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Sample records for adult ixodes ricinus

  1. Morphological features of Ixodes persulcatus and I. ricinus hybrids: nymphs and adults.

    PubMed

    Bugmyrin, Sergey V; Belova, Oxana A; Bespyatova, Liubov A; Ieshko, Eugeniy P; Karganova, Galina G

    2016-07-01

    Our aim was to reveal morphological features of first-generation Ixodes persulcatus and I. ricinus hybrids (nymphs and adults) obtained under laboratory conditions for further study of natural populations of these species in sympatry foci. In 65 nymphs of three groups I. ricinus (23 specimens), I. persulcatus (21 specimens), and hybrids (21 specimens), 16 parameters were evaluated (length/width of the scutum and capitulum, length of the hypostome, palp, tarsus I, coxa I, sternal setae, and various scutal and alloscutal setae) and discrimination analysis was performed allowing differentiation of hybrid nymphs from original species. General effectiveness of classification of I. ricinus, I. persulcatus, and hybrids was >95 %. Discriminant functions are presented allowing classification of I. persulcatus, I. ricinus, and hybrid nymphs. For description of morphology, 27 adult hybrids (13 males and 14 females) were examined under a stereo microscope at 14-28× (without preparation of permanent mounts). The following morphological distinctions of hybrids from original species were described: posterior marginal groove is not clear (as in I. ricinus) and absence of syncoxa on coxa I (as in I persulcatus). In hybrid males, simultaneous absence of syncoxa on coxa I (as in I. persulcatus) and a long internal spur on coxa I (as in I. ricinus) can be used as a diagnostic feature. Based on the detected characteristics, 10 of 157 ticks collected in Karelia in I. ricinus and I. persulcatus sympatry area were classified as hybrids. PMID:26984610

  2. 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

  3. Vaccination against Bm86 Homologues in Rabbits Does Not Impair Ixodes ricinus Feeding or Oviposition.

    PubMed

    Coumou, Jeroen; Wagemakers, Alex; Trentelman, Jos J; Nijhof, Ard M; Hovius, Joppe W

    2014-01-01

    Human tick-borne diseases that are transmitted by Ixodes ricinus, such as Lyme borreliosis and tick borne encephalitis, are on the rise in Europe. Diminishing I. ricinus populations in nature can reduce tick exposure to humans, and one way to do so is by developing an anti-vector vaccine against tick antigens. Currently, there is only one anti-vector vaccine available against ticks, which is a veterinary vaccine based on the tick antigen Bm86 in the gut of Rhipicephalus microplus. Bm86 vaccine formulations cause a reduction in the number of Rhipicephalus microplus ticks that successfully feed, i.e. lower engorgement weights and a decrease in the number of oviposited eggs. Furthermore, Bm86 vaccines reduce transmission of bovine Babesia spp. Previously two conserved Bm86 homologues in I. ricinus ticks, designated as Ir86-1 and Ir86-2, were described. Here we investigated the effect of a vaccine against recombinant Ir86-1, Ir86-2 or a combination of both on Ixodes ricinus feeding. Recombinant Ixodes ricinus Bm86 homologues were expressed in a Drosophila expression system and rabbits were immunized with rIr86-1, rIr86-2, a combination of both or ovalbumin as a control. Each animal was infested with 50 female adults and 50 male adults Ixodes ricinus and tick mortality, engorgement weights and egg mass were analyzed. Although serum IgG titers against rIr86 proteins were elicited, no effect was found on tick feeding between the rIr86 vaccinated animals and ovalbumin vaccinated animals. We conclude that vaccination against Bm86 homologues in Ixodes ricinus is not an effective approach to control Ixodes ricinus populations, despite the clear effects of Bm86 vaccination against Rhipicephalus microplus. PMID:25919587

  4. Vaccination against Bm86 Homologues in Rabbits Does Not Impair Ixodes ricinus Feeding or Oviposition

    PubMed Central

    Coumou, Jeroen; Wagemakers, Alex; Trentelman, Jos J.; Nijhof, Ard M.; Hovius, Joppe W.

    2015-01-01

    Human tick-borne diseases that are transmitted by Ixodes ricinus, such as Lyme borreliosis and tick borne encephalitis, are on the rise in Europe. Diminishing I. ricinus populations in nature can reduce tick exposure to humans, and one way to do so is by developing an anti-vector vaccine against tick antigens. Currently, there is only one anti-vector vaccine available against ticks, which is a veterinary vaccine based on the tick antigen Bm86 in the gut of Rhipicephalus microplus. Bm86 vaccine formulations cause a reduction in the number of Rhipicephalus microplus ticks that successfully feed, i.e. lower engorgement weights and a decrease in the number of oviposited eggs. Furthermore, Bm86 vaccines reduce transmission of bovine Babesia spp. Previously two conserved Bm86 homologues in I. ricinus ticks, designated as Ir86-1 and Ir86-2, were described. Here we investigated the effect of a vaccine against recombinant Ir86-1, Ir86-2 or a combination of both on Ixodes ricinus feeding. Recombinant Ixodes ricinus Bm86 homologues were expressed in a Drosophila expression system and rabbits were immunized with rIr86-1, rIr86-2, a combination of both or ovalbumin as a control. Each animal was infested with 50 female adults and 50 male adults Ixodes ricinus and tick mortality, engorgement weights and egg mass were analyzed. Although serum IgG titers against rIr86 proteins were elicited, no effect was found on tick feeding between the rIr86 vaccinated animals and ovalbumin vaccinated animals. We conclude that vaccination against Bm86 homologues in Ixodes ricinus is not an effective approach to control Ixodes ricinus populations, despite the clear effects of Bm86 vaccination against Rhipicephalus microplus. PMID:25919587

  5. Molecular Identification of Borrelia miyamotoi in Ixodes ricinus from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Mónica; Parreira, Ricardo; Lopes, Nádia; Maia, Carla; Carreira, Teresa; Sousa, Carmelita; Faria, Sofia; Campino, Lenea; Vieira, M Luísa

    2015-08-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi, a relapsing fever spirochete, has been found recently in Ixodes ricinus ticks; however, little is known about its spatial distribution and potential local impact on human health. A total of 640 ticks (447 nymphs and 193 adults) collected throughout Portugal were analyzed using two nested PCR protocols, one targeting the flagellin gene and the other the internal transcribed space region between the 5S and the 23S rRNA. As a result, B. miyamotoi was detected, for the first time, in one guesting I. ricinus nymph collected in the Lisboa district. In addition, a prevalence of 11% (71/640) for B. burgdorferi sensu lato was obtained. Even though no human relapsing fever cases due to infection by B. miyamotoi have been reported yet in Portugal, surveillance must be improved to provide better insight into the prevalence and distribution of this spirochete in ticks. PMID:26273814

  6. Efficacy of deltamethrin (Butox® 7.5 pour on) against nymphs and adults of ticks (Ixodes ricinus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus) in treated hair of cattle and sheep.

    PubMed

    Mehlhorn, Heinz; Schumacher, Bärbel; Jatzlau, Antje; Abdel-Ghaffar, Fathy; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A S; Klimpel, Sven; Pohle, Herbert

    2011-04-01

    Ticks are known to be able to transmit a broad spectrum of agents of diseases in cattle or sheep. Therefore, measurements are needed to keep ticks away from the body of any ruminant belonging to the agricultural life stock. The present study dealt with investigations to measure the efficacy of the insecticide deltamethrin (Butox® 7.5 pour on) against specimens of two important species (Ixodes ricinus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus). Four sheep and four young cattle were treated lege arte along the vertebral column with 10 ml Butox® (deltamethrin) per sheep or 30 ml Butox® per cattle. Day 7, 14, 21, and 28 after the treatment, hair was shaved off from the head, ears, the back, belly, and the feet being collected in separate, suitable plastic bags, and transported to the institute, where these hair were brought into close contact with either adult and/or nymph stages of I. ricinus and R. sanguineus. As results, strong, acaricidal effects were seen, which varied according to the parasite species, the origin of the hair (e.g., head, leg, etc.) and according to the period after the treatment. In sheep, the acaricidal effect was noted for the whole period of 28 days along the whole body with respect to adults and nymphs of I. ricinus, while the acaricidal effects of deltamethrin were reduced for R. sanguineus stages beginning at day 21 after treatment. In cattle, the full acaricidal effect was seen for 21 days in I. ricinus stages and for 14 days in R. sanguineus, while the acaricidal efficacy became reduced after these periods of full action-beginning at the hair taken from the legs. Only R. sanguineus adults did not show any reaction on day 28 after treatment. Besides these acaricidal effects, repellent effects were also noted. Full repellency for both species was seen during the first 14 days in sheep and cattle against Ixodes and Rhipicephalus, while the repellency was later reduced, especially in contact with hair from the legs. As conclusion, deltamethrin, besides

  7. 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

  8. Infection of Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in North Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhioua, E.; Bouattour, A.; Hu, C.M.; Gharbi, M.; Aeschliman, A.; Ginsberg, H.S.; Gern, L.

    1999-01-01

    Free-living adult Ixodes ricinus L. were collected in Amdoun, situated in the Kroumiry mountains in northwestern Tunisia (North Africa). Using direct fluorescence antibody assay, the infection rate of field-collected I. ricinus by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato was 30.5% (n = 72). No difference in infection rate was observed between male and female ticks. Spirochetes that had been isolated from I. ricinus from Ain Drahim (Kroumiry Mountains) in 1988 were identified as Borrelia lusitaniae (formerly genospecies PotiB2). This is the first identification of a genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato from the continent of Africa.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Arsenophonus nasoniae and Rickettsiae Infection of Ixodes ricinus Due to Parasitic Wasp Ixodiphagus hookeri.

    PubMed

    Bohacsova, Monika; Mediannikov, Oleg; Kazimirova, Maria; Raoult, Didier; Sekeyova, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Arsenophonus nasoniae, a male-killing endosymbiont of chalcid wasps, was recently detected in several hard tick species. Following the hypothesis that its presence in ticks may not be linked to the direct occurrence of bacteria in tick's organs, we identified A. nasoniae in wasps emerging from parasitised nymphs. We confirmed that 28.1% of Ixodiphagus hookeri wasps parasitizing Ixodes ricinus ticks were infected by A. nasoniae. Moreover, in examined I. ricinus nymphs, A. nasoniae was detected only in those, which were parasitized by the wasp. However, in part of the adult wasps as well as in some ticks that contained wasp's DNA, we did not confirm A. nasoniae. We also found, that in spite of reported male-killing, some newly emerged adult wasp males were also infected by A. nasoniae. Additionally, we amplified the DNA of Rickettsia helvetica and Rickettsia monacensis (known to be Ixodes ricinus-associated bacteria) in adult parasitoid wasps. This may be related either with the digested bacterial DNA in wasp body lumen or with a role of wasps in circulation of rickettsiae among tick vectors. PMID:26901622

  12. Arsenophonus nasoniae and Rickettsiae Infection of Ixodes ricinus Due to Parasitic Wasp Ixodiphagus hookeri

    PubMed Central

    Bohacsova, Monika; Mediannikov, Oleg; Kazimirova, Maria; Raoult, Didier; Sekeyova, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Arsenophonus nasoniae, a male-killing endosymbiont of chalcid wasps, was recently detected in several hard tick species. Following the hypothesis that its presence in ticks may not be linked to the direct occurrence of bacteria in tick's organs, we identified A. nasoniae in wasps emerging from parasitised nymphs. We confirmed that 28.1% of Ixodiphagus hookeri wasps parasitizing Ixodes ricinus ticks were infected by A. nasoniae. Moreover, in examined I. ricinus nymphs, A. nasoniae was detected only in those, which were parasitized by the wasp. However, in part of the adult wasps as well as in some ticks that contained wasp's DNA, we did not confirm A. nasoniae. We also found, that in spite of reported male-killing, some newly emerged adult wasp males were also infected by A. nasoniae. Additionally, we amplified the DNA of Rickettsia helvetica and Rickettsia monacensis (known to be Ixodes ricinus-associated bacteria) in adult parasitoid wasps. This may be related either with the digested bacterial DNA in wasp body lumen or with a role of wasps in circulation of rickettsiae among tick vectors. PMID:26901622

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Presence of host-seeking Ixodes ricinus and their infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in the Northern Apennines, Italy.

    PubMed

    Ragagli, Charlotte; Mannelli, Alessandro; Ambrogi, Cecilia; Bisanzio, Donal; Ceballos, Leonardo A; Grego, Elena; Martello, Elisa; Selmi, Marco; Tomassone, Laura

    2016-06-01

    Host-seeking ticks were collected in the Northern Apennines, Italy, by dragging at 35 sites, at altitudes ranging from 680 and 1670 m above sea level (asl), from April to November, in 2010 and 2011. Ixodes ricinus (4431 larvae, 597 nymphs and 12 adults) and Haemaphysalis punctata (11,209 larvae, 313 nymphs, and 25 adults) were the most abundant species, followed by Haemaphysalis sulcata (20 larvae, five nymphs, and 13 adults), Dermacentor marginatus (42 larvae and two adults) and Ixodes hexagonus (one nymph). Greatest numbers of ticks were collected at locations characterised by southern exposure and limestone substratum, at altitudes <1400 m asl; I. ricinus was most abundant in Turkey oak (Quercus cerris) wood, whereas H. punctata was mostly collected in hop hornbeam (Ostrya carpinifolia) wood and on exposed rocks. Ixodes ricinus was also found up to 1670 m asl, in high stand beech (Fagus sylvatica) wood. The overall prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (sl) in 294 host-seeking I. ricinus nymphs was 8.5 %. Borrelia garinii was the most frequently identified genospecies (64.0 % of positive nymphs), followed by B. valaisiana, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. afzelii, and B. lusitaniae. Based upon the comparison with the results of previous studies at the same location, these research findings suggest the recent invasion of the study area by the tick vector and the agents of Lyme borreliosis. PMID:26964552

  15. Ixodes ricinus and Its Endosymbiont Midichloria mitochondrii: A Comparative Proteomic Analysis of Salivary Glands and Ovaries.

    PubMed

    Di Venere, Monica; Fumagalli, Marco; Cafiso, Alessandra; De Marco, Leone; Epis, Sara; Plantard, Olivier; Bardoni, Anna; Salvini, Roberta; Viglio, Simona; Bazzocchi, Chiara; Iadarola, Paolo; Sassera, Davide

    2015-01-01

    Hard ticks are hematophagous arthropods that act as vectors of numerous pathogenic microorganisms of high relevance in human and veterinary medicine. Ixodes ricinus is one of the most important tick species in Europe, due to its role of vector of pathogenic bacteria such as Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, of viruses such as tick borne encephalitis virus and of protozoans as Babesia spp. In addition to these pathogens, I. ricinus harbors a symbiotic bacterium, Midichloria mitochondrii. This is the dominant bacteria associated to I. ricinus, but its biological role is not yet understood. Most M. mitochondrii symbionts are localized in the tick ovaries, and they are transmitted to the progeny. M. mitochondrii bacteria have however also been detected in the salivary glands and saliva of I. ricinus, as well as in the blood of vertebrate hosts of the tick, prompting the hypothesis of an infectious role of this bacterium. To investigate, from a proteomic point of view, the tick I. ricinus and its symbiont, we generated the protein profile of the ovary tissue (OT) and of salivary glands (SG) of adult females of this tick species. To compare the OT and SG profiles, 2-DE profiling followed by LC-MS/MS protein identification were performed. We detected 21 spots showing significant differences in the relative abundance between the OT and SG, ten of which showed 4- to 18-fold increase/decrease in density. This work allowed to establish a method to characterize the proteome of I. ricinus, and to detect multiple proteins that exhibit a differential expression profile in OT and SG. Additionally, we were able to use an immunoproteomic approach to detect a protein from the symbiont. Finally, the method here developed will pave the way for future studies on the proteomics of I. ricinus, with the goals of better understanding the biology of this vector and of its symbiont M. mitochondrii. PMID:26398775

  16. Ixodes ricinus and Its Endosymbiont Midichloria mitochondrii: A Comparative Proteomic Analysis of Salivary Glands and Ovaries

    PubMed Central

    Di Venere, Monica; Fumagalli, Marco; Cafiso, Alessandra; De Marco, Leone; Epis, Sara; Plantard, Olivier; Bardoni, Anna; Salvini, Roberta; Viglio, Simona; Bazzocchi, Chiara; Iadarola, Paolo; Sassera, Davide

    2015-01-01

    Hard ticks are hematophagous arthropods that act as vectors of numerous pathogenic microorganisms of high relevance in human and veterinary medicine. Ixodes ricinus is one of the most important tick species in Europe, due to its role of vector of pathogenic bacteria such as Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, of viruses such as tick borne encephalitis virus and of protozoans as Babesia spp. In addition to these pathogens, I. ricinus harbors a symbiotic bacterium, Midichloria mitochondrii. This is the dominant bacteria associated to I. ricinus, but its biological role is not yet understood. Most M. mitochondrii symbionts are localized in the tick ovaries, and they are transmitted to the progeny. M. mitochondrii bacteria have however also been detected in the salivary glands and saliva of I. ricinus, as well as in the blood of vertebrate hosts of the tick, prompting the hypothesis of an infectious role of this bacterium. To investigate, from a proteomic point of view, the tick I. ricinus and its symbiont, we generated the protein profile of the ovary tissue (OT) and of salivary glands (SG) of adult females of this tick species. To compare the OT and SG profiles, 2-DE profiling followed by LC-MS/MS protein identification were performed. We detected 21 spots showing significant differences in the relative abundance between the OT and SG, ten of which showed 4- to 18-fold increase/decrease in density. This work allowed to establish a method to characterize the proteome of I. ricinus, and to detect multiple proteins that exhibit a differential expression profile in OT and SG. Additionally, we were able to use an immunoproteomic approach to detect a protein from the symbiont. Finally, the method here developed will pave the way for future studies on the proteomics of I. ricinus, with the goals of better understanding the biology of this vector and of its symbiont M. mitochondrii. PMID:26398775

  17. 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

  18. De novo Ixodes ricinus salivary gland transcriptome analysis using two next-generation sequencing methodologies

    PubMed Central

    Schwarz, Alexandra; von Reumont, Björn M.; Erhart, Jan; Chagas, Andrezza C.; Ribeiro, José M. C.; Kotsyfakis, Michalis

    2013-01-01

    Tick salivary gland (SG) proteins possess powerful pharmacologic properties that facilitate tick feeding and pathogen transmission. For the first time, SG transcriptomes of Ixodes ricinus, an important disease vector for humans and animals, were analyzed using next-generation sequencing. SGs were collected from different tick life stages fed on various animal species, including cofeeding of nymphs and adults on the same host. Four cDNA samples were sequenced, discriminating tick SG transcriptomes of early- and late-feeding nymphs or adults. In total, 441,381,454 pyrosequencing reads and 67,703,183 Illumina reads were assembled into 272,220 contigs, of which 34,560 extensively annotated coding sequences are disclosed; 8686 coding sequences were submitted to GenBank. Overall, 13% of contigs were classified as secreted proteins that showed significant differences in the transcript representation among the 4 SG samples, including high numbers of sample-specific transcripts. Detailed phylogenetic reconstructions of two relatively abundant SG-secreted protein families demonstrated how this study improves our understanding of the molecular evolution of hematophagy in arthropods. Our data significantly increase the available genomic information for I. ricinus and form a solid basis for future tick genome/transcriptome assemblies and the functional analysis of effectors that mediate the feeding physiology and parasite-vector interaction of I. ricinus.—Schwarz, A., von Reumont, B.M., Erhart, J., Chagas, A.C., Ribeiro, J.M.C., Kotsyfakis, M. De novo Ixodes ricinus salivary gland transcriptome analysis using two next-generation sequencing methodologies. PMID:23964076

  19. Deep Sequencing Analysis of the Ixodes ricinus Haemocytome

    PubMed Central

    Franta, Zdeněk; Pedra, Joao H. F.; Ribeiro, José M. C.

    2015-01-01

    Background Ixodes ricinus is the main tick vector of the microbes that cause Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis in Europe. Pathogens transmitted by ticks have to overcome innate immunity barriers present in tick tissues, including midgut, salivary glands epithelia and the hemocoel. Molecularly, invertebrate immunity is initiated when pathogen recognition molecules trigger serum or cellular signalling cascades leading to the production of antimicrobials, pathogen opsonization and phagocytosis. We presently aimed at identifying hemocyte transcripts from semi-engorged female I. ricinus ticks by mass sequencing a hemocyte cDNA library and annotating immune-related transcripts based on their hemocyte abundance as well as their ubiquitous distribution. Methodology/principal findings De novo assembly of 926,596 pyrosequence reads plus 49,328,982 Illumina reads (148 nt length) from a hemocyte library, together with over 189 million Illumina reads from salivary gland and midgut libraries, generated 15,716 extracted coding sequences (CDS); these are displayed in an annotated hyperlinked spreadsheet format. Read mapping allowed the identification and annotation of tissue-enriched transcripts. A total of 327 transcripts were found significantly over expressed in the hemocyte libraries, including those coding for scavenger receptors, antimicrobial peptides, pathogen recognition proteins, proteases and protease inhibitors. Vitellogenin and lipid metabolism transcription enrichment suggests fat body components. We additionally annotated ubiquitously distributed transcripts associated with immune function, including immune-associated signal transduction proteins and transcription factors, including the STAT transcription factor. Conclusions/significance This is the first systems biology approach to describe the genes expressed in the haemocytes of this neglected disease vector. A total of 2,860 coding sequences were deposited to GenBank, increasing to 27,547 the number so

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Biological control of Ixodes ricinus larvae and nymphs with Metarhizium anisopliae blastospores.

    PubMed

    Wassermann, Marion; Selzer, Philipp; Steidle, Johannes L M; Mackenstedt, Ute

    2016-07-01

    The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is used as a biological pest control agent against various arthropod species, including ticks. However, the efficacy depends on tick species, tick stage and fungus strain. We studied the effect of M. anisopliae on engorged larvae and nymphs of Ixodes ricinus, the most abundant tick species in Europe, under laboratory and semi-field conditions. A significant reduction of engorged larvae and nymphs could be shown under laboratory as well as under semi-field conditions. Only 3.5% of the larvae treated in the lab and only 18.5% kept under semi-field conditions were able to develop into nymphs compared to the recovered nymphs of the control groups, which were regarded as 100%. Only 7.1% of nymphs were recovered as adult ticks after fungal treatment under semi-field conditions compared to the control (100%). The efficacy of blastospores of M. anisopliae against engorged larvae and nymphs of I. ricinus under semi-field conditions was demonstrated in this study, showing their high potential as a biological control agent of ticks. Further studies will have to investigate the effect of this agent against other stages of I. ricinus as well as other tick species before its value as a biological control agent against ticks can be fully assessed. PMID:27005430

  3. 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

  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. 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. 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

  7. Dominance of Dermacentor reticulatus over Ixodes ricinus (Ixodidae) on livestock, companion animals and wild ruminants in eastern and central Poland.

    PubMed

    Mierzejewska, Ewa J; Welc-Faleciak, Renata; Karbowiak, Grzegorz; Kowalec, Maciej; Behnke, Jerzy M; Bajer, Anna

    2015-05-01

    The most common tick species parasitizing animals in Poland are Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus. These tick species differ in their distribution, habitats, seasonal activity and host specificity. Ixodes ricinus is the most prevalent and widely distributed, whereas the range of D. reticulatus is limited to eastern and central parts of the country with several new foci in the middle-west and the west. However, as in many central European countries, the range of D. reticulatus is expanding, and some authors have correlated this expansion with an increasing number of available hosts. The aim of the present study was to determine the tick fauna on domestic and livestock animals in two areas endemic for I. ricinus and D. reticulatus and to compare the risk of infestation with different tick species in open and forest areas. Over a 14 month period, 732 ticks were collected from five host species including domestic animals (dogs and cats), livestock (cows and horses) and wildlife (European bison) in two areas, central and NE Poland, endemic for D. reticulatus. Three tick species were recorded: D. reticulatus (623 individuals; 85.1% of all collected ticks), I. ricinus (106 individuals; 14.5%) and three females of Ixodes hexagonus (0.4%) from a dog. Dermacentor reticulatus was the dominant tick species found on four host species and constituted 86, 81, 97 and 100% of all ticks from dogs, horses, cows and bison, respectively, and was collected from animals throughout the year, including during the winter. The common tick, I. ricinus, was the dominant tick collected from cats (94%). Fully-engorged, ready-for-reproduction females of D. reticulatus were collected from all host species. In May 2012, questing ticks were collected by dragging in forest or open habitats. The density of adult marsh ticks in open areas was around 2 ticks/100 m(2) in the majority of locations, with a maximum of 9.5 ticks/100 m(2). The density of adult I. ricinus was much lower in its typical

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. Diversity of viruses in Ixodes ricinus, and characterization of a neurotropic strain of Eyach virus

    PubMed Central

    Moutailler, S.; Popovici, I.; Devillers, E.; Vayssier-Taussat, M.; Eloit, M.

    2016-01-01

    Ticks transmit more pathogens—including bacteria, parasites and viruses—than any other arthropod vector. Although the epidemiological status of many tick-borne bacteria is very well characterized, tick-borne viruses are still relatively under-studied. Recently, several novel tick-borne viruses have been isolated from human febrile illnesses following tick bites, indicating the existence of other potential new and unknown tick-borne viruses. We used high-throughput sequencing to analyse the virome of Ixodes ricinus, the main vector of tick-borne pathogens in Europe. The majority of collected viral sequences were assigned to two potentially novel Nairovirus and Phlebovirus viruses, with prevalence rates ranging from 3.95% to 23.88% in adults and estimated to be between 0.14% and 72.16% in nymphs. These viruses could not be isolated from the brains of inoculated immunocompromised mice, perhaps indicating that they are unable to infect vertebrates. Within the I. ricinus virome, we also identified contigs with >90% identity to the known Eyach virus. Initially isolated in the 1980s, this virus was indirectly associated with human disease, but had never been extensively studied. Eyach virus prevalence varied between 0.07% and 5.26% in ticks from the French Ardennes and Alsace regions. Eyach virus was successfully isolated following intracerebral inoculation of immunocompromised mice with Eyach virus-positive tick extracts. This virus was also able to multiply and persist in the blood of immunocompetent mice inoculated by intraperitoneal injection, and caused brain infections in three of nine juveniles, without any obvious deleterious effects. PMID:27158509

  12. Diversity of viruses in Ixodes ricinus, and characterization of a neurotropic strain of Eyach virus.

    PubMed

    Moutailler, S; Popovici, I; Devillers, E; Vayssier-Taussat, M; Eloit, M

    2016-05-01

    Ticks transmit more pathogens-including bacteria, parasites and viruses-than any other arthropod vector. Although the epidemiological status of many tick-borne bacteria is very well characterized, tick-borne viruses are still relatively under-studied. Recently, several novel tick-borne viruses have been isolated from human febrile illnesses following tick bites, indicating the existence of other potential new and unknown tick-borne viruses. We used high-throughput sequencing to analyse the virome of Ixodes ricinus, the main vector of tick-borne pathogens in Europe. The majority of collected viral sequences were assigned to two potentially novel Nairovirus and Phlebovirus viruses, with prevalence rates ranging from 3.95% to 23.88% in adults and estimated to be between 0.14% and 72.16% in nymphs. These viruses could not be isolated from the brains of inoculated immunocompromised mice, perhaps indicating that they are unable to infect vertebrates. Within the I. ricinus virome, we also identified contigs with >90% identity to the known Eyach virus. Initially isolated in the 1980s, this virus was indirectly associated with human disease, but had never been extensively studied. Eyach virus prevalence varied between 0.07% and 5.26% in ticks from the French Ardennes and Alsace regions. Eyach virus was successfully isolated following intracerebral inoculation of immunocompromised mice with Eyach virus-positive tick extracts. This virus was also able to multiply and persist in the blood of immunocompetent mice inoculated by intraperitoneal injection, and caused brain infections in three of nine juveniles, without any obvious deleterious effects. PMID:27158509

  13. IrFC - An Ixodes ricinus injury-responsive molecule related to Limulus Factor C.

    PubMed

    Urbanová, Veronika; Hartmann, David; Grunclová, Lenka; Šíma, Radek; Flemming, Tina; Hajdušek, Ondřej; Kopáček, Petr

    2014-10-01

    Limulus Clotting Factor C is a multi-domain serine protease that triggers horseshoe crab hemolymph clotting in the presence of trace amounts of bacterial lipopolysaccharides. Here we describe and functionally characterize an homologous molecule, designated as IrFC, from the hard tick Ixodes ricinus. Tick Factor C consists of an N-terminal cysteine-rich domain, four complement control protein (sushi) modules, an LCCL domain, a truncated C-lectin domain and a C-terminal trypsin-type domain. Developmental expression profiling by quantitative real-time PCR revealed that the irfc mRNA is expressed in all stages including eggs. In tissues dissected from adult I. ricinus females, the irfc mRNA is present mainly in tick hemocytes and accordingly, indirect immunofluorescence microscopy localized IrFC intracellularly, in tick hemocytes. Irfc mRNA levels were markedly increased upon injection of sterile saline, or different microbes, demonstrating that the irfc gene transcription occurs in response to injury. This indicates a possible role of IrFC in hemolymph clotting and/or wound healing, although these defense mechanisms have not been yet definitely demonstrated in ticks. RNAi silencing of irfc expression resulted in a significant reduction in phagocytic activity of tick hemocytes against the Gram-negative bacteria Chryseobacterium indologenes and Escherichia coli, but not against the yeast, Candida albicans. This result suggests that IrFC plays a role in the tick primordial complement system and as such possibly mediates transmission of tick-borne pathogens. PMID:24924263

  14. Distribution of Ixodes ricinus L., 1758 and Ixodes persulcatus Shulze, 1930 (Parasitoformes, Ixodidae) in Russia and adjacent countries in view of observable climate changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yasyukevich, V. V.; Kazakova, E. V.; Popov, I. O.; Semenov, S. M.

    2009-08-01

    Possible changes in the area inhabited by the ticks Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes persulcatus, the main transmitters of tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease in Russia, caused by temperature changes in 1976-2005 compared to 1946-1975 are discussed. It is shown that these changes could result in some areal expansion of these species. In the European part of Russia, I. ricinus expanded its areal boundaries to the east 100-300 km. I. persulcatus expanded its areal in the Asian part of Russia. Its boundary moved to the north and northeast 100-300 km. Areal expansion both of species has not been observed.

  15. Tissue- and time-dependent transcription in Ixodes ricinus salivary glands and midguts when blood feeding on the vertebrate host

    PubMed Central

    Kotsyfakis, Michalis; Schwarz, Alexandra; Erhart, Jan; Ribeiro, José M. C.

    2015-01-01

    Ixodes ricinus is a tick that transmits the pathogens of Lyme and several arboviral diseases. Pathogens invade the tick midgut, disseminate through the hemolymph, and are transmitted to the vertebrate host via the salivary glands; subverting these processes could be used to interrupt pathogen transfer. Here, we use massive de novo sequencing to characterize the transcriptional dynamics of the salivary and midgut tissues of nymphal and adult I. ricinus at various time points after attachment on the vertebrate host. Members of a number of gene families show stage- and time-specific expression. We hypothesize that gene expression switching may be under epigenetic control and, in support of this, identify 34 candidate proteins that modify histones. I. ricinus-secreted proteins are encoded by genes that have a non-synonymous to synonymous mutation rate even greater than immune-related genes. Midgut transcriptome (mialome) analysis reveals several enzymes associated with protein, carbohydrate, and lipid digestion, transporters and channels that might be associated with nutrient uptake, and immune-related transcripts including antimicrobial peptides. This publicly available dataset supports the identification of protein and gene targets for biochemical and physiological studies that exploit the transmission lifecycle of this disease vector for preventative and therapeutic purposes. PMID:25765539

  16. Tissue- and time-dependent transcription in Ixodes ricinus salivary glands and midguts when blood feeding on the vertebrate host.

    PubMed

    Kotsyfakis, Michalis; Schwarz, Alexandra; Erhart, Jan; Ribeiro, José M C

    2015-01-01

    Ixodes ricinus is a tick that transmits the pathogens of Lyme and several arboviral diseases. Pathogens invade the tick midgut, disseminate through the hemolymph, and are transmitted to the vertebrate host via the salivary glands; subverting these processes could be used to interrupt pathogen transfer. Here, we use massive de novo sequencing to characterize the transcriptional dynamics of the salivary and midgut tissues of nymphal and adult I. ricinus at various time points after attachment on the vertebrate host. Members of a number of gene families show stage- and time-specific expression. We hypothesize that gene expression switching may be under epigenetic control and, in support of this, identify 34 candidate proteins that modify histones. I. ricinus-secreted proteins are encoded by genes that have a non-synonymous to synonymous mutation rate even greater than immune-related genes. Midgut transcriptome (mialome) analysis reveals several enzymes associated with protein, carbohydrate, and lipid digestion, transporters and channels that might be associated with nutrient uptake, and immune-related transcripts including antimicrobial peptides. This publicly available dataset supports the identification of protein and gene targets for biochemical and physiological studies that exploit the transmission lifecycle of this disease vector for preventative and therapeutic purposes. PMID:25765539

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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. 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

  1. Mitogenomes reveal diversity of the European Lyme borreliosis vector Ixodes ricinus in Italy.

    PubMed

    Carpi, Giovanna; Kitchen, Andrew; Kim, Hie Lim; Ratan, Aakrosh; Drautz-Moses, Daniela I; McGraw, John J; Kazimirova, Maria; Rizzoli, Annapaola; Schuster, Stephan C

    2016-08-01

    In Europe, the Ixodes ricinus tick is the most important vector of the etiological agents of Lyme borreliosis and several other emerging tick-borne diseases. Because tick-borne pathogens are dependent on their vectors for transmission, understanding the vector population structure is crucial to inform public health research of pathogen dynamics and spread. However, the population structure and dynamics of this important vector species are not well understood as most genetic studies utilize short mitochondrial and nuclear sequences with little diversity. Herein we obtained and analyzed complete mitochondrial genome (hereafter "mitogenome") sequences to better understand the genetic diversity and the population structure of I. ricinus from two long-standing tick-borne disease foci in northern Italy. Complete mitogenomes of 23 I. ricinus ticks were sequenced at high coverage. Out of 23 mitogenome sequences we identified 17 unique haplotypes composed of 244 segregating sites. Phylogenetic reconstruction using 18 complete mitogenome sequences revealed the coexistence of four highly divergent I. ricinus maternal lineages despite the narrow spatial scale over which these samples were obtained (100km). Notably, the estimated coalescence time of the 18 mitogenome haplotypes is ∼427 thousand years ago (95% HPD 330, 540). This divergence between I. ricinus lineages is consistent with the mitochondrial diversity of other arthropod vector species and indicates that long-term I. ricinus populations may have been less structured and larger than previously thought. Thus, this study suggests that a rapid and accurate retrieval of full mitochondrial genomes from this disease vector enables fine-resolution studies of tick intraspecies genetic relationships, population differentiation, and demographic history. PMID:27165938

  2. 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

  3. Substrate prediction of Ixodes ricinus salivary lipocalins differentially expressed during Borrelia afzelii infection

    PubMed Central

    Valdés, James J.; Cabezas-Cruz, Alejandro; Sima, Radek; Butterill, Philip T.; Růžek, Daniel; Nuttall, Patricia A.

    2016-01-01

    Evolution has provided ticks with an arsenal of bioactive saliva molecules that counteract host defense mechanisms. This salivary pharmacopoeia enables blood-feeding while enabling pathogen transmission. High-throughput sequencing of tick salivary glands has thus become a major focus, revealing large expansion within protein encoding gene families. Among these are lipocalins, ubiquitous barrel-shaped proteins that sequester small, typically hydrophobic molecules. This study was initiated by mining the Ixodes ricinus salivary gland transcriptome for specific, uncharacterized lipocalins: three were identified. Differential expression of these I. ricinus lipocalins during feeding at distinct developmental stages and in response to Borrelia afzelii infection suggests a role in transmission of this Lyme disease spirochete. A phylogenetic analysis using 803 sequences places the three I. ricinus lipocalins with tick lipocalins that sequester monoamines, leukotrienes and fatty acids. Both structural analysis and biophysical simulations generated robust predictions showing these I. ricinus lipocalins have the potential to bind monoamines similar to other tick species previously reported. The multidisciplinary approach employed in this study characterized unique lipocalins that play a role in tick blood-feeding and transmission of the most important tick-borne pathogen in North America and Eurasia. PMID:27584086

  4. Substrate prediction of Ixodes ricinus salivary lipocalins differentially expressed during Borrelia afzelii infection.

    PubMed

    Valdés, James J; Cabezas-Cruz, Alejandro; Sima, Radek; Butterill, Philip T; Růžek, Daniel; Nuttall, Patricia A

    2016-01-01

    Evolution has provided ticks with an arsenal of bioactive saliva molecules that counteract host defense mechanisms. This salivary pharmacopoeia enables blood-feeding while enabling pathogen transmission. High-throughput sequencing of tick salivary glands has thus become a major focus, revealing large expansion within protein encoding gene families. Among these are lipocalins, ubiquitous barrel-shaped proteins that sequester small, typically hydrophobic molecules. This study was initiated by mining the Ixodes ricinus salivary gland transcriptome for specific, uncharacterized lipocalins: three were identified. Differential expression of these I. ricinus lipocalins during feeding at distinct developmental stages and in response to Borrelia afzelii infection suggests a role in transmission of this Lyme disease spirochete. A phylogenetic analysis using 803 sequences places the three I. ricinus lipocalins with tick lipocalins that sequester monoamines, leukotrienes and fatty acids. Both structural analysis and biophysical simulations generated robust predictions showing these I. ricinus lipocalins have the potential to bind monoamines similar to other tick species previously reported. The multidisciplinary approach employed in this study characterized unique lipocalins that play a role in tick blood-feeding and transmission of the most important tick-borne pathogen in North America and Eurasia. PMID:27584086

  5. Variability and Action Mechanism of a Family of Anticomplement Proteins in Ixodes ricinus

    PubMed Central

    Lahaye, Kathia; Gensale, François; Denis, Valérie; Charloteaux, Benoît; Decrem, Yves; Prévôt, Pierre-Paul; Brossard, Michel; Vanhamme, Luc; Godfroid, Edmond

    2008-01-01

    Background Ticks are blood feeding arachnids that characteristically take a long blood meal. They must therefore counteract host defence mechanisms such as hemostasis, inflammation and the immune response. This is achieved by expressing batteries of salivary proteins coded by multigene families. Methodology/Principal Findings We report the in-depth analysis of a tick multigene family and describe five new anticomplement proteins in Ixodes ricinus. Compared to previously described Ixodes anticomplement proteins, these segregated into a new phylogenetic group or subfamily. These proteins have a novel action mechanism as they specifically bind to properdin, leading to the inhibition of C3 convertase and the alternative complement pathway. An excess of non-synonymous over synonymous changes indicated that coding sequences had undergone diversifying selection. Diversification was not associated with structural, biochemical or functional diversity, adaptation to host species or stage specificity but rather to differences in antigenicity. Conclusions/Significance Anticomplement proteins from I. ricinus are the first inhibitors that specifically target a positive regulator of complement, properdin. They may provide new tools for the investigation of role of properdin in physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms. They may also be useful in disorders affecting the alternative complement pathway. Looking for and detecting the different selection pressures involved will help in understanding the evolution of multigene families and hematophagy in arthropods. PMID:18167559

  6. 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

  7. Ixodes ricinus infestation in free-ranging cervids in Norway--a study based upon ear examinations of hunted animals.

    PubMed

    Handeland, Kjell; Qviller, Lars; Vikøren, Turid; Viljugrein, Hildegunn; Lillehaug, Atle; Davidson, Rebecca K

    2013-07-01

    Prevalence, abundance and instar composition of Ixodes ricinus as found on one ear collected from 1019 moose (Alces alces), red deer (Cervus elaphus) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), shot during hunting (August-December) 2001-2003, are reported. The animals originated from 15 coastal municipalities (CM), seven municipalities bordering to coastal municipalities (BCM) and four inland municipalities (IM), in Norway, between latitudes 58-66° N. I. ricinus occurred endemically in all CM and BCM up to 63°30' N, whereas it was non-endemic further north and in the IM. This geographical distribution of the tick along the coast of southern Norway was largely in accordance with that reported as far back as the 1940s. Our results therefore did not indicate any large scale northwards expansion of I. ricinus in Norway during the 60 year-period between the two studies. However, the prevalence of infestation and tick abundance were significantly higher in CM as compared to BCM. The prevalence and abundance by month were highest during August and September, gradually decreasing towards December. The considerable prevalence of ticks in November, as well as findings in December, would seem to indicate a prolonged tick season as compared with the studies carried out 60 years ago. A total of 8920 ticks were isolated from 439 of the 603 animals examined in endemic municipalities, and the maximum number of ticks found on one single ear was 204. Attached adult ticks were primarily found among the long hairs at base of the ear, whereas nymphs and larvae were seen all over the outer surface of the pinna, for larvae especially at the edge and tip of the ear. Nymphs were the dominant instar, constituting 74% of the total tick count. The proportion of larvae and adult ticks was 13% and 12%. A significantly higher proportion of adult ticks and lower proportion of immature stages were found in moose, as compared to red deer and roe deer. The same apparently size-associated preference of

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. The influence of conspecific chemical cues on walking behavior of Ixodes ricinus males.

    PubMed

    Zemek, Rostislav; Bouman, Edwin A P; Dusbábek, Frantisek

    2007-01-01

    The influence of female and male cues on the male searching behavior of the sheep tick, Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae), was studied under constant laboratory conditions by means of a computerized video tracking system. Males were released into an open glass arena in which one half had been exposed for 1 h to 5 freely walking unfed females or five males. The obtained track data were analyzed to reveal if male walking pattern was random or affected by cues of conspecifics left on the arena surface. The results showed that males spent significantly more time and walked a significantly longer distance in the area with female cues compared to the control area. Moreover, the walking path of males was more tortuous on the cues half than the control half. In contrast, walking behavior of males was not affected by male cues in any observed parameter. These results provide the first evidence that unfed females leave sex-specific semiochemicals on a substrate during their walk and that these cues have an effect on male searching behavior. Since this effect was not observed when female cues were 24-h old, the semiochemicals seem to either evaporate or are subject to degradation. The biological significance of these findings for mate-searching in I. ricinus males is discussed. PMID:17380275

  13. '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

  14. Autochthonous and migratory birds as a dispersion source for Ixodes ricinus in southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Falchi, Alessandro; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Lorusso, Vincenzo; Malia, Egidio; Lia, Riccardo Paolo; Otranto, Domenico

    2012-10-01

    The present study was carried out in a protected wooded area, which is part of the Parco Regionale Gallipoli Cognato Piccole Dolomiti Lucane, one of the most important ecological reserves in southern Italy. From April 2010 to April 2011, 212 birds, comprising 22 species from 12 families, were captured and examined for ticks. A total of 75 (35.4 %) birds were found infested by ticks, with 451 ticks being collected. All ticks were identified as Ixodes ricinus, of which 241 (53.4 %) were larvae and 210 nymphs (46.6 %). The highest intensity of infestation was found in April 2010, when 117 ticks were retrieved on 25 birds. No ticks were found on birds (n = 5) netted in December 2010. High infestation rates were recorded on blackbirds (Turdus merula) (90 %; 29 birds examined) and on mistle thrushes (Turdus viscivorus) (100 %; 2 birds examined). The highest intensity of infestation by larvae was found on wrens (5.6 larvae/bird) and by nymphs on mistle thrushes (11.5 nymphs/bird). Temperature and number of hours of light showed to influence the activity of larvae and nymphs. These data support the notion that birds may be responsible for the heterogeneous distribution of I. ricinus in Europe, thus playing a role in the epidemiology of certain tick-borne pathogens. PMID:22610454

  15. 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.

  16. Distribution, abundance, and habitat preferences of Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) in northern Spain.

    PubMed

    Estrada-Peña, A

    2001-05-01

    Ixodes ricinus (L.) was collected by standard dragging in 2,082 different sites in 18 broad vegetation categories in northern Spain to explore the influence of vegetation on its abundance. Of these, 785 sites were surveyed in 1995, 636 in 1996, and 661 in 1997. The impact of habitat features on differences in tick numbers is addressed. The tick was present in low numbers in areas of old, heterogeneous coniferous forests. Ticks appeared to prefer sites that had substantial secondary plant growth such as river canopies, heterogeneous Pinus uncinata forests, mixed forests, and deciduous heterogeneous woods. Highest tick abundance was recorded for sites that contained Quercus spp., as well as for mixed old forests that had many ecotones. I. ricinus was absent in open habitats, homogeneous young coniferous forests, and open hillsides. These differences were attributed to greater shrub cover and litter depth, which created more favorable microclimatic conditions for tick survival. The abundance of I. ricinus nymphs was not homogeneous in sites within the same habitat category and vegetation physiognomy at these sites did not appear to cause differences in tick abundance. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that variation in tick abundance could be explained by the exposure of the sampled site, at least for some zones within deciduous forest categories. However, this factor did not explain the variation observed in other habitats. Temperature and vegetation (normalized derived vegetation index) features were recorded daily by remotely sensed imagery throughout the study period and the data were used to obtain long-term mean and maximum values of the physical parameters considered. Multiple regression analysis performed between these long-term abiotic factors and nymphal abundance in positive sites showed high relationship (R2 coefficients) for every habitat category and explained >50% of the variation in tick abundance. PMID:11372959

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and co-infections with Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Rickettsia spp. in Ixodes ricinus in Hamburg, Germany.

    PubMed

    May, K; Jordan, D; Fingerle, V; Strube, C

    2015-12-01

    To obtain initial data on Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Spirochaetales: Spirochaetaceae) in Ixodes ricinus (Ixodida: Ixodidae) ticks in Hamburg, Germany, 1400 questing ticks were collected by flagging at 10 different public recreation areas in 2011 and analysed using probe-based quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The overall rate of infection with B. burgdorferi s.l. was 34.1%; 30.0% of adults were infected (36.7% of females and 26.0% of males), as were 34.5% of nymphs. Significant differences in tick infection rates were observed between the spring and summer/autumn months, as well as among sampling locations. Borrelia genospecies identification by reverse line blotting was successful in 43.6% of positive tick samples. The most frequent genospecies was Borrelia garinii/Borrelia bavariensis, followed by Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia valaisiana, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia spielmanii, Borrelia bissettii and Borrelia lusitaniae. Based on previously published data, co-infection of Borrelia and Rickettsiales spp. was determined in 25.8% of ticks. Overall, 22.9% of ticks were co-infected with Rickettsia spp. (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae), 1.7% with Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae), and 1.2% with both pathogens. Study results show a high prevalence of Borrelia-positive ticks in recreation areas in the northern German city of Hamburg and the potential health risk to humans in these areas should not be underestimated. PMID:26096626

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Molecular detection of Rickettsia, Borrelia, and Babesia species in Ixodes ricinus sampled in northeastern, central, and insular areas of Italy.

    PubMed

    Castro, Lyda R; Gabrielli, Simona; Iori, Albertina; Cancrini, Gabriella

    2015-07-01

    The aim of the present study was to provide insight into the diversity of tick-borne pathogens circulating in Italy, carried/transmitted by Ixodes ricinus, one of the most abundant tick species in the country. A total of 447 specimens sampled in five areas of northeastern, central and insular Italy were analysed by polymerase chain reaction and sequencing for the presence of rickettsiae, borreliae and babesiae. Several rickettsial species of the spotted fever group of zoonotic concern and other zoonotic pathogens were found, such as Borrelia burgdorferi s.s., Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, and Babesia venatorum. These findings confirm a wide distribution of tick-borne bacterial and protozoan species in Italy, and highlight the sanitary importance of I. ricinus, often recorded as feeding on humans. PMID:25784072

  15. 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

  16. Climate and environmental change drives Ixodes ricinus geographical expansion at the northern range margin

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Global environmental change is causing spatial and temporal shifts in the distribution of species and the associated diseases of humans, domesticated animals and wildlife. In the on-going debate on the influence of climate change on vectors and vector-borne diseases, there is a lack of a comprehensive interdisciplinary multi-factorial approach utilizing high quality spatial and temporal data. Methods We explored biotic and abiotic factors associated with the latitudinal and altitudinal shifts in the distribution of Ixodes ricinus observed during the last three decades in Norway using antibodies against Anaplasma phagocytophilum in sheep as indicators for tick presence. Samples obtained from 2963 sheep from 90 farms in 3 ecologically different districts during 1978 – 2008 were analysed. We modelled the presence of antibodies against A. phagocytophilum to climatic-, environmental and demographic variables, and abundance of wild cervids and domestic animals, using mixed effect logistic regressions. Results Significant predictors were large diurnal fluctuations in ground surface temperature, spring precipitation, duration of snow cover, abundance of red deer and farm animals and bush encroachment/ecotones. The length of the growth season, mean temperature and the abundance of roe deer were not significant in the model. Conclusions Our results highlight the need to consider climatic variables year-round to disentangle important seasonal variation, climatic threshold changes, climate variability and to consider the broader environmental change, including abiotic and biotic factors. The results offer novel insight in how tick and tick-borne disease distribution might be modified by future climate and environmental change. PMID:24401487

  17. 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

  18. Detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum genotypes that are potentially virulent for human in wild ruminants and Ixodes ricinus in Central Italy.

    PubMed

    Di Domenico, M; Pascucci, I; Curini, V; Cocco, A; Dall'Acqua, F; Pompilii, C; Cammà, C

    2016-07-01

    Human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA) is an emerging tick-borne zoonosis worldwide. As is the case for many tick-borne diseases, the epidemiological cycle is associated to the environmental conditions, including the presence of wild vertebrate reservoir hosts, vectors, climate and vegetation. In this study a total number of 87 spleen samples of wild ruminants carcasses from Central Italy, and 77 Ixodes ricinus collected from the same dead animals were screened for Anaplasma phagocytophilum by using Real Time PCR. A. phagocytophilum DNA was detected in 75%, 66.7% and 54.2% of the spleen samples from red deer (Cervus elaphus), Apennine chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica ornata) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) respectively, whereas it was detected in the 31.2% of I. ricinus. A total of 27 positive samples were characterized by sequencing a portion of the groEL gene. Two A. phagocytophilum lineages could clearly be delineated from the phylogenetic tree. Four sequences from red deer, 2 from I. ricinus and 1 from Apennine chamois clustered into lineage I together with those previously described as virulent genotypes related to HGA. The presence of A. phagocytophilum DNA in the Apennine chamois represents the first report for this Italian endemic subspecies. PMID:27020736

  19. Multi-source analysis reveals latitudinal and altitudinal shifts in range of Ixodes ricinus at its northern distribution limit

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background There is increasing evidence for a latitudinal and altitudinal shift in the distribution range of Ixodes ricinus. The reported incidence of tick-borne disease in humans is on the rise in many European countries and has raised political concern and attracted media attention. It is disputed which factors are responsible for these trends, though many ascribe shifts in distribution range to climate changes. Any possible climate effect would be most easily noticeable close to the tick's geographical distribution limits. In Norway- being the northern limit of this species in Europe- no documentation of changes in range has been published. The objectives of this study were to describe the distribution of I. ricinus in Norway and to evaluate if any range shifts have occurred relative to historical descriptions. Methods Multiple data sources - such as tick-sighting reports from veterinarians, hunters, and the general public - and surveillance of human and animal tick-borne diseases were compared to describe the present distribution of I. ricinus in Norway. Correlation between data sources and visual comparison of maps revealed spatial consistency. In order to identify the main spatial pattern of tick abundance, a principal component analysis (PCA) was used to obtain a weighted mean of four data sources. The weighted mean explained 67% of the variation of the data sources covering Norway's 430 municipalities and was used to depict the present distribution of I. ricinus. To evaluate if any geographical range shift has occurred in recent decades, the present distribution was compared to historical data from 1943 and 1983. Results Tick-borne disease and/or observations of I. ricinus was reported in municipalities up to an altitude of 583 metres above sea level (MASL) and is now present in coastal municipalities north to approximately 69°N. Conclusion I. ricinus is currently found further north and at higher altitudes than described in historical records. The

  20. Effects of global changes on the climatic niche of the tick Ixodes ricinus inferred by species distribution modelling

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Global climate change can seriously impact on the epidemiological dynamics of vector-borne diseases. In this study we investigated how future climatic changes could affect the climatic niche of Ixodes ricinus (Acari, Ixodida), among the most important vectors of pathogens of medical and veterinary concern in Europe. Methods Species Distribution Modelling (SDM) was used to reconstruct the climatic niche of I. ricinus, and to project it into the future conditions for 2050 and 2080, under two scenarios: a continuous human demographic growth and a severe increase of gas emissions (scenario A2), and a scenario that proposes lower human demographic growth than A2, and a more sustainable gas emissions (scenario B2). Models were reconstructed using the algorithm of “maximum entropy”, as implemented in the software Maxent 3.3.3e; 4,544 occurrence points and 15 bioclimatic variables were used. Results In both scenarios an increase of climatic niche of about two times greater than the current area was predicted as well as a higher climatic suitability under the scenario B2 than A2. Such an increase occurred both in a latitudinal and longitudinal way, including northern Eurasian regions (e.g. Sweden and Russia), that were previously unsuitable for the species. Conclusions Our models are congruent with the predictions of range expansion already observed in I. ricinus at a regional scale and provide a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the future climatically suitable areas for I. ricinus at a continental scale. Although the use of SDM at a higher resolution should be integrated by a more refined analysis of further abiotic and biotic data, the results presented here suggest that under future climatic scenarios most of the current distribution area of I. ricinus could remain suitable and significantly increase at a continental geographic scale. Therefore disease outbreaks of pathogens transmitted by this tick species could emerge in previous non

  1. 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

  2. Ixodes ricinus Salivary Serpin IRS-2 Affects Th17 Differentiation via Inhibition of the Interleukin-6/STAT-3 Signaling Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Páleníková, Jana; Lieskovská, Jaroslava; Langhansová, Helena; Kotsyfakis, Michalis; Chmelař, Jindřich

    2015-01-01

    Th17 cells constitute a subset of CD4+ T lymphocytes that play a crucial role in protection against extracellular bacteria and fungi. They are also associated with tissue injury in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Here, we report that serpin from the tick Ixodes ricinus, IRS-2, inhibits Th17 differentiation by impairment of the interleukin-6 (IL-6)/STAT-3 signaling pathway. Following activation, mature dendritic cells produce an array of cytokines, including the pleiotropic cytokine IL-6, which triggers the IL-6 signaling pathway. The major transcription factor activated by IL-6 is STAT-3. We show that IRS-2 selectively inhibits production of IL-6 in dendritic cells stimulated with Borrelia spirochetes, which leads to attenuated STAT-3 phosphorylation and finally to impaired Th17 differentiation. The results presented extend the knowledge about the effect of tick salivary serpins on innate immunity cells and their function in driving adaptive immune responses. PMID:25712932

  3. Occurrence of Babesia spp., Rickettsia spp. and Bartonella spp. in Ixodes ricinus in Bavarian public parks, Germany

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Only limited information is available about the occurrence of ticks and tick-borne pathogens in public parks, which are areas strongly influenced by human beings. For this reason, Ixodes ricinus were collected in public parks of different Bavarian cities in a 2-year survey (2009 and 2010) and screened for DNA of Babesia spp., Rickettsia spp. and Bartonella spp. by PCR. Species identification was performed by sequence analysis and alignment with existing sequences in GenBank. Additionally, coinfections with Anaplasma phagocytophilum were investigated. Results The following prevalences were detected: Babesia spp.: 0.4% (n = 17, including one pool of two larvae) in 2009 and 0.5 to 0.7% (n = 11, including one pool of five larvae) in 2010; Rickettsia spp.: 6.4 to 7.7% (n = 285, including 16 pools of 76 larvae) in 2009. DNA of Bartonella spp. in I. ricinus in Bavarian public parks could not be identified. Sequence analysis revealed the following species: Babesia sp. EU1 (n = 25), B. divergens (n = 1), B. divergens/capreoli (n = 1), B. gibsoni-like (n = 1), R. helvetica (n = 272), R. monacensis IrR/Munich (n = 12) and unspecified R. monacensis (n = 1). The majority of coinfections were R. helvetica with A. phagocytophilum (n = 27), but coinfections between Babesia spp. and A. phagocytophilum, or Babesia spp. and R. helvetica were also detected. Conclusions I. ricinus ticks in urban areas of Germany harbor several tick-borne pathogens and coinfections were also observed. Public parks are of particularly great interest regarding the epidemiology of tick-borne pathogens, because of differences in both the prevalence of pathogens in ticks as well as a varying species arrangement when compared to woodland areas. The record of DNA of a Babesia gibsoni-like pathogen detected in I. ricinus suggests that I. ricinus may harbor and transmit more Babesia spp. than previously known. Because of their high recreational value for human beings, urban green areas are likely to

  4. Heligmosomoides polygyrus reduces infestation of Ixodes ricinus in free-living yellow-necked mice, Apodemus flavicollis.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, N; Cattadori, I M; Rizzoli, A; Hudson, P J

    2009-03-01

    Free-living animals are usually inhabited by a community of parasitic species that can interact with each other and alter both host susceptibility and parasite transmission. In this study we tested the prediction that an increase in the gastrointestinal nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus would increase the infestation of the tick Ixodes ricinus, in free-living yellow-necked mice, Apodemus flavicollis. An extensive cross-sectional trapping survey identified a negative relationship between H. polygyrus and I. ricinus counter to the prediction. An experimental reduction of the nematode infection through anthelmintic treatment resulted in an increase in tick infestation, suggesting that this negative association was one of cause and effect. Host characteristics (breeding condition and age) and habitat variables also contributed to affect tick infestation. While these results were counter to the prediction, they still support the hypothesis that interactions between parasite species can shape parasite community dynamics in natural systems. Laboratory models may act differently from natural populations and the mechanism generating the negative association is discussed. PMID:19154651

  5. Anaplasma phagocytophilum groEL gene heterogeneity in Ixodes ricinus larvae feeding on roe deer in Northeastern Italy.

    PubMed

    Carpi, Giovanna; Bertolotti, Luigi; Pecchioli, Elena; Cagnacci, Francesca; Rizzoli, Annapaola

    2009-04-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an emerging tick-borne pathogen with both veterinary and human health implications. The role of wildlife hosts for this pathogen are not well defined, even thought roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) has been suggested to contribute to the occurrence of this tick-borne diseases in Europe. Therefore the aim of the present study was to investigate the potential role of this ungulate species as a reservoir of human pathogenic strains of A. phagocytophilum in a tick-borne diseases endemic area in Northeastern Italy. Ixodes ricinus feeding on roe deer were collected and analyzed for the presence for A. phagocytophilum by a molecular approach targeting 16S rRNA and groEL genes. The mean prevalence of A. phagocytophilum recorded was 5.11%, highlighting the ability of roe deer to infect the I. ricinus larval stage. The results of further genetic characterization of the strains of A. phagocytophilum herein isolated, based on phylogenetic information contained in groEL gene sequences, showed substantial heterogeneity among sequences analyzed. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that the roe deer population of the Trentino region of Italy harbors strains of A. phagocytophilum of unknown pathogenicity for humans. PMID:18945191

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Multi-trophic interactions driving the transmission cycle of Borrelia afzelii between Ixodes ricinus and rodents: a review.

    PubMed

    van Duijvendijk, Gilian; Sprong, Hein; Takken, Willem

    2015-01-01

    The tick Ixodes ricinus is the main vector of the spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the causal agent of Lyme borreliosis, in the western Palearctic. Rodents are the reservoir host of B. afzelii, which can be transmitted to I. ricinus larvae during a blood meal. The infected engorged larvae moult into infected nymphs, which can transmit the spirochaetes to rodents and humans. Interestingly, even though only about 1% of the larvae develop into a borreliae-infected nymph, the enzootic borreliae lifecycle can persist. The development from larva to infected nymph is a key aspect in this lifecycle, influencing the density of infected nymphs and thereby Lyme borreliosis risk. The density of infected nymphs varies temporally and geographically and is influenced by multi-trophic (tick-host-borreliae) interactions. For example, blood feeding success of ticks and spirochaete transmission success differ between rodent species and host-finding success appears to be affected by a B. afzelii infection in both the rodent and the tick. In this paper, we review the major interactions between I. ricinus, rodents and B. afzelii that influence this development, with the aim to elucidate the critical factors that determine the epidemiological risk of Lyme borreliosis. The effects of the tick, rodent and B. afzelii on larval host finding, larval blood feeding, spirochaete transmission from rodent to larva and development from larva to nymph are discussed. Nymphal host finding, nymphal blood feeding and spirochaete transmission from nymph to rodent are the final steps to complete the enzootic B. afzelii lifecycle and are included in the review. It is concluded that rodent density, rodent infection prevalence, and tick burden are the major factors affecting the development from larva to infected nymph and that these interact with each other. We suggest that the B. afzelii lifecycle is dependent on the aggregation of ticks among rodents, which is manipulated by the pathogen

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. '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

  13. Geographical distribution and prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi genospecies in questing Ixodes ricinus from Romania: a countrywide study.

    PubMed

    Kalmár, Zsuzsa; Mihalca, Andrei D; Dumitrache, Mirabela O; Gherman, Călin M; Magdaş, Cristian; Mircean, Viorica; Oltean, Miruna; Domşa, Cristian; Matei, Ioana A; Mărcuţan, Daniel I; Sándor, Attila D; D'Amico, Gianluca; Paştiu, Anamaria; Györke, Adriana; Gavrea, Raluca; Marosi, Béla; Ionică, Angela; Burkhardt, Etelka; Toriay, Hortenzia; Cozma, Vasile

    2013-09-01

    The paper reports the prevalence and geographical distribution of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) and its genospecies in 12,221 questing Ixodes ricinus ticks collected at 183 locations from all the 41 counties of Romania. The unfed ticks were examined for the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. by PCR targeting the intergenic spacer 5S-23S. Reverse line blot hybridization (RLB) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis were performed for identification of B. burgdorferi genospecies. The overall prevalence of infection was 1.4%, with an average local prevalence between 0.75% and 18.8%. B. burgdorferi s.l. was found in ticks of 55 of the 183 localities. The overall prevalence B. burgdorferi s.l. in ticks in the infected localities was 3.8%. The total infection prevalence was higher in female ticks than in other developmental stages. Three Borrelia genospecies were detected. The most widely distributed genospecies was B. afzelii, followed by B. garinii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.). The study is the first countrywide study and the first report of B. burgdorferi s.s. in Romania. The distribution maps show that higher prevalences were recorded in hilly areas, but Lyme borreliosis spirochetes were also present in forested lowlands, albeit with a lower prevalence. PMID:23890805

  14. 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

  15. Chemical composition and repellency of essential oils from four medicinal plants against Ixodes ricinus nymphs (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    El-Seedi, Hesham R; Khalil, Nasr S; Azeem, Muhammad; Taher, Eman A; Göransson, Ulf; Pålsson, Katinka; Borg-Karlson, Anna-Karin

    2012-09-01

    In our search for effective tick repellents from plant origin, we investigated the effect of essential oils of four medicinal and culinary plants belonging to the family Lamiaceae on nymphs of the tick Ixodes ricinus (L.). The essential oils of the dry leaves of Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) (L.), Mentha spicata (Spearmint) (L.), Origanum majorana (Majoram) (L.), and Ocimum basilicum (Basil) (L.) were isolated by steam distillation and 15 microg/cm2 concentration of oils was tested against ticks in a laboratory bioassay. The oils of R. officinalis, M. spicata, and O. majorana showed strong repellency against the ticks 100, 93.2, and 84.3%, respectively, whereas O. basilicum only showed 64.5% repellency. When tested in the field, the oils of R. officinalis and M. spicata showed 68.3 and 59.4% repellency at a concentration of 6.5 microg/cm2 on the test cloths. The oils were analyzed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry and the major compounds from the most repellent oils were 1,8-cineole, camphor, linalool, 4-terpineol, borneol, and carvone. PMID:23025188

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Modelling the Phenological Relationships of Questing Immature Ixodes Ricinus (Ixodidae) Using Temperature and NDVI Data.

    PubMed

    Alonso-Carné, J; García-Martín, A; Estrada-Peña, A

    2016-02-01

    All active stages of the tick Ixodes ricinus were collected monthly at two sites in northern Spain between the years 2000 and 2007. We used percentile accumulation of the active stage in the environment to evaluate simple and coherent correlations between accumulation of the active stages of larvae and nymphs and medium-resolution MODIS satellite-derived information on the climate, including monthly and accumulated temperature and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). This framework is not intended to predict the actual abundance of ticks in the field as a measure of the hazard to humans, but to provide a basic structure for addressing the phenology of the tick in its geographic range. We demonstrated that the accumulation of larval ticks in the active stage is a sigmoid function of the accumulated temperature from the beginning of the calendar year. We also demonstrated that the accumulated temperature necessary to recruit nymphs from the questing larval stage is a function of the changes in accumulated larvae and nymphs and the accumulated temperature and NDVI recorded by the Aqua sensor. The low p-values obtained in the regressions confirmed that such recruitment can be calculated using time intervals to estimate, for example, the beginning of the questing period or the time of the year when a population peak can be expected. The comparison among predicted and actual accumulated temperatures between larvae and nymph recruitment had an averaged error of ±20 days in one complete year. The use of accumulated temperature and NDVI proposed in this study opens up the re-evaluation of reports on the phenology of the tick in Europe. This framework is intended to evaluate the same correlations along the tick's range and predict its phenological patterns in areas of pathogen transmission risk for humans. PMID:25965508

  19. 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

  20. Genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes ricinus ticks from the Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy.

    PubMed

    Pecchioli, Elena; Hauffe, Heidi C; Tagliapietra, Valentina; Bandi, Claudio; Genchi, Claudio; Rizzoli, Annapaola

    2007-02-01

    Sequences of the variable intergenic spacer region 5S (rrfA) 23S (rrlB) rRNA were used to identify Borrelia genospecies present in Ixodes ricinus nymphs collected from the Lamar Lakes area of the Province of Trento, Italy (overall prevalence=6.3%). Four genospecies were identified, one for the first time in this Province (B. valaisiana), and three which have been noted previously (B. afzelii, B. garinii, and B. burgdorferi s.s.). In order to compare the genetic variability of these genospecies in Trento with that at a European level, our 21 sequences (15 new haplotypes) and all appropriate European Borrelia sequences registered in GenBank (up to the end of 2004) were subjected to a phylogenetic analysis (for a total of 73 sequences and 43 haplotypes). Clusters of sequences representing the five main European genospecies (afzelii, garinii, burgdorferi s.s., valaisiana, lusitaniae) are well-supported. At least two other groups of haplotypes (genospecies) are suggested by our analysis; moreover, divergent evolution may be occurring in several genospecies. The maximum uncorrected pairwise differences between sequences within genospecies ranges from 1.5% (B. burgdorferi s.s.), to 2.3% (B. garinii and B. valaisiana) to 4.7% (B. afzelii), and are not correlated with geographical distribution. Within the Province of Trento, these values for the same genospecies are 1.5%, 2.3%, 0.9%, 1.9%, respectively. These high mutation rates within genospecies suggest that the sequencing of haplotypes should continue if we are to fully understand and monitor the evolution and epidemiology of Borrelia. PMID:17137840

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Pérez, David; Kneubühler, Yvan; Rais, Olivier

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Korotkov, Yu; Kozlova, T; Kozlovskaya, L

    2015-06-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Acaricidal effects of Corymbia citriodora oil containing para-menthane-3,8-diol against nymphs of Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Elmhalli, Fawzeia H; Pålsson, Katinka; Orberg, Jan; Jaenson, Thomas G T

    2009-07-01

    The toxicity of para-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD), the main arthropod-repellent compound in the oil of the lemon eucalyptus, Corymbia citriodora, was evaluated against nymphs of Ixodes ricinus using five methods (A-E) of a contact toxicity bioassay. Mortality rates were estimated by recording numbers of dead nymphs at 30 min intervals during the first 5 h after the start of exposure and at longer intervals thereafter. The mortality rate increased with increasing concentration of PMD and duration of exposure with a distinct effect after 3.5 h. From the results obtained by methods A, C and E, the LC(50) range was 0.035-0.037 mg PMD/cm(2) and the LC(95) range was 0.095-0.097 mg PMD/cm(2) at 4 h of exposure; the LT(50) range was 2.1-2.8 h and the LT(95) range was 3.9-4.2 h at 0.1 mg PMD/cm(2). To determine the duration of toxic activity of PMD, different concentrations (0.002, 0.01, 0.1 mg PMD/cm(2)) were tested and mortality was recorded at each concentration after 1 h; thereafter new ticks were tested. This test revealed that the lethal activity of PMD remained for 24 h but appeared absent after 48 h. The overall results show that PMD is toxic to nymphs of I. ricinus and may be useful for tick control. PMID:19169833

  10. Repellency of oils of lemon eucalyptus, geranium, and lavender and the mosquito repellent MyggA natural to Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the laboratory and field.

    PubMed

    Jaenson, Thomas G T; Garboui, Samira; Palsson, Katinka

    2006-07-01

    MyggA Natural (Bioglan, Lund, Sweden) is a commercially available repellent against blood-feeding arthropods. It contains 30% of lemon-scented eucalyptus, Corymbia citriodora (Hook.) K. D. Hill & L. A. S. Johnson (Myrtaceae), oil with a minimum of 50% p-menthane-3,8-diol. MyggA Natural also contains small amounts of the essential oils of lavender, Lavandula angustifolia Mill. (Lamiaceae), and geranium, Pelargonium graveolens L'Her. (Geraniaceae). In laboratory bioassays, MyggA Natural and C. citriodora oil exhibited 100% repellency against host-seeking nymphs of Ixodes ricinus (L.) (Acari: Ixodidae). Lavender oil and geranium oil, when diluted to 1% in 1,2-propanediol, had weak repellent activities on I. ricinus nymphs, but when diluted to 30% in 1,2-propanediol had 100% repellencies. 1,2-Propanediol (100%) had no significant repellent activity in comparison with that of the control. In field tests in tick-infested areas in central Sweden, tick repellency of MyggA Natural and C. citriodora oil was tested by the blanket-dragging technique for 4 d during a 6-d period. The repellencies (74 and 85%, respectively) on day 1 are similar (89%) to that of blankets treated in a similar manner with 19% diethyl-methyl-benzamide, based on previous work. Repellencies declined significantly from day 1 to day 6 (74 to 45% for MyggA Natural; 85 to 42% for C. citriodora oil). PMID:16892632

  11. Occurrence and identification of risk areas of Ixodes ricinus-borne pathogens: a cost-effectiveness analysis in north-eastern Italy

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Ixodes ricinus, a competent vector of several pathogens, is the tick species most frequently reported to bite humans in Europe. The majority of human cases of Lyme borreliosis (LB) and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) occur in the north-eastern region of Italy. The aims of this study were to detect the occurrence of endemic and emergent pathogens in north-eastern Italy using adult tick screening, and to identify areas at risk of pathogen transmission. Based on our results, different strategies for tick collection and pathogen screening and their relative costs were evaluated and discussed. Methods From 2006 to 2008 adult ticks were collected in 31 sites and molecularly screened for the detection of pathogens previously reported in the same area (i.e., LB agents, TBE virus, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia spp., Babesia spp., "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis"). Based on the results of this survey, three sampling strategies were evaluated a-posteriori, and the impact of each strategy on the final results and the overall cost reductions were analyzed. The strategies were as follows: tick collection throughout the year and testing of female ticks only (strategy A); collection from April to June and testing of all adult ticks (strategy B); collection from April to June and testing of female ticks only (strategy C). Results Eleven pathogens were detected in 77 out of 193 ticks collected in 14 sites. The most common microorganisms detected were Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (17.6%), Rickettsia helvetica (13.1%), and "Ca. N. mikurensis" (10.5%). Within the B. burgdorferi complex, four genotypes (i.e., B. valaisiana, B. garinii, B. afzelii, and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto) were found. Less prevalent pathogens included R. monacensis (3.7%), TBE virus (2.1%), A. phagocytophilum (1.5%), Bartonella spp. (1%), and Babesia EU1 (0.5%). Co-infections by more than one pathogen were diagnosed in 22% of infected ticks. The prevalences of infection assessed using the

  12. Tick infestation risk and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. infection-induced increase in host-finding efficacy of female Ixodes ricinus under natural conditions.

    PubMed

    Faulde, Michael K; Robbins, Richard G

    2008-02-01

    An investigation of the risk of human tick infestation, together with the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. infection, was conducted in a sylvatic habitat in western Germany to provide data needed for future risk-benefit evaluations of acaricides used for clothing impregnation. Additionally, data were collected on behavioural changes in Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.-infected adult female I. ricinus ticks and the possible impact of such changes on host-finding efficacy. The risk of I. ricinus-infestation was determined by collecting from the protective clothing of volunteers and by dragging in known tick-infested sites in the Kühkopf Mountain area, Koblenz, Germany, from June through October 2006. The overall tick infestation rate per person per hour was 7.4+/-5.5, with the following sex- and stage-specific differences: males 0.32+/-0.37, females 1.1+/-1.2, nymphs 3.6+/-4.4, larvae 2.4+/-3.5. Concurrent dragging revealed an average 19.4+/-16.2 times higher infestation rate as well as a markedly lower infection rate with borreliae in adult I. ricinus ticks when compared to ticks collected from exposed human volunteers. Although the difference in infection rates was statistically significant (P<0.023) only in adult female ticks, our data indicate that B. burgdorferi s.l. infection may increase host-finding efficacy in adult I. ricinus. The overall exposure risk was 1.0 B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected ticks per person per hour of exposure, or 0.25 ticks per 100 m walking distance in the study area. PMID:18273686

  13. A systems level analysis reveals transcriptomic and proteomic complexity in Ixodes ricinus midgut and salivary glands during early attachment and feeding.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Alexandra; Tenzer, Stefan; Hackenberg, Michael; Erhart, Jan; Gerhold-Ay, Aslihan; Mazur, Johanna; Kuharev, Jörg; Ribeiro, José M C; Kotsyfakis, Michail

    2014-10-01

    Although pathogens are usually transmitted within the first 24-48 h of attachment of the castor bean tick Ixodes ricinus, little is known about the tick's biological responses at these earliest phases of attachment. Tick midgut and salivary glands are the main tissues involved in tick blood feeding and pathogen transmission but the limited genomic information for I. ricinus delays the application of high-throughput methods to study their physiology. We took advantage of the latest advances in the fields of Next Generation RNA-Sequencing and Label-free Quantitative Proteomics to deliver an unprecedented, quantitative description of the gene expression dynamics in the midgut and salivary glands of this disease vector upon attachment to the vertebrate host. A total of 373 of 1510 identified proteins had higher expression in the salivary glands, but only 110 had correspondingly high transcript levels in the same tissue. Furthermore, there was midgut-specific expression of 217 genes at both the transcriptome and proteome level. Tissue-dependent transcript, but not protein, accumulation was revealed for 552 of 885 genes. Moreover, we discovered the enrichment of tick salivary glands in proteins involved in gene transcription and translation, which agrees with the secretory role of this tissue; this finding also agrees with our finding of lower tick t-RNA representation in the salivary glands when compared with the midgut. The midgut, in turn, is enriched in metabolic components and proteins that support its mechanical integrity in order to accommodate and metabolize the ingested blood. Beyond understanding the physiological events that support hematophagy by arthropod ectoparasites, we discovered more than 1500 proteins located at the interface between ticks, the vertebrate host, and the tick-borne pathogens. Thus, our work significantly improves the knowledge of the genetics underlying the transmission lifecycle of this tick species, which is an essential step for

  14. Tick receptor for outer surface protein A from Ixodes ricinus — the first intrinsically disordered protein involved in vector-microbe recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbanowicz, Anna; Lewandowski, Dominik; Szpotkowski, Kamil; Figlerowicz, Marek

    2016-04-01

    The tick receptor for outer surface protein A (TROSPA) is the only identified factor involved in tick gut colonization by various Borrelia species. TROSPA is localized in the gut epithelium and can recognize and bind the outer surface bacterial protein OspA via an unknown mechanism. Based on earlier reports and our latest observations, we considered that TROSPA would be the first identified intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) involved in the interaction between a vector and a pathogenic microbe. To verify this hypothesis, we performed structural studies of a TROSPA mutant from Ixodes ricinus using both computational and experimental approaches. Irrespective of the method used, we observed that the secondary structure content of the TROSPA polypeptide chain is low. In addition, the collected SAXS data indicated that this protein is highly extended and exists in solution as a set of numerous conformers. These features are all commonly considered hallmarks of IDPs. Taking advantage of our SAXS data, we created structural models of TROSPA and proposed a putative mechanism for the TROSPA-OspA interaction. The disordered nature of TROSPA may explain the ability of a wide spectrum of Borrelia species to colonize the tick gut.

  15. Tick receptor for outer surface protein A from Ixodes ricinus - the first intrinsically disordered protein involved in vector-microbe recognition.

    PubMed

    Urbanowicz, Anna; Lewandowski, Dominik; Szpotkowski, Kamil; Figlerowicz, Marek

    2016-01-01

    The tick receptor for outer surface protein A (TROSPA) is the only identified factor involved in tick gut colonization by various Borrelia species. TROSPA is localized in the gut epithelium and can recognize and bind the outer surface bacterial protein OspA via an unknown mechanism. Based on earlier reports and our latest observations, we considered that TROSPA would be the first identified intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) involved in the interaction between a vector and a pathogenic microbe. To verify this hypothesis, we performed structural studies of a TROSPA mutant from Ixodes ricinus using both computational and experimental approaches. Irrespective of the method used, we observed that the secondary structure content of the TROSPA polypeptide chain is low. In addition, the collected SAXS data indicated that this protein is highly extended and exists in solution as a set of numerous conformers. These features are all commonly considered hallmarks of IDPs. Taking advantage of our SAXS data, we created structural models of TROSPA and proposed a putative mechanism for the TROSPA-OspA interaction. The disordered nature of TROSPA may explain the ability of a wide spectrum of Borrelia species to colonize the tick gut. PMID:27112540

  16. Activity studies of sesquiterpene oxides and sulfides from the plant Hyptis suaveolens (Lamiaceae) and its repellency on Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Ashitani, T; Garboui, S S; Schubert, F; Vongsombath, C; Liblikas, I; Pålsson, K; Borg-Karlson, A-K

    2015-12-01

    Hyptis suaveolens (Lamiaceae), a plant traditionally used as a mosquito repellent, has been investigated for repellent properties against nymphs of the tick Ixodes ricinus. Essential oils and volatile compounds of fresh and dried leaves, from plants originating from Laos and Guinea-Bissau, were identified by GC-MS and tested in a tick repellency bioassay. All the essential oils were strongly repellent against the ticks, even though the main volatile constituents differed in their proportions of potentially tick repellent chemicals. (+)/(-)-sabinene were present in high amounts in all preparations, and dominated the emission from dry and fresh leaves together with 1,8-cineol and α-phellandrene. 1,8-Cineol and sabinene were major compounds in the essential oils from H. suaveolens from Laos. Main compounds in H. suaveolens from Guinea-Bissau were (-)-sabinene, limonene and terpinolene. Among the sesquiterpene hydrocarbons identified, α-humulene exhibited strong tick repellency (96.8 %). Structure activity studies of oxidation or sulfidation products of germacrene D, α-humulene and β-caryophyllene, showed increased tick repellent activity: of mint sulfide (59.4 %), humulene-6,7-oxide (94.5 %) and caryophyllene-6,7-oxide (96.9 %). The substitution of oxygen with sulfur slightly lowered the repellency. The effects of the constituents in the oils can then be regarded as a trade off between the subsequently lower volatility of the sesquiterpene derivatives compared to the monoterpenes and may thus increase their potential usefulness as tick repellents. PMID:26385208

  17. Tick receptor for outer surface protein A from Ixodes ricinus — the first intrinsically disordered protein involved in vector-microbe recognition

    PubMed Central

    Urbanowicz, Anna; Lewandowski, Dominik; Szpotkowski, Kamil; Figlerowicz, Marek

    2016-01-01

    The tick receptor for outer surface protein A (TROSPA) is the only identified factor involved in tick gut colonization by various Borrelia species. TROSPA is localized in the gut epithelium and can recognize and bind the outer surface bacterial protein OspA via an unknown mechanism. Based on earlier reports and our latest observations, we considered that TROSPA would be the first identified intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) involved in the interaction between a vector and a pathogenic microbe. To verify this hypothesis, we performed structural studies of a TROSPA mutant from Ixodes ricinus using both computational and experimental approaches. Irrespective of the method used, we observed that the secondary structure content of the TROSPA polypeptide chain is low. In addition, the collected SAXS data indicated that this protein is highly extended and exists in solution as a set of numerous conformers. These features are all commonly considered hallmarks of IDPs. Taking advantage of our SAXS data, we created structural models of TROSPA and proposed a putative mechanism for the TROSPA-OspA interaction. The disordered nature of TROSPA may explain the ability of a wide spectrum of Borrelia species to colonize the tick gut. PMID:27112540

  18. Characterization of the B-cell inhibitory protein factor in Ixodes ricinus tick saliva: a potential role in enhanced Borrelia burgdoferi transmission

    PubMed Central

    Hannier, Sigrid; Liversidge, Janet; Sternberg, Jeremy M; Bowman, Alan S

    2004-01-01

    We recently described the inhibition of host B lymphocytes by Ixodes ricinus tick saliva. In this study, we characterized the factor responsible for this activity and examined the modulation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)- and Borrelia burgdorferi outer surface protein (Osp)-induced proliferation of naive murine B lymphocytes by an enriched fraction of this factor. The B-lymphocyte inhibitory activity was destroyed by trypsin treatment, indicating that a proteinaceous factor was responsible for this activity. The removal of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) from tick salivary glands extracts (SGE) showed that this B-cell inhibitory protein (BIP) was not a GST. Gel filtration liquid chromatography indicated that BIP has a native molecular weight of ≈ 18 000. An enrichment protocol, using a combination of anion-exchange and reverse-phase liquid chromatography, was established. BIP-enriched fractions did not suppress T-cell proliferation. Delayed addition of BIP-enriched fractions, up to 7 hr after LPS addition, inhibited the proliferation of isolated B cells. BIP-enriched fractions dramatically inhibited both OspA- and OspC-induced proliferation of isolated B cells. These results strongly suggest that BIP may facilitate B. burgdorferi transmission by preventing B-cell activation, and also highlights the potential of BIP as a therapeutic agent in B-cell maladies. PMID:15500628

  19. Ixodes ricinus and Its Transmitted Pathogens in Urban and Peri-Urban Areas in Europe: New Hazards and Relevance for Public Health.

    PubMed

    Rizzoli, Annapaola; Silaghi, Cornelia; Obiegala, Anna; Rudolf, Ivo; Hubálek, Zdeněk; Földvári, Gábor; Plantard, Olivier; Vayssier-Taussat, Muriel; Bonnet, Sarah; Spitalská, Eva; Kazimírová, Mária

    2014-01-01

    Tick-borne diseases represent major public and animal health issues worldwide. Ixodes ricinus, primarily associated with deciduous and mixed forests, is the principal vector of causative agents of viral, bacterial, and protozoan zoonotic diseases in Europe. Recently, abundant tick populations have been observed in European urban green areas, which are of public health relevance due to the exposure of humans and domesticated animals to potentially infected ticks. In urban habitats, small and medium-sized mammals, birds, companion animals (dogs and cats), and larger mammals (roe deer and wild boar) play a role in maintenance of tick populations and as reservoirs of tick-borne pathogens. Presence of ticks infected with tick-borne encephalitis virus and high prevalence of ticks infected with Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., causing Lyme borreliosis, have been reported from urbanized areas in Europe. Emerging pathogens, including bacteria of the order Rickettsiales (Anaplasma phagocytophilum, "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis," Rickettsia helvetica, and R. monacensis), Borrelia miyamotoi, and protozoans (Babesia divergens, B. venatorum, and B. microti) have also been detected in urban tick populations. Understanding the ecology of ticks and their associations with hosts in a European urbanized environment is crucial to quantify parameters necessary for risk pre-assessment and identification of public health strategies for control and prevention of tick-borne diseases. PMID:25520947

  20. Ixodes ricinus and Its Transmitted Pathogens in Urban and Peri-Urban Areas in Europe: New Hazards and Relevance for Public Health

    PubMed Central

    Rizzoli, Annapaola; Silaghi, Cornelia; Obiegala, Anna; Rudolf, Ivo; Hubálek, Zdeněk; Földvári, Gábor; Plantard, Olivier; Vayssier-Taussat, Muriel; Bonnet, Sarah; Špitalská, Eva; Kazimírová, Mária

    2014-01-01

    Tick-borne diseases represent major public and animal health issues worldwide. Ixodes ricinus, primarily associated with deciduous and mixed forests, is the principal vector of causative agents of viral, bacterial, and protozoan zoonotic diseases in Europe. Recently, abundant tick populations have been observed in European urban green areas, which are of public health relevance due to the exposure of humans and domesticated animals to potentially infected ticks. In urban habitats, small and medium-sized mammals, birds, companion animals (dogs and cats), and larger mammals (roe deer and wild boar) play a role in maintenance of tick populations and as reservoirs of tick-borne pathogens. Presence of ticks infected with tick-borne encephalitis virus and high prevalence of ticks infected with Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., causing Lyme borreliosis, have been reported from urbanized areas in Europe. Emerging pathogens, including bacteria of the order Rickettsiales (Anaplasma phagocytophilum, “Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis,” Rickettsia helvetica, and R. monacensis), Borrelia miyamotoi, and protozoans (Babesia divergens, B. venatorum, and B. microti) have also been detected in urban tick populations. Understanding the ecology of ticks and their associations with hosts in a European urbanized environment is crucial to quantify parameters necessary for risk pre-assessment and identification of public health strategies for control and prevention of tick-borne diseases. PMID:25520947

  1. Variable strength of forest stand attributes and weather conditions on the questing activity of Ixodes ricinus ticks over years in managed forests.

    PubMed

    Lauterbach, Ralf; Wells, Konstans; O'Hara, Robert B; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Renner, Swen C

    2013-01-01

    Given the ever-increasing human impact through land use and climate change on the environment, we crucially need to achieve a better understanding of those factors that influence the questing activity of ixodid ticks, a major disease-transmitting vector in temperate forests. We investigated variation in the relative questing nymph densities of Ixodes ricinus in differently managed forest types for three years (2008-2010) in SW Germany by drag sampling. We used a hierarchical Bayesian modeling approach to examine the relative effects of habitat and weather and to consider possible nested structures of habitat and climate forces. The questing activity of nymphs was considerably larger in young forest successional stages of thicket compared with pole wood and timber stages. Questing nymph density increased markedly with milder winter temperatures. Generally, the relative strength of the various environmental forces on questing nymph density differed across years. In particular, winter temperature had a negative effect on tick activity across sites in 2008 in contrast to the overall effect of temperature across years. Our results suggest that forest management practices have important impacts on questing nymph density. Variable weather conditions, however, might override the effects of forest management practices on the fluctuations and dynamics of tick populations and activity over years, in particular, the preceding winter temperatures. Therefore, robust predictions and the detection of possible interactions and nested structures of habitat and climate forces can only be quantified through the collection of long-term data. Such data are particularly important with regard to future scenarios of forest management and climate warming. PMID:23372852

  2. Variable Strength of Forest Stand Attributes and Weather Conditions on the Questing Activity of Ixodes ricinus Ticks over Years in Managed Forests

    PubMed Central

    Lauterbach, Ralf; Wells, Konstans; O'Hara, Robert B.; Renner, Swen C.

    2013-01-01

    Given the ever-increasing human impact through land use and climate change on the environment, we crucially need to achieve a better understanding of those factors that influence the questing activity of ixodid ticks, a major disease-transmitting vector in temperate forests. We investigated variation in the relative questing nymph densities of Ixodes ricinus in differently managed forest types for three years (2008–2010) in SW Germany by drag sampling. We used a hierarchical Bayesian modeling approach to examine the relative effects of habitat and weather and to consider possible nested structures of habitat and climate forces. The questing activity of nymphs was considerably larger in young forest successional stages of thicket compared with pole wood and timber stages. Questing nymph density increased markedly with milder winter temperatures. Generally, the relative strength of the various environmental forces on questing nymph density differed across years. In particular, winter temperature had a negative effect on tick activity across sites in 2008 in contrast to the overall effect of temperature across years. Our results suggest that forest management practices have important impacts on questing nymph density. Variable weather conditions, however, might override the effects of forest management practices on the fluctuations and dynamics of tick populations and activity over years, in particular, the preceding winter temperatures. Therefore, robust predictions and the detection of possible interactions and nested structures of habitat and climate forces can only be quantified through the collection of long-term data. Such data are particularly important with regard to future scenarios of forest management and climate warming. PMID:23372852

  3. Circumstantial evidence for an increase in the total number and activity of borrelia-infected ixodes ricinus in the Netherlands

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Between 1994 and 2009, a threefold increase has been observed in consultations of general practitioners for tick bites and Lyme disease in The Netherlands. The objective of this study was to determine whether an increase in the number of questing ticks infected with B. burgdorferi sensu lato is a potential cause of the rise in Lyme disease incidence. Methods Historic data on land usage, temperature and wildlife populations were collected and analyzed together with data from two longitudinal field studies on density of questing ticks. Effective population sizes of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. were calculated. Results Long-term trend analyses indicated that the length of the annual tick questing season increased as well as the surface area of tick-suitable habitats in The Netherlands. The overall abundances of feeding and reproductive hosts also increased. Mathematical analysis of the data from the field studies demonstrated an increase in mean densities/activities of questing ticks, particularly of larvae between 2006 and 2009. No increase in infection rate of ticks with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato was found. Population genetic analysis of the collected Borrelia species points to an increase in B. afzelii and B. garinii populations. Conclusions Together, these findings indicate an increase in the total number of Borrelia-infected ticks, providing circumstantial evidence for an increase in the risk of acquiring a bite of a tick infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. Due to the high spatiotemporal variation of tick densities/activities, long-term longitudinal studies on population dynamics of I. ricinus are necessary to observe significant trends. PMID:23244453

  4. Repellency of MyggA Natural spray (para-menthane-3,8-diol) and RB86 (neem oil) against the tick Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the field in east-central Sweden.

    PubMed

    Garboui, Samira S; Jaenson, Thomas G T; Pålsson, K

    2006-01-01

    In the field in south-central Sweden, we tested by randomised, standardised methodology the potential anti-tick repellent activity of two concentrations of MyggA Natural spray (containing PMD) (4.2 and 3.2 g/m2) and one of RB86 (with 70% neem oil containing azadirachtin) (3 g/m2) to host seeking nymphs of Ixodes ricinus. Each substance was applied separately to 1 m2 cotton flannel cloths. Nymphal ticks on the cloths, pulled over the vegetation, were recorded at 10-m stops. Nymphal numbers recorded differed significantly between treated cloths [4.2 or 3.2 g MyggA Natural spray/m2 and 3 g RB86/m2] and the untreated control (df = 3, chi2 = 112.74, P < 0.0001). Nymphal numbers also differed significantly among collectors (df = 3, chi2 = 15.80, P < 0.001). Repellency of treated cloths, i.e., 4.2 or 3.2 g MyggA Natural spray/m2 and 3 g RB 86/m2 declined from day 0 (i.e. the day of impregnation) to day 3 after impregnation from 77 to 24%, 58 to 16% and 47 to 0.5%, respectively. This study suggests that all three treatments have significant repellent activities against I. ricinus nymphs. PMID:17103083

  5. 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. DGGE Identification of Microorganisms Associated with Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato- or Anaplasma phagocytophilum-Infected Ixodes ricinus Ticks from Northwest Norway

    PubMed Central

    Vadseth, Hanne Tjelle

    2013-01-01

    Ticks acquire a wide range of microorganisms as a natural part of their lifecycle. Bacteria, viruses, and protozoa can be transmitted to ticks during feeding and free-living phases. DGGE profiling is a molecular method to describe the microbial population associated with ticks and demonstrate some of the complexity and variety of tick-borne microorganisms. The present study profiled a total of 120 I. ricinus ticks, which were divided into three equally sized groups. We found that B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected ticks presented a pattern consisting of bacterial Pseudomonas spp. (67.5%), Bacillus spp. (50%), and Sphingomonas spp. (77.5%), while A. phagocytophilum-infected ticks were associated with Pseudomonas spp. (82.5%) and Sphingomonas spp. (57.5%). All profiles had one or more Pseudomonas species present, and the intramitochondrial endosymbiont Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii was present in more than 25% of the samples. Statistical analysis demonstrated that the microbial communities were not significantly different between the groups and that the groups could not be characterised by a specific microbial population. PMID:24282414

  7. 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

  8. [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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Life history of Ixodes (Ixodes) jellisoni (Acari: Ixodidae) and its vector competence for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato.

    PubMed

    Lane, R S; Peavey, C A; Padgett, K A; Hendson, M

    1999-05-01

    Ixodes (Ixodes) jellisoni Cooley & Kohls, a nonhuman biting and little known tick, is one of 4 members of the I. ricinus complex in the United States. A localized population of I. jellisoni inhabiting a grassland biotope in Mendocino County, CA, was studied from 1993 to 1997. Rodent trapping in all seasons revealed that the only host of both immature and adult I. jellisoni was the heteromyid rodent Dipodomys californicus Merriam. Field investigations suggested that I. jellisoni is nidicolous in habit, and laboratory findings demonstrated that it reproduces parthenogenetically. Known parthenogenetic females (n = 4) produced an average of 530 eggs of which 74% hatched, which was comparable to the fecundity and fertility of wild-caught females (n = 8). After the transstadial molt, 57 F1 or F2 nymphs derived from 2 wild-caught or 4 laboratory-reared, unmated females produced only females. Ixodes jellisoni males were not found on 112 wild-caught D. californicus individuals that were captured an average of 2 times. Collectively, these findings suggest that I. jellisoni may be obligatorily parthenogenetic. Borrelial isolates were obtained from 85% of 58 D. californicus and 33% of 21 I. jellisoni females removed from this rodent. None of the 7 infected female ticks passed borreliae ovarially to its F1 larval progeny. Eight D. californicus and 5 I. jellisoni-derived isolates that were genetically characterized belonged to 2 restriction pattern groups of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. Neither restriction pattern group has been assigned to a particular genospecies yet. After placement on naturally infected D. californicus, noninfected larval ticks acquired and transstadially passed spirochetes as efficiently as (group 1 borreliae) or 6 times more efficiently (group 2 borreliae) than Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls. As few as 1-4 infected I. jellisoni nymphs were capable of transmitting group 1 or group 2 borreliae to naive D. californicus. We conclude that I. jellisoni is a

  12. [Persistence of bacteria and viruses in Ixodes].

    PubMed

    Podboronov, V M; Smirnova, I P

    2014-01-01

    Behaviour of viruses and salmonellas in ticks after their single or combined contamination was thoroughly studied on laboratory animals with bacteriemia or virusemia. When Ixodes ricinus was contaminated simultaneously with forest-spring encephalitis virus and salmonellas there were observed a decrease in the virus titer by the 30th-40th days and its death in 60 days. In case of the I. ricinus nymphs contamination, the virus titer after the combined contamination was by a factor of 10(2) lower in 60 days vs. the contamination with the virus alone and did not reach the contamination dose. The simultaneous contamination of the ticks with two pathogens (forest-spring encephalitis virus and salmonellas) resulted in inhibition of the growth and development of both the virus and the salmonellas. PMID:25975109

  13. Factory-based permethrin impregnation of uniforms: residual activity against Aedes aegypti and Ixodes ricinus in battle dress uniforms worn under field conditions, and cross-contamination during the laundering and storage process.

    PubMed

    Faulde, Michael K; Uedelhoven, Waltraud M; Malerius, Miriam; Robbins, Richard G

    2006-06-01

    The factory-based permethrin coating technique has only recently been developed. Consequently, no data are available on residual activity, laundering, and weathering resistance in impregnated battle dress uniforms (BDUs) worn under military deployment conditions, or on the cross-contamination potential of such uniforms. Herein, factory-impregnated BDUs worn-out during military deployment to Afghanistan were investigated for residual permethrin concentration, residual efficacy against arthropod vectors, and cross-contamination during laundering and storage. When compared with BDUs subjected to 50 defined washings using the U.S. Insect/Arthropod Repellent Fabric Treatment method, no significant differences in efficacy were observed against Aedes mosquitoes, but remaining knockdown activity in Ixodes ticks was significantly better in polymer-coated BDUs. BDUs impregnated by the polymer-coating method were found to be effective for the life of the uniform, ensuring protection of soldiers in the field from arthropod vectors, while causing less cross-contamination than those treated by the Insect/Arthropod Repellent Fabric Treatment method. PMID:16808123

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Description of all the stages of Ixodes inopinatus n. sp. (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Estrada-Peña, Agustín; Nava, Santiago; Petney, Trevor

    2014-10-01

    All of the parasitic stages of Ixodes inopinatus n. sp. are described from specimens collected by flagging and on lizards and foxes. The new species replaces I. ricinus in dry areas of the Mediterranean region in Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. It has also been collected in areas of western Germany in sympatry with I. ricinus, far of its known distribution range and on an unusual host. The females of the new species can be separated from I. ricinus by the relative dimensions and punctations of the scutum, the length of the idiosomal setae, the size of the auriculae, and the aspect of the porose areas. Nymphs of I. inopinatus can be easily separated from I. ricinus by a combination of scutal dimensions, the relative size of scutal and alloscutal setae, and the relative size of the spurs on coxa I. The larvae of the new species have a broader than long scutum and unusually long Md1 to Md3 idiosomal setae. The new species is allopatric with I. ricinus in Spain and Portugal. It is hypothesized that it has been historically overlooked and reported as I. ricinus at least in northern Africa, southern Spain and parts of south-western Portugal. The existence of a new species in the I. ricinus complex makes necessary the critical assessment of its complete distribution, its abiotic preferences and seasonal activity, as well as its hosts and implications for the transmission of pathogens. PMID:25108790

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. The patterns of seasonal activity of Ixodes vespertilionis (Acari: Ixodidae) on Rhinolophus hipposideros in nursery colonies.

    PubMed

    Piksa, Krzysztof; Górz, Andrzej; Nowak-Chmura, Magdalena; Siuda, Krzysztof

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this study was to describe the dynamics of the long-legged bat tick Ixodes vespertilionis infestation on the lesser horseshoe bat Rhinolophus hipposideros in 2 nursery colonies roosting in attics. Out of a total of 810 lesser horseshoe bats examined, 217 (26.8%) were found to be infested with a total of 464 I. vespertilionis individuals. The developmental stage most frequently found was the larva, followed by the nymph, and the adult female. Bats were significantly more frequently infested with I. vespertilionis ticks in the period April to May than in other months. In these months, all tick developmental stages were observed. During summer and autumn, only immature developmental stages were recorded, whilst in September and October larvae predominated. Considerable differences in tick load between nursery colonies were observed. The length of seasonal presence on bats, prevalence, and infestation intensity of I. vespertilionis on lesser horseshoe bats were higher in the nursery colony situated in close vicinity of a cave than in the colony situated far from the caves. The results suggest that the pattern of seasonal infestation of ticks on bats roosting in nursery colonies coincides with the seasonal activity of Rh. hipposideros in the caves. The first case of mixed infestation of the lesser horseshoe bat with I. vespertilionis and I. ricinus were also recorded. PMID:24252260

  20. Euploidy in Ricinus1

    PubMed Central

    Timko, Michael P.; Vasconcelos, Aurea C.

    1981-01-01

    The effects of nuclear genome duplication on the chlorophyll-protein content and photochemical activity of chloroplasts, and photosynthetic rates in leaf tissue, have been evaluated in haploid, diploid, and tetraploid individuals of the castor bean, Ricinus communis L. Analysis of this euploid series revealed that both photosystem II (2,6-dichlorophenolindophenol reduction) and photosystem I oxygen uptake (N,N,N′,N′-tetramethyl-p-phenylenediamine to methyl viologen) decrease in plastids isolated from cells with increasingly larger nuclear complement sizes. Photosynthetic O2-evolution and 14CO2-fixation rates in leaf tissue from haploid, diploid, and tetraploid individuals were also found to decrease with the increase in size of the nuclear genome. Six chlorophyll-protein complexes, in addition to a zone of detergent complexed free pigment, were resolved from sodium dodecyl sulfate-solubilized thylakoid membranes from cells of all three ploidy levels. In addition to the P700-chlorophyll a-protein complex and the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-protein complex, four minor complexes were revealed, two containing only chlorophyll a and two containing both chlorophyll a and b. The relative distribution of chlorophyll among the resolved chlorophyll-protein complexes and free pigment was found to be similar for all three ploidy levels. Images PMID:16661814

  1. Life cycle of Ixodes (Ixodes) loricatus (Acari: Ixodidae) under laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Schumaker, T T; Labruna, M B; Abel, I dos S; Clerici, P T

    2000-09-01

    The life cycle of Ixodes (Ixodes) loricatus Neumann, reared in the laboratory, is described. Engorged females collected from opossums trapped in the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo, Brazil, which were used to start the laboratory colonies, were designated as BMG and CSP, respectively. Larval and nymphal ticks from both colonies fed separately on Rattus norvergicus Berkenhout or Calomys callosus Rengger, whereas Didelphis marsupialis L and Didelphis albiventris Lund were used as hosts for BMG and CSP adults, respectively. Biological and developmental data obtained from ticks of both the BMG and CSP colonies that were reared separately for two consecutive generations were compared. The percentage of fed or molted ticks reared on C. callosus was higher than that recorded for ticks fed on R. norvergicus in the majority of the observations. Despite significant differences among several of the biological parameters, the pattern of the life cycles of the two tick colonies was similar. Results indicated that the mean life cycle duration of I. (I.) loricatus was approximately 7 mo from parental oviposition to the occurrence of F1 eggs, regardless of geographic origin or host species. PMID:11004783

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

    In the European Union (EU), tick repellents for humans need to be registered and approved by the authorities in order to be marketed. As there are currently no specific technical guidelines for product evaluation, we compared 3 different test methods: the mechanical moving object bioassay (MOB), and 2 assays involving human volunteers. For the latter, procedures according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Stiftung Warentest (StiWa), a German consumer care organization, were used. Two repellents, Autan(®) (AU), based on 20% Picaridin [2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid-1-methylpropyl ester], and ZeckWeck (ZW), based on 12.5g/100g Citriodiol™ (main compound: p-menthane-3,8-diol) were tested with all 3 assays. Three repellents, Anti Brumm(®) naturelle, based on 20% Citriodiol™ (main compound: p-menthane-3,8-diol), G090141, based on 20% EBAAP (ethyl buthyl acetyl aminopropionate), and G090152, based on 10% decanoic acid (capric acid), which is contained in Zanzarin(®), were tested according to the EPA and the StiWa procedures. The EPA assay indicated a significantly higher repellency of the products AU and G090141 than the StiWa test, but no difference between assays could be detected for the remaining 3 products. Also the corresponding protection times were significantly longer (approximately 4h) when determined according to EPA versus to StiWa for 3 of the products, whilst the difference was insignificant for ZW and G090152. Additionally, significantly lower numbers of ticks initially walked onto the repellent-treated skin when tested according to EPA versus to StiWa in all products except ZW and G090152. Thus, the StiWa protocol appears to pose higher demands on a repellent than the EPA method. Contrary to expectation, the MOB showed the same or even lower product efficacy when compared to the EPA and StiWa tests. Particularly, the percentage of ticks clinging to repellent-treated filter paper was significantly higher than the proportion of ticks walking onto treated skin in the other assays. This could mean that in nature more ticks may probably cling to a human protected by a given repellent than the EPA or the StiWa assay might suggest. Nevertheless, the MOB produced results that are quite similar to the tests involving human volunteers. PMID:23339971

  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. 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

  8. 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

  9. Genotyping and Bioforensics of Ricinus communis

    SciTech Connect

    Hinckley, A C

    2006-11-20

    The castor bean plant (Ricinus communis) is a member of the family Euphorbiaceae. In spite of its common name, the castor plant is not a true bean (i.e., leguminous plants belonging to the family, Fabaceae). Ricinus communis is native to tropical Africa, but because the plant was recognized for its production of oil with many desirable properties, it has been introduced and cultivated in warm temperate regions throughout the world (Armstrong 1999 and Brown 2005). Castor bean plants have also been valued by gardeners as an ornamental plant and, historically, as a natural rodenticide. Today, escaped plants grow like weeds throughout much of the southwestern United States, and castor seeds are even widely available to the public for order through the Internet. In this study, multiple loci of chloroplast noncoding sequence data and a few nuclear noncoding regions were examined to identify DNA polymorphisms present among representatives from a geographically diverse panel of Ricinus communis cultivated varieties. The primary objectives for this research were (1) to successfully cultivate castor plants and extract sufficient yields of high quality DNA from an assortment of castor cultivated varieties, (2) to use PCR and sequencing to screen available universal oligos against a small panel of castor cultivars, (3) to identify DNA polymorphisms within the amplified regions, and (4) to evaluate these DNA polymorphisms as appropriate candidates for assay development (see Figure 1). Additional goals were to design, test and optimize assays targeting any DNA polymorphisms that were discovered and to rapidly screen many castor cultivars to determine the amount of diversity present at that particular locus. Ultimately, the goal of this study was to construct a phylogeographic tree representing the genetic relationships present among Ricinus communis cultivars from diverse geographic regions. These research objectives were designed to test the hypothesis that cultivated varieties

  10. Antibody interactions with Ricinus communis agglutinins studied by biolayer interferometry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two related agglutinins are present in the seeds of Ricinus communis (castor): ricin, a dichain ribosome-inactivating protein and Ricinus communis agglutinin-1 (RCA-1), a much less toxic hemagglutinin. Because ricin has been used for experimental cancer chemotherapy as well as for intentional poison...

  11. Investigation of the validity of species status of Ixodes dammini (Acari: Ixodidae) using rDNA.

    PubMed Central

    Wesson, D M; McLain, D K; Oliver, J H; Piesman, J; Collins, F H

    1993-01-01

    The two internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) of rDNA of three members of the Ixodes ricinus "complex" (Acari: Ixodidae) were sequenced. Sequence variation was assessed for the North American species I. scapularis, I. dammini, and I. pacificus at three levels: within individual/population, between individuals of different geographic origin within a species, and between species. Both spacers are highly variable, particularly with regard to small deletions and additions which may arise via replication slippage. Homogenization of rDNA multigene arrays for particular sequence variants appears to occur at a relatively rapid rate, since I. pacificus sequences differ from the others at numerous invariant sites, facilitating the use of these sequences to assess sibling species relationships. Based on maximum parsimony and two distance methods (unweighted pair-group with arithmetic means and neighbor-joining), sequence variation in ITS1 and ITS2 suggests that I. scapularis and I. dammini are not distinct species and that even individuals from geographically isolated locations are very similar. Individuals from geographically separated populations of I. pacificus appear to be relatively less closely related to each other but distinct from those of I. scapularis/dammini. In I. scapularis/dammini, diversity within and between individuals from geographic populations contributed equally to total sequence diversity. PMID:8234280

  12. High prevalence of Babesia microti 'Munich' type in small mammals from an Ixodes persulcatus/Ixodes trianguliceps sympatric area in the Omsk region, Russia.

    PubMed

    Rar, Vera; Yakimenko, Valeriy; Makenov, Marat; Tikunov, Artem; Epikhina, Tamara; Tancev, Aleksey; Bobrova, Oksana; Tikunova, Nina

    2016-09-01

    Babesia microti is a genetically diverse group of protozoan parasites whose life cycle is associated with both small mammals and Ixodes spp. ticks. In this study, the prevalence of different B. microti genetic groups in ticks and small rodents in an area with Ixodes persulcatus and Ixodes trianguliceps occurring in sympatry was examined. A total of 541 small mammals were captured during eight sampling periods between 2013 and 2015 at a site in the Omsk region of Russia and tested for the presence of B. microti using nested PCR with subsequent sequencing of positive samples. B. microti DNA was found in 31.6 % of examined samples, and prevalence rates ranged from 5.3 to 61.6 % in different sampling periods. The sequenced B. microti samples belonged to two genetic groups: enzootic B. microti 'Munich' type and zoonotic B. microti 'US' type. B. microti 'Munich' type was more common across all sampling periods, with greater than 80 % prevalence in infected animals. Despite the high B. microti 'Munich'-type prevalence in voles, B. microti was not found in any of 394 adult I. persulcatus ticks collected by flagging or in the 84 I. persulcatus or 20 I. trianguliceps ticks taken from voles and molted under laboratory conditions. It was demonstrated that B. microti 'Munich'-type DNA can be detected in the blood of naturally infected voles for at least 20 weeks after capture. Thus, the high prevalence of B. microti 'Munich' type in small mammals may be explained by the prolonged persistence of B. microti in the blood of wild voles. PMID:27212463

  13. 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.

  14. Temporal variation of Ixodes ricinus intensity on the rodent host Apodemus flavicollis in relation to local climate and host dynamics.

    PubMed

    Rosà, Roberto; Pugliese, Andrea; Ghosh, Mini; Perkins, Sarah E; Rizzoli, Annapaola

    2007-01-01

    The risk to humans of contracting tick-borne zoonotic diseases depends on the risk of a bite from an infected tick, which can be broken down into its component parts as the number of host-seeking ticks in the environment, in particular nymphs, and the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens they are carrying. In turn, the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens is dependent upon tick biting intensity on hosts that support transmission between ticks; namely rodents. These ticks once fed moult into the next life stage and search for the next blood meal, thus posing a zoonotic risk. Here, we analyse tick biting intensity on rodents in a known tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) focus in Trentino (northern Italy). We examine patterns of tick demography and the influence of host densities and climate on ticks' generation time, development rates, tick density and intensity. During the period 2000-2004, a population of the yellow-necked mouse, Apodemus flavicollis, the most important TBE transmission host, was intensively monitored. Ticks feeding on individual rodents were counted, distinguishing between the larval and nymph life-stages. Local temperature and relative humidity was calculated using both data-loggers in the field site and regional weather stations. We investigated which factors had a predictive value both on feeding tick intensity and on the overall density of larvae or nymphs feeding on rodents in a year. We observed a negative effect of rodent density on tick intensity, while temperature influenced positively both larvae and nymph intensity. Overall larval density was higher in the years and trapping grids where rodent density was higher, while for nymphs no such effect was observed. The best explanatory variable for nymph density was the larval density in the previous year, confirming the discrete nature of tick demography. This provides important information in terms of monitoring the risk to humans of acquiring pathogen-infected ticks. PMID:17760511

  15. Diversity of Ixodes-borne Borrelia species--clinical, pathogenetic, and diagnostic implications and impact on vaccine development.

    PubMed

    van Dam, Alje P

    2002-01-01

    Among Borrelia spirochetes carried by hard ticks belonging to the various Ixodes species, at least 10 species can be distinguished. Of these, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto is involved in human Lyme borreliosis in North America and Europe, and Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii in human disease in Europe and Asia. The pathogenetic significance of the other species is uncertain. Although some of the Borrelia species are restricted to certain tick species, Ixodes ricinus, the vector of Lyme borreliosis in Europe, can be infested by at least five different species, including all three pathogenic species. There is evidence that different Borrelia species are preferentially found in different hosts: In Europe, B. afzelii is frequently found in small mammals, whereas B. garinii and Borrelia valaisiana are often found in birds. This could very well be related to differential sensitivity of these species to complement-mediated bactericidal activity of different hosts. Borrelial complement regulator acquiring proteins, among them OspE or Erp proteins, bind to host factor H and related proteins, and this binding protects against activation of complement by the spirochetal surface. The binding is different for proteins originating from different species and is also depending on the host origin of factor H. In Europe, B. garinii is mainly found in neuroborreliosis, whereas in skin disease B. afzelii is more frequently found. The reason is unclear. The majority of human sera cross-react between proteins of different Borrelia species, but some sera react only with proteins from one of the species. This holds especially for reactivity with OspC. A vaccine against B. burgdorferi sensu stricto has been licensed, but was recently redrawn from the market because of commercial reasons. A vaccine protecting against all three pathogenic species is not yet available. PMID:12804166

  16. Description of the male, redescription of the female and 16S rDNA sequence of Ixodes aulacodi (Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Chiţimia-Dobler, Lidia; D'Amico, Gianluca; Yao, Patrick Kouassi; Kalmár, Zsuzsa; Gherman, Călin Mircea; Mihalca, Andrei Daniel; Estrada-Peña, Agustin

    2016-04-01

    Ixodes (Afrixodes) aulacodiArthur, 1956 is a poorly known species that has been recorded predominantly in the wet countries of western and central Africa, mainly associated to the greater cane rat Thryonomys swinderianus (Temmink). We herein redescribe the female, describe the male (ascribed to the species from specimens found in copula) and provide the 16S rDNA sequence. We also provide complete illustrations of the adults based on specimens found on greater cane rats in Ivory Coast. Ixodes aulacodi is included in the group of species of the subgenus Afrixodes that have horseshoe shaped anal groove, and which lack auriculae and cornua. The female is easily separated when compared with other species because of a unique combination of characters: All the coxae have internal spurs, coxa II has two external spurs, syncoxae are absent, and trochanters I-III have one spur each. The male has a notched hypostome and lacks syncoxae, auriculae and cornua. PMID:26803353

  17. Redescriptions and new host records of chewing lice of the genus Ricinus (Phthiraptera: Ricinidae) from the Neotropical Region.

    PubMed

    Valan, Miroslav; Sychra, Oldrich; Literak, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Two species of the chewing louse genus Ricinus are redescribed and illustrated: Ricinus dalgleishi Nelson, 1972 from Helmitheros vermivorum (Gmelin, 1789), a new host-louse association, and Ricinus tanagraephilus Eichler, 1956 from Euphonia laniirostris d'Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837. Also, new host-louse associations are recorded for Ricinus vireoensis Nelson, 1972 from Vireo pallens Salvin, 1863, and for females of an unidentified species of Ricinus sp. from Corythopis delalandi (Lesson, 1831), which are described and illustrated. PMID:27615833

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Draft genome sequence of the oilseed species Ricinus communis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Castor bean (Ricinus communis) is an oil crop that belongs to the spurge (Euphorbiaceae) family. Its seeds are the source of castor oil, used for the production of high-quality lubricants due to its high proportion of the unusual fatty acid ricinoleic acid. Castor bean seeds also produce ricin, a hi...

  2. 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

  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. 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).

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

    PubMed

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Korotkov, Iu S

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Lipolytic activity of ricin from Ricinus sanguineus and Ricinus communis on neutral lipids.

    PubMed Central

    Lombard, S; Helmy, M E; Piéroni, G

    2001-01-01

    The present study was carried out with a view of determining ricin lipolytic activity on neutral lipids in emulsion and in a membrane-like model. Using 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanol tributyrate (BAL-TC(4)) as substrate, the lipolytic activity of ricin was found to be proportional to ricin and substrate concentrations, with an apparent K(m) (K(m,app)) of 2.4 mM, a k(cat) of 200 min(-1) and a specific activity of 1.0 unit/mg of protein. This work was extended to p-nitrophenyl (pNP) fatty acid esters containing two to twelve carbon atoms. Maximum lipolytic activity was registered on pNP decanoate (pNPC(10)), with a K(m,app) of 3.5 mM, a k(cat) of 173 min(-1) and a specific activity of 3.5 units/mg of protein. Ricin lipolytic activity is pH and galactose dependent, with a maximum at pH 7.0 in the presence of 0.2 M galactose. Using the monolayer technique with dicaprin as substrate, ricin showed a lipolytic activity proportional to the ricin concentration at 20 mN/m, which is dependent on the surface pressure of the lipid monolayer and is detectable up to 30 mN/m, a surface pressure that is of the same order of magnitude as that of natural cell membranes. The methods based on pNPC(10) and BAL-TC(4) hydrolysis are simple and reproducible; thus they can be used for routine studies of ricin lipolytic activity. Ricin from Ricinus communis and R. sanguineus were treated with diethyl p-nitrophenylphosphate, an irreversible serine esterase inhibitor, and their lipolytic activities on BAL-TC(4) and pNPC(10), and cytotoxic activity, were concurrently recorded. A reduction in lipolytic activity was accompanied by a decrease in cytotoxicity on Caco2 cells. These data support the idea that the lipolytic activity associated with ricin is relevant to a lipase whose activity is pH and galactose dependent, sensitive to diethyl p-nitrophenylphosphate, and that a lipolytic step may be involved in the process of cell poisoning by ricin. Both colorimetric tests used in this study are sensitive

  9. Vector of Trypanosoma copemani identified as Ixodes sp.

    PubMed

    Austen, J M; Ryan, U M; Friend, J A; Ditcham, W G F; Reid, S A

    2011-06-01

    A total of 41 ticks were collected from 15 quokkas on Bald Island and 2 ticks from a Gilbert's potoroo from Two Peoples Bay. Three species of Ixodid ticks Ixodes australiensis, Ixodes hirsti and Ixodes myrmecobii were identified on the quokkas known to have a high prevalence of Trypanosoma copemani. Tick faeces from ticks isolated from 8 individual quokkas and a Gilbert's potoroo were examined with one identified as positive for trypanosomes. Faecal examination revealed trypanosomes similar to in vitro life-cycle stages of T. copemani. In total 12 ticks were dissected and trypanosomes found in sections of their midgut and haemolymph, 49 and 117 days after collection. Tick faeces, salivary glands and midguts from I. australiensis were screened using an 18S rRNA PCR with amplification seen only from the midguts. Sequencing showed 100% homology to T. copemani (genotype A) and 99.9% homology to the wombat (AII) isolate of T. copemani. Trypanosomes were only detected in I. australiensis as neither I. hirsti nor I. myrmecobii survived the initial 30-day storage conditions. We therefore identify a vector for T. copemani as I. australiensis and, given the detection of trypanosomes in the faeces, suggest that transmission is via the faecal-oral route. PMID:21518469

  10. 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

  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. 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

  13. Detection of a Borrelia miyamotoi sensu lato relapsing-fever group spirochete from Ixodes pacificus in California.

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

    We investigated whether host-seeking nymphs and adults of the western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls, the primary vector of Lyme disease spirochetes in far-western North America, are infected naturally with relapsing-fever group spirochetes in Mendocino County, California. Relapsing-fever group borreliae were detected in four (1.7%) of 234 nymphal and two (0.7%) of 282 adult host-seeking I. pacificus ticks by polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA and flagellin genes, respectively, exhibiting 99 and 98.5% sequence homology to Borrelia miyamotoi Fukunaga. Phylogenetic analysis based on these two genes revealed that the borreliae detected in these ticks belong to the relapsing-fever group and that these are closely related to, if not identical with, B. miyamotoi. PMID:16506458

  14. Large Scale Spatial Risk and Comparative Prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi and Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato in Ixodes pacificus

    PubMed Central

    Padgett, Kerry; Bonilla, Denise; Kjemtrup, Anne; Vilcins, Inger-Marie; Yoshimizu, Melissa Hardstone; Hui, Lucia; Sola, Milagros; Quintana, Miguel; Kramer, Vicki

    2014-01-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi is a newly described emerging pathogen transmitted to people by Ixodes species ticks and found in temperate regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. There is limited understanding of large scale entomological risk patterns of B. miyamotoi and of Borreila burgdorferi sensu stricto (ss), the agent of Lyme disease, in western North America. In this study, B. miyamotoi, a relapsing fever spirochete, was detected in adult (n = 70) and nymphal (n = 36) Ixodes pacificus ticks collected from 24 of 48 California counties that were surveyed over a 13 year period. Statewide prevalence of B. burgdorferi sensu lato (sl), which includes B. burgdorferi ss, and B. miyamotoi were similar in adult I. pacificus (0.6% and 0.8%, respectively). In contrast, the prevalence of B. burgdorferi sl was almost 2.5 times higher than B. miyamotoi in nymphal I. pacificus (3.2% versus 1.4%). These results suggest similar risk of exposure to B. burgdorferi sl and B. miyamotoi from adult I. pacificus tick bites in California, but a higher risk of contracting B. burgdorferi sl than B. miyamotoi from nymphal tick bites. While regional risk of exposure to these two spirochetes varies, the highest risk for both species is found in north and central coastal California and the Sierra Nevada foothill region, and the lowest risk is in southern California; nevertheless, tick-bite avoidance measures should be implemented in all regions of California. This is the first study to comprehensively evaluate entomologic risk for B. miyamotoi and B. burgdorferi for both adult and nymphal I. pacificus, an important human biting tick in western North America. PMID:25333277

  15. 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

  16. Acetone Powder From Dormant Seeds of Ricinus communis L

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavalcanti, Elisa D. C.; Maciel, Fábio M.; Villeneuve, Pierre; Lago, Regina C. A.; Machado, Olga L. T.; Freire, Denise M. G.

    The influence of several factors on the hydrolytic activity of lipase, present in the acetone powder from dormant castor seeds (Ricinus communis) was evaluated. The enzyme showed a marked specificity for short-chain substrates. The best reaction conditions were an acid medium, Triton X-100 as the emulsifying agent and a temperature of 30°C. The lipase activity of the acetone powder of different castor oil genotypes showed great variability and storage stability of up to 90%. The toxicology analysis of the acetone powder from genotype Nordestina BRS 149 showed a higher ricin (toxic component) content, a lower 2S albumin (allergenic compound) content, and similar allergenic potential compared with untreated seeds.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Toxicity of six plant extracts and two pyridone alkaloids from Ricinus communis against the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The African malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae s.s., is known to feed selectively on certain plants for sugar sources. However, the adaptive significance of this behaviour especially on how the extracts of such plants impact on the fitness of this vector has not been explored. This study determined the toxicity and larvicidal activity on this vector of extracts from six selected plants found in Kenya and two compounds identified from Ricinus communis: 3-carbonitrile-4-methoxy-N-methyl-2-pyridone (ricinine), and its carboxylic acid derivative 3-carboxy-4-methoxy-N-methyl-2-pyridone, the latter compound being reported for the first time from this plant. Methods Feeding assays tested for toxic effects of extracts from the plants Artemisia afra Jacq. ex Willd, Bidens pilosa L., Parthenium hysterophorus L., Ricinus coummunis L., Senna didymobotrya Fresen. and Tithonia diversifolia Hemsl. on adult females and larvicidal activity was tested against third-instar larvae of Anopheles gambiae s.s. Mortality of larvae and adult females was monitored for three and eight days, respectively; Probit analysis was used to calculate LC50. Survival was analysed with Kaplan-Meier Model. LC-MS was used to identify the pure compounds. Results Of the six plants screened, extracts from T. diversifolia and R. communis were the most toxic against adult female mosquitoes after 7 days of feeding, with LC50 of 1.52 and 2.56 mg/mL respectively. Larvicidal activity of all the extracts increased with the exposure time with the highest mortality recorded for the extract from R. communis after 72 h of exposure (LC50 0.18 mg/mL). Mosquitoes fed on solutions of the pure compounds, 3-carboxy-4-methoxy-N-methyl-2-pyridone and ricinine survived almost as long as those fed on the R. communis extract with mean survival of 4.93 ± 0.07, 4.85 ± 0.07 and 4.50 ± 0.05 days respectively. Conclusions Overall, these findings demonstrate that extracts from the six plant species exhibit

  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. 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. 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

  3. Distribution and Habitat of Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) and Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Utah.

    PubMed

    Davis, Ryan S; Ramirez, Ricardo A; Anderson, J Laine; Bernhardt, Scott A

    2015-11-01

    Knowledge about the distribution and abundance of the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls, in Utah is limited. Recent concerns over tick-borne diseases in Utah, primarily Lyme disease, have reinvigorated the need to understand the distribution and habitats favored by this tick species. We surveyed 157 sites throughout Utah to examine the distribution, abundance, and habitat of I. pacificus. In total, 343 adult ticks were collected from 2011 to 2013. Specifically, 119 I. pacificus, 217 Dermacentor andersoni Stiles, six D. albipictus Packard, and one D. hunteri Bishopp were collected. Overall, tick abundance was relatively low in the areas evaluated in Utah. I. pacificus collections were limited to sites above 1700 m. Ninety-two percent of I. pacificus were captured in the Sheeprock Mountains in Tooele County. I. pacificus positive collection sites were characterized by Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii Nuttall), juniper (Juniperus spp. L.), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nuttall) and black sagebrush (A. nova Nelson), and mixed grass habitat. All I. pacificus ticks were tested for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi (Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt, and Brenner, sensu stricto) using real-time PCR. All ticks tested negative for B. burgdorferi. The likelihood of encountering I. pacificus and acquiring Lyme disease in the areas evaluated in Utah is considerably low due to low tick abundance and limited distribution, as well as low prevalence (or absence) of B. burgdorferi in Utah. PMID:26336263

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Draft genome sequence of the oilseed species Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Chan, Agnes P; Crabtree, Jonathan; Zhao, Qi; Lorenzi, Hernan; Orvis, Joshua; Puiu, Daniela; Melake-Berhan, Admasu; Jones, Kristine M; Redman, Julia; Chen, Grace; Cahoon, Edgar B; Gedil, Melaku; Stanke, Mario; Haas, Brian J; Wortman, Jennifer R; Fraser-Liggett, Claire M; Ravel, Jacques; Rabinowicz, Pablo D

    2010-09-01

    Castor bean (Ricinus communis) is an oilseed crop that belongs to the spurge (Euphorbiaceae) family, which comprises approximately 6,300 species that include cassava (Manihot esculenta), rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) and physic nut (Jatropha curcas). It is primarily of economic interest as a source of castor oil, used for the production of high-quality lubricants because of its high proportion of the unusual fatty acid ricinoleic acid. However, castor bean genomics is also relevant to biosecurity as the seeds contain high levels of ricin, a highly toxic, ribosome-inactivating protein. Here we report the draft genome sequence of castor bean (4.6-fold coverage), the first for a member of the Euphorbiaceae. Whereas most of the key genes involved in oil synthesis and turnover are single copy, the number of members of the ricin gene family is larger than previously thought. Comparative genomics analysis suggests the presence of an ancient hexaploidization event that is conserved across the dicotyledonous lineage. PMID:20729833

  9. CastorDB: a comprehensive knowledge base for Ricinus communis

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Ricinus communis is an industrially important non-edible oil seed crop, native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Although, R. communis genome was assembled in 4X draft by JCVI, and is predicted to contain 31,221 proteins, the function of most of the genes remains to be elucidated. A large amount of information of different aspects of the biology of R. communis is available, but most of the data are scattered one not easily accessible. Therefore a comprehensive resource on Castor, Castor DB, is required to facilitate research on this important plant. Findings CastorDB is a specialized and comprehensive database for the oil seed plant R. communis, integrating information from several diverse resources. CastorDB contains information on gene and protein sequences, gene expression and gene ontology annotation of protein sequences obtained from a variety of repositories, as primary data. In addition, computational analysis was used to predict cellular localization, domains, pathways, protein-protein interactions, sumoylation sites and biochemical properties and has been included as derived data. This database has an intuitive user interface that prompts the user to explore various possible information resources available on a given gene or a protein. Conclusion CastorDB provides a user friendly comprehensive resource on castor with particular emphasis on its genome, transcriptome, and proteome and on protein domains, pathways, protein localization, presence of sumoylation sites, expression data and protein interacting partners. PMID:21914200

  10. [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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Expression profile of the genes involved in reserve synthesis in castor (Ricinus communis L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Oil derived from the seed of castor (Ricinus communis L.) contains 90% ricinoleate (12-hydroxy-oleate) and has numerous industrial uses. Despite its economic importance, the production of castor oil is hampered by the presence of detrimental seed storage proteins, the toxin ricin and hyper-allergeni...

  17. TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL EXPRESSION OF 2S ALBUMIN IN CASTOR (Ricinus communis L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We studied the temporal and spatial expression of the 2S albumin in castor (Ricinus communis L.) during seed development, germination, post-germination, and plant development. Quantitative PCR analysis showed that the 2S albumin transcript accumulated to a maximum level at the middle of seed develop...

  18. Essential oil of the leaves of Ricinus communis L.: In vitro cytotoxicity and antimicrobial properties

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The aim of the present study was to appraise the antimicrobial activity of Ricinus communis L. essential oil against different pathogenic microorganisms and the cytotoxic activity against HeLa cell lines. Methods The agar disk diffusion method was used to study the antibacterial activity of Ricinus communis L. essential oil against 12 bacterial and 4 fungi strains. The disc diameters of zone of inhibition (DD), the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and the concentration inhibiting 50% (IC50) were investigated to characterize the antimicrobial activities of this essential oil. The in vitro cytotoxicity of Ricinus communis L. essential oil was examined using a modified MTT assay; the viability and the IC50 were used to evaluate this test. Results The essential oil from the leaves of Ricinus communis L. was analyzed by GC–MS and bioassays were carried out. Five constituents of the oil were identified by GC–MS. The antimicrobial activity of the oil was investigated in order to evaluate its efficacy against twelve bacteria and four fungi species, using disc diffusion and minimum inhibitory concentration methods. The essential oil showed strong antimicrobial activity against all microorganisms tested with higher sensitivity for Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus and Enterobacter cloacae. The cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of the essential oil on HeLa cell lines were examined by MTT assay. The cytotoxicity of the oil was quite strong with IC50 values less than 2.63 mg/ml for both cell lines. Conclusion The present study showed the potential antimicrobial and anticarcinogenic properties of the essential oil of Ricinus communis L., indicating the possibilities of its potential use in the formula of natural remedies for the topical treatment of infections. PMID:22888805

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Novel exposure sites for nymphal Ixodes pacificus within picnic areas.

    PubMed

    Padgett, Kerry A; Bonilla, Denise L

    2011-12-01

    Risk of exposure to nymphal Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls ticks was investigated at 7 picnic areas in Tilden Regional Park, a heavily used recreation area of over 2000 acres in northwestern California, east of San Francisco Bay. Wooden picnic tables, tree trunks, logs, leaf litter, surrounding vegetation, and rock walls were checked for ticks using standard 1-m(2) flannel tick flags at biweekly intervals from March to August 2008. Results indicate that nymphal I. pacificus were commonly found on wooden picnic tables and other wooden materials, such as tree trunks and logs, at an equal proportion to those found in leaf litter. Nymphal I. pacificus in picnic areas peaked in April, with a secondary peak in early June. Five of 170 (2.9%) nymphal I. pacificus collected at picnic sites were positive for Borrelia spirochetes, of which 3 (1.8%) were identified as B. burgdorferi sensu stricto using molecular techniques. In addition, a nymphal I. auritulus collected from a rock wall in a picnic area tested positive for a mixture of B. burgdorferi and B. bissettii; this tick species feeds exclusively on birds. This study indicates a moderate risk of acquiring a nymphal tick at Tilden Park picnic areas, but due to the low B. burgdorferi infection prevalence, the risk of acquiring Lyme disease appears to be low. PMID:22108011

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Chewing lice of genus Ricinus (Phthiraptera, Ricinidae) deposited at the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg, Russia, with description of a new species

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    We revised a collection of chewing lice deposited at the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg, Russia. We studied 60 slides with 107 specimens of 10 species of the genus Ricinus (De Geer, 1778). The collection includes lectotype specimens of Ricinus ivanovi Blagoveshtchensky, 1951 and of Ricinus tugarinovi Blagoveshtchensky, 1951. We registered Ricinus elongatus Olfers, 1816 ex Turdus ruficollis, R. ivanovi ex Leucosticte tephrocotis and Ricinus serratus (Durrant, 1906) ex Calandrella acutirostris and Calandrella cheleensis which were not included in Price’s world checklist. New records for Russia are R. elongatus ex Turdus ruficollis; Ricinus fringillae De Geer, 1778 ex Emberiza aureola, Emberiza leucocephalos, Emberiza rustica, Passer montanus and Prunella modularis; Ricinus rubeculae De Geer, 1778 ex Erithacus rubecula and Luscinia svecica; Ricinus serratus (Durrant, 1906) ex Alauda arvensis. New records for Kyrgyzstan are R. fringillae ex E. leucocephalos and ex Fringilla coelebs. A new record for Tajikistan is R. serratus ex Calandrella acutirostris. The new species Ricinus vaderi Valan n. sp. is described with Calandra lark, Melanocorypha calandra; from Azerbaijan, as a type host. PMID:26902646

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Ricinus communis Intoxications in Human and Veterinary Medicine-A Summary of Real Cases

    PubMed Central

    Worbs, Sylvia; Köhler, Kernt; Pauly, Diana; Avondet, Marc-André; Schaer, Martin; Dorner, Martin B.; Dorner, Brigitte G.

    2011-01-01

    Accidental and intended Ricinus communis intoxications in humans and animals have been known for centuries but the causative agent remained elusive until 1888 when Stillmark attributed the toxicity to the lectin ricin. Ricinus communis is grown worldwide on an industrial scale for the production of castor oil. As by-product in castor oil production ricin is mass produced above 1 million tons per year. On the basis of its availability, toxicity, ease of preparation and the current lack of medical countermeasures, ricin has gained attention as potential biological warfare agent. The seeds also contain the less toxic, but highly homologous Ricinus communis agglutinin and the alkaloid ricinine, and especially the latter can be used to track intoxications. After oil extraction and detoxification, the defatted press cake is used as organic fertilizer and as low-value feed. In this context there have been sporadic reports from different countries describing animal intoxications after uptake of obviously insufficiently detoxified fertilizer. Observations in Germany over several years, however, have led us to speculate that the detoxification process is not always performed thoroughly and controlled, calling for international regulations which clearly state a ricin threshold in fertilizer. In this review we summarize knowledge on intended and unintended poisoning with ricin or castor seeds both in humans and animals, with a particular emphasis on intoxications due to improperly detoxified castor bean meal and forensic analysis. PMID:22069699

  19. [The abundance and distribution of the Ixodes persulcatus (Acari: Ixodidae) near its northern spreading limit in the Ural Mountains].

    PubMed

    Livanova, N N; Livanov, S G

    2006-01-01

    A count of the tick species Ixodes persulcatus Schulze, 1930 was carried out in the "Denezhkin Kamen" Nature Reserve and adjacent territories (the Severoural'sk and Ivdel' Districts of the Sverdlovsk Region, the Northern Urals geographical province) in the 2005. The abundance and distribution of unengorged adults has been evaluated on an area of 22.5 square kilometers (N 60 degrees 27'-60 degrees 30' E 059 degrees 38'-059 degrees 42'). The area includes proportionally main landscape and vegetation elements of the region studied, from mountain analogues of the middle and northern taiga up to tundra. One tick species, I. persulcatus, has been collected by flagging with the abundance from 0.4 up to 6.8 (average 1.6 +/- 0.9) specimens per flag-hour. The observed values of abundance are classified into three classes (I - ticks are absent, II - 1-2 specimens, and III - 3-7 specimens per flag-hour). The class I amounts 20, II - 75, and III - 5% of the area examined. It has been revealed by the expert evaluation of the 2003-2004 and counts of the 2005 that ticks occur stably in the Northern Ural, reaching N 61 degrees and 400 m above sea level. The level of the species abundance remained constant till the middle of summer. In this period the activity of ticks dependent on the weather optimum only. PMID:17042282

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

    PubMed

    Grigoryeva, L A; Stanyukovich, M K

    2016-07-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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

  6. Potential of castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) for phytoremediation of mine tailings and oil production.

    PubMed

    Ruiz Olivares, Alejandro; Carrillo-González, Rogelio; González-Chávez, Ma del Carmen A; Soto Hernández, Ramón Marcos

    2013-01-15

    Bioenergy production combined with phytoremediation has been suggested to help in solving two critical world problems: the gradual reduction of fossil fuels and soil contamination. The aim of this research was to investigate the potential for the use of Ricinus communis L. (castor oil plant) as an energy crop and plant species to remediate metal-polluted sites. This study was performed in mine tailings containing high concentrations of Cu, Zn, Mn, Pb and Cd. Physico-chemical characterization, total, DTPA-extractable and water-soluble metals in rhizospheric tailings heap samples were carried. Metal concentrations in plant tissues and translocation factors (TFs) were also determined. The Ricinus seed-oil content was high between 41 and 64%, seeds from San Francisco site 6 had the highest oil content, while these from site 7 had the lowest. No trend between oil yield vs seed origin site was observed. Seed-oil content was negatively correlated with root concentration of Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd, but no correlation was observed with the extractable-metals. According to its shoot metal concentrations and TFs, castor bean is not a metal accumulator plant. This primary colonizing plant is well suited to cope with the local toxic conditions and can be useful for the stabilization of these residues, and for then decreasing metal bioavailability, dispersion and human health risks on these barren tailings heaps and in the surrounding area. Our work is the first report regarding combined oil production and a phytostabilization role for Ricinus plants in metal mine tailings and may give a new value to suitable metal-polluted areas. PMID:23171605

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Host blood meal-dependent growth ensures transovarial transmission and transstadial passage of Rickettsia sp. phylotype G021 in the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus)

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Du; Lane, Robert S.; Moore, Benjamin D.; Zhong, Jianmin

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we explored the growth dynamics of Rickettsia sp. phylotype G021 during transovarial transmission and transstadial passage by Ixodes pacificus using real-time quantitative PCR. Four parental engorged I. pacificus females were allowed to complete their developmental stages until the F2-generation eggs yielded unfed larvae. All eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults tested through 2 generations were found to be infected with phylotype G021. Hence, we conclude that the efficiency of transovarial transmission and transstadial passage of this phylotype in I. pacificus was 100%. Acquisition of a blood meal by all 3 parasitic stages (larva, nymph, adult) significantly increased the rickettsial burden as fed larvae, nymphs, and adults had respective 19-, 12-, and 313-fold increases of rickettsiae compared with unfed ticks representing each developmental stage. I. pacificus eggs contained high rickettsial burdens at the time of oviposition. While I. pacificus egg cells underwent rapid proliferation during early embryonic development, the rickettsiae remained relatively quiescent, which resulted in depressed numbers of phylotype G021 per tick cell. However, the rickettsial burden remained constant over a period of 56 days, as the rate of I. pacificus cell division slowed during later embryonic development. PMID:23876278

  11. Host blood meal-dependent growth ensures transovarial transmission and transstadial passage of Rickettsia sp. phylotype G021 in the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus).

    PubMed

    Cheng, Du; Lane, Robert S; Moore, Benjamin D; Zhong, Jianmin

    2013-09-01

    In this study, we explored the growth dynamics of Rickettsia sp. phylotype G021 during transovarial transmission and transstadial passage by Ixodes pacificus using real-time quantitative PCR. Four parental engorged I. pacificus females were allowed to complete their developmental stages until the F2-generation eggs yielded unfed larvae. All eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults tested through 2 generations were found to be infected with phylotype G021. Hence, we conclude that the efficiency of transovarial transmission and transstadial passage of this phylotype in I. pacificus was 100%. Acquisition of a blood meal by all 3 parasitic stages (larva, nymph, adult) significantly increased the rickettsial burden as fed larvae, nymphs, and adults had respective 19-, 12-, and 313-fold increases of rickettsiae compared with unfed ticks representing each developmental stage. I. pacificus eggs contained high rickettsial burdens at the time of oviposition. While I. pacificus egg cells underwent rapid proliferation during early embryonic development, the rickettsiae remained relatively quiescent, which resulted in depressed numbers of phylotype G021 per tick cell. However, the rickettsial burden remained constant over a period of 56 days, as the rate of I. pacificus cell division slowed during later embryonic development. PMID:23876278

  12. Fractionation of Stable Cadmium Isotopes in the Cadmium Tolerant Ricinus communis and Hyperaccumulator Solanum nigrum.

    PubMed

    Wei, Rongfei; Guo, Qingjun; Wen, Hanjie; Liu, Congqiang; Yang, Junxing; Peters, Marc; Hu, Jian; Zhu, Guangxu; Zhang, Hanzhi; Tian, Liyan; Han, Xiaokun; Ma, Jie; Zhu, Chuanwei; Wan, Yingxin

    2016-01-01

    Cadmium (Cd) isotopes provide new insights into Cd uptake, transport and storage mechanisms in plants. Therefore, the present study adopted the Cd-tolerant Ricinus communis and Cd-hyperaccumulator Solanum nigrum, which were cultured under controlled conditions in a nutrient solution with variable Cd supply, to test the isotopic fractionation of Cd during plant uptake. The Cd isotope compositions of nutrient solutions and organs of the plants were measured by multiple collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS). The mass balance of Cd isotope yields isotope fractionations between plant and Cd source (δ(114/110)Cdorgans-solution) of -0.70‰ to -0.22‰ in Ricinus communis and -0.51‰ to -0.33‰ in Solanum nigrum. Moreover, Cd isotope fractionation during Cd transport from stem to leaf differs between the Cd-tolerant and -hyperaccumulator species. Based on these results, the processes (diffusion, adsorption, uptake or complexation), which may induce Cd isotope fractionation in plants, have been discussed. Overall, the present study indicates potential applications of Cd isotopes for investigating plant physiology. PMID:27076359

  13. Fractionation of Stable Cadmium Isotopes in the Cadmium Tolerant Ricinus communis and Hyperaccumulator Solanum nigrum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Rongfei; Guo, Qingjun; Wen, Hanjie; Liu, Congqiang; Yang, Junxing; Peters, Marc; Hu, Jian; Zhu, Guangxu; Zhang, Hanzhi; Tian, Liyan; Han, Xiaokun; Ma, Jie; Zhu, Chuanwei; Wan, Yingxin

    2016-04-01

    Cadmium (Cd) isotopes provide new insights into Cd uptake, transport and storage mechanisms in plants. Therefore, the present study adopted the Cd-tolerant Ricinus communis and Cd-hyperaccumulator Solanum nigrum, which were cultured under controlled conditions in a nutrient solution with variable Cd supply, to test the isotopic fractionation of Cd during plant uptake. The Cd isotope compositions of nutrient solutions and organs of the plants were measured by multiple collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS). The mass balance of Cd isotope yields isotope fractionations between plant and Cd source (δ114/110Cdorgans-solution) of ‑0.70‰ to ‑0.22‰ in Ricinus communis and ‑0.51‰ to ‑0.33‰ in Solanum nigrum. Moreover, Cd isotope fractionation during Cd transport from stem to leaf differs between the Cd-tolerant and -hyperaccumulator species. Based on these results, the processes (diffusion, adsorption, uptake or complexation), which may induce Cd isotope fractionation in plants, have been discussed. Overall, the present study indicates potential applications of Cd isotopes for investigating plant physiology.

  14. Evaluation of Ricinus communis L. for the Phytoremediation of Polluted Soil with Organochlorine Pesticides

    PubMed Central

    Rissato, Sandra Regina; Galhiane, Mário Sergio; Fernandes, João Roberto; Gerenutti, Marli; Gomes, Homero Marques; Ribeiro, Renata; de Almeida, Marcos Vinícius

    2015-01-01

    Phytoremediation is an attractive alternative to conventional treatments of soil due to advantages such as low cost, large application areas, and the possibility of in situ treatment. This study presents the assessment of phytoremediation processes conducted under controlled experimental conditions to evaluate the ability of Ricinus communis L., tropical plant species, to promote the degradation of 15 persistent organic pollutants (POPs), in a 66-day period. The contaminants tested were hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), DDT, heptachlor, aldrin, and others. Measurements made in rhizosphere soil indicate that the roots of the studied species reduce the concentration of pesticides. Results obtained during this study indicated that the higher the hydrophobicity of the organic compound and its molecular interaction with soil or root matrix the greater its tendency to concentrate in root tissues and the research showed the following trend: HCHs < diclofop-methyl < chlorpyrifos < methoxychlor < heptachlor epoxide < endrin < o,p′-DDE < heptachlor < dieldrin < aldrin < o,p′-DDT < p,p′-DDT by increasing order of log Kow values. The experimental results confirm the importance of vegetation in removing pollutants, obtaining remediation from 25% to 70%, and demonstrated that Ricinus communis L. can be used for the phytoremediation of such compounds. PMID:26301249

  15. Fractionation of Stable Cadmium Isotopes in the Cadmium Tolerant Ricinus communis and Hyperaccumulator Solanum nigrum

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Rongfei; Guo, Qingjun; Wen, Hanjie; Liu, Congqiang; Yang, Junxing; Peters, Marc; Hu, Jian; Zhu, Guangxu; Zhang, Hanzhi; Tian, Liyan; Han, Xiaokun; Ma, Jie; Zhu, Chuanwei; Wan, Yingxin

    2016-01-01

    Cadmium (Cd) isotopes provide new insights into Cd uptake, transport and storage mechanisms in plants. Therefore, the present study adopted the Cd-tolerant Ricinus communis and Cd-hyperaccumulator Solanum nigrum, which were cultured under controlled conditions in a nutrient solution with variable Cd supply, to test the isotopic fractionation of Cd during plant uptake. The Cd isotope compositions of nutrient solutions and organs of the plants were measured by multiple collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS). The mass balance of Cd isotope yields isotope fractionations between plant and Cd source (δ114/110Cdorgans-solution) of −0.70‰ to −0.22‰ in Ricinus communis and −0.51‰ to −0.33‰ in Solanum nigrum. Moreover, Cd isotope fractionation during Cd transport from stem to leaf differs between the Cd-tolerant and -hyperaccumulator species. Based on these results, the processes (diffusion, adsorption, uptake or complexation), which may induce Cd isotope fractionation in plants, have been discussed. Overall, the present study indicates potential applications of Cd isotopes for investigating plant physiology. PMID:27076359

  16. Antioxidant, Antimicrobial, and Free Radical Scavenging Potential of Aerial Parts of Periploca aphylla and Ricinus communis

    PubMed Central

    Iqbal, Jamshed; Zaib, Sumera; Farooq, Umar; Khan, Afsar; Bibi, Irum; Suleman, Saba

    2012-01-01

    Context. Many diseases are associated with oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Objective. The present study evaluated the in vitro antioxidant and antibacterial activities of various extracts of aerial parts of Periploca aphylla and Ricinus communis. Materials and Methods. In vitro antioxidant activities of the plant extract were determined by DPPH and NO scavenging method. Superoxide anion radical activity was measured by the reduction of nitro blue tetrazolium as compared with standard antioxidants. Total phenolic contents and antibacterial activities of these plants were determined by gallic acid equivalent (GAE) and serial tube dilution method, respectively. Results. Plants showed significant radical scavenging activity. The results were expressed as IC50. n-Propyl gallate and 3-t-butyl-4-hydroxyanisole were used as standards for antioxidant assay. All the extracts of both plants showed comparable IC50 to those of standards. Plants extract exhibited high phenolic contents and antibacterial activities were comparable with standard drug, Ciprofloxacin. Discussion and Conclusion. The present study provides evidence that Periploca aphylla and Ricinus communis prove to be potent natural antioxidants and could replace synthetic antioxidants. Plants can also be used against pathogenic bacterial strains. PMID:22919511

  17. Evaluation of Ricinus communis L. for the Phytoremediation of Polluted Soil with Organochlorine Pesticides.

    PubMed

    Rissato, Sandra Regina; Galhiane, Mário Sergio; Fernandes, João Roberto; Gerenutti, Marli; Gomes, Homero Marques; Ribeiro, Renata; de Almeida, Marcos Vinícius

    2015-01-01

    Phytoremediation is an attractive alternative to conventional treatments of soil due to advantages such as low cost, large application areas, and the possibility of in situ treatment. This study presents the assessment of phytoremediation processes conducted under controlled experimental conditions to evaluate the ability of Ricinus communis L., tropical plant species, to promote the degradation of 15 persistent organic pollutants (POPs), in a 66-day period. The contaminants tested were hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), DDT, heptachlor, aldrin, and others. Measurements made in rhizosphere soil indicate that the roots of the studied species reduce the concentration of pesticides. Results obtained during this study indicated that the higher the hydrophobicity of the organic compound and its molecular interaction with soil or root matrix the greater its tendency to concentrate in root tissues and the research showed the following trend: HCHs < diclofop-methyl < chlorpyrifos < methoxychlor < heptachlor epoxide < endrin < o,p'-DDE < heptachlor < dieldrin < aldrin < o,p'-DDT < p,p'-DDT by increasing order of log K ow values. The experimental results confirm the importance of vegetation in removing pollutants, obtaining remediation from 25% to 70%, and demonstrated that Ricinus communis L. can be used for the phytoremediation of such compounds. PMID:26301249

  18. Histomorphological evaluation of Compound bone of Granulated Ricinus in bone regeneration in rabbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavan Mateus, Christiano; Orivaldo Chierice, Gilberto; Okamoto, Tetuo

    2011-09-01

    Histological evaluation is an effective method in the behavioral description of the qualitative and quantitative implanted materials. The research validated the performance of Compound bone of Granulated Ricinus on bone regeneration with the histomorphological analysis results. Were selected 30 rabbits, females, divided into 3 groups of 10 animals (G1, G2, G3) with a postoperative time of 45, 70 and 120 days respectively. Each animal is undergone 2 bone lesions in the ilium, one implemented in the material: Compound bone of Granulated Ricinus and the other for control. After the euthanasia, the iliac bone was removed, identified and subjected to histological procedure. The evaluation histological, histomorphological results were interpreted and described by quantitative and qualitative analysis based facts verified in the three experimental groups evaluating the rate of absorption of the material in the tissue regeneration, based on the neo-bone formation. The histomorphologic results classified as a material biocompatible and biologically active. Action in regeneration by bone resorption occurs slowly and gradually. Knowing the time and rate of absorption and neo-formation bone biomaterial, which can be determined in the bone segment applicable in the clinical surgical area.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in white-footed mice and Ixodes dammini at Fort McCoy, Wis.

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, J F; Duray, P H; Magnarelli, L A

    1987-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, was isolated from 15 of 17 white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) and 54 of 82 subadult Ixodes dammini from Fort McCoy, Wis. Of the 47 isolates tested, all reacted in indirect fluorescent-antibody tests with monoclonal antibodies directed against a surface protein of B. burgdorferi (approximate molecular weight, 31,000) and flagellins that are common to all Borrelia species. Indirect fluorescent-antibody reactions were variable when an antibody that binds to a surface protein with an approximate molecular weight of 34,000 was tested. The major proteins of isolates from ticks and mice had approximate molecular weights of 31,000, 34,000, and 41,000. Antibodies to B. burgdorferi were present (titer, greater than or equal to 1:64) in 16 of 97 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). The mean number of subadult I. dammini on mice captured in June 1986 was 6.5, and the mean number of adult I. dammini on deer killed in November 1986 was 5.9. The presence of ticks and the high prevalence of I. dammini and mice infected with B. burgdorferi establish that Fort McCoy is an area in which the Lyme disease agent is highly endemic, even though there have been relatively few documented cases in humans. The low number of reported cases in humans may be a result of National Guard and reserve unit personnel returning home to civilian life and having symptoms expressed subsequently, or it could be due to misdiagnosis or nonreporting. Images PMID:3305566

  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. 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. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. An Ixodes minor and Borrelia carolinensis enzootic cycle involving a critically endangered Mojave Desert rodent

    PubMed Central

    Foley, Janet; Ott-Conn, Caitlin; Worth, Joy; Poulsen, Amanda; Clifford, Deana

    2014-01-01

    Microtus californicus scirpensis is an endangered, isolated subspecies of California vole. It requires water pools and riparian bulrush (Schoenoplectus americanus) and occupies some of the rarest habitat of any North American mammal. The minimally vegetated, extremely arid desert surrounding the pools is essentially uninhabitable for Ixodes species ticks. We describe an enzootic cycle of Borrelia carolinensis in Ixodes minor ticks at a site 3500 km distant from the region in which I. minor is known to occur in Tecopa Host Springs, Inyo County, eastern Mojave Desert, California. Voles were live-trapped, and ticks and blood samples queried by PCR and DNA sequencing for identification and determination of the presence of Borrelia spp. Between 2011–2013, we found 21 Ixodes minor ticks (prevalence 4–8%) on Amargosa voles and Reithrodontomys megalotis. DNA sequencing of 16S rRNA from ticks yielded 99% identity to I. minor. There was 92% identity with I. minor in the calreticulin gene fragment. Three ticks (23.1%), 15 (24%) voles, three (27%) house mice, and one (7%) harvest mice were PCR positive for Borrelia spp. Sequencing of the 5S-23S intergenic spacer region and flagellin gene assigned Amargosa vole Borrelia strains to B. carolinensis. Ixodes minor, first described in 1902 from a single Guatemalan record, reportedly occurs only in the southeast American on small mammals and birds. The source of this tick in the Mojave Desert and time scale for introduction is not known but likely via migratory birds. Borrelia strains in the Amargosa ecosystem most closely resemble B. carolinensis. B. carolinensis occurs in a rodent-I. minor enzootic cycle in the southeast U.S. although its epidemiological significance for people or rodents is unknown. The presence of a tick and Borrelia spp. only known from southeast U.S. in this extremely isolated habitat on the other side of the continent is of serious concern because it suggests that the animals in the

  9. An Ixodes minor and Borrelia carolinensis enzootic cycle involving a critically endangered Mojave Desert rodent.

    PubMed

    Foley, Janet; Ott-Conn, Caitlin; Worth, Joy; Poulsen, Amanda; Clifford, Deana

    2014-03-01

    Microtus californicus scirpensis is an endangered, isolated subspecies of California vole. It requires water pools and riparian bulrush (Schoenoplectus americanus) and occupies some of the rarest habitat of any North American mammal. The minimally vegetated, extremely arid desert surrounding the pools is essentially uninhabitable for Ixodes species ticks. We describe an enzootic cycle of Borrelia carolinensis in Ixodes minor ticks at a site 3500 km distant from the region in which I. minor is known to occur in Tecopa Host Springs, Inyo County, eastern Mojave Desert, California. Voles were live-trapped, and ticks and blood samples queried by PCR and DNA sequencing for identification and determination of the presence of Borrelia spp. Between 2011-2013, we found 21 Ixodes minor ticks (prevalence 4-8%) on Amargosa voles and Reithrodontomys megalotis. DNA sequencing of 16S rRNA from ticks yielded 99% identity to I. minor. There was 92% identity with I. minor in the calreticulin gene fragment. Three ticks (23.1%), 15 (24%) voles, three (27%) house mice, and one (7%) harvest mice were PCR positive for Borrelia spp. Sequencing of the 5S-23S intergenic spacer region and flagellin gene assigned Amargosa vole Borrelia strains to B. carolinensis. Ixodes minor, first described in 1902 from a single Guatemalan record, reportedly occurs only in the southeast American on small mammals and birds. The source of this tick in the Mojave Desert and time scale for introduction is not known but likely via migratory birds. Borrelia strains in the Amargosa ecosystem most closely resemble B. carolinensis. B. carolinensis occurs in a rodent-I. minor enzootic cycle in the southeast U.S. although its epidemiological significance for people or rodents is unknown. The presence of a tick and Borrelia spp. only known from southeast U.S. in this extremely isolated habitat on the other side of the continent is of serious concern because it suggests that the animals in the ecosystem

  10. Life history of Neoseiulus californicus (McGregor, 1954) (Acari: Phytoseiidae) fed with castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) pollen in laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Marafeli, P P; Reis, P R; Silveira, E C da; Souza-Pimentel, G C; de Toledo, M A

    2014-08-01

    The predatory mite, Neoseiulus californicus (McGregor, 1954) (Acari: Phytoseiidae) is one of the principal natural enemies of tetranychid mites in several countries, promoting efficient control of those mites in several food and ornamental crops. Pest attacks such as that of the spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch, 1836 (Acari: Tetranychidae), is one of the problems faced by farmers, especially in the greenhouse, due to the difficulty of its control with the use of chemicals because of the development of fast resistance making it hard to control it. The objective of this work was to study the life history of the predatory mite N. californicus as a contribution to its mass laboratory rearing, having castor bean plant [Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiaceae)] pollen as food, for its subsequent use as a natural enemy of T. urticae on a cultivation of greenhouse rosebushes. The studies were carried out in the laboratory, at 25 ± 2°C of temperature, 70 ± 10% RH and a 14 hour photophase. The biological aspects and the fertility life table were appraised. Longevity of 32.9 days was verified for adult females and 40.4 days for males. The intrinsic rate of increase (rm) was 0.2 and the mean generation time (T) was 17.2 days. The population doubled every 4.1 days. The results obtained were similar to those in which the predatory mite N. californicus fed on T. urticae. PMID:25296220

  11. Synthesis, Structural Characterization, and Bioactivity of the Stable Peptide RCB-1 from Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Boldbaatar, Delgerbat; Gunasekera, Sunithi; El-Seedi, Hesham R; Göransson, Ulf

    2015-11-25

    The Ricinus communis biomarker peptides RCB-1 to -3 comprise homologous sequences of 19 (RCB-1) or 18 (RCB-2 and -3) amino acid residues. They all include four cysteine moieties, which form two disulfide bonds. However, neither the 3D structure nor the biological activity of any of these peptides is known. The synthesis of RCB-1, using microwave-assisted, Fmoc-based solid-phase peptide synthesis, and a method for its oxidative folding are reported. The tertiary structure of RCB-1, subsequently established using solution-state NMR, reveals a twisted loop fold with antiparallel β-sheets reinforced by the two disulfide bonds. Moreover, RCB-1 was tested for antibacterial, antifungal, and cytotoxic activity, as well as in a serum stability assay, in which it proved to be remarkably stable. PMID:26509914

  12. Synthesis and carbohydrate-binding activity of poly(ethyleneglycol)-Ricinus communis agglutinin I conjugates.

    PubMed

    Allen, H J; Sharma, A; Matta, A K

    1991-06-25

    The synthesis of poly(ethyleneglycol) (PEG)-lectin conjugates was investigated to provide new reagents for evaluation as biological response modifiers. PEG was activated with 1,1'-carbonyldiimidazole (CDI), followed by conjugation with Ricinus communis I (RCAI) lectin. The resulting conjugates were heterodisperse with respect to molecular weight. Carbohydrate-binding activity was retained. The conjugates were separated by affinity chromatography into fractions differing in apparent carbohydrate-binding affinity. Conjugation of RCAI with PEG 4 (mol.wt. 3350) or PEG 6 (mol.wt. 8000) appeared to provide less hindrance of the lectin binding site compared to conjugates prepared with PEG 20 (mol.wt. 20,000). Results of free amine assays indicated that higher ratios of PEG to RCAI in conjugates correlated with loss of low-affinity binding and retention of high-affinity binding. The data showed the feasibility of preparing PEG-lectin conjugates for in vivo use. PMID:1933945

  13. The Effect of Vanadate on Proton-Sucrose Cotransport in Ricinus Cotyledons 1

    PubMed Central

    Vreugdenhil, Dick; Spanswick, Roger M.

    1987-01-01

    The effects of orthovanadate on the uptake of sucrose by Ricinus cotyledons and on sucrose-coupled proton influx were measured in order to gain insight into the relationship to the plasma membrane proton pump. Vanadate had no effect on short-term sucrose uptake. In longterm experiments (>30 min) sucrose uptake was progressively inhibited, but only at high external sucrose concentrations. Vanadate did not affect proton efflux pumping in the absence of sucrose and neither did it change the initial rate of sucrose-coupled proton influx. However, it enhanced the maximal level of sucrose-induced alkalinization of the medium at all sucrose concentrations tested. This is interpreted as an inhibiting effect of vanadate on the proton pump that recycles protons during sucrose-proton cotransport. The sensitivity towards vanadate indicates that this proton pump is an ATPase. A second proton-translocating system, that is insensitive to vanadate, is postulated to function in the absence of sucrose. PMID:16665488

  14. Forensic Applications of Light-Element Stable Isotope Ratios of Ricinus communis Seeds and Ricin Preparations

    SciTech Connect

    Kreuzer, Helen W.; West, Jason B.; Ehleringer, James

    2013-01-01

    Seeds of the castor plant Ricinus communis, also known as castor beans, are of forensic interest because they are the source of the poison ricin. We have tested whether stable isotope ratios of castor seeds and ricin prepared by various methods can be used as a forensic signature. We collected over 300 castor seed samples from locations around the world and measured the C, N, O, and H stable isotope ratios of the whole seeds, oil, and three types of ricin preparations. Our results demonstrate that N isotope ratios can be used to correlate ricin prepared by any of these methods to source seeds. Further, stable isotope ratios distinguished >99% of crude and purified ricin protein samples in pair-wise comparison tests. Stable isotope ratios therefore constitute a valuable forensic signature for ricin preparations.

  15. Antibacterial profile of fermented seed extracts of Ricinus communis: findings from a preliminary analysis.

    PubMed

    Jombo, G T; Enenebeaku, M N

    2008-01-01

    The study was carried out to ascertain the antibacterial properties inherent in fermented seed extracts of Ricinus communis. Dry seeds of R. communis (Castor oil plant) were deshelled, grounded to powder, fermented, and then extracted both with alcohol and water using Soxhlet machine. Different concentrations of the extracts were tested against selected bacteria using diffusion method of susceptibility testing on sensitivity testing agar medium. Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Proteus vulgaris, and Staphylococcus aureus were highly susceptible to both the methanol and water extracts of the seed while Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed reduced susceptibility. Enterococcus faecalis on the other hand was resistant to all the preparations tested. The active antimicrobial ingredients in fermented R. communis seeds should be identified while its medicinal value to humans properly investigated. PMID:19434215

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

    PubMed

    Muzaffar, Sabir B; Jones, Ian L

    2007-04-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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

  7. The western fence lizard Sceloporus occidentalis: evidence of field exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi in relation to infestation by Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Manweiler, S A; Lane, R S; Tempelis, C H

    1992-09-01

    The role of the Western fence lizard Sceloporus occidentalis in the enzootiology of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi was evaluated in the Hopland and Ukiah areas of Mendocino County, California. In 1989, half of 74 lizards collected monthly from April to October at Hopland were infested by the immature western black-legged tick Ixodes pacificus at a mean intensity of 6.0 ticks per lizard. The prevalence of infestation of lizards by immature I. pacificus (36 of 73) at Ukiah was similar, but the mean intensity (12.9) was approximately twice as great. Overall, zero of 223 larvae and 2 (0.6%) of 330 nymphs from both sites were found to contain spirochetes by direct immunofluorescence. Larval and nymphal I. pacificus fit the negative binomial distribution in spring, and the prevalence and abundance of these stages were significantly greater in spring than in summer at both sites. Spirochetes were not visualized in thick blood films prepared from 133 lizards from both localities. Plasma antibodies against B. burgdorferi were detected in seven of 10 experimentally inoculated lizards, in five (8%) of 63 lizards from Hopland, and in 10 (14%) of 70 lizards from Ukiah. Adult lizards had a significantly greater tick burden and seropositivity rate than juvenile lizards only at Ukiah. In 1991, efforts to detect and culture spirochetes from the blood of 21 wild-caught lizards and from the tissues of 189 associated ticks that fed xenodiagnostically on them were unsuccessful.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1524146

  8. [Study of the heterogeneity of 16s rRNA gene and groESL operone in the dna samples of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia muris, and "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" determined in the Ixodes persulcatus ticks in the area of Urals, Siberia, and far east of Russia].

    PubMed

    Rar, V A; Epikhina, T I; Livanova, N N; Panov, V V; Doroshenko, E K; Pukhovskaia, N M; Vysochina, N P; Ivanov, L I

    2011-01-01

    A total of 3552 Ixodes persulcatus from Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk regions and Khabarovsk Territory were examined on the Ehrlichia and Anaplasma presence by nested PCR based on the 16S rRNA gene. Both Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Ehrlichia muris DNA were found in I. persulcatus in all studied regions. A. Phagocytophilum was detected in 1.3-6.3% of ticks and E. muris - in 2.0-14.1% of ticks. Moreover, "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" DNA was found in 8 ticks collected in Novosibirsk, Irkutsk Regions and Khabarovsk Territory. Partial nucleotide sequences of 16S rRNA gene and groESL operone (1240-1300 bp) were determined for 65 samples of A. Phagocytophilum, 17 samples of E. muris and 4 samples of "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis". Nucleotide sequences of 16S rRNA gene and groESL operone of E. muris and "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" were shown to be highly conservative, and nucleotide sequences of groESL operone of both E. muris and "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" differed from the sequences found previously in other species of Ixodid tick. On the basis of analysis of the 16S rRNA gene and groESL operone sequences it was concluded that all revealed samples A. Phagocytophilum could be divided into 2 groups. GroESL operone sequences of A. Phagocytophilum from the first group were identical to each other but significantly differed from the known groESL operone sequences (less than 98.2% of similarity), whereas their 16S rRNA gene sequences were identical to the sequence of widely distributed and pathogenic for human A. Phagocytophilum genetic variant (CAHU-HGEl, GenBank AF093788) or differed from it by a single nucleotide substitution. The nucleotide sequences of groESL operone of A. Phagocytophilum from the second group differed from each other by 1-4 nucleotides and were closely related (99.2-99.4% of similarity) to the sequences of groESL operone ofA. phagocytophilum isolates found in Europe in Ixodes ricinus and roe deer. The

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Distribution of Ixodes dammini (Acari: Ixodidae) in residential lawns on Prudence Island, Rhode Island

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carroll, M.C.; Ginsberg, H.S.; Hyland, K.E.

    1992-01-01

    The distribution of nymphal Ixodes dammini Spielman, Clifford, Piesman & Corwin in residential lawns was assessed by flagging on Prudence Island, RI. The number of ticks per sample was five times greater in lawns adjacent to woods than in lawns adjacent to other lawns. Relative tick abundance was negatively correlated with distance from the woods, but the decline was gradual. Spirochete prevalence in ticks did not differ among lawn types or at different distances from the woods. Therefore, barriers that keep people away from the wood edge probably lower the risk of acquiring Lyme disease, but there is still a risk. Even with physical barriers at lawn-wood edges, personal precautions to prevent tick bites should be followed.

  15. 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

  16. Evidence for Ixodes holocyclus (Acarina: Ixodidae) as a vector for human lyme Borreliosis infection in Australia.

    PubMed

    Mayne, P; Song, S; Shao, R; Burke, J; Wang, Y; Roberts, T

    2014-01-01

    Ixodes holocyclus (Acarina: Ixodidae) and Ixodes cornuatus (Acarina: Ixodidae) are two tick species found in the more densely populated areas of Australia and are known to be the cause of the neurotoxic disease tick paralysis in humans and mammals. Borreliosis otherwise known as Lyme disease is an emerging infectious disease in humans in Australia. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (Spirochaetales: Spirochaetaceae) and sensu lato are closely related spirochetal species that are the causative agents of Lyme disease in humans. Clinical transmission of this tick-borne disease can be identified in several but not all cases by a characteristic rash known as erythema migrans. However, there has been no study of the tick vectors of this infection in Australia. We used morphological and molecular techniques to identify unequivocally the ticks on the patients of this study to be I. holocyclus and then show the presence of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto infection in erythema migrans biopsies. I. holocyclus has not previously been associated with erythema migrans or Lyme disease. Two patients presented to the lead author's medical practice with erythema migrans in mid and late 2012. The morphology and cytochrome oxidase 1 and ITS2 genes of the two ticks were studied. The skin at the attachment site was sampled by central biopsy for both real time and endpoint Borrelia polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis and subsequent sequencing. Morphologically, the two ticks were either I. holocyclus or I. cornuatus. Molecular studies and nucleotide sequencing revealed that both ticks were I. holocyclus. Real time and endpoint PCR on the central tissue biopsy samples returned positive results for B. burgdorferi DNA. Our results are evidence for transmission of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto species to humans by the tick I. holocyclus in Australia. I. holocyclus is commonly associated with human tick bites on virtually the entire eastern coastline of Australia. PMID:25434042

  17. 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

  18. Molecular Investigations of Rickettsia helvetica Infection in Dogs, Foxes, Humans, and Ixodes Ticks▿

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Redescription of the male and description of the female of Ixodes abrocomae Lahille, 1916 (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Guglielmone, Alberto A; Nava, Santiago; Bazán-León, Enrique A; Vásquez, Rodrigo A; Mangold, Atilio J

    2010-10-01

    The male of Ixodes abrocomae Lahille, 1916 (Acari: Ixodidae) is redescribed and the female described for the first time from specimens collected on the rodents Abrothrix longipilis (Waterhouse), A. olivaceous (Waterhouse) and Phyllotis xanthopygus (Waterhouse) at Coquimbo, Chile. The males of I. abrocomae are peculiar in having the combination of the following features: length and width less than 2 mm and 1 mm, respectively; hypostome notched with two rows of stout denticles and several small internal denticles; article II of the palpi with two conspicuous dorsal setae; coxa I with two subequal spurs; coxae II-IV with a single spur plus an indication of a second spur; and a scutum with long, scattered hairs except for the glabrous postero-median field which reaches to the marginal fold. The females of I. abrocomae are peculiar in possessing a combination of: a pointed hypostome, with a 3/3 dentition of flared denticles; a long, narrow scutum with few 'hairs' and with punctations which are especially numerous in the posterior region; a triangular basis capituli, with oval porose areas lacking definitive borders and separated by the width of one area, and a sinuous posterior margin with small cornuae; one spur on coxae I-IV; and conspicuous setae on the interno-dorsal face of palpal article II and the ventral face of article I. Sequences of 16S rDNA were identical for male and female I. abrocomae, but differ by 3.8% and 5.5% from sequences of their closest relatives, I. stilesi Neumann, 1911 and I. sigelos Keirans, Clifford & Corwin, 1976, respectively. Characters enabling the separation of I. abrocomae from Ixodes spp. distributed in the southwestern Neotropics are presented. Records of I. abrocomae in different climatic areas and on different, widely distributed rodent hosts indicate that this species may be present beyond its known Chilean territorial range (Regions III and IV). PMID:20852985

  1. 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

  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. Functional characterization of four sesquiterpene synthases from Ricinus communis (castor bean).

    PubMed

    Xie, Xinkai; Kirby, James; Keasling, Jay D

    2012-06-01

    Genome sequence analysis of Ricinus communis has indicated the presence of at least 22 putative terpene synthase (TPS) genes, 13 of which appear to encode sesquiterpene synthases (SeTPSs); however, no SeTPS genes have been isolated from this plant to date. cDNAs were recovered for six SeTPS candidates, and these were subjected to characterization in vivo and in vitro. The RcSeTPS candidates were expressed in either Escherichia coli or Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains with engineered sesquiterpene biosynthetic pathways, but only two (RcSeTPS1 and RcSeTPS7) produced detectable levels of product. In order to check whether the engineered microbial hosts were adequately engineered for sesquiterpene production, a selection of SeTPS genes was chosen from other plant species and demonstrated consistently high sesquiterpene titers. Activity could be demonstrated in vitro for two of the RcSeTPS candidates (RcSeTPS5 and RcSeTPS10) that were not observed to be functional in our microbial hosts. RcSeTPS1 produced two products, (-)-α-copaene and (+)-δ-cadinene, while RcSeTPS7 produced a single product, (E, E)-α-farnesene. Both RcSeTPS5 and RcSeTPS10 produced multiple sesquiterpenes. PMID:22459969

  4. Acaricidal properties of Ricinus communis leaf extracts against organophosphate and pyrethroids resistant Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Srikanta; Tiwari, Shashi Shankar; Srivastava, Sharad; Sharma, Anil Kumar; Kumar, Sachin; Ray, D D; Rawat, A K S

    2013-02-18

    Indian cattle ticks have developed resistance to commonly used acaricides and an attempt has been made to formulate an ecofriendly herbal preparation for the control of acaricide resistant ticks. A 95% ethanolic extract of Ricinus communis was used to test the efficacy against reference acaricide resistant lines by in vitro assay. In in vitro assay, the extract significantly affects the mortality rate of ticks in dose-dependent manner ranging from 35.0 ± 5.0 to 95.0 ± 5.0% with an additional effect on reproductive physiology of ticks by inhibiting 36.4-63.1% of oviposition. The leaf extract was found effective in killing 48.0, 56.7 and 60.0% diazinon, deltamethrin and multi-acaricide resistant ticks, respectively. However, the cidal and oviposition limiting properties of the extract were separated when the extract was fractionated with hexane, chloroform, n-butanol and water. The HPTLC finger printing profile of R. communis leaf extract under λ(max.) - 254 showed presence of quercetin, gallic acid, flavone and kaempferol which seemed to have synergistic acaricidal action. In vivo experiment resulted in 59.9% efficacy on Ist challenge, however, following 2nd challenge the efficacy was reduced to 48.5%. The results indicated that the 95% ethanolic leaf extract of R. communis can be used effectively in integrated format for the control of acaricide resistant ticks. PMID:23084038

  5. BONE REGENERATION AFTER DEMINERALIZED BONE MATRIX AND CASTOR OIL (RICINUS COMMUNIS) POLYURETHANE IMPLANTATION

    PubMed Central

    Leite, Fábio Renato Manzolli; Ramalho, Lizeti Toledo de Oliveira

    2008-01-01

    Innocuous biocompatible materials have been searched to repair or reconstruct bone defects. Their goal is to restore the function of live or dead tissues. This study compared connective tissue and bone reaction when exposed to demineralized bovine bone matrix and a polyurethane resin derived from castor bean (Ricinus communis). Forty-five rats were assigned to 3 groups of 15 animals (control, bovine bone and polyurethane). A cylindrical defect was created on mandible base and filled with bovine bone matrix and the polyurethane. Control group received no treatment. Analyses were performed after 15, 45 and 60 days (5 animals each). Histological analysis revealed connective tissue tolerance to bovine bone with local inflammatory response similar to that of the control group. After 15 days, all groups demonstrated similar outcomes, with mild inflammatory reaction, probably due to the surgical procedure rather than to the material. In the polymer group, after 60 days, scarce multinucleated cells could still be observed. In general, all groups showed good stability and osteogenic connective tissue with blood vessels into the surgical area. The results suggest biocompatibility of both materials, seen by their integration into rat mandible. Moreover, the polyurethane seems to be an alternative in bone reconstruction and it is an inexhaustible source of biomaterial. PMID:19089203

  6. Root cooling strongly affects diel leaf growth dynamics, water and carbohydrate relations in Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Poiré, Richard; Schneider, Heike; Thorpe, Michael R; Kuhn, Arnd J; Schurr, Ulrich; Walter, Achim

    2010-03-01

    In laboratory and greenhouse experiments with potted plants, shoots and roots are exposed to temperature regimes throughout a 24 h (diel) cycle that can differ strongly from the regime under which these plants have evolved. In the field, roots are often exposed to lower temperatures than shoots. When the root-zone temperature in Ricinus communis was decreased below a threshold value, leaf growth occurred preferentially at night and was strongly inhibited during the day. Overall, leaf expansion, shoot biomass growth, root elongation and ramification decreased rapidly, carbon fluxes from shoot to root were diminished and carbohydrate contents of both root and shoot increased. Further, transpiration rate was not affected, yet hydrostatic tensions in shoot xylem increased. When root temperature was increased again, xylem tension reduced, leaf growth recovered rapidly, carbon fluxes from shoot to root increased, and carbohydrate pools were depleted. We hypothesize that the decreased uptake of water in cool roots diminishes the growth potential of the entire plant - especially diurnally, when the growing leaf loses water via transpiration. As a consequence, leaf growth and metabolite concentrations can vary enormously, depending on root-zone temperature and its heterogeneity inside pots. PMID:19968824

  7. Phosphatidylcholine synthesis in castor bean endosperm. I. Metabolism of L-serine. [Ricinus communis

    SciTech Connect

    Kinney, A.J.; Moore, T.S. Jr.

    1987-05-01

    Endosperm halves from 3-day-old castor bean (Ricinus communis var Hale) were incubated for 30 minutes with L(/sup 14/C)serine, after which label was observed in ethanolamine, choline, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine, ethanolaminephosphate, and CDPethanolamine, but not in cholinephosphate or CDPcholine. Only later did significant amounts of isotope become incorporated into cholinephosphate and CDPcholine. The choline kinase inhibitor hemicholinium-3 prevented the incorporation of label from serine into choline-phosphate and CDPcholine, reduced the incorporation of (/sup 14/C)choline into phosphatidylcholine by 65%, but inhibited the incorporation of label into phosphatidylcholine from serine by only 15%. The inhibitor did not prevent the incorporation of labeled methyl groups from S-adenosyl-L-methionine into phosphatidyldimethylethanolamine plus phosphatidyl-choline. The amount of incorporation of label from the methyl donor was only 8% of that from choline into phosphatidylcholine. The implications of these results for the pathway and regulation of phosphatidylcholine synthesis from the water-soluble precursors are discussed.

  8. Ricinus communis L. A Value Added Crop for Remediation of Cadmium Contaminated Soil.

    PubMed

    Bauddh, Kuldeep; Singh, Kripal; Singh, Rana P

    2016-02-01

    Heavy metal pollution of soil is a global environmental problem and therefore its remediation is of paramount importance. Cadmium (Cd) is a potential toxicant to living organisms and even at very low concentrations. This study was aimed to assess the effectiveness of Ricinus communis for remediation of Cd contaminated soils. For this, growth and biomass of R. communis and Cd accumulation, translocation and partitioning in different plant parts were investigated after 8 months of plant growth in Cd contaminated soil (17.50 mg Cd kg−1 soil). Eight months old plants stabilized 51 % Cd in its roots and rest of the metal was transferred to the stem and leaves. There were no significant differences in growth, biomass and yield between control and Cd treated plants, except fresh weight of shoots. The seed yield per plant was reduced only by 5 % of Cd contaminated plants than control. The amount of Cd translocated to the castor seeds was nominal i.e. 0.007 µg Cd g−1 seeds. The bioconcentration factor reduced significantly in shoots and seeds in comparison to roots. The data indicates that R. communis is highly tolerant to Cd contamination and can be used for remediation of heavy metal polluted sites. PMID:26464392

  9. Apis mellifera pollination improves agronomic productivity of anemophilous castor bean (Ricinus communis).

    PubMed

    Rizzardo, Rômulo A G; Milfont, Marcelo O; Silva, Eva M S da; Freitas, Breno M

    2012-12-01

    Castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) is cultivated mainly for biodiesel production because of its oil-rich seeds; it is assumed to be an anemophylous species. But pollination deficit can lead to low productivity often attributed to other reasons. In this paper, we investigated pollination requirements, pollination mechanism, occurrence of pollination deficit, and the role of biotic pollinators in a large commercial plantation of castor bean. Our results show that R. communis bears a mixed breeding system favoring selfing by geitonogamy, although the wind promotes mostly outcrossing. We also found that the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) foraging on castor bean can both transfer pollen from male to female flowers within the same raceme and boost the release of airborne pollen by male flowers. Both situations increase geitonogamy rates, raising significantly fruit set and seed yield. This is the first report of an animal foraging activity increasing seed yield in an anemophilous and geitonogamous crop and elucidates the role of biotic pollinators in castor bean reproduction. PMID:22990600

  10. An oleate 12-hydroxylase from Ricinus communis L. is a fatty acyl desaturase homolog

    SciTech Connect

    Van De Loo, F.J.; Broun, P.; Turner, S.; Somerville, C.

    1995-07-18

    Recent spectroscopic evidence implicating a binuclear iron site at the reaction center of fatty acyl desaturases suggested to us that certain fatty acyl hydroxylases may share significant amino acid sequence similarity with desaturases. To test this theory, we prepared a cDNA library from developing endosperm of the castor-oil plant (Ricinus communis L.) and obtained partial nucleotide sequences for 468 anonymous clones that were not expressed at high levels in leaves, a tissue deficient in 12-hydroxyoleic acid. This resulted in the identification of several cDNA clones encoding a polypeptide of 387 amino acids with a predicted molecular weight of 44,407 and with {approx}67% sequence homology to microsomal oleate desaturase from Arabidopsis. Expression of a full-length clone under control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter in transgenic tobacco resulted in the accumulation of low levels of 12-hydroxyoleic acid in seeds, indicating that the clone encodes the castor oleate hydroxylase. These results suggest that fatty acyl desaturases and hydroxylases share similar reaction mechanisms and provide an example of enzyme evolution. 26 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  11. Naturally occurring and experimentally induced castor bean (Ricinus communis) poisoning in ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jensen, W.I.; Allen, J.P.

    1981-01-01

    Castor bean (Ricinus communis) poisoning accounted for the death of several thousand ducks in the Texas panhandle in the fall and winter months of 1969-1971. Signs of intoxication resembled those of botulism, except for mucoid, blood-tinged excreta. The most common lesions were severe fatty change in the liver, widely distributed internal petechial hemorrhages or ecchymoses, and catarrhal enteritis. Nearly intact castor beans were found in the stomach of one duck during field necropsy. Fragments of seed coat resembling castor bean were found in the stomachs of 10 of 14 ducks examined in the laboratory. Clinical signs and postmortem lesions observed in wild ducks were induced experimentally in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) by force-feeding intact castor beans. Toxicity titrations were erratic, but the LD50 appeared to be between three and four seeds. The mouse toxicity test, used to detect Clostridium botulinum toxin in the blood serum of intoxicated ducks, was negative in every case. Hemagglutination and precipitin tests generally failed to detect castor bean in extracts of excreta or intestinal contents of experimentally intoxicated ducks.

  12. Ricinus communis and Jatropha curcas (Euphorbiaceae) seed oil toxicity against Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Alonso, E C; Santos, D Y A C

    2013-04-01

    Leaf-cutting ants are the main herbivores in the New World tropics. Although the toxicity of seed oils against these ants has been poorly investigated, previous results revealed that seed oils exert considerable toxic activity against these insects. This paper analyzes the toxic action and deterrent properties of castor oil, Ricinus communis L., and physic nut oil, Jatropha curcas L., against workers of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa reared in laboratory. Toxic effect was analyzed by feeding insects artificial diets supplemented with different oil concentrations and direct contact with the two oils. Deterrent activity was assessed by measuring the frequency of attendance to diets during the first 48 h of the ingestion bioassay. Castor oil at 10 and 30 mg/ml and physic nut oil at 5, 10, and 30 mg/ml were toxic by ingestion. In the direct contact bioassay, toxicity was observed for physic nut oil at 0.1 and 0.2 mg/ml, whereas castor oil exerted toxic effects only when the highest concentration was applied. Also, castor oil had a more pronounced deterrent effect against the leaf-cutting ant, compared with physic nut oil. Methods to apply these oils to control these insects are discussed. PMID:23786062

  13. The phytoremediation potential of bioenergy crop Ricinus communis for DDTs and cadmium co-contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Huang, Huagang; Yu, Ning; Wang, Lijun; Gupta, D K; He, Zhenli; Wang, Kai; Zhu, Zhiqiang; Yan, Xingchu; Li, Tingqiang; Yang, Xiao-e

    2011-12-01

    Cadmium (Cd) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) or its metabolite residues are frequently detected in agricultural soils and food, posing a threat to human health. The objective of this study was to compare the ability of 23 genotypes of Ricinus communis in mobilizing and uptake of Cd and DDTs (p,p'-DDT, o,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDD and p,p'-DDE) in the co-contaminated soil. The plant genotypes varied largely in the uptake and accumulation of DDTs and Cd, with mean concentrations of 0.37, 0.43 and 70.51 for DDTs, and 1.22, 2.27 and 37.63 mg kg(-1) dw for Cd in leaf, stem and root, respectively. The total uptake of DDTs and Cd varied from 83.1 to 267.8 and 66.0 to 155.1 μg per pot, respectively. These results indicate that R. communis has great potential for removing DDTs and Cd from contaminated soils attributed to its fast growth, high biomass, strong absorption and accumulation for both DDTs and Cd. PMID:21993327

  14. Dehydration of model membranes induced by lectins from Ricinus communis and Viscum album.

    PubMed

    Pohl, P; Saparov, S M; Pohl, E E; Evtodienko, V Y; Agapov, I I; Tonevitsky, A G

    1998-12-01

    The effects of ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) from Ricinus communis and from Viscum album on the water permeability, Pf, and the surface dielectric constant, epsilon, of model membranes were studied. Pf was calculated from microelectrode measurements of the ion concentration distribution in the immediate vicinity of a planar membrane, and epsilon was obtained from the fluorescence of dansyl phosphatidylethanolamine incorporated into unilamellar vesicles. Pf and epsilon of fully saturated phosphatidylcholine membranes were affected only in the presence of a lectin receptor (monosialoganglioside, GM1) in the bilayer. It is suggested that the membrane area occupied by clustered lectin-receptor complexes is markedly less permeable to water. Protein binding to the receptor was not a prelude for hydrophobic lipid-protein interactions when the membranes were formed from a mixture of natural phospholipids with a high content of unsaturated fatty acids. These membranes, characterized by a high initial water permeability, were found to interact with the RIPs unspecifically. From a decrease of both Pf and epsilon it was concluded that not only water partitioning but also protein adsorption correlates with looser packing of polyunsaturated lipids at the lipid-water interface. PMID:9826608

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Molecular characterization of a lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase gene belonging to the MBOAT family in Ricinus communis L.

    PubMed

    Arroyo-Caro, José María; Chileh, Tarik; Alonso, Diego López; García-Maroto, Federico

    2013-07-01

    Acyl-CoA:lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase (LPCAT, EC 2.3.1.23) catalyzes acylation of lysophosphatidylcholine (lysoPtdCho) to produce phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho), the main phospholipid in cellular membranes. This reaction is a key component of the acyl-editing process, involving recycling of the fatty acids (FA) mainly at the sn-2 position of PtdCho. Growing evidences indicate that the LPCAT reaction controls the direct entry of newly synthesized FA into PtdCho and, at least in some plant species, it has an important impact on the synthesis and composition of triacylglycerols. Here we describe the molecular characterization of the single LPCAT gene found in the genome of Ricinus communis (RcLPCAT) that is homologous to LPCAT genes of the MBOAT family previously described in Arabidopsis and Brassica. RcLPCAT is ubiquitously expressed in all organs of the castor plant. Biochemical properties have been studied by heterologous expression of RcLPCAT in the ale1 yeast mutant, defective in lysophospholipid acyltransferase activity. RcLPCAT preferentially acylates lysoPtdCho against other lysophospholipids (lysoPL) and does not discriminates the acyl chain in the acceptor, displaying a strong activity with alkyl lysoPL. Regarding the acyl-CoA donor, RcLPCAT uses monounsaturated fatty acid thioesters, such as oleoyl-CoA (18:1-CoA), as preferred donors, while it has a low activity with saturated fatty acids and shows a poor utilization of ricinoleoyl-CoA (18:1-OH-CoA). These characteristics are discussed in terms of a possible role of RcLPCAT in regulating the entry of FA into PtdCho and the exclusion from the membranes of the hydroxylated FA. PMID:23700249

  18. Solution structure of RicC3, a 2S albumin storage protein from Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Pantoja-Uceda, David; Bruix, Marta; Giménez-Gallego, Guillermo; Rico, Manuel; Santoro, Jorge

    2003-12-01

    The three-dimensional structure in aqueous solution of recombinant (15)N labeled RicC3, a 2S albumin protein from the seeds of castor bean (Ricinus communis), has been determined by NMR methods. The computed structures were based on 1564 upper limit distance constraints derived from NOE cross-correlation intensities measured in the 2D-NOESY and 3D-HSQC-NOESY experiments, 70 phi torsion angle constraints obtained from (3)J(HNH)(alpha) couplings measured in the HNHA experiment, and 30 psi torsion angle constraints derived from (3)J(H)(alpha)(Ni+1) couplings measured in the HNHB experiment. The computed structures showed a RMSD radius of 0.64 A for the structural core. The resulting structure consists of five amphipatic helices arranged in a right-handed super helix, a folding motif first observed in nonspecific lipid transfer proteins. Different than the latter, RicC3 does have not an internal cavity, a fact that can be related to the exchange in the pairing of disulfide bridges in the segment.CXC. Previous attempts to determine high resolution structures of a 2S albumin protein by either X-ray crystallography or NMR methods failed because of the heterogeneity of the protein prepared from natural sources. Both 2S albumins and nonspecific lipid transfer proteins belong to the prolamine superfamily, some of whose members are food allergens. The solution structure for recombinant RicC3 determined here is a suitable representative structure for the broad family of seed 2S albumin proteins, which may help to establish meaningful relationships between structure and allergenicity. RicC3 is also the peptidic component of the immunomodulator Inmunoferon, a widely used pharmaceutical product, and its structure is expected to help understand its pharmaceutical activity. PMID:14636051

  19. Single nucleotide polymorphisms for assessing genetic diversity in castor bean (Ricinus communis)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Castor bean (Ricinus communis) is an agricultural crop and garden ornamental that is widely cultivated and has been introduced worldwide. Understanding population structure and the distribution of castor bean cultivars has been challenging because of limited genetic variability. We analyzed the population genetics of R. communis in a worldwide collection of plants from germplasm and from naturalized populations in Florida, U.S. To assess genetic diversity we conducted survey sequencing of the genomes of seven diverse cultivars and compared the data to a reference genome assembly of a widespread cultivar (Hale). We determined the population genetic structure of 676 samples using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at 48 loci. Results Bayesian clustering indicated five main groups worldwide and a repeated pattern of mixed genotypes in most countries. High levels of population differentiation occurred between most populations but this structure was not geographically based. Most molecular variance occurred within populations (74%) followed by 22% among populations, and 4% among continents. Samples from naturalized populations in Florida indicated significant population structuring consistent with local demes. There was significant population differentiation for 56 of 78 comparisons in Florida (pairwise population ϕPT values, p < 0.01). Conclusion Low levels of genetic diversity and mixing of genotypes have led to minimal geographic structuring of castor bean populations worldwide. Relatively few lineages occur and these are widely distributed. Our approach of determining population genetic structure using SNPs from genome-wide comparisons constitutes a framework for high-throughput analyses of genetic diversity in plants, particularly in species with limited genetic diversity. PMID:20082707

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Ixodes dammini (Acari: Ixodidae) infestation on medium-sized mammals and blue jays in northwestern Illinois.

    PubMed

    Mannelli, A; Kitron, U; Jones, C J; Slajchert, T L

    1993-09-01

    High prevalence of infestation of five species of medium-sized mammals and blue jays, Cyanocitta cristata (L.), by immature Ixodes dammini Spielman, Clifford, Piesman and Corwin was found in Castle Rock State Park in northwestern Illinois during May-August 1991. Raccoons, Procyon lotor L., and opossums, Didelphis virginiana Kerr, were infested with the highest larval densities and were trapped primarily in bottomland forest and ecotone habitats. All species had similar nymphal densities, except the eastern cottontails, Sylvilagus floridanus Allen, which were infested with fewer nymphs. Infestation by I. dammini is reported for the first time for fox squirrels, Sciurus niger E. G. St. Hilaire, and for the first time in the midwestern United States for blue jays, C. cristata. These two species were hosts for nymphs in upland forest habitat. Molting rates varied among ticks that fed on different host species and among larvae that fed on individuals of the same species. Molting rate is proposed as an important factor in determining the relative importance of a host species to I. dammini population dynamics. PMID:8254647

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Molecular characterization of 'Candidatus Rickettsia vini' in Ixodes arboricola from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

    PubMed

    Novakova, Marketa; Bulkova, Alexandra; Costa, Francisco B; Kristin, Anton; Krist, Milos; Krause, Frantisek; Liznarova, Eva; Labruna, Marcelo B; Literak, Ivan

    2015-04-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze the prevalence of rickettsiae in the tree-hole tick Ixodes arboricola in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. During May to September of 2009 and 2013, bird boxes belonging to three different areas were screened for ticks. In total, 454 nestlings and 109 nests of 10 hole-breeding bird species were examined. Ticks were found on Ficedula albicollis, Parus major, Cyanistes caeruleus and Sitta europaea and/or in their nests. In total, 166 ticks (17 nymphs, 10 males and 139 females) were found at 3 areas (arithmetic mean±standard error: 55.3±45.9). All ticks were tested for the presence of Rickettsia species by polymerase chain reaction targeting the rickettsial genes gltA, ompA, ompB and htrA and amplicon sequencing. All individuals except 3 nymphs were infected with 'Candidatus Rickettsia vini'. Multilocus sequence typing showed closest proximity to Rickettsia japonica and Rickettsia heilongjiangensis cluster. The presence of 'Ca. R. vini' is reported for the first time in Slovakia. PMID:25769386

  9. 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.

  10. Antigenically variable Borrelia burgdorferi isolated from cottontail rabbits and Ixodes dentatus in rural and urban areas.

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, J F; Magnarelli, L A; LeFebvre, R B; Andreadis, T G; McAninch, J B; Perng, G C; Johnson, R C

    1989-01-01

    Spirochetes were isolated from 71 subadult Ixodes dentatus removed from cottontail rabbits captured in Millbrook, N.Y., and in New York, N.Y. Spirochetes were also cultured from kidney tissues of six rabbits. While all isolates reacted with monoclonal antibody H9724, which identifies the spirochetes as borreliae, more than half did not bind with antibody H5332 and even fewer reacted with H3TS, both of which were produced to outer surface protein A of Borrelia burgdorferi. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis protein profiles of three isolates differed from one another and from all previously characterized B. burgdorferi strains from humans, ticks, and wildlife in North America. The 12 periplasmic flagella that originated subterminally from each pointed end of a rabbit Borellia isolate contrasted with the 11 or fewer flagella for B. burgdorferi reported previously from North America. Although DNA homology and restriction endonuclease analysis also revealed differences among a rabbit kidney isolate, an I. dentatus isolate, and B. burgdorferi B31, similarities were sufficient to lead us to conclude that the borreliae in rabbits and I. dentatus are B. burgdorferi. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay titers of sera from humans with diagnosed Lyme disease to rabbit tick B. burgdorferi were often similar to one another and to those recorded for a reference B. burgdorferi strain. Images PMID:2913024

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. [Detection of Babesia spp. DNA in small mammals and ixodic ticks on the territory of north Ural, west Siberia and far east of Russia].

    PubMed

    Rar, V A; Epikhina, T I; Livanova, N N; Panov, V V; Pukhovskaia, N M; Vysochina, N P; Ivanov, L I

    2010-01-01

    Totally, 932 small mammals and 458 questing adult Ixodes persulcatus from Sverdlovsk and Novosibirsk regions and Khabarovsk Territory, as well as 128 Haemaphysalis japonica, 34 H. concinna and 29 Dermacentor silvarum from Khabarovsk Territory were examined for the presence of Babesia by nested PCR based on the 18S rRNA gene. Babesia microti DNA was found in samples of small mammals from all the studied regions--in 36.2% of samples from Sverdlovsk region, 5.3% of samples from Novosibirsk region, and 6.7% of samples from Khabarovsk Territory. The determined B. microti 18S rRNA gene sequences from Novosibirsk region (6 sequences) and from Khabarovsk Territory (10 sequences) were identical to each other and to the sequences of pathogenic for human B. microti US-type, while the determined B. microti 18S rRNA gene sequences from Sverdlovsk region (12 sequences) were identical to those of B. microti strain Munich. B. microti were found most frequently in samples of Myodes spp., they were found also in Microtus spp., Apodemus spp., Sorer spp., and Sicista betulinav. It was shown that one of 347 analyzed I. persulcatus from Novosibirsk region and one of 77 I. persulcatus from Khabarovsk Territory contained B. microti US-type DNA. One I. persulcatus from Novosibirsk region contained B. divergens DNA. In this work B. divergens was for the first time determined in I. persulcatus and B. microti in I. persulcatus in Asian part of Russia. Three different genetic variants of Babesia sensu stricto were found in three H. japonica from Khabarovsk Territory. The first genetic variant was closely related to Babesia sp. revealed in a feral raccoon in Japan (99.9% similarity on the basis of 18S rRNA gene sequences). Two others Babesia genetic variants were most similar to the ovine pathogen Babesia crassa (97.1-97.6% similarity on the basis of 18S rRNA gene sequences). PMID:20886686

  16. 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

  17. 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

  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 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

  20. 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

  1. Physiological and biochemical responses of Ricinus communis seedlings to different temperatures: a metabolomics approach

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Compared with major crops, growth and development of Ricinus communis is still poorly understood. A better understanding of the biochemical and physiological aspects of germination and seedling growth is crucial for the breeding of high yielding varieties adapted to various growing environments. In this context, we analysed the effect of temperature on growth of young R. communis seedlings and we measured primary and secondary metabolites in roots and cotyledons. Three genotypes, recommended to small family farms as cash crop, were used in this study. Results Seedling biomass was strongly affected by the temperature, with the lowest total biomass observed at 20°C. The response in terms of biomass production for the genotype MPA11 was clearly different from the other two genotypes: genotype MPA11 produced heavier seedlings at all temperatures but the root biomass of this genotype decreased with increasing temperature, reaching the lowest value at 35°C. In contrast, root biomass of genotypes MPB01 and IAC80 was not affected by temperature, suggesting that the roots of these genotypes are less sensitive to changes in temperature. In addition, an increasing temperature decreased the root to shoot ratio, which suggests that biomass allocation between below- and above ground parts of the plants was strongly affected by the temperature. Carbohydrate contents were reduced in response to increasing temperature in both roots and cotyledons, whereas amino acids accumulated to higher contents. Our results show that a specific balance between amino acids, carbohydrates and organic acids in the cotyledons and roots seems to be an important trait for faster and more efficient growth of genotype MPA11. Conclusions An increase in temperature triggers the mobilization of carbohydrates to support the preferred growth of the aerial parts, at the expense of the roots. A shift in the carbon-nitrogen metabolism towards the accumulation of nitrogen-containing compounds seems

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. The Rickettsia Endosymbiont of Ixodes pacificus Contains All the Genes of De Novo Folate Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Bodnar, James; Mortazavi, Bobak; Laurent, Timothy; Deason, Jeff; Thephavongsa, Khanhkeo; Zhong, Jianmin

    2015-01-01

    Ticks and other arthropods often are hosts to nutrient providing bacterial endosymbionts, which contribute to their host’s fitness by supplying nutrients such as vitamins and amino acids. It has been detected, in our lab, that Ixodes pacificus is host to Rickettsia species phylotype G021. This endosymbiont is predominantly present, and 100% maternally transmitted in I. pacificus. To study roles of phylotype G021 in I. pacificus, bioinformatic and molecular approaches were carried out. MUMmer genome alignments of whole genome sequence of I. scapularis, a close relative to I. pacificus, against completely sequenced genomes of R. bellii OSU85-389, R. conorii, and R. felis, identified 8,190 unique sequences that are homologous to Rickettsia sequences in the NCBI Trace Archive. MetaCyc metabolic reconstructions revealed that all folate gene orthologues (folA, folC, folE, folKP, ptpS) required for de novo folate biosynthesis are present in the genome of Rickettsia buchneri in I. scapularis. To examine the metabolic capability of phylotype G021 in I. pacificus, genes of the folate biosynthesis pathway of the bacterium were PCR amplified using degenerate primers. BLAST searches identified that nucleotide sequences of the folA, folC, folE, folKP, and ptpS genes possess 98.6%, 98.8%, 98.9%, 98.5% and 99.0% identity respectively to the corresponding genes of Rickettsia buchneri. Phylogenetic tree constructions show that the folate genes of phylotype G021 and homologous genes from various Rickettsia species are monophyletic. This study has shown that all folate genes exist in the genome of Rickettsia species phylotype G021 and that this bacterium has the genetic capability for de novo folate synthesis. PMID:26650541

  9. Ecology of the interaction between Ixodes loricatus (Acari: Ixodidae) and Akodon azarae (Rodentia: Criceridae).

    PubMed

    Colombo, Valeria C; Nava, Santiago; Antoniazzi, Leandro R; Monje, Lucas D; Racca, Andrea L; Guglielmone, Alberto A; Beldomenico, Pablo M

    2015-10-01

    The present study explores associations of different factors (i.e. host parameters, presence of other ectoparasites and [mainly biotic] environmental factors) with burdens of Ixodes loricatus immature stages in one of its main hosts in Argentina, the rodent Akodon azarae. For 2 years, rodents were trapped and sampled monthly at 16 points located in four different sites in the Parana River Delta region. Data were analysed with generalized linear mixed models with a negative binomial response (counts of larvae or nymphs). The independent variables assessed were (a) environmental: trapping year, presence of cattle, type of vegetation, rodent abundance; (b) host parameters: body length, sex, body condition, blood cell counts, natural antibody titers and (c) co-infestation with other ectoparasites. Two-way interaction terms deemed a priori as relevant were also included in the analysis. Most of the associations investigated were found significant, but in general, the direction and magnitude of the associations were context-dependent. An exception was the presence of cattle, which was consistently negatively associated with both larvae and nymphs independently of all other variables considered and had the strongest effect on tick burdens. Mites, fleas and Amblyomma triste were also significantly associated (mostly positively) with larval and nymph burdens, and in many cases, they influenced associations with environmental or host factors. Our findings strongly support that raising cattle may have a substantial impact on the dynamics of I. loricatus and that interactions within the ectoparasite community may be an important-but generally ignored-driver of tick dynamics. PMID:26122994

  10. The Rickettsia Endosymbiont of Ixodes pacificus Contains All the Genes of De Novo Folate Biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Daniel J; Torkelson, Jessica L; Bodnar, James; Mortazavi, Bobak; Laurent, Timothy; Deason, Jeff; Thephavongsa, Khanhkeo; Zhong, Jianmin

    2015-01-01

    Ticks and other arthropods often are hosts to nutrient providing bacterial endosymbionts, which contribute to their host's fitness by supplying nutrients such as vitamins and amino acids. It has been detected, in our lab, that Ixodes pacificus is host to Rickettsia species phylotype G021. This endosymbiont is predominantly present, and 100% maternally transmitted in I. pacificus. To study roles of phylotype G021 in I. pacificus, bioinformatic and molecular approaches were carried out. MUMmer genome alignments of whole genome sequence of I. scapularis, a close relative to I. pacificus, against completely sequenced genomes of R. bellii OSU85-389, R. conorii, and R. felis, identified 8,190 unique sequences that are homologous to Rickettsia sequences in the NCBI Trace Archive. MetaCyc metabolic reconstructions revealed that all folate gene orthologues (folA, folC, folE, folKP, ptpS) required for de novo folate biosynthesis are present in the genome of Rickettsia buchneri in I. scapularis. To examine the metabolic capability of phylotype G021 in I. pacificus, genes of the folate biosynthesis pathway of the bacterium were PCR amplified using degenerate primers. BLAST searches identified that nucleotide sequences of the folA, folC, folE, folKP, and ptpS genes possess 98.6%, 98.8%, 98.9%, 98.5% and 99.0% identity respectively to the corresponding genes of Rickettsia buchneri. Phylogenetic tree constructions show that the folate genes of phylotype G021 and homologous genes from various Rickettsia species are monophyletic. This study has shown that all folate genes exist in the genome of Rickettsia species phylotype G021 and that this bacterium has the genetic capability for de novo folate synthesis. PMID:26650541

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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....

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Seasonal activity patterns of Ixodes pacificus nymphs in relation to climatic conditions.

    PubMed

    Eisen, L; Eisen, R J; Lane, R S

    2002-09-01

    In western North America, the tick Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls (Acari: Ixodidae) is the primary vector to humans and domestic animals of the disease agents causing Lyme disease and granulocytic ehrlichiosis. We examined the seasonal activity patterns of I. pacificus nymphs over a 4-year period, including the wet and cold El Niño winter/spring of 1998, in a dry oak/madrone woodland, and for one year in a cooler and moister redwood/tanoak woodland in Mendocino County, California. Linear regressions were used to estimate when nymphal densities first exceeded and then fell below 25, 50 and 75% of the recorded yearly peak densities. In oak/madrone woodland, nymphs typically were active by mid-March, reached 50% of their yearly peak densities in early to mid-April, peaked by early May, fell below 50% of their peak densities by early to mid-June, and were absent by late July to mid-August. The lengths of the periods with nymphal densities exceeding 50 and 75% of the recorded yearly peaks in oak/madrone woodland were associated positively with rainfall and negatively with maximum air temperatures during April-May. Moreover, nymphal numbers typically reached 50% of their peak 10-15 days later, remained at levels above 50% of the peak 1.3-1.5 times longer, and started declining 4-6 weeks later under cooler, moister climatic conditions (oak/madrone woodland in 1998 and redwood/tanoak woodland in 2000) relative to warmer, drier conditions (oak/madrone woodland in 2000-2001). In oak/madrone woodland, nymphal densities typically started to decline when mean maximum daily air temperatures exceeded 23 degrees C. Nymphal densities were higher in dry oak/madrone relative to moist redwood/tanoak woodland from mid-March to late May 2000, similar in both habitat types in early June, but higher in redwood/tanoak woodland from late June onwards. We conclude that large-scale studies of the density of I. pacificus nymphs in California need to consider spatial variation in the length

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Bis(β-lactosyl)-[60]fullerene as novel class of glycolipids useful for the detection and the decontamination of biological toxins of the Ricinus communis family

    PubMed Central

    Kanazawa, Takeru; Saito, Akihiro; Sato, Keita; Uzawa, Hirotaka; Seto, Yasuo

    2014-01-01

    Summary Glycosyl-[60]fullerenes were first used as decontaminants against ricin, a lactose recognition proteotoxin in the Ricinus communis family. A fullerene glycoconjugate carrying two lactose units was synthesized by a [3 + 2] cycloaddition reaction between C60 and the azide group in 6-azidohexyl β-lactoside per-O-acetate. A colloidal aqueous solution with brown color was prepared from deprotected bis(lactosyl)-C60 and was found stable for more than 6 months keeping its red color. Upon mixing with an aqueous solution of Ricinus communis agglutinin (RCA120), the colloidal solution soon caused precipitations, while becoming colorless and transparent. In contrast, a solution of concanavalin A (Con A) caused no apparent change, indicating that the precipitation was caused specifically by carbohydrate–protein interactions. This notable phenomenon was quantified by means of sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), and the results were discussed in terms of detection and decontamination of the deadly biological toxin in the Ricinus communis family. PMID:25161707

  1. Bis(β-lactosyl)-[60]fullerene as novel class of glycolipids useful for the detection and the decontamination of biological toxins of the Ricinus communis family.

    PubMed

    Dohi, Hirofumi; Kanazawa, Takeru; Saito, Akihiro; Sato, Keita; Uzawa, Hirotaka; Seto, Yasuo; Nishida, Yoshihiro

    2014-01-01

    Glycosyl-[60]fullerenes were first used as decontaminants against ricin, a lactose recognition proteotoxin in the Ricinus communis family. A fullerene glycoconjugate carrying two lactose units was synthesized by a [3 + 2] cycloaddition reaction between C60 and the azide group in 6-azidohexyl β-lactoside per-O-acetate. A colloidal aqueous solution with brown color was prepared from deprotected bis(lactosyl)-C60 and was found stable for more than 6 months keeping its red color. Upon mixing with an aqueous solution of Ricinus communis agglutinin (RCA120), the colloidal solution soon caused precipitations, while becoming colorless and transparent. In contrast, a solution of concanavalin A (Con A) caused no apparent change, indicating that the precipitation was caused specifically by carbohydrate-protein interactions. This notable phenomenon was quantified by means of sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), and the results were discussed in terms of detection and decontamination of the deadly biological toxin in the Ricinus communis family. PMID:25161707

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Prevalence of Neoehrlichia mikurensis in ticks and rodents from North-west Europe

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Neoehrlichia mikurensis s an emerging and vector-borne zoonosis: The first human disease cases were reported in 2010. Limited information is available about the prevalence and distribution of Neoehrlichia mikurensis in Europe, its natural life cycle and reservoir hosts. An Ehrlichia-like schotti variant has been described in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks, which could be identical to Neoehrlichia mikurensis. Methods Three genetic markers, 16S rDNA, gltA and GroEL, of Ehrlichia schotti-positive tick lysates were amplified, sequenced and compared to sequences from Neoehrlichia mikurensis. Based on these DNA sequences, a multiplex real-time PCR was developed to specifically detect Neoehrlichia mikurensis in combination with Anaplasma phagocytophilum in tick lysates. Various tick species from different life-stages, particularly Ixodes ricinus nymphs, were collected from the vegetation or wildlife. Tick lysates and DNA derived from organs of wild rodents were tested by PCR-based methods for the presence of Neoehrlichia mikurensis. Prevalence of Neoehrlichia mikurensis was calculated together with confidence intervals using Fisher's exact test. Results The three genetic markers of Ehrlichia schotti-positive field isolates were similar or identical to Neoehrlichia mikurensis. Neoehrlichia mikurensis was found to be ubiquitously spread in the Netherlands and Belgium, but was not detected in the 401 tick samples from the UK. Neoehrlichia mikurensis was found in nymphs and adult Ixodes ricinus ticks, but neither in their larvae, nor in any other tick species tested. Neoehrlichia mikurensis was detected in diverse organs of some rodent species. Engorging ticks from red deer, European mouflon, wild boar and sheep were found positive for Neoehrlichia mikurensis. Conclusions Ehrlichia schotti is similar, if not identical, to Neoehrlichia mikurensis. Neoehrlichia mikurensis is present in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks throughout the Netherlands and Belgium. We propose

  6. Ricinus communis L. stem bark extracts regulate ovarian cell functions and secretory activity and their response to Luteinising hormone.

    PubMed

    Nath, S; Kadasi, A; Grossmann, R; Sirotkin, A V; Kolesarova, A; Talukdar, A D; Choudhury, M D

    2015-01-01

    Ricinus communis L. has ethnopharmacological contraceptive reputation but its stem bark has unexplored mechanisms of action in female reproductive system. In the present study, the effect of methanolic and aqueous extracts from the stem bark of the plant was examined on basic porcine ovarian granulosa cell functions and its response to Luteinising hormone (LH)-the upstream hormonal regulator. Systemic treatment of methanolic and aqueous extracts stimulated cell proliferation (proliferating cell nuclear antigen, PCNA) and also promoted cell apoptosis (caspase-3). Aqueous extract has inverted the stimulatory effect of LH on PCNA but not on caspase-3. Methanolic extract stimulated as well as inhibited progesterone release and stimulated testosterone secretion. Whereas aqueous extract inhibited both steroid releases and suppressed the stimulatory effect of LH on progesterone release and promoted the inhibitory effect of LH on testosterone release. In conclusion, the present study unveils the mechanism of action of R. communis stem bark in in vitro condition. These suggest its possible contraceptive efficacy by exerting its regulatory role over LH and on basic ovarian cell functions and secretion activity. PMID:26311247

  7. In Vitro Assessment of Cytotoxicity, Antioxidant, and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae) Leaf Extracts.

    PubMed

    Nemudzivhadi, Vhutshilo; Masoko, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Ricinus communis has been utilized traditionally as medicine to treat inflammatory related diseases including wounds, sores, and boils. The leaves of R. communis were sequentially extracted with n-hexane, dichloromethane, acetone, and methanol using serial exhaustive extraction method. Antioxidant activity of all crude extracts was quantitatively measured against 2,2'-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) free radical molecules using ABTS(+) assay. Cytotoxic effect and anti-inflammatory activity of R. communis leaves extracts were evaluated on Human Caucasian skin fibroblast and Raw 264.7 macrophage cell lines, respectively. Methanol extract had the highest percentage free radical (ABTS(+)) scavenging activity of 95% at 2.50 mg/mL, acetone 91%, dichloromethane 62%, and hexane the least (50%). Percentage scavenging activity of ABTS(+) free radical molecules increases with increase in concentrations of the plant extracts. Hexane and dichloromethane extracts had more than 90% cell viability at 100 µg/mL after 24 and 48 hours of exposure. Methanol extract had LC50 of 784 µg/mL after 24-hour exposure, hexane had 629.3 µg/mL and dichloromethane 573.6 µg/mL, and 544.6 µg/mL was the lowest with acetone extract. The study present the first report on the scavenging activity of R. communis leaf extracts against ABTS(+) radicals and cytotoxic effects on human Caucasian skin fibroblast cell lines. PMID:25477994

  8. Genomic surveys and expression analysis of bZIP gene family in castor bean (Ricinus communis L.).

    PubMed

    Jin, Zhengwei; Xu, Wei; Liu, Aizhong

    2014-02-01

    The basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factors comprise a family of transcriptional regulators present extensively in plants, involved in regulating diverse biological processes such as flower and vascular development, seed maturation, stress signaling and pathogen defense. Castor bean (Ricinus communis L. Euphorbiaceae) is one of the most important non-edible oilseed crops and its seed oil is broadly used for industrial applications. We performed a comprehensive genome-wide identification and analysis of the bZIP transcription factors that exist in the castor bean genome in this study. In total, 49 RcbZIP transcription factors were identified, characterized and categorized into 11 groups (I-XI) based on their gene structure, DNA-binding sites, conserved motifs, and phylogenetic relationships. The dimerization properties of 49 RcbZIP proteins were predicted on the basis of the characteristic features in the leucine zipper. Global expression profiles of 49 RcbZIP genes among different tissues were examined using high-throughput sequencing of digital gene expression profiles, and resulted in diverse expression patterns that may provide basic information to further reveal the function of the 49 RcbZIP genes in castor bean. The results obtained from this study would provide valuable information in understanding the molecular basis of the RcbZIP transcription factor family and their potential function in regulating the growth and development, particularly in seed filling of castor bean. PMID:24165825

  9. Dynamics and control of phloem loading of indole-3-acetic acid in seedling cotyledons of Ricinus communis

    PubMed Central

    Tamas, Imre A.; Davies, Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    During seed germination, sugars and auxin are produced from stored precursors or conjugates respectively, and transported to the seedling axis. To elucidate the mode of travel of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) into the phloem, a solution of [3H]IAA, together with [14C]sucrose, was injected into the endosperm cavity harboring the cotyledons of germinating seedlings of Ricinus communis. Phloem exudate from the cut hypocotyl was collected and the radioactivity recorded. Sucrose loading into the phloem was inhibited at higher IAA levels, and the rate of filling of the transient pool(s) was reduced by IAA. IAA was detected within 10min, with the concentration increasing over 30min and reaching a steady-state by 60min. The kinetics indicated that phloem loading of IAA involving both an active, carrier-based, and a passive, diffusion-based component, with IAA traveling along a pathway containing an intermediary pool, possibly the protoplasts of mesophyll cells. Phloem loading of IAA was altered by sucrose, K+, and a range of non-specific and IAA-specific analogs and inhibitors in a manner that showed that IAA moves into the phloem from the extra cotyledonary solution by multiple pathways, with a carrier-mediated pathway playing a principal role. PMID:27371947

  10. Effect of temperature on biomass allocation in seedlings of two contrasting genotypes of the oilseed crop Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Paulo R; Zanotti, Rafael F; Deflers, Carole; Fernandez, Luzimar G; Castro, Renato D de; Ligterink, Wilco; Hilhorst, Henk W M

    2015-08-01

    Ricinus communis is becoming an important crop for oil production, and studying the physiological and biochemical aspects of seedling development may aid in the improvement of crop quality and yield. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of temperature on biomass allocation in two R. communis genotypes. Biomass allocation was assessed by measuring dry weight of roots, stems, and cotyledons of seedlings grown at three different temperatures. Root length of each seedling was measured. Biomass allocation was strongly affected by temperature. Seedlings grown at 25°C and 35°C showed greater biomass than seedlings grown at 20°C. Cotyledon and stem dry weight increased for both genotypes with increasing temperature, whereas root biomass allocation showed a genotype-dependent behavior. Genotype MPA11 showed a continuous increase in root dry weight with increasing temperature, while genotype IAC80 was not able to sustain further root growth at higher temperatures. Based on metabolite and gene expression profiles, genotype MPA11 increases its level of osmoprotectant molecules and transcripts of genes encoding for antioxidant enzymes and heat shock proteins to a higher extent than genotype IAC80. This might be causal for the ability to maintain homeostasis and support root growth at elevated temperatures in genotype MPA11. PMID:26276402

  11. Gene Structures, Evolution, Classification and Expression Profiles of the Aquaporin Gene Family in Castor Bean (Ricinus communis L.).

    PubMed

    Zou, Zhi; Gong, Jun; Huang, Qixing; Mo, Yeyong; Yang, Lifu; Xie, Guishui

    2015-01-01

    Aquaporins (AQPs) are a class of integral membrane proteins that facilitate the passive transport of water and other small solutes across biological membranes. Castor bean (Ricinus communis L., Euphobiaceae), an important non-edible oilseed crop, is widely cultivated for industrial, medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Its recently available genome provides an opportunity to analyze specific gene families. In this study, a total of 37 full-length AQP genes were identified from the castor bean genome, which were assigned to five subfamilies, including 10 plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs), 9 tonoplast intrinsic proteins (TIPs), 8 NOD26-like intrinsic proteins (NIPs), 6 X intrinsic proteins (XIPs) and 4 small basic intrinsic proteins (SIPs) on the basis of sequence similarities. Functional prediction based on the analysis of the aromatic/arginine (ar/R) selectivity filter, Froger's positions and specificity-determining positions (SDPs) showed a remarkable difference in substrate specificity among subfamilies. Homology analysis supported the expression of all 37 RcAQP genes in at least one of examined tissues, e.g., root, leaf, flower, seed and endosperm. Furthermore, global expression profiles with deep transcriptome sequencing data revealed diverse expression patterns among various tissues. The current study presents the first genome-wide analysis of the AQP gene family in castor bean. Results obtained from this study provide valuable information for future functional analysis and utilization. PMID:26509832

  12. Gene Structures, Evolution, Classification and Expression Profiles of the Aquaporin Gene Family in Castor Bean (Ricinus communis L.)

    PubMed Central

    Mo, Yeyong; Yang, Lifu; Xie, Guishui

    2015-01-01

    Aquaporins (AQPs) are a class of integral membrane proteins that facilitate the passive transport of water and other small solutes across biological membranes. Castor bean (Ricinus communis L., Euphobiaceae), an important non-edible oilseed crop, is widely cultivated for industrial, medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Its recently available genome provides an opportunity to analyze specific gene families. In this study, a total of 37 full-length AQP genes were identified from the castor bean genome, which were assigned to five subfamilies, including 10 plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs), 9 tonoplast intrinsic proteins (TIPs), 8 NOD26-like intrinsic proteins (NIPs), 6 X intrinsic proteins (XIPs) and 4 small basic intrinsic proteins (SIPs) on the basis of sequence similarities. Functional prediction based on the analysis of the aromatic/arginine (ar/R) selectivity filter, Froger’s positions and specificity-determining positions (SDPs) showed a remarkable difference in substrate specificity among subfamilies. Homology analysis supported the expression of all 37 RcAQP genes in at least one of examined tissues, e.g., root, leaf, flower, seed and endosperm. Furthermore, global expression profiles with deep transcriptome sequencing data revealed diverse expression patterns among various tissues. The current study presents the first genome-wide analysis of the AQP gene family in castor bean. Results obtained from this study provide valuable information for future functional analysis and utilization. PMID:26509832

  13. Dynamics and control of phloem loading of indole-3-acetic acid in seedling cotyledons of Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Tamas, Imre A; Davies, Peter J

    2016-08-01

    During seed germination, sugars and auxin are produced from stored precursors or conjugates respectively, and transported to the seedling axis. To elucidate the mode of travel of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) into the phloem, a solution of [(3)H]IAA, together with [(14)C]sucrose, was injected into the endosperm cavity harboring the cotyledons of germinating seedlings of Ricinus communis Phloem exudate from the cut hypocotyl was collected and the radioactivity recorded. Sucrose loading into the phloem was inhibited at higher IAA levels, and the rate of filling of the transient pool(s) was reduced by IAA. IAA was detected within 10min, with the concentration increasing over 30min and reaching a steady-state by 60min. The kinetics indicated that phloem loading of IAA involving both an active, carrier-based, and a passive, diffusion-based component, with IAA traveling along a pathway containing an intermediary pool, possibly the protoplasts of mesophyll cells. Phloem loading of IAA was altered by sucrose, K(+), and a range of non-specific and IAA-specific analogs and inhibitors in a manner that showed that IAA moves into the phloem from the extra cotyledonary solution by multiple pathways, with a carrier-mediated pathway playing a principal role. PMID:27371947

  14. Rat sperm immobilisation effects of a protein from Ricinus communis (Linn.): an in vitro comparative study with nonoxynol-9.

    PubMed

    Nithya, R S; Anuja, M M; Rajamanickam, C; Indira, M

    2012-12-01

    Previous study conducted in our department showed that 50% ethanolic extract of the root of Ricinus communis possess reversible antifertility effect and a 62-kDa protein (Rp) from this extract is responsible for the antifertility effects. In this study, we compared the spermicidal effect of this Rp with nonoxynol-9 (N-9) in vitro. The sperm immobilisation studies showed that 100 μg ml(-1) of Rp was able to immobilise the sperms completely within 30 s. Sperm revival test revealed that the spermicidal effect was irreversible. There was also a significant reduction in sperm viability and hypo-osmotic swelling in Rp and N-9 treated groups in comparison with the control. In Rp and N-9 treated groups, the number of acrosome-reacted cells was found to be high and also caused agglutination of the spermatozoa, indicating the loss of intactness of the plasma membrane, which was further supported by the significant reduction in the activity of membrane bound 5'-nucleotidase, acrosomal acrosin. In short, the protein Rp possesses spermicidal activity in vitro and its effects are similar to that of nonoxynol 9. PMID:22486240

  15. Ricinine: a pyridone alkaloid from Ricinus communis that activates the Wnt signaling pathway through casein kinase 1α.

    PubMed

    Ohishi, Kensuke; Toume, Kazufumi; Arai, Midori A; Sadhu, Samir K; Ahmed, Firoj; Mizoguchi, Takamasa; Itoh, Motoyuki; Ishibashi, Masami

    2014-09-01

    Wnt signaling plays important roles in proliferation, differentiation, development of cells, and various diseases. Activity-guided fractionation of the MeOH extract of the Ricinus communis stem led to the isolation of four compounds (1-4). The TCF/β-catenin transcription activities of 1 and 3 were 2.2 and 2.5 fold higher at 20 and 30μM, respectively. Cells treated with ricinine (1) had higher β-catenin and lower of p-β-catenin (ser 33, 37, 45, Thr 41) protein levels, whereas glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) and casein kinase 1α (CK1α) protein levels remained unchanged. Cells treated with pyrvinium, an activator of CK1α, had lower β-catenin levels. However, the combined treatment of pyrvinium and 1 led to higher β-catenin levels than those in cells treated with pyrvinium alone, which suggested that 1 inhibited CK1α activity. Furthermore, 1 increased β-catenin protein levels in zebrafish embryos. These results indicated that 1 activated the Wnt signaling pathway by inhibiting CK1α. PMID:25124862

  16. Gene Structures, Evolution and Transcriptional Profiling of the WRKY Gene Family in Castor Bean (Ricinus communis L.)

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Qixing; Mo, Yeyong; Xie, Guishui

    2016-01-01

    WRKY proteins comprise one of the largest transcription factor families in plants and form key regulators of many plant processes. This study presents the characterization of 58 WRKY genes from the castor bean (Ricinus communis L., Euphorbiaceae) genome. Compared with the automatic genome annotation, one more WRKY-encoding locus was identified and 20 out of the 57 predicted gene models were manually corrected. All RcWRKY genes were shown to contain at least one intron in their coding sequences. According to the structural features of the present WRKY domains, the identified RcWRKY genes were assigned to three previously defined groups (I–III). Although castor bean underwent no recent whole-genome duplication event like physic nut (Jatropha curcas L., Euphorbiaceae), comparative genomics analysis indicated that one gene loss, one intron loss and one recent proximal duplication occurred in the RcWRKY gene family. The expression of all 58 RcWRKY genes was supported by ESTs and/or RNA sequencing reads derived from roots, leaves, flowers, seeds and endosperms. Further global expression profiles with RNA sequencing data revealed diverse expression patterns among various tissues. Results obtained from this study not only provide valuable information for future functional analysis and utilization of the castor bean WRKY genes, but also provide a useful reference to investigate the gene family expansion and evolution in Euphorbiaceus plants. PMID:26849139

  17. Tolerance of Ricinus communis L. to Cd and screening of high Cd accumulation varieties for remediation of Cd contaminated soils.

    PubMed

    Wu, Shanshan; Shen, Chuang; Yang, Zhongyi; Lin, Biyun; Yuan, Jiangang

    2016-11-01

    Response of castor (Ricinus communis L.) to cadmium (Cd) was assessed by a seed-suspending seedbed approach. Length of total radicle was the most sensitive indicator of Cd tolerance among the tested germination and growth characters. The ED50 value for Cd was 11.87 mg L(-1), indicating high Cd tolerance in castor. A pot experiment was conducted by growing 46 varieties of castor under CK (without Cd) and Cd1 (10 mg kg(-1) of Cd) and Cd2 (50 mg kg(-1) of Cd) treatments to investigate genotype variations in growth response and Cd accumulation of castor under different Cd exposures. Castor possessed high Cd accumulation ability; average shoot and root Cd concentrations of the 46 tested varieties were 21.83 and 185.43 mg kg(-1), and 174.99 and 1181.96 mg kg(-1) under Cd1 and Cd2, respectively. Great variation in Cd accumulation was observed among varieties, and Cd concentration of castor was genotype dependent. The correlation between biomass and Cd accumulation was significantly positive, while no significant correlation was observed between Cd concentration and Cd accumulation, which indicated that biomass performance is the dominant factor in determining Cd accumulation ability. PMID:27348198

  18. Gene Structures, Evolution and Transcriptional Profiling of the WRKY Gene Family in Castor Bean (Ricinus communis L.).

    PubMed

    Zou, Zhi; Yang, Lifu; Wang, Danhua; Huang, Qixing; Mo, Yeyong; Xie, Guishui

    2016-01-01

    WRKY proteins comprise one of the largest transcription factor families in plants and form key regulators of many plant processes. This study presents the characterization of 58 WRKY genes from the castor bean (Ricinus communis L., Euphorbiaceae) genome. Compared with the automatic genome annotation, one more WRKY-encoding locus was identified and 20 out of the 57 predicted gene models were manually corrected. All RcWRKY genes were shown to contain at least one intron in their coding sequences. According to the structural features of the present WRKY domains, the identified RcWRKY genes were assigned to three previously defined groups (I-III). Although castor bean underwent no recent whole-genome duplication event like physic nut (Jatropha curcas L., Euphorbiaceae), comparative genomics analysis indicated that one gene loss, one intron loss and one recent proximal duplication occurred in the RcWRKY gene family. The expression of all 58 RcWRKY genes was supported by ESTs and/or RNA sequencing reads derived from roots, leaves, flowers, seeds and endosperms. Further global expression profiles with RNA sequencing data revealed diverse expression patterns among various tissues. Results obtained from this study not only provide valuable information for future functional analysis and utilization of the castor bean WRKY genes, but also provide a useful reference to investigate the gene family expansion and evolution in Euphorbiaceus plants. PMID:26849139

  19. In Vitro Assessment of Cytotoxicity, Antioxidant, and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae) Leaf Extracts

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Ricinus communis has been utilized traditionally as medicine to treat inflammatory related diseases including wounds, sores, and boils. The leaves of R. communis were sequentially extracted with n-hexane, dichloromethane, acetone, and methanol using serial exhaustive extraction method. Antioxidant activity of all crude extracts was quantitatively measured against 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) free radical molecules using ABTS+ assay. Cytotoxic effect and anti-inflammatory activity of R. communis leaves extracts were evaluated on Human Caucasian skin fibroblast and Raw 264.7 macrophage cell lines, respectively. Methanol extract had the highest percentage free radical (ABTS+) scavenging activity of 95% at 2.50 mg/mL, acetone 91%, dichloromethane 62%, and hexane the least (50%). Percentage scavenging activity of ABTS+ free radical molecules increases with increase in concentrations of the plant extracts. Hexane and dichloromethane extracts had more than 90% cell viability at 100 µg/mL after 24 and 48 hours of exposure. Methanol extract had LC50 of 784 µg/mL after 24-hour exposure, hexane had 629.3 µg/mL and dichloromethane 573.6 µg/mL, and 544.6 µg/mL was the lowest with acetone extract. The study present the first report on the scavenging activity of R. communis leaf extracts against ABTS+ radicals and cytotoxic effects on human Caucasian skin fibroblast cell lines. PMID:25477994

  20. Genetic diversity of Ixodes pavlovskyi and I. persulcatus (Acari: Ixodidae) from the sympatric zone in the south of Western Siberia and Kazakhstan.

    PubMed

    Livanova, Natalia N; Tikunov, Artem Yu; Kurilshikov, Alexander M; Livanov, Stanislav G; Fomenko, Nataliya V; Taranenko, Dmitrii E; Kvashnina, Anna E; Tikunova, Nina V

    2015-11-01

    The most epidemiologically significant tick species in Siberia involved in transmission of a large number of pathogens causing human infectious diseases is Ixodes persulcatus. Ixodes pavlovskyi, being more active, also poses epidemiological threats. These tick species share morphology, activity seasons and geographic distribution range. In this paper, we characterize the geographic and genetic structures of I. persulcatus and I. pavlovskyi populations inhabiting the southern part of Western Siberia (Russia and Kazakhstan)--the western part of I. pavlovskyi distribution range. The data are based on six distinct Ixodes tick populations. Analysis of the concatenated mitochondrial marker sequences (16S rRNA and COI) and the nuclear sequence (ITS2) showed genetic polymorphisms in both I. persulcatus and I. pavlovskyi ticks inhabiting the sympatric zone. We could not determine the phylogeographic structure of I. pavlovskyi populations whereas for I. persulcatus significant within-region variance was shown. Notably, the abundance of I. persulcatus ticks negatively correlates with nucleotide and haplotype diversity in the concatenated sequence of mitochondrial gene (16S rRNA and COI) fragments. This is the first description of the genetic polymorphism of I. persulcatus and I. pavlovskyi ticks coexisting in a sympatric zone based on analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear markers. PMID:26201397

  1. Transcriptome profiling identifies ABA mediated regulatory changes towards storage filling in developing seeds of castor bean (Ricinus communis L.)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The potential biodiesel plant castor bean (Ricinus communis) has been in the limelight for bioenergy research due to the availability of its genome which raises the bar for genome-wide studies claiming advances that impact the “genome-phenome challenge”. Here we report the application of phytohormone ABA as an exogenous factor for the improvement of storage reserve accumulation with a focus on the complex interaction of pathways associated with seed filling. Results After the application of exogenous ABA treatments, we measured an increased ABA levels in the developing seeds cultured in vitro using the ELISA technique and quantified the content of major biomolecules (including total lipids, sugars and protein) in treated seeds. Exogenous ABA (10 μM) enhanced the accumulation of soluble sugar content (6.3%) followed by deposition of total lipid content (4.9 %). To elucidate the possible ABA signal transduction pathways towards overall seed filling, we studied the differential gene expression analysis using Illumina RNA-Sequencing technology, resulting in 2568 (1507-up/1061-down regulated) differentially expressed genes were identified. These genes were involved in sugar metabolism (such as glucose-6-phosphate, fructose 1,6 bis-phosphate, glycerol-3-phosphate, pyruvate kinase), lipid biosynthesis (such as ACS, ACBP, GPAT2, GPAT3, FAD2, FAD3, SAD1 and DGAT1), storage proteins synthesis (such as SGP1, zinc finger protein, RING H2 protein, nodulin 55 and cytochrome P450), and ABA biosynthesis (such as NCED1, NCED3 and beta carotene). Further, we confirmed the validation of RNA-Sequencing data by Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis. Conclusions Taken together, metabolite measurements supported by genes and pathway expression results indicated in this study provide new insights to understand the ABA signaling mechanism towards seed storage filling and also contribute useful information for facilitating oilseed crop functional genomics on an aim for utilizing

  2. Serpentine bacteria influence metal translocation and bioconcentration of Brassica juncea and Ricinus communis grown in multi-metal polluted soils

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Ying; Rajkumar, Mani; Rocha, Inês; Oliveira, Rui S.; Freitas, Helena

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the effects of inoculation of rhizosphere or endophytic bacteria (Psychrobacter sp. SRS8 and Pseudomonas sp. A3R3, respectively) isolated from a serpentine environment on the plant growth and the translocation and accumulation of Ni, Zn, and Fe by Brassica juncea and Ricinus communis on a multi-metal polluted serpentine soil (SS). Field collected SS was diluted to 0, 25, 50, and 75% with pristine soil in order to obtain a range of heavy metal concentrations and used in microcosm experiments. Regardless of inoculation with bacteria, the biomass of both plant species decreased with increase of the proportion of SS. Inoculation of plants with bacteria significantly increased the plant biomass and the heavy metal accumulation compared with non-inoculated control in the presence of different proportion of SS, which was attributed to the production of plant growth promoting and/or metal mobilizing metabolites by bacteria. However, SRS8 showed a maximum increase in the biomass of the test plants grown even in the treatment of 75% SS. In turn, A3R3 showed maximum effects on the accumulation of heavy metals in both plants. Regardless of inoculation of bacteria and proportion of SS, both plant species exhibited low values of bioconcentration factor (<1) for Ni and Fe. The inoculation of both bacterial strains significantly increased the translocation factor (TF) of Ni while decreasing the TF of Zn in both plant species. Besides this contrasting effect, the TFs of all metals were <1, indicating that all studied bacteria–plant combinations are suitable for phytostabilization. This study demonstrates that the bacterial isolates A3R3 and SRS8 improved the growth of B. juncea and R. communis in SS soils and have a great potential to be used as inoculants in phytostabilization scenarios of multi-metal contaminated soils. PMID:25601876

  3. Flows of elements, ions and abscisic acid in Ricinus communis and site of nitrate reduction under potassium limitation.

    PubMed

    Peuke, Andreas D; Jeschke, W Dieter; Hartung, Wolfram

    2002-02-01

    In a pot experiment Ricinus communis plants were cultivated in quartz sand and supplied daily with a nutrient solution which contained 4 mol m(-3) nitrate as the nitrogen source and either full strength potassium (1.3 mol m(-3), control) or 8% potassium (0.1 mol m(-3), K(+)-limitation). Although the final fresh weight of the whole plant was not affected by K(+)-limitation, the root-shoot ratio was increased due to a relatively increased root growth and inhibited development of younger shoot parts. Owing to K(+)-limitation, photosynthesis was slightly decreased, while dark respiration of the shoot markedly decreased and root respiration was nearly doubled. The transport of carbon in the phloem, and to some extent in the xylem, was greater and the root was favoured in the partitioning of carbon. This was also true for nitrogen and potassium which were both taken up at lower rates, particularly potassium. In these two cases a high remobilization and recycling from the old part of the shoot was observed. By contrast, uptake of sodium was 2.4-fold higher under K(+)-limitation and this resulted in increased flows in the plants, which was discussed generally as a means for charge balance (in combination with a slight increase in uptake of magnesium and calcium). Nitrate reduction took place in the same portion in the root and shoot. This was a shift to the root compared to the control and points to an inhibition of xylem transport caused by limitation of K(+) as an easily permeating countercation. Low K(+) supply also resulted in an increased biosynthesis of ABA in the roots (265%). This caused a slightly increased deposition of ABA in the roots (193%) and a 4.6-fold higher root-to-shoot and a doubled shoot-to-root ABA signal in the xylem or phloem, respectively. The high degradation of ABA in the shoots prevented ABA accumulation there. PMID:11807128

  4. Generational reproductive outcomes in Wistar rats maternally exposed to Ricinus communis oil at different stages of gestation.

    PubMed

    Salami, S A; Raji, Y

    2015-10-01

    Fetal programming hypothesis presupposes that stimulus or insult acting during critical periods of uterine growth and development may permanently alter tissue structure and function. Ricinus communis oil (RCO) has been reported to possess/used as laxative, labor-inducing and estrogenic properties. Generational reproductive effects of maternal exposure to RCO was investigated in rats. A total of 25 pregnant rats randomly assigned to five equal groups were treated with distilled water (control, group 1), RCO (950 mg/kg p.o.) during gestation days (GD) 1-7, 7-14, 14-21 and 1-21, respectively. Birth weight, morphometric data, anogenital distance (AGD), pubertal age, sperm parameters, hormonal profile, organ weight and histopathology were determined in the first (F1) and second (F2) filial generations. Results showed a significant decrease (P<0.05) in birth weight/morphometric data in male pups from the GD 1-7 and 7-14 groups. AGD decreased significantly in RCO-treated F1 males. Pubertal age of F1 females decreased significantly (P<0.05) compared with controls. At postnatal day 90, F1 males from the RCO-treated group showed significant decrease in testis weight, body weight, sperm count, motility and normal morphology. Testosterone levels were significantly decreased in RCO-treated F1 males, which also showed testicular interstitial edema and epididymal hypospermia. Only pubertal indexes were altered in F2 rats. Maternal exposure to RCO at early gestation periods impaired androgen-mediated reproductive end points in the first generation of rats. RCO exhibits endocrine disrupting capabilities. PMID:26118402

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-04-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. An ELISA to Detect Serum Antibodies to the Salivary Gland Toxin of Ixodes holocyclus Neumann in Dogs and Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Hall-Mendelin, S.; O'Donoghue, P.; Atwell, R. B.; Lee, R.; Hall, R. A.

    2011-01-01

    The Ixodes holocyclus tick causes paralysis in up to 10,000 companion and domestic animals each year in Australia. Treatment requires the removal of the parasite and the administration of a commercial tick antiserum that is prepared from hyperimmune dogs. Each batch of this serum is initially tested for toxin-neutralising potency in a mouse bioassay that is expensive, time consuming, and subjective. With the aim of developing a rapid in vitro assay to replace the bioassay, we used a partially purified antigen prepared from I. holocyclus salivary glands to develop an ELISA to detect toxin-reactive antibodies in hyperimmune dog sera. The optimised ELISA reliably detected antibodies reactive to I. holocyclus salivary gland antigens. Parallel testing of sera with a negative control antigen prepared from the salivary glands of the nontoxic tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus provided further evidence that we were detecting toxin-specific antibodies in the assay. Using the ELISA, we could also detect antibodies induced in rats after experimental infestation with I. holocyclus. This assay shows promise as an alternative means of assessing the potency of batches of hyperimmune dog serum and to screen for toxin-reactive monoclonal antibodies produced from immunised rodents. PMID:21687655

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Ricinoleic acid biosynthesis and triacylglycerol assembly in microsomal preparations from developing castor-bean (Ricinus communis) endosperm.

    PubMed Central

    Bafor, M; Smith, M A; Jonsson, L; Stobart, K; Stymne, S

    1991-01-01

    Microsomal membrane preparations from the developing endosperm of castor bean (Ricinus communis) catalysed the transfer of oleate from [14C]oleoyl-CoA to phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho). In the presence of NADH, radioactive ricinoleate (12-hydroxyoctadec-9-enoate) was synthesized from [14C]oleate, and this was largely recovered in PtdCho and as free fatty acid. The addition of unlabelled ricinoleoyl-CoA to these incubation mixtures did not increase the low [14C]ricinoleate concentration found in the acyl-CoA fraction nor decrease the [14C]ricinoleate concentration in PtdCho and free fatty acid, and thus no evidence was obtained for a hydroxylation with oleoyl-CoA as a substrate. The addition of NADH, necessary for the formation of ricinoleate, caused a decrease of the total radioactivity in PtdCho with a corresponding increase in the amount of label in free ricinoleic acid. This increase was due to the action of a phospholipase A, which released ricinoleic acid but not oleic acid from PtdCho. Such a phospholipase activity, attacking ricinoleoyl-PtdCho but not oleoyl-PtdCho, was also demonstrated in microsomal preparations from developing cotyledons of safflower and oil-seed rape. An analysis of the acyl groups at different positions in microsomal PtdCho of castor bean showed that ricinoleate was almost entirely associated with position sn-2. Likewise the [14C]ricinoleate in [14C]PtdCho formed after incubations with microsomal preparations with NADH and [14C]oleoyl-CoA resided in position sn-2 with none in position sn-1. In contrast, the [14C]linoleate formed by desaturation of [14C]oleoyl-PtdCho was present at both positions. In the presence of ATP, CoA and Mg2+, the ricinoleate acid released from PtdCho was activated to ricinoleoyl-CoA. The ricinoleoyl-CoA was an efficient acyl donor in the acylation of glycerol 3-phosphate (Gro3P) to yield phosphatidic acid and triacylglycerols. In microsomal preparations incubated with an equimolar mixture of [14C]oleoyl-CoA and

  20. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study

    PubMed Central

    SALLES, Marcela Moreira; BADARÓ, Maurício Malheiros; de ARRUDA, Carolina Noronha Ferraz; LEITE, Vanessa Maria Fagundes; da SILVA, Cláudia Helena Lovato; WATANABE, Evandro; OLIVEIRA, Viviane de Cássia; PARANHOS, Helena de Freitas Oliveira

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT To preserve oral health and to maintain the prosthetic devices, it is important not only to improve the properties of commonly known hygiene products, but also to investigate new materials with antimicrobial action. Objectives This study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of sodium hypochlorite (0.25% and 0.50%) and 10% Ricinus communis’ solutions against specific microorganisms. Material and Methods Sixty four maxillary complete denture wearers were instructed to brush their dentures three times a day and to soak them (20 min/day) in the solutions: SH1: 0.25% sodium hypochlorite; SH2: 0.5% sodium hypochlorite; RC: 10% R. communis oil; and C: 0.85% saline (control). The solutions were used for 7 days in a randomized sequence. Following each period of use, there was a 1-week washout period. Antimicrobial activity was determined by Colony Forming Units (CFU) counts of Streptococcus mutans, Candida spp., and gram-negative microorganisms. For collecting biofilm, the internal surface of maxillary dentures was brushed with saline solution, and biofilm suspension obtained. After dilutions (100 - 10-3), aliquots were seeded in Mitis salivarius, CHROMagar Candida®, and MacConkey agar for detecting S. mutans, Candida spp., or gram-negative microorganisms, respectively. After incubation, colonies were counted, and CFU/mL values were calculated. Then, transformation - log10 (CFU+1) - data were analyzed using the Friedman test (α=0.05). Results showed significant differences between the solutions (p<0.001). Results All three solutions showed antimicrobial activity against S. mutans. Against Candida spp., RC and SH1 solutions showed similar effect while SH2 showed superior activity. SH1 and SH2 solutions showed antimicrobial action against gram-negative microorganisms. The Candida species most frequently isolated was C. albicans, followed by C. tropicalis and C. glabrata. Conclusions The 0.5% sodium hypochlorite solution was the most effective and might be used to

  1. Exploiting EST databases for the development and characterization of EST-SSR markers in castor bean (Ricinus communis L.)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The castor bean (Ricinus communis L.), a monotypic species in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae, 2n = 20), is an important non-edible oilseed crop widely cultivated in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate countries for its high economic value. Because of the high level of ricinoleic acid (over 85%) in its seed oil, the castor bean seed derivatives are often used in aviation oil, lubricants, nylon, dyes, inks, soaps, adhesive and biodiesel. Due to lack of efficient molecular markers, little is known about the population genetic diversity and the genetic relationships among castor bean germplasm. Efficient and robust molecular markers are increasingly needed for breeding and improving varieties in castor bean. The advent of modern genomics has produced large amounts of publicly available DNA sequence data. In particular, expressed sequence tags (ESTs) provide valuable resources to develop gene-associated SSR markers. Results In total, 18,928 publicly available non-redundant castor bean EST sequences, representing approximately 17.03 Mb, were evaluated and 7732 SSR sites in 5,122 ESTs were identified by data mining. Castor bean exhibited considerably high frequency of EST-SSRs. We developed and characterized 118 polymorphic EST-SSR markers from 379 primer pairs flanking repeats by screening 24 castor bean samples collected from different countries. A total of 350 alleles were identified from 118 polymorphic SSR loci, ranging from 2-6 per locus (A) with an average of 2.97. The EST-SSR markers developed displayed moderate gene diversity (He) with an average of 0.41. Genetic relationships among 24 germplasms were investigated using the genotypes of 350 alleles, showing geographic pattern of genotypes across genetic diversity centers of castor bean. Conclusion Castor bean EST sequences exhibited considerably high frequency of SSR sites, and were rich resources for developing EST-SSR markers. These EST-SSR markers would be particularly useful for both genetic

  2. Relative density of host-seeking ticks in different habitat types of south-western Slovakia.

    PubMed

    Kazimírová, Mária; Hamšíková, Zuzana; Kocianová, Elena; Marini, Giovanni; Mojšová, Michala; Mahríková, Lenka; Berthová, Lenka; Slovák, Mirko; Rosá, Roberto

    2016-06-01

    Ixodes ricinus is a vector of microbial pathogens of medical and veterinary importance in Europe. Recently, increasing abundance of ticks has been observed in urban and suburban areas. The aim of this study was to investigate the tick species composition and examine correlations between local environmental variables and the relative density of host-seeking I. ricinus in two habitat types. Questing ticks were collected along six 100 m(2) transects in urban/suburban locations of Bratislava town, and in a non-fragmented deciduous forest in the Small Carpathians Mountains (south-western Slovakia) during 2011-2013. In total, 6015 I. ricinus were collected (3435 and 2580 in the urban/suburban and natural habitat, respectively), out of which over 80 % were nymphs. Haemaphysalis concinna comprised 1.3 % of the tick collections. Peak I. ricinus nymph and adult host-seeking activities were registered in April-June. Spatial and temporal variation in tick relative density and differences in the subadult/adult ratio were observed between habitats and between locations within the same habitat type. The relative density of questing I. ricinus nymphs correlated negatively with altitude, geographical aspect and saturation deficit in a 64-day period comprising the 8-day period including the date of tick sampling and previous 56 days. No significant correlation was found between roe deer density and questing nymph density. The study revealed the presence of abundant I. ricinus populations in green areas of Bratislava, suggesting a risk of exposure of town dwellers and domestic and companion animals to potentially infected ticks. PMID:26926874

  3. Transcriptomic Analysis for Different Sex Types of Ricinus communis L. during Development from Apical Buds to Inflorescences by Digital Gene Expression Profiling

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Meilian; Xue, Jianfeng; Wang, Lei; Huang, Jiaxiang; Fu, Chunling; Yan, Xingchu

    2016-01-01

    The castor plant (Ricinus communis L.) is a versatile industrial oilseed crop with a diversity of sex patterns, its hybrid breeding for improving yield and high purity is still hampered by genetic instability of female and poor knowledge of sex expression mechanisms. To obtain some hints involved in sex expression and provide the basis for further insight into the molecular mechanisms of castor plant sex determination, we performed DGE analysis to investigate differences between the transcriptomes of apices and racemes derived from female (JXBM0705P) and monoecious (JXBM0705M) lines. A total of 18 DGE libraries were constructed from the apices and racemes of a wild monoecious line and its isogenic female derivative at three stages of apex development, in triplicate. Approximately 5.7 million clean tags per library were generated and mapped to the reference castor genome. Transcriptomic analysis showed that identical dynamic changes of gene expression were indicated in monoecious and female apical bud during its development from vegetation to reproduction, with more genes expressed at the raceme formation and infant raceme stages compare to the early leaf bud stage. More than 3000 of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were detected in Ricinus apices at three developmental stages between two different sex types. A number of DEGs involved in hormone response and biosynthesis, such as auxin response and transport, transcription factors, signal transduction, histone demethylation/methylation, programmed cell death, and pollination, putatively associated with sex expression and reproduction were discovered, and the selected DEGs showed consistent expression between qRT-PCR validation and the DGE patterns. Most of those DEGs were suppressed at the early leaf stage in buds of the mutant, but then activated at the following transition stage (5-7-leaf stage) of buds in the mutant, and ultimately, the number of up-regulated DEGs was equal to that of down-regulation in the

  4. Transcriptomic Analysis for Different Sex Types of Ricinus communis L. during Development from Apical Buds to Inflorescences by Digital Gene Expression Profiling.

    PubMed

    Tan, Meilian; Xue, Jianfeng; Wang, Lei; Huang, Jiaxiang; Fu, Chunling; Yan, Xingchu

    2015-01-01

    The castor plant (Ricinus communis L.) is a versatile industrial oilseed crop with a diversity of sex patterns, its hybrid breeding for improving yield and high purity is still hampered by genetic instability of female and poor knowledge of sex expression mechanisms. To obtain some hints involved in sex expression and provide the basis for further insight into the molecular mechanisms of castor plant sex determination, we performed DGE analysis to investigate differences between the transcriptomes of apices and racemes derived from female (JXBM0705P) and monoecious (JXBM0705M) lines. A total of 18 DGE libraries were constructed from the apices and racemes of a wild monoecious line and its isogenic female derivative at three stages of apex development, in triplicate. Approximately 5.7 million clean tags per library were generated and mapped to the reference castor genome. Transcriptomic analysis showed that identical dynamic changes of gene expression were indicated in monoecious and female apical bud during its development from vegetation to reproduction, with more genes expressed at the raceme formation and infant raceme stages compare to the early leaf bud stage. More than 3000 of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were detected in Ricinus apices at three developmental stages between two different sex types. A number of DEGs involved in hormone response and biosynthesis, such as auxin response and transport, transcription factors, signal transduction, histone demethylation/methylation, programmed cell death, and pollination, putatively associated with sex expression and reproduction were discovered, and the selected DEGs showed consistent expression between qRT-PCR validation and the DGE patterns. Most of those DEGs were suppressed at the early leaf stage in buds of the mutant, but then activated at the following transition stage (5-7-leaf stage) of buds in the mutant, and ultimately, the number of up-regulated DEGs was equal to that of down-regulation in the

  5. 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

  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. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Organic acids, amino acids compositions in the root exudates and Cu-accumulation in castor (Ricinus communis L.) Under Cu stress.

    PubMed

    Huang, Guoyong; Guo, Guangguang; Yao, Shiyuan; Zhang, Na; Hu, Hongqing

    2016-01-01

    Ricinus communis L. is a hyperaccumulation plant newly discovered in an abandoned land of Cu mine in China. A hydroponic experiment was then carried out to determine the root exudates in the Cu-tolerant castor (Ricinus communis L.). Plants were grown in nutrient solution with increasing level of Cu doses (0, 100, 250, 500, and 750 μmol/L Cu) in the form of CuSO4. Cu accumulation in the roots and shoots of castor, and root exudates collected from the castor were measured. The results indicated that the castor had a high Cu accumulation capacity and the Cu concentrations in the shoots and roots of the castor treated with 750 μmol/L Cu were 177.1, 14586.7 mg/kg, respectively. Tartaric was the largest in the root exudates in terms of concentrations, which reached up to 329.13 μmol/g (dry plant) in the level of 750 μmol/L Cu. There was a significantly positive linear relationship between the Cu concentration in root and the concentration of succinic (R = 0.92, P < 0.05), tartaric (R = 0.96, P < 0.01), and citric (R = 0.89, P < 0.05). These results indicated that the difference in root exudation from castor could affect their Cu tolerance. What is more, significant is that the high tartaric and citric, the low oxalic and cysteine in the root exudation of castor contributed to toleration of high Cu concentrations. PMID:26220483

  15. Ixodid tick species attaching to dogs in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Földvári, Gábor; Farkas, Róbert

    2005-04-20

    A survey was carried out to investigate the occurrence of hard tick species (Acari: Ixodidae) infesting domestic dogs in Hungary. Forty veterinary clinics from a wide geographical area were asked to collect hard ticks from dogs and to complete a questionnaire. In total, 25 veterinary clinics submitted 900 ticks from 310 dogs. Intensity of infestation ranged from one to 78 per dog. The most preferred sites of tick attachment in decreasing order were head, neck and legs. The majority of ticks (91.7%) were adults, which were identified to species level, the others were nymphs. Six species were found: Dermacentor reticulatus (48.9%), Ixodes ricinus (43.2%), Ixodes canisuga (5.6%), Haemaphysalis concinna (2%) and there was one specimen of both Dermacentor marginatus and Ixodes hexagonus. Single species infestation with I. ricinus or D. reticulatus was found on 145 (46.8%) and 120 animals (38.7%), respectively. Mixed infestation caused by these two species was detected on 24 dogs (7.7%). I. canisuga and H. concinna were found on seven and five dogs, respectively. D. reticulatus and I. ricinus were collected almost throughout the year, except for a single month. The activity peaks were in spring and in autumn for both species. Based on clinical signs, canine babesiosis was diagnosed by the veterinarians in 66 (21.3%) tick infested dogs. These dogs were more frequently infested with D. reticulatus than the others. Our data contribute to the understanding of geographical and seasonal distribution of ixodid tick species infesting dogs in Hungary. The implication of these data, for the risk of canine tick borne diseases is discussed. PMID:15817212

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-12-01

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

  17. Horizontal and vertical movements of host-seeking Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) nymphs in a hardwood forest

    PubMed Central

    Lane, Robert S.; Mun, Jeomhee; Stubbs, Harrison A.

    2009-01-01

    The nymph of the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus) is an important bridging vector of the Lyme disease spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) to humans in the far-western United States. The previously unknown dispersal capabilities of this life stage were studied in relation to logs, tree trunks, and adjacent leaf-litter areas in a mixed hardwood forest using mark-release-recapture methods. In two spatially and temporally well-spaced trials involving logs, the estimated mean distances that nymphs dispersed ranged from ≈0.04 to 0.20 m/day on logs vs 0.11 to 0.72 m/day in litter. Prior to recapture in either trial and within the confines of the sampling grids, the greatest estimated dispersal distances by individual nymphs released on logs, and in litter 0.5 m or 1.5 m from logs, were 2.4, 3.0, and 3.0 m, respectively. Nymphs released on logs or litter tended to remain within the same biotopes in which they were freed while host-seeking. In two simultaneous trials involving trunks spaced close-at-hand, nymphs released at the trunk/litter interface on all four aspects collectively dispersed a mean of 0.353 m/day on trunks vs 0.175 m/day in litter. In either trial, the greatest distances that recaptured nymphs climbed trunks, or dispersed in litter in an encircling 3-m grid, were 1.55 m and 2.97 m, respectively. Nymphs ascending trunks did not exhibit a preference for any one aspect, and the B. burgdorferi-infection prevalences in nymphs that climbed trunks (3.2–4.0%) did not differ significantly from those that moved horizontally into litter (10.5–17.6%). We conclude that I. pacificus nymphs use an ambush host-seeking strategy; that they disperse slowly in all biotopes studied; that they usually continue to host-seek in or on whatever substratum they access initially; and that B. burgdorferi-infected nymphs are as likely to move horizontally as vertically when offered a choice. PMID:20352083

  18. Human behaviors elevating exposure to Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) nymphs and their associated bacterial zoonotic agents in a hardwood forest.

    PubMed

    Lane, Robert S; Steinlein, Denise B; Mun, Jeomhee

    2004-03-01

    Epidemiological evidence suggests that the nymph of the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls, is the primary vector of the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt, and Brenner, to humans in northwestern California. In spring 2002, six different human behaviors were evaluated as potential risk factors for acquiring I. pacificus nymphs in a deciduous woodland in Mendocino County, California. Also, the prevalence of B. burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) and the causative agents of human granulocytic (Anaplasma phagocytophilum [Foggie] Dumler, Barbet, Bekker, Dasch, Palmer, Ray, Rikihisa, and Rurangirwa) and monocytic ehrlichioses (Ehrlichia chaffeensis Anderson, Dawson, Jones, and Wilson) was determined in nymphs that had been collected from subjects or by dragging leaf litter. Activities involving a considerable degree of contact with wood resulted in greater acquisition of nymphs than those involving exposure solely to leaf litter. Time-adjusted tick-acquisition rates demonstrated that sitting on logs was the riskiest behavior, followed, in descending rank, by gathering wood, sitting against trees, walking, stirring and sitting on leaf litter, and just sitting on leaf litter. The number of ticks acquired appeared to be unrelated to the type of footwear worn (hiking boots, hiking sandals, or running shoes). Overall, 3.4% (n = 234) of the nymphs were infected with A. phagocytophilum, 3.9% (n = 181) with B. burgdorferi s.l., and none (n = 234) with E. chaffeensis. Of 13 nymphs infected with either A. phagocytophilum or B. burgdorferi s.l., 2 (15.4%) were coinfected with both bacteria, as were 1.3% of 158 nymphs obtained from leaf litter, the first report of coinfection in this life stage of I. pacificus. Four unattached, infected nymphs were removed from subjects, including two acquired while sitting on logs that contained A. phagocytophilum, another with the same bacterium obtained while walking, and one

  19. Habitat-related variation in infestation of lizards and rodents with Ixodes ticks in dense woodlands in Mendocino County, California.

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

    During the spring and early summer of 2002, we examined the relative importance of Borrelia-refractory lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis, Elgaria spp.) versus potential Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.)-reservoirs (rodents) as hosts for Ixodes pacificus immatures in 14 woodland areas (six oak, five mixed oak/Douglas fir, and three redwood/tanoak areas) distributed throughout Mendocino County, California. Lizards were estimated to serve as hosts for 93-98% of all larvae and > or =99.6% of all nymphs infesting lizards or rodents in oak woodlands and oak/Douglas fir sites in the southern part of the county. In redwood/tanoak woodlands and oak/Douglas fir sites in northern Mendocino County, the contribution of rodents to larval feedings reached 36-69% but lizards still accounted for 94-100% of nymphal bloodmeals. From late April to mid-June, I. pacificus larvae were recovered from 95 to 96% of lizards and dusky-footed woodrats (Neotoma fuscipes) and from 59% of Peromyscus spp. mice. In contrast, 99% of lizards but few woodrats (15%) and none of the mice were infested by nymphs. Comparisons of tick loads for 19 lizard-Peromyscus spp. mouse pairings, where the lizard and mouse were captured within 10m of each other, revealed that the lizards harbored 36 times more larvae and >190 times more nymphs than the mice. In oak woodlands, loads of I. pacificus larvae decreased from late April/early May to late June for S. occidentalis lizards but increased for Peromyscus spp. mice. We conclude that the relative utilization of Borrelia-refractory lizards, as compared to rodents, by I. pacificus larvae was far higher in dry oak woodlands than in moister habitats such as redwood/tanoak and oak/Douglas fir woodlands in northern Mendocino County. Non-lizard-infesting potential enzootic vectors of B. burgdorferi s.l. (I. angustus and I. spinipalpis) were recorded from rodents in three of six oak woodland areas, two of five oak/Douglas fir woodland areas, and two of three redwood

  20. 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

  1. Prevalence of Kemerovo virus in ixodid ticks from the Russian Federation.

    PubMed

    Dedkov, V G; Markelov, M L; Gridneva, K A; Bekova, M V; Gmyl, A P; Kozlovskaya, L I; Karganova, G G; Romanova, L Iu; Pogodina, V V; Yakimenko, V V; Shipulin, G A

    2014-10-01

    The prevalence of Kemerovo virus in ixodid ticks collected in 2008-2012 from 11 regions of the Russian Federation was investigated by real-time reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR). The presence of Kemerovo virus in Ixodes persulcatus, Ixodes ricinus, and Dermacentor reticulatus was confirmed. Virus prevalence depended on the region and varied from zero to 10.1%. PMID:25073856

  2. Adult Compacts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Further Education Unit, London (England).

    This bulletin focuses on adult compacts, three-way agreements among employers, potential employees, and trainers to provide the right kind of quality training to meet the employers' requirements. Part 1 is an executive summary of a report of the Adult Compacts Project, which studied three adult compacts in Birmingham and Loughborough, England, and…

  3. The role of particular tick developmental stages in the circulation of tick-borne pathogens affecting humans in Central Europe. 2. Tick-borne encephalitis virus.

    PubMed

    Karbowiak, Grzegorz; Biernat, Beata

    2016-01-01

    Hard-bodied ticks transmit various pathogens, such as Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia spp., Babesia spp., and carry numerous other microorganisms with an unknown pathogenic potential. Among them, tick-borne encephalitis virus has great importance. In Central European conditions all developmental stages of ticks participate in the zoonotic cycle of the TBE virus. According to pathogen and tick biology, the roles of larvae, nymphs and adults are different. Larvae and nymphs of Ixodes ricinus ticks are responsible for circulation in rodents and medium sized mammals; adults transfer the infection to ruminants and to next generations via transovarial transmission. All active developmental stages of I. ricinus can play role of the bridge vector, transmitting the infection to humans apart males which don't feed. The late summer peak of human infectivity is caused by the summer peak of I. ricinus nymphs' activity. The Dermacentor reticulatus tick attacks humans infrequently, but does participate in the circulation of the virus in the zoonotic foci; larvae and nymphs of the D. reticulatus ticks are responsible for circulation in rodents, mainly Microtinae, while adults transmit the infection to ruminants. PMID:27262951

  4. Interaction Effect Between Herbivory and Plant Fertilization on Extrafloral Nectar Production and on Seed Traits: An Experimental Study With Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae).

    PubMed

    De Sibio, P R; Rossi, M N

    2016-08-01

    It is known that the release of volatile chemicals by many plants can attract the natural enemies of herbivorous insects. Such indirect interactions are likely when plants produce nectar from their extrafloral nectaries, and particularly when the production of extrafloral nectar (EFN) is induced by herbivory. In the present study, we conducted experiments to test whether foliar herbivory inflicted by Spodoptera frugiperda Smith (Noctuidae) increases nectar production by extrafloral nectaries on one of its host plants, Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiaceae). Due to the current economic importance of R. communis, we also investigated whether the following seed traits-water content, dry mass, and essential oil production-are negatively affected by herbivory. Finally, we tested whether or not nectar production and seed traits are influenced by plant fertilization (plant quality). We found that nectar production was increased after herbivory, but it was not affected by the type of fertilization. Seed dry mass was higher in plants that were subjected to full fertilization, without herbivory; plants maintained in low fertilization conditions, however, had higher seed mass when subjected to herbivory. The same inverted pattern was observed for oil production. Therefore, our results suggest that EFN production in R. communis may act as an indirect defense strategy against herbivores, and that there is a trade-off between reproduction and plant growth when low-fertilized plants are subjected to herbivory. PMID:27247300

  5. Acyl-ACP thioesterases from castor (Ricinus communis L.): an enzymatic system appropriate for high rates of oil synthesis and accumulation.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-García, Alicia; Moreno-Pérez, Antonio J; Muro-Pastor, Alicia M; Salas, Joaquín J; Garcés, Rafael; Martínez-Force, Enrique

    2010-06-01

    Acyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) thioesterases are enzymes that terminate the intraplastidial fatty acid synthesis in plants by hydrolyzing the acyl-ACP intermediates and releasing free fatty acids to be incorporated into glycerolipids. These enzymes are classified in two families, FatA and FatB, which differ in amino acid sequence and substrate specificity. In the present work, both FatA and FatB thioesterases were cloned, sequenced and characterized from castor (Ricinus communis) seeds, a crop of high interest in oleochemistry. Single copies of FatA and FatB were found in castor resulting to be closely related with those of Jatropha curcas. The corresponding mature proteins were heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli for biochemical characterization after purification, resulting in high catalytic efficiency of RcFatA on oleoyl-ACP and palmitoleoyl-ACP and high efficiencies of RcFatB for oleoyl-ACP and palmitoyl-ACP. The expression profile of these genes displayed the highest levels in expanding tissues that typically are very active in lipid biosynthesis such as developing seed endosperm and young expanding leaves. The contribution of these two enzymes to the synthesis of castor oil is discussed. PMID:20382402

  6. In silico structural characteristics and α-amylase inhibitory properties of Ric c 1 and Ric c 3, allergenic 2S albumins from Ricinus communis seeds.

    PubMed

    Do Nascimento, Viviane Veiga; Castro, Helena Carla; Abreu, Paula Alvarez; Oliveira, Antônia Elenir Amâncio; Fernandez, Jorge Hernandez; Araújo, Jucélia Da Silva; Machado, Olga Lima Tavares

    2011-05-11

    The major Ricinus communis allergens are the 2S albumins, Ric c 1 and Ric c 3. These proteins contain a trypsin/α-amylase inhibitor family domain, suggesting that they have a role in insect resistance. In this study, we verified that Ric c 1 and Ric c 3 inhibited the α-amylase activity of Callosobruchus maculatus, Zabrotes subfasciatus, and Tenebrio molitor (TMA) larvae as well as mammalian α-amylase. The toxicity of 2S albumin was determined through its incorporation in C. maculatus larvae as part of an artificial diet. Bioassays revealed that 2S albumin reduced larval growth by 20%. We also analyzed the tridimensional structures of Ric c 1 and Ric c 3 by (a) constructing a comparative model of Ric c 1 based on Ric c 3 NMR structure and (b) constructing the theoretical structure of the Ric c 1-TMA and Ric c 3-TMA complexes. Our biological and theoretical results revealed that Ric c 1 and Ric c 3 are a new class of α-amylase inhibitors. They could potentially be used to help design inhibitors that would be useful in diverse fields, ranging from diabetes treatment to crop protection. PMID:21425874

  7. Metabolite profiling of Ricinus communis germination at different temperatures provides new insights into thermo-mediated requirements for successful seedling establishment.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Paulo R; Willems, Leo A J; Mutimawurugo, Marie-Chantal; Fernandez, Luzimar G; de Castro, Renato D; Ligterink, Wilco; Hilhorst, Henk W M

    2015-10-01

    Ricinus communis seeds germinate to a high percentage and faster at 35 °C than at lower temperatures, but with compromised seedling establishment. However, seedlings are able to cope with high temperatures at later stages of seedling establishment if germination occurred at lower temperatures. Our objective was to assess the biochemical and molecular requirements of R. communis germination for successful seedling establishment at varying temperatures. For that, we performed metabolite profiling (GC-TOF-MS) and measured transcript levels of key genes involved in several energy-generating pathways, such as storage oil mobilization, β-oxidation and gluconeogenesis of seeds germinated at three different temperatures. We identified a thermo-sensitive window during seed germination in which high temperatures compromise seedling development, most likely by down-regulating some energy-generating pathways. Overexpression of malate synthase (MLS) and glycerol kinase (GK) genes resulted in higher starch levels in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves, which highlights the importance of these genes in energy-generating pathways for seedling establishment. Additionally, we showed that GABA, which is a stress-responsive metabolite, accumulated in response to the water content of the seeds during the initial phase of imbibition. Herewith, we provide new insights into the molecular requirements for vigorous seedling growth of R. communis under different environmental conditions. PMID:26398802

  8. High light exposure on seed coat increases lipid accumulation in seeds of castor bean (Ricinus communis L.), a nongreen oilseed crop.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yang; Mulpuri, Sujatha; Liu, Aizhong

    2016-05-01

    Little was known on how sunlight affects the seed metabolism in nongreen seeds. Castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) is a typical nongreen oilseed crop and its seed oil is an important feedstock in industry. In this study, photosynthetic activity of seed coat tissues of castor bean in natural conditions was evaluated in comparison to shaded conditions. Our results indicate that exposure to high light enhances photosynthetic activity in seed coats and consequently increases oil accumulation. Consistent results were also reached using cultured seeds. High-throughput RNA-Seq analyses further revealed that genes involved in photosynthesis and carbon conversion in both the Calvin-Benson cycle and malate transport were differentially expressed between seeds cultured under light and dark conditions, implying several venues potentially contributing to light-enhanced lipid accumulation such as increased reducing power and CO2 refixation which underlie the overall lipid biosynthesis. This study demonstrated the effects of light exposure on oil accumulation in nongreen oilseeds and greatly expands our understanding of the physiological roles that light may play during seed development in nongreen oilseeds. Essentially, our studies suggest that potential exists to enhance castor oil yield through increasing exposure of the inflorescences to sunlight either by genetically changing the plant architecture (smart canopy) or its growing environment. PMID:26589321

  9. Mining whole genomes and transcriptomes of Jatropha (Jatropha curcas) and Castor bean (Ricinus communis) for NBS-LRR genes and defense response associated transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Sood, Archit; Jaiswal, Varun; Chanumolu, Sree Krishna; Malhotra, Nikhil; Pal, Tarun; Chauhan, Rajinder Singh

    2014-11-01

    Jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.) and Castor bean (Ricinus communis) are oilseed crops of family Euphorbiaceae with the potential of producing high quality biodiesel and having industrial value. Both the bioenergy plants are becoming susceptible to various biotic stresses directly affecting the oil quality and content. No report exists as of today on analysis of Nucleotide Binding Site-Leucine Rich Repeat (NBS-LRR) gene repertoire and defense response transcription factors in both the plant species. In silico analysis of whole genomes and transcriptomes identified 47 new NBS-LRR genes in both the species and 122 and 318 defense response related transcription factors in Jatropha and Castor bean, respectively. The identified NBS-LRR genes and defense response transcription factors were mapped onto the respective genomes. Common and unique NBS-LRR genes and defense related transcription factors were identified in both the plant species. All NBS-LRR genes in both the species were characterized into Toll/interleukin-1 receptor NBS-LRRs (TNLs) and coiled-coil NBS-LRRs (CNLs), position on contigs, gene clusters and motifs and domains distribution. Transcript abundance or expression values were measured for all NBS-LRR genes and defense response transcription factors, suggesting their functional role. The current study provides a repertoire of NBS-LRR genes and transcription factors which can be used in not only dissecting the molecular basis of disease resistance phenotype but also in developing disease resistant genotypes in Jatropha and Castor bean through transgenic or molecular breeding approaches. PMID:25106526

  10. Dissipation of excess photosynthetic energy contributes to salinity tolerance: a comparative study of salt-tolerant Ricinus communis and salt-sensitive Jatropha curcas.

    PubMed

    Lima Neto, Milton C; Lobo, Ana K M; Martins, Marcio O; Fontenele, Adilton V; Silveira, Joaquim Albenisio G

    2014-01-01

    The relationships between salt tolerance and photosynthetic mechanisms of excess energy dissipation were assessed using two species that exhibit contrasting responses to salinity, Ricinus communis (tolerant) and Jatropha curcas (sensitive). The salt tolerance of R. communis was indicated by unchanged electrolyte leakage (cellular integrity) and dry weight in leaves, whereas these parameters were greatly affected in J. curcas. The leaf Na+ content was similar in both species. Photosynthesis was intensely decreased in both species, but the reduction was more pronounced in J. curcas. In this species biochemical limitations in photosynthesis were more prominent, as indicated by increased C(i) values and decreased Rubisco activity. Salinity decreased both the V(cmax) (in vivo Rubisco activity) and J(max) (maximum electron transport rate) more significantly in J. curcas. The higher tolerance in R. communis was positively associated with higher photorespiratory activity, nitrate assimilation and higher cyclic electron flow. The high activity of these alternative electron sinks in R. communis was closely associated with a more efficient photoprotection mechanism. In conclusion, salt tolerance in R. communis, compared with J. curcas, is related to higher electron partitioning from the photosynthetic electron transport chain to alternative sinks. PMID:24094996

  11. Preliminary clinical investigation of the contraceptive efficacy and chemical pathological effects of RICOM-1013-J of Ricinus communis var minor on women volunteers.

    PubMed

    Isichei, C O; Das, S C; Ogunkeye, O O; Okwuasaba, F K; Uguru, V E; Onoruvwe, O; Olayinka, A O; Dafur, S J; Ekwere, E O; Parry, O

    2000-02-01

    The seeds of Ricinus communis Linn, RICOM-1013-J, administered as a single oral dose of 2.3-2.5 g once per 12 months protected against pregnancy in 50 women volunteers for a period of one year. The antifertility and contraceptive efficacy of the seed was demonstrated in this study. Clinical observation revealed very minimal side effects. Some of the side effects investigated included headache, nausea, vomiting, weight gain, loss of appetite, raised blood pressure and dysmenorrhoea. Furthermore, both the renal and liver functions were not affected as revealed by urea, electrolyte and creatinine values as well as total bilirubin, conjugated bilirubin, serum albumin, total protein and transaminases values when compared with control values. In addition cholesterol and phospholipids were not significantly altered. When all these results are considered together, it seems unlikely that the antifertility and contraceptive efficacy of RICOM-1013-J is due to hormonal mechanisms alone since side effects, renal and liver function, and cholesterol effects attributable to oestrogen and/or progesterone were minimal in the volunteers. PMID:10641046

  12. Anti-chemokine activities of ixodid ticks depend on tick species, developmental stage, and duration of feeding.

    PubMed

    Vancová, Iveta; Hajnická, Valeria; Slovák, Mirko; Nuttall, Patricia A

    2010-02-10

    Ixodid ticks require comparatively large bloodmeals for their development and survival. Blood-feeding elicits signaling events in the host leading to wound healing responses (hemostasis, inflammation, and tissue repair) and immunity. Bioactive molecules present in tick saliva sabotage these host responses at several levels. One of them is neutralization of cellular communication by binding of specific saliva molecules to cytokines that have important roles in innate and adaptive immunity. Chemokines are a subset of cytokines having chemotactic activities. We show anti-chemokine activities in salivary gland extracts (SGE) of adult Rhipicephalus appendiculatus ticks against human chemokines CXCL8, CCL2, CCL3, CCL5, and CCL11. At comparable protein concentrations, male Ixodes ricinus SGE showed activity against all the chemokines; SGE of female I. ricinus had comparatively lower levels of activity against all the chemokines but no detectable activity against CCL5 and CCL11. However, when the equivalent of a single pair of salivary glands was tested, male I. ricinus showed little or no activity against CCL3 and CCL5. No fundamental differences in activity were observed against mouse compared with human chemokines. A comparison with previously published data for Dermacentor reticulatus and Amblyomma variegatum indicates that the level of anti-cytokine activity depends on the species, developmental stage (adult or nymph), and amount of SGE used, as well as on the number of days the tick has been feeding. PMID:19836889

  13. Urinary tract infection - adults

    MedlinePlus

    Bladder infection - adults; UTI - adults; Cystitis - bacterial - adults; Pyelonephritis - adults; Kidney infection - adults ... to the hospital if you: Are an older adult Have kidney stones or changes in the anatomy ...

  14. MORPHOLOGIC AND MORPHOMETRIC ANALYSIS OF THE ROOT CANAL APICAL THIRD CLEANING AFTER BIOMECHANICAL PREPARATION USING 3.3% RICINUS COMMUNIS DETERGENT AND 1% NaOCL AS IRRIGATING SOLUTIONS

    PubMed Central

    Meneghin, Marcos Pozzetti; Nomelini, Sylvia Maria Bin; Sousa, Manoel D.; Marchesan, Melissa Andreia; França, Suzelei Castro; dos Santos, Heid Sueli Leme

    2006-01-01

    This study evaluated, by morphologic and morphometric analyses, the cleaning of apical third of root canals instrumented with nickel-titanium rotary files using different irrigating solutions. Twenty-seven single-rooted mandibular premolars were assigned to three groups (n=9), according to the irrigating solution used: Group I, distilled and deionized water; Group II, 1% NaOCl; and Group III, 3.3% Ricinus communis detergent. Biomechanical preparation was performed with Protaper Plusâ nickel-titanium files as follows: S1, SX and S2 at the cervical and middle thirds, and 25/02, 25/04, 25/06, 30/02, 30/04 and 30/06 to complete the instrumentation, operating at 1 mm from the root apex. Irrigation was done at each file change with 2 mL of irrigating solution, totalizing 20 mL for each tooth. After biomechanical preparation, the apical thirds were serially sectioned and histologically processed. The cross-sections were examined by an optical microscope (X40) connected to a computer. The images were captured and analyzed using a computer software and submitted to morphometric analysis with aid of a grid. The percentage of debris remaining at the apical third was calculated. Data were submitted to statistical analysis by ANOVA and Tukey test. The results showed no statistically significant difference (p>0.01) between the groups irrigated with 1% NaOCl and 3.3% Ricinus communis detergent, which presented the lowest percentage of debris at the apical third, 8.49% and 10.11%, respectively. The group irrigated with distilled and deionized water had the highest percentage of debris (15.58%) and was statistically different from the other groups (p<0.01). It may be concluded that 3.3% Ricinus communis detergent and 1% NaOCl had similar cleaning effectiveness on removal of debris from root canals. PMID:19089069

  15. Jatropha curcas and Ricinus communis differentially affect arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi diversity in soil when cultivated for biofuel production in a Guantanamo (Cuba) tropical system.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alguacil, M. M.; Torrecillas, E.; Hernández, G.; Torres, P.; Roldán, A.

    2012-04-01

    The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are a key, integral component of the stability, sustainability and functioning of ecosystems. In this study, we characterised the AMF biodiversity in a control soil and in a soil cultivated with Jatropha curcas or Ricinus communis, in a tropical system in Guantanamo (Cuba), in order to verify if a change of land use to biofuel plant production had any effect on the AMF communities. We also asses whether some soil properties related with the soil fertility (total N, Organic C, microbial biomass C, aggregate stability percentage, pH and electrical conductivity) were changed with the cultivation of both crop species. The AM fungal small sub-unit (SSU) rRNA genes were subjected to PCR, cloning, sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. Twenty AM fungal sequence types were identified: 19 belong to the Glomeraceae and one to the Paraglomeraceae. Two AMF sequence types related to cultured AMF species (Glo G3 for Glomus sinuosum and Glo G6 for Glomus intraradices-G. fasciculatum-G. irregulare) disappeared in the soil cultivated with J. curcas and R. communis. The soil properties (total N, Organic C and microbial biomass C) were improved by the cultivation of the two plant species. The diversity of the AMF community decreased in the soil of both crops, with respect to the control soil, and varied significantly depending on the crop species planted. Thus, R. communis soil showed higher AMF diversity than J. curcas soil. In conclusion, R. communis could be more suitable in long-term conservation and sustainable management of these tropical ecosystems.

  16. Growth, tolerance efficiency and phytoremediation potential of Ricinus communis (L.) and Brassica juncea (L.) in salinity and drought affected cadmium contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Bauddh, Kuldeep; Singh, Rana P

    2012-11-01

    We have previously reported that Ricinus communis (castor) is more tolerant to soil cadmium (Cd) and more efficient for Cd phytoremediation than Brassica juncea (Indian mustard) (Bauddh and Singh, 2012). In the present study, R. communis was found more tolerant to salinity and drought in presence of Cd and removed more Cd in a given time than Indian mustard. R. communis produced 23 and twelve folds higher biomass in terms of fresh weight and dry weight, respectively than that in B. juncea during three months when grown in Cd contaminated soil in presence of 100mM NaCl salinity and ten day water withdrawal based drought at 90 day after sowing (DAS). Castor plants showed stronger self-protection ability in form of proline bioaccumulation (r(2)=0.949) than Indian mustard (r(2)=0.932), whereas a lower r(2) for malondialdehyde (MDA) and total soluble protein in R. communis (r(2)=0.914 and r(2)=0.915, respectively) than that of B. juncea (r(2)=0.947 and r(2)=0.927, respectively) indicated a greater damage to cell membrane in Indian mustard during the multiple stress conditions. Though, the amount of Cd accumulated in the roots and shoots of Indian mustard was higher as per unit biomass than that in castor, total removal of the metal from soil was much higher in castor on per plant basis in the same period in presence of the stresses. R. communis accumulated about seventeen and 1.5 fold higher Cd in their roots and shoots, respectively than that of B. juncea in 90 DAS under the multiple stresses. Salinity alone enhanced Cd uptake, whereas drought stress reduced its uptake in both the plants. PMID:22959315

  17. Adult Strabismus

    MedlinePlus

    ... will likely improve the double vision and depth perception. Also, strabismus affects adults in emotional, social, and ... muscle surgery is usually not severe. Headache, pulling sensation with eye movement and foreign body sensation in ...

  18. Prevalence and burden of two rickettsial phylotypes (G021 and G022) in Ixodes pacificus from California by real-time quantitative PCR

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Du; Vigil, Katie; Schanes, Paula; Brown, Richard N.; Zhong, Jianmin

    2013-01-01

    The western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls, commonly bites humans in the far western U.S. In addition to transmitting Lyme borreliosis and anaplasmosis, it is a host of nonpathogenic bacteria as well as some of unknown pathogenicity. In this study, we report the detection, prevalence, and burden of 2 rickettsial phylotypes with unknown pathogenicity in I. pacificus ticks from 6 California counties using real-time quantitative PCR with phylotype-specific primers and probes. Prevalence of rickettsial phylotypes G021 and G022 from 247 I. pacificus ticks was 100% and 2.0%, respectively. The median burden of phylotype G021 was 7.3 per tick cell, whereas the burden of phylotype G022 was 0.8 per tick cell. The burden of phylotype G021 significantly differed between collection sites and between vegetation habitats. Ticks collected from the coastal sage scrub habitat of southern California had a lower burden of phylotype G021 when compared to central California oak woodland, northern California oak woodland, and mixed evergreen and ponderosa pine-oak habitats of northern California. No significant correlation was found between the burden of the phylotype G021 in the presence and absence of the phylotype G022 in I. pacificus, suggesting that the presence of these Rickettsia species do not interfere with each other in I. pacificus. PMID:23522936

  19. Surveillance for Ixodes pacificus and the tick-borne pathogens Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi in birds from California's Inner Coast Range.

    PubMed

    Dingler, Regina J; Wright, Stan A; Donohue, Ann M; Macedo, Paula A; Foley, Janet E

    2014-06-01

    We investigated the involvement of birds in the ecology of the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus, and its associated zoonotic bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, at two interior coast-range study sites in northern California. Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the agent of granulocytic anaplasmosis (GA), and B. burgdorferi s.s., the agent of Lyme disease (LD), are tick-borne pathogens that are well established in California. We screened blood and ticks from 349 individual birds in 48 species collected in 2011 and 2012 using pathogen-specific PCR. A total of 617 immature I. pacificus was collected with almost three times as many larvae than nymphs. There were 7.5 times more I. pacificus at the Napa County site compared to the Yolo County site. Two of 74 (3%) nymphal pools from an Oregon junco (Junco hyemalis) and a hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) and 4 individual larvae (all from Oregon juncos) were PCR-positive for B. burgdorferi. Blood samples from a golden-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) and a European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) were positive for A. phagocytophilum DNA at very low levels. Birds that forage on ground or bark and nest on the ground, as well as some migratory species, are at an increased risk for acquiring I. pacificus. Our findings show that birds contribute to the ecologies of LD and GA in California by serving as a blood-meal source, feeding and transporting immature I. pacificus, and sometimes as a source of Borrelia infection. PMID:24690191

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Infestation and seasonal activity of Ixodes vespertilionis Koch, 1844 (Acari: Ixodidae) on the Maghreb mouse-eared bat, Myotis punicus Felten, 1977, in northeastern Algeria.

    PubMed

    Bendjeddou, Mohammed Lamine; Bouslama, Zihad; Amr, Zuhair S; BaniHani, Rihan

    2016-06-01

    Infestation of Ixodes vespertilionis Koch, 1844 on Myotis punicus Felten, 1977 from two sites (Trios Tunnel and Sidi Trad cave) in northeastern Algeria was studied. An overall infestation of 41.4% for all stages was found among bats collected from both sites. By stage, a total of eight females, 70 nymphs, and 107 larvae were recovered from both populations. The number of females recovered per bat at Sidi Trad ranged from 0-1, for nymphs 0-2, and for larvae 0-2. While no female ticks were collected at Trios Tunnel, the number of nymphs ranged from 0-2 and for larvae 0-2. At Trios Tunnel, the number of nymphs was significantly higher during April and June but not for July and September. On the other hand, the number of larvae increased from July to November, while at Sidi Trad cave, female ticks were recovered during April and May and then disappeared until the end of the study period. Significant differences were noted during all the months when compared with all stages. Nymphs infested bats significantly during April and May, declined in June and July, and then became steady until October. Larvae peaked in July, with low frequency in April, and then fluctuated from August to November. PMID:27232132

  3. Host, habitat and climate preferences of Ixodes angustus (Acari: Ixodidae) and infection with Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in California, USA.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, Nicole; Wong, Johnny; Foley, Janet

    2016-10-01

    The Holarctic tick Ixodes angustus is a competent vector for Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, and possibly Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the etiologic agent of granulocytic anaplasmosis, as well. From 2005 to 2013, we collected host-feeding I. angustus individuals from live-trapped small mammals and by flagging vegetation from 12 study sites in northern and central California, and tested for B. burgdorferi sensu lato, A. phagocytophilum, and Rickettsia spp. DNA by real-time PCR. Among 261 I. angustus collected (259 from hosts and two by flagging), the most common hosts were tree squirrels (20 % of ticks) and chipmunks (37 %). The PCR-prevalence for A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi in ticks was 2 % and zero, respectively. The minimum infection prevalence on pooled DNA samples was 10 % for Rickettsia spp. DNA sequencing of the ompA gene identified this rickettsia as Candidatus Rickettsia angustus, a putative endosymbiont. A zero-inflated negative binomial mixed effects model was used to evaluate geographical and climatological predictors of I. angustus burden. When host species within study site and season within year were included in the model as nested random effects, all significant variables revealed that I. angustus burden increased as temperature decreased. Together with published data, these findings suggest that I. angustus is a host generalist, has a broad geographic distribution, is more abundant in areas with lower temperature within it's range, and is rarely infected with the pathogens A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi. PMID:27416728

  4. Obstructive sleep apnea - adults

    MedlinePlus

    Sleep apnea - obstructive - adults; Apnea - obstructive sleep apnea syndrome - adults; Sleep-disordered breathing - adults; OSA - adults ... the upper airway for obstructive sleep apnea in adults. Sleep . 2010;33:1408-1413. PMID: 21061864 www. ...

  5. Glycinergic-Fipronil Uptake Is Mediated by an Amino Acid Carrier System and Induces the Expression of Amino Acid Transporter Genes in Ricinus communis Seedlings.

    PubMed

    Xie, Yun; Zhao, Jun-Long; Wang, Chuan-Wei; Yu, Ai-Xin; Liu, Niu; Chen, Li; Lin, Fei; Xu, Han-Hong

    2016-05-18

    Phloem-mobile insecticides are efficient for piercing and sucking insect control. Introduction of sugar or amino acid groups to the parent compound can improve the phloem mobility of insecticides, so a glycinergic-fipronil conjugate (GlyF), 2-(3-(3-cyano-1-(2,6-dichloro-4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)-4-((trifluoromethyl)sulfinyl)-1H-pyrazole-5-yl)ureido) acetic acid, was designed and synthesized. Although the "Kleier model" predicted that this conjugate is not phloem mobile, GlyF can be continually detected during a 5 h collection of Ricinus communis phloem sap. Furthermore, an R. communis seedling cotyledon disk uptake experiment demonstrates that the uptake of GlyF is sensitive to pH, carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP), temperature, and p-chloromercuribenzenesulfonic acid (pCMBS) and is likely mediated by amino acid carrier system. To explore the roles of amino acid transporters (AATs) in GlyF uptake, a total of 62 AAT genes were identified from the R. communis genome in silico. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that AATs in R. communis were organized into the ATF (amino acid transporter) and APC (amino acid, polyaminem and choline transporter) superfamilies, with five subfamilies in ATF and two in APC. Furthermore, the expression profiles of 20 abundantly expressed AATs (cycle threshold (Ct) values <27) were analyzed at 1, 3, and 6 h after GlyF treatment by RT-qPCR. The results demonstrated that expression levels of four AAT genes, RcLHT6, RcANT15, RcProT2, and RcCAT2, were induced by the GlyF treatment in R. communis seedlings. On the basis of the observation that the expression profile of the four candidate genes is similar to the time course observation for GlyF foliar disk uptake, it is suggested that those four genes are possible candidates involved in the uptake of GlyF. These results contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism of GlyF uptake as well as phloem loading from a molecular biology perspective and facilitate functional

  6. Chemical, pathological and toxicological studies of the effects of RICOM-1013-J of Ricinus communis var minor on women volunteers and rodents.

    PubMed

    Das, S C; Isichei, C O; Okwuasaba, F K; Uguru, V E; Onoruvwe, O; Olayinka, A O; Ekwere, E O; Dafur, S J; Parry, O

    2000-02-01

    RICOM-1013-J (Ricinus communis var minor) administered orally once to each of 12 women volunteers at a dose of 2.5-2.7 g per 8 months, protected against pregnancy over a period of 7-8 months of study. A study of the effect of a contraceptive dose (20 mg/kg) on metabolic parameters in rat (food and water in-take, urine and faecal output and body weight) over a period of 4 months showed a slight decrease in all the parameters in the first 1-8 weeks. This effect was reversible attaining pretreatment levels from week 16. The LD(50) in an acute toxicity test in mice was 63.1 +/- 16.0 g/kg s.c. Determination of blood urea, sodium (Na(+)), potassium (K(+)), chloride (Cl(-)) and bicarbonate (HCO$_¿3¿ ¿-¿$)as a measure of renal function and alkaline phosphatase (ALP), transaminases (GPT and GOT) and transpeptidases (GGT) as a measure of liver function showed that liver function profiles in pretreated rats were not significantly different from control (p < 0.05) on day 21 to day 150. However, serum levels of ALP and GGT at day 120 to day 150 were moderately but significantly elevated (p > 0.05) compared with the control. There were no significant changes in renal function profiles in pretreated rats (p < 0.05) compared with the control. The results of the liver and renal function profiles in women volunteers showed that there were no significant (p < 0.05) changes in renal functions on day 206 following RICOM-1013-J administration. However, serum levels of ALP and GGT showed a slight rise in about 70% of volunteers, whereas bilirubin and transaminases levels were normal. The present results indicate a very high efficacy and margin of safety of RICOM-1013-J in women volunteers. The increase in ALP and GGT in both animal and women volunteers suggest mild intrahepatic cholestatic changes which may be attributed to an oestrogenic effect of RICOM-1013-J. PMID:10641041

  7. [Parasitological factors impeding the transmission of the agent of babesiosis (Babesia microti) to man from the tick Ixodes persulcatus].

    PubMed

    Korenberg, E I; Nefedova, V V; Kovalevsky, Yu V; Sorokina, Yu V; Gorelova, N B

    2015-01-01

    Based on the analysis of own and literature data, it is concluded that the following ma- in permanent system of ecologicalarasitological factors prevents the effective vector functions of the tick I. persulcatus in transmission of B. microti: lack of distinct nymphs' anthropophily; small spontaneous invasion of hungry adults; a duration of the parasitic phase in humans is insufficient to complete the sporogonic development, because victims interrupt the phase. Therefore, not excluding the possibility of sporadic babesiosis disea- ses, it can be stated that within the boundaries of a vast territory, where the taiga tick is the only potential source of infection for humans, the B. microti infection has not, and will not reach significant values in infectious pathology. PMID:26016332

  8. Adult Play.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Charles, John M.

    In its broadest context, play can be interpreted as any pleasurable use of discretionary time. Playfulness is an intrinsic feature of being human, and should be viewed in the light of a total lifestyle, not as an occurrence in an isolated time of life. Adult play appears to be an indefinable and controversial concept. A holistic approach should be…

  9. CPR: Adult

    MedlinePlus Videos and Cool Tools

    Refresher Center Home FIRST AID, CPR and AED LIFEGUARDING Refresher Putting It All Together: CPR—Adult (2:03) Refresher videos only utilize this player QUICK LINKS Home RedCross.org Purchase Course Materials Shop Our Store ...

  10. Predicting density of Ixodes pacificus nymphs in dense woodlands in Mendocino County, California, based on geographic information systems and remote sensing versus field-derived data.

    PubMed

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

    2006-04-01

    Ixodes pacificus nymphs are the primary vectors to humans of Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, in California. We used a supervised classification model, based on remote sensing (RS) data from multi-seasonal Landsat TM 5 images, to identify the key habitat in Mendocino County where humans are exposed to I. pacificus nymphs (woodlands carpeted with leaf litter). The model, based on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), brightness, and wetness, separated the nymphal risk habitat (52.6% of the county) from other habitat types with > 93% user and producer accuracies. Next, we determined the density of questing nymphs in 62 woodland-leaf areas located throughout Mendocino County and created forward-stepwise regression models explaining the variation in nymphal density based on traits attainable by a lay-person in the field (e.g., tree species present, deer signs; r(2) = 0.43, P < 0.0001), or geographic information systems (GIS)/RS-based environmental data (r(2) = 0.50, P < 0.0001). The GIS/RS model, using July NDVI, November greenness, a coastal influence category, May solar insolation, November hours of sunlight, and dominant hydrologic grouping as input variables, was 22% more accurate in predicting nymphal density at 16 validation sites (r(2) = 0.72) than the field-derived data model (r(2) = 0.50). The habitat classification and GIS/RS models were combined to create a continuous nymphal density surface for the entirety of Mendocino County. This risk surface showed that 11.9% of the county was classified as habitat posing at least moderate risk of human exposure to nymphs (> 6.4 nymphs per 100 m(2)). Furthermore, high-risk areas (> 10.5 nymphs per 100 m(2); 1.7% of the county) tended to cluster in the central interior and most heavily populated region of Mendocino County, but were rare in the proximity of coastal population centers. PMID:16606998

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

  12. Variation in the density of questing Ixodes pacificus (Acari:Ixodidae) nymphs infected with Borrelia burgdorferi at different spatial scales in California.

    PubMed

    Tälleklint-Eisen, L; Lane, R S

    1999-10-01

    The density of, and prevalence of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi in, Ixodes pacificus nymphs as well as the density of infected nymphs were compared at 12 properties at a small rural community at high risk for Lyme disease (CHR) and at 12 areas at the University of California Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC), Mendocino County, California. The mean infection prevalence and density of infected nymphs were 1.7% (range, 0-4.2%) and 0.10 infected nymphs per 100 m2 (range, 0-0.23 per 100 m2) at the HREC, and 12.4% (range, 3.9-41.3%) and 1.83 infected nymphs per 100 m2 (range, 0.29-22.17 per 100 m2) at the CHR. Thus, the mean density of infected nymphs differed 18-fold between CHR and HREC and 76-fold between properties at the CHR. Also, there was up to 10-fold variation in infection prevalence and 16-fold variation in density of infected nymphs between discrete areas within properties at the CHR. The high densities of infected nymphs recorded at the CHR suggest that, despite the low statewide incidence of Lyme disease, the medical community should be alerted that Lyme disease can be highly endemic in rural areas of northwestern California. The prevalence of spirochetal infection was higher for nymphs collected in southern/western, as compared to northern/eastern, exposures at both HREC and CHR. Infection prevalence and nymphal density were negatively associated at the HREC, whereas they tended to be associated positively at the CHR. A positive association was observed between nymphal density and density of infected nymphs when data from CHR and HREC were combined, and when data from the CHR were considered alone, but not for data from the HREC alone. PMID:10577716

  13. Remote sensing (normalized difference vegetation index) classification of risk versus minimal risk habitats for human exposure to Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) nymphs in Mendocino County, California.

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

    In California, Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls nymphs have been implicated as the primary bridging vectors to humans of the spirochetal bacterium causing Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi). Because the nymphs typically do not ascend emergent vegetation, risk of human exposure is minimal in grasslands, chaparral, and woodland-grass. Instead, woodlands with a ground cover dominated by leaf litter (hereinafter referred to as woodland-leaf) have emerged as a primary risk habitat for exposure to B. burgdorferi-infected nymphs. As a means of differentiating woodland-leaf habitats from others with minimal risk (e.g., chaparral, grassland, and woodland-grass), we constructed a maximum likelihood model of these habitat types within a 7,711-ha area in southeastern Mendocino County based on the normalized difference vegetation index derived from Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper imagery (based on a 30 by 30-m pixel size) over four seasons. The overall accuracy of the model to discriminate woodland-leaf, woodland-grass, open grassland, and chaparral was 83.85% (Kappa coefficient of 0.78). Validation of the accuracy of the model to classify woodland-leaf yielded high values both for producer accuracy (93.33% of validated woodland-leaf pixels correctly classified by the model) and user accuracy (96.55% of model-classified validation pixels correctly categorized as woodland-leaf). Woodland-leaf habitats were found to be highly aggregated within the examined area. In conclusion, our model successfully used remotely sensed data as a predictor of habitats where humans are at risk for Lyme disease in the far-western United States. PMID:15691012

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. ADULT EDUCATION OF MIGRANT ADULTS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    BEAL, CATHERINE; AND OTHERS

    UNITS ON MIGRANT ADULT EDUCATION, AND A UNIT ON ORGANIZING INFORMAL GROUPS OF MIGRANT WOMEN TO DISCUSS MAINTAINING AND IMPROVING THEIR TEMPORARY HOMES, ARE PRESENTED. THE GOALS OF THE UNIT ON EDUCATION FOR MIGRANT MEN ARE ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE, BETTER HEALTH AND WELL-BEING, AND BETTER HANDLING OF RESPONSIBILITIES. THE MAIN DIVISIONS OF THE…

  7. [Adult twins].

    PubMed

    Charlemaine, Christiane

    2006-12-31

    This paper explores the deep roots of closeness that twins share in their youngest age and their effect on their destiny at the adult age. Psychologists believe the bond between twins begins in utero and develops throughout the twins' lives. The four patterns of twinship described show that the twin bond is determined by the quality of parenting that twins receive in their infancy and early childhood. Common problems of adult twins bring about difficulties to adapt in a non-twin world. The nature versus nurture controversy has taken on new life focusing on inter-twin differences and the importance of parent-child interaction as fundamental to the growth and development of personality. PMID:17352324

  8. Obstructive sleep apnea - adults

    MedlinePlus

    Sleep apnea - obstructive - adults; Apnea - obstructive sleep apnea syndrome - adults; Sleep-disordered breathing - adults; OSA - adults ... When you sleep, all of the muscles in your body become more relaxed. This includes the muscles that help keep your ...

  9. The Rare ospC Allele L of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Stricto, Commonly Found among Samples Collected in a Coastal Plain Area of the Southeastern United States, Is Associated with Ixodes affinis Ticks and Local Rodent Hosts Peromyscus gossypinus and Sigmodon hispidus

    PubMed Central

    Golovchenko, Maryna; Grubhoffer, Libor; Oliver, James H.

    2013-01-01

    The rare ospC allele L was detected in 30% of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto strains cultured from a tick species, Ixodes affinis, and two rodent host species, Peromyscus gossypinus and Sigmodon hispidus, collected in a coastal plain area of Georgia and South Carolina, in the southeastern United States. PMID:23220965

  10. Adult Development and Learning of Older Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberson, Donald N., Jr.

    2005-01-01

    This summary of adult development covers a wide range of authors. Adult development is one way of understanding how the internal and external changes in our lives have an impact on learning. Of particular importance in this work are the developmental issues of older adults. I present various theories of adult development such as linear and…

  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. 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

  13. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and spotted fever group rickettsiae in hard ticks (Acari, Ixodidae) parasitizing bats in Poland.

    PubMed

    Piksa, Krzysztof; Stańczak, Joanna; Biernat, Beata; Górz, Andrzej; Nowak-Chmura, Magdalena; Siuda, Krzysztof

    2016-04-01

    A total of 491 Ixodes vespertilionis and 8 Ixodes ricinus collected from bats and cave walls in southern Poland between 2010 and 2012 were examined by the polymerase chain reaction for tick-transmitted pathogens. PCR analysis for Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., Rickettsia spp., and Anaplasma phagocytophilum yielded negative results for all I. vespertilionis. DNA of Rickettsia helvetica was detected in three specimens of I. ricinus attached to Rhinolophus hipposideros or Myotis myotis, while Borrelia garinii was found in one tick parasitizing Myotis daubentonii. These pathogens were recorded for the first time in hard ticks that parasitized bats. PMID:26833325

  14. [Tick borne encephalitis and enviromental changes].

    PubMed

    Zajkowska, Joanna; Malzahn, Elzbieta; Kondrusik, Maciej; Grygorczuk, Sambor; Pancewicz, Sławomir S; Kuśmierczyk, Justyna; Czupryna, Piotr; Hermanowska-Szpakowicz, Teresa

    2006-01-01

    Currently observed markedly increased incidence of various tick borne diseases in many parts of Europe is due to documented climatic changes as well anthropogenic influence on habitat structure. One of the analyzed factors is tendency to increase of the spring temperatures, especially in the third decade of the April. Such conditions (spring temperatures above 7-10 degrees C) let the nymphs and larvae of Ixodes ricinus to feed simultaneously on rodents. This increases the risk of infection of Ixodes ricinus with TBE virus, so dangerous for humans. PMID:16909800

  15. Contrasting emergence of Lyme disease across ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Mysterud, Atle; Easterday, William Ryan; Stigum, Vetle Malmer; Aas, Anders Bjørnsgaard; Meisingset, Erling L.; Viljugrein, Hildegunn

    2016-01-01

    Global environmental changes are causing Lyme disease to emerge in Europe. The life cycle of Ixodes ricinus, the tick vector of Lyme disease, involves an ontogenetic niche shift, from the larval and nymphal stages utilizing a wide range of hosts, picking up the pathogens causing Lyme disease from small vertebrates, to the adult stage depending on larger (non-transmission) hosts, typically deer. Because of this complexity the role of different host species for emergence of Lyme disease remains controversial. Here, by analysing long-term data on incidence in humans over a broad geographical scale in Norway, we show that both high spatial and temporal deer population density increase Lyme disease incidence. However, the trajectories of deer population sizes play an overall limited role for the recent emergence of the disease. Our study suggests that managing deer populations will have some effect on disease incidence, but that Lyme disease may nevertheless increase as multiple drivers are involved. PMID:27306947

  16. Can acaricide-impregnated leg bands fitted to female red grouse reduce sheep tick parasitization of chicks and increase chick survival?

    PubMed

    Baines, D; Taylor, L

    2016-09-01

    In parts of northern England, North Wales and the Scottish Highlands, increasing numbers of sheep ticks Ixodes ricinus (Ixodida: Ixodidae), and the louping ill virus they can carry, are considered to be important factors that reduce red grouse Lagopus lagopus scotica productivity. The present study tested this hypothesis by fitting adult female grouse with leg bands impregnated with the acaricide cypermethrin to experimentally control ticks on their chicks on two managed grouse moors in northeast Scotland. The chicks of females fitted with acaricide leg bands showed reduced tick infestations and improved survival in one of the two study years, relative to chicks of control females. Acaricide leg bands constitute a potential management technique that may be adopted by grouse moor managers in circumstances of high tick infestations on grouse chicks. PMID:27377883

  17. Contrasting emergence of Lyme disease across ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Mysterud, Atle; Easterday, William Ryan; Stigum, Vetle Malmer; Aas, Anders Bjørnsgaard; Meisingset, Erling L; Viljugrein, Hildegunn

    2016-01-01

    Global environmental changes are causing Lyme disease to emerge in Europe. The life cycle of Ixodes ricinus, the tick vector of Lyme disease, involves an ontogenetic niche shift, from the larval and nymphal stages utilizing a wide range of hosts, picking up the pathogens causing Lyme disease from small vertebrates, to the adult stage depending on larger (non-transmission) hosts, typically deer. Because of this complexity the role of different host species for emergence of Lyme disease remains controversial. Here, by analysing long-term data on incidence in humans over a broad geographical scale in Norway, we show that both high spatial and temporal deer population density increase Lyme disease incidence. However, the trajectories of deer population sizes play an overall limited role for the recent emergence of the disease. Our study suggests that managing deer populations will have some effect on disease incidence, but that Lyme disease may nevertheless increase as multiple drivers are involved. PMID:27306947

  18. Accumulation, selection and covariation of amino acids in sieve tube sap of tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) and castor bean (Ricinus communis): evidence for the function of a basic amino acid transporter and the absence of a γ-amino butyric acid transporter.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Susanne N; Nowak, Heike; Keller, Frank; Kallarackal, Jose; Hajirezaei, Mohamad-Reza; Komor, Ewald

    2014-09-01

    Sieve tube sap was obtained from Tanacetum by aphid stylectomy and from Ricinus after apical bud decapitation. The amino acids in sieve tube sap were analyzed and compared with those from leaves. Arginine and lysine accumulated in the sieve tube sap of Tanacetum more than 10-fold compared to the leaf extracts and they were, together with asparagine and serine, preferably selected into the sieve tube sap, whereas glycine, methionine/tryptophan and γ-amino butyric acid were partially or completely excluded. The two basic amino acids also showed a close covariation in sieve tube sap. The acidic amino acids also grouped together, but antagonistic to the other amino acids. The accumulation ratios between sieve tube sap and leaf extracts were smaller in Ricinus than in Tanacetum. Arginine, histidine, lysine and glutamine were enriched and preferentially loaded into the phloem, together with isoleucine and valine. In contrast, glycine and methionine/tryptophan were partially and γ-amino butyric acid almost completely excluded from sieve tube sap. The covariation analysis grouped arginine together with several neutral amino acids. The acidic amino acids were loaded under competition with neutral amino acids. It is concluded from comparison with the substrate specificities of already characterized plant amino acid transporters, that an AtCAT1-like transporter functions in phloem loading of basic amino acids, whereas a transporter like AtGAT1 is absent in phloem. Although Tanacetum and Ricinus have different minor vein architecture, their phloem loading specificities for amino acids are relatively similar. PMID:24446756

  19. Adults Need Vaccines, Too!

    MedlinePlus

    ... turn JavaScript on. Feature: Adult Vaccinations Adults Need Vaccines, Too! Past Issues / Summer 2015 Table of Contents ... of the millions of adults not receiving the vaccines you need? What vaccines do you need? All ...

  20. Adult Still's disease

    MedlinePlus

    Still's disease - adult; AOSD ... than 1 out of 100,000 people develop adult-onset Still's disease each year. It affects women more often than men. The cause of adult Still's disease is unknown. No risk factors for ...

  1. Brain tumor - primary - adults

    MedlinePlus

    ... Vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma) - adults; Meningioma - adults; Cancer - brain tumor (adults) ... Primary brain tumors include any tumor that starts in the brain. Primary brain tumors can start from brain cells, ...

  2. Panic Disorder among Adults

    MedlinePlus

    ... Hyperactivity Disorder Among Children Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Eating Disorders Among Adults - Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorders Among Adults - Binge Eating Disorder Eating Disorders Among ...

  3. Bipolar Disorder Among Adults

    MedlinePlus

    ... Hyperactivity Disorder Among Children Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Eating Disorders Among Adults - Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorders Among Adults - Binge Eating Disorder Eating Disorders Among ...

  4. Major Depression Among Adults

    MedlinePlus

    ... Hyperactivity Disorder Among Children Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Eating Disorders Among Adults - Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorders Among Adults - Binge Eating Disorder Eating Disorders Among ...

  5. Host usage and seasonal activity patterns of Ixodes kingi and I. sculptus (Acari: Ixodidae) nymphs in a Colorado prairie landscape, with a summary of published North American host records for all life stages.

    PubMed

    Salkeld, Daniel J; Eisen, Rebecca J; Antolin, Michael F; Stapp, Paul; Eisen, Lars

    2006-06-01

    We examined host usage and seasonal activity patterns of the nymphal stage of the ticks Ixodes kingi and I. sculptus within a prairie rodent community in north-central Colorado. Ixodes kingi was commonly encountered on both northern grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster) and thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus), whereas I. sculptus frequently infested S. tridecemlineatus but was absent from O. leucogaster. Low numbers of ticks of both species were collected from deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and Ord's kangaroo rats (Dipodomys ordii). Nymphal loads of I. kingi and I. sculptus increased dramatically on commonly infested rodent species from spring (May-June) to summer (July-August). Further, rodents trapped on prairie-dog towns tended to experience increased nymphal loads of I. kingi (O. leucogaster, S. tridecemlineatus) but decreased loads of I. sculptus (S. tridecemlineatus) following plague epizootics among prairie dog populations. A summary of published North American host records revealed that I. kingi has been recorded from humans, domestic animals (cat, dog), 17 species of carnivores, 40 species of rodents, and four species of lagomorphs, and that I. sculptus has been recorded from humans, domestic animals (cat, dog, goat), 13 species of carnivores, 34 species of rodents, and three species of lagomorphs. In accordance with our observations from Colorado, I. kingi commonly has been found to infest heteromyid and murid rodents (such as grasshopper mice), whereas I. sculptus most frequently has been collected from ground-dwelling sciurid rodents, especially Spermophilus ground squirrels. The potential roles of I. kingi and I. sculptus as enzootic vectors of human pathogens, particularly the agents of tularemia (Francisella tularensis), Q fever (Coxiella burnetii), and Colorado tick fever (CTF virus), are discussed. PMID:16859106

  6. Arizona Adult Education Standards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arizona Department of Education, 2006

    2006-01-01

    Adult education standards are the cornerstone for quality teaching, quality learning, and quality lives. The Arizona Adult Education Standards Initiative (Standards Initiative) represents a proactive effort by Arizona's adult education community to ensure rigor and consistency in program content and student outcomes for adult learners throughout…

  7. Adult Cancers in Adolescents and Young Adults.

    PubMed

    Laurence, Valérie; Marples, Maria; Stark, Daniel P

    2016-01-01

    The pattern of cancer seen in young people changes with increasing age, transitioning from childhood- to adult-type cancer in adolescence and the third decade. The risk factors, presentation and biology of cancer in young adults differ from those in the older adult population. Factors of particular significance in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) include genetic predisposition to adult-type cancer, diagnostic uncertainty, long-term morbidity and considerations of fertility. New systemic therapies are being introduced that can prolong life and even increase the chance of cure, but the impact on AYAs is uncertain, as these patients are often under-represented in clinical trials. Here, we discuss the management of AYAs with 3 of the most common cancers affecting adults, when they emerge in the AYA populations, and therefore are currently met by medical oncologists - breast cancer, colorectal cancer and melanoma. PMID:27595357

  8. Characterisation of N-glycans bound to IGFBP-3 in sera from healthy adults.

    PubMed

    Masnikosa, Romana; Baricević, Ivona; Lagundzin, Dragana; Nedić, Olgica

    2010-01-01

    Human IGFBP-3 contains three potential N-linked glycosylation sites. Published data concerning the type and saccharide composition of the N-glycans is scarce. The aim of this study was to characterise N-glycans covalently attached to IGFBP-3 from sera of healthy adults (men and women). In order to do that a panel of eight lectins covering broad saccharide specificity was used: agarose-immobilised SNA (Sambucus nigra agglutinin), Con A (lectin from Canavalia ensiformis), RCA I (Ricinus communis agglutinin I), PHA-E (Phaseolus vulgaris erythroagglutinin), PHA-L (P. vulgaris leukoagglutinin), succinylated WGA (wheat germ agglutinin), ECL (Erythrina cristagalli lectin) and UEA (Ulex europaeus agglutinin). IGFBP-3 interacted with SNA, Con A, RCA I, PHA-E and, to a much lesser extent, with PHA-L. These results indicate that human IGFBP-3 bears mostly biantennary complex type N-glycans with a very high content of alpha-2,6-linked Sia at their termini. Hybrid type and high-mannose type N-glycans are present, as well as a bisecting GlcNAc residue, which may be core fucosylated. N-glycosylation of IGFBP-3 follows the N-glycosylation pattern of major serum proteins. This study represents a ground for the future research of glycosylation pattern of IGFBP-3 from the circulation of men and women diagnosed with different illnesses. PMID:19800385

  9. Detection and genetic characterization of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) derived from ticks removed from red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and isolated from spleen samples of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in Croatia.

    PubMed

    Jemeršić, Lorena; Dežđek, Danko; Brnić, Dragan; Prpić, Jelena; Janicki, Zdravko; Keros, Tomislav; Roić, Besi; Slavica, Alen; Terzić, Svjetlana; Konjević, Dean; Beck, Relja

    2014-02-01

    Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a growing public health concern in central and northern European countries. Even though TBE is a notifiable disease in Croatia, there is a significant lack of information in regard to vector tick identification, distribution as well as TBE virus prevalence in ticks or animals. The aim of our study was to identify and to investigate the viral prevalence of TBE virus in ticks removed from red fox (Vulpes vulpes) carcasses hunted in endemic areas in northern Croatia and to gain a better insight in the role of wild ungulates, especially red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the maintenance of the TBE virus in the natural cycle. We identified 5 tick species (Ixodes ricinus, Ixodes hexagonus, Haemaphysalis punctata, Dermacentor reticulatus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus) removed from 40 red foxes. However, TBE virus was isolated only from adult I. ricinus and I. hexagonus ticks showing a viral prevalence (1.6%) similar to or higher than reported in endemic areas of other European countries. Furthermore, 2 positive spleen samples from 182 red deer (1.1%) were found. Croatian TBE virus isolates were genetically analyzed, and they were shown to be closely related, all belonging to the European TBE virus subgroup. However, on the basis of nucleotide and amino acid sequence analysis, 2 clusters were identified. Our results show that further investigation is needed to understand the clustering of isolates and to identify the most common TBE virus reservoir hosts in Croatia. Sentinel surveys based on wild animal species would give a better insight in defining TBE virus-endemic and possible risk areas in Croatia. PMID:24035586

  10. Reducing tick burdens on chicks by treating breeding female grouse with permethrin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ticks are important arthropod vectors of diseases of human, livestock, and wildlife hosts. In the United Kingdom, the sheep tick (Ixodes ricinus) is increasingly recognized as a main limiting factor of red grouse (Lagopus lagopus) populations, a game bird of high economic value. We evaluated the e...

  11. Migrating Birds and Tickborne Encephalitis Virus

    PubMed Central

    Lundkvist, Åke; Falk, Kerstin I.; Garpmo, Ulf; Bergström, Sven; Lindegren, Gunnel; Sjöstedt, Anders; Mejlon, Hans; Fransson, Thord; Haemig, Paul D.; Olsen, Björn

    2007-01-01

    During spring and autumn 2001, we screened 13,260 migrating birds at Ottenby Bird Observatory, Sweden, and found 3.4% were infested with ticks. Four birds, each a different passerine species, carried tickborne encephalitis virus (TBEV)–infected ticks (Ixodes ricinus). Migrating birds may play a role in the geographic dispersal of TBEV-infected ticks. PMID:17953095

  12. Patient Eye Examinations - Adults

    MedlinePlus

    ... Examinations, Adults Patient Eye Examinations, Children Refractive Errors Scientists in the Laboratory Visual Acuity Testing Patient Eye Examinations, Adults × Warning message Automatic fallback to the cURL connection method kicked in to handle the request. Result code ...

  13. Immunization Schedules for Adults

    MedlinePlus

    ... ACIP Vaccination Recommendations Why Immunize? Vaccines: The Basics Immunization Schedules for Adults in Easy-to-read Formats ... previous immunizations. View or Print a Schedule Recommended Immunizations for Adults (19 Years and Older) by Age ...

  14. Adult Congenital Heart Association

    MedlinePlus

    ... survivable, manageable, yet in the routine years between infancy and adulthood, sometimes forgettable. The Adult Congenital Heart ... understand the continuum of the disease from its infancy. The Adult Congential Heart Association brings together valuable ...

  15. Adult Congenital Heart Association

    MedlinePlus

    ... to ACHA Search The futures of adults with congenital heart disease made brighter by their pasts Get Involved 2016 ... conference theme is "The Changing Landscape of Adult Congenital Heart Disease." Join Us Help us improve the quality of ...

  16. Depression in Older Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stickle, Fred; Onedera, Jill D.

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to address selected aspects of depression in older adults. Specifically, symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, and interventions for depression in older adults are reviewed.

  17. Ectoparasite load in the crested porcupine Hystrix cristata Linnaeus, 1758 in Central Italy.

    PubMed

    Mori, Emiliano; Sforzi, Andrea; Menchetti, Mattia; Mazza, Giuseppe; Lovari, Sandro; Pisanu, Benoît

    2015-06-01

    The crested porcupine Hystrix cristata is a large body-sized rodent, occurring in Europe only in the Italian Peninsula, where it may have been introduced in early Medieval times. Its parasite fauna is currently poorly known and limited to few anecdotal observations. We have analyzed the ectoparasite load of 165 crested porcupines from Tuscany and Latium (Central Italy). Both captured and road-killed individuals were checked for fleas and ticks. Overall, only 39 porcupines were infested by four species of ticks and five of fleas. Abundance of ectoparasites was higher in areas with higher habitat richness, with respect to densely wooded areas. The most frequent species was the flea Pulex irritans (25%), whose prevalence peaked in winter probably because of optimal abiotic conditions in the porcupine's den. The remaining species of both hard ticks (Rhipicephalus bursa, Pholeoixodes hexagonus, and Ixodes ventalloi) and fleas (Paraceras melis, Ctenocephalides canis, Dasypsyllus gallinulae, and Hystrichopsylla talpae), all with prevalence lower than 5%, could be due to den sharing with other vertebrates, mainly carnivores such as, e.g., red foxes and badgers. The second most prevalent species was the generalist tick Ixodes ricinus (21%). An adult male-biased parasitism for ticks has been detected, suggesting a possible role of testosterone related immune-depressive effect. The low richness in dominant ectoparasite species, built up by locally acquired generalist taxa, provides support to the allochthonous origin of this rodent in Italy. PMID:25773184

  18. Adult Learning: A Reader.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sutherland, Peter, Ed.

    This book on adult learning is divided into six sections. Section 1, Cognitive Processes, includes the following chapters: "Cognitive Processes: Contemporary Paradigms of Learning" (Jack Mezirow); "Information Processing, Memory, Age and Adult Learning" (Gillian Boulton-Lewis); "Adult Learners' Metacognitive Behaviour in Higher Education" (Barry…

  19. Aspects of Adult Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chandrasekhar, Rajkumari

    This book presents an overview of and prescription for adult education in India. Following an introduction to the problem of illiteracy in India, the book's 14 chapters cover a broad spectrum of adult education issues. Topics discussed include adult education and national development; roles of voluntary organizations, universities, colleges, and…

  20. Dimensions of Adult Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foley, Griff, Ed.

    2004-01-01

    This broad introduction to adult and postcompulsory education offers an overview of the field for students, adult educators and workplace trainers. The book establishes an analytical framework to emphasize the nature of learning and agency of learners; examines the core knowledge and skills that adult educators need; discusses policy, research and…