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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

    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 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

  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 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

  17. 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

  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 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

  5. 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

  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 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

  2. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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

  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 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

  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

    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

  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. 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

  15. 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

  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. 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

  20. 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

  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 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

  14. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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

  17. 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

  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