. burgdorferi strain 297 and compared the infectious phenotype of the mutant to the wild-type strain in the experimental murine model of Lyme borreliosis. The mutant strain exhibited a 4-log decrease in infectivity, relative to the wild-type strain, when needle inoculated into mice. Upon complementation of the DbpBA-mutant strain with DbpA, the wild-type level of infectivity was restored. In addition, we demonstrated that the DbpBA-deficient mutant was able to colonize Ixodes scapularis larval ticks after feeding on infected mice and persist within the ticks during the molt to the nymphal state. Moreover, surprisingly, the DbpBA-mutant strain was capable of being transmitted to naïve mice via tick bite, giving rise to infected mice. Conclusion These results suggest that DbpBA is not required for the natural tick-transmission process to mammals, despite inferences from needle-inoculation experiments implying a requirement for DbpBA during mammalian infection. The combined findings also send a cautionary note regarding how results from needle-inoculation experiments with mice should be interpreted. PMID:18507835

  17. BB0844, an RpoS-Regulated Protein, Is Dispensable for Borrelia burgdorferi Infectivity and Maintenance in the Mouse-Tick Infectious Cycle▿

    PubMed Central

    Banik, Sukalyani; Terekhova, Darya; Iyer, Radha; Pappas, Christopher J.; Caimano, Melissa J.; Radolf, Justin D.; Schwartz, Ira

    2011-01-01

    The genome of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, is comprised of a large linear chromosome and numerous smaller linear and circular plasmids. B. burgdorferi exhibits substantial genomic variation, and previous studies revealed genotype-specific variation at the right chromosomal telomere. A correlation has also been established between genotype and invasiveness. The correlation between chromosome length and genotype and between genotype and invasiveness suggested that a gene(s) at the right chromosome telomere may be required for virulence. Of particular interest was bb0844, an RpoS-regulated gene at the right telomere, the expression of which is induced when the spirochete undergoes adaptation to the mammalian host. The structure of the right chromosomal telomere was examined in 53 B. burgdorferi clinical isolates of various genotypes. Four distinct patterns were observed for bb0844: (i) chromosomal localization, (ii) plasmid localization, (iii) presence on both chromosome and plasmid, and (iv) complete absence. These patterns correlated with the B. burgdorferi genotype. On the basis of available sequence data, we propose a mechanism for the genomic rearrangements that accounts for the variability in bb0844 genomic localization. To further explore the role of BB0844 in the spirochete life cycle, a bb0844 deletion mutant was constructed by allelic exchange, and the viability of wild-type and bb0844 deletion mutants was examined in an experimental mouse-tick infection model. The bb0844 mutant was fully infectious in C3H/HeJ mice by either needle inoculation or tick transmission with B. burgdorferi-infected Ixodes scapularis larvae. Naïve larval ticks acquired both wild-type and mutant spirochetes with equal efficiency from B. burgdorferi-infected mice. The results demonstrate that BB0844 is not required for spirochete viability, pathogenicity, or maintenance in the tick vector or the mammalian host. At present, a defined role for BB0844 in B

  18. Survey on cattle ticks in Nur, north of Iran

    PubMed Central

    Moghaddam, Ashkan Ghasemi; Seyed, Mozafar Razavi; Rasouli, Mehrshad; Hosseinzade, Sajad; Darvishi, Mohammad Mehdi; Rakhshanpour, Arash; Rahimi, Mohammad Taghi

    2014-01-01

    Objective To survey the prevalence of cattle ticks in Nur County and prepare a list of tick fauna in this district. Methods This investigation was carried out on 150 head of cattle ticks of rural areas of Nur city which is located in Mazandaran province during spring and summer seasons of 2011. The collected ticks were identified using light microscope and available systematic keys. Results A total number of 1 563 ticks were isolated from examined cattle and their genus and numbers including: Ixodes ricinus 51% (111 male and 691 female) and Boophilus annulatus 49% (83 male and 678 female), respectively. Conclusions Results of the current investigation indicate the presence of two species of acarine ectoparasites which have potential health risk Ixodes ricinus and Boophilus annulatus. More studies are required to increase our data concerning ticks and other ectopreasites of ruminants in other areas of Mazandaran province and should be noted to their ability in transmission of infectious agents. PMID:25182439

  19. [Persistence of bacteria and viruses in Ixodes].

    PubMed

    Podboronov, V M; Smirnova, I P

    2014-01-01

    Behaviour of viruses and salmonellas in ticks after their single or combined contamination was thoroughly studied on laboratory animals with bacteriemia or virusemia. When Ixodes ricinus was contaminated simultaneously with forest-spring encephalitis virus and salmonellas there were observed a decrease in the virus titer by the 30th-40th days and its death in 60 days. In case of the I. ricinus nymphs contamination, the virus titer after the combined contamination was by a factor of 10(2) lower in 60 days vs. the contamination with the virus alone and did not reach the contamination dose. The simultaneous contamination of the ticks with two pathogens (forest-spring encephalitis virus and salmonellas) resulted in inhibition of the growth and development of both the virus and the salmonellas. PMID:25975109

  20. Avoiding Ticks

    MedlinePlus

    ... Avoiding ticks On people On pets In the yard Removing a tick Symptoms of tickborne illness Geographic ... ticks on your pets Preventing ticks in the yard File Formats Help: How do I view different ...

  1. Tick Paralysis

    MedlinePlus

    ... Borrelia myamotoi Infections Colorado Tick Fever Ehrlichiosis Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI) ... Infections Colorado Tick Fever Ehrlichiosis Lyme Disease Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI) ...

  2. [Abundance of larvae and nymphs of the taiga tick Ixodes persuicatus (Acari: Ixodidae) on small mammals in the cut-over lands of the middle taiga subzone of Karelia].

    PubMed

    Bugmyrin, S V; Bespiatova, L A; Anikanova, V S; Ieshko, E P

    2009-01-01

    Data of long-term investigations (1998-2004) on the abundance of the taiga tick larvae and nymphs in the cut-over lands of different age in the middle taiga subzone of Karelia (62 degrees 04'S; 33 degrees 55'W) are presented. The investigation was carried out on three model cut-over lands of different age: 1) "young" cut-over land; age of cut-over in the beginning of investigation is 7 years; Betula-Deschampsia cespitosa-Agrostis tenuis; 2) "middle" cut-over land; age of cut-over is 12 years; Salix-Deschampsia cespitosa-Agrostis tenuis; 3) "old" cut-over land; age of cut-over 25 years; Alnus incana-Rubus idaeus-grass. The number of ticks was estimated by using common parasitological indices: prevalence, abundance, and index of feeding intensity (the tick abundance multiply by the number of small mammals per hundred traps-nights). In the beginning of investigation the "young" cut-over land was a typical meadow association. The lowest tick abundance was recorded here. That was a result of unfavorable abiotic conditions and low number of small mammals in the beginning of summer. "Middle" cut-over land is characterized by the highest number of the tick larvae, which is the evidence for high number of the hosts of tick imago. "Old" cut-over land has the optimum conditions for development of taiga ticks. High abundance of the ticks (larvae and nymphs) was recorded during the whole period of investigations. The number of preimaginal ticks is shown to be much higher in cut-over lands as compared with that in mixed and coniferous forests, due to the higher number of small mammals. PMID:19807045

  3. Prevalence of Kemerovo virus in ixodid ticks from the Russian Federation.

    PubMed

    Dedkov, V G; Markelov, M L; Gridneva, K A; Bekova, M V; Gmyl, A P; Kozlovskaya, L I; Karganova, G G; Romanova, L Iu; Pogodina, V V; Yakimenko, V V; Shipulin, G A

    2014-10-01

    The prevalence of Kemerovo virus in ixodid ticks collected in 2008-2012 from 11 regions of the Russian Federation was investigated by real-time reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR). The presence of Kemerovo virus in Ixodes persulcatus, Ixodes ricinus, and Dermacentor reticulatus was confirmed. Virus prevalence depended on the region and varied from zero to 10.1%. PMID:25073856

  4. Bmcystatin, a cysteine proteinase inhibitor characterized from the tick Boophilus microplus

    SciTech Connect

    Lima, Cassia A.; Sasaki, Sergio D.; Tanaka, Aparecida S. . E-mail: Tanaka.bioq@epm.br

    2006-08-18

    The bovine tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus is a blood-sucking animal, which is responsible for Babesia spp and Anaplasma marginale transmission for cattle. From a B. microplus fat body cDNA library, 465 selected clones were sequenced randomly and resulted in 60 Contigs. An open reading frame (ORF) contains 98 amino acids named Bmcystatin, due to 70% amino acid identity to a classical type 1 cystatin from Ixodes scapularis tick (GenBank Accession No. DQ066227). The Bmcystatin amino acid sequence analysis showed two cysteine residues, theoretical pI of 5.92 and M{sub r} of 11kDa. Bmcystatin gene was cloned in pET 26b vector and the protein expressed using bacteria Escherichia coli BL21 SI. Recombinant Bmcystatin (rBmcystatin) purified by affinity chromatography on Ni-NTA-agarose column and ionic exchange chromatography on HiTrap Q column presented molecular mass of 11kDa, by SDS-PAGE and the N-terminal amino acid sequenced revealed unprocessed N-terminal containing part of pelB signal sequence. Purified rBmcystatin showed to be a C1 cysteine peptidase inhibitor with K{sub i} value of 0.1 and 0.6nM for human cathepsin L and VTDCE (vitellin degrading cysteine endopeptidase), respectively. The rBmcystatin expression analyzed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR confirmed the amplification of a specific DNA sequence (294bp) in the fat body and ovary cDNA preparation. On the other hand, a protein band was detected in the fat body, ovary, and the salivary gland extracts using anti-Bmcystatin antibody by Western blot. The present results suggest a possible role of Bmcystatin in the ovary, even though the gene was cloned from the fat body, which could be another site of this protein synthesis.

  5. Ixodid and Argasid Tick Species and West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Uzcátegui, Nathalie Yumari; Gould, Ernest Andrew; Nuttall, Patricia Anne

    2004-01-01

    Control of West Nile virus (WNV) can only be effective if the vectors and reservoirs of the virus are identified and controlled. Although mosquitoes are the primary vectors, WNV has repeatedly been isolated from ticks. Therefore tick-borne transmission studies were performed with an ixodid (Ixodes ricinus) and an argasid tick species (Ornithodoros moubata). Both species became infected after feeding upon viremic hosts, but I. ricinus ticks were unable to maintain the virus. In contrast, O. moubata ticks were infected for at least 132 days, and the infection was maintained through molting and a second bloodmeal. Infected O. moubata ticks transmitted the virus to rodent hosts, albeit at a low level. Moreover, the virus was nonsystemically transmitted between infected and uninfected O. moubata ticks co-fed upon uninfected hosts. Although ticks are unlikely to play a major role in WNV transmission, our findings suggest that some species have the potential to act as reservoirs for the virus. PMID:15200855

  6. Dominance of Dermacentor reticulatus over Ixodes ricinus (Ixodidae) on livestock, companion animals and wild ruminants in eastern and central Poland.

    PubMed

    Mierzejewska, Ewa J; Welc-Faleciak, Renata; Karbowiak, Grzegorz; Kowalec, Maciej; Behnke, Jerzy M; Bajer, Anna

    2015-05-01

    The most common tick species parasitizing animals in Poland are Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus. These tick species differ in their distribution, habitats, seasonal activity and host specificity. Ixodes ricinus is the most prevalent and widely distributed, whereas the range of D. reticulatus is limited to eastern and central parts of the country with several new foci in the middle-west and the west. However, as in many central European countries, the range of D. reticulatus is expanding, and some authors have correlated this expansion with an increasing number of available hosts. The aim of the present study was to determine the tick fauna on domestic and livestock animals in two areas endemic for I. ricinus and D. reticulatus and to compare the risk of infestation with different tick species in open and forest areas. Over a 14 month period, 732 ticks were collected from five host species including domestic animals (dogs and cats), livestock (cows and horses) and wildlife (European bison) in two areas, central and NE Poland, endemic for D. reticulatus. Three tick species were recorded: D. reticulatus (623 individuals; 85.1% of all collected ticks), I. ricinus (106 individuals; 14.5%) and three females of Ixodes hexagonus (0.4%) from a dog. Dermacentor reticulatus was the dominant tick species found on four host species and constituted 86, 81, 97 and 100% of all ticks from dogs, horses, cows and bison, respectively, and was collected from animals throughout the year, including during the winter. The common tick, I. ricinus, was the dominant tick collected from cats (94%). Fully-engorged, ready-for-reproduction females of D. reticulatus were collected from all host species. In May 2012, questing ticks were collected by dragging in forest or open habitats. The density of adult marsh ticks in open areas was around 2 ticks/100 m(2) in the majority of locations, with a maximum of 9.5 ticks/100 m(2). The density of adult I. ricinus was much lower in its typical

  7. Investigation of the validity of species status of Ixodes dammini (Acari: Ixodidae) using rDNA.

    PubMed Central

    Wesson, D M; McLain, D K; Oliver, J H; Piesman, J; Collins, F H

    1993-01-01

    The two internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) of rDNA of three members of the Ixodes ricinus "complex" (Acari: Ixodidae) were sequenced. Sequence variation was assessed for the North American species I. scapularis, I. dammini, and I. pacificus at three levels: within individual/population, between individuals of different geographic origin within a species, and between species. Both spacers are highly variable, particularly with regard to small deletions and additions which may arise via replication slippage. Homogenization of rDNA multigene arrays for particular sequence variants appears to occur at a relatively rapid rate, since I. pacificus sequences differ from the others at numerous invariant sites, facilitating the use of these sequences to assess sibling species relationships. Based on maximum parsimony and two distance methods (unweighted pair-group with arithmetic means and neighbor-joining), sequence variation in ITS1 and ITS2 suggests that I. scapularis and I. dammini are not distinct species and that even individuals from geographically isolated locations are very similar. Individuals from geographically separated populations of I. pacificus appear to be relatively less closely related to each other but distinct from those of I. scapularis/dammini. In I. scapularis/dammini, diversity within and between individuals from geographic populations contributed equally to total sequence diversity. PMID:8234280

  8. Natural Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in ticks from a forest area of Selenge province, Mongolia

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a zoonotic agent of public health importance, infecting both humans and animals. An investigation of the presence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum as well as Anaplasma platys was conducted in a forest area of Selenge province, Mongolia, where ticks are widely distributed and tick-borne diseases are highly endemic. Ticks were collected and tested using polymerase chain reaction based on groEL methodology. Anaplasma phagocytophilum was detected in 14 (6%) of Ixodes persulcatus ticks and four (1%) Dermacentor nuttalli ticks; infection of Anaplasma platys was detected in 1% of Ixodes persulcatus ticks and 10% of Dermacentor nuttalli ticks. The phylogenetic tree showed that the Anaplasma phagocytophilum clustered with the Russian group, most likely due to similar geographical locations. This finding is significant for both veterinary and public health officials given that these agents can cause both animal and human illness. PMID:24734213

  9. Tick infestation in birds and prevalence of pathogens in ticks collected from different places in Germany.

    PubMed

    Klaus, Christine; Gethmann, Jörn; Hoffmann, Bernd; Ziegler, Ute; Heller, Martin; Beer, Martin

    2016-07-01

    The importance of ticks and tick-borne pathogens for human and animal health has been increasing over the past decades. For their transportation and dissemination, birds may play a more important role than wingless hosts. In this study, tick infestation of birds in Germany was examined. Eight hundred ninety-two captured birds were infested with ticks and belonged to 48 different species, of which blackbirds (Turdus merula) and song thrushes (Turdus philomelos) were most strongly infested. Ground feeders were more strongly infested than non-ground feeders, sedentary birds more strongly than migratory birds, and short-distance migratory birds more strongly than long-distance migratory birds. Mean tick infestation per bird ranged between 2 (long-distance migratory bird) and 4.7 (sedentary bird), in some single cases up to 55 ticks per bird were found. With the exception of three nymphs of Haemaphysalis spp., all ticks belonged to Ixodes spp., the most frequently detected tick species was Ixodes ricinus. Birds were mostly infested by nymphs (65.1 %), followed by larvae (32.96 %). Additionally, ticks collected from birds were examined for several pathogens: Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and Sindbisvirus with real-time RT-PCR, Flaviviruses, Simbuviruses and Lyssaviruses with broad-range standard RT-PCR-assays, and Borrelia spp. with a Pan-Borrelia real-time PCR. Interestingly, no viral pathogens could be detected, but Borrelia spp. positive ticks were collected from 76 birds. Borrelia (B.) garinii, B. valaisiaina, B. burgdorferi s.s. and B. afzelii were determined. The screening of ticks and birds for viral pathogens with broad range PCR-assays was tested and the use as an "early warning system" is discussed. PMID:27048511

  10. Tick removal

    MedlinePlus

    ... diseases, some ticks can cause: Colorado tick fever Lyme disease Rocky Mountain spotted fever Tularemia First Aid If ... the next week or two for indications of Lyme disease. If all parts of the tick cannot be ...

  11. Tick removal

    MedlinePlus

    ... diseases, some ticks can cause: Colorado tick fever Lyme disease Rocky Mountain spotted fever Tularemia ... the next week or two for indications of Lyme disease. If all parts of the tick cannot be ...

  12. Tick burden on European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus)

    PubMed Central

    Kiffner, Christian; Hagedorn, Peter; Niedrig, Matthias; Rühe, Ferdinand

    2010-01-01

    In our study we assessed the tick burden on roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) in relation to age, physical condition, sex, deer density and season. The main objective was to find predictive parameters for tick burden. In September 2007, May, July, and September 2008, and in May and July 2009 we collected ticks on 142 culled roe deer from nine forest departments in Southern Hesse, Germany. To correlate tick burden and deer density we estimated deer density using line transect sampling that accounts for different detectability in March 2008 and 2009, respectively. We collected more than 8,600 ticks from roe deer heads and necks, 92.6% of which were Ixodes spp., 7.4% Dermacentor spp. Among Ixodes, 3.3% were larvae, 50.5% nymphs, 34.8% females and 11.4% males, with significant seasonal deviation. Total tick infestation was high, with considerable individual variation (from 0 to 270 ticks/deer). Adult tick burden was positively correlated with roe deer body indices (body mass, age, hind foot length). Significantly more nymphs were found on deer from forest departments with high roe deer density indices, indicating a positive correlation with deer abundance. Overall, tick burden was highly variable. Seasonality and large scale spatial characteristics appeared to be the most important factors affecting tick burden on roe deer. PMID:20099011

  13. Thirty years of tick population genetics: a comprehensive review.

    PubMed

    Araya-Anchetta, Ana; Busch, Joseph D; Scoles, Glen A; Wagner, David M

    2015-01-01

    Population genetic studies provide insights into the basic biology of arthropod disease vectors by estimating dispersal patterns and their potential to spread pathogens. In wingless vectors, such as ticks, gene flow will be defined in large part by the mobility of their hosts. However, tick behaviors and life cycle strategies can limit their dispersal even on highly mobile hosts and lead to an increase in genetic structure. In this review we synthesize the published literature from three decades of tick population genetic studies. Based on studies from 22 tick species (including representatives from Amblyomma, Bothriocroton, Dermacentor, Ixodes, Ornithodoros, and Rhipicephalus), observed levels of population genetic structure in ticks varied from no structure to very high levels. In about half of the species (including representatives from Amblyomma, Bothriocroton, Dermacentor, and Ornithodoros), tick genetic structure appeared to be determined primarily by the movement capacity of hosts, with low gene flow observed in ticks that use smaller bodied less mobile hosts and high gene flow in ticks using highly mobile hosts. In a number of other species (primarily from Ixodes, Ornithodoros, and Rhipicephalus), behavioral limitations to gene flow appeared to result in greater genetic structure than expected based upon host movement capability alone. We also discuss the strengths and limitations of genetic markers and their applicability to ticks and suggest possible analyses when planning population genetic studies for ticks. PMID:25461844

  14. Tick iron and heme metabolism - New target for an anti-tick intervention.

    PubMed

    Hajdusek, Ondrej; Sima, Radek; Perner, Jan; Loosova, Gabriela; Harcubova, Adela; Kopacek, Petr

    2016-06-01

    Ticks are blood-feeding parasites and vectors of serious human and animal diseases. Ixodes ricinus is a common tick in Europe, transmitting tick-borne encephalitis, Lyme borreliosis, anaplasmosis, or babesiosis. Immunization of hosts with recombinant tick proteins has, in theory, the potential to interfere with tick feeding and block transmission of pathogens from the tick to the host. However, the efficacy of tick antigens has, to date, not been fully sufficient to achieve this. We have focused on 11 in silico identified genes encoding proteins potentially involved in tick iron and heme metabolism. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) expression profiling was carried out to preferentially target proteins that are up-regulated during the blood meal. RNA interference (RNAi) was then used to score the relative importance of these genes in tick physiology. Finally, we performed vaccination screens to test the suitability of these proteins as vaccine candidates. These newly identified tick antigens have the potential to improve the available anti-tick vaccines. PMID:26810909

  15. Molecular Investigations of Rickettsia helvetica Infection in Dogs, Foxes, Humans, and Ixodes Ticks▿

    PubMed Central

    Boretti, Felicitas S.; Perreten, Andrea; Meli, Marina L.; Cattori, Valentino; Willi, Barbara; Wengi, Nicole; Hornok, Sándor; Honegger, Hanspeter; Hegglin, Daniel; Woelfel, Roman; Reusch, Claudia E.; Lutz, Hans; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina

    2009-01-01

    Rickettsia helvetica, a tick-borne member of the spotted-fever-group rickettsiae, is a suspected pathogen in humans; however, its role in animals is unknown. The aims of this study were to establish a R. helvetica-specific real-time TaqMan PCR assay and apply it to the analysis of tick vectors (to determine potential exposure risk) and blood samples from Canidae and humans (to determine prevalence of infection). The newly designed 23S rRNA gene assay for R. helvetica was more sensitive than a published citrate synthase gene (gltA) assay for several rickettsiae. Blood samples from 884 dogs, 58 foxes, and 214 human patients and 2,073 ticks (Ixodes spp.) collected from either vegetation or animals were analyzed. Although the maximal likelihood estimate of prevalence was 12% in unfed ticks and 36% in ticks collected from animals, none of the 1,156 blood samples tested PCR positive. Ticks from cats were more frequently PCR positive than ticks from dogs. Sequencing of the 23S rRNA and/or the gltA gene of 17 tick pools confirmed the presence of R. helvetica. Additionally, Rickettsia monacensis, which has not been previously found in Switzerland, was identified. In conclusion, R. helvetica was frequently detected in the tick population but not in blood samples. Nevertheless, due to the broad host range of Ixodes ticks and the high rate of infestation with this agent (i.e., R. helvetica was 13 times more frequent in unfed ticks than the tick-borne encephalitis virus), many mammals may be exposed to R. helvetica. The PCR assay described here represents an important tool for studying this topic. PMID:19329665

  16. [Tick borne encephalitis and enviromental changes].

    PubMed

    Zajkowska, Joanna; Malzahn, Elzbieta; Kondrusik, Maciej; Grygorczuk, Sambor; Pancewicz, Sławomir S; Kuśmierczyk, Justyna; Czupryna, Piotr; Hermanowska-Szpakowicz, Teresa

    2006-01-01

    Currently observed markedly increased incidence of various tick borne diseases in many parts of Europe is due to documented climatic changes as well anthropogenic influence on habitat structure. One of the analyzed factors is tendency to increase of the spring temperatures, especially in the third decade of the April. Such conditions (spring temperatures above 7-10 degrees C) let the nymphs and larvae of Ixodes ricinus to feed simultaneously on rodents. This increases the risk of infection of Ixodes ricinus with TBE virus, so dangerous for humans. PMID:16909800

  17. Effect of prescribed fire for tick control in California chaparral.

    PubMed

    Padgett, K A; Casher, L E; Stephens, S L; Lane, R S

    2009-09-01

    Prescribed fire was investigated as a method for controlling ixodid and argasid ticks in chaparral habitats in northern California. Two experimental and two adjacent control plots within a wildlife preserve were monitored for 1 yr postburn. Ticks were collected by flagging vegetation, by CO2-baited pitfall trap, and by live-trapping rodents. Twice as many rodents were caught at control sites compared with burn sites and no dusky-footed woodrats, Neotoma fuscipes Baird, were found in the treatment sites postburn. This species is known to be a reservoir of the agents of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner, and human granulocytic anaplasmosis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum Dumler, Barbet, Bekker, Dasch, Palmer, Ray, Rikihisa, Rurangirwa. Six ixodid tick species were removed from rodents (Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls, Ixodes jellisoni Cooley & Kohls, Ixodes spinipalpis Hadwen & Nuttall, Ixodes woodi Bishopp, Dermacentor occidentalis Marx, and Dermacentor parumapertus Neumann), two of which transmit bacterial zoonotic agents to people in the far-western United States. There was no decrease in number of ticks per animal trapped at either burn site compared with controls; in fact, the mean number of immature I. pacificus per rodent was significantly higher at one burn site than its control site. Soil refugia may protect ticks from fire-induced mortality; the argasid tick Ornithodoros coriaceus Koch, which lives in soil, was unaffected by the prescribed fire as were I. pacificus and D. occidentalis buried in packets 2.5 cm below ground. We conclude that although prescribed fires in chaparral habitats may diminish local rodent abundance, it does not decrease tick loads on rodents. Furthermore, burning chaparral does not result in a decreased abundance of adult ixodid ticks on vegetation and apparently does not affect argasid or ixodid ticks that are sheltered within soil refugia. PMID:19769046

  18. Ticks of Australia. The species that infest domestic animals and humans.

    PubMed

    Barker, Stephen C; Walker, Alan R

    2014-01-01

    The book Australian Ticks by F.H.S. Roberts (1970) is a land-mark in Australian tick biology. But it is time for a new and improved book on the ticks of Australia. The present book has identification guides and accounts of the biology and diseases associated with the 16 species of ticks that may feed on domestic animals and humans in Australia. These comprise five argasid (soft) ticks: Argas persicus (poultry tick), Argas robertsi (Robert's bird tick), Ornithodoros capensis (seabird soft tick), O. gurneyi (kangaroo soft tick), Otobius megnini (spinose ear tick); and 11 ixodid (hard) ticks, Amblyomma triguttatum (ornate kangaroo tick), Bothriocroton auruginans (wombat tick), B. hydrosauri (southern reptile tick), Haemaphysalis bancrofti (wallaby tick), H. longicornis (bush tick), Ixodes cornuatus (southern paralysis tick), I. hirsti (Hirst's marsupial tick), I. holocyclus (paralysis tick), I. tasmani (common marsupial tick), Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) australis (Australian cattle tick) and R. sanguineus (brown dog tick).  We use an image-matching system to identify ticks, much like the image-matching systems used in field-guides for birds and flowers. Ticks may be identified by drawings that emphasise unique matrices of uniformly defined morphological characters that, together, allow these 16 ticks to be identified by morphology unequivocally. The species accounts have seven sections: (i) General; (ii)  Differential diagnosis; (iii) Hosts; (iv) Life-cycle and seasonality; (v) Disease; (vi) Habitat and geographic distribution; (vii) Genes and genomes; and (viii) Other information. There are 71 figures and tables, including a glossary character matrices, drawings of life-cycles, drawings of genera, species, and colour photographs of tick biology. PMID:24943801

  19. Molecular Identification of Borrelia miyamotoi in Ixodes ricinus from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Mónica; Parreira, Ricardo; Lopes, Nádia; Maia, Carla; Carreira, Teresa; Sousa, Carmelita; Faria, Sofia; Campino, Lenea; Vieira, M Luísa

    2015-08-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi, a relapsing fever spirochete, has been found recently in Ixodes ricinus ticks; however, little is known about its spatial distribution and potential local impact on human health. A total of 640 ticks (447 nymphs and 193 adults) collected throughout Portugal were analyzed using two nested PCR protocols, one targeting the flagellin gene and the other the internal transcribed space region between the 5S and the 23S rRNA. As a result, B. miyamotoi was detected, for the first time, in one guesting I. ricinus nymph collected in the Lisboa district. In addition, a prevalence of 11% (71/640) for B. burgdorferi sensu lato was obtained. Even though no human relapsing fever cases due to infection by B. miyamotoi have been reported yet in Portugal, surveillance must be improved to provide better insight into the prevalence and distribution of this spirochete in ticks. PMID:26273814

  20. Ticks and associated pathogens collected from dogs and cats in Belgium

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Although Ixodes spp. are the most common ticks in North-Western Europe, recent reports indicated an expanding geographical distribution of Dermacentor reticulatus in Western Europe. Recently, the establishment of a D. reticulatus population in Belgium was described. D. reticulatus is an important vector of canine and equine babesiosis and can transmit several Rickettsia species, Coxiella burnetii and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), whilst Ixodes spp. are vectors of pathogens causing babesiosis, borreliosis, anaplasmosis, rickettsiosis and TBEV. Methods A survey was conducted in 2008-2009 to investigate the presence of different tick species and associated pathogens on dogs and cats in Belgium. Ticks were collected from dogs and cats in 75 veterinary practices, selected by stratified randomization. All collected ticks were morphologically determined and analysed for the presence of Babesia spp., Borrelia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Rickettsia DNA. Results In total 2373 ticks were collected from 647 dogs and 506 cats. Ixodes ricinus (76.4%) and I. hexagonus (22.6%) were the predominant species. Rhipicephalus sanguineus (0.3%) and D. reticulatus (0.8%) were found in low numbers on dogs only. All dogs infested with R. sanguineus had a recent travel history, but D. reticulatus were collected from a dog without a history of travelling abroad. Of the collected Ixodes ticks, 19.5% were positive for A. phagocytophilum and 10.1% for Borrelia spp. (B. afzelii, B. garinii, B. burgdorferi s.s., B. lusitaniae, B. valaisiana and B. spielmanii). Rickettsia helvetica was found in 14.1% of Ixodes ticks. All Dermacentor ticks were negative for all the investigated pathogens, but one R. sanguineus tick was positive for Rickettsia massiliae. Conclusion D. reticulatus was confirmed to be present as an indigenous parasite in Belgium. B. lusitaniae and R. helvetica were detected in ticks in Belgium for the first time. PMID:23777784

  1. Reducing tick burdens on chicks by treating breeding female grouse with permethrin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ticks are important arthropod vectors of diseases of human, livestock, and wildlife hosts. In the United Kingdom, the sheep tick (Ixodes ricinus) is increasingly recognized as a main limiting factor of red grouse (Lagopus lagopus) populations, a game bird of high economic value. We evaluated the e...

  2. Hard ticks (Acari, Ixodidae) of Croatia

    PubMed Central

    Krčmar, Stjepan

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The present paper is based on original and literature data. In Croatia the first studies on the occurrence of ixodid species were made about 80 years ago. The number of tick species recorded in Croatia considerably increased during the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s of the past century. A total of 21 species of hard tick belonging to 5 genera have been recorded in Croatia. Ixodes is the best represented genus, with seven species recorded. Haemaphysalis is represented by six species, followed by Rhipicephalus with four species. Dermacentor and Hyalomma are represented by two species each. The ticks were collected on 47 different host species. Eleven tick species were collected on Bos taurus and Ovis aries, followed by Capra hircus and Equus caballus with 8 species and Canis lupus familiaris with 6 species. On the remaining 42 host species one, two or three tick species were collected. The most widespread tick is Ixodes ricinus which was found on 25 different host species. PMID:23372407

  3. Characterization of ferritin 2 for the control of tick infestations.

    PubMed

    Hajdusek, Ondrej; Almazán, Consuelo; Loosova, Gabriela; Villar, Margarita; Canales, Mario; Grubhoffer, Libor; Kopacek, Petr; de la Fuente, José

    2010-04-01

    Ixodes ricinus is one the most abundant tick species in Europe and these ticks transmit pathogens causing human and animal diseases. The cattle ticks, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) spp., affect cattle production in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Development of vaccines directed against tick proteins may reduce tick infestations and the transmission of tick-borne pathogens. However, a limiting step in tick vaccine development has been the identification of tick protective antigens. Herein, the tick iron metabolism pathway was targeted in an effort to identify new tick protective antigens. Recombinant I. ricinus (IrFER2) and Rhipicephalus microplus (RmFER2) ferritin 2 proteins were expressed in Escherichia coli and used to immunize rabbits and cattle, respectively. Vaccination with IrFER2 reduced I. ricinus tick numbers, weight and fertility in rabbits with an overall vaccine efficacy (E) of 98%. Control of cattle tick, R. microplus and Rhipicephalus annulatus infestations was obtained in vaccinated cattle with overall E of 64% and 72%, respectively. Notably, the efficacy of the RmFER2 vaccine was similar to that obtained with Bm86 against R. microplus. These collective results demonstrated the feasibility of using ferritin 2 to develop vaccines for the control of tick infestations. PMID:20171306

  4. Widespread Rickettsia spp. Infections in Ticks (Acari: Ixodoidea) in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Chi-Chien; Shu, Pei-Yun; Mu, Jung-Jung; Lee, Pei-Lung; Wu, Yin-Wen; Chung, Chien-Kung; Wang, Hsi-Chieh

    2015-09-01

    Ticks are second to mosquitoes as the most important disease vectors, and recent decades have witnessed the emergence of many novel tick-borne rickettsial diseases, but systematic surveys of ticks and tick-borne rickettsioses are generally lacking in Asia. We collected and identified ticks from small mammal hosts between 2006 and 2010 in different parts of Taiwan. Rickettsia spp. infections in ticks were identified by targeting ompB and gltA genes with nested polymerase chain reaction. In total, 2,732 ticks were collected from 1,356 small mammals. Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides Supino (51.8% of total ticks), Haemaphysalis bandicota Hoogstraal & Kohls (28.0%), and Ixodes granulatus Supino (20.0%) were the most common tick species, and Rattus losea Swinhoe (44.7% of total ticks) and Bandicota indica Bechstein (39.9%) were the primary hosts. The average Rickettsia infective rate in 329 assayed ticks was 31.9% and eight Rickettsia spp. or closely related species were identified. This study shows that rickettsiae-infected ticks are widespread in Taiwan, with a high diversity of Rickettsia spp. circulating in the ticks. Because notifiable rickettsial diseases in Taiwan only include mite-borne scrub typhus and flea-borne murine typhus, more studies are warranted for a better understanding of the real extent of human risks to rickettsioses in Taiwan. PMID:26336223

  5. Attachment site selection of ticks on roe deer, Capreolus capreolus

    PubMed Central

    Lödige, C.; Alings, M.; Vor, T.; Rühe, F.

    2010-01-01

    The spatio-temporal attachment site patterns of ticks feeding on their hosts can be of significance if co-feeding transmission (i.e. from tick to tick without a systemic infection of the host) of pathogens affects the persistence of a given disease. Using tick infestation data on roe deer, we analysed preferred attachment sites and niche width of Ixodes ticks (larvae, nymphs, males, females) and investigated the degree of inter- and intrastadial aggregation. The different development stages showed rather consistent attachment site patterns and relative narrow feeding site niches. Larvae were mostly found on the head and on the front legs of roe deer, nymphs reached highest densities on the head and highest adult densities were found on the neck of roe deer. The tick stages feeding (larvae, nymphs, females) on roe deer showed high degrees of intrastadial spatial aggregation, whereas males did not. Male ticks showed large feeding site overlap with female ticks. Feeding site overlap between larval-female and larval-nymphal ticks did occur especially during the months May–August on the head and front legs of roe deer and might allow pathogen transmission via co-feeding. Tick density, niche width and niche overlap on roe deer are mainly affected by seasonality, reflecting seasonal activity and abundance patterns of ticks. Since different tick development stages occur spatially and temporally clustered on roe deer, transmission experiments of tick-borne pathogens are urgently needed. PMID:20585837

  6. IrSPI, a tick serine protease inhibitor involved in tick feeding and Bartonella henselae infection.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiang Ye; de la Fuente, Jose; Cote, Martine; Galindo, Ruth C; Moutailler, Sara; Vayssier-Taussat, Muriel; Bonnet, Sarah I

    2014-07-01

    Ixodes ricinus is the most widespread and abundant tick in Europe, frequently bites humans, and is the vector of several pathogens including those responsible for Lyme disease, Tick-Borne Encephalitis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis and bartonellosis. These tick-borne pathogens are transmitted to vertebrate hosts via tick saliva during blood feeding, and tick salivary gland (SG) factors are likely implicated in transmission. In order to identify such tick factors, we characterized the transcriptome of female I. ricinus SGs using next generation sequencing techniques, and compared transcriptomes between Bartonella henselae-infected and non-infected ticks. High-throughput sequencing of I. ricinus SG transcriptomes led to the generation of 24,539 isotigs. Among them, 829 and 517 transcripts were either significantly up- or down-regulated respectively, in response to bacterial infection. Searches based on sequence identity showed that among the differentially expressed transcripts, 161 transcripts corresponded to nine groups of previously annotated tick SG gene families, while the others corresponded to genes of unknown function. Expression patterns of five selected genes belonging to the BPTI/Kunitz family of serine protease inhibitors, the tick salivary peptide group 1 protein, the salp15 super-family, and the arthropod defensin family, were validated by qRT-PCR. IrSPI, a member of the BPTI/Kunitz family of serine protease inhibitors, showed the highest up-regulation in SGs in response to Bartonella infection. IrSPI silencing impaired tick feeding, as well as resulted in reduced bacterial load in tick SGs. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of I. ricinus SG transcriptome and contributes significant genomic information about this important disease vector. This in-depth knowledge will enable a better understanding of the molecular interactions between ticks and tick-borne pathogens, and identifies IrSPI, a candidate to study now in detail to estimate its

  7. Ticks Collected from Selected Mammalian Hosts Surveyed in the Republic of Korea During 2008-2009

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Heung Chul; Han, Sang Hoon; Chong, Sung Tae; Klein, Terry A.; Choi, Chang-Yong; Nam, Hyun-Young; Chae, Hee-Young; Lee, Hang; Ko, Sungjin; Kang, Jun-Gu

    2011-01-01

    A tick survey was conducted to determine the relative abundance and distribution of ticks associated with selected mammals in the Republic of Korea (ROK) during 2008-2009. A total of 918 ticks were collected from 76 mammals (6 families, 9 species) captured at 6 provinces and 3 Metropolitan Cities in ROK. Haemaphysalis longicornis (54.4%) was the most frequently collected tick, followed by Haemaphysalis flava (28.5%), Ixodes nipponensis (7.6%), Ixodes pomerantzevi (4.8%), Ixodes persulcatus (4.6%), and Haemaphysalis japonica (0.1%). Adults (57.0%) and nymphs (28.7%) of Ixodes and Haemaphysalis spp. were collected most frequently from medium or large mammals in this survey, while few larvae (14.3%) were collected. Hydropotes inermis was the most frequently captured mammal (52.6%), with a 16.4 tick index and 5 of 6 species of ticks collected during this survey. H. longicornis (69.7%) was the predominant tick collected from H. inermis, followed by H. flava (22.2%), I. persulcatus (6.1%), I. nipponensis (1.8%), and H. japonica (0.2%). PMID:22072840

  8. Diversity of tick species biting humans in an emerging area for Lyme disease.

    PubMed Central

    Smith, R P; Lacombe, E H; Rand, P W; Dearborn, R

    1992-01-01

    BACKGROUND. Although most tick bites in humans in areas of the northeastern United States in which Lyme disease is highly endemic are due to Ixodes dammini, no study documents the frequency of I. dammini bites in low-prevalence or emerging areas for Lyme disease. Data on the proportion of tick bites in humans that are due to I. dammini in a region may have implications for public health policy and clinical management. METHODS. A statewide survey of the tick species that parasitized humans in Maine was conducted during 1989 and 1990. Tick submissions from throughout the state were elicited through media announcements. All ticks that had been removed from humans were identified, and data were collected that included bite seasonality and geography and demographics of tick bite victims. RESULTS. Of 709 ticks submitted, only 17% were I. dammini. Ixodes cookei, a vector for Powassan encephalitis, accounted for 34% of bites, and Dermacentor variabilis accounted for 45%. Other tick species were occasionally implicated. CONCLUSIONS. The likelihood that a tick bite was due to I. dammini was lower in Maine than in areas in the northeastern United States in which Lyme disease is highly endemic. Other tick vectors, associated with diseases other than Lyme disease, were more frequently implicated. Regional tick bite surveys may prove useful in assessing the risk of Lyme disease following a tick bite. PMID:1536337

  9. Dihydronepetalactones deter feeding activity by mosquitoes, stable flies, and deer ticks.

    PubMed

    Feaster, John E; Scialdone, Mark A; Todd, Robin G; Gonzalez, Yamaira I; Foster, Joseph P; Hallahan, David L

    2009-07-01

    The essential oil of catmint, Nepeta cataria L., contains nepetalactones, that, on hydrogenation, yield the corresponding dihydronepetalactone (DHN) diastereomers. The DHN diastereomer (4R,4aR,7S,7aS)-4,7-dimethylhexahydrocyclopenta[c]pyran-1(3H)-one, DHN 1) was evaluated as mosquito repellent, as was the mixture of diastereomers {mostly (4S,4aR,7S,7aR)-4,7-dimethylhexahydrocyclopenta[c]pyran-1(3H)-one, DHN 2} present after hydrogenation of catmint oil itself. The repellency of these materials to Aedes aegypti L. and Anopheles albimanus Wiedemann mosquitoes was tested in vitro and found to be comparable to that obtained with the well-known insect repellent active ingredient N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET). DHN 1 and DHN 2 also repelled the stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans L., in this study. DHN 1, DHN 2, and p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD), another natural monoterpenoid repellent, gave comparable levels of repellency against An. albimanus and S. calcitrans. Laboratory testing of DHN 1 and DHN 2 using human subjects with An. albimanus mosquitoes was carried out. Both DHN 1 and DHN 2 at 10% (wt:vol) conferred complete protection from bites for significant periods of time (3.5 and 5 h, respectively), with DHN2 conferring protection statistically equivalent to DEET. The DHN 1 and DHN 2 diastereomers were also efficaceous against black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis Say) nymphs. PMID:19645285

  10. [Genetic characterization of the Zaliv Terpeniya virus (ZTV, Bunyaviridae, Phlebovirus, Uukuniemi serogroup) strains isolated from the ticks Ixodes (Ceratixodes) uriae White, 1852, obligate parasites of the Alcidae birds, in high latitudes of Northern Eurasia and the mosquitoes Culex modestus Ficalbi, 1889, in subtropics Transcaucasus].

    PubMed

    L'vov, D K; Al'khovskiĭ, S V; Shchelkanov, M Iu; Shchetinin, A M; Deriabin, P G; Gitel'man, A K; Samokhvalov, E I; Botikov, A G

    2014-01-01

    Complete genome sequences were obtained for the LEIV-13841Ka (ID GenBank KF767463-65) and LEIV-279Az (ID GenBank KF767460-62) virus strains, which were classified as different strains of the Zaliv Terpeniya virus (ZTV). LEIV-13841Ka was isolated from the ticks Ixodes (Ceratixodes) uriae White, 1852 collected on Ariy Kamen (Commander Islands) in 1986. LEIV-279Az was isolated from the mosquitoes Culex modestus Ficalbi, 1889, collected in heron colony (Ardea Linnaeus, 1758) in Azerbaijan (1969) and was initially identified as Uukuniemi virus (UUKV). According to the results obtained LEIV-279Az is ZTV strain as well. LEIV-13841Ka and LEIV-279Az RdRp sequences have high level of homology (99%) with previously sequenced ZTV/LEIV-271Ka. The L-segment nucleotide sequences are homological with ZTV/LEIV-271Ka on the level of 94% and 98% for LEIV-13841Ka and LEIV-279Az, respectively; M-segment--89% and 88%, respectively. Such homologies for the amino acid sequences of Gn/Gc polyprotein are 98.3% and 97.7%. NP proteins of ZTV/LEIV-13841Ka and LEIV-279Az have 88.7% and 84.6% homologies with ZTV/LEIV-271Ka both for amino acid and nucleotide sequences, respectively. Thus, for the very first time we demonstrated ZTV strain isolated from mosquitoes in subtropical Transcaucasia zone. Obtained results permit to expand suggested areal of ZTV and to fill up data upon the ecology of the Uukuniemi virus group. PMID:25065140

  11. Distribution pattern and number of ticks on lizards.

    PubMed

    Dudek, Krzysztof; Skórka, Piotr; Sajkowska, Zofia Anna; Ekner-Grzyb, Anna; Dudek, Monika; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-02-01

    The success of ectoparasites depends primarily on the site of attachment and body condition of their hosts. Ticks usually tend to aggregate on vertebrate hosts in specific areas, but the distribution pattern may depend on host body size and condition, sex, life stage or skin morphology. Here, we studied the distribution of ticks on lizards and tested the following hypothesis: occurrence or high abundance of ticks is confined with body parts with smaller scales and larger interscalar length because such sites should provide ticks with superior attachment conditions. This study was performed in field conditions in central Poland in 2008-2011. In total, 500 lizards (Lacerta agilis) were caught and 839 ticks (Ixodes ricinus, larvae and nymphs) were collected from them. Using generalised linear mixed models, we found that the ticks were most abundant on forelimbs and their axillae, with 90% of ticks attached there. This part of the lizard body and the region behind the hindlimb were covered by the smallest scales with relatively wide gaps between them. This does not fully support our hypothesis that ticks prefer locations with easy access to skin between scales, because it does not explain why so few ticks were in the hindlimb area. We found that the abundance of ticks was positively correlated with lizard body size index (snout-vent length). Tick abundance was also higher in male and mature lizards than in female and young individuals. Autotomy had no effect on tick abundance. We found no correlation between tick size and lizard morphology, sex, autotomy and body size index. The probability of occurrence of dead ticks was positively linked with the total number of ticks on the lizard but there was no relationship between dead tick presence and lizard size, sex or age. Thus lizard body size and sex are the major factors affecting the abundance of ticks, and these parasites are distributed nearly exclusively on the host's forelimbs and their axillae. PMID:26520053

  12. Evidence for Ixodes holocyclus (Acarina: Ixodidae) as a vector for human lyme Borreliosis infection in Australia.

    PubMed

    Mayne, P; Song, S; Shao, R; Burke, J; Wang, Y; Roberts, T

    2014-01-01

    Ixodes holocyclus (Acarina: Ixodidae) and Ixodes cornuatus (Acarina: Ixodidae) are two tick species found in the more densely populated areas of Australia and are known to be the cause of the neurotoxic disease tick paralysis in humans and mammals. Borreliosis otherwise known as Lyme disease is an emerging infectious disease in humans in Australia. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (Spirochaetales: Spirochaetaceae) and sensu lato are closely related spirochetal species that are the causative agents of Lyme disease in humans. Clinical transmission of this tick-borne disease can be identified in several but not all cases by a characteristic rash known as erythema migrans. However, there has been no study of the tick vectors of this infection in Australia. We used morphological and molecular techniques to identify unequivocally the ticks on the patients of this study to be I. holocyclus and then show the presence of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto infection in erythema migrans biopsies. I. holocyclus has not previously been associated with erythema migrans or Lyme disease. Two patients presented to the lead author's medical practice with erythema migrans in mid and late 2012. The morphology and cytochrome oxidase 1 and ITS2 genes of the two ticks were studied. The skin at the attachment site was sampled by central biopsy for both real time and endpoint Borrelia polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis and subsequent sequencing. Morphologically, the two ticks were either I. holocyclus or I. cornuatus. Molecular studies and nucleotide sequencing revealed that both ticks were I. holocyclus. Real time and endpoint PCR on the central tissue biopsy samples returned positive results for B. burgdorferi DNA. Our results are evidence for transmission of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto species to humans by the tick I. holocyclus in Australia. I. holocyclus is commonly associated with human tick bites on virtually the entire eastern coastline of Australia. PMID:25434042

  13. Rickettsial agents in Egyptian ticks collected from domestic animals.

    PubMed

    Loftis, Amanda D; Reeves, Will K; Szumlas, Daniel E; Abbassy, Magda M; Helmy, Ibrahim M; Moriarity, John R; Dasch, Gregory A

    2006-01-01

    To assess the presence of rickettsial pathogens in ticks from Egypt, we collected ticks from domestic and peridomestic animals between June 2002 and July 2003. DNA extracts from 1019 ticks were tested, using PCR and sequencing, for Anaplasma spp., Bartonella spp., Coxiella burnetii, Ehrlichia spp., and Rickettsia spp. Ticks included: 29 Argas persicus, 10 Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum, 55 Hyalomma anatolicum excavatum, 174 Hyalomma dromedarii, 2 Hyalomma impeltatum, 3 Hyalomma marginatum rufipes, 55 unidentified nymphal Hyalomma, 625 Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus, 49 Rhipicephalus sanguineus, and 17 Rhipicephalus turanicus. Ticks were collected predominantly (>80%) from buffalo, cattle, and camels, with smaller numbers from chicken and rabbit sheds, sheep, foxes, a domestic dog, a hedgehog, and a black rat. We detected Anaplasma marginale, Coxiella burnetii, Rickettsia aeschlimannii, and four novel genotypes similar to: "Anaplasma platys," Ehrlichia canis, Ehrlichia spp. reported from Asian ticks, and a Rickettsiales endosymbiont of Ixodes ricinus. PMID:17004028

  14. Anaplasma marginale and Theileria annulata in questing ticks from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Antunes, S; Ferrolho, J; Domingues, N; Santos, A S; Santos-Silva, M M; Domingos, A

    2016-09-01

    Ticks are ubiquitous arthropods and vectors of several pathogenic agents in animals and humans. Monitoring questing ticks is of great importance to ascertain the occurrence of pathogens and the potential vector species, offering an insight into the risk of disease transmission in a given area. In this study 428 host-seeking ticks, belonging to nine species of Ixodidae and collected from 17 of the 23 Portuguese mainland subregions, were screened for several tick-borne agents with veterinary relevance: Anaplasma marginale, Anaplasma ovis, Anaplasma centrale, Babesia spp., Coxiella burnetii and Theileria spp. Prevalence was assessed by PCR and amplified amplicons sequenced for validation of results. Twenty ticks, in a total of 428, were found positive: one Ixodes ventalloi for Theileria annulata and four Dermacentor marginatus, one Haemaphysalis punctata, five Ixodes ricinus, five I. ventalloi, and four Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato for A. marginale. According to the reviewed literature, this is the first report of A. marginale and T. annulata detection in I. ventalloi. Furthermore, the amplification of A. marginale DNA in several tick species suggests a broad range for this agent in Portugal that might include other uncommon species as R. sanguineus s.l. This work provides new data towards a better understanding of tick-pathogen associations and also contributes to the surveillance of tick-borne agents in geographic areas with limited information. PMID:27394441

  15. Novel exposure sites for nymphal Ixodes pacificus within picnic areas.

    PubMed

    Padgett, Kerry A; Bonilla, Denise L

    2011-12-01

    Risk of exposure to nymphal Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls ticks was investigated at 7 picnic areas in Tilden Regional Park, a heavily used recreation area of over 2000 acres in northwestern California, east of San Francisco Bay. Wooden picnic tables, tree trunks, logs, leaf litter, surrounding vegetation, and rock walls were checked for ticks using standard 1-m(2) flannel tick flags at biweekly intervals from March to August 2008. Results indicate that nymphal I. pacificus were commonly found on wooden picnic tables and other wooden materials, such as tree trunks and logs, at an equal proportion to those found in leaf litter. Nymphal I. pacificus in picnic areas peaked in April, with a secondary peak in early June. Five of 170 (2.9%) nymphal I. pacificus collected at picnic sites were positive for Borrelia spirochetes, of which 3 (1.8%) were identified as B. burgdorferi sensu stricto using molecular techniques. In addition, a nymphal I. auritulus collected from a rock wall in a picnic area tested positive for a mixture of B. burgdorferi and B. bissettii; this tick species feeds exclusively on birds. This study indicates a moderate risk of acquiring a nymphal tick at Tilden Park picnic areas, but due to the low B. burgdorferi infection prevalence, the risk of acquiring Lyme disease appears to be low. PMID:22108011

  16. 75 FR 53321 - Prospective Grant of a Co-Exclusive License: Natural Plant Extracts From Incense Cedar as Pest...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-31

    .... These natural compounds were found to be active for up to 11 ] weeks against the tick vector, Ixodes scapularis; the mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti; and the flea vector, Xenopsylla cheopsis. ADDRESSES:...

  17. Arsenophonus nasoniae and Rickettsiae Infection of Ixodes ricinus Due to Parasitic Wasp Ixodiphagus hookeri.

    PubMed

    Bohacsova, Monika; Mediannikov, Oleg; Kazimirova, Maria; Raoult, Didier; Sekeyova, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Arsenophonus nasoniae, a male-killing endosymbiont of chalcid wasps, was recently detected in several hard tick species. Following the hypothesis that its presence in ticks may not be linked to the direct occurrence of bacteria in tick's organs, we identified A. nasoniae in wasps emerging from parasitised nymphs. We confirmed that 28.1% of Ixodiphagus hookeri wasps parasitizing Ixodes ricinus ticks were infected by A. nasoniae. Moreover, in examined I. ricinus nymphs, A. nasoniae was detected only in those, which were parasitized by the wasp. However, in part of the adult wasps as well as in some ticks that contained wasp's DNA, we did not confirm A. nasoniae. We also found, that in spite of reported male-killing, some newly emerged adult wasp males were also infected by A. nasoniae. Additionally, we amplified the DNA of Rickettsia helvetica and Rickettsia monacensis (known to be Ixodes ricinus-associated bacteria) in adult parasitoid wasps. This may be related either with the digested bacterial DNA in wasp body lumen or with a role of wasps in circulation of rickettsiae among tick vectors. PMID:26901622

  18. Arsenophonus nasoniae and Rickettsiae Infection of Ixodes ricinus Due to Parasitic Wasp Ixodiphagus hookeri

    PubMed Central

    Bohacsova, Monika; Mediannikov, Oleg; Kazimirova, Maria; Raoult, Didier; Sekeyova, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Arsenophonus nasoniae, a male-killing endosymbiont of chalcid wasps, was recently detected in several hard tick species. Following the hypothesis that its presence in ticks may not be linked to the direct occurrence of bacteria in tick's organs, we identified A. nasoniae in wasps emerging from parasitised nymphs. We confirmed that 28.1% of Ixodiphagus hookeri wasps parasitizing Ixodes ricinus ticks were infected by A. nasoniae. Moreover, in examined I. ricinus nymphs, A. nasoniae was detected only in those, which were parasitized by the wasp. However, in part of the adult wasps as well as in some ticks that contained wasp's DNA, we did not confirm A. nasoniae. We also found, that in spite of reported male-killing, some newly emerged adult wasp males were also infected by A. nasoniae. Additionally, we amplified the DNA of Rickettsia helvetica and Rickettsia monacensis (known to be Ixodes ricinus-associated bacteria) in adult parasitoid wasps. This may be related either with the digested bacterial DNA in wasp body lumen or with a role of wasps in circulation of rickettsiae among tick vectors. PMID:26901622

  19. Tick Bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... Ticks are small bloodsucking parasites. Many species transmit diseases to animals and people. Some of the diseases you can get from a tick bite are Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. Some ...

  20. Ticks (Acari: Ixodoidea: Argasidae, Ixodidae) of Chile.

    PubMed

    González-Acuña, Daniel; Guglielmone, Alberto A

    2005-01-01

    The tick species recorded from Chile can be listed under the following headings: (1) endemic or established: Argas keiransi Estrada-Peña, Venzal and Gonzalez-Acuña, A. neghmei Kohls and Hoogstraal; Ornithodoros amblus Chamberlin; Otobius megnini (Dugès); Amblyomma parvitarsum Neumann; A. tigrinum Koch; Ixodes auritulus Neumann; I. chilensis Kohls; I. cornuae Arthur, I. sigelos Keirans, Clifford and Corwin; I. stilesi Neumann; I. uriae White; Rhipicephalus sanguineus Koch. (2) Probably established or endemic: Argas miniatus Koch; Ornithodoros spheniscus Hoogstraal, Wassef, Hays and Keirans; Ixodes abrocomae Lahille; I. neuquenensis Ringuelet; I. pararicinus Keirans and Clifford. (3) Doubtfully established: Argas reflexus Fabricius; Ornithodoros talaje (Guérin-Méneville). (4) Exotic: Amblyomma argentinae Neumann; A. latum Koch, Rhipicephalus (= Boophilus) microplus (Canestrini). (5) Erroneously identified as present in Chile: Amblyomma americanum (Linnaeus); A. maculatum Koch; A. varium Koch; Ixodes conepati Cooley and Kohls; I. frontalis (Panzer); I. ricinus (Linnaeus); Margaropus winthemi Karsch. (6) Nomina nuda: Argas reticulatus Gervais; Amblyomma inflatum Neumann; Ixodes lagotis Gervais. Hosts and localities (including new records) are presented. Argas neghmei, O. amblus, O. megnini, I. uriae and R. sanguineus may cause severe injury to their hosts, including humans. The Chilean Ixodes fauna is unique to the Neotropical Zoogeographic Region, and additional research is needed in order to understand the biological importance of these species. PMID:15777007

  1. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and spotted fever group rickettsiae in hard ticks (Acari, Ixodidae) parasitizing bats in Poland.

    PubMed

    Piksa, Krzysztof; Stańczak, Joanna; Biernat, Beata; Górz, Andrzej; Nowak-Chmura, Magdalena; Siuda, Krzysztof

    2016-04-01

    A total of 491 Ixodes vespertilionis and 8 Ixodes ricinus collected from bats and cave walls in southern Poland between 2010 and 2012 were examined by the polymerase chain reaction for tick-transmitted pathogens. PCR analysis for Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., Rickettsia spp., and Anaplasma phagocytophilum yielded negative results for all I. vespertilionis. DNA of Rickettsia helvetica was detected in three specimens of I. ricinus attached to Rhinolophus hipposideros or Myotis myotis, while Borrelia garinii was found in one tick parasitizing Myotis daubentonii. These pathogens were recorded for the first time in hard ticks that parasitized bats. PMID:26833325

  2. Long-term monitoring and population dynamics of ixodid ticks in Tomsk city (Western Siberia).

    PubMed

    Romanenko, Vladimir; Leonovich, Sergei

    2015-05-01

    Monitoring of two tick species (Ixodes persulcatus Schulze 1930 and Ixodes pavlovskyi Pomerantsev) was performed in four city parks of Tomsk, Russia (Camp Garden, University Park, Southern Cemetery, and Polytechnic Stadium) and in a control wild biotope in city environs (Kolarovo) in 2002-2013. Ticks were collected by flagging repeatedly after each 10 ± 1 days, starting from the disappearance of the snow cover till the end of tick activity (April-August). Gradual penetration of both tick species into city parks was demonstrated. In the wild biotope, I. persulcatus dominated during the whole period of monitoring, forming about 95% of tick population, whereas in urban biotopes I. pavlovskyi became the dominant species. Two peaks of population density during each season of spring-summer activity were observed in both species. Possible explanations of the phenomena are discussed. PMID:25633264

  3. Impact of Climate Trends on Tick-Borne Pathogen Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Estrada-Peña, Agustín; Ayllón, Nieves; de la Fuente, José

    2012-01-01

    Recent advances in climate research together with a better understanding of tick–pathogen interactions, the distribution of ticks and the diagnosis of tick-borne pathogens raise questions about the impact of environmental factors on tick abundance and spread and the prevalence and transmission of tick-borne pathogens. While undoubtedly climate plays a role in the changes in distribution and seasonal abundance of ticks, it is always difficult to disentangle factors impacting on the abundance of tick hosts from those exerted by human habits. All together, climate, host abundance, and social factors may explain the upsurge of epidemics transmitted by ticks to humans. Herein we focused on tick-borne pathogens that affect humans with epidemic potential. Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. (Lyme disease), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (human granulocytic anaplasmosis), and tick-borne encephalitis virus (tick-borne encephalitis) are transmitted by Ixodes spp. Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever) is transmitted by Hyalomma spp. In this review, we discussed how vector tick species occupy the habitat as a function of different climatic factors, and how these factors impact on tick survival and seasonality. How molecular events at the tick–pathogen interface impact on pathogen transmission is also discussed. Results from statistically and biologically derived models are compared to show that while statistical models are able to outline basic information about tick distributions, biologically derived models are necessary to evaluate pathogen transmission rates and understand the effect of climatic variables and host abundance patterns on pathogen transmission. The results of these studies could be used to build early alert systems able to identify the main factors driving the subtle changes in tick distribution and seasonality and the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens. PMID:22470348

  4. Tick infestation on roe deer in relation to geographic and remotely sensed climatic variables in a tick-borne encephalitis endemic area

    PubMed Central

    CARPI, G.; CAGNACCI, F.; NETELER, M.; RIZZOLI, A.

    2008-01-01

    SUMMARY Roe deer Capreolus capreolus are among the most important feeding hosts for the sheep tick Ixodes ricinus, thus contributing to the occurrence of tick-borne diseases in Europe. Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), which is transmitted by co-feeding of larvae and nymphs on rodents, requires precise climatic conditions to occur. We used roe deer as sentinels for potential circulation of TBE virus in Northern Italy, by examining the association between tick infestation, occurrence of TBE human cases, geographical and climatic parameters. Tick infestation on roe deer, and particularly frequency of co-feeding, was clearly associated with the geographic location and the autumnal cooling rate. Consistently, TBE occurrence in humans was geographically related to co-feeding tick abundance. The surveillance of tick infestation on roe deer, combined with remotely sensed climatic data, could therefore be used as an inexpensive early risk assessment tool of favourable conditions for TBE emergence and persistence in humans. PMID:18081949

  5. Tick infestation on roe deer in relation to geographic and remotely sensed climatic variables in a tick-borne encephalitis endemic area.

    PubMed

    Carpi, G; Cagnacci, F; Neteler, M; Rizzoli, A

    2008-10-01

    Roe deer Capreolus capreolus are among the most important feeding hosts for the sheep tick Ixodes ricinus, thus contributing to the occurrence of tick-borne diseases in Europe. Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), which is transmitted by co-feeding of larvae and nymphs on rodents, requires precise climatic conditions to occur. We used roe deer as sentinels for potential circulation of TBE virus in Northern Italy, by examining the association between tick infestation, occurrence of TBE human cases, geographical and climatic parameters. Tick infestation on roe deer, and particularly frequency of co-feeding, was clearly associated with the geographic location and the autumnal cooling rate. Consistently, TBE occurrence in humans was geographically related to co-feeding tick abundance. The surveillance of tick infestation on roe deer, combined with remotely sensed climatic data, could therefore be used as an inexpensive early risk assessment tool of favourable conditions for TBE emergence and persistence in humans. PMID:18081949

  6. Ixodid tick species attaching to dogs in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Földvári, Gábor; Farkas, Róbert

    2005-04-20

    A survey was carried out to investigate the occurrence of hard tick species (Acari: Ixodidae) infesting domestic dogs in Hungary. Forty veterinary clinics from a wide geographical area were asked to collect hard ticks from dogs and to complete a questionnaire. In total, 25 veterinary clinics submitted 900 ticks from 310 dogs. Intensity of infestation ranged from one to 78 per dog. The most preferred sites of tick attachment in decreasing order were head, neck and legs. The majority of ticks (91.7%) were adults, which were identified to species level, the others were nymphs. Six species were found: Dermacentor reticulatus (48.9%), Ixodes ricinus (43.2%), Ixodes canisuga (5.6%), Haemaphysalis concinna (2%) and there was one specimen of both Dermacentor marginatus and Ixodes hexagonus. Single species infestation with I. ricinus or D. reticulatus was found on 145 (46.8%) and 120 animals (38.7%), respectively. Mixed infestation caused by these two species was detected on 24 dogs (7.7%). I. canisuga and H. concinna were found on seven and five dogs, respectively. D. reticulatus and I. ricinus were collected almost throughout the year, except for a single month. The activity peaks were in spring and in autumn for both species. Based on clinical signs, canine babesiosis was diagnosed by the veterinarians in 66 (21.3%) tick infested dogs. These dogs were more frequently infested with D. reticulatus than the others. Our data contribute to the understanding of geographical and seasonal distribution of ixodid tick species infesting dogs in Hungary. The implication of these data, for the risk of canine tick borne diseases is discussed. PMID:15817212

  7. Tick repellents and acaricides of botanical origin: a green roadmap to control tick-borne diseases?

    PubMed

    Benelli, Giovanni; Pavela, Roman; Canale, Angelo; Mehlhorn, Heinz

    2016-07-01

    Arthropods are dangerous vectors of agents of deadly diseases, which may hit as epidemics or pandemics in the increasing world population of humans and animals. Among them, ticks transmit more pathogen species than any other group of blood-feeding arthropods worldwide. Thus, the effective and eco-friendly control of tick vectors in a constantly changing environment is a crucial challenge. A number of novel routes have been attempted to prevent and control tick-borne diseases, including the development of (i) vaccines against viruses vectored by ticks; (ii) pheromone-based control tools, with special reference to the "lure and kill" techniques; (iii) biological control programmes relying on ticks' natural enemies and pathogens; and (iv) the integrated pest management practices aimed at reducing tick interactions with livestock. However, the extensive employment of acaricides and tick repellents still remains the two most effective and ready-to-use strategies. Unfortunately, the first one is limited by the rapid development of resistance in ticks, as well as by serious environmental concerns. On the other hand, the exploitation of plants as sources of effective tick repellents is often promising. Here, we reviewed current knowledge concerning the effectiveness of plant extracts as acaricides or repellents against tick vectors of public health importance, with special reference to Ixodes ricinus, Ixodes persulcatus, Amblyomma cajennense, Haemaphysalis bispinosa, Haemaphysalis longicornis, Hyalomma anatolicum, Hyalomma marginatum rufipes, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, Rhipicephalus pulchellus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Rhipicephalus turanicus. Eighty-three plant species from 35 botanical families were selected. The most frequent botanical families exploited as sources of acaricides and repellents against ticks were Asteraceae (15 % of the selected studies), Fabaceae (9 %), Lamiaceae (10 %), Meliaceae (5 %), Solanaceae (6

  8. Distribution of Ixodes dammini (Acari: Ixodidae) in residential lawns on Prudence Island, Rhode Island

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carroll, M.C.; Ginsberg, H.S.; Hyland, K.E.

    1992-01-01

    The distribution of nymphal Ixodes dammini Spielman, Clifford, Piesman & Corwin in residential lawns was assessed by flagging on Prudence Island, RI. The number of ticks per sample was five times greater in lawns adjacent to woods than in lawns adjacent to other lawns. Relative tick abundance was negatively correlated with distance from the woods, but the decline was gradual. Spirochete prevalence in ticks did not differ among lawn types or at different distances from the woods. Therefore, barriers that keep people away from the wood edge probably lower the risk of acquiring Lyme disease, but there is still a risk. Even with physical barriers at lawn-wood edges, personal precautions to prevent tick bites should be followed.

  9. An Ixodes minor and Borrelia carolinensis enzootic cycle involving a critically endangered Mojave Desert rodent

    PubMed Central

    Foley, Janet; Ott-Conn, Caitlin; Worth, Joy; Poulsen, Amanda; Clifford, Deana

    2014-01-01

    Microtus californicus scirpensis is an endangered, isolated subspecies of California vole. It requires water pools and riparian bulrush (Schoenoplectus americanus) and occupies some of the rarest habitat of any North American mammal. The minimally vegetated, extremely arid desert surrounding the pools is essentially uninhabitable for Ixodes species ticks. We describe an enzootic cycle of Borrelia carolinensis in Ixodes minor ticks at a site 3500 km distant from the region in which I. minor is known to occur in Tecopa Host Springs, Inyo County, eastern Mojave Desert, California. Voles were live-trapped, and ticks and blood samples queried by PCR and DNA sequencing for identification and determination of the presence of Borrelia spp. Between 2011–2013, we found 21 Ixodes minor ticks (prevalence 4–8%) on Amargosa voles and Reithrodontomys megalotis. DNA sequencing of 16S rRNA from ticks yielded 99% identity to I. minor. There was 92% identity with I. minor in the calreticulin gene fragment. Three ticks (23.1%), 15 (24%) voles, three (27%) house mice, and one (7%) harvest mice were PCR positive for Borrelia spp. Sequencing of the 5S-23S intergenic spacer region and flagellin gene assigned Amargosa vole Borrelia strains to B. carolinensis. Ixodes minor, first described in 1902 from a single Guatemalan record, reportedly occurs only in the southeast American on small mammals and birds. The source of this tick in the Mojave Desert and time scale for introduction is not known but likely via migratory birds. Borrelia strains in the Amargosa ecosystem most closely resemble B. carolinensis. B. carolinensis occurs in a rodent-I. minor enzootic cycle in the southeast U.S. although its epidemiological significance for people or rodents is unknown. The presence of a tick and Borrelia spp. only known from southeast U.S. in this extremely isolated habitat on the other side of the continent is of serious concern because it suggests that the animals in the

  10. An Ixodes minor and Borrelia carolinensis enzootic cycle involving a critically endangered Mojave Desert rodent.

    PubMed

    Foley, Janet; Ott-Conn, Caitlin; Worth, Joy; Poulsen, Amanda; Clifford, Deana

    2014-03-01

    Microtus californicus scirpensis is an endangered, isolated subspecies of California vole. It requires water pools and riparian bulrush (Schoenoplectus americanus) and occupies some of the rarest habitat of any North American mammal. The minimally vegetated, extremely arid desert surrounding the pools is essentially uninhabitable for Ixodes species ticks. We describe an enzootic cycle of Borrelia carolinensis in Ixodes minor ticks at a site 3500 km distant from the region in which I. minor is known to occur in Tecopa Host Springs, Inyo County, eastern Mojave Desert, California. Voles were live-trapped, and ticks and blood samples queried by PCR and DNA sequencing for identification and determination of the presence of Borrelia spp. Between 2011-2013, we found 21 Ixodes minor ticks (prevalence 4-8%) on Amargosa voles and Reithrodontomys megalotis. DNA sequencing of 16S rRNA from ticks yielded 99% identity to I. minor. There was 92% identity with I. minor in the calreticulin gene fragment. Three ticks (23.1%), 15 (24%) voles, three (27%) house mice, and one (7%) harvest mice were PCR positive for Borrelia spp. Sequencing of the 5S-23S intergenic spacer region and flagellin gene assigned Amargosa vole Borrelia strains to B. carolinensis. Ixodes minor, first described in 1902 from a single Guatemalan record, reportedly occurs only in the southeast American on small mammals and birds. The source of this tick in the Mojave Desert and time scale for introduction is not known but likely via migratory birds. Borrelia strains in the Amargosa ecosystem most closely resemble B. carolinensis. B. carolinensis occurs in a rodent-I. minor enzootic cycle in the southeast U.S. although its epidemiological significance for people or rodents is unknown. The presence of a tick and Borrelia spp. only known from southeast U.S. in this extremely isolated habitat on the other side of the continent is of serious concern because it suggests that the animals in the ecosystem

  11. Biological control of Ixodes ricinus larvae and nymphs with Metarhizium anisopliae blastospores.

    PubMed

    Wassermann, Marion; Selzer, Philipp; Steidle, Johannes L M; Mackenstedt, Ute

    2016-07-01

    The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is used as a biological pest control agent against various arthropod species, including ticks. However, the efficacy depends on tick species, tick stage and fungus strain. We studied the effect of M. anisopliae on engorged larvae and nymphs of Ixodes ricinus, the most abundant tick species in Europe, under laboratory and semi-field conditions. A significant reduction of engorged larvae and nymphs could be shown under laboratory as well as under semi-field conditions. Only 3.5% of the larvae treated in the lab and only 18.5% kept under semi-field conditions were able to develop into nymphs compared to the recovered nymphs of the control groups, which were regarded as 100%. Only 7.1% of nymphs were recovered as adult ticks after fungal treatment under semi-field conditions compared to the control (100%). The efficacy of blastospores of M. anisopliae against engorged larvae and nymphs of I. ricinus under semi-field conditions was demonstrated in this study, showing their high potential as a biological control agent of ticks. Further studies will have to investigate the effect of this agent against other stages of I. ricinus as well as other tick species before its value as a biological control agent against ticks can be fully assessed. PMID:27005430

  12. Distribution and Habitat of Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) and Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Utah.

    PubMed

    Davis, Ryan S; Ramirez, Ricardo A; Anderson, J Laine; Bernhardt, Scott A

    2015-11-01

    Knowledge about the distribution and abundance of the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls, in Utah is limited. Recent concerns over tick-borne diseases in Utah, primarily Lyme disease, have reinvigorated the need to understand the distribution and habitats favored by this tick species. We surveyed 157 sites throughout Utah to examine the distribution, abundance, and habitat of I. pacificus. In total, 343 adult ticks were collected from 2011 to 2013. Specifically, 119 I. pacificus, 217 Dermacentor andersoni Stiles, six D. albipictus Packard, and one D. hunteri Bishopp were collected. Overall, tick abundance was relatively low in the areas evaluated in Utah. I. pacificus collections were limited to sites above 1700 m. Ninety-two percent of I. pacificus were captured in the Sheeprock Mountains in Tooele County. I. pacificus positive collection sites were characterized by Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii Nuttall), juniper (Juniperus spp. L.), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nuttall) and black sagebrush (A. nova Nelson), and mixed grass habitat. All I. pacificus ticks were tested for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi (Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt, and Brenner, sensu stricto) using real-time PCR. All ticks tested negative for B. burgdorferi. The likelihood of encountering I. pacificus and acquiring Lyme disease in the areas evaluated in Utah is considerably low due to low tick abundance and limited distribution, as well as low prevalence (or absence) of B. burgdorferi in Utah. PMID:26336263

  13. Ticks (Ixodidae) on birds migrating from Europe and Asia to Africa, 1959-61*

    PubMed Central

    Hoogstraal, Harry; Kaiser, Makram N.; Traylor, Melvin A.; Guindy, Ezzat; Gaber, Sobhy

    1963-01-01

    The need for imaginative thinking and research in the epidemiology of diseases transmitted by arthropods is made manifest by new views of the longevity and host ranges of arthropod-borne viruses, as well as by other biological and medical phenomena. Among these is the intercontinental transport of ticks by migrating birds. During the fall migration periods of 1959, 1960 and 1961, 32 086 birds (comprising 72 forms) were examined for ticks in Egypt while en route from Asia and eastern Europe to tropical Africa. Of these, 40 forms, represented by 31 434 birds, were tick-infested. The bird hosts, numbering 1040 (3.31% of the tick-infested bird forms examined), bore 1761 ticks, or 1.69 ticks per host. Common ticks taken were Hyalomma m. marginatum, Haemaphysalis punctata, and Ixodes ricinus. Ixodes frontalis and Hyalomma aegyptium were less common and Haemaphysalis sulcata, H. otophila, and H. pavlovskyi were rare. The common tick species are known to be reservoirs and vectors of pathogens causing a number of human and animal diseases in Europe and Asia. Several of the bird hosts have also been incriminated as reservoirs in their summer ranges. Over 20 strains of pathogenic viruses were isolated from these birds and their ticks in Egypt in the 1961 fall migration period. The most difficult problems in investigations such as this in many parts of the world are taxonomic ones: the correct identification of bird hosts, of immature stages of ticks and of viruses. PMID:13961632

  14. Life history of Ixodes (Ixodes) jellisoni (Acari: Ixodidae) and its vector competence for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato.

    PubMed

    Lane, R S; Peavey, C A; Padgett, K A; Hendson, M

    1999-05-01

    Ixodes (Ixodes) jellisoni Cooley & Kohls, a nonhuman biting and little known tick, is one of 4 members of the I. ricinus complex in the United States. A localized population of I. jellisoni inhabiting a grassland biotope in Mendocino County, CA, was studied from 1993 to 1997. Rodent trapping in all seasons revealed that the only host of both immature and adult I. jellisoni was the heteromyid rodent Dipodomys californicus Merriam. Field investigations suggested that I. jellisoni is nidicolous in habit, and laboratory findings demonstrated that it reproduces parthenogenetically. Known parthenogenetic females (n = 4) produced an average of 530 eggs of which 74% hatched, which was comparable to the fecundity and fertility of wild-caught females (n = 8). After the transstadial molt, 57 F1 or F2 nymphs derived from 2 wild-caught or 4 laboratory-reared, unmated females produced only females. Ixodes jellisoni males were not found on 112 wild-caught D. californicus individuals that were captured an average of 2 times. Collectively, these findings suggest that I. jellisoni may be obligatorily parthenogenetic. Borrelial isolates were obtained from 85% of 58 D. californicus and 33% of 21 I. jellisoni females removed from this rodent. None of the 7 infected female ticks passed borreliae ovarially to its F1 larval progeny. Eight D. californicus and 5 I. jellisoni-derived isolates that were genetically characterized belonged to 2 restriction pattern groups of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. Neither restriction pattern group has been assigned to a particular genospecies yet. After placement on naturally infected D. californicus, noninfected larval ticks acquired and transstadially passed spirochetes as efficiently as (group 1 borreliae) or 6 times more efficiently (group 2 borreliae) than Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls. As few as 1-4 infected I. jellisoni nymphs were capable of transmitting group 1 or group 2 borreliae to naive D. californicus. We conclude that I. jellisoni is a

  15. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in ticks from eastern China.

    PubMed

    Hou, Juan; Ling, Feng; Chai, Chengliang; Lu, Ye; Yu, Xianghua; Lin, Junfen; Sun, Jimin; Chang, Yue; Ye, Xiaodong; Gu, Shiping; Pang, Weilong; Wang, Chengwei; Zheng, Xiaohua; Jiang, Jianmin; Chen, Zhiping; Gong, Zhenyu

    2015-02-01

    To explore the tick distribution and prevalence of Borrelia in Zhejiang Province, we performed a survey in nine sites. A total of 447 adult ticks of 11 species were captured and the dominant tick species were Haemaphysalis longicornis and Ixodes sinensis and the abundance of tick species in different areas varied significantly. Overall, 4.70% of the ticks were polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive for Borrelia. The average PCR positive rates were 5.19% for H. longicornis, 3.45% for Amblyomma testudinarium, 1.06% for I. sinensis, 5.00% for Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, and 19.44% for Ixodes granulatus, respectively. No Borrelia DNA was detected in Rhiphicephalus haemaphysaloides, Haemaphysalis yeni, Dermacentor taiwanensis, Haemaphysalis hystricis, Hyalomna asiaticum, and Ixodes ovatus. The prevalence of Borrelia was significantly different among tick species and the prevalence in I. granulatus was significantly higher than that in other tick species. Of note, experimentally confirmed vectors for B. burgdorferi s.l. including I. sinensis and I. granulatus were found in Zhejiang Province. Two species of B. burgdorferi s.l. exist in Zhejiang Province of which 12 sequences were most similar to the sequence of Borrelia garinii and nine sequences were most similar to the sequence of Borrelia valaisiana or Borrelia yangtze sp. nov. PMID:25548382

  16. High prevalence of Babesia microti 'Munich' type in small mammals from an Ixodes persulcatus/Ixodes trianguliceps sympatric area in the Omsk region, Russia.

    PubMed

    Rar, Vera; Yakimenko, Valeriy; Makenov, Marat; Tikunov, Artem; Epikhina, Tamara; Tancev, Aleksey; Bobrova, Oksana; Tikunova, Nina

    2016-09-01

    Babesia microti is a genetically diverse group of protozoan parasites whose life cycle is associated with both small mammals and Ixodes spp. ticks. In this study, the prevalence of different B. microti genetic groups in ticks and small rodents in an area with Ixodes persulcatus and Ixodes trianguliceps occurring in sympatry was examined. A total of 541 small mammals were captured during eight sampling periods between 2013 and 2015 at a site in the Omsk region of Russia and tested for the presence of B. microti using nested PCR with subsequent sequencing of positive samples. B. microti DNA was found in 31.6 % of examined samples, and prevalence rates ranged from 5.3 to 61.6 % in different sampling periods. The sequenced B. microti samples belonged to two genetic groups: enzootic B. microti 'Munich' type and zoonotic B. microti 'US' type. B. microti 'Munich' type was more common across all sampling periods, with greater than 80 % prevalence in infected animals. Despite the high B. microti 'Munich'-type prevalence in voles, B. microti was not found in any of 394 adult I. persulcatus ticks collected by flagging or in the 84 I. persulcatus or 20 I. trianguliceps ticks taken from voles and molted under laboratory conditions. It was demonstrated that B. microti 'Munich'-type DNA can be detected in the blood of naturally infected voles for at least 20 weeks after capture. Thus, the high prevalence of B. microti 'Munich' type in small mammals may be explained by the prolonged persistence of B. microti in the blood of wild voles. PMID:27212463

  17. Knockdown of proteins involved in iron metabolism limits tick reproduction and development

    PubMed Central

    Hajdusek, Ondrej; Sojka, Daniel; Kopacek, Petr; Buresova, Veronika; Franta, Zdenek; Sauman, Ivo; Winzerling, Joy; Grubhoffer, Libor

    2009-01-01

    Ticks are among the most important vectors of a wide range of human and animal diseases. During blood feeding, ticks are exposed to an enormous amount of free iron that must be appropriately used and detoxified. However, the mechanism of iron metabolism in ticks is poorly understood. Here, we show that ticks possess a complex system that efficiently utilizes, stores and transports non-heme iron within the tick body. We have characterized a new secreted ferritin (FER2) and an iron regulatory protein (IRP1) from the sheep tick, Ixodes ricinus, and have demonstrated their relationship to a previously described tick intracellular ferritin (FER1). By using RNA interference-mediated gene silencing in the tick, we show that synthesis of FER1, but not of FER2, is subject to IRP1-mediated translational control. Further, we find that depletion of FER2 from the tick plasma leads to a loss of FER1 expression in the salivary glands and ovaries that normally follows blood ingestion. We therefore suggest that secreted FER2 functions as the primary transporter of non-heme iron between the tick gut and the peripheral tissues. Silencing of the fer1, fer2, and irp1 genes by RNAi has an adverse impact on hatching rate and decreases postbloodmeal weight in tick females. Importantly, knockdown of fer2 dramatically impairs the ability of ticks to feed, thus making FER2 a promising candidate for development of an efficient anti-tick vaccine. PMID:19171899

  18. Transport of ticks by migratory passerine birds to Norway.

    PubMed

    Hasle, Gunnar; Bjune, Gunnar; Edvardsen, Erik; Jakobsen, Christer; Linnehol, Bjørn; Røer, Jan Erik; Mehl, Reidar; Røed, Knut H; Pedersen, Jon; Leinaas, Hans Petter

    2009-12-01

    Ticks can be transported over large distances and across geographical barriers by avian hosts. During the spring migrations of 2003 to 2005, 9,768 passerine birds from 4 bird observatories along the southern coastline of Norway were examined for ticks. Altogether, 713 birds carried a total of 517 larvae and 1,440 nymphs. The highest prevalence of tick infestation was observed in thrushes and dunnock (Prunella modularis). The degree of tick infestation varied during each season, between localities, and from year to year. Blackbirds (Turdus merula) caught in localities with many ticks had greater infestation than those from localities with few or no ticks, suggesting local tick recruitment. A similar study performed during 1965–1970 involving 2 of the bird observatories in the present study found ticks on 4.2% of birds, while we found infestation of 6.9% at the same localities (P < 0.001). With the exception of 10 nymphs and 1 larva, the predominant tick was Ixodes ricinus. Seven nymphs of Hyalomma rufipes and 1 larva of Dermacentor sp. were also found. No species of Dermacentor had previously been found in Norway. PMID:19658452

  19. Avian migrants facilitate invasions of neotropical ticks and tick-borne pathogens into the United States.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Emily B; Auckland, Lisa D; Marra, Peter P; Hamer, Sarah A

    2015-12-01

    Migratory birds have the potential to transport exotic vectors and pathogens of human and animal health importance across vast distances. We systematically examined birds that recently migrated to the United States from the Neotropics for ticks. We screened both ticks and birds for tick-borne pathogens, including Rickettsia species and Borrelia burgdorferi. Over two spring seasons (2013 and 2014), 3.56% of birds (n = 3,844) representing 42.35% of the species examined (n = 85) were infested by ticks. Ground-foraging birds with reduced fuel stores were most commonly infested. Eight tick species were identified, including seven in the genus Amblyomma, of which only Amblyomma maculatum/Amblyomma triste is known to be established in the United States. Most ticks on birds (67%) were neotropical species with ranges in Central and South America. Additionally, a single Ixodes genus tick was detected. A total of 29% of the ticks (n = 137) and no avian blood samples (n = 100) were positive for infection with Rickettsia species, including Rickettsia parkeri, an emerging cause of spotted fever in humans in the southern United States, a species in the group of Rickettsia monacensis, and uncharacterized species and endosymbionts of unknown pathogenicity. No avian tick or blood samples tested positive for B. burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease. An extrapolation of our findings suggests that anywhere from 4 to 39 million exotic neotropical ticks are transported to the United States annually on migratory songbirds, with uncertain consequences for human and animal health if the current barriers to their establishment and spread are overcome. PMID:26431964

  20. Avian Migrants Facilitate Invasions of Neotropical Ticks and Tick-Borne Pathogens into the United States

    PubMed Central

    Auckland, Lisa D.; Marra, Peter P.

    2015-01-01

    Migratory birds have the potential to transport exotic vectors and pathogens of human and animal health importance across vast distances. We systematically examined birds that recently migrated to the United States from the Neotropics for ticks. We screened both ticks and birds for tick-borne pathogens, including Rickettsia species and Borrelia burgdorferi. Over two spring seasons (2013 and 2014), 3.56% of birds (n = 3,844) representing 42.35% of the species examined (n = 85) were infested by ticks. Ground-foraging birds with reduced fuel stores were most commonly infested. Eight tick species were identified, including seven in the genus Amblyomma, of which only Amblyomma maculatum/Amblyomma triste is known to be established in the United States. Most ticks on birds (67%) were neotropical species with ranges in Central and South America. Additionally, a single Ixodes genus tick was detected. A total of 29% of the ticks (n = 137) and no avian blood samples (n = 100) were positive for infection with Rickettsia species, including Rickettsia parkeri, an emerging cause of spotted fever in humans in the southern United States, a species in the group of Rickettsia monacensis, and uncharacterized species and endosymbionts of unknown pathogenicity. No avian tick or blood samples tested positive for B. burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease. An extrapolation of our findings suggests that anywhere from 4 to 39 million exotic neotropical ticks are transported to the United States annually on migratory songbirds, with uncertain consequences for human and animal health if the current barriers to their establishment and spread are overcome. PMID:26431964