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Sample records for adult ixodes ricinus

  1. 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.

  2. Babesia species in questing Ixodes ricinus, Sweden.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Maria E; Andersson, Martin O

    2016-02-01

    Babesiosis is an emerging tick-transmitted zoonosis in large parts of the world. In Sweden, the occurrence and diversity of Babesia species is largely unknown. In order to estimate the exposure to Babesia from infected ticks, we collected questing Ixodes ricinus from several sites across southern Sweden during two consecutive field seasons and investigated the occurrence of Babesia species. We report for the first time the occurrence of the zoonotic species Babesia venatorum in Swedish ticks, with a prevalence of 1%. We also detected B. microti (prevalence 3.2%) and B. divergens (prevalence 0.2%). The incidence of Babesia in questing ticks is substantially lower than that of several other tick-borne diseases in Sweden. Nevertheless, babesiosis should not be neglected as a possible diagnosis following tick bites in humans and animals in Sweden.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. [Ixodes ricinus, transmitted diseases and reservoirs].

    PubMed

    Rizzoli, A; Rosà, R; Mantelli, B; Pecchioli, E; Hauffe, H; Tagliapietra, V; Beninati, T; Neteler, M; Genchi, C

    2004-06-01

    The tick Ixodes ricinus has been recorded in most Italian regions especially in thermo-mesophilous woods and shrubby habitats where the relative humidity allow the tick to complete its 3 year developmental cycle, as predicted for the European climatic ranges. This tick acts both as vector and reservoir for a series of wildlife zoonotic pathogens, especially the agents of Lyme diseases, Tick borne encephalitis and Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis, which are emerging in most of Europe. To assess the spatial distribution of these pathogens and the infection risk for humans and animals within the territory of the Province of Trento, we carried out a long term study using a combination of eco-epidemiological surveys and mathematical modelling. An extensive tick collection with a GIS based habitat suitability analysis allowed us to identify the areas where tick occurs at various density. To identify the areas with higher infection risk, we estimated the values of R0 for Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., TBE virus and Anaplasma phagocytophila under different ecological conditions. We assessed the infection prevalence in the vector and in the wildlife reservoir species that play a central role in the persistence of these infections, ie the small mammals A. flavicollis and C. glareolus. We also considered the double effect of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) which act as reservoir for A. phagocytophila but is an incompetent host for B. burgdorferi and TBE virus, thus reducing the infection prevalence in ticks of these last two pathogens. Infection prevalence with B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophila in the vector was assessed by PCR screening 1212 I. ricinus nymphs collected by dragging in six main study areas during 2002. The mean infection prevalence recorded was 1.32% for B. burgdorferi s.l. and 9.84% for A. phagocytophila. Infection prevalence in nymphs with TBE virus, as assessed in a previous study was 0.03%. Infection prevalence in rodents was assessed by screening (with ELISA

  6. Anaplasma phagocytophilum in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks in southwestern Finland.

    PubMed

    Sormunen, Jani J; Penttinen, Ritva; Klemola, Tero; Vesterinen, Eero J; Hänninen, Jari

    2016-12-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum is the causative agent of an emerging tick-borne disease, human granulocytic anaplasmosis. While the bacterium has been reported from questing ticks in neighboring Sweden, Norway and Russia, the few surveys regarding questing ticks in Finland have thus far been negative. In the current study, the prevalence of A. phagocytophilum in Ixodes ricinus populations was evaluated in several study localities around southwestern Finland during 2013-2014. Some of these populations were previously screened and found negative for A. phagocytophilum in 2000. A total of 3158 I. ricinus collected by blanket dragging were screened for Anaplasma spp. using qPCR. Anaplasma were detected in 9.2% of adult ticks (n = 87) and 3.1% of nymphs (n = 979). All larval samples were negative for infection. All Anaplasma-positive samples were identified as A. phagocytophilum by sequencing. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first report of the pathogen from questing ticks in Finland. Furthermore, the pathogen was detected from several localities found negative during the previous screening 13 years earlier.

  7. Ixodes ticks belonging to the Ixodes ricinus complex encode a family of anticomplement proteins.

    PubMed

    Daix, V; Schroeder, H; Praet, N; Georgin, J-P; Chiappino, I; Gillet, L; de Fays, K; Decrem, Y; Leboulle, G; Godfroid, E; Bollen, A; Pastoret, P-P; Gern, L; Sharp, P M; Vanderplasschen, A

    2007-04-01

    The alternative pathway of complement is an important innate defence against pathogens including ticks. This component of the immune system has selected for pathogens that have evolved countermeasures. Recently, a salivary protein able to inhibit the alternative pathway was cloned from the American tick Ixodes scapularis (Valenzuela et al., 2000; J. Biol. Chem. 275, 18717-18723). Here, we isolated two different sequences, similar to Isac, from the transcriptome of I. ricinus salivary glands. Expression of these sequences revealed that they both encode secreted proteins able to inhibit the complement alternative pathway. These proteins, called I. ricinus anticomplement (IRAC) protein I and II, are coexpressed constitutively in I. ricinus salivary glands and are upregulated during blood feeding. Also, we demonstrated that they are the products of different genes and not of alleles of the same locus. Finally, phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that ticks belonging to the Ixodes ricinus complex encode a family of relatively small anticomplement molecules undergoing diversification by positive Darwinian selection.

  8. Seasonal infestation of birds with immature stages of Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes arboricola.

    PubMed

    Kocianová, Elena; Rusňáková Tarageľová, Veronika; Haruštiaková, Danka; Špitalská, Eva

    2017-03-01

    This study assessed the parasitization of cavity-nesting birds and ground-nesting/foraging birds with larvae and nymphs of two Ixodes species, Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes arboricola. Totals of 679 (52.3%) I. ricinus and 619 (47.7%) I. arboricola ticks were collected from 15 species of passerine birds which were caught during the nesting and non-nesting periods of 2003-2006, in the south-eastern part of the Czech Republic, the Drahanská Vrchovina Uplands. In the non-nesting period from October to March, 6.8% (101/1492) of birds were infested with ticks, mainly with I. arboricola larvae. In the non-nesting period, the average intensity of infestation by I. arboricola and I. ricinus was 8.5 and 1.5 individuals per infested bird, respectively. In the nesting period from April to June, 21.6% (50/232) of birds were infested by both tick species but mainly with I. ricinus nymphs. The average intensity of infestation by I. ricinus and I. arboricola was 13.3 and 10.8 individuals per infested bird, respectively. Altogether, 23.2% of the infested birds were parasitized by both immature life stages of one or both tick species. From an enzootic perspective, co-feeding and co-infestation of I. ricinus and I. arboricola subadults on passerine birds might happen and may be important for the dissemination of tick-borne agents.

  9. Occurrence of Ixodiphagus hookeri (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) in Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) in southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Rafael Antonio Nascimento; Campbell, Bronwyn Evelyn; Whittle, Alice; Lia, Riccardo Paolo; Montarsi, Fabrizio; Parisi, Antonio; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Wall, Richard; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-04-01

    Natural enemies of ticks include the parasitoid wasp Ixodiphagus hookeri (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). The aim of this preliminary study was to investigate the occurrence of I. hookeri DNA in a community of ticks (Ixodes ricinus, Dermacentor marginatus, Hyalomma marginatum, Haemaphysalis inermis and Rhipicephalus turanicus). From May 2010 to March 2012, ticks were collected monthly by dragging and flagging, identified, and 481 adults and 305 nymphs screened molecularly for infection with I. hookeri. Of the samples tested (n=786), 3.1% (n=25) were positive for I. hookeri DNA, 7.2% (n=22) in nymphs and 0.6% (n=3) in adults. I. hookeri DNA was only detected in I. ricinus. This study shows that I. hookeri infests I. ricinus in southern Italy, with nymphs being the main developmental stage affected by this wasp.

  10. Experimental evidence against transmission of Hepatozoon canis by Ixodes ricinus.

    PubMed

    Giannelli, Alessio; Ramos, Rafael Antonio Nascimento; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Mencke, Norbert; Baneth, Gad; Otranto, Domenico

    2013-09-01

    Hepatozoon canis is among the most widespread tick-borne protozoa infecting domestic and wild carnivores. Its distribution is related to the occurrence of its major vector, the brown dog tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus. However, the role of Ixodes ricinus as a vector of H. canis has been hypothesized. In the present study, the development of H. canis was investigated in I. ricinus and R. sanguineus nymphs collected from a naturally infested dog. All I. ricinus ticks examined (n=133) were negative by cytological examination at days 20, 30, and 90 post collection, although H. canis DNA was detected in one nymph at day 20 and in 2 nymphs at day 30 post collection. On the other hand, H. canis sporogony was documented by cytology, and H. canis DNA was detected by PCR in R. sanguineus at day 30 post collection. These results indicate that H. canis sporogony does not occur in I. ricinus, but in R. sanguineus, suggesting that I. ricinus does not act as a vector of H. canis.

  11. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato-infected Ixodes ricinus collected from vegetation near the Arctic Circle.

    PubMed

    Hvidsten, Dag; Stordal, Frode; Lager, Malin; Rognerud, Bjørg; Kristiansen, Bjørn-Erik; Matussek, Andreas; Gray, Jeremy; Stuen, Snorre

    2015-09-01

    This is the first study to determine the density of questing Ixodes ricinus in northern Norway. It was performed at two sites in Brønnøy, which has been known for its tick permissive habitats for decades and is one of the northernmost habitats with an abundant I. ricinus population in the world. From April to November 2011, all stages of host-seeking I. ricinus were collected from the two sites. The overall prevalence of nymphs infected with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato was 21% and that of adult ticks 46%. The rates of the genospecies Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, and Borrelia valaisiana were similar to findings in most other studies in Scandinavia, with B. afzelii by far the most prevalent at 76%. The high Borrelia-infection prevalence in ticks from Brønnøy may explain the high incidence rate of reported Lyme borreliosis in the municipality.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Evidence of the Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis Agent in Ixodes ricinus Ticks in Switzerland

    PubMed Central

    Pusterla, Nicola; Leutenegger, Christian M.; Huder, Jon B.; Weber, Rainer; Braun, Ueli; Lutz, Hans

    1999-01-01

    A total of 1,667 Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected from five regions in Switzerland where there have been sporadic occurrences of granulocytic ehrlichiosis in dogs and horses. The ticks were examined for rickettsiae of the Ehrlichia phagocytophila group via nested PCR. Twenty-one ticks (1.3%) were positive; 3 (0.5%) were nymphs, 6 (1.3%) were adult males, and 12 (1.9%) were adult females. The number of positive ticks varied with the stage of development and with the geographical origin. Nucleotide sequencing of the isolated PCR products identified these products as part of the 16S rRNA gene of Ehrlichia. In addition, these products had 100% homology with the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis. The occurrence of this agent in I. ricinus in Switzerland presents a potential danger of transmission of granulocytic ehrlichiosis to dogs, horses, and humans. PMID:10203481

  16. Genetic Diversity of Salp15 in the Ixodes ricinus Complex (Acari: Ixodidae)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xin; Huang, Yong; Niu, Si-bo; Jiang, Bao-Gui; Jia, Na; van der Geest, Leo; Ni, Xue-bing; Sun, Yi; Cao, Wu-Chun

    2014-01-01

    Salp15, a 15-kDa tick salivary gland protein, is both essential for ticks to successfully obtain host blood and also facilitates transmission of Lyme borreliosis. To determine whether the Salp15 gene is expressed in Ixodes persulcatus and Ixodes sinensis, principle vectors of Lyme borreliosis in China, we studied transcriptions of this gene in semi-engorged larvae, nymph and adults of these two species. A total of eight Salp15 homologues, five in I. persulcatus and three in I. sinensis, were identified by reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Interestingly, the intra-species similarity of Salp15 is approximately equal to its interspecies similarity and more than one Salp15 protein is expressed in a certain tick developmental stage. Comparison of DNA and proteins with other available tick Salp15 homologues suggests that the Salp15 superfamily is genetically conserved and diverse in the Ixodes ricinus complex. These findings indicate that Salp15 proteins in the I. ricinus complex may play an essential role in interacting with the host immune system and transmission of Borrelia genospecies. PMID:24714063

  17. Babesia Species Occurring in Austrian Ixodes ricinus Ticks▿

    PubMed Central

    Blaschitz, Marion; Narodoslavsky-Gföller, Melanie; Kanzler, Michaela; Stanek, Gerold; Walochnik, Julia

    2008-01-01

    Babesiosis is a tick-transmitted disease of veterinary and medical importance. The first Austrian case of human babesiosis was recently recorded. In the current study, ticks at all life cycle stages (instars), including 853 Ixodes ricinus and 11 Haemaphysalis concinna ticks, from sampling sites throughout Austria were examined for the presence of Babesia spp. by using 18S rRNA gene PCR and sequencing, and the overall mean infection rate was 51.04%. The infection rates for sampling sites were highly variable, ranging from 0% to almost 100%. Different instars and different sexes were infected almost equally. Babesia isolates occurring in Austrian ticks were identified as Babesia divergens, Babesia divergens-like, and Babesia sp. strain DD by sequencing a fragment of the heat shock protein 70 gene and internal transcribed spacer regions 1 and 2. To our knowledge, this is the first investigation of Babesia spp. in Austrian ticks. PMID:18539787

  18. RNA-seq analyses of the midgut from blood- and serum-fed Ixodes ricinus ticks

    PubMed Central

    Perner, Jan; Provazník, Jan; Schrenková, Jana; Urbanová, Veronika; Ribeiro, José M. C.; Kopáček, Petr

    2016-01-01

    Adult females of the genus Ixodes imbibe blood meals exceeding about 100 times their own weight within 7‒9 days. During this period, ticks internalise components of host blood by endocytic digest cells that line the tick midgut epithelium. Using RNA-seq, we aimed to characterise the midgut transcriptome composition in adult Ixodes ricinus females during early and late phase of engorgement. To address specific adaptations to the haemoglobin-rich diet, we compared the midgut transcriptomes of genetically homogenous female siblings fed either bovine blood or haemoglobin-depleted serum. We noted that tick gut transcriptomes are subject to substantial temporal-dependent expression changes between day 3 and day 8 of feeding. In contrast, the number of transcripts significantly affected by the presence or absence of host red blood cells was low. Transcripts relevant to the processes associated with blood-meal digestion were analysed and involvement of selected encoded proteins in the tick midgut physiology discussed. A total of 7215 novel sequences from I. ricinus were deposited in public databases as an additional outcome of this study. Our results broaden the current knowledge of tick digestive system and may lead to the discovery of potential molecular targets for efficient tick control. PMID:27824139

  19. Detection of a non-pathogenic variant of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Ixodes ricinus from La Rioja, Spain.

    PubMed

    Portillo, A; Santos, A S; Santibáñez, S; Pérez-Martínez, L; Blanco, J R; Ibarra, V; Oteo, J A

    2005-12-01

    Our aim was to identify variants of Anaplasma phagocytophilum 16S rRNA gene sequences among products amplified from Ixodes ricinus collected in La Rioja, Spain. A. phagocytophilum AP-variant 1, reported as non-pathogenic, was detected in 12 samples (two adults and ten nymphs). This finding could justify the low incidence of human anaplasmosis in our area, despite the high prevalence of A. phagocytophilum in ticks.

  20. Detection of Ehrlichia phagocytophila DNA in Ixodes ricinus Ticks from Areas in Switzerland Where Tick-Borne Fever Is Endemic

    PubMed Central

    Pusterla, Nicola; Huder, Jon B.; Lutz, Hans; Braun, Ueli

    1998-01-01

    A total of 1,523 adult Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected from regions where bovine ehrlichiosis is endemic and were examined for Ehrlichia phagocytophila via PCR. Of the ticks from cattle with ehrlichiosis, the ticks from healthy cattle, and the free-living ticks, 26.5% (18 of 68), 4.4% (35 of 802), and 0.8% (5 of 653), respectively, were positive. PMID:9705425

  1. Differential diagnosis of three common Ixodes spp. ticks infesting songbirds of Western Europe: Ixodes arboricola, I. frontalis and I. ricinus.

    PubMed

    Heylen, Dieter; De Coninck, Eliane; Jansen, Famke; Madder, Maxime

    2014-10-01

    The three most common Ixodes spp. ticks found on songbirds in Western Europe are Ixodes frontalis, I. arboricola and I. ricinus. As the latter species is a generalist, it shares several avian hosts with the two strictly ornithophilic species. Infestations of the three species can overlap in time and space, implying that tick-borne pathogens maintained by the ornithophilic ticks and their hosts could be bridged by I. ricinus to non-avian hosts. Whereas the endophilic Ixodes arboricola only occurs in cavities, I. frontalis has been collected frequently by flagging methods from understory vegetation, which is also the habitat of the field-dwelling I. ricinus. As the latter two species have rather similar morphological characteristics, they can easily be confused with each other. In this study, we present scanning electron photomicrographs of all developmental stages of I. arboricola and I. frontalis, and provide a differential diagnosis key to distinguish the ornithophilic ticks from I. ricinus. In addition, we interpreted their phylogenetic associations based on mitochondrial 16S rDNA with other Ixodes spp. ticks (I. lividus, I. turdus, I. brunneus, I. vespertilionis, I. trianguliceps, I. hexagonus, I. scapularis).

  2. Seasonal activity and tick-borne pathogen infection rates of Ixodes ricinus ticks in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Egyed, László; Elő, Péter; Sréter-Lancz, Zsuzsanna; Széll, Zoltán; Balogh, Zsuzsanna; Sréter, Tamás

    2012-04-01

    Ixodes ricinus is the most important tick species in Europe as it is most widely distributed and transmits the majority of tick-borne zoonotic pathogens. As limited data are available for Hungary, the aim of the present study was to investigate the seasonal timing of questing by I. ricinus and the infection rate of this tick species with all major tick-borne zoonotic pathogens. Monthly collections of I. ricinus were carried out over 3 consecutive years by dragging a blanket in 6 biotopes representing different areas of Hungary. Altogether, 1800 nymphs (300 per collection point) were screened as pooled samples (each of 5 specimens) by PCR-based methods for tick-borne pathogens. I. ricinus larvae, nymphs, and adults had bimodal activity patterns with a major peak in the spring. As newly moulted ticks of all stages are thought to emerge in the autumn of each year, it appears that most newly emerged ticks delayed their questing until the following spring. The minimum prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato was 2.5%. Borr. afzelii, Borr. burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borr. garinii, Borr. lusitaniae, and Borr. valaisiana were identified by hybridization. The minimum infection rate with spotted fever group rickettsiae was 1.9%. Rickettsia helvetica was identified in all biotopes. The minimum prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia divergens and Bab. microti was low (0.3-0.5%). Bartonella spp.-, Francisella tularensis-, and TBE virus-specific amplification products were not detected. Relative to the results of comparable studies carried out in the Carpathian Basin, the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens was low in Hungary. This might be attributed to the climatic difference between the lowland areas of Hungary and submountain areas of the surrounding countries involved in the studies.

  3. Factors Driving the Abundance of Ixodes ricinus Ticks and the Prevalence of Zoonotic I. ricinus-Borne Pathogens in Natural Foci

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-de-Mera, Isabel G.; Acevedo, Pelayo; Gortázar, Christian; de la Fuente, José

    2012-01-01

    Environmental factors may drive tick ecology and therefore tick-borne pathogen (TBP) epidemiology, which determines the risk to animals and humans of becoming infected by TBPs. For this reason, the aim of this study was to analyze the influence of environmental factors on the abundance of immature-stage Ixodes ricinus ticks and on the prevalence of two zoonotic I. ricinus-borne pathogens in natural foci of endemicity. I. ricinus abundance was measured at nine sites in the northern Iberian Peninsula by dragging the vegetation with a cotton flannelette, and ungulate abundance was measured by means of dung counts. In addition to ungulate abundance, data on variables related to spatial location, climate, and soil were gathered from the study sites. I. ricinus adults, nymphs, and larvae were collected from the vegetation, and a representative subsample of I. ricinus nymphs from each study site was analyzed by PCR for the detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Anaplasma phagocytophilum DNA. Mean prevalences of these pathogens were 4.0% ± 1.8% and 20.5% ± 3.7%, respectively. Statistical analyses confirmed the influence of spatial factors, climate, and ungulate abundance on I. ricinus larva abundance, while nymph abundance was related only to climate. Interestingly, cattle abundance rather than deer abundance was the main driver of B. burgdorferi sensu lato and A. phagocytophilum prevalence in I. ricinus nymphs in the study sites, where both domestic and wild ungulates coexist. The increasing abundance of cattle seems to increase the risk of other hosts becoming infected by A. phagocytophilum, while reducing the risk of being infected by B. burgdorferi sensu lato. Controlling ticks in cattle in areas where they coexist with wild ungulates would be more effective for TBP control than reducing ungulate abundance. PMID:22286986

  4. Rickettsiaceae and Anaplasmataceae infections in Ixodes ricinus ticks from urban and natural forested areas of Poland

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Ixodes ricinus is a major vector for a range of microbial pathogens and the most prevalent and widely distributed tick species on the European continent, occurring in both natural and urban habitats. Nevertheless, little is known about the relative density of ticks in these two ecologically distinct habitats and the diversity of tick-borne pathogens that they carry. Methods We compared densities of questing I. ricinus nymphs and adults in urban and natural habitats in Central and Northeastern Poland, assessed the prevalence and rate of co-infection with A. phagocytophilum, Rickettsia, Ehrlichia and ‘Ca. Neoehrlichia spp.’ in ticks, and compared the diversity of tick-borne pathogens using molecular assays (PCR). Results Of the 1325 adults and nymphs, 6.2% were infected with at least one pathogen, with 4.4%, 1.7% and less than 0.5% being positive for the DNA of Rickettsia spp., A. phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia spp. and Ca. N. mikurensis, respectively. Although tick abundance was higher in natural habitats, the prevalence of the majority of pathogens was higher in urban forested areas. Conclusion We conclude that: (i) zoonotic genetic variants of A. phagocytophilum are widely distributed in the Polish tick population, (ii) although the diversity of tick borne pathogens was higher in natural habitats, zoonotic species/strains were detected only in urban forests, (iii) and we provide the first description of Ca. N. mikurensis infections in ticks in Poland. PMID:24661311

  5. 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.

  6. Morphological differentiation of Ixodes persulcatus and I. ricinus hybrid larvae in experiment and under natural conditions.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    The objective of the study was detection of hybrid larvae in Ixodes persulcatus and Ixodes ricinus cohabitation sites. To this end, the following three tasks were solved: interspecies crossing of ticks, evaluation of typical morphological signs of the hybrid larvae, and analysis of collected specimens from sites of sympatry. Under experimental conditions, hybrid larvae of I. persulcatus (female) and I. ricinus (male) were obtained that differed from the parental species by the size of setae on the scutum and alloscutum. Discriminant analysis yielded 87.5% classification accuracy for the priory set groups of I. persulcatus, I. ricinus, and hybrids. Of 88 hybrid larvae, 13 (15%) were classified as I. persulcatus and 4 (5%) as I. ricinus. We measured larvae of Ixodes ticks (n=141) collected from small mammals in 1950-1970 in Karelia in cohabitation sites of these species that were previously classified as I. persulcatus or I. ricinus. According to the results of discriminant analysis, 31 larvae (22%) were classified as hybrids with probability p≥0.52; for 10 larvae (7%), the probability of placement to the hybrid group was >0.95.

  7. Prevalence of tick-borne encephalitis virus in Ixodes ricinus ticks in northern Europe with particular reference to Southern Sweden

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In northern Europe, the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) of the European subtype is usually transmitted to humans by the common tick Ixodes ricinus. The aims of the present study are (i) to obtain up-to-date information on the TBEV prevalence in host-seeking I. ricinus in southern and central Sweden; (ii) to compile and review all relevant published records on the prevalence of TBEV in ticks in northern Europe; and (iii) to analyse and try to explain how the TBE virus can be maintained in natural foci despite an apparently low TBEV infection prevalence in the vector population. Methods To estimate the mean minimum infection rate (MIR) of TBEV in I. ricinus in northern Europe (i.e. Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland) we reviewed all published TBEV prevalence data for host-seeking I. ricinus collected during 1958–2011. Moreover, we collected 2,074 nymphs and 906 adults of I. ricinus from 29 localities in Sweden during 2008. These ticks were screened for TBEV by RT-PCR. Results The MIR for TBEV in nymphal and adult I. ricinus was 0.28% for northern Europe and 0.23% for southern Sweden. The infection prevalence of TBEV was significantly lower in nymphs (0.10%) than in adult ticks (0.55%). At a well-known TBEV-endemic locality, Torö island south-east of Stockholm, the TBEV prevalence (MIR) was 0.51% in nymphs and 4.48% in adults of I. ricinus. Conclusions If the ratio of nymphs to adult ticks in the TBEV-analysed sample differs from that in the I. ricinus population in the field, the MIR obtained will not necessarily reflect the TBEV prevalence in the field. The relatively low TBEV prevalence in the potential vector population recorded in most studies may partly be due to: (i) inclusion of uninfected ticks from the ‘uninfected areas’ surrounding the TBEV endemic foci; (ii) inclusion of an unrepresentative, too large proportion of immature ticks, compared to adult ticks, in the analysed tick pools; and (iii) shortcomings in the laboratory

  8. The role of rodents in the ecology of Ixodes ricinus and associated pathogens in Central and Eastern Europe.

    PubMed

    Mihalca, Andrei D; Sándor, Attila D

    2013-01-01

    Rodents comprise more species than any other mammal order. Most rodents are considered keystone species in their ecological communities, hence the survival of many other species in the ecosystem depend on them. From medical point of view, this is particularly important for rodent-dependent pathogens. In the particular case of tick-borne diseases, rodents are important as hosts for vector ticks and as reservoir hosts (Lyme borreliosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Tick-borne relapsing fevers, tick-borne rickettsioses, babesiosis). Community and population ecology of rodents was shown to be correlated with disease ecology in the case of many tick-borne diseases. In Eastern Europe, several adult hard-tick species use rodents as their principal hosts: Ixodes apronophorus, I. crenulatus, I. laguri, I. redikorzevi, I. trianguliceps. However, the majority of ticks feeding on rodents are immature stages of ticks which as adults are parasitic on larger mammals. Larvae and nymphs of Ixodes ricinus, the most abundant and medically important tick from Europe, are commonly found on rodents. This is particularly important, as many rodents are synanthropic and, together with other micromammals and birds are often the only available natural hosts for ticks in urban environments. This work reviews the correlated ecology of rodents and I. ricinus.

  9. 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.

  10. Borrelia miyamotoi in host-seeking Ixodes ricinus ticks in England.

    PubMed

    Hansford, K M; Fonville, M; Jahfari, S; Sprong, H; Medlock, J M

    2015-04-01

    This paper reports the first detection of Borrelia miyamotoi in UK Ixodes ricinus ticks. It also reports on the presence and infection rates of I. ricinus for a number of other tick-borne pathogens of public health importance. Ticks from seven regions in southern England were screened for B. miyamotoi, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Neoehrlichia mikurensis using qPCR. A total of 954 I. ricinus ticks were tested, 40 were positive for B. burgdorferi s.l., 22 positive for A. phagocytophilum and three positive for B. miyamotoi, with no N. mikurensis detected. The three positive B. miyamotoi ticks came from three geographically distinct areas, suggesting a widespread distribution, and from two separate years, suggesting some degree of endemicity. Understanding the prevalence of Borrelia and other tick-borne pathogens in ticks is crucial for locating high-risk areas of disease transmission.

  11. 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.

  12. Chlamydia-Like Organisms (CLOs) in Finnish Ixodes ricinus Ticks and Human Skin

    PubMed Central

    Hokynar, Kati; Sormunen, Jani J.; Vesterinen, Eero J.; Partio, Esa K.; Lilley, Thomas; Timonen, Veera; Panelius, Jaana; Ranki, Annamari; Puolakkainen, Mirja

    2016-01-01

    Ticks carry several human pathogenic microbes including Borreliae and Flavivirus causing tick-born encephalitis. Ticks can also carry DNA of Chlamydia-like organisms (CLOs). The purpose of this study was to investigate the occurrence of CLOs in ticks and skin biopsies taken from individuals with suspected tick bite. DNA from CLOs was detected by pan-Chlamydiales-PCR in 40% of adult ticks from southwestern Finland. The estimated minimal infection rate for nymphs and larvae (studied in pools) was 6% and 2%, respectively. For the first time, we show CLO DNA also in human skin as 68% of all skin biopsies studied contained CLO DNA as determined through pan-Chlamydiales-PCR. Sequence analyses based on the 16S rRNA gene fragment indicated that the sequences detected in ticks were heterogeneous, representing various CLO families; whereas the majority of the sequences from human skin remained “unclassified Chlamydiales” and might represent a new family-level lineage. CLO sequences detected in four skin biopsies were most closely related to “uncultured Chlamydial bacterium clones from Ixodes ricinus ticks” and two of them were very similar to CLO sequences from Finnish ticks. These results suggest that CLO DNA is present in human skin; ticks carry CLOs and could potentially transmit CLOs to humans. PMID:27681922

  13. Borrelia miyamotoi is widespread in Ixodes ricinus ticks in southern Norway.

    PubMed

    Kjelland, Vivian; Rollum, Rikke; Korslund, Lars; Slettan, Audun; Tveitnes, Dag

    2015-06-01

    From April to October 2007, host-seeking Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected from four locations in southern Norway; Farsund, Mandal, Søgne and Tromøy, respectively. Larvae (n=210), nymphs (n=1130) and adults (n=449) were investigated for infection with Borrelia miyamotoi by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of part of the 16S rRNA gene. Results were verified by direct sequencing of the PCR amplicon generated from the rrs (16S)-rrl (23S) intergenetic spacer. B. miyamotoi was detected at all sites and throughout the period of questing activity, with infection prevalence (≤1.26%) similar to what has been seen in other European countries. Detection of the relapsing fever spirochete at all locations indicates a wide distribution in southern Norway. This is the first report of B. miyamotoi prevalence in ticks collected from Norway. As not much is known about the spatiotemporal dynamics of this relatively recently discovered pathogen, the conclusions of this study significantly add to the knowledge regarding B. miyamotoi in this region.

  14. Saturation deficit and deer density affect questing activity and local abundance of Ixodes ricinus (Acari, Ixodidae) in Italy.

    PubMed

    Tagliapietra, V; Rosà, R; Arnoldi, D; Cagnacci, F; Capelli, G; Montarsi, F; Hauffe, H C; Rizzoli, A

    2011-12-29

    The wood tick Ixodes ricinus, one of the most common arthropod-borne disease vectors, is of increasing relevance for human and animal health in Europe. The aim of this study was to determine the relative contribution of several abiotic and biotic factors potentially affecting questing activity and local abundance of I. ricinus in Italy, considering the scale at which these factors interact with the host-seeking ticks. Within EDEN, a large-scale EU collaborative project on eco-epidemiology of vector-borne diseases, we collected questing ticks for three consecutive years using a standard protocol at eleven sites in the Italian Alps and Apennines. A total of 25 447 I. ricinus were collected. All sites showed the same annual pattern of tick activity (bimodal for nymphs and unimodal for larvae and adults), although the abundance of nymphs was statistically different between sites and years. A Generalized Linear Mixed Model and a Linear Mixed Model fitted to data for nymphs, showed that while the principal variables affecting the local abundance of questing ticks were saturation deficit (an index combining temperature and relative humidity) and red deer density, the most important variable affecting questing nymph activity was saturation deficit. As for the timing of seasonal emergence, we confirmed that the threshold temperature at this latitude for larvae is 10°C (mean maximum) while that for nymphs is 8°C.

  15. 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.

  16. Prevalence of tick-borne encephalitis virus in Ixodes ricinus ticks from three islands in north-western Norway.

    PubMed

    Paulsen, Katrine M; Pedersen, Benedikte N; Soleng, Arnulf; Okbaldet, Yohannes B; Pettersson, John H-O; Dudman, Susanne G; Ottesen, Preben; Vik, Inger Sofie Samdal; Vainio, Kirsti; Andreassen, Åshild

    2015-09-01

    Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is the most important viral tick-borne disease in Europe and can cause severe disease in humans. In Norway, human cases have been reported only from the southern coast. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks from the north-western part of Norway. A total of 4509 ticks were collected by flagging in May and June 2014. A subpopulation of 2220 nymphs and 162 adult ticks were analysed by real-time PCR and positive samples were confirmed by pyrosequencing. The estimated prevalence of TBEV was 3.08% among adult ticks from Sekken in Møre og Romsdal County and 0.41% among nymphs from both Hitra and Frøya in Sør-Trøndelag County. This study indicates that TBEV might be more widespread than the distribution of reported human cases suggests.

  17. Survival dynamics of tick-borne encephalitis virus in Ixodes ricinus ticks.

    PubMed

    Slovák, Mirko; Kazimírová, Mária; Siebenstichová, Marta; Ustaníková, Katarína; Klempa, Boris; Gritsun, Tamara; Gould, Ernest A; Nuttall, Patricia A

    2014-10-01

    Biotic factors contributing to the survival of tick-borne viruses in nature are poorly understood. Using tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and its principal European vector, Ixodes ricinus, we examined the relative roles of salivary gland infection, co-feeding transmission, and moulting in virus survival. Virus titres in the salivary glands increased after blood-feeding in a time- and dose-dependent manner. This was observed in ticks infected by inoculation but not in ticks infected by the natural route of co-feeding. Amplification of infection prevalence occurred via co-feeding. However, when larvae or nymphs subsequently moulted, the infection prevalence dramatically declined although this was not observed when ticks were infected by inoculation. Trans-stadial survival is a hitherto overlooked parameter that may contribute to the low incidence of TBEV infection in field-collected I. ricinus ticks.

  18. IgG subclasses of specific antibodies in Ixodes ricinus-borne borreliosis.

    PubMed Central

    Olsson, I; Hammarström, L; Smith, C I; Hovmark, A; Asbrink, E

    1987-01-01

    Ixodes ricinus-borne borreliosis may run a protracted course. In this study we investigated the different IgG subclasses of antibodies to borreliae at different stages of the disease. In addition to the dominant subclass IgG1 and IgG3 response was found in most cases. This antibody subclass pattern with contributions of IgG2 often persists into the late stage of the disease and may last for decades. The IgG subclass response elicited by this spirochaetosis does not conform to the expected IgG4 restricted response after chronic antigenic stimulation. PMID:3665187

  19. Ixodes ricinus and Borrelia prevalence at the Arctic Circle in Norway.

    PubMed

    Hvidsten, Dag; Stuen, Snorre; Jenkins, Andrew; Dienus, Olaf; Olsen, Renate S; Kristiansen, Bjørn-Erik; Mehl, Reidar; Matussek, Andreas

    2014-03-01

    The distribution limit of Ixodes ricinus ticks in northwestern Europe (Brønnøy, Norway, 1° south of the Arctic Circle), has been known since the 1930s. To reconfirm this finding and extend studies in the areas adjacent to the Arctic Circle (66°33' N), ticks were collected from dogs and cats in 8 districts in northern Norway from 64°56' N to 68°48' N. We detected 549 I. ricinus, 244 (44%) of them in Brønnøy district, and 305 (range 6-87 ticks) in 7 districts in the northern part of the study area. The prevalence of Borrelia in these ticks was determined by real-time PCR. In the Brønnøy district (65°28' N, 12°12' E), 29% of the I. ricinus were Borrelia spp.-positive, and the species B. afzelii was nearly twice as prevalent as B. garinii and/or B. valaisiana. In the study area north of Brønnøy district, only 12 (4%) of the collected ticks contained Borrelia spp. In conclusion, tick occurrence and Borrelia prevalence are high in the Brønnøy district. In contrast, I. ricinus occurrence and Borrelia prevalence are low further north across the Arctic Circle in Norway.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

    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.

  1. 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

  2. Loss of Lyme disease spirochetes from Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on European blackbirds.

    PubMed

    Matuschka, F R; Spielman, A

    1992-03-01

    To determine whether blackbirds (Turdus merula), the most abundant and most abundantly tick-infested ecotonal bird of Central Europe, may contribute to the transmission of the Lyme disease spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi), we compared the infectivity to ticks of naturally as well as experimentally infected blackbirds and rodents. European blackbirds experience intense exposure to Ixodes ricinus ticks and to the pathogens that they transmit. In nature, subadult I. ricinus ticks found feeding on these birds generally contain no spirochetes, although infection is universal in those found on black-striped mice (Apodemus agrarius). Those found on yellow-necked mice (A. flavicollis) are less frequently infected. Ticks lose infection in the course of feeding on blackbirds and fail to infect them. Subadult I. ricinus ticks readily feed on blackbirds, black-striped mice, and jirds (Meriones unguiculatus), but engorge less fully on the bird than on the rodents. Although birds may burden human health by establishing new infestations of I. ricinus ticks, our observations indicate that particular birds may benefit health by locally diminishing transmission of the Lyme disease spirochete.

  3. 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.

  4. Tick vectors of Cercopithifilaria bainae in dogs: Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato versus Ixodes ricinus.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Rafael Antonio Nascimento; Giannelli, Alessio; Brianti, Emanuele; Annoscia, Giada; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Otranto, Domenico

    2013-08-01

    Recently, dermal microfilariae of a Cercopithifilaria species (Spirurida, Onchocercidae), namely Cercopithifilaria bainae , were detected in dogs from several geographical areas of the Mediterranean basin. Evidence from both laboratory and field studies support the role of the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato, as an intermediate host of this nematode. In the present study, we investigated the competence of Ixodes ricinus nymphs as vectors of C. bainae. On November 2012, fully engorged nymphs of I. ricinus (n = 174) and R. sanguineus s.l. (n = 10) were collected from a dog infected by C. bainae. The presence of C. bainae in I. ricinus was assessed by both microscopic dissection of specimens and detection of nematode DNA (PCR), at days 3, 10, 20 and 30 (T1-T4) post-collection; due to the small number of specimens available, R. sanguineus s.l. were examined using the same methods at T4 only. No developing larva of C. bainae was detected in I. ricinus specimens at different time points (T1-T4), even if four of these specimens were PCR-positive at T1. Seven out of ten R. sanguineus s.l. were positive for C. bainae third-stage larvae (L3) at both microscopical and molecular analysis at T4. This study indicates that C. bainae does not develop in I. ricinus nymphs, which preclude the role of this tick as an intermediate host of this parasite. Data presented herein provide new insights into the biology of this filarioid species and will lead to a better understanding of the role of different tick species as vectors of nematodes.

  5. Role of the Lizard Teira dugesii as a Potential Host for Ixodes ricinus Tick-Borne Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    de Carvalho, I. Lopes; Santos, A. S.; Bernardes, C.; Milhano, N.; Jesus, J.; Menezes, D.; Núncio, M. S.

    2012-01-01

    PCR screening of ticks and tissue samples collected from 151 Teira dugesii lizards seems to indicate a potential role of this lizard species in the maintenance and transmission cycle of some Ixodes ricinus tick-borne agents, such as Rickettsia monacensis, Rickettsia helvetica, and Borrelia lusitaniae, that are circulating on Madeira Island. PMID:22407681

  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.

  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. Low prevalence of Borrelia bavariensis in Ixodes ricinus ticks in southeastern Austria.

    PubMed

    Glatz, Martin; Muellegger, Robert R; Hizo-Teufel, Cecilia; Fingerle, Volker

    2014-10-01

    Borrelia bavariensis was recently described as a distinct genospecies among the B. burgdorferi sensu lato complex. The prevalence of B. bavariensis in Austria, a highly endemic area for tick-transmitted pathogens, is scarcely characterized. To investigate the prevalence of B. bavariensis in Ixodes ricinus ticks we reevaluated the results of a study conducted in 518 ticks from southeastern Austria collected in 2002 and 2003. The presence of B. burgdorferi s.l.-specific DNA in ticks was analyzed by a PCR for the outer surface protein A (ospA) gene. Borrelia species were differentiated by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis, and samples positive for B. bavariensis were further analyzed by multilocus sequence analysis. Two of 133 (1.5%) B. burgdorferi s.l.-positive I. ricinus ticks were infected with B. bavariensis. Both specimens were coinfected with the OspA serotype 5 of B. garinii. Borrelia bavariensis is present; however, seem to be rare in I. ricinus ticks in southeastern Austria.

  9. Ixodes ricinus immunogenic saliva protein, homologue to Amblyomma americanum AV422: Determining its potential for use in tick bite confirmation.

    PubMed

    Mihaljica, Darko; Marković, Dragana; Radulović, Željko; Mulenga, Albert; Ćakić, Sanja; Sukara, Ratko; Samardžić, Jelena; Tomanović, Snežana

    2017-03-01

    Tick bites often go unnoticed, so specific reliable tests are needed to confirm them for prompt diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases. One of the promising candidates for developing such a test is AV422, a tick saliva protein that has been conserved across tick genera. In this study, we demonstrate the potential of the AV422 homologue from Ixodes ricinus to be used for tick bite detection for both Prostriata and Metastriata. We expressed recombinant (r) I. ricinus (Ir) AV422 in E. coli and subjected it to Western blot analysis using rat antibodies to saliva proteins of both I. ricinus (Prostriata) and Dermacentor reticulatus (Metastriata) larvae. Our data demonstrate that rIrAV422 specifically bound to antibodies from sera of rats used for both I. ricinus and D. reticulatus larvae feeding, but not to antibodies from control serum, emphasizing its specificity since tick bites were the sole cause of sera reactivity.

  10. Crystallization and diffraction analysis of the serpin IRS-2 from the hard tick Ixodes ricinus.

    PubMed

    Kovářová, Zuzana; Chmelař, Jindřich; Sanda, Miloslav; Brynda, Jiří; Mareš, Michael; Rezáčová, Pavlína

    2010-11-01

    IRS-2 from the hard tick Ixodes ricinus belongs to the serpin family of protease inhibitors. It is produced in the salivary glands of the tick and its anti-inflammatory activity suggests that it plays a role in parasite-host interaction. Recombinant IRS-2 prepared by heterologous expression in a bacterial system was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystals belonged to the primitive tetragonal space group P4(3) and diffracted to 1.8 Å resolution. Mass-spectrometric and electrophoretic analyses revealed that IRS-2 was cleaved by contaminating proteases during crystallization. This processing of IRS-2 mimicked the specific cleavage of the serpin by its target protease and resulted in a more stable form (the so-called relaxed conformation), which produced well diffracting crystals. Activity profiling with specific substrates and inhibitors demonstrated traces of serine and cysteine proteases in the protein stock solution.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Transport of Babesia venatorum-infected Ixodes ricinus to Norway by northward migrating passerine birds

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Bovine babesiosis is regarded as a limited health problem for Norwegian cows, and the incidence has decreased markedly since the 1930s. Rare cases of babesiosis in splenectomised humans from infection with Babesia divergens and B.venatorum have been described. The objective of this study was to determine whether birds can introduce Babesia-infected ticks. There are between 30 and 85 million passerine birds that migrate to Norway every spring. Methods Passerine birds were examined for ticks at four bird observatories along the southern Norwegian coast during the spring migrations of 2003, 2004 and 2005. The presence of Babesia was detected in the nymphs of Ixodes ricinus by real-time PCR. Positive samples were confirmed using PCR, cloning and phylogenetic analyses. Results Of 512 ticks examined, real-time PCR revealed five to be positive (1.0%). Of these, four generated products that indicated the presence of Babesia spp.; each of these were confirmed to be from Babesia venatorum (EU1). Two of the four B. venatorum-positive ticks were caught from birds having an eastern migratory route (P< 0.001). Conclusions Birds transport millions of ticks across the North Sea, the Skagerrak and the Kattegat every year. Thus, even with the low prevalence of Babesia-infected ticks, a substantial number of infected ticks will be transported into Norway each year. Therefore, there is a continuous risk for introduction of new Babesia spp. into areas where I. ricinus can survive. PMID:21699719

  14. Prevalence of pathogenic bacteria in Ixodes ricinus ticks in Central Bohemia.

    PubMed

    Klubal, Radek; Kopecky, Jan; Nesvorna, Marta; Sparagano, Olivier A E; Thomayerova, Jana; Hubert, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria associated with the tick Ixodes ricinus were assessed in specimens unattached or attached to the skin of cats, dogs and humans, collected in the Czech Republic. The bacteria were detected by PCR in 97 of 142 pooled samples including 204 ticks, i.e. 1-7 ticks per sample, collected at the same time from one host. A fragment of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene was amplified, cloned and sequenced from 32 randomly selected samples. The most frequent sequences were those related to Candidatus Midichloria midichlori (71% of cloned sequences), followed by Diplorickettsia (13%), Spiroplasma (3%), Rickettsia (3%), Pasteurella (3%), Morganella (3%), Pseudomonas (2%), Bacillus (1%), Methylobacterium (1%) and Phyllobacterium (1%). The phylogenetic analysis of Spiroplasma 16S rRNA gene sequences showed two groups related to Spiroplasma eriocheiris and Spiroplasma melliferum, respectively. Using group-specific primers, the following potentially pathogenic bacteria were detected: Borellia (in 20% of the 142 samples), Rickettsia (12%), Spiroplasma (5%), Diplorickettsia (5%) and Anaplasma (2%). In total, 68% of I. ricinus samples (97/142) contained detectable bacteria and 13% contained two or more putative pathogenic groups. The prevalence of tick-borne bacteria was similar to the observations in other European countries.

  15. Seroprevalence of seven pathogens transmitted by the Ixodes ricinus tick in forestry workers in France.

    PubMed

    Rigaud, E; Jaulhac, B; Garcia-Bonnet, N; Hunfeld, K-P; Féménia, F; Huet, D; Goulvestre, C; Vaillant, V; Deffontaines, G; Abadia-Benoist, G

    2016-08-01

    In order to assess the level of occupational exposure to the main pathogens transmitted by the Ixodes ricinus tick, a seroprevalence study was performed on serum samples collected in 2003 from 2975 forestry workers of northeastern France. The global seroprevalence estimated for the seven pathogens studied was 14.1% (419/2975) for Borrelia burgdorferi sl, 5.7% (164/2908) for Francisella tularensis, 2.3% (68/2941) for tick-borne encephalitis virus, 1.7% (50/2908) for Anaplasma phagocytophilum and 1.7% (48/2908) for Bartonella henselae. The seroprevalences of Babesia divergens and Babesia microti studied in a subgroup of participants seropositive for at least one of these latter pathogens were 0.1% (1/810) and 2.5% (20/810), respectively. Borrelia burgdorferi sl seroprevalence was significantly higher in Alsace and Lorraine and F. tularensis seroprevalence was significantly higher in Champagne-Ardenne and Franche-Comté. The results of this survey also suggest low rates of transmission of Bartonella henselae and F. tularensis by ticks and a different west/east distribution of Babesia species in France. The frequency and potential severity of these diseases justify continued promotion of methods of prevention of I. ricinus bites.

  16. Prevalence and Diversity among Anaplasma phagocytophilum Strains Originating from Ixodes ricinus Ticks from Northwest Norway

    PubMed Central

    Tveten, Ann-Kristin

    2014-01-01

    The tick-borne pathogen Anaplasma phagocytophilum causes great concern for livestock farmers. Tick-borne fever is a widespread disease in Norway, and antibodies have been produced amongst sheep, roe deer, red deer, and moose. The main vector Ixodes ricinus is found along the Norwegian coastline as far north as the Arctic Circle. A total number of 1804 I. ricinus ticks were collected and the prevalence of the pathogen was determined by species-specific qPCR. The overall infection rate varied from 2.83% to 3.32%, but there were no significant differences (p = 0.01) in the overall infection rate in 2010, 2011, or 2012. A multilocus sequencing analysis was performed to further characterise the isolates. The genotyping of 27 strains resulted in classification into 19 different sequences types (ST), none of which was found in the MLST database. The nucleotide diversity was for every locus <0.01, and the number of SNPs was between 1 and 2.8 per 100 bp. The majority of SNPs were synonymous. A goeBURST analysis demonstrated that the strains from northwest Norway cluster together with other Norwegian strains in the MLST database and the strains that are included in this study constitute clonal complexes (CC) 9, 10, and 11 in addition to the singleton. PMID:25215241

  17. Comparative population dynamics of a generalist (Ixodes ricinus) and specialist tick (I. hexagonus) species from European hedgehogs.

    PubMed

    Pfäffle, M; Petney, T; Skuballa, J; Taraschewski, H

    2011-06-01

    Although the population dynamics of the tick Ixodes ricinus are relatively well studied, those of other Western European tick species are largely unknown. Moreover, there is very little information related to the interactions between I. ricinus and other ticks. Such knowledge, however, is of special interest in respect to the epidemiology of tick-borne pathogens such as Borrelia spp. We compared the dynamics of the generalist I. ricinus with the nest-dwelling hedgehog specialist, I. hexagonus. Both species were collected from hedgehogs from a naturally infested experimental population between 2006 and 2008. Ticks were collected once a month from March to October from each hedgehog counted and the life history stage and species determined. All hedgehogs harboured both tick species. Nymphs, females and males of I. ricinus showed clear bimodal seasonal distributions with peaks in spring and autumn, while larvae peaked only in summer. The density of I. hexagonus life stages was low during the whole investigation period and seasonal fluctuations of population density were much weaker compared to I. ricinus. Nymphs and larvae showed comparatively little change in population size and no consistent period of peak density. Females showed a single peak in summer and males were found only occasionally on hedgehogs. We suggest density-dependent mechanisms regulating the population density of the specialist I. hexagonus but not of the generalist I. ricinus.

  18. 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.

  19. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from migratory birds in Southern Norway

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) are the causative agent for Lyme borreliosis (LB), the most common tick-borne disease in the northern hemisphere. Birds are considered important in the global dispersal of ticks and tick-borne pathogens through their migration. The present study is the first description of B. burgdorferi prevalence and genotypes in Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on birds during spring and autumn migration in Norway. Methods 6538 migratory birds were captured and examined for ticks at Lista Bird Observatory during the spring and the autumn migration in 2008. 822 immature I. ricinus ticks were collected from 215 infested birds. Ticks were investigated for infection with B. burgdorferi s.l. by real-time PCR amplification of the 16S rRNA gene, and B. burgdorferi s.l. were thereafter genotyped by melting curve analysis after real-time PCR amplification of the hbb gene, or by direct sequencing of the PCR amplicon generated from the rrs (16S)-rrl (23S) intergenetic spacer. Results B. burgdorferi s.l. were detected in 4.4% of the ticks. The most prevalent B. burgdorferi genospecies identified were B. garinii (77.8%), followed by B.valaisiana (11.1%), B. afzelii (8.3%) and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (2.8%). Conclusion Infection rate in ticks and genospecies composition were similar in spring and autumn migration, however, the prevalence of ticks on birds was higher during spring migration. The study supports the notion that birds are important in the dispersal of ticks, and that they may be partly responsible for the heterogeneous distribution of B. burgdorferi s.l. in Europe. PMID:21054890

  20. A symbiont of the tick Ixodes ricinus invades and consumes mitochondria in a mode similar to that of the parasitic bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus.

    PubMed

    Sacchi, L; Bigliardi, E; Corona, S; Beninati, T; Lo, N; Franceschi, A

    2004-02-01

    We have recently performed molecular characterisation of an intracellular alpha-proteobacterium, named IricES1, which resides in the ovarian tissue of female Ixodes ricinus ticks from Italy. A unique characteristic of this bacterium is its ability to invade the mitochondria of the cells in which it resides. Although some ultrastructural studies have been performed on close relatives of this bacterium from I. ricinus in England and Switzerland, a number of questions remain about its movement within ovarian tissues and mitochondria. We have performed the first detailed ultrastructural examination of IricES1 in engorged female adult I. ricinus. Among our findings was that the bacterium enters mitochondria in a similar way to that employed by the 'predatory' bacterium Bdellovibro bacteriovorus, that is, between the inner and outer membranes. It then appears to multiply, with the new 'colony' consuming the mitochondrial matrix. Despite having many of their mitochondria consumed, oocytes appear to develop normally, and the bacteria are likely to be vertically transferred to all eggs.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from southern Poland.

    PubMed

    Strzelczyk, Joanna K; Gaździcka, Jadwiga; Cuber, Piotr; Asman, Marek; Trapp, Gizela; Gołąbek, Karolina; Zalewska-Ziob, Marzena; Nowak-Chmura, Magdalena; Siuda, Krzysztof; Wiczkowski, Andrzej; Solarz, Krzysztof

    2015-12-01

    In 2008-2011 ticks were collected from southern Poland. Out of 6336 individuals collected and identified as Ixodes ricinus, 768 (2 larvae, 84 nymphs, 417 females, 265 males) were included in molecular study. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and types of genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in ticks. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was applied to detect the presence of pathogens in ticks. Subsequently the amplified DNA was digested with TasI enzyme. The infection rate was 15% (116) of examined ticks. PCR-RFLP analysis allowed distinguishing three genospecies of B. burgdorferi s.l.: B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. afzelii, and B. garinii. RFLP analyses of 116 positive samples revealed 96 (83%) monoinfections and 13 (11%) coinfections, whereas unidentified genospecies were present in 7 (6%) of positive samples. In the case of monoinfections, B. burgdorferi s.s. was the predominant species of pathogen in infected ticks - 61.4%. Other genospecies: B. garinii and B. afzelii were detected in 22.9% and 15.6% of the samples, respectively. To sum up, 15 % of ticks were infected by B. burgdorferi s.l which increases the risk of human infections in the recreational areas of southern Poland. Furthermore, there is a need to increase public awareness and implement more preventive measures concerning Lyme disease.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from moose (Alces alces) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in southern Norway.

    PubMed

    Kjelland, Vivian; Ytrehus, Bjørnar; Stuen, Snorre; Skarpaas, Tone; Slettan, Audun

    2011-06-01

    As part of a larger survey, ears from 18 roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and 52 moose (Alces alces) shot in the 2 southernmost counties in Norway were collected and examined for Ixodes ricinus ticks. Seventy-two adult ticks, 595 nymphs, and 267 larvae from the roe deer, and 182 adult ticks, 433 nymphs, and 70 larvae from the moose were investigated for infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.). The results showed the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA in 2.9% of the nymphs collected from roe deer and in 4.4% of the nymphs and 6.0% of the adults collected from moose. The spirochetes were not detected in adult ticks from roe deer, or in larvae feeding on roe deer or moose. In comparison, the mean infection prevalences in questing I. ricinus collected from the same geographical area were 0.5% infection in larvae, 24.5% in nymphs, and 26.9% in adults. The most prevalent B. burgdorferi genospecies identified in ticks collected from roe deer was B. afzelii (76.5%), followed by B. garinii (17.6%), and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (5.9%). Only B. afzelii (76.7%) and B. garinii (23.3%) were detected in ticks collected from moose. The present study indicates a lower prevalence of B. burgdorferi infection in I. ricinus ticks feeding on roe deer and moose compared to questing ticks. This is the first study to report B. burgdorferi s.l. prevalence in ticks removed from cervids in Norway.

  9. Prevention of infectious tick-borne diseases in humans: Comparative studies of the repellency of different dodecanoic acid-formulations against Ixodes ricinus ticks (Acari: Ixodidae)

    PubMed Central

    Schwantes, Ulrich; Dautel, Hans; Jung, Gerd

    2008-01-01

    Background Ticks of the species Ixodes ricinus are the main vectors of Lyme Borreliosis and Tick-borne Encephalitis – two rapidly emerging diseases in Europe. Repellents provide a practical means of protection against tick bites and can therefore minimize the transmission of tick-borne diseases. We developed and tested seven different dodecanoic acid (DDA)-formulations for their efficacy in repelling host-seeking nymphs of I. ricinus by laboratory screening. The ultimately selected formulation was then used for comparative investigations of commercially available tick repellents in humans. Methods Laboratory screening tests were performed using the Moving-object (MO) bioassay. All test formulations contained 10% of the naturally occurring active substance DDA and differed only in terms of the quantitative and qualitative composition of inactive ingredients and fragrances. The test procedure used in the human bioassays is a modification of an assay described by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and recommended for regulatory affairs. Repellency was computed using the equation: R = 100 - NR/N × 100, where NR is the number of non-repelled ticks, and N is the respective number of control ticks. All investigations were conducted in a controlled laboratory environment offering standardized test conditions. Results All test formulations strongly repelled nymphs of I. ricinus (100-81% protection) as shown by the MO-bioassay. The majority of ticks dropped off the treated surface of the heated rotating drum that served as the attractant (1 mg/cm2 repellent applied). The 10% DDA-based formulation, that produced the best results in laboratory screening, was as effective as the coconut oil-based reference product. The mean protection time of both preparations was generally similar and averaged 8 hours. Repellency investigations in humans showed that the most effective 10% DDA-based formulation (~1.67 mg/cm2 applied) strongly avoided the attachment of I. ricinus nymphs

  10. 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.

  11. Transport of Ixodes ricinus infected with Borrelia species to Norway by northward-migrating passerine birds.

    PubMed

    Hasle, Gunnar; Bjune, Gunnar Aksel; Midthjell, Liv; Røed, Knut Håkon; Leinaas, Hans Petter

    2011-03-01

    Birds are capable of transporting ticks and, consequently, tick-borne pathogens over long distances and across geographical barriers such as oceans and deserts. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of Borrelia spp. in ticks transported by birds by using PCR. A total of 9768 northward-migrating passerine birds was examined for ticks at 4 bird observatories along the southern Norwegian coast during their spring migration in 2003-2005. Two of the bird observatories were located on islands where flagging revealed very few or no ticks (Akerøya and Store Færder), while the other 2 were located in areas with established dense tick populations: an island, Jomfruland (>100 ticks per hour of flagging) and a mainland locality, Lista (40 ticks in one hour of flagging). Borrelia spp. were found in 70 (13.6%) of 513 examined Ixodes ricinus nymphs (19 B. afzelii, 38 B. garinii, two B. turdi, and 11 B. valaisiana) and in 14 (8.1%) of 172 examined I. ricinus larvae (ten B. garinii, one B. turdi, and three B. valaisiana). This report is the first to identify B. turdi in Europe. Ticks collected from birds of the genus Turdus (T. merula, T. philomelos, and T. iliacus) had a higher prevalence of Borrelia spp. than ticks from the other passerine genera. Ticks that were cofeeding with a Borrelia-infected tick had an increased probability of being infected with the same Borrelia species. Ticks collected on birds from the south-western locality Lista were less likely to have Borrelia than ticks found on birds from the other, more eastern localities. The Turdus spp. are particularly important, both because they carry many ticks per bird and because ticks carried by these species have a higher prevalence of Borrelia. This higher prevalence may be related to Borrelia infection of the birds or transmission of Borrelia through cofeeding. The prevalence of the different Borrelia species in ticks collected from migratory birds may be related to migration routes.

  12. Ir-CPI, a coagulation contact phase inhibitor from the tick Ixodes ricinus, inhibits thrombus formation without impairing hemostasis

    PubMed Central

    Decrem, Yves; Rath, Géraldine; Blasioli, Virginie; Cauchie, Philippe; Robert, Séverine; Beaufays, Jérôme; Frère, Jean-Marie; Feron, Olivier; Dogné, Jean-Michel; Dessy, Chantal; Vanhamme, Luc

    2009-01-01

    Blood coagulation starts immediately after damage to the vascular endothelium. This system is essential for minimizing blood loss from an injured blood vessel but also contributes to vascular thrombosis. Although it has long been thought that the intrinsic coagulation pathway is not important for clotting in vivo, recent data obtained with genetically altered mice indicate that contact phase proteins seem to be essential for thrombus formation. We show that recombinant Ixodes ricinus contact phase inhibitor (Ir-CPI), a Kunitz-type protein expressed by the salivary glands of the tick Ixodes ricinus, specifically interacts with activated human contact phase factors (FXIIa, FXIa, and kallikrein) and prolongs the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) in vitro. The effects of Ir-CPI were also examined in vivo using both venous and arterial thrombosis models. Intravenous administration of Ir-CPI in rats and mice caused a dose-dependent reduction in venous thrombus formation and revealed a defect in the formation of arterial occlusive thrombi. Moreover, mice injected with Ir-CPI are protected against collagen- and epinephrine-induced thromboembolism. Remarkably, the effective antithrombotic dose of Ir-CPI did not promote bleeding or impair blood coagulation parameters. To conclude, our results show that a contact phase inhibitor is an effective and safe antithrombotic agent in vivo. PMID:19808248

  13. Mechanical tools for the removal of Ixodes ricinus female ticks--differences of instruments and pulling or twisting?

    PubMed

    Duscher, G G; Peschke, R; Tichy, A

    2012-10-01

    The fast and safe removal of ticks is of medical and veterinary importance since many tick-borne pathogens require time to be transmitted. In the past, many tools and applications were used to remove ticks from the skin of humans and pets. Choking the ticks by blocking their respiratory system with chemicals cannot be recommended due to the low respiratory rate of ticks. Mechanical devices to remove ticks are usually recommended; however, they vary with regard to their mechanism of seizing and holding the tick and in the way of extraction (pulling or twisting). In this study, five commercial tick removal devices with different mechanisms were tested on pets according to their practicability, injury of the mouthparts, and the idiosoma of female Ixodes ricinus ticks. Therefore, 22 veterinarians and four pet owners removed 596 ticks from various animals by using the different devices and filled in a questionnaire for each case. The tick species and instars were determined, and for the female I. ricinus ticks (n = 527) the condition of the mouthparts as well as the idiosoma was evaluated. Twisting of the female I. ricinus ticks reduced the force required for extraction, the adverse reaction of the animal and the time needed for removal. The device with a "V"-shaped slot which allows a grabbing of the mouthparts delivered the best results according to the condition of the mouthparts and the intactness of the female I. ricinus tick's body. Therefore, grabbing the mouthparts and twisting can be recommended for removal of I. ricinus females from pets.

  14. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection in larval Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) feeding on blackbirds in northwestern Italy.

    PubMed

    Mannelli, Alessandro; Nebbia, Patrizia; Tramuta, Clara; Grego, Elena; Tomassone, Laura; Ainardi, Romina; Venturini, Lucia; De Meneghi, Daniele; Meneguz, Pier Giuseppe

    2005-03-01

    Birds belonging to 59 species (n = 1,206) were live captured in Piemonte, northwestern Italy, in 2001. Ixodes ricinus (L.) larvae were collected from 59 birds belonging to nine species, and nymphs were recovered on 79 birds belonging to 10 species. Eurasian blackbirds, Turdus merula L., had significantly higher levels of infestation by ticks than other passerine species. Larval I. ricinus of blackbirds peaked in summer, when prevalence was 39% (95% confidence interval 24.2-55.5) and mean number of ticks per host was 3.3 (1.6-7.2), whereas nymphs peaked in spring, when prevalence was 72.2% (54.8-85.8) and mean number of ticks per host was 6.9 (4.4-10.7). Immature I. ricinus were coincidentally aggregated on blackbirds, with 15 blackbirds feeding 67.4% of nymphs and 40.3% of larvae, and coinfestation by both stages was relatively high in summer: Kappa = 0.64 (0.40-0.88). Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato was identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 58.3% (35.9-78.5) of larvae with engorgement ratio > or = 3 that were collected from blackbirds. Larvae that were collected from other passerine species gave negative PCR results. Sixteen of 21 PCR-positive samples belonged to B. garinii (76.2%), and five (23.8%) were Borrelia valaisiana. Results of this study suggest that blackbirds play an important role as hosts for immature I. ricinus and as reservoir of Borrelia garinii in northwestern Italy.

  15. Acaricidal properties of the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia Cheel (tea tree oil) against nymphs of Ixodes ricinus.

    PubMed

    Iori, A; Grazioli, D; Gentile, E; Marano, G; Salvatore, G

    2005-04-20

    The aim of the study was to examine the acaricidal effect of essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil, TTO) at different doses (4, 6, 8 and 10 microl) and for different exposure times (30, 60, 90 and 120 min) on nymphs of Ixodes ricinus. A dose of 8 microl TTO was lethal for more than 70% of ticks when inhaled and this effect was enhanced when the dose was increased to 10 microl (> 80%). The effect was correlated with the duration of exposure of ticks to TTO, with a significant effect being observed after 90 min exposure. The findings show that TTO has acaricidal properties and could be extremely useful in controlling ticks that are efficient vectors of pathogens.

  16. The Presence of Borrelia miyamotoi, A Relapsing Fever Spirochaete, in Questing Ixodes ricinus in Belgium and in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Cochez, C; Heyman, P; Heylen, D; Fonville, M; Hengeveld, P; Takken, W; Simons, L; Sprong, H

    2015-08-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi is a tick-borne bacterium that may cause relapsing fever in humans. As this pathogen has been discovered in Europe only recently, only little is known about its local impact on human health and its spatial distribution. In this study, we show the results of PCR screenings for B. miyamotoi in flagged Ixodes ricinus from Belgium and the Netherlands. B. miyamotoi was detected in nine of thirteen, and three of five locations from the Netherlands and Belgium, respectively. These outcomes indicate that B. miyamotoi is more spread than previously thought. The mean infection rate B. miyamotoi was 1.14% for Belgium and 3.84% for the Netherlands.

  17. Localization of the bacterial symbiont Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii within the hard tick Ixodes ricinus by whole-mount FISH staining.

    PubMed

    Epis, Sara; Mandrioli, Mauro; Genchi, Marco; Montagna, Matteo; Sacchi, Luciano; Pistone, Dario; Sassera, Davide

    2013-02-01

    Here, we present an investigation on the spatial distribution of the bacterial symbiont Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii within Ixodes ricinus, by whole mount fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). M. mitochondrii is a peculiar, recently discovered bacterium that resides in the mitochondria of female ticks. We applied a rapid and specific FISH protocol with oligonucleotide probes targeted on the 16S rRNA of M. mitochondrii, 12S rRNA of tick mitochondria, and a probe revealing active mitochondria. In this report that represents the first application of whole mount FISH on ticks, we observed strong, specific fluorescence signals in all the examined life stages, as the optimized protocol allowed us to overcome the autofluorescence interference of the cuticle. Cellular localization and quantification of the symbionts were also assessed with electron microscopy and specific real-time PCR, respectively.

  18. Local-scale spatio-temporal distribution of questing Ixodes ricinus L. (Acari: Ixodidae)-A case study from a riparian urban forest in Wrocław, SW Poland.

    PubMed

    Kiewra, Dorota; Stefańska-Krzaczek, Ewa; Szymanowski, Mariusz; Szczepańska, Anna

    2017-03-01

    This paper presents the distribution of questing Ixodes ricinus ticks in suburban forest intensively visited by people. The local-scale observations conducted during a 4-year study at 99 plots (of 100m(2) each) located throughout the entire area of a riparian urban forest, showed a high variation in the density of ticks from year to year. Although I. ricinus is generally permanent in the study area, spatial distribution of sample plots harbouring I. ricinus is variable, i.e. mainly random for adults and larvae, and random or clustered for nymphs. Among the most common plant species in the herb layer, there were not any species which had a statistically significant and constant impact on the occurrence of any of the development stages of I. ricinus. Also relations between the density of tick development stages and vegetation variables, including cover of the herb layer, total species number, species number of the herb layer, and percentage coverage of particular species, as well as ecological indices for light, soil moisture, reaction, and nutrients, did not show any constant and predictable pattern in subsequent years of the study. Only tree and shrub layers were found as variables positively affecting the density of ticks. Although small, suburban forests can be considered as tick-borne risk areas, it is impossible to determine in details areas of tick-borne risk.

  19. Symbiotic bacteria in oocyte and ovarian cell mitochondria of the tick Ixodes ricinus: biology and phylogenetic position.

    PubMed

    Rymaszewska, Anna

    2007-04-01

    Under natural conditions, eukaryote cells may contain bacteria. Arthropods such as ticks, insects or mites are a group particularly favoured by the obligate intracellular bacteria. While arthropods are vectors for some of them, other bacteria inhabit invertebrate host cells having entered mutualistic interactions. Such endosymbionts dwell usually in the host cell vacuoles or cytoplasm but have been also reported from tick oocyte mitochondria. The microorganisms contribute to mitochondria degradation, but their colonies are not eliminated from the tick cells affected. So far, such bacteria have been detected in three research centres. The Italian centre has reported on results of microscope and molecular analyses, while the Polish centre published molecular data. The Danish centre registered a 16S rRNA gene fragment in GenBank. Independent comparisons of the 16S rRNA gene sequences, carried out in the Italian and Polish centres, confirmed that the nucleotide sequences of the Ixodes ricinus endosymbionts formed a single clade with certain non-identified tick bacterium species isolated from the tick Haemaphysalis wellingtoni. On the other hand, pathogenic species of the genera Anaplasma, Ehrlichia and Rickettsia detected in I. ricinus as well as symbionts of the genus Wolbachia present in Culex pipiens and Drosophila simulans have been placed at a different site on the phylogenetic tree.

  20. Phylogenetic Lineages and Postglacial Dispersal Dynamics Characterize the Genetic Structure of the Tick, Ixodes ricinus, in Northwest Europe

    PubMed Central

    Røed, Knut H.; Kvie, Kjersti S.; Hasle, Gunnar; Gilbert, Lucy; Leinaas, Hans Petter

    2016-01-01

    Dispersal and gene flow are important mechanisms affecting the dynamics of vectors and their pathogens. Here, patterns of genetic diversity were analyzed in many North European populations of the tick, Ixodes ricinus. Population sites were selected within and between areas separated by geographical barriers in order to evaluate the importance of tick transportation by birds in producing genetic connectivity across open sea and mountain ranges. The phylogenetic analyses of the mitochondrial control region and the cytochrome b gene revealed two distinct clades with supported sub-clades, with three genetic lineages: GB and WNo associated with Great Britain and western Norway respectively, and Eu with a wider distribution across continental Europe in agreement with much lower efficiency of tick dispersal by birds than by large mammals. The results suggest different ancestry of I. ricinus colonizing Britain and the rest of northern Europe, possibly from different glacial refuges, while ticks from western Norway and continental Europe share a more recent common ancestry. Demographic history modeling suggests a period of strong increase in tick abundance coincident with progression of the European Neolithic culture, long after their post-glacial colonization of NW Europe. PMID:27907193

  1. Prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus ticks from different geographical locations in Belarus.

    PubMed

    Reye, Anna L; Stegniy, Valentina; Mishaeva, Nina P; Velhin, Sviataslau; Hübschen, Judith M; Ignatyev, George; Muller, Claude P

    2013-01-01

    Worldwide, ticks are important vectors of human and animal pathogens. Besides Lyme Borreliosis, a variety of other bacterial and protozoal tick-borne infections are of medical interest in Europe. In this study, 553 questing and feeding Ixodes ricinus (n = 327) and Dermacentor reticulatus ticks (n = 226) were analysed by PCR for Borrelia, Rickettsia, Anaplasma, Coxiella, Francisella and Babesia species. Overall, the pathogen prevalence in ticks was 30.6% for I. ricinus and 45.6% for D. reticulatus. The majority of infections were caused by members of the spotted-fever group rickettsiae (24.4%), 9.4% of ticks were positive for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, with Borrelia afzelii being the most frequently detected species (40.4%). Pathogens with low prevalence rates in ticks were Anaplasma phagocytophilum (2.2%), Coxiella burnetii (0.9%), Francisella tularensis subspecies (0.7%), Bartonella henselae (0.7%), Babesia microti (0.5%) and Babesia venatorum (0.4%). On a regional level, hotspots of pathogens were identified for A. phagocytophilum (12.5-17.2%), F. tularensis ssp. (5.5%) and C. burnetii (9.1%), suggesting established zoonotic cycles of these pathogens at least at these sites. Our survey revealed a high burden of tick-borne pathogens in questing and feeding I. ricinus and D. reticulatus ticks collected in different regions in Belarus, indicating a potential risk for humans and animals. Identified hotspots of infected ticks should be included in future surveillance studies, especially when F. tularensis ssp. and C. burnetii are involved.

  2. Tick Thioester-Containing Proteins and Phagocytosis Do Not Affect Transmission of Borrelia afzelii from the Competent Vector Ixodes ricinus

    PubMed Central

    Urbanová, Veronika; Hajdušek, Ondřej; Hönig Mondeková, Helena; Šíma, Radek; Kopáček, Petr

    2017-01-01

    The present concept of the transmission of Lyme disease from Borrelia-infected Ixodes sp. ticks to the naïve host assumes that a low number of spirochetes that manage to penetrate the midgut epithelium migrate through the hemocoel to the salivary glands and subsequently infect the host with the aid of immunomodulatory compounds present in tick saliva. Therefore, humoral and/or cellular immune reactions within the tick hemocoel may play an important role in tick competence to act as a vector for borreliosis. To test this hypothesis we have examined complement-like reactions in the hemolymph of the hard tick Ixodes ricinus against Borrelia afzelii (the most common vector and causative agent of Lyme disease in Europe). We demonstrate that I. ricinus hemolymph does not exhibit borreliacidal effects comparable to complement-mediated lysis of bovine sera. However, after injection of B. afzelii into the tick hemocoel, the spirochetes were efficiently phagocytosed by tick hemocytes and this cellular defense was completely eliminated by pre-injection of latex beads. As tick thioester-containing proteins (T-TEPs) are components of the tick complement system, we performed RNAi-mediated silencing of all nine genes encoding individual T-TEPs followed by in vitro phagocytosis assays. Silencing of two molecules related to the C3 complement component (IrC3-2 and IrC3-3) significantly suppressed phagocytosis of B. afzelii, while knockdown of IrTep (insect type TEP) led to its stimulation. However, RNAi-mediated silencing of T-TEPs or elimination of phagocytosis by injection of latex beads in B. afzelii-infected I. ricinus nymphs had no obvious impact on the transmission of spirochetes to naïve mice, as determined by B. afzelii infection of murine tissues following tick infestation. This result supports the concept that Borrelia spirochetes are capable of avoiding complement-related reactions within the hemocoel of ticks competent to transmit Lyme disease. PMID:28361038

  3. Detection and quantification of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia spp. in Ixodes ricinus ticks from urban and rural environment, northern Poland, by real-time polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed

    Stańczak, Joanna; Cieniuch, Stella; Lass, Anna; Biernat, Beata; Racewicz, Maria

    2015-05-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia spp. are emerging tick-borne pathogens which can threaten human health. A duplex real-time PCR and qPCRs with primers and probes targeting 97 and 116 bp fragments of 16S rRNA and 18S rRNA genes, respectively, were used for qualitative and quantitative detection of both pathogens in Ixodes ricinus ticks. Altogether 1875 ticks (1084 adults and 791 nymphs) were collected from rural and urban habitats in northern Poland. Of them, at least 0.9% were found to be infected with A. phagocytophilum while 2.5% with Babesia spp. A comparison of the infection rates by the tick stage, the type of area, the collection site, habitats of different tick density and by the month of collection was done. The prevalence of pathogens was significantly lower in nymphs than in adult ticks (p = 0.02) and in rural areas than in urban areas (p = 0.007). Four different 16S rRNA gene variants of A. phagocytophilum were determine, however none of them showed 100% identity with compared sequences isolated from human patients. The dominant Babesia species was B. venatorum. Results of qPCRs with circular and linearized forms of plasmids used as the standards showed significant difference in the pathogen loads (p = 0.001). The copy numbers of A. phagocytophilum and Babesia spp. estimated from the linear plasmids were 28.7 and 5.1 times lower, respectively, when compared with their circular forms, and were accepted as more reliable. The average number of copies of 16S rRNA gene of A. phagocytophilum in the positive I. ricinus samples were 3.39 × 10(5) ± 6.09 × 10(5). The mean copy number of 18S rRNA gene of Babesia spp. was ~2.55 × 10(5) ± 1.04 × 10(6). We confirmed the presence of A. phagocytophilum and Babesia spp. in I. ricinus in both rural and urban environments. The determined low infection rates suggests, however, that the risk for local population and tourists to acquire infection is also low. Moreover, we confirmed recent findings that serious

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2015-12-18

    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

  6. Identification of host blood-meal sources and Borrelia in field-collected Ixodes ricinus ticks in north-western Poland.

    PubMed

    Wodecka, Beata; Skotarczak, Bogumila

    2016-01-01

    Forest animals play fundamental roles in the maintenance of Ixodes ricinus and Borrelia species in the forest biotope. To identify the forest vertebrate species that are host for I. ricinus and for the recognition of the reservoirs of Borrelia species, the blood-meal of 325 I. ricinus ticks collected at two forest sites in north-western Poland were analysed. Nested PCR was used to detect polymorphisms in a fragment of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene for the identification of the hosts species. The products were digested with the restriction enzymes, a combination that allows the identification of 60 vertebrate species, comprising 17 bird, 4 reptile and 39 mammalian species. Host DNA was detected in 244 (75%) I. ricinus individuals, with the species being detected and classified for 210 (86%) samples. The restriction patterns resulted in the identification of 14 vertebrate species, including 2 species of birds, lizard, badger, rabbit, deer; most of the samples contained DNA from wild boar (Sus scrofa), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), red deer (Cervus elaphus) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). Identification of Borrelia species was based on the flaB gene using nested PCR coupled to RFLP. This method allows the identification of all Borrelia species transmitted by I. ricinus in Europe, including B. miyamotoi and 3 genetic variants of B. garinii. In the studied isolates, 2 species belonging to B. burgdorferi sensu lato were identified--B. garinii and B. afzelii, and B. miyamotoi, which are related to relapsing fever borreliae.

  7. Ricinus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Castor (Ricinus communis L.) could become one of the premier crops for health enhancing phytochemicals. Immunotoxins derived from castor bean constituents have proven effective in targeting tumor cells without harming normal cells in humans. In addition, castor bean is currently undergoing intense r...

  8. '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.

  9. Methodological caveats in the environmental modelling and projections of climate niche for ticks, with examples for Ixodes ricinus (Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Estrada-Peña, A; Estrada-Sánchez, A; Estrada-Sánchez, D

    2015-02-28

    Interest is increasing in inferring the climate niche of health-threatening arthropods and projecting such inferences onto a territory. This approach is intended to predict the range of tick distribution and to elucidate tick responses to climate scenarios, using so-called correlative models. However, some methodological gaps might prevent achieving an adequate background for hypothesis testing. We explore, describe, and illustrate these procedural inaccuracies with examples focused on the tick Ixodes ricinus and examine how these factors might affect modelling outcomes. Our aim was to develop a backdrop of rules for developing reliable models for these parasites. The use of partial sets of tick occurrences might produce unreliable associations with climate because the algorithms cannot capture the complete niche with which the tick is associated. Reliability measures of the model cannot detect these inaccuracies, and undesirable estimations of the niche will prevail in the chain of further calculations. The use of inadequate environmental variables (covariates) may lead to inflation of the results of the model through two statistical processes, autocorrelation and colinearity. We demonstrate the high colinearity existing in climate products derived from interpolation of climate recording stations. Our explicit advice is to focus on the training of climate models with satellite-derived information of climate, from which colinearity of the time series has been removed through a harmonic regression. We also emphasize the high uncertainty if inference about the climate niche is expanded into different time slices, like projected climate scenarios.

  10. The paradox of the binomial Ixodes ricinus activity and the observed unimodal Lyme borreliosis season in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Trájer, A; Bede-Fazekas, Á; Hufnagel, L; Bobvos, J; Páldy, A

    2014-01-01

    The change of ambient temperature plays a key role in determining the run of the annual Lyme season. Our aim was to explain the apparent contradiction between the annual unimodal Lyme borreliosis incidence and the bimodal Ixodes ricinus tick activity run--both observed in Hungary--by distinguishing the temperature-dependent seasonal human and tick activity, the temperature-independent factors, and the multiplicative effect of human outdoor activity in summer holiday, using data from Hungary in the period of 1998-2012. This separation was verified by modeling the Lyme incidence based on the separated factors, and comparing the run of the observed and modeled incidence. We demonstrated the bimodality of tick season by using the originally unimodal Lyme incidence data. To model the outdoor human activity, the amount of camping guest nights was used, which showed an irregular run from mid-June to September. The human outdoor activity showed a similar exponential correlation with ambient temperature to that what the relative incidence did. It was proved that summer holiday has great influence on Lyme incidence.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Evaluation of the efficacy of afoxolaner against two European dog tick species: Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus.

    PubMed

    Dumont, Pascal; Blair, Jeffrey; Fourie, Josephus J; Chester, Theodore S; Larsen, Diane L

    2014-04-02

    The acaricidal efficacy of a novel oral formulation of afoxolaner (NEXGARD(®), Merial) against two European tick species was assessed in dogs experimentally infested with Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus. Three studies, each characterized by a negative controlled randomized block design, were conducted with a total of 52 beagle or mongrel dogs of both sexes. Starting 2 days before treatment, each dog was infested weekly with approximately 50 ticks. The number of live ticks was counted at 48 h post-treatment (Day 2) as well as 48 h following each infestation on Days 9, 16, 23, and 30. Afoxolaner, administered at an average dose of 2.7 mg/kg bodyweight (range 2.5-2.9 mg/kg), rapidly eliminated the pre-existing tick infestations with over 99% acaricidal efficacy and controlled the weekly re-infestations for up to 30 days post treatment with over 96% efficacy on both tick species. Afoxolaner provides excellent acaricidal efficacy against these two major European tick species using the oral route of administration.

  14. Co-infection with 'Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis' and Borrelia afzelii in an Ixodes ricinus tick that has bitten a human in Romania.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Martin; Zaghdoudi-Allan, Nadège; Tamba, Paula; Stefanache, Mircea; Chitimia, Lidia

    2014-10-01

    Despite the vast importance of ticks as disease vectors, the infectious agents transmitted by ticks are still incompletely known in many areas. Here, we report for the first time the detection of the bacterium 'Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis' in Romania, in an Ixodes ricinus tick obtained from a human. Furthermore, the tick also had a co-infection with Borrelia afzelii. 'Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis' is one of the most recent discoveries of a tick-borne agent, and has been found in human patients in several European countries as well as in China.

  15. 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.

  16. Established and emerging pathogens in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from birds on a conservation island in the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Franke, J; Meier, F; Moldenhauer, A; Straube, E; Dorn, W; Hildebrandt, A

    2010-12-01

    Tick-borne pathogens such as Lyme borreliosis spirochaetes, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia spp. and Babesia spp. cause a great variety of diseases in animals and humans. Although their importance with respect to emerging human diseases is increasing, many issues about their ecology are still unclear. In spring 2007, 191 Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) ticks were collected from 99 birds of 11 species on a bird conservation island in the Baltic Sea in order to test them for Borrelia spp., A. phagocytophilum, Rickettsia spp. and Babesia spp. infections. Identification of the pathogens was performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequence analysis. The majority of birds with ticks testing positive were European robins and thrushes. Borrelia DNA was detected in 14.1%, A. phagocytophilum in 2.6%, rickettsiae in 7.3% and Babesia spp. in 4.7% of the ticks. Co-infections with different pathogens occurred in six ticks (3.1%). The fact that 11 ticks (five larvae, six nymphs) were infected with Borrelia afzelii suggests that birds may, contrary to current opinion, serve as reservoir hosts for this species. Among rickettsial infections, we identified Rickettsia monacensis and Rickettsia helvetica. As we detected five Rickettsia spp. positive larvae and two birds carried more than one infected tick, transmission of those pathogens from birds to ticks appears possible. Further characterization of Babesia infections revealed Babesia divergens and Babesia microti. The occurrence of Babesia spp. in a total of five larvae suggests that birds may be able to infect ticks, at least with Ba. microti, a species considered not to be transmitted transovarially in ticks.

  17. 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.

  18. Molecular detection of tick-borne pathogens in Ixodes ricinus from Moldova collected in 1960.

    PubMed

    Movila, Alexandru; Toderas, Ion; Uspenskaia, Inga; Conovalov, Jurii

    2013-06-01

    This study is the first report about the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens, as well as their (co-)infection rates, in the museum-archived I. ricinus female ticks collected in Moldova in 1960. A total of 16.7% (21/126) ticks was mono-infected. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto was revealed as the most abundant species (4.8%) followed by B. garinii (1.6%), B. afzelii (0.8%), B. valaisiana (0.8%), and B. lusitaniae (0.8%). DNA of Rickettsia helvetica (2.4%), R. monacensis (2.4%), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (2.4%), 'Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis' (0.8%), and Babesia microti (0.8%) were also detected, indicating the occurrence of these emerging tick-borne microorganisms in Moldova since 1960 at least. In this study, we detected a co-infection (0.8%; 1/126 tested ticks) between B. microti and R. helvetica. Additional investigations are warranted to further characterize a historical snapshot of the distribution of tick-borne pathogens in Europe.

  19. A Vegetation Index qualifying pasture edges is related to Ixodes ricinus density and to Babesia divergens seroprevalence in dairy cattle herds.

    PubMed

    Agoulon, Albert; Malandrin, Laurence; Lepigeon, Florent; Vénisse, Maxime; Bonnet, Sarah; Becker, Claire A M; Hoch, Thierry; Bastian, Suzanne; Plantard, Olivier; Beaudeau, François

    2012-04-30

    Babesia divergens, transmitted by the tick Ixodes ricinus, is the main agent of bovine piroplasmosis in France. This Apicomplexa often is present in asymptomatic carriers; however, clinical cases are rare. While numerous factors are known to influence tick density, no risk factor of contact with B. divergens has been identified for cattle. Our study aimed to explore whether a Vegetation Index could serve as an indirect indicator of within-herd B. divergens seroprevalence. In February 2007, blood samples were taken from all of the cows in 19 dairy cattle herds in Western France and IFAT serology was performed individually to measure B. divergens seroprevalence. The following spring, I. ricinus nymphs were collected by drag sampling along transects on the vegetation of each farm's pasture perimeters. Tick density was related significantly to a Vegetation Index (V.I., ranging from 1 to 5) that took into account the abundance of trees and bushes on the edge of pastures: most ticks (57%) were found in transects with the highest V.I. (covering 15% of the explored surface in the study area). At the farm level, the proportion of transects presenting I. ricinus nymphs was significantly related to B. divergens seroprevalence: the farms with more than 15% of transects with I. ricinus had a significantly higher risk of high seroprevalence. The proportion of pasture perimeters where the V.I.=5 also was significantly related to B. divergens seroprevalence: the farms where more than 20% of transects had a V.I.=5 had a significantly higher risk of high seroprevalence. Given that the Vegetation Index is a steady indicator of the potential I. ricinus density in the biotope, we recommend that the risk of high B. divergens seroprevalence in cows be evaluated using this tool rather than drag samplings.

  20. Rodent species as natural reservoirs of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in different habitats of Ixodes ricinus in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Gassner, Fedor; Takken, Willem; Plas, Carin Lombaers-van der; Kastelein, Pieter; Hoetmer, Arno J; Holdinga, Maarten; van Overbeek, Leonard S

    2013-09-01

    Rodents are natural reservoirs for human pathogenic spirochaetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi complex [B. burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.)], and the pathogens are transmitted by Ixodes ricinus ticks to humans in The Netherlands. B. burgdorferi s.l. infection prevalence in questing ticks, rodents, and ticks feeding on these rodents, all sampled within the same short time span of five days in three different areas in The Netherlands, were compared in order to establish the relationship between ticks, reservoir hosts, and B. burgdorferi s.l. Questing nymphs were found in all 3 areas and numbers differed per area and even per site within areas. Infection prevalence in questing nymphs ranged between 0 and 20%. Apodemus sylvaticus and Myodes glareolus were the dominant rodents captured, and their numbers differed per area. Infection prevalence, determined by ear biopsies, ranged between 0 and 33.3% for both rodent species. Larvae were most frequently found feeding on these rodents, and their Borrelia infection prevalence ranged between 0 and 6.3% (A. sylvaticus) and between 0 and 29.4% (M. glareolus). The burden of nymphs feeding on rodents was low and varied per area with only 2 of 42 nymphs infected. Comparisons made on the basis of infection prevalence indicated that there was no clear relationship between rodents and questing nymphs when sampled within the same short time span. However, a possible relationship was present when questing ticks were sampled over longer periods in time (months) within or near the same areas (range of infection prevalence between 3.7 and 39.4). Confounding factors thus play a role in the interaction between rodents, ticks, and B. burgdorferi s.l., and it is very likely that other reservoir host species are responsible for the observed fluctuations. It is concluded that the local variations in rodent-Borrelia-tick interactions only partially explain the Lyme borreliosis risk in the sites studied and that other ecological determinants, notably

  1. Influence of microclimate on the life cycle of the common tick Ixodes ricinus (L.) in an open area in comparison with forest habitats.

    PubMed

    Daniel, M; Cerný, V; Dusbábek, F; Honzáková, E; Olejnícek, J

    1977-01-01

    Under conditions of the South-Moravian region of Pannonian climate (Valtice near Breclav), the life cycle of the common tick Ixodes ricinus (L.) was studied and a continous recording of main elements of microclimate (temperature and humidity) was carried out in an open grassy area. Simultaneously the process of hibernation was studied in four soil layers (surface, depths of 10, 20 and 30 cm). Observations were assessed by mathematiccal-statistical tests and compared with the results obtained by the same methods in the forest biotope (tipe of thermophilic oak forest)and in the ecotone of forest margin (Daniel et al. 1976). The ticks are able to complete the developmental cycle also in the open grassy areas, where during the vegetation period the development proceeds more quickly than in the forest but with considerably higher losses. In the discussion the conclusions are compared with literary data from other parts of Czechoslovakia.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Anaplasmataceae and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in the sand lizard Lacerta agilis and co-infection of these bacteria in hosted Ixodes ricinus ticks

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Anaplasmataceae and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. are important tick-borne bacteria maintained in nature by transmission between ticks and vertebrate hosts. However, the potential role of lizards as hosts has not been sufficiently studied. Results The current study showed that 23 of 171 examined sand lizards Lacerta agilis were PCR positive for Anaplasmataceae. The nucleotide sequences of the several selected PCR products showed 100% homology with Anaplasma spp. found in Ixodes ricinus collected in Tunisia and Morocco (AY672415 - AY672420). 1.2% of lizard collar scale samples were PCR positive for B. lusitaniae. In addition, 12 of 290 examined I. ricinus were PCR positive for B. burgdorferi s.l. and 82 were PCR positive for Anaplasmatacea. The number of ticks per lizard and the number of ticks PCR positive for both microorganisms per lizard were strongly correlated. Moreover, we found a significant correlation between numbers of ticks infected with Anaplasmataceae and with B. burgdorferi s.l. living on the same lizard. However, there was no significant correlation between detection of both bacteria in the same tick. Conclusions To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of Anaplasmataceae DNA and additionally the second report of B. burgdorferi s.l DNA detection in the sand lizard. PMID:21933412

  6. Impact of climatic change on the northern latitude limit and population density of the disease-transmitting European tick Ixodes ricinus.

    PubMed

    Lindgren, E; Tälleklint, L; Polfeldt, T

    2000-02-01

    We examined whether a reported northward expansion of the geographic distribution limit of the disease-transmitting tick Ixodes ricinus and an increased tick density between the early 1980s and mid-1990s in Sweden was related to climatic changes. The annual number of days with minimum temperatures above vital bioclimatic thresholds for the tick's life-cycle dynamics were related to tick density in both the early 1980s and the mid-1990s in 20 districts in central and northern Sweden. The winters were markedly milder in all of the study areas in the 1990s as compared to the 1980s. Our results indicate that the reported northern shift in the distribution limit of ticks is related to fewer days during the winter seasons with low minimum temperatures, i.e., below -12 degrees C. At high latitudes, low winter temperatures had the clearest impact on tick distribution. Further south, a combination of mild winters (fewer days with minimum temperatures below -7 degrees C) and extended spring and autumn seasons (more days with minimum temperatures from 5 to 8 degrees C) was related to increases in tick density. We conclude that the relatively mild climate of the 1990s in Sweden is probably one of the primary reasons for the observed increase of density and geographic range of I. ricinus ticks.

  7. Impact of climatic change on the northern latitude limit and population density of the disease-transmitting European tick Ixodes ricinus.

    PubMed Central

    Lindgren, E; Tälleklint, L; Polfeldt, T

    2000-01-01

    We examined whether a reported northward expansion of the geographic distribution limit of the disease-transmitting tick Ixodes ricinus and an increased tick density between the early 1980s and mid-1990s in Sweden was related to climatic changes. The annual number of days with minimum temperatures above vital bioclimatic thresholds for the tick's life-cycle dynamics were related to tick density in both the early 1980s and the mid-1990s in 20 districts in central and northern Sweden. The winters were markedly milder in all of the study areas in the 1990s as compared to the 1980s. Our results indicate that the reported northern shift in the distribution limit of ticks is related to fewer days during the winter seasons with low minimum temperatures, i.e., below -12 degrees C. At high latitudes, low winter temperatures had the clearest impact on tick distribution. Further south, a combination of mild winters (fewer days with minimum temperatures below -7 degrees C) and extended spring and autumn seasons (more days with minimum temperatures from 5 to 8 degrees C) was related to increases in tick density. We conclude that the relatively mild climate of the 1990s in Sweden is probably one of the primary reasons for the observed increase of density and geographic range of I. ricinus ticks. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:10656851

  8. 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

  9. Abundance of Ixodes ricinus and prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. in the nature reserve Siebengebirge, Germany, in comparison to three former studies from 1978 onwards

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background During the last decades, population densities of Ixodes ricinus and prevalences of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. have increased in different regions in Europe. In the present study, we determined tick abundance and the prevalence of different Borrelia genospecies in ticks from three sites in the Siebengebirge, Germany, which were already examined in the years 1987, 1989, 2001 and 2003. Data from all investigations were compared. Methods In 2007 and 2008, host-seeking I. ricinus were collected by monthly blanket dragging at three distinct vegetation sites in the Siebengebirge, a nature reserve and a well visited local recreation area near Bonn, Germany. In both years, 702 ticks were tested for B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA by nested PCR, and 249 tick samples positive for Borrelia were further genotyped by reverse line blotting. Results A total of 1046 and 1591 I. ricinus were collected in 2007 and 2008, respectively. In comparison to previous studies at these sites, the densities at all sites increased from 1987/89 and/or from 2003 until 2008. Tick densities and Borrelia prevalences in 2007 and 2008, respectively, were not correlated for all sites and both years. Overall, Borrelia prevalence of all ticks decreased significantly from 2007 (19.5%) to 2008 (16.5%), thus reaching the same level as in 2001 two times higher than in 1987/89 (7.6%). Since 2001, single infections with a Borrelia genospecies predominated in all collections, but the number of multiple infections increased, and in 2007, for the first time, triple Borrelia infections occurred. Prevalences of Borrelia genospecies differed considerably between the three sites, but B. garinii or B. afzelii were always the most dominant genospecies. B. lusitaniae was detected for the first time in the Siebengebirge, also in co-infections with B. garinii or B. valaisiana. Conclusions Over the last two centuries tick densities have changed in the Siebengebirge at sites that remained unchanged by human activity since

  10. The paralogous salivary anti-complement proteins IRAC I and IRAC II encoded by Ixodes ricinus ticks have broad and complementary inhibitory activities against the complement of different host species.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Hélène; Daix, Virginie; Gillet, Laurent; Renauld, Jean-Christophe; Vanderplasschen, Alain

    2007-02-01

    Several observations suggest that inhibition of the host complement alternative pathway by Ixodes tick saliva is crucial to achieve blood feeding. We recently described two paralogous anti-complement proteins called Ixodes ricinus anti-complement (IRAC) proteins I and II co-expressed in I. ricinus salivary glands. Phylogenetic analyses suggested that these sequences were diversifying by a process of positive Darwinian selection, possibly leading to molecules with different biological properties. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that each paralogue may have different inhibitory activities against the complement of different natural host species, thereby contributing to broaden the host range of I. ricinus ticks. IRAC I and IRAC II were tested against the complement of eight I. ricinus natural host species (six mammals and two birds). The results demonstrate that IRAC I and IRAC II have broad and complementary inhibition activities against the complement of different host species. This report is the first description of paralogous anti-complement molecules encoded by a pathogen with broad and complementary inhibitory activities against the complement of different host species.

  11. Aza-peptidyl Michael acceptor and epoxide inhibitors--potent and selective inhibitors of Schistosoma mansoni and Ixodes ricinus legumains (asparaginyl endopeptidases).

    PubMed

    Ovat, Asli; Muindi, Fanuel; Fagan, Crystal; Brouner, Michelle; Hansell, Elizabeth; Dvorák, Jan; Sojka, Daniel; Kopácek, Petr; McKerrow, James H; Caffrey, Conor R; Powers, James C

    2009-11-26

    Aza-peptide Michael acceptors and epoxides with the general structure of YCO-Ala-Ala-AAsn-trans-CH horizontal lineCHCOR and YCO-Ala-Ala-AAsn-EP-COR, respectively, are shown to be potent inhibitors of asparaginyl endopeptidases (legumains) from the bloodfluke, Schistosoma mansoni (SmAE), and the hard tick, Ixodes ricinus (IrAE). Structure-activity relationships (SARs) were determined for a set of 41 aza-peptide Michael acceptors and eight aza-peptide epoxides. Both enzymes prefer disubstituted amides to monosubstituted amides in the P1' position, and potency increased as we increased the hydrophobicity of the inhibitor in this position. Extending the inhibitor to P5 resulted in increased potency, especially against IrAE, and both enzymes prefer small over large hydrophobic residues at P2. Aza-peptide Michael acceptor inhibitors are more potent than aza-peptide epoxide inhibitors, and for some of these compounds, second-order inhibiton rate constants are the fastest yet discovered. Given the central functions of these enzymes in both parasites, the data presented here may facilitate the eventual design of selective antiparasitic drugs.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. [Studies of the biological age in adult taiga ticks Ixodes persulcatus (Ixodinae)].

    PubMed

    Grigor'eva, L A

    2013-01-01

    The history of studies of the biological age in ixodid ticks is discussed. A method of estimation of the biological age in adult ticks of the genus Ixodes by the degree of fat inclusions in midgut cells and in the fat body is developed. An "age scale" for the determination of the calendar age was assumed.

  16. Profiling of proteolytic enzymes in the gut of the tick Ixodes ricinus reveals an evolutionarily conserved network of aspartic and cysteine peptidases

    PubMed Central

    Sojka, Daniel; Franta, Zdeněk; Horn, Martin; Hajdušek, Ondřej; Caffrey, Conor R; Mareš, Michael; Kopáček, Petr

    2008-01-01

    Background Ticks are vectors for a variety of viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases in human and domestic animals. To survive and reproduce ticks feed on host blood, yet our understanding of the intestinal proteolytic machinery used to derive absorbable nutrients from the blood meal is poor. Intestinal digestive processes are limiting factors for pathogen transmission since the tick gut presents the primary site of infection. Moreover, digestive enzymes may find practical application as anti-tick vaccine targets. Results Using the hard tick, Ixodes ricinus, we performed a functional activity scan of the peptidase complement in gut tissue extracts that demonstrated the presence of five types of peptidases of the cysteine and aspartic classes. We followed up with genetic screens of gut-derived cDNA to identify and clone genes encoding the cysteine peptidases cathepsins B, L and C, an asparaginyl endopeptidase (legumain), and the aspartic peptidase, cathepsin D. By RT-PCR, expression of asparaginyl endopeptidase and cathepsins B and D was restricted to gut tissue and to those developmental stages feeding on blood. Conclusion Overall, our results demonstrate the presence of a network of cysteine and aspartic peptidases that conceivably operates to digest host blood proteins in a concerted manner. Significantly, the peptidase components of this digestive network are orthologous to those described in other parasites, including nematodes and flatworms. Accordingly, the present data and those available for other tick species support the notion of an evolutionary conservation of a cysteine/aspartic peptidase system for digestion that includes ticks, but differs from that of insects relying on serine peptidases. PMID:18348719

  17. 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.

  18. Correlation of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Prevalence in Questing Ixodes ricinus Ticks with Specific Abiotic Traits in the Western Palearctic▿†

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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

  19. Which forest bird species are the main hosts of the tick, Ixodes ricinus, the vector of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, during the breeding season?

    PubMed

    Marsot, M; Henry, P-Y; Vourc'h, G; Gasqui, P; Ferquel, E; Laignel, J; Grysan, M; Chapuis, J-L

    2012-07-01

    Wild birds are important hosts for vector-borne pathogens, especially those borne by ticks. However, few studies have been conducted on the role of different bird species within a community as hosts of vector-borne pathogens. This study addressed individual and species factors that could explain the burden of Ixodes ricinus on forest birds during the reproductive periods of both vectors and hosts. The goal was to identify which bird species contribute the most to the tick population at the community level. Birds were mist-netted on four plots in 2008 and on seven plots in 2009 in two forests (Sénart and Notre Dame, near Paris, France). The dependence of the tick load per bird upon environmental conditions (questing nymph density, year and plot) and on host species traits (species, age, sex, body size, vertical space use, level of innate and acquired immunity) was analysed. Finally, the relative contribution of each bird species to the local dynamics of ticks was estimated, while accounting for their respective abundance. Tick burden differed markedly between bird species and varied according to questing nymph density. Bird species with a high body mass, those that forage low in the vegetation, and those that had a high innate immune response and a high spleen mass were more likely to have a high tick burden. Four species (the Common Blackbird, Turdus merula, the European Robin, Erithacus rubecula, the Song Thrush, Turdus philomelos, and the Winter Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes) hosted more than 90% of the ticks in the local bird community. These species, and particularly T. merula which was host to a high proportion of the nymphs, are likely to contribute significantly to the circulation of pathogens for which they are competent, such as the agent of Lyme borreliosis.

  20. Long-term study of the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. infection in ticks (Ixodes ricinus) feeding on blackbirds (Turdus merula) in NE Poland.

    PubMed

    Gryczyńska, Alicja; Welc-Falęciak, Renata

    2016-11-01

    Seeking evidence to confirm that blackbirds (Turdus merula) may be involved in environmental maintenance of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. (the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis), we conducted a long-term study over three separate 2-year periods, together embracing a span of almost 20 years, all in the same area in northeastern Poland. We examined a total of 78 blackbirds and collected 623 Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on them. The tick infestation prevalence was found to be very high (89.7 %). Among all ticks collected, 9.8 % individuals were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. spirochetes. We found statistically significant growth in the prevalence of infected ticks as well as an increasing proportion of blackbirds hosting them in subsequent years of study. Ticks feeding on blackbirds were infected mainly with B. garinii (45.7 %), a genospecies commonly encountered in birds, and with B. afzelii (28.6 %), until recently considered rodent-associated. We also identified B. turdi (22.9 %), frequently found in recent years in ticks feeding on birds, and B. spielmanii (2.8 %), which had previously not been found in infected ticks feeding on blackbirds. We also found that ticks infected with genospecies associated with avian reservoir groups (B. garinii and B. turdi) were not randomly distributed on blackbirds, but instead focused on certain bird specimens. We therefore conjecture that this is a result of ticks becoming infected either from the host blackbird itself, or from other infected ticks feeding on the same host blackbird. We did not find any similar dependency for the rodent specialist B. afzelii.

  1. Do the ticks of birds at an important migratory hotspot reflect the seasonal dynamics of Ixodes ricinus at the migration initiation site? A case study in the Danube Delta.

    PubMed

    Sándor, Attila D; Mărcuţan, Daniel I; D'Amico, Gianluca; Gherman, Călin M; Dumitrache, Mirabela O; Mihalca, Andrei D

    2014-01-01

    Migratory birds play important roles as distributors of ticks within and between continents. In the Old World, the most important migratory route of birds links Asia, Europe and Africa. During their migration, birds use various stopover sites, where they feed and rest and where ticks may attach or detach, creating new natural foci for vector-borne diseases. Danube Delta is one of the most important migration hotspots and so far no studies were focused on ticks of migratory birds herein. The aim of the present study was to assess the species diversity and seasonal dynamics of ticks parasitizing migratory birds in Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. Migratory birds were trapped on Grindul Lupilor (44°41'N; 28°56'E) using mist nets during 4 migratory seasons (2 spring and 2 autumn) in 2011 and 2012. From each bird, all the ticks were collected and identified based on morphological features. Epidemiological parameters (prevalence, mean abundance, mean intensity) were calculated and all data were analysed statistically based on the season (spring and autumn), regional status of birds (migrants and breeding) and foraging behaviour (ground feeders, reed-bed feeders, foliage feeders). A total of 1434 birds (46 species) were captured. Ticks were found on 94 birds (10 species). Significantly more migratory birds hosted ticks, compared to resident birds. The 400 collected ticks belonged to four species: Ixodes ricinus (92.25%), I. arboricola (6.25%), I. redikorzevi (1.00%) and Haemaphysalis punctata (0.50%). A higher prevalence was found for I. ricinus in spring, with higher prevalence of nymphs in this season, while larvae occurred with the same prevalence in both seasons. Larval intensity was higher during spring and nymphs were more abundant during autumn. The seasonal differences in our study may be related not to the local seasonal dynamics of ticks, but on the seasonal dynamics at the site of migration initiation.

  2. Do the Ticks of Birds at an Important Migratory Hotspot Reflect the Seasonal Dynamics of Ixodes ricinus at the Migration Initiation Site? A Case Study in the Danube Delta

    PubMed Central

    Sándor, Attila D.; Mărcuţan, Daniel I.; D'Amico, Gianluca; Gherman, Călin M.; Dumitrache, Mirabela O.; Mihalca, Andrei D.

    2014-01-01

    Migratory birds play important roles as distributors of ticks within and between continents. In the Old World, the most important migratory route of birds links Asia, Europe and Africa. During their migration, birds use various stopover sites, where they feed and rest and where ticks may attach or detach, creating new natural foci for vector-borne diseases. Danube Delta is one of the most important migration hotspots and so far no studies were focused on ticks of migratory birds herein. The aim of the present study was to assess the species diversity and seasonal dynamics of ticks parasitizing migratory birds in Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. Migratory birds were trapped on Grindul Lupilor (44°41′N; 28°56′E) using mist nets during 4 migratory seasons (2 spring and 2 autumn) in 2011 and 2012. From each bird, all the ticks were collected and identified based on morphological features. Epidemiological parameters (prevalence, mean abundance, mean intensity) were calculated and all data were analysed statistically based on the season (spring and autumn), regional status of birds (migrants and breeding) and foraging behaviour (ground feeders, reed-bed feeders, foliage feeders). A total of 1434 birds (46 species) were captured. Ticks were found on 94 birds (10 species). Significantly more migratory birds hosted ticks, compared to resident birds. The 400 collected ticks belonged to four species: Ixodes ricinus (92.25%), I. arboricola (6.25%), I. redikorzevi (1.00%) and Haemaphysalis punctata (0.50%). A higher prevalence was found for I. ricinus in spring, with higher prevalence of nymphs in this season, while larvae occurred with the same prevalence in both seasons. Larval intensity was higher during spring and nymphs were more abundant during autumn. The seasonal differences in our study may be related not to the local seasonal dynamics of ticks, but on the seasonal dynamics at the site of migration initiation. PMID:24586732

  3. Infections and mixed infections with the selected species of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected in eastern Poland: a significant increase in the course of 5 years.

    PubMed

    Wójcik-Fatla, Angelina; Zając, Violetta; Sawczyn, Anna; Sroka, Jacek; Cisak, Ewa; Dutkiewicz, Jacek

    2016-02-01

    In the years 2008-2009 and 2013-2014, 1620 and 1500 questing Ixodes ricinus ticks, respectively, were examined on the territory of the Lublin province (eastern Poland). The presence of three pathogenic species causing Lyme disease was investigated: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. afzelii and B. garinii. The proportion of I. ricinus ticks infected with B. burgdorferi sensu lato showed a highly significant increase between 2008-2009 and 2013-2014, from 6.0 to 15.3%. A significant increase was noted with regard to all types of infections with individual species: single (4.7-7.8%), dual (1.2-6.6%), and triple (0.1-0.9%). When expressed as the percent of all infections, the frequency of mixed infections increased from 21.4 to 49.2%. Statistical analysis performed with two methods (by calculating of odds ratios and by Fisher's exact test) showed that the frequencies of mixed infections in most cases proved to be significantly greater than expected. The strongest associations were found between B. burgdorferi s. s. and B. afzelii, and between B. burgdorferi s. s. and B. garinii. They appeared to be highly significant (P < 0.0001) when assessed by two methods for 2013-2014, and for the sum of findings for both time periods. The proportions of the individual species detected in the mixed infections in 2008-2009 and 2013-2014 revealed highly significant increases for B. burgdorferi s. s. and B. garinii (from 33.9 to 71.1% and from 18.2 to 82.9%, respectively), and an insignificant decrease for B. afzelii (from 51.4 to 41.6%). The proportions of the species B. burgdorferi s. s., B. afzelii and B. garinii (with combined single and mixed infections) for 2008-2009 and 2013-2014 were: 51.2/44.0 %, 30.6/24.9% and 18.2/31.1%, respectively. In conclusion, our results seem to indicate the detrimental trend of the increasing infection rate of I. ricinus ticks with B. burgdorferi s. l. in eastern Poland, and dramatic enhancement of mixed infections with individual species, which

  4. 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.

  5. Genetic Variability within Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Genospecies Established by PCR-Single-Strand Conformation Polymorphism Analysis of the rrfA-rrlB Intergenic Spacer in Ixodes ricinus Ticks from the Czech Republic

    PubMed Central

    Derdáková, Markéta; Beati, Lorenza; Pet'ko, Branislav; Stanko, Michal; Fish, Durland

    2003-01-01

    In Europe the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex is represented by five distinct genospecies: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia valaisiana, and Borrelia lusitaniae. These taxonomic entities are known to differ in their specific associations with vertebrate hosts and to provoke distinct clinical manifestations in human patients. However, exceptions to these rules have often been observed, indicating that strains belonging to a single genospecies may be more heterogeneous than expected. It is, therefore, important to develop alternative identification tools which are able to distinguish Borrelia strains not only at the specific level but also at the intraspecific level. DNA from a sample of 370 Ixodes ricinus ticks collected in the Czech Republic was analyzed by PCR for the presence of a ∼230-bp fragment of the rrfA-rrlB intergenic spacer of Borrelia spp. A total of 20.5% of the ticks were found to be positive. The infecting genospecies were identified by analyzing the amplified products by the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method with restriction enzyme MseI and by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. The two methods were compared, and PCR-SSCP analysis appeared to be a valuable tool for rapid identification of spirochetes at the intraspecific level, particularly when large samples are examined. Furthermore, by using PCR-SSCP analysis we identified a previously unknown Borrelia genotype, genotype I-77, which would have gone unnoticed if RFLP analysis alone had been used. PMID:12514035

  6. Genetic variability within Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies established by PCR-single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis of the rrfA-rrlB intergenic spacer in ixodes ricinus ticks from the Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Derdáková, Markéta; Beati, Lorenza; Pet'ko, Branislav; Stanko, Michal; Fish, Durland

    2003-01-01

    In Europe the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex is represented by five distinct genospecies: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia valaisiana, and Borrelia lusitaniae. These taxonomic entities are known to differ in their specific associations with vertebrate hosts and to provoke distinct clinical manifestations in human patients. However, exceptions to these rules have often been observed, indicating that strains belonging to a single genospecies may be more heterogeneous than expected. It is, therefore, important to develop alternative identification tools which are able to distinguish Borrelia strains not only at the specific level but also at the intraspecific level. DNA from a sample of 370 Ixodes ricinus ticks collected in the Czech Republic was analyzed by PCR for the presence of a approximately 230-bp fragment of the rrfA-rrlB intergenic spacer of Borrelia spp. A total of 20.5% of the ticks were found to be positive. The infecting genospecies were identified by analyzing the amplified products by the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method with restriction enzyme MseI and by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. The two methods were compared, and PCR-SSCP analysis appeared to be a valuable tool for rapid identification of spirochetes at the intraspecific level, particularly when large samples are examined. Furthermore, by using PCR-SSCP analysis we identified a previously unknown Borrelia genotype, genotype I-77, which would have gone unnoticed if RFLP analysis alone had been used.

  7. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi (Spirochaetales: Spirochaetaceae) in Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) adults in New Jersey, 2000-2001.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Terry L; Jordan, Robert A; Hung, Robert W; Puelle, Rose S; Markowski, Daniel; Chomsky, Martin S

    2003-07-01

    Using polymerase chain reaction, we analyzed 529 Ixodes scapularis Say adults collected from 16 of New Jersey's 21 counties for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiological agent of Lyme disease. Overall, 261 (49.3%) were positive. B. burgdorferi was detected in ticks obtained from each county and from 53 of the 58 (93.1%) municipalities surveyed. The observed statewide prevalence in New Jersey is similar to those reported from other northeastern and mid-Atlantic states.

  8. Observations on questing activity of adult Ixodes brunneus Koch (Acari: Ixodidae) in Mississippi.

    PubMed

    Goddard, Jerome

    2013-04-01

    The tick Ixodes brunneus Koch is a rare species occurring primarily in North America, where it feeds on many species of passeriform birds. Virtually nothing is known about the questing activity of this tick, although adults often stand with their front legs straight up, suggesting that they quest from a horizontal position. The present study analyzed I. brunneus questing behavior based on field data from drag cloth collections in northern Mississippi, as well as observational laboratory data from 10 I. brunneus ticks released into an experimental "questing apparatus." Ten ticks of a related species, I. scapularis Say, were used for comparison, and there were 3 replications each trial. Eight I. brunneus adults were collected along a nature trail in a northern Mississippi park during 20 total swaths with a drag cloth over a 2-day period (each time 5 swaths in the middle of the trail, with little or no vegetation; and 5 swaths along the edge of the trail, with taller vegetation). All 8 ticks were collected in the middle of the trail in vegetation no taller than 40 mm. In the laboratory experiment, the majority (>70%) of ticks of both species made no attempt to climb the metal or wood artificial stems, but instead they crawled around on the substratum. In 8/30 instances, I. brunneus climbed metal artificial stems to various heights as opposed to 4/30 instances for I. scapularis . Sometimes, ticks of both species seemed to quest at the base of both types of artificial stems. The mean height for questing by I. scapularis on metal stems was 38.2 mm as opposed to 31.8 mm for I. brunneus. Although the mean height was slightly higher for I. scapularis compared with I. brunneus, there was no statistical difference in questing heights observed between the 2 species. Ixodes brunneus and I. scapularis climbed wooden artificial stems in only 2/30 instances for each tick species, again with no statistical difference in questing heights between species. The field observations

  9. Molecular identification and expression analysis of lipocalins from blood feeding taiga tick, Ixodes persulcatus Schulze.

    PubMed

    Konnai, Satoru; Nishikado, Hideto; Yamada, Shinji; Imamura, Saiki; Ito, Takuya; Onuma, Misao; Murata, Shiro; Ohashi, Kazuhiko

    2011-02-01

    Lipocalins have been known for their several biological activities in blood-sucking arthropods. Recently, the identification and characterization of lipocalins from Ixodes ricinus (LIRs) have been reported and functions of lipocalins are well documented. In this study, we have characterized four Ixodes persulcatus lipocalins that were discovered while analyzing I. persulcatus tick salivary gland EST library. We show that the four I. persulcatus lipocalins, here after named LIPERs (lipocalin from I. persulcatus) are 28.8-94.4% identical to LIRs from I. ricinus. Reverse transcriptase-PCR analysis revealed that lipocalin genes were expressed specifically in the salivary glands throughout life cycle stages of the ticks and were up-regulated by blood feeding. The specific expressions were also confirmed by Western blotting analysis. Furthermore, to investigate whether native lipocalins are secreted into the host during tick feeding, the reactivity of anti-serum raised against saliva of adult ticks to recombinant lipocalins was tested by Western blotting. The lipocalins are potentially secreted into the host during tick feeding as revealed by specific reactivity of recombinant lipocalins with mouse antibodies to I. persulcatus tick saliva. Preliminary vaccination of mice with recombinant lipocalins elicited that period to reach engorgement was significantly delayed and the engorgement weight was significantly reduced as compared to the control. Further elucidation of the biological functions of LIPERs are required to fully understand the pathways involved in the modulation of host immune responses.

  10. Evidence for kairomonal influence on selection of host-ambushing sites by adult Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Carroll, J F; Klun, J A; Schmidtmann, E T

    1995-03-01

    Unfed adult blacklegged ticks Ixodes scapularis Say, were tested under laboratory conditions for behavioral responses to substances rubbed from external glands on legs of white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann). In replicated trials, significantly more female ticks became stationary on portions of vertical glass tubing rubbed with the tarsal gland substances of both bucks and does than on nontreated tubing. This behavior, apparently an arrestant response, was infrequent among males. White-tailed deer urinate upon their tarsal glands, and doe urine also produced an arrestant response among female ticks. Metatarsal gland secretions of bucks elicited no arrestant response in either male or female I. scapularis, but doe metatarsal gland secretions elicited low-level positive responses from both sexes. A low-level arrestant response also was exhibited by females to secretions from the interdigital glands of bucks. In a second bioassay, three times as many females came to rest on the terminal ends of vertical glass rods whose bases were treated with secretions from buck interdigital glands than on rods with nontreated bases. This suggests that interdigital gland secretion influences blacklegged tick climbing behavior. Substances produced by or associated with the leg glands of O. virginianus may therefore serve as kairomones for host-seeking adult I. scapularis; interdigital gland secretions on soil or leaf litter may signal active deer trails, and tarsal gland substances may denote portions of vegetation contacted previously by white-tailed deer. In nature, use of these chemical cues by host-seeking adult I. scapularis may increase the probability of acquiring a suitable host.

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

    PubMed

    Bunnell, Joseph E; Price, Susan D; Das, Abhik; Shields, Timothy M; Glass, Gregory E

    2003-07-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Application of desiccant and insecticidal soap treatments to control Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) nymphs and adults in a hyperendemic woodland site.

    PubMed

    Patrican, L A; Allan, S A

    1995-11-01

    The desiccant Drione (1% pyrethrin) and Safer's insecticidal soap (0.2% pyrethrin) formulated with and without isopropyl alcohol (ROH) were field tested against nymphal and adult populations of Ixodes scapularis Say in a hyperendemic woodlot in Westchester County, New York. Drione, insecticidal soap, and insecticidal soap with ROH provided equivalent levels of control for nymphs and adults. Compared with untreated plots, nymphal populations were significantly reduced 1 (93.3-100%) and 2 (66.4-85.7%) wk following treatment, and adult populations were significantly reduced 1 wk (53.5-62.9%) following treatment. Factors possibly contributing to the moderate and shorter period of adult control are discussed. Drione and insecticidal soap are effective alternatives to residual insecticides and could be an important component of an integrated tick management program on residential properties in areas where Lyme disease is endemic. Both products lack residual activity and would require repeated applications to maintain sufficient levels of control throughout the tick season.

  14. 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.

  15. Larvicidal, adult emergence inhibition and oviposition deterrent effects of foliage extract from Ricinus communis L. against Anopheles arabiensis and Culex quinquefasciatus in Sudan.

    PubMed

    Elimam, Abdalla M; Elmalik, Khitma H; Ali, Faysal S

    2009-08-01

    Malaria and filariases are prevalent in Sudan and their control depends largely on preventive measures against mosquito vectors. The present work aimed to investigate the larvicidal, adults emergence inhibition and oviposition deterrent effects of aqueous extracts from leaves of Ricinus communis L. against the mosquitoes, Anopheles arabiensis and Culex quinquefasciatus as a biological control means. The larval mortality was observed after 24 hours. The LC50 values calculated were 403.65, 445.66 and 498.88 ppm against 2nd, 3rd and 4th instar larvae of An. arabiensis and 1091.44, 1364.58 and 1445.44 ppm against 2nd, 3rd and 4th larval instars of Cx. quinquefasciatus. 50% of adult emergence inhibition (EI50) were 374.97 and 1180.32 ppm against 3rd instar larvae of An. arabiensis and Cx. quinquefasciatus. The extract showed oviposition deterrent effect against both species. Results reveal that the crude extract of R. communis possesses remarkable larvicidal, adult emergence inhibition and oviposition deterrent properties against both the tested species and can be used as biological control means.

  16. The Genus Ixodes (Acari: Ixodidae) in Mexico: Adult Identification Keys, Diagnoses, Hosts, and Distribution (El genero Ixodes (Acari: Ixodidae) en Mexico: claves de identificacion para adultos, diagnosis, huespedes y distribucion)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    de Historia Natural 23:191-307. Hoffmann, A. 1969. Un caso de parálisis por picadura de garrapata. Revista Latinoamericana de Microbiología y...Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. p. 894-1531. Nuttall, G. H. F. 1916. Notes on ticks. IV. Relating to the genus Ixodes and including a description of...Ixodidae. Cambridge at the University Press, London. p. i-xix, 105-348. Robbins, R. G. and J. E. Keirans. 1992. Systematics and ecology of the

  17. 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.

  18. Haemaphysalis juxtakochi, Ixodes pararicinus (Ixodidae) and Otobius megnini (Argasidae) in relation to the phytogeography of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Guglielmone, A A; Mangold, A J; Aufranc, C R

    1992-01-01

    The phytogeographical distributions of Haemaphysalis juxtakochi, Ixodes pararicinus and Otobius megnini in Argentina are described from material collected mainly from 1978 to the present. H. juxtakochi was found in the northwestern area of the Amazonian domain and in the Chaco, Espinal and Pampean provinces of the Chaco domain. It was detected on Mazama spp., Tapirus terrestris, dog, cattle and on the vegetation. Most findings of I. pararicinus were from mountain rangeland, where it was found on cattle and in a lesser extent on horses. Ticks from Argentina classified as Ixodes ricinus were probably I. pararicinus. O. megnini was detected on cattle an sheep in the Andean Patagonian domain and in the Monte, Chaco and Espinal provinces of the Chaco domain. This tick is considered typical of arid and semiarid conditions, however the findings from the Espinal province where from areas with an annual rainfall over 900 mm.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhioua, Elyes; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Humber, Richard A.; LeBrun, Roger 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, NY. Isolates were identified as Verticillium lecanii (Zimmermann) Viegas and Verticillium sp. (a member of the Verticillium lecanii species complex).Ixodes scapularis Say is the principal vector of Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner (Burgdorfer et al. 1982, Johnson et al. 1984), the etiologic agent of Lyme disease in the northeastern and upper-midwestern United States. Control of I. scapularis is based on chemical treatment (Mather et al. 1987b; Schulze et al. 1987, 1991), environmental management (Wilson et al. 1988, Schulze et al. 1995), and habitat modification (Wilson 1986). These methods have shown variable success, and some potentially have negative environmental effects (Wilson and Deblinger 1993, Ginsberg 1994).Studies concerning natural predators, parasitoids, and pathogens of I. scapularis are rare. The use of ground-dwelling birds as tick predators has had only limited success (Duffy et al. 1992). Nymphal I. scapularis are often infected with the parasitic wasp Ixodiphagus hookeri (Howard) (Mather et al. 1987a, Hu et al. 1993, Stafford et al. 1996, Hu and Hyland 1997), but this wasp does not effectively control I. scapularis populations (Stafford et al. 1996). The entomopathogenic nematodes Steinernema carpocapsae (Weiser) and S. glaseri (Steiner) are pathogenic only to engorged female I. scapularis, and thus have limited applicability (Zhioua et al. 1995). In contrast, the entomogenous fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin is highly pathogenic to all stages of I. scapularis, unfed as well as engorged

  20. First records of Amblyomma americanum, Ixodes (Ixodes) dentatus, and Ixodes (Ceratixodes) uriae (Acari: Ixodidae) from Maine.

    PubMed

    Keirans, J E; Lacombe, E H

    1998-06-01

    The first records of 3 ixodid tick species collected in the state of Maine are reported. A total of 23 records of the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (L., 1758), in 11 counties from hosts with no history of travel outside the state demonstrates that this tick is now a resident of Maine. Ixodes dentatus Marx, 1899 is recorded from Waldo and Lincoln counties, and Ixodes uriae White, 1852 is recorded from Matinicus Rock in Knox County. This is the first report of I. uriae from the eastern United States. Disease agents such as those causing human monocytic ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and several arboviruses have been recorded from 1 or more of these tick species.

  1. Determination of members of a Borrelia afzelii-related group isolated from Ixodes nipponensis in Korea as Borrelia valaisiana.

    PubMed

    Masuzawa, T; Fukui, T; Miyake, M; Oh, H B; Cho, M K; Chang, W H; Imai, Y; Yanagihara, Y

    1999-10-01

    The 16S rRNA sequences of the Korean Borrelia strains 5MT and 9MT, isolated from Ixodes nipponensis, showed identities of 99.0-99.1% to that of B. afzelii. The strains were tentatively classified as belonging to the B. afzelii-related group. In this study, Korean isolates, including these strains, were characterized further and compared with recently described new species. These strains generated a RFLP pattern that has not been found previously in RFLP analysis of the 5S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer and the flagellin gene. When phylogenetic trees were constructed, based on the 5S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer, flagellin gene and 16S rRNA sequences, these Korean isolates formed a cluster with the Borrelia strain Am501 isolated from Ixodes columnae in Japan and Borrelia valaisiana strains VS116T and UK isolated from Ixodes ricinus in Europe and were distinguishable from the other species. However, these three groups of strains were divergent from each other in the molecular masses of the putative outer surface protein A (OspA) and in the sequences of the ospA gene. These findings suggest that these Korean isolates and one Japanese isolate are members of B. valaisiana and that OspA of this species is divergent, as is that of Borrelia garinii. This led to the speculation that B. valaisiana strains are adapted to the vector ticks found in each locality.

  2. Detection and identification of Rickettsia species in Ixodes tick populations from Estonia.

    PubMed

    Katargina, Olga; Geller, Julia; Ivanova, Anna; Värv, Kairi; Tefanova, Valentina; Vene, Sirkka; Lundkvist, Åke; Golovljova, Irina

    2015-09-01

    A total of 1640 ticks collected in different geographical parts of Estonia were screened for the presence of Rickettsia species DNA by real-time PCR. DNA of Rickettsia was detected in 83 out of 1640 questing ticks with an overall prevalence of 5.1%. The majority of the ticks infected by rickettsiae were Ixodes ricinus (74 of 83), while 9 of the 83 positive ticks were Ixodes persulcatus. For rickettsial species identification, a part of the citrate synthase gltA gene was sequenced. The majority of the positive samples were identified as Rickettsia helvetica (81 out of 83) and two of the samples were identified as Rickettsia monacensis and Candidatus R. tarasevichiae, respectively. Genetic characterization based on the partial gltA gene showed that the Estonian sequences within the R. helvetica, R. monacensis and Candidatus R. tarasevichiae species demonstrated 100% similarity with sequences deposited in GenBank, originating from Rickettsia species distributed over large territories from Europe to Asia.

  3. SEASONAL CHANGES IN TEMPERATURE REACTION OF ENGORGED IXODES RICINUS L. (IXODIDAE) FEMALES,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    investigated for the ticks from Leningrad population. Characteristic changes in the reaction of engorged females to high temperatures took place depending on...the dates of the engorgement. The ovogenesis was inhibited at 25-30C in the females of the middle-summer engorgement (July-August). Some ticks...failed to oviposit and others showed a delay. Such an effect was absent in the females engorged both at the beginning and the end of a tick season (June

  4. A newly established real-time PCR for detection of Borrelia miyamotoi in Ixodes ricinus ticks.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    A total of 350 ticks collected in Austria were analyzed for the presence of DNA sequences of B. miyamotoi. Three ticks gave positive results in a B. miyamotoi-specific nested PCR. Results were confirmed by sequencing the amplified glpQ gene from the positive samples. Moreover we developed a real-time PCR which unambiguously detected B. miyamotoi in all positive samples. Further genotyping of the samples found 100% identity of the 16S-23S intergenic spacer region with Swedish B. miyamotoi sequences. This is the first detection of the relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia miyamotoi in hard ticks in Austria. The results consolidate the picture of a European-wide distribution of B. miyamotoi and again underscore the need for clinical awareness to clarify possible involvement of this species in human disease.

  5. First description of the male and redescription of the female of Ixodes tapirus Kohls, 1956 (Acari: Ixodidae), a parasite of tapirs (Perissodactyla: Tapiridae) from the mountains of Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama.

    PubMed

    Apanaskevich, Dmitry A; Domínguez, Lillian G; Torres, Sugeys S; Bernal, Juan A; Montenegro, Victor M; Bermúdez, Sergio E

    2017-03-01

    The male of Ixodes tapirus Kohls, 1956 (Acari: Ixodidae) is described for the first time and the female is redescribed in greater detail. Adults of I. tapirus are similar to those of Ixodes guatemalensis Kohls, 1956, Ixodes lasallei Méndez & Ortiz, 1958, Ixodes montoyanus Cooley, 1944 and Ixodes venezuelensis Kohls, 1953 but can be distinguished by their overall size, the amount of sclerotisation of the conscutum and accessory plates, the shape of the scutum, the number of punctations and their pattern on the conscutum and scutum, the depth of the punctations on the basis capituli dorsally, the shape and size of the porose areas and the size and shape of the auriculae. Adults of I. tapirus were collected from tapirs and vegetation in the mountains of Colombia, Panama and recorded from Costa Rica for the first time.

  6. Ixodes (Haemixodes) longiscutatum Boero (new status) and I. (H.) uruguayensis Kohls & Clifford, a new synonym of I. (H.) longiscutatum (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Venzal, J M; Castro, O; Cabrera, P; de Souza, C; Fregueiro, G; Barros-Battesti, D M; Keirans, J E

    2001-11-01

    Females of Ixodes (Haemixodes) uruguayensis Kohls & Clifford, 1967, a species whose adults were unknown until the present, were obtained in the laboratory from engorged nymphs collected on rodents (Scapteromys tumidus and Oxymycterus nasutus) in the counties of Maldonado and San José, Uruguay. Morphological characters of these females were identical to those given in the description of the female of Ixodes longiscutatum Boero, 1944. I. uruguayensis is, thus, relegated to a junior subjective synonym of I. longiscutatum. However, because of the unique morphological characters of the immature stages, the validity of the subgenus Haemixodes Kohls & Clifford, 1967 is not questioned. Therefore, the new status of Ixodes (Haemixodes) uruguayensis Kohls & Clifford, 1967 is Ixodes (Haemixodes) longiscutatum Boero, 1944.

  7. 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.

  8. Genotyping and Bioforensics of Ricinus communis

    SciTech Connect

    Hinckley, Aubree Christine

    2006-01-01

    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

  9. 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...

  10. Recent Discovery of Widespread Ixodes affinis (Acari: Ixodidae) Distribution in North Carolina With Implications for Lyme Disease Studies

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-06-01

    et al. 1998). Oliver et al. (1987) described the immature stages of I. affinis and provided distribution, phenology , and host records. Ixodes...Ixodes (Ixodes) scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae): Redescription of all active stages, distribution, hosts, geographical variation , and medical and

  11. 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.

  12. A relapsing fever group spirochete transmitted by Ixodes scapularis ticks.

    PubMed

    Scoles, G A; Papero, M; Beati, L; Fish, D

    2001-01-01

    A species of Borrelia spirochetes previously unknown from North America has been found to be transmitted by Ixodes scapularis ticks. Infected ticks are positive for Borrelia spp. by DFA test but negative for Borrelia burgdorferi by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using species-specific primers for 16S rDNA, outer surface protein A, outer surface protein C, and flagellin genes. A 1,347-bp portion of 16S rDNA was amplified from a pool of infected nymphs, sequenced, and compared with the homologous fragment from 26 other species of Borrelia. The analysis showed 4.6% pairwise difference from B. burgdorferi, with the closest relative being Borrelia miyamotoi (99.3% similarity) reported from Ixodes persulcatus in Japan. Phylogenetic analysis showed the unknown Borrelia to cluster with relapsing fever group spirochetes rather than with Lyme disease spirochetes. A 764-bp fragment of the flagellin gene was also compared with the homologous fragment from 24 other Borrelia species. The flagellin sequence of B. burgdorferi was 19.5% different from the unknown Borrelia and showed 98.6% similarity with B. miyamotoi. A pair of PCR primers specifically designed to amplify a 219-bp fragment of the flagellin gene from this spirochete was used to survey field-collected I. scapularis nymphs from five northeastern states (Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland). Positive results were obtained in 1.9-2.5% of 712 nymphs sampled from four states but in none of 162 ticks collected from Maryland. Transovarial transmission was demonstrated by PCR of larval progeny from infected females with filial infection rates ranging from 6% to 73%. Transstadial passage occurred from larvae through adults. Vertebrate infection was demonstrated by feeding infected nymphs on Peromyscus leucopus mice and recovering the organism from uninfected xenodiagnostic larvae fed 7-21 days later. Considering the frequency of contact between I. scapularis and humans, further work is needed to

  13. Ixodes ventalloi: morphological and molecular support for species integrity.

    PubMed

    Latrofa, Maria Stefania; Giannelli, Alessio; Persichetti, Maria Flaminia; Pennisi, Maria Grazia; Solano-Gallego, Laia; Brianti, Emanuele; Parisi, Antonio; Wall, Richard; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Otranto, Domenico

    2017-01-01

    Despite their medical and veterinary importance, some tick species are so poorly studied, that their role within pathogen vector transmission cycles is difficult to assess. The tick Ixodes ventalloi is one such species, and its biology and phylogenetic status remain an issue of debate. In the present study, specimens of adult I. ventalloi (n = 65 females; n = 31 males) infesting cats in the Lipari Island (Aeolian archipelago, Sicily, southern Italy) were characterized morphologically and molecularly, the latter based on mitochondrial 16S rRNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) genes. The genetic data and phylogenetic analyses for both mitochondrial genes suggest the existence of two distinct genogroups. The ecological and epidemiological significance of the genetic structure within the I. ventalloi endemic population remains to be determined. The results highlight the need for further analysis of this tick species, including whole mitochondrial genome sequencing and crossbreeding studies, which will be pivotal to complement features of its status as a vector of pathogens.

  14. Ixodes (Ixodes) scapularis (Acari:Ixodidae): redescription of all active stages, distribution, hosts, geographical variation, and medical and veterinary importance.

    PubMed

    Keirans, J E; Hutcheson, H J; Durden, L A; Klompen, J S

    1996-05-01

    The blacklegged tick, Ixodes (Ixodes) scapularis Say, 1821, is redescribed, based on laboratory reared specimens originating in Bulloch County, Georgia. Information on distribution, host associations, morphological variation, and medical/veterinary importance is also presented. A great deal of recent work has focused on this species because it is the principal vector of the agent of Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmidt, Hyde, Steigerwaldt & Brenner) in eastern North America. Its distribution appears to be expanding, and includes the state of Florida in the southeastern United States north to the provinces of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Canada, west to North and South Dakota, United States, and south to the state of Coahuila, Mexico. Although I. scapularis feeds on at least 125 species of North American vertebrates (54 mammalian, 57 avian, and 14 lizard species), analysis of the U.S. National Tick Collection holdings show that white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann), cattle, Bos taurus L., dogs, Canis lupus L., and other medium-to-large sized mammals are important hosts for adults as are native mice and other small mammals, certain ground-frequenting birds, skinks, and glass lizards for nymphs and larvae. This tick is a polytypic species exhibiting north-south and east-west morphological clines. Analysis of variance and Student-Newman-Keuls multiple comparisons revealed significant interpopulational variation that is expressed most significantly in the nymphal stage. Nymphs from northern (Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maryland) populations had relatively larger basis capituli with shorter cornua (except Maryland) than southern (North Carolina, Georgia) populations. Midwestern populations (Minnesota, Missouri) differed from eastern populations (Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia) in idiosomal characters (broader scuta, larger coxae III, and IV). In addition to Lyme disease, this tick is also a primary vector of the

  15. Antinociceptive activity of Ricinus communis L. leaves

    PubMed Central

    Taur, Dnyaneshwar J; Waghmare, Maruti G; Bandal, Rajendra S; Patil, Ravindra Y

    2011-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the antinociceptive activity of the methanol extract of Ricinus communis leaves (MRCL). Methods Antinociceptive activity was evaluated using acetic acid induced writhing test, formalin induced paw licking and tail immersion method in mice at doses of 100, 125 and 150 mg/kg bw. Results The results indicated that MRCL exhibited considerable antinociceptive activity against three classical models of pain in mice. Preliminary phytochemical analysis suggested the presence of saponin, steroids and alkaloids. Conclusions It can be concluded that MRCL possesses antinociceptive potential that may be due to saponin, steroids and alkaloids in it. PMID:23569744

  16. Larval keys to the genera of Ixodidae (Acari) and species of Ixodes (Latreille) ticks established in California

    PubMed Central

    Kleinjan, Joyce E.; Lane, Robert S.

    2009-01-01

    In California, hard (Ixodidae) ticks transmit at least 8 zoonotic disease agents (1 virus, 6 bacteria, 1 protozoan) to humans or other animals. The correct taxonomic identification of all 3 parasitic stages (larvae, nymphs, adults) of ticks is integral to understanding host-tick associations and disease dynamics, but immature ticks, especially the larvae, can be difficult to identify. Here, we present larval keys to the 4 genera of Ixodidae (Dermacentor Koch, 1844; Haemaphysalis Koch, 1844; Ixodes Latreille, 1795; Rhipicephalus Koch, 1844) and to the 18 species of Ixodes known to be established in California. Several new diagnostic features, as well as photographs of microscopic structures, are provided to facilitate identification. Non-exclusive characters are utilized to separate the subgenera Ixodiopsis Filippova, 1957 and Pholeoixodes Schulze, 1942. PMID:20027236

  17. Molecular genetic key for the identification of 17 Ixodes species of the United States (Acari:Ixodidae): a methods model.

    PubMed

    Poucher, K L; Hutcheson, H J; Keirans, J E; Durden, L A; Black, W C

    1999-08-01

    A taxonomic key, based on restriction enzyme analysis of the second internal-transcribed spacer (ITS-2) in the nuclear ribosomal DNA gene, was developed for identification of 17 Ixodes tick species in the United States. This key includes: Ixodes affinis Neumann, Ixodes angustus Neumann, Ixodes baergi Cooley and Kohls, Ixodes brunneus Koch, Ixodes cookei Packard, Ixodes dentatus Marx, Ixodes jellisoni Cooley and Kohls, Ixodes kingi Bishopp, Ixodes minor Neumann, Ixodes muris Bishopp and Smith, Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls, Ixodes scapularis Say, Ixodes sculpularis Neumann, I. spinipalpis Hadwen and Nuttall, Ixodes texanus Banks, Ixodes uriae White, and Ixodes woodi Bishopp. A 900-bp fragment of the ITS-2 was amplified using the polymerase chain reaction. This fragment was then digested with the restriction enzymes MspI and CfoI, and the digested fragments were size fractionated on a 2.5% high-resolution agarose gel. A dichotomous key was developed based on digested fragment sizes relative to a standard set of size markers. Little intraspecific variation in restriction fragment banding patterns was detected.

  18. Antifertility effects of Ricinus communis (Linn) on rats.

    PubMed

    Sandhyakumary, K; Bobby, R G; Indira, M

    2003-05-01

    The antifertility effects of 50% ethanol extracts of Ricinus communis have been studied in male rats. There was a drastic reduction in the epididymal sperm counts. Alteration in the motility, mode of movement and morphology of the sperms were observed. Reductions in the fructose and testosterone levels were suggestive of reduced reproductive performance. Reversibility tests showed that the antifertility effect of Ricinus communis was completely reversible on withdrawal of the drug. The ethanol extracts of Ricinus communis did not cause any hepatotoxicity since the hepatic GOT and GPT levels were unaltered.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    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; Meshnick, Steven R

    2015-09-01

    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.

  1. Songbirds as general transmitters but selective amplifiers of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genotypes in Ixodes rinicus ticks.

    PubMed

    Heylen, Dieter; Matthysen, Erik; Fonville, Manoj; Sprong, Hein

    2014-09-01

    We investigated to what extent a European songbird (Parus major) selectively transmits and amplifies Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. bacteria. Borrelia-naïve birds were recurrently exposed to Ixodes ricinus nymphs carrying a community of more than 34 5S-23S genotypes belonging to five genospecies (Borrelia garinii, Borrelia valaisiana, Borrelia afzelii, B. burgdorferi s.s. and Borrelia spielmanii). Fed ticks were screened for Borrelia after moulting. We found evidence for co-feeding transmission of avian and possibly also mammalian genotypes. Throughout the course of infestations, the infection rate of B. garinii and B. valaisiana increased, indicating successful amplification and transmission, while the infection rate for B. afzelii, B. burgdorferi s.s and B. spielmanii tended to decrease. Within the B. garinii and B. valaisiana genotype communities, certain genotypes were transmitted more than others. Moreover, birds were able to host mixed infections of B. garinii and B. valaisiana, as well as mixed infections of genotypes of the same genospecies. We experimentally show that resident songbirds transmit a broad range of Borrelia genotypes, but selectively amplify certain genotypes, and that one bird can transmit simultaneously several genotypes. Our results highlight the need to explicitly consider the association between genotypes and hosts, which may offer opportunities to point out which hosts are most responsible for the Borrelia presence in questing ticks.

  2. Expression of Ixodes scapularis Antifreeze Glycoprotein Enhances Cold Tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Neelakanta, Girish; Hudson, Andrew M.; Sultana, Hameeda; Cooley, Lynn; Fikrig, Erol

    2012-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster experience cold shock injury and die when exposed to low non-freezing temperatures. In this study, we generated transgenic D. melanogaster that express putative Ixodes scapularis antifreeze glycoprotein (IAFGP) and show that the presence of IAFGP increases the ability of flies to survive in the cold. Male and female adult iafgp-expressing D. melanogaster exhibited higher survival rates compared with controls when placed at non-freezing temperatures. Increased hatching rates were evident in embryos expressing IAFGP when exposed to the cold. The TUNEL assay showed that flight muscles from iafgp-expressing female adult flies exhibited less apoptotic damage upon exposure to non-freezing temperatures in comparison to control flies. Collectively, these data suggest that expression of iafgp increases cold tolerance in flies by preventing apoptosis. This study defines a molecular basis for the role of an antifreeze protein in cryoprotection of flies. PMID:22428051

  3. Reported distribution of Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the United States.

    PubMed

    Dennis, D T; Nekomoto, T S; Victor, J C; Paul, W S; Piesman, J

    1998-09-01

    Lyme disease, caused by infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most frequently reported arthropod-borne disease in the United States. To develop a national map of the distribution of the vectors of B. burgdorferi to humans (Ixodes scapularis Say and Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls ticks), we sent questionnaires to acarologists, health officials, and Lyme disease researchers; surveyed the 1966-1996 MEDLINE data base; and reviewed 1907-1995 National Tick Collection data. Tick collection methods cited included flagging and dragging, deer surveys, small- and medium-sized mammal surveys, CO2 baiting, and receipt of tick submissions. A total of 1,058 unique, county-specific I. scapularis and I. pacificus records was obtained. Tick populations were classified as "reported" (< 6 ticks and 1 life stage identified) or "established" (> or = 6 ticks or > 1 life stage identified). Established populations of I. scapularis were identified in 396 counties in 32 states in the eastern and central United States, whereas established populations of I. pacificus were found in 90 counties in 5 western states. Counties with established populations were most concentrated in the northeastern, upper northcentral, and west-coastal states but were also clustered in southeastern and Gulf-coastal states. A less concentrated distribution was found in the south-central states. Reports were notably missing from all but a few counties in Ohio, West Virginia, western Virginia and North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee. They were absent in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions and from large areas of western states east of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada cordilleras. These data are useful for identifying areas of Lyme disease risk, for targeting Lyme disease prevention strategies, and for monitoring trends in spatial distribution of Lyme disease vector ticks.

  4. 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

  5. Host substitution by Ixodes persulcatus (Acari: Ixodidae) larvae in the years of deep depression in the abundance of small mammals.

    PubMed

    Uspensky, I; Rubina, M

    1992-01-01

    A phenomenon of host substitution by the taiga tick (Ixodes persulcatus) larvae was observed by the authors in the western part of the Soviet Far East. In the mountain forests where the highest abundance of I. persulcatus was found, larvae usually fed on small mammals (primarily on Clethrionomys rufocanus, C. rutilus and Apodemus speciosus). Numerous larvae were found, however, on the mountain hare (Lepus timidus) in the years of deep depression in the abundance of small mammals. The host substitution is considered as one of the mechanisms stabilizing the abundance of I. persulcatus adults.

  6. Seasonal Dynamics of Anaplasma phagocytophila in a Rodent-Tick (Ixodes trianguliceps) System, United Kingdom

    PubMed Central

    Begon, Michael; Bennett, Malcolm; Woldehiwet, Zerai; Ogden, Nicholas H.

    2003-01-01

    We investigated the reservoir role of European wild rodents for Anaplasma phagocytophila using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of blood collected from individually tagged rodents captured monthly over 2 years. The only tick species observed in the woodland study site was Ixodes trianguliceps, and ruminant reservoir hosts were not known to occur. A. phagocytophila infections were detected in both bank voles and wood mice but were restricted to periods of peak nymphal and adult tick activity. Most PCR-positive rodents were positive only once, suggesting that rodent infections are generally short-lived and that ticks rather than rodents may maintain the infection over winter. Bank voles were more likely to be PCR positive than wood mice, possibly because detectable infections are longer lived in bank voles. This study confirms that woodland rodents can maintain A. phagocytophila in Great Britain in the absence of other reservoir hosts and suggests that I. trianguliceps is a competent vector. PMID:12533283

  7. [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.

  8. 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

    2016-08-19

    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.

  9. Nucleolar organizing chromosomes ofRicinus.

    PubMed

    Paris, H S; Shifriss, O; Jelenkovic, G

    1980-03-01

    Pachytene chromosome morphology was compared in nine races ofRicinus communis L. (2n = 20), using pollen mother cells (PMCs) and light microscopy. Of the ten bivalents, only the two possessing nucleolar organizing regions (NORs), chromosomes 2 and 7, exhibit structural variations among the races. The NORs are located in the short arms of these two chromosomes. Most of the observed structural variations affect these short arms, which are similar morphologically and consist largely of heterochromatic segments. The PMCs contain a single nucleolus and this is associated with the NOR of each of the two chromosomes at a particular frequency in each race. In eight races, a nucleolar constriction (NC) is present in either chromosome 2 or chromosome 7. In these races, the nucleolus is associated with the chromosome possessing an NC at a frequency of 100% and with the chromosome lacking an NC at a frequency ranging between 5.6 and 100%, depending upon the race. No microscopically visible NC is present in the ninth race. In this race, the nucleolus is associated with both chromosomes 2 and 7 at a frequency of 100%. The association of the nucleolus with a chromosome possessing an NC is at the NC and with a chromosome lacking an NC is at the terminal heterochromatic segment of the short arm. Several interpretations are offered to account for the variations in frequency of association between the nucleolus and each of the nucleolar organizing chromosomes. It is suggested that the two non-linked NORs have evolved through some intragenomic changes rather than polyploidy, that this species is highly intolerant to structural variations other than those occurring in or near the NORs, and that structural variations in the nucleolar organizing chromosomes are not associated with racial variations in plant phenotype.

  10. Relationships between maternal engorgement weight and the number, size, and fat content of larval Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, Howard; Lee, Chong; Volson, Barry; Dyer, Megan C.; LeBrun, Roger A.

    2017-01-01

    The relationship between engorgement weight of female Ixodes scapularis Say and characteristics of offspring was studied using field-collected females fed on rabbits in the laboratory. The number of eggs laid was positively related to maternal engorgement weight in one trial, and larval size (estimated by scutal area) was positively related to maternal engorgement weight in the other. These results suggest a trade-off in number of eggs produced versus average size of offspring, possibly determined during late engorgement. The adults for the two trials were collected from different sites in southern Rhode Island and in different seasons (the fall adults were newly emerged, while the spring adults had presumably lived through the winter), so it is not clear whether these results reflect genetic differences or subtle environmental differences between trials. Percent egg hatch and average fat content of larvae were not related to female engorgement weight. We present a modified method to measure lipid content of pooled larval ticks.

  11. Role of ethylene in the germination metabolism of ricinus communis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cristescu, Simona; Dumitras, Dan C.; Godeanu, Adriana

    1999-03-01

    A CO2 laser-based photoacoustic method has been used to monitor the ethylene (C2H4) released by castor bean (Ricinus communis) seeds during germination. The relationship between the evolution of the C2H4 germinating seeds and the respiration intensity is presented.

  12. 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...

  13. IN VITRO REGENERATION CASTOR (RICINUS COMMUNIS L.) USING COTYLEDON EXPLANTS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A novel plant regeneration protocol was established for castor (Ricinus communis L.), an important oilseed crop. Mature seed-derived cotyledon explants produced adventitious shoots when placed on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing thidiazuron (TDZ). The rate of shoot regeneration was maximal...

  14. Presence of Borrelia in different populations of Ixodes pararicinus from northwestern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Saracho Bottero, Maria N; Sebastian, Patrick S; Carvalho, Luis A; Claps, Leonor Guardia; Mastropaolo, Mariano; Mangold, Atilio J; Venzal, José M; Nava, Santiago

    2017-02-27

    This work was performed to evaluate the presence of Borrelia in different populations of Ixodes pararicinus from northwestern Argentina (Jujuy, Salta and Tucumán provinces). Questing adults and nymphs of I. pararicinus were collected from vegetation, and I. pararicinus nymphs were also collected on birds. Eighty-two ticks were tested for Borrelia presence by PCR targeting the gene flagellin and the rrfA-rrlB intergenic spacer region. Pools of ticks positive to Borrelia were formed by two nymphs collected on Turdus rufiventris in Tucumán, one nymph collected on Syndactyla rufosuperciliata in Jujuy, one nymph collected on Turdus nigriceps in Tucumán, three nymphs collected on T. nigriceps in Tucumán, and two females collected from vegetation in Salta. Two haplotypes of Borrelia sp. belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex were found. One of them is closely related to the haplotypes of Borrelia genospecies previously reported in I. aragaoi from Uruguay (haplotypes D and E) and in I. pararicinus from Jujuy Province in Argentina. The second haplotype (detected in the sample of Salta) is closely related to the haplotypes A, B and C associated with I. aragaoi from Uruguay. All these results suggest that the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies in I. pararicinus ticks is widespread along the entire distribution of this tick species in northwestern Argentina. However, the Borrelia presence in I. pararicinus cannot be directly assumed as a phenomenon of medical relevance, because Ixodes ticks are not relevant as human parasites in South America, and none of the two Borrelia genospecies detected in this work is related to any of the Borrelia genospecies currently known to be pathogenic to humans.

  15. 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.

  16. Discovery and Characterization of Novel Signatures from the Ricinus communis L. (Castor Bean) Genome

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-11-01

    DISCOVERY AND CHARACTERIZATION OF NOVEL SIGNATURES FROM THE RICINUS COMMUNIS (CASTOR BEAN) GENOME Kevin P. O’Connell* and Evan W. Skowronski...2006 2. REPORT TYPE N/A 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Discovery And Characterization Of Novel Signatures From The Ricinus Communis ...fingerprints” of ricin genes, and knowledge about the overall genetic diversity of Ricinus communis varieties worldwide, are required to establish

  17. Description of the immature stages and redescription of the female of Ixodes schulzei Aragão & Fonseca, 1951 (Acari: Ixodidae), an endemic tick species of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Barros-Battesti, Darci M; Onofrio, Valeria C; Faccini, João L H; Labruna, Marcelo B; Arruda-Santos, Ana D; Giacomin, Flávia G

    2007-11-01

    Ixodes schulzei Aragão & Fonseca, 1951 is a tick endemic to Brazil, where nine species of Ixodes Latreille, 1796 are currently known to occur. Larvae, nymphs and females of I. schulzei were obtained from a laboratory colony originating from an engorged female collected on a free-living water rat Nectomys squamipes from the Santa Branca municipality, São Paulo State. Only female ticks were obtained from engorged nymphs. Unfed immature and female adult specimens were measured and the descriptions were based on optical and scanning electron microscopy, as were drawings of some features of the larva. Both immature stages present the very long palpi and basis capituli, and the female has large, contiguous porose areas. However, the basis capituli is triangular, with a slight central elevation in the larva and nymph, whereas in the female this area is depressed. The I. schulzei types deposited at the FIOCRUZ (Instituto Oswaldo Cruz) were also examined, as was other material from collections, such as the IBSP (Coleção Acarológica do Instituto Butantan), CNC-FMVZ/USP (Coleção Nacional de Carrapatos da Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia da USP) and USNTC (United States National Tick Collection). In addition, the relationship between I. schulzei and other immature neotropical species of Ixodes is discussed.

  18. 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

  19. Large scale spatial risk and comparative prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes pacificus.

    PubMed

    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.

  20. Human toxicosis caused by the tick Ixodes redikorzevi in Israel.

    PubMed

    Kassis, I; Ioffe-Uspensky, I; Uspensky, I; Mumcuoglu, K Y

    1997-11-01

    The clinical symptoms of a tick toxicosis caused by Ixodes redikorzevi in northern Israel are described. The patient was a nine-year-old Arab boy from an agricultural village who was admitted to a local hospital and had been suffering for 4 days from fever and torticollis. A partially engorged female tick was removed from the nuchal area of the scalp, and the symptoms disappeared within 2 hours. Morphometrical measurements indicated that the tick was attached to the skin for 3-4 days.

  1. 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

  2. Characterization of ricin toxin family members from Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Leshin, Jonathan; Danielsen, Mark; Credle, Joel J; Weeks, Andrea; O'Connell, Kevin P; Dretchen, Kenneth

    2010-01-01

    Ricin inhibits translation by removal of a specific adenine from 28S RNA. The Ricinus communis genome encodes seven full-length ricin family members. All encoded proteins have the ability of hydrolyzing adenine in 28S rRNA. As expected, these proteins also inhibited an in vitro transcription/translation system. These data show that the ricin gene family contains at least seven members that have the ability to inhibit translation and that may contribute to the toxicity of R. communis.

  3. Analysis of castor by ELISAs that distinguish Ricin and Ricinus communis agglutinin (RCA)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To facilitate the analysis of castor (Ricinus communis L.) seed fractions and germplasm for ricin content, we investigated the use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods to differentiate between ricin toxin and the related Ricinus communis agglutinin (RCA). Both proteins are based on ...

  4. The Ixodes (Acari: Ixodidae) of Mexico: Parasite-Host and Host-Parasite Checklists

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-08-20

    Clover J.R. (1998) Infestation of the southern alligator lizard (Squamata: Anguidae) by Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) and its susceptibility to Borrelia burgdorferi . Journal of Medical Entomology, 35, 1044–1049.

  5. Hunter-killed deer surveillance to assess changes in the prevalence and distribution of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in Wisconsin.

    PubMed

    Lee, Xia; Hardy, Kristin; Johnson, Diep Hoang; Paskewitz, Susan M

    2013-05-01

    As a result of the increasing incidence of Lyme disease and other tick-borne pathogens in Wisconsin, we assessed the distribution of adult blacklegged ticks through collections from hunter-killed deer in 2008 and 2009 and compared results with prior surveys beginning in 1981. Volunteers staffed 21 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources registration stations in 21 counties in the eastern half of Wisconsin in 2008 and 10 stations in seven counties in northwestern Wisconsin in 2009. In total, 786 and 300 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were examined in 2008 and 2009, respectively. All but three stations in 2008 were positive for ticks and all stations in 2009 were positive for ticks. The three sites negative for ticks occurred within the eastern half of Wisconsin. The results indicate that range expansion of Ixodes scapularis (Say) is continuing and the risk of tick exposure is increasing, especially in the eastern one-third of the state.

  6. The taiga tick Ixodes persulcatus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) of Russia: distributional and reproductive ranges.

    PubMed

    Uspensky, Igor; Garruto, Ralph M; Goldfarb, Lev

    2003-01-01

    The finding of an unfed adult female of the taiga tick Ixodes persulcatus Schulze is reported from the northern part of Eastern Siberia (the central part of the Sakha Republic [former Yakutia]) of Russia. This finding supplements other reported single findings of the taiga tick in different sites of the central part of the Sakha Republic, thus increasing its distributional range. The reproductive range of the taiga tick is limited to two separate areas in the southern parts of the Republic. The most probable mode of tick introduction northwards from the border of the reproductive range is by spring bird migrations from their wintering areas to breeding sites. The possibility of the establishment of stable tick populations in the areas of introduction is also considered.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

    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 1(1/2) 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 R (2)) 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 transmission dynamics

  8. Truncated seasonal activity patterns of the western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus) in central and southern California.

    PubMed

    MacDonald, Andrew J; Briggs, Cheryl J

    2016-02-01

    Patterns of seasonal activity and density of host-seeking western blacklegged ticks, Ixodes pacificus, were investigated in central and southern California. Weekly to monthly drag sampling was undertaken at two sites in Santa Barbara County and one site in Los Angeles County over multiple years. Adult I. pacificus became active in the winter (late November) and were rare or absent by late April to early May. Nymphal ticks became active in early to late February, were absent by early May to early June, and were rarely encountered using the drag method throughout their period of peak seasonal activity. Larval ticks became active earlier in the season, or at the same time as nymphs (early to late February) and were absent by early May. These results suggest a highly truncated period of I. pacificus seasonal questing activity, particularly apparent in the juvenile tick stages, in central and southern California relative to observed patterns in Lyme-endemic northwestern California. Notably, the highly truncated period of questing activity of the juvenile stages has important implications for pathogen transmission dynamics in that there exists only a brief window for horizontally transmitted pathogens to be acquired by one tick cohort and subsequently transmitted, through hosts, to the next tick cohort in this system. The broader patterns observed also suggest low human risk of tick-borne disease in central and southern California, and have implications for reduced tick-borne disease risk in the western US more generally under projected climate change.

  9. Identification and characterization of antimicrobial peptide, defensin, in the taiga tick, Ixodes persulcatus.

    PubMed

    Saito, Y; Konnai, S; Yamada, S; Imamura, S; Nishikado, H; Ito, T; Onuma, M; Ohashi, K

    2009-08-01

    Ixodes persulcatus is the primary vector for human tick-borne diseases in Japan. A cDNA library was constructed from whole body homogenates of fed nymphs of I. persulcatus. From this library, one cDNA encoding defensin-like antimicrobial peptide was identified. The amino-acid sequence showed high similarity to those of the defensins of other ticks and arthropods. I. persulcatus defensin mRNA transcripts were detected at all life cycle stages of fed ticks and found to be predominantly expressed in the midguts of adult female ticks, but not in the salivary glands, a finding corroborated by Western blotting analysis. To investigate the function of I. persulcatus defensin, we examined its antibacterial activity by evaluation of growth of several bacterial strains in the presence of the synthetic peptide. The defensin from I. persulcatus markedly inhibited the growth of Gram-positive bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis and Corynebacterium renale, but not Gram-negative bacteria except Escherichia coli O157. In conclusion, these results suggest that I. persulcatus defensin may be playing a significant role in the defence against microbes from bloodmeals.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhioua, Elyes; Heyer, Klaus; Browning, M.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; LeBrun, Roger 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.

  13. 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.

  14. [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.

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

    PubMed

    Ostfeld, Richard S; Brunner, Jesse L

    2015-04-05

    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.

  16. 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

  17. Ricinus communis treatment of denture stomatitis in institutionalised elderly.

    PubMed

    Pinelli, L A P; Montandon, A A B; Corbi, S C T; Moraes, T A; Fais, L M G

    2013-05-01

    This study compared the effectiveness of Ricinus communis (RC) with Nystatin (NYS) and Miconazole (MIC) in the treatment of institutionalised elderly with denture stomatitis (DS). They (n = 30) were randomly distributed into three groups: MIC, NYS or RC. Clinical and mycological evaluations were performed prior to the use of the antifungal (baseline) and repeated after 15 and 30 days of treatment. The sample was clinically examined for oral mucosal conditions. Standard photographs were taken of the palate, and the oral candidiasis was classified (Newton's criteria). Mycological investigation was performed by swabbing the palatal mucosa, and Candida spp. were quantified by counting the number of colony-forming units (cfu mL⁻¹). The clinical and mycological data were analysed, respectively by Wilcoxon and Student's t-test (α = 0.05). Significant improvement in the clinical appearance of DS in the MIC and RC groups was observed between the 1st and 3rd collections (MIC - P = 0.018; RC - P = 0.011) as well as between the 2nd and 3rd collections (MIC - P = 0.018; RC - P = 0.011). Neither groups showed a statistically significant reduction in cfu mL⁻¹ at any time. Although none of the treatments decreased the cfu mL⁻¹, it was concluded that Ricinus communis can improve the clinical condition of denture stomatitis in institutionalised elderly patients, showing similar results to Miconazole.

  18. 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.

  19. Contact Toxicity and Residual Activity of Different Permethrin-Based Fabric Impregnation Methods for Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae), Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae), and Lepisma saccharina (Thysanura: Lepismatidae)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-11-01

    insecticidal or acaricidal activity as well as long-term residual activity and laundering resistance (Gupta et al. 1990, Fryauff et al. 1996). The purpose...VECTOR CONTROL, PEST MANAGEMENT, RESISTANCE, REPELLENTS Contact Toxicity and Residual Activity of Different Permethrin-Based Fabric Impregnation...WALTRAUD M. UEDELHOVEN,2 AND RICHARD G. ROBBINS3 J. Med. Entomol. 40(6): 935Ð941 (2003) ABSTRACT The effectiveness and residual activities of permethrin

  20. Tick Infestation Risk and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. Infection-Induced Increase in Host-Finding Efficacy of Female Ixodes ricinus Under Natural Conditions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-02-14

    Exp Appl Acarol (2008) 44:137-145 DOI 10.1007/s 10493-008-9131-4 Tick infestation risk and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. infection-induced increase in...together with the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. infection, was conducted in a sylvatic habitat in western Germany to provide data needed...seeking activity Borrelia burgdorferi s.1. Human exposure risk M. K. Faulde ([) Department of Medical Entomology/Zoology, Central Institute of the

  1. Molecular analysis of Ixodes rugicollis, Candidatus Neoehrlichia sp. (FU98) and a novel Babesia genotype from a European badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Hornok, Sándor; Trauttwein, Klaudia; Takács, Nóra; Hodžić, Adnan; Duscher, Georg Gerhard; Kontschán, Jenő

    2017-01-01

    The European badger (Meles meles) is a widespread mammal in most countries of the European continent, with increasingly recognized veterinary/medical importance owing to its preferred habitats (including pastures and urban environments), broad spectrum of food items, and role as a game hunting target. However, ticks and tick-borne pathogens associated with badgers are only partly known, and most of them have not yet been analysed with molecular biological methods The aim of this study was to perform molecular taxonomic analysis of ticks collected from a road-killed European badger, as well as to molecularly investigate its ticks and blood sample for the presence of Anaplasmataceae and piroplasms. Ticks from the badger were morphologically identified as females of Ixodes rugicollis. Based on its cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and 16S rRNA sequences, I. rugicollis phylogenetically clustered together with I. lividus and I. arboricola, i.e. other members of the subgenus Pholeoixodes. The blood sample of the badger contained the DNA of Candidatus Neoehrlichia sp. (FU98) recently identified in red fox in Austria and the Czech Republic. This genotype is most closely related to Ca. N. lotoris (from raccoons in North America), and has lower sequence identity with the I. ricinus-transmitted zoonotic agent, Ca. N. mikurensis found in Eurasia. In the blood of the badger and in one female I. rugicollis, the DNA of a new Babesia genotype was also present, which differed from a piroplasm detected in M. meles in Spain, and clustered phylogenetically in the B. microti clade. Phylogenetic analysis of I. rugicollis (based on two genetic markers) confirms its status in subgenus Pholeoixodes. Ca. Neoehrlichia sp. (FU98) was identified for the first time in M. meles and in Hungary. In addition, a molecularly previously not yet characterized Babesia genotype occurs in badgers in Central Europe.

  2. Phloem transport in Ricinus: Concentration gradients between source and sink.

    PubMed

    Milburn, J A

    1974-12-01

    Solute concentration gradients were studied in Ricinus communis L. stems using refractometry linked with cryoscopic measurements of osmotic pressure. Techniques were developed to study the local composition of sieve-tube sap, effectively isolating bark segments by ring-massage or massage-girdling. In intact plants concentration gradients in stems were found to be steep near leaves, as reported previously, and also near roots. However, when transport from these organs was prevented, the steep gradients disappeared. Apparently they are caused by sap influx from nearby organs into stems during sampling. Concentration gradients in stems proper were almost negligible under standard growing conditions. They became positive (more concentrated above) when photosynthesis was enhanced, and negative in darkness.During exudation, leaves could secrete abundant concentrated sap for long periods. Stems had a similar but more limited capacity to secrete and, to a still lesser extent, roots also. Secretion was triggered even from natural sinks by exudation from an incision. Release from turgor pressure seems responsible rather than dilution of the phloem sap, suggesting that in whole plants a sink induces secretion and pressure-flow from distant sources by regulating the pressure within sieve tubes. The rate of exudation decreased as sap concentration fell, indicating that a reduction in pressure corresponds to assimilate exhaustion.The hydraulic conductivity of bark was not high, but was greater when the bark was secreting solutes. A change in mass-flow conduction between sieve tubes and storage cells is proposed to explain these differences in water permeability.The common assumption that solute concentration gradients correspond to pressure gradients seems inapplicable to whole Ricinus plants. Solute transfer can exceed the water flux so that osmotic equilibrium may not be reached at a particular location. In intact plants, solute gradients probably reflect source and sink

  3. Anticonceptive and estrogenic effects of a seed extract of Ricinus communis var. minor.

    PubMed

    Okwuasaba, F K; Osunkwo, U A; Ekwenchi, M M; Ekpenyong, K I; Onwukeme, K E; Olayinka, A O; Uguru, M O; Das, S C

    1991-09-01

    An ether-soluble fraction of a methanol extract of Ricinus communis var. minor seeds administered subcutaneously to adult female rats and rabbits at doses up to 1.2 g/kg and 600 mg/kg, respectively, in divided doses showed anti-implantation and anticonceptive activities. Laparotomy performed on Day 10 and Day 15 of pregnancy on mated female rats and rabbits treated with the extract did not reveal any uterine implantation sites. The animals were protected against pregnancy for over three gestation periods and among those that later delivered, there was no evidence of abnormality in the pups. In ovariectomized young female rats as well as in immature mice, the extract dose-dependently increased uterine wet weight. Furthermore, the extract induced premature opening of the vagina, increased the number of epithelial cells and cornified cells and decreased the leucocyte number in the vaginal smear. The estrogen-like activities exhibited by the extract were dose-dependent and the anticonceptive effect may be due at least in part to such estrogenic action.

  4. Confirmation of tick bite by detection of antibody to Ixodes calreticulin salivary protein.

    PubMed

    Alarcon-Chaidez, Francisco; Ryan, Raymond; Wikel, Stephen; Dardick, Kenneth; Lawler, Caroline; Foppa, Ivo M; Tomas, Patricio; Cushman, Alexis; Hsieh, Ann; Spielman, Andrew; Bouchard, Keith R; Dias, Filiciano; Aslanzadeh, Jaber; Krause, Peter J

    2006-11-01

    Ticks introduce a variety of pharmacologically active molecules into their host during attachment and feeding in order to obtain a blood meal. People who are repeatedly exposed to ticks may develop an immune response to tick salivary proteins. Despite this response, people usually are unaware of having been bitten, especially if they are not repeatedly exposed to ticks. In order to develop a laboratory marker of tick exposure that would be useful in understanding the epidemiology of tick-borne infection and the immune response to tick bite, we developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect antibody to a recombinant form of calreticulin protein found in the salivary glands of Ixodes scapularis, a member of a complex of Ixodes ticks that serve as the vectors for Lyme disease, human babesiosis, and human granulocytic anaplasmosis. Using this assay, we tested sera obtained from C3H/HeN and BALB/c mice before and after experimental deer tick infestation. These mice developed antibody to Ixodes calreticulin antigen after infestation. We then used the same assay to test sera obtained from people before and after they experienced deer tick bite(s). People experiencing deer tick bite(s) developed Ixodes calreticulin-specific antibody responses that persisted for up to 17 months. This Ixodes recombinant calreticulin ELISA provides objective evidence of deer tick exposure in people.

  5. Confirmation of Tick Bite by Detection of Antibody to Ixodes Calreticulin Salivary Protein▿

    PubMed Central

    Alarcon-Chaidez, Francisco; Ryan, Raymond; Wikel, Stephen; Dardick, Kenneth; Lawler, Caroline; Foppa, Ivo M.; Tomas, Patricio; Cushman, Alexis; Hsieh, Ann; Spielman, Andrew; Bouchard, Keith R.; Dias, Filiciano; Aslanzadeh, Jaber; Krause, Peter J.

    2006-01-01

    Ticks introduce a variety of pharmacologically active molecules into their host during attachment and feeding in order to obtain a blood meal. People who are repeatedly exposed to ticks may develop an immune response to tick salivary proteins. Despite this response, people usually are unaware of having been bitten, especially if they are not repeatedly exposed to ticks. In order to develop a laboratory marker of tick exposure that would be useful in understanding the epidemiology of tick-borne infection and the immune response to tick bite, we developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect antibody to a recombinant form of calreticulin protein found in the salivary glands of Ixodes scapularis, a member of a complex of Ixodes ticks that serve as the vectors for Lyme disease, human babesiosis, and human granulocytic anaplasmosis. Using this assay, we tested sera obtained from C3H/HeN and BALB/c mice before and after experimental deer tick infestation. These mice developed antibody to Ixodes calreticulin antigen after infestation. We then used the same assay to test sera obtained from people before and after they experienced deer tick bite(s). People experiencing deer tick bite(s) developed Ixodes calreticulin-specific antibody responses that persisted for up to 17 months. This Ixodes recombinant calreticulin ELISA provides objective evidence of deer tick exposure in people. PMID:16928887

  6. Density of Ixodes scapularis ticks on Monhegan Island after complete deer removal: a question of avian importation?

    PubMed

    Elias, Susan P; Smith, Robert P; Morris, Sara R; Rand, Peter W; Lubelczyk, Charles; Lacombe, Eleanor H

    2011-06-01

    Questing adult blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis Say) abundance declined markedly three years after the 1999 removal of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann) from Monhegan Island, ME. Since 2000, subadult ticks have not been found on Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus Berkenhout); questing nymphs have not been found since 2002. This suggested I. scapularis was reintroduced annually via bird importation of subadult ticks, but unable to complete its two-year life cycle on the island due to lack of deer. To investigate this, we used uncertainty analysis to estimate 1) questing adult ticks/ha that would result from avian importation of nymphs, and 2) questing adult ticks/ha on Monhegan Island, using bird capture and tick burden data from Appledore Island, ME, flagged tick data from Monhegan Island, and ten uncertain parameters. During the deer-fed period (1990-2001), estimated tick density on Monhegan Island was 18 times greater than that of imported ticks. During the post-deer-fed period (2002-2008), Monhegan Island tick density was equivalent to imported tick density. This supported the premise that all I. scapularis ticks on Monhegan Island have been bird-derived since 2002.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Thermal accumulation and the early development of Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    Rand, Peter W; Holman, Mary S; Lubelczyk, Charles; Lacombe, Eleanor H; DeGaetano, Arthur T; Smith, Robert P

    2004-06-01

    We examined the relationship between the accumulation of thermal energy and the onset of oviposition and eclosion of the northern deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, and explored the usefulness of comparing degree days (DD) required for larval emergence with area-wide National Weather Service (NWS) data to construct maps indicating where the establishment of this vector tick would be climatologically constrained. Initially, the validity of basal temperatures for egg and larval development was confirmed by prolonged incubations of gravid females and eggs at 6 degrees C and 10 degrees C respectively. Next, the number of DD accumulated in situ from the placement of gravid females to oviposition, and from oviposition to larval emergence, were measured using temperature data loggers placed next to fall- and spring-fed ticks held within individual vials under leaf litter in multiple enclosures located in diverse biophysical regions of Maine. Finally, when it was found that total DD to larval emergence, as measured in ambient air above the enclosures, compared favorably with DD accumulated simultaneously at nearby NWS stations, maps were constructed, based on archived NWS data, to demonstrate where temperatures were sufficient to allow the hatching of larvae both within one season and over the last three decades as I. scapularis has advanced into northern New England.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Toxicological assessment of Ricinus communis Linn root extracts.

    PubMed

    Ilavarasan, Raju; Mallika, Moni; Venkataraman, Subramanian

    2011-03-01

    Ricinus communis Linn (Euphorbiaceae) plant parts are claimed to be used as carminative, asthma, bronchitis, leprosy, anti-inflammatory, cathartic, and aphrodisiac. The toxicological study was carried out in the root part of the plant. The collected root was extracted with methanol and water. The extracts were vacuum-dried to yield the respective aqueous (AE) and methanol (ME) extracts. Toxicological assessment sought to determine the safety of Ricinus communis root extracts. The extracts were evaluated in the acute toxicity study (OECD-423 guidelines) and 90 days repeated dose toxicological assessment in Wistar albino rats. The acute oral toxicity of the aqueous (AE) and methanol (ME) extracts did not produce any toxic symptoms or mortality at the dose level of 2000 mg/kg in rats. In the 90 days (sub-chronic toxicity) repeated dose toxicity study the extracts (AE and ME) were administered 1000 mg/kg daily through oral route. The sub-chronic toxicity study demonstrated no significant changes in body weight, food, and water intake. Hematology parameters RBC, WBC, DLC, Hb, blood clotting time, and the biochemical parameters glucose, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, total cholesterol, total protein, total bilirubin AST, ALT, and ALP were estimated. Histopathology observation of the major vital organs (liver, kidney, heart, spleen, lungs, ovary, testis, and brain) were tested. The hematology, biochemical and histopathology evaluations did not show any adverse effects in any of the organs tested. These results demonstrate the non-toxic nature of the root extracts AE and ME can be used for long-term usage in clinical practice.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Investigation of Genotypes of Borrelia burgdorferi in Ixodes scapularis Ticks Collected during Surveillance in Canada ▿

    PubMed Central

    Ogden, N. H.; Margos, G.; Aanensen, D. M.; Drebot, M. A.; Feil, E. J.; Hanincová, K.; Schwartz, I.; Tyler, S.; Lindsay, L. R.

    2011-01-01

    The genetic diversity of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, the agent of Lyme disease in North America, has consequences for the performance of serological diagnostic tests and disease severity. To investigate B. burgdorferi diversity in Canada, where Lyme disease is emerging, bacterial DNA in 309 infected adult Ixodes scapularis ticks collected in surveillance was characterized by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and analysis of outer surface protein C gene (ospC) alleles. Six ticks carried Borrelia miyamotoi, and one tick carried the novel species Borrelia kurtenbachii. 142 ticks carried B. burgdorferi sequence types (STs) previously described from the United States. Fifty-eight ticks carried B. burgdorferi of 1 of 19 novel or undescribed STs, which were single-, double-, or triple-locus variants of STs first described in the United States. Clonal complexes with founder STs from the United States were identified. Seventeen ospC alleles were identified in 309 B. burgdorferi-infected ticks. Positive and negative associations in the occurrence of different alleles in the same tick supported a hypothesis of multiple-niche polymorphism for B. burgdorferi in North America. Geographic analysis of STs and ospC alleles were consistent with south-to-north dispersion of infected ticks from U.S. sources on migratory birds. These observations suggest that the genetic diversity of B. burgdorferi in eastern and central Canada corresponds to that in the United States, but there was evidence for founder events skewing the diversity in emerging tick populations. Further studies are needed to investigate the significance of these observations for the performance of diagnostic tests and clinical presentation of Lyme disease in Canada. PMID:21421790

  19. Molecular and structural characterization of novel cystatins from the taiga tick Ixodes persulcatus.

    PubMed

    Rangel, Carolina K; Parizi, Luís F; Sabadin, Gabriela A; Costa, Evenilton P; Romeiro, Nelilma C; Isezaki, Masayoshi; Githaka, Naftaly W; Seixas, Adriana; Logullo, Carlos; Konnai, Satoru; Ohashi, Kazuhiko; da Silva Vaz, Itabajara

    2017-03-01

    Cystatins are cysteine peptidase inhibitors that in ticks mediate processes such as blood feeding and digestion. The ixodid tick Ixodes persulcatus is endemic to the Eurasia, where it is the principal vector of Lyme borreliosis. To date, no I. persulcatus cystatin has been characterized. In the present work, we describe three novel cystatins from I. persulcatus, named JpIpcys2a, JpIpcys2b and JpIpcys2c. In addition, the potential of tick cystatins as cross-protective antigens was evaluated by vaccination of hamsters using BrBmcys2c, a cystatin from Rhipicephalus microplus, against I. persulcatus infestation. Sequence analysis showed that motifs that are characteristic of cystatins type 2 are fully conserved in JpIpcys2b, while mutations are present in both JpIpcys2a and JpIpcys2c. Protein-protein docking simulations further revealed that JpIpcys2a, JpIpcys2b and JpIpcys2c showed conserved binding sites to human cathepsins L, all of them covering the active site cleft. Cystatin transcripts were detected in different I. persulcatus tissues and instars, showing their ubiquitous expression during I. persulcatus development. Serological analysis showed that although hamsters immunized with BrBmcys2c developed a humoral immune response, this response was not adequate to protect against a heterologous challenge with I. persulcatus adult ticks. The lack of cross-protection provided by BrBmcys2c immunization is perhaps linked to the fact that cystatins cluster into multigene protein families that are expressed differentially and exhibit functional redundancy. How to target such small proteins that are secreted in low quantities remains a challenge in the development of suitable anti-tick vaccine antigens.

  20. Prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi in Ixodes ticks in Europe and the United States.

    PubMed

    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; Eshoo, Mark W

    2014-10-01

    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.

  1. Two Gynandromorphs of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) from New York State

    PubMed Central

    Prusinski, M. A.; Mertins, J. W.; Meehan, L. J.

    2015-01-01

    Gynandromorphism, the simultaneous occurrence of both male and female genotypic and morphological characteristics in a single individual of a normally sexually dimorphic species, is rare in ticks. The phenomenon is documented previously for free-living specimens representing several tick genera, particularly Amblyomma and Hyalomma, but only rarely in Ixodes. Here we describe the first two known gynandromorphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, collected while flagging vegetation during routine tick surveillance in the Hudson Valley region of New York State. Uniquely, both specimens display some morphological features typical of nymphs, in addition to those of both males and females. PMID:26336313

  2. Surveillance for Borrelia burgdorferi in Ixodes Ticks and Small Rodents in British Columbia.

    PubMed

    Morshed, Muhammad G; Lee, Min-Kuang; Man, Stephanie; Fernando, Keerthi; Wong, Quantine; Hojgaard, Andrias; Tang, Patrick; Mak, Sunny; Henry, Bonnie; Patrick, David M

    2015-11-01

    To determine the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in British Columbian ticks, fieldwork was conducted over a 2-year period. In all, 893 ticks (Ixodes pacificus, I. angustus, I. soricis, Ixodes spp., and Dermacentor andersoni) of different life stages were retrieved from 483 small rodents (Peromyscus maniculatus, Perognathus parvus, and Reithrodontomys megalotis). B. burgdorferi DNA was detected in 5 out of 359 tick pools, and 41 out of 483 mice were serologically confirmed to have antibodies against B. burgdorferi. These results were consistent with previous studies, data from passive surveillance in British Columbia, and data from neighboring states in the Pacific Northwest, suggesting a continually low prevalence of B. burgdorferi in British Columbia ticks.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    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 24h post attachment to be transmitted. This study describes identification of 24h 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 24h fed female I. scapularis phage display cDNA expression library was biopanned using rabbit antibodies to 24h 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 24h, before the majority of TBD agents can be transmitted.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Isolation of aerobic microbes from Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae), the vector of Lyme disease in the eastern United States.

    PubMed

    Martin, P A; Schmidtmann, E T

    1998-08-01

    The spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Benner is transmitted by Ixodes scapularis Say, a vector of Lyme disease. As a 1st step into investigating the possibility of biocontrol of the tick, we identified the microbiota associated with the ticks. We collected, identified, and determined the sex of ticks from foliage and deer. Seventy-three initial bacterial isolates were recovered from 43 ticks (27 adults and 16 nymphs). The bacteria isolated from nymphs were qualitatively different (mainly gram-negative cocci) from the bacteria isolated from adult ticks (gram-negative and gram-positive rods). To determine long-term viability, these isolates were stored for 6 mo under laboratory conditions. After storage, 63 surviving bacterial isolates were characterized using the Biology System of identification by substrate utilization. Forty-four isolates were identified to the species level. Our characterization efforts focused on the 40 spore-forming bacteria, which could prove useful in the biocontrol of ticks. Eleven species of Bacillus were identified. Bacillus thuringiensis-B. cereus was the predominant species group isolated. Six isolates from this group formed crystals.

  9. Potential for Lyme disease in Maine: deer survey of distribution of Ixodes dammini, the tick vector.

    PubMed Central

    Smith, R P; Rand, P W; Lacombe, E H

    1990-01-01

    A survey of deer brought to tagging stations at 24 sites in Main revealed the presence of the deer tick, Ixodes dammini, on 5.1 percent of deer. Ticks were found almost exclusively on deer from southwest coastal sites in the state. The potential for endemic Lyme disease in coastal Maine merits further study. PMID:2305920

  10. 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.

  11. Efficacy of granular deltamethrin against Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidade) nymphs.

    PubMed

    Schulze, T L; Jordan, R A; Hung, R W; Taylor, R C; Markowski, D; Chomsky, M S

    2001-03-01

    A single barrier application of granular deltamethrin to the woodland edges of a forested residential community in late spring significantly reduced the abundance of Ixodes scapularis Say nymphs. The application also suppressed the population of Amblyomma americanum (L.) nymphs, which recently became established in the study area. The efficacy of deltamethrin is compared with other commonly used acaricides.

  12. Whole-genome sequencing of Borrelia garinii BgVir, isolated from Taiga ticks (Ixodes persulcatus).

    PubMed

    Brenner, Evgeniy V; Kurilshikov, Alexander M; Stronin, Oleg V; Fomenko, Nataliya V

    2012-10-01

    Most Lyme borreliosis cases in Russia result from Borrelia garinii NT29 group infection. Borrelias of this group circulate exclusively in Ixodes persulcatus ticks, which are seldom found beyond Russia and the far east. Here we report the whole-genome sequence of Borrelia garinii BgVir isolated from an I. persulcatus female.

  13. Castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) as a potential environmental bioindicator.

    PubMed

    Mendes, M G; Santos Junior, C D; Dias, A C C; Bonetti, A M

    2015-10-21

    Biomonitoring of air quality using living organisms is a very interesting approach to environmental impact assessment. Organisms with a vast distribution, such as plants, are widely used for these purposes. The castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) is an oleaginous plant that can potentially be used as a bioindicator plant owing to its rapid growth and large leaves, which have a wide surface area of contact with the air and the pollutants therein. This study investigated the the bioindicator potential of the castor bean by performing several tests. We observed statistically significant differences in the concentrations of chlorophyll a and b in the leaves of plants in polluted areas compared to that in the control group plants, which were located in a pollution-free area. Leaves of plants in the former group had higher peroxidase activity and showed a greater buffering ability than those of plants in the control group. The pKa values obtained via buffering capacity tests, revealed the presence of aminoazobenzene (an industrial dye) in leaves of R. communis. Genotoxicity was evaluated through the comet assay technique and revealed that other than some differences in DNA fragmentation, there is no statistically significant difference in this parameter between places analyzed. Our data indicate that R. communis can be a highly useful biological indicator. Further, we hypothesized that the castor bean can be a potential candidate for phytoremediation owing its physiological buffering capacity when exposed to substantial pollution.

  14. [Estimation of the biological age in males of the taiga tick (Ixodes persulcatus: Ixodinae) by fat reserves in the midgut].

    PubMed

    Grigor'eva, L A

    2012-01-01

    Some criteria for the estimation of the biological and calendar age by the fat storage in midgut cells of Ixodes persulcatus males were established on the basis of examination of ticks from the laboratory culture.

  15. Affinity of bronchial secretion glycoproteins and cells of human bronchial mucosa for Ricinus communis lectins.

    PubMed

    Lhermitte, M; Lamblin, G; Degand, P; Roussel, P; Mazzuca, M

    1977-01-01

    The coupling of Ricinus communis lectins to Sephadex G 25 was used in order to study mucins and other glycoproteins from human bronchial secretion. The major part of human bronchial mucins and other glycoproteins such as immunoglobulins A, bronchotransferrin and alpha1-antichymotrypsin were isolated by this procedure. A parallel study of human bronchial mucosa was achieved with peroxidase labeled Ricinus communis lectins; this study characterized goblet cells and mucous cells which contain mucins, and serous cells which are involved in the synthesis or the secretion of the other glycoproteins.

  16. Amblyomma aureolatum and Ixodes auritulus (Acari: Ixodidae) on birds in southern Brazil, with notes on their ecology.

    PubMed

    Arzua, Márcia; Navarro Da Silva, Mário Antonio; Famadas, Kátia Maria; Beati, Lorenza; Barros-Battesti, Darci Moraes

    2003-01-01

    Between January 1999 and December 2000, 876 bird specimens were captured in three different ecological environments from the Reinhard Maack Park, Curitiba, State of Paraná, southern Brazil. A total of 142 birds (16.2%) were infested with Amblyomma aureolatum (Pallas 1772) (N=699) and/or Ixodes auritulus Neumann, 1904 (N=18) ticks. Questing A. aureolatum nymphs (N=2) and adults (N=5) were also collected from the soil and the vegetation. None of the I. auritulus were collected off-host. We collected only immatures of A. aureolatum on birds, but all life stages of I. auritulus. The latter species was collected on Turdus rufiventris and on Synallaxis ruficapilla, which is herein recognized as a host of I. auritulus for the first time. Moreover, this is also the first report of A. aureolatum infesting birds, and 16 different bird species were found infested. It was observed that larval infestation was positively correlated with the dry and cold season, while nymphal infestation was positively correlated with the warm and rainy season. Although only 2-years worth of data is provided, our results suggest the infestation of birds by ticks was significantly higher at the biotopes formed by forest at its first stage of regeneration 'capoeira' and the original Araucaria forest habitat 'mata' than the ecotone between forest and urban areas 'peripheral area'.

  17. [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.

  18. 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.

  19. Temporal and spatial distribution of Ixodes pacificus and Dermacentor occidentalis (Acari: Ixodidae) and prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Contra Costa County, California.

    PubMed

    Kramer, V L; Beesley, C

    1993-05-01

    The seasonal activity and spatial distribution of adult and immature Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls and Dermacentor occidentalis Marx were determined along trails and on hillsides in two parks in Contra Costa County, CA. I. pacificus and D. occidentalis adults were most numerous in January and May, respectively. Adult ticks were significantly more abundant along heavily vegetated trails than on open grassy hillsides, and on the uphill versus the downhill side of trails. Five species of rodents were captured, and numbers of I. pacificus and D. occidentalis larvae per rodent were highest in May-June and July, respectively. Few nymphs were recovered either by flagging or from captured rodents. An average of 2.2 and 2.8% of the I. pacificus adults collected from the two parks were infected with the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner. The greatest risk of contracting Lyme disease from adult I. pacificus in these two Contra Costa County parks is during the winter months, especially while hiking near the uphill side of trails.

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

    PubMed

    Villar, Margarita; Ayllón, Nieves; 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

  1. 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

  2. [Control effects of Ricinus communis extracts on Meloidogyne incognita].

    PubMed

    Gao, Qian-Yuan; Hu, Fei-Long; Zhu, Hong-Hong; Liu, Man-Qiang; Li, Hui-Xin; Hu, Feng

    2011-11-01

    Toxicity test and pot experiment were conducted to study the nematocidal activity and control effects of Ricinus communis extracts on Meloidogyne incognita. The results showed that both the ricinine and the R. communis water extracts had high nematocidal activity. The ricinine at concentration 2 g x L(-1) and treated for 48 hours had the strongest nematocidal activity, leading to 91.5% of corrected mortality of M. incognita and with the LC50 being 0.6 g x L(-1), whereas the R. communis water extracts at concentration 100 g x L(-1) and treated for 48 hours had the strongest nematocidal activity, which led to 83.5% of corrected mortality of M. incognita, and the LC50 was 18.3 g x L(-1). With the inoculation of M. incognita treated with ricinine, R. communis water extracts, and R. communis leaf powder, respectively, on tomato seedlings, the mean number of plant root-knots was 17.6 +/- 1.7, 20.6 +/- 1.5 and 22.8 +/- 3.7, respectively, being significantly lower than the control (37.4 +/- 2.3), and the root length increased by 46.8%, 34.5% and 33.8%, and the plant height increased by 33.5%, 22.6% and 15.8%, and the fresh mass increased by 41.4%, 18.9% and 10.1%, respectively, compared with the control. All the results suggested that R. communis extracts could mitigate the harm of M. incognita, and had obvious effects on potted tomato against M. incognita.

  3. Lectins as membrane components of mitochondria from Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Bowles, D J; Schnarrenberger, C; Kauss, H

    1976-11-15

    1. Mitochondria were isolated from developing endosperm of Ricinus communis and were fractionated into outer membrane and inner membrane. The relative purity of the two membrane fractions was determined by marker enzymes. The fractions were also examined by negative-stain electron microscopy. 2. Membrane fractions were sequentially extracted in the following way. (a) Suspension in 0.5M-potassium phosphate, pH7.1; (b)suspension in 0.1M-EDTA (disodium salt)/0.05M-potassium phosphate, pH7.1; (c) sonication in 0.05M-potassium phosphate, pH7.1;(d)sonication in aq. Triton X-100 (0.1%). The membranes were pelleted by centrifugation at 100 000g for 15 min, between each step. Agglutination activity in the extracts was investigated by using trypsin-treated rabbit erythrocytes. 3. The addition of lactose to inner mitochondrial membrane resulted in the solubilization of part of the lectin activity, indicating that the protein was attached to the membrane via its carbohydrate-binding site. Pretreatment of the membranes with lactose before tha usual extraction procedure showed that lactose could extract lectins that normally required more harsh treatment of the membrane for solubilization. 4. Lectins extracted from inner membranes were purified by affinity chromatography on agarose gel. Polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis of purified samples in sodium dodecyl sulphate indicated that at least part of the lectin present in inner mitochondrial membrane was identical with the R. communis agglutinin of mol.wt. 120 000.

  4. Borrelia miyamotoi infections among wild rodents show age and month independence and correlation with Ixodes persulcatus larval attachment in Hokkaido, Japan.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Kyle R; Takano, Ai; Konnai, Satoru; Shimozuru, Michito; Kawabata, Hiroki; Tsubota, Toshio

    2013-02-01

    To clarify how Borrelia miyamotoi is maintained in the environment in Hokkaido, we examined Ixodes persulcatus for its prevalence among wild rodents and its tick vector by detecting a portion of the borrelial flaB gene in rodent urinary bladder and blood samples, and from whole ticks. We compared B. miyamotoi infection rates to Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii, which are human Lyme disease pathogens also carried by wild rodents, and which are transmitted by the same vector tick. Whereas B. garinii and B. afzelii showed age dependence of infection rates among wild rodents (18.4% and 9.9% among adults and 6.0% and 3.4% among sub-adults, respectively) when looking at urinary bladder samples, B. miyamotoi infection rates were not age dependent for either blood (4.2% among adults, and 7.9% among sub-adults) or urinary bladder samples (1.0% among adults, and 1.7% among sub-adults). Moreover, while B. garinii and B. afzelii infection rates showed increases across months (June, July [p<0.05] and August [p<0.01] had higher rates than in May for adult rodents with B. garinii, and July and August had higher rates than in May [p<0.01] for adult rodents with B. afzelii), B. miyamotoi infection rates did not show significant month dependence. These differences in month and age dependence led us to suspect that B. miyamotoi may not develop persistent infections in wild rodents, as B. garinii and B. afzelii are thought to. Furthermore, we examined the extent of rodent exposure to I. persulcatus nymphs and larvae throughout most of the tick's active season (May through September), and determined that B. miyamotoi infection rates in sub-adult rodents were correlated with larval burden (p<0.01), suggesting that larvae may be very important in transmission of B. miyamotoi to wild rodents.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. Seed Development in Castor (Ricinus communis L.): Morphology, Reserve Synthesis and Gene Expression

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Castor (Ricinus communis L.) is a non-eatable oilseed crop producing seed oil comprising 90% ricinoleate (12-hydroxy-oleate) which has numerous industrial uses. However, the production of castor oil is hampered by the presence of noxious seed storage proteins, the toxin ricin and hyper-allergenic 2S...

  8. 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

  9. Prevalence and Genetic Characterization of Powassan Virus Strains Infecting Ixodes scapularis in Connecticut

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, John F.; Armstrong, Philip M.

    2012-01-01

    A total of 30 Powassan virus (POWV) isolates from Ixodes scapularis collected from Bridgeport and North Branford, CT in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012 and one earlier isolate from Ixodes cookei collected in Old Lyme, CT in 1978 were characterized by phylogenetic analysis of their envelope gene sequences. Powassan virus sequences segregated into two major groups termed the deer tick virus (DTV) and Powassan (POW) lineages. The lineage from I. cookei was POW. The remaining viruses from I. scapularis grouped with the DTV lineage. Powassan viruses from Bridgeport were nearly identical and clustered with a virus strain from a human in New York. Viruses from North Branford were homogeneous and grouped with viruses from Massachusetts, northwestern Connecticut, and Ontario. These findings suggest that POWV was independently introduced into these geographical locations in Connecticut and maintained focally in their respective environments. An improved method of isolation of POWV in vitro is described. PMID:22890037

  10. Abiotic and biotic factors associated with tick population dynamics on a mammalian host: Ixodes hexagonus infesting otters, Lutra lutra.

    PubMed

    Sherrard-Smith, Ellie; Chadwick, Elizabeth; Cable, Joanne

    2012-01-01

    The Eurasian otter, Lutra lutra, hosts several parasites with zoonotic potential. As this semiaquatic mammal has large ranges across terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats, it has the capacity for wide dispersion of pathogens. Despite this, parasites of otters have received relatively little attention. Here, we examine their ectoparasite load and assess whether this is influenced by abiotic or biotic variables. Climatic phenomena such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) affect weather conditions in northern Europe. Consequently parasite distributions, particularly species with life stages exposed to the external environment, can be affected. We assessed the extent to which inter-annual variations in large-scale weather patterns (specifically the NAO and Central England (CE) temperatures) and host characteristics influenced tick prevalence and intensity. Ectoparasites consisted of a single species, the nidiculous tick Ixodes hexagonus (prevalence = 24.3%; mean intensity = 7.2; range = 1-122; on n = 820 otter hosts). The prevalence, but not intensity of infestation, was associated with high CE temperatures, while both prevalence and intensity were associated with positive phases of the NAO. Such associations indicate that I. hexagonus are most abundant when weather conditions are warmer and wetter. Ticks were more prevalent on juvenile than sub-adult or adult otters, which probably reflects the length of time the hosts spend in the holt where these ticks quest. High tick number was associated with poor host condition, so either poor condition hosts are more susceptible to ticks, or tick infestations negatively impact on host condition. Otters are clearly an important and common host for I. hexagonus, which has implications for vector-borne diseases. This work is the first to consider the impacts of long-term weather patterns on I. hexagonus and uses wild-animal cadavers to illustrate the importance of abiotic and biotic pressures impacting parasitic

  11. Establishment of a laboratory colony of taiga tick Ixodes persulcatus for tick-borne pathogen transmission studies.

    PubMed

    Konnai, Satoru; Saito, Yoichi; Nishikado, Hideto; Yamada, Shinji; Imamura, Saiki; Mori, Akina; Ito, Takuya; Onuma, Misao; Ohashi, Kazuhiko

    2008-01-01

    Ixodes persulcatus Schulze (I. persulcatus) is distributed in Russia and Far East Asia including Japan, and has been implicated as the vector of several human pathogens. In particular, I. persulcatus acts as the only tick vector for human lyme borreliosis in Japan. In order to elucidate the mechanism of transmission of I. persulcatus-borne pathogens, we developed a laboratory colony of I. persulcatus. Ticks were fed on Syrian hamster and engorged ticks that had dropped off the animals were collected and maintained to allow them to molt. Tick rearing was performed in incubator at 20 degrees C with 95% relative humidity and 12-hour light/dark photo-period regimen. We found out that adult females fed for 8 +/- 2 days and had a pre-oviposition period lasting for 7 +/- 2 days. The minimum egg incubation period was 1 month with the hatched larvae feeding for 3 +/- 1 days and molting to nymphs 3-4 months thereafter. Meanwhile, the nymphs fed for 4 +/- 1 days and molted to adult 2-3 months thereafter. For future analysis of gene expression profiles in I. persulcatus, we cloned and sequenced the actin gene (a housekeeping gene), and found that it is 92.7% to 98.6% homologous to the published sequences of related ixodid ticks. This laboratory colony of I. persulcatus will facilitate investigations on the role of tick-derived molecules on the transmission of I. persulcatus-borne pathogens and will be important for identification of potential anti-tick vaccine and acaricide target molecules.

  12. Description of a new species of Ixodes Latreille, 1795 (Acari: Ixodidae) and redescription of I. lasallei Méndez & Ortiz, 1958, parasites of agoutis and pacas (Rodentia: Dasyproctidae, Cuniculidae) in Central and South America.

    PubMed

    Apanaskevich, Dmitry A; Bermúdez, Sergio E

    2017-05-01

    Ixodes bocatorensis n. sp. (Acari: Ixodidae), is described based on adults ex agoutis (Rodentia: Dasyproctidae), pacas (Rodentia: Cuniculidae) and "tapir and sloth" (Perissodactyla: Tapiridae and Pilosa) from Colombia, Panama and Venezuela. Adults of I. bocatorensis n. sp. are similar to those of I. lasallei Méndez & Ortiz, 1958 but can be distinguished by the scutum dimensions, punctation pattern, gnathosoma and palpi measurements and their ratios, basis capituli anterior angle and shape of the spur of palpal segment I ventrally. For comparative purposes the female of I. lasallei is redescribed and the true male of this species is described for the first time. Studied adults of I. lasallei were found on agoutis, pacas and ocelot (Carnivora: Felidae) in Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.

  13. Recognition factors of Ricinus communis agglutinin 1 (RCA(1)).

    PubMed

    Wu, Albert M; Wu, June H; Singh, Tanuja; Lai, Li-Ju; Yang, Zhangung; Herp, Anthony

    2006-04-01

    Ricinus communis agglutinin (RCA1) is one of the most important applied lectins that has been widely used as a tool to study cell surfaces and to purify glycans. Although the carbohydrate specificity of RCA1 has been described, the information obtained was mainly focused on inhibition of simple Galbeta1-related oligosaccharides and simple clusters. Here, all possible recognition factors of RCA1 of glycan binding were examined by enzyme-linked lectinosorbent (ELLSA) and inhibition assays, using known mammalian Gal/GalNAc carbohydrate structural units and natural polyvalent glycans. Among the glycoproteins (gps) tested and expressed as 50% nanogram inhibition, the high-density polyvalent Galbeta1-4GlcNAc (II) glycotopes occurring in natural gps, such as Pneumococcus type 14 capsular polysaccharide which is composed of repeating poly II residues, resulted in 9.0 x 10(4), 1.5 x 10(5), 2.3 x 10(4) and 2.1 x 10(4)-fold higher affinities to RCA1 than the monomeric Gal, linear I/II and Tri-antennary-II (Tri-II). Of the ligands tested and expressed as nanomoles of 50% inhibition, Tri-II was the best, being about 2, 4, 25.6 and 33.3 times better inhibitor than Di-II, II, I (Galbeta1-3GlcNAc) and Gal, respectively. From the results of this study, it is concluded that: (a) Galbeta1-4GlcNAc and other Galbeta1-related oligosaccharides are essential for lectin binding and their polyvalent form in macromolecules should be the most important recognition factor for RCA1; (b) the combining site of RCA1 may be a groove type, recognizing Galbeta1-4GlcNAc (II) as the major binding site; (c) its combining size may be large enough to accommodate a tetrasaccharide of beta-anomeric Gal at the non-reducing end and most complementary to human blood group I Ma active trisaccharide (Galbeta1-4GlcNAcbeta1-6Gal) and lacto-N-neotetraose (Galbeta1-4GlcNAcbeta1-3Galbeta1-4Glc); (d) RCA1 has a preference for the beta-anomer of Gal oligosaccharides with a Galbeta1-4 linkage > Galbeta1-6 > or = Galbeta

  14. 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.

  15. 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 Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

    Han, Seungeun; Hickling, Graham J; Tsao, Jean I

    2016-02-01

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Infection and co-infection rates of Anaplasma phagocytophilum variants, Babesia spp., Borrelia burgdorferi, and the rickettsial endosymbiont in Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) from sites in Indiana, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Fresia E; Pinger, Robert R; Vann, Carolyn N; Grindle, Nate; Civitello, David; Clay, Keith; Fuqua, Clay

    2008-03-01

    In total, 394 questing adult blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae), collected at four sites were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for five microbial species: Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti, Babesia odocoilei, Borrelia burgdorferi, and the rickettsial I. scapularis endosymbiont. Identities of genetic variants of A. phagocytophilum were determined by sequencing a portion of the 16S DNA. In 55% of infected ticks (193/351), a single agent was detected. In 45% (158/351), two or more agents were detected; 37% harbored two agents and 8% harbored three agents. One male tick, collected from Ft. McCoy, WI, harbored all four microbial genera The highest rates of co-infection were by the Ixodes endosymbiont and B. burgdorferi (95/351). Two species of Babesia co-occurred within a single tick population in Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Wells, ME, whereas only B. odocoilei was found in other tick populations. Only A. phagocytophilum human anaplasmosis variant was detected in questing ticks from Tippecanoe River State Park, IN; from Wells; and Ft. McCoy, whereas a single infected tick from Presque Isle, PA, was infected by AP-Variant 1. Partially engorged ticks from deer in Tippecanoe River State Park were all infected with AP-Variant 1. Frequency of infections with each agent varied among populations. Rates and types of co-infections were not significantly different from random except for the Ixodes endosymbiont and B. burgdorferi in male ticks, which co-occurred less frequently than expected. Thus, I. scapularis hosts an array of pathogenic and symbiotic agents and potential evidence of interactions among microbial species was observed.

  19. Life stage-related differences in density of questing ticks and infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato within a single cohort of Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

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

    2004-07-01

    The primary aims of this study were to quantify the density of Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls nymphs and adults of the same generational cohort collected within a single year in six oak or madrone leaf litter habitats and to compare the prevalence of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) in adults originating from nymphal cohorts with a low (<1%) versus high (>10%) infection prevalence. Because adult densities were very low both in and adjacent to several sites, direct comparisons of infection prevalence between nymphs and adults were possible only for two sites. Mean density in these sites decreased from 11.95/100 m2 for nymphs to 0/100 m2 for adults in leaf litter, and infection prevalence with B. burgdorferi s.l. was four-fold higher in nymphs (7.4%) versus adults (1.6%) of the same generational cohort collected in ecotones bordering the leaf litter areas. Assuming a density of adults in leaf litter of 0.04/100 m2 (mean for all six examined sites) and an infection prevalence similar to that found in adults collected from litter ecotones, the risk of encountering infected ticks in leaf litter decreased >1,000-fold from the nymphal to adult stage. Regardless of site-specific infection prevalence in the nymphal stage (n = 2 sites; 0.7 versus 14%), the infection prevalence for the adults of the same generational cohort was similarly low (1.5-1.6%). Peak densities of adult I. pacificus were 0-0.1/100 m2 in leaf litter, 0-6.5/100 m2 in ecotonal grasslands, and 2.0-39.0/100 m2 in ecotonal chaparral. Despite more intensive sampling efforts in leaf litter, the vast majority of the 282 adults collected came from grass or chaparral ecotones (98.9%, n = 279) rather than leaf litter (1.1%, n = 3). The study yielded eight B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected adults; four of these carried B. burgdorferi sensu stricto Johnson, Schmidt, Hyde, Steigerwalt, and Brenner, and the remaining four were infected with currently undescribed B. burgdorferi s.l. spirochetes. This

  20. Relative abundance and prevalence of selected Borrelia infections in Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae) from publicly owned lands in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Terry L; Jordan, Robert A; Healy, Sean P; Roegner, Vivien E; Meddis, Michael; Jahn, Margaret B; Guthrie, Douglas L

    2006-11-01

    To evaluate their potential importance in the transmission of ixodid tick-borne borrelioses in Monmouth County, NJ, we collected host-seeking Ixodes scapularis Say and Amblyomma americanum (L.) (Acari: Ixodidae) adults and nymphs to determine relative encounter frequencies and the infection prevalence of selected Borrelia spp. in their respective tick vectors. We also reviewed records of all ticks submitted for identification by the public in Monmouth County during 2001-2005. Relative abundance of the two species varied markedly among sites. Adult encounter frequencies for the two species were similar; however, A. americanum nymphs were encountered 3 times more frequently than I. scapularis nymphs. Of 435 ticks submitted by the public, 50.1 and 38.9% were I. scapularis and A. americanum, respectively. However, during May through August, the peak Lyme disease transmission season in New Jersey, significantly more submitted ticks were A. americanum (55.9%), compared with I. scapularis (34.1%). Polymerase chain reaction analysis of 94 1. scapularis and 103 A. americanum adults yielded infection prevalences of 31.9% for B. burgdorferi and 5.8% for B. lonestari, respectively. Although the infection prevalence of B. burgdorferi in I. scapularis was considerably higher than the infection prevalence of B. lonestari in A. americanum, the higher encounter frequencies for A. americanum compared with I. scapularis observed in this and other studies may result in increased risk of acquiring exposure to A. americanum-transmitted pathogens. The potential public health implications of these results are discussed.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

    Valan, Miroslav; Sychra, Oldrich; Literak, Ivan

    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.

  4. Sheep experimentally infected with a human isolate of Anaplasma phagocytophilum serve as a host for infection of Ixodes scapularis ticks.

    PubMed

    Kocan, Katherine M; Busby, Ann T; Allison, Robin W; Breshears, Melanie A; Coburn, Lisa; Galindo, Ruth C; Ayllón, Nieves; Blouin, Edmour F; de la Fuente, José

    2012-06-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum, first identified as a pathogen of ruminants in Europe, has more recently been recognized as an emerging tick-borne pathogen of humans in the U.S. and Europe. A. phagocytophilum is transmitted by Ixodes spp., but the tick developmental cycle and pathogen/vector interactions have not been fully described. In this research, we report on the experimental infection of sheep with the human NY-18 isolate of A. phagocytophilum which then served as a host for infection of I. scapularis nymphs and adults. A. phagocytophilum was propagated in the human promyelocytic cell line, HL-60, and the infected cell cultures were then used to infect sheep by intravenous inoculation. Infections in sheep were confirmed by PCR and an Anaplasma-competitive ELISA. Clinical signs were not apparent in any of the infected sheep, and only limited hematologic and mild serum biochemical abnormalities were identified. While A. phagocytophilum morulae were rarely seen in neutrophils, blood film evaluation revealed prominent large granular lymphocytes, occasional plasma cells, and rare macrophages. Upon necropsy, gross lesions were restricted to the lymphoid system. Mild splenomegaly and lymphadenomegaly with microscopic evidence of lymphoid hyperplasia was observed in all infected sheep. Female I. scapularis that were allowed to feed and acquire infection on each of the 3 experimentally infected sheep became infected with A. phagocytophilum as determined by PCR of guts (80-87%) and salivary glands (67-100%). Female I. scapularis that acquired infection as nymphs on an experimentally infected sheep transmitted A. phagocytophilum to a susceptible sheep, thus confirming transstadial transmission. Sheep proved to be a good host for the production of I. scapularis infected with this human isolate of A. phagocytophilum, which can be used as a model for future studies of the tick/pathogen interface.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Ability of an oral formulation of afoxolaner to protect dogs from Borrelia burgdorferi infection transmitted by wild Ixodes scapularis ticks.

    PubMed

    Baker, C F; McCall, J W; McCall, S D; Drag, M D; Mitchell, E B; Chester, S T; Larsen, D

    2016-12-01

    A randomized, blinded, negative controlled study was conducted to determine whether treatment with afoxolaner (NexGard(®), Merial, Inc.) would prevent the transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi to dogs by wild caught Ixodes scapularis ticks. Twenty healthy dogs were randomly assigned to two groups of ten dogs each. Ten dogs were treated orally on Day 0 at a dose near the minimum recommended dose of afoxolaner of 2.5mg/kg (actual doses 2.5-3.1mg/kg) and ten control dogs were not treated. On Day 28, each dog was infested with approximately 50 adult unfed wild caught I. scapularis that had a 67% B. burgdorferi infection rate (determined by polymerase chain reaction). On Day 33, live ticks were counted and removed. No ticks were found on treated dogs while control dogs had an average of 21.4 ticks. To detect infection, the B. burgdorferi-specific C6 antibody SNAP(®) 4Dx(®) test (IDEXX) was performed on serum collected before infestation (all dogs seronegative on Days -6 and 27) and on Days 48, 63, 77 and 92. The ten treated dogs remained seronegative through the end of the study (Day 92), while nine out of the ten control dogs were infected, as demonstrated by their seroconversion to being positive for the presence of the B. burgdorferi-specific C6 antibody starting on Day 48. In this study, all dogs treated with NexGard(®) 28days prior to challenge with wild caught I. scapularis ticks were protected from B. burgdorferi infection, while nine out of the ten untreated control dogs were infected.

  8. The Genus Ixodes (Acari: Ixodidae) in Mexico: Adult Identification Keys, Diagnoses, Hosts, and Distribution

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    1962. Monografía de los Ixodoidea de México. I Parte. Revista de la Sociedad Mexicana de Historia Natural 23:191-307. Hoffmann, A. 1969. Un caso de...geographic reference, 3rd ed., D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder (eds.). The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. p. 894-1531. Nuttall, G. H. F...337. Nuttall, G. H. F. and C. Warburton. 1911. A monograph of the Ixodoidea. Part II. Ixodidae. Cambridge at the University Press, London. p. i-xix

  9. [Terpenoids and sterols from Ricinus communis and their activities against diabetes].

    PubMed

    Li, Shen-Hua; Deng, Qing; Zhu, Li; Lai, Chun-Hua; Wang, Heng-Shan; Tan, Qin-Gang

    2014-02-01

    Seven terpenoids and three sterols were isolated from the methanol extracts of the aerial parts of Ricinus communis by chromatography methods and their structures were identified by spectra analysis as ficusic acid( 1), phytol(2), callyspinol(3) , lupeol(4), 30-norlupan-3beta-ol-20-one(5) , lup-20(29)-en-3beta,15alpha-diol(6) , acetylaleuritolic acid( 7), stigmast4-en-3-one(8) , stig-mast-4-en-6beta-ol-3-one(9) , and stigmast4-en-3,6-dione(10). Compounds 1-3 and 5-10 were obtained from this species for the first time and 5 and 6 showed significant inhibitive activity and good selectivity against 11beta-HSD of mouse and human in vitro. [Key words] Ricinus communis; terpenoids; sterols; 11beta-HSD

  10. Removal of Ni (II) from aqueous solutions by adsorption onto Ricinus communis seed shell activated carbons.

    PubMed

    Thamilarasu, P; Karunakaran, K

    2011-01-01

    The adsorption studies on the removal of Ni(II) from aqueous solution using Ricinus communis seed shells activated carbon and polypyrrole coated Ricinus communis seed shells activated carbon were carried out under various experimental conditions. The effects of various process parameters have been investigated by following the batch adsorption technique. Adsorption data was modeled with Freundlich, Langmuir and tempkin adsorption isotherms. Thermodynamics parameters such as DeltaH0, DeltaS0, and DeltaG0 were calculated indicating that the adsorption was spontaneous and endothermic nature. A mechanism, involving intra particle diffusion and surface adsorption, has been proposed for the adsorption of Ni(II) onto the adsorbent. Adsorbent used in this study is characterized by FTIR and SEM before and after the adsorption of metal ions.

  11. Response of brown hisex chicks to low levels of Jatropha curcas, Ricinus communis or their mixture.

    PubMed

    el Badwi, S M; Mousa, H M; Adam, S E; Hapke, H J

    1992-08-01

    Feeding Jatropha curcas seed at 0.5% of the basic diet for 2 w was not lethal to chicks. In chicks fed 0.5% Ricinus communis seed or a mixture of 0.5% J curcas + 0.5% R communis for 2 w, there was dullness, poor growth, locomotor disturbance and death. Pathological changes were correlated with alterations in clinical chemistry and hematology.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Use of Energy Crop (Ricinus communis L.) for Phytoextraction of Heavy Metals Assisted with Citric Acid.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hui; Chen, Xueping; He, Chiquan; Liang, Xia; Oh, Kokyo; Liu, Xiaoyan; Lei, Yanru

    2015-01-01

    Ricinus communis L. is a bioenergetic crop with high-biomass production and tolerance to cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb), thus, the plant is a candidate crop for phytoremediation. Pot experiments were performed to study the effects of citric acid in enhancing phytoextraction of Cd/Pb by Ricinus communis L. Citric acid increased Cd and Pb contents in plant shoots in all treatments by about 78% and 18-45%, respectively, at the dosage of 10 mM kg(-1) soil without affecting aboveground biomass production. Addition of citric acid reduced CEC, weakened soil adsorption of heavy metals and activated Cd and Pb in soil solutions. The acid-exchangeable fraction (BCR-1) of Pb remained lower than 7% and significantly increased with citric acid amendment. Respective increases in soil evaluation index induces by 14% and 19% under the Cd1Pb50 and Cd1Pb250 treatments upon addition of citric acid resulted in soil quality improvement. Ricinus communis L. has great potential in citric acid-assisted phytoextraction for Cd and Pb remediation.

  15. Ricinus communis intoxications in human and veterinary medicine-a summary of real cases.

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

    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.

  16. Antimicrobial potential of Ricinus communis leaf extracts in different solvents against pathogenic bacterial and fungal strains

    PubMed Central

    Naz, Rabia; Bano, Asghari

    2012-01-01

    Objective To investigate the in vitro antimicrobial activities of the leaf extract in different solvents viz., methanol, ethanol and water extracts of the selected plant Ricinus communis. Methods Agar well diffusion method and agar tube dilution method were carried out to perform the antibacterial and antifungal activity of methanol, ethanol and aqueous extracts. Results Methanol leaf extracts were found to be more active against Gram positive bacteria (Bacillus subtilis: ATCC 6059 and Staphylococcus aureus: ATCC 6538) as well as Gram negative bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa: ATCC 7221 and Klebsiella pneumoniae) than ethanol and aqueous leaf extracts. Antifungal activity of methanol and aqueous leaf extracts were also carried out against selected fungal strains as Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus flavus. Methanolic as well as aqueous leaf extracts of Ricinus communis were effective in inhibiting the fungal growth. Conclusions The efficient antibacterial and antifungal activity of Ricinus communis from the present investigation revealed that the methanol leaf extracts of the selected plant have significant potential to inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacterial and fungal strains than ethanol and aqueous leaf extracts. PMID:23593573

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. A new tick-borne encephalitis-like virus infecting New England deer ticks, Ixodes dammini.

    PubMed Central

    Telford, S. R.; Armstrong, P. M.; Katavolos, P.; Foppa, I.; Garcia, A. S.; Wilson, M. L.; Spielman, A.

    1997-01-01

    To determine if eastern North American Ixodes dammini, like related ticks in Eurasia, maintain tick-borne encephalitis group viruses, we analyzed ticks collected from sites where the agent of Lyme disease is zoonotic. Two viral isolates were obtained by inoculating mice with homogenates from tick salivary glands. The virus, which was described by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and direct sequencing of the amplification products, was similar to, but distinct from, Powassan virus and is provisionally named "deer tick virus." Enzootic tick-borne encephalitis group viruses accompany the agents of Lyme disease, babesiosis, and granulocytic ehrlichiosis in a Holarctic assemblage of emergent deer tick pathogens. PMID:9204297

  20. Potential of Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) as a bioassay probe for Metarhizium brunneum (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) activity against Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Bharadwaj, Anuja; Stafford, Kirby C

    2011-12-01

    The yellow mealworm, Tenebrio molitor L., has been used to indicate qualitatively the presence of entomopathogenic fungi in the soil or as a model for evaluating stress and other factors on fungal activity. Although this beetle appears highly susceptible to many of these fungi, little quantitative information is available on the sensitivity of T. molitor to a specific fungus and, therefore, fungal presence or as an indicator for pathogenicity to other species. The purpose of this study was to establish the suitability of T. molitor larvae as a bioassay probe for Metarhizium brunneum for comparison against the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Nine concentrations of M. brunneum strain F52 ranging from 1.0 x 10(1) to 8.4 x 10(8) conidial/ml were simultaneously tested against T. molitor larvae and I. scapularis adults. Larvae of yellow mealworm were less sensitive to M. brunneum than I. scapularis adults (LC50's 4.4 x 10(7) and 1.7 x 10(5) conidia/ml, respectively, 4-wk post-treatment). The greater sensitivity of I. scapularis to the fungus suggests that the detection of fungal mycosis in mealworms would indicate sufficient inoculum to be pathogenic to I. scapularis and make this insect a suitable probe for evaluation of the presence and activity of M. brunneum against the blacklegged tick in field applications.

  1. 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.

  2. Dermatoses caused by infestations of immature Ixodes spp. on dogs and cats in Sydney, Australia.

    PubMed

    Baxter, Cg; Vogelnest, Lj; Doggett, Sl

    2009-05-01

    Infestations of larval and nymphal Ixodes spp. were identified in 16 dogs and 16 cats from several small animal clinics in Sydney. Cases occurred in late summer or autumn, peaking in February, and were seasonally recurrent in some individuals. Clinical signs of infestation included a papular dermatitis and irritation or pruritus that ranged from severe to mild or absent. The distribution of tick attachment tended to be cranial and ventral, with the face, legs, axillae and ventrum the most commonly affected sites. The estimated number of ticks in each infestation varied from less than 10 to more than 100. Basic morphological examination of ticks collected from affected animals was performed by attending veterinarians using light microscopy, and larvae and nymphs belonging to the Ixodes genus were identified. Ticks collected from 17 animals and submitted to the Department of Medical Entomology, Westmead Hospital were putatively identified as I. trichosuri (57%) and I. holocyclus (25%) larvae. Histopathological samples of attachment sites collected from three dogs and one cat were characterised by ticks attached in well-demarcated invaginations of the skin ('tick craters') associated with variable epidermal and/or dermal necrosis, focal eosinophilic intraspinous pustules, mild to marked eosinophilic and neutrophilic, superficial to deep, dermal perivascular to interstitial inflammation, and moderate to marked superficial dermal oedema and red cell extravasation. A range of topical acaricidal preparations, including fipronil and synthetic pyrethroids, were used for treatment.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. [Etiological structure of complex Ixodes tickborne borreliosis natural foci of southern taiga].

    PubMed

    Korenberg, É I; Nefedova, V V; Gorelova, N B; Kovalevskiĭ, Iu V; Fadeeva, I A; Golubova, D A

    2011-01-01

    89 primary isolates of B. garinii and 72 B. afzelii from different developmental phases of I. persulcatus, I. trianguliceps and form small mammalian hosts of Borrelia were obtained at an area of ca. 30 km2 located in low-mountain southern taiga forests (Perm region). The area provides home for two Borrelia species (B. garinii and B. afzeli) and their natural carrier Ixodes persulcatus. 23 isolate of B.garnii were obtained from skin biopsies and blood samples taken in patients with borreliosis. The isolates were studied by sequencing rrf(5S)-rrr(23S) spacer. The term genetic variant (genovariant) is proposed for the totality of isolates belonging to a given genetic subgroup of the concrete genospecies and having a similar nucleotide sequence of rrf(5S)-rrr(23S) spacer or other conservative genomic sequence. Genovariant is ths smallest intraspecies taxonomic unit in widespread Borrelia pathogenic for man. Several genovariants of B. garinii and B. afzelii may simultaneously occur in combined parasitic systems formed by these spirochetal agents of Ixodes tick-borne borreliosis. Such natural foci in southern taiga of the Perm region have a complicated etiological structure due to the presence of 14 genovariants of Borrelia belonging to the two above genetic subgroups. Specific genovariants occur annually but with different frequency. They are lacking in host-specificity.

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. Deer browse resistant exotic-invasive understory: an indicator of elevated human risk of exposure to Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in southern coastal Maine woodlands.

    PubMed

    Elias, Susan P; Lubelczyk, Charles B; Rand, Peter W; Lacombe, Eleanor H; Holman, Mary S; Smith, Robert P

    2006-11-01

    We evaluated the relationships between forest understory structure and the abundance of questing adult and nymphal blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae), in three Maine towns endemic for Lyme disease, 2001-2003. In fragmented New England woodlands, over-abundant white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman, overbrowse palatable species, allowing browse-resistant exotic-invasive species to replace native forest understory structures. We predicted there would be more ticks in plots dominated by exotic-invasive shrubs (such as Japanese barberry, Berberis thunbergii DC) than in plots dominated by native shrubs, ferns, or open understory. We assessed canopy composition and closure, tree basal area, litter composition, percentage of coverage and stem density of understory species, litter depth, soil moisture, and abundance of small mammals and white-tailed deer pellet groups. We used generalized linear mixed model analysis of covariance to determine the effect of understory structure on tick counts, controlling for continuous habitat and host covariates and adjusting for random spatial effects. There were twice as many adults and nearly twice as many nymphs in plots dominated by exotic-invasives than in plots dominated by native shrubs. Both adult and nymphal counts were lowest in open understory with coniferous litter. Adults were positively associated with increasing litter depth, medium soil moisture, and increasing abundance of white-footed deer mice, Peromyscus leucopus Rafinesque, and deer pellet group counts. Nymphs were positively associated with increasing litter depth, moderately wet soil, and mice. We concluded that deer browse-resistant exotic-invasive understory vegetation presented an elevated risk of human exposure to the vector tick of Lyme disease.

  10. Ricinus communis-based biopolymer and epidermal growth factor regulations on bone defect repair: A rat tibia model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendoza-Barrera, C.; Meléndez-Lira, M.; Altuzar, V.; Tomás, S. A.

    2003-01-01

    We report the effect of the addition of an epidermal growth factor to a Ricinus communis-based biopolymer in the healing of a rat tibia model. Bone repair and osteointegration after a period of three weeks were evaluated employing photoacoustic spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction. A parallel study was performed at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 weeks with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy. We conclude that the use of an epidermal growth factor (group EGF) in vivo accelerates the process of bony repair in comparison with other groups, and that the employment of the Ricinus communis-based biopolymer as a bone substitute decreases bone production.

  11. 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.

  12. New anti-inflammatory triterpene from the root of Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Pooja; Jyotshna; Gupta, Namita; Maurya, Anil Kumar; Shanker, Karuna

    2014-01-01

    Liquid-liquid partitioning of Ricinus communis root methanol extract resulted in enrichment of compounds. Purification of the n-hexane fraction led to the isolation and characterisation of two triterpenes: one known compound lupeol (1) and a new diketone pentacyclic triterpene named as erandone (urs-6-ene-3,16-dione) (2), from the plant. Their structures were determined by various spectroscopic techniques. Crude methanolic, enriched n-hexane fraction and isolates at doses 100 mg/kg p.o. exhibited significant (P < 0.001) anti-inflammatory activity in carrageenan-induced hind paw oedema model.

  13. Chronology of alveolar healing following immediate implantation of Ricinus communis polyurethane resin: histometric analysis in rats.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, T L; Teófilo, J M; Araújo, C A; Brentegani, L G

    1997-12-15

    The purpose of the present study was to determine whether granules of Ricinus communis polyurethane resin implanted immediately after tooth extraction interfere with the time course of alveolar wound healing in rats. Progressive bone neoformation in parallel to a decrease in the volume fraction of connective tissue was quantified by a histometric method 1, 2, 3, and 6 weeks after tooth extraction. In spite of the biocompatible nature, the presence of polyurethane resin granules in the cervical third led to a small (9-22%) but significant delay in bone formation in the middle and apical alveolar thirds from the second week on, as compared to controls.

  14. Isolation and fractionation of the endoplasmic reticulum from castor bean (Ricinus communis) endosperm for proteomic analyses.

    PubMed

    Simon, William J; Maltman, Daniel J; Slabas, Antoni R

    2008-01-01

    This chapter describes the preparation and isolation of highly purified endoplasmic reticulum (ER) from the endosperm of developing and germinating castor bean (Ricinus communis) seeds to provide a purified organelle fraction for differential proteomic analyses. The method uses a two-step ultracentrifugation protocol first described by Coughlan (1) and uses sucrose density gradients and a sucrose flotation step to yield purified ER devoid of other contaminating endomembrane material. Using a combination of one dimensional (1D) and two dimensional (2D) gel electrophoresis the complexity and reproducibility of the protein profile of the purified organelle is evaluated prior to detailed proteomic analyses using mass spectrometry based techniques.

  15. High-speed counter-current chromatographic isolation of ricinine, an insecticide from Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Cazal, Cristiane de Melo; Batalhão, Jaqueline Raquel; Domingues, Vanessa de Cássia; Bueno, Odair Corrêa; Filho, Edson Rodrigues; Forim, Moacir R; da Silva, Maria Fátima G Fernandes; Vieira, Paulo Cezar; Fernandes, João Batista

    2009-05-08

    The alkaloid ricinine, an insecticide for leaf-cutting ant (Atta sexdens rubropilosa), was obtained from Ricinus communis. A two-phase solvent system composed of CH(2)Cl(2)/EtOH/H(2)O (93:35:72, v/v/v) was used for high-speed counter-current chromatographic (HSCCC) isolation of ricinine in high yield and with over 96% purity, as determined by liquid and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS and GC-MS). Identification of ricinine was performed by comparison of (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR and LC-MS/MS data.

  16. Prevalence Rates of Borrelia burgdorferi (Spirochaetales: Spirochaetaceae), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae), and Babesia microti (Piroplasmida: Babesiidae) in Host-Seeking Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) from Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, M L; Strohecker, M D; Simmons, T W; Kyle, A D; Helwig, M W

    2015-07-01

    The etiological agents responsible for Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), human granulocytic anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum), and babesiosis (Babesia microti) are primarily transmitted by the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say. Despite Pennsylvania having in recent years reported the highest number of Lyme disease cases in the United States, relatively little is known regarding the geographic distribution of the vector and its pathogens in the state. Previous attempts at climate-based predictive modeling of I. scapularis occurrence have not coincided with the high human incidence rates in parts of the state. To elucidate the distribution and pathogen infection rates of I. scapularis, we collected and tested 1,855 adult ticks statewide from 2012 to 2014. The presence of I. scapularis and B. burgdorferi was confirmed from all 67 Pennsylvania counties. Analyses were performed on 1,363 ticks collected in the fall of 2013 to avoid temporal bias across years. Infection rates were highest for B. burgdorferi (47.4%), followed by Ba. microti (3.5%) and A. phagocytophilum (3.3%). Coinfections included B. burgdorferi+Ba. microti (2.0%), B. burgdorferi+A. phagocytophilum (1.5%) and one tick positive for A. phagocytophilum+Ba. microti. Infection rates for B. burgdorferi were lower in the western region of the state. Our findings substantiate that Lyme disease risk is high throughout Pennsylvania.

  17. 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

  18. Harvested white-tailed deer as sentinel hosts for early establishing Ixodes scapularis populations and risk from vector-borne zoonoses in southeastern Canada.

    PubMed

    Bouchard, C; Leighton, P A; Beauchamp, G; Nguon, S; Trudel, L; Milord, F; Lindsay, L R; Bélanger, D; Ogden, N H

    2013-03-01

    Due to recent establishment of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, in southeastern Canada, tick-borne zoonoses (Lyme disease, human granulocytotropic anaplasmosis, and babesiosis) are of growing concern for public health. Using white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) culled in southwestern Quebec during 2007-2008, we investigated whether hunter-killed deer could act as sentinels for early establishing tick populations and for tick-borne pathogens. Accounting for environmental characteristics of culling sites, and age and sex of deer, we investigated whether their tick infestation levels could identify locations of known tick populations detected in active surveillance, presumed tick populations detected by passive surveillance, or both. We also used spatial cluster analyses to identify spatial patterns of tick infestation and occurrence of tick-borne zoonoses infection in ticks collected from the deer. Adult ticks were found on 15% of the 583 deer examined. Adult male deer had the greatest number (approximately 90%) of adult ticks. Overall, 3, 15, and 0% of the ticks collected were polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive for Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti, respectively. Our statistical analyses suggest that sex and age of deer, temperature, precipitation, and an index of tick dispersion by migratory birds were significantly associated with tick infestation levels. Cluster analysis identified significant clusters of deer carrying ticks PCR-positive for A. phagocytophilum, and for deer carrying two or more I. scapularis. Our study suggests that hunter-killed deer may be effective as sentinels for emerging areas of tick-borne anaplasmosis. They may have limited use as sentinels for early emerging I. scapularis tick populations and emerging Lyme disease risk.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hornbostel, V.L.; Zhioua, Elyes; Benjamin, Michael A.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Ostfeld, Richard 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.

  20. Absence of the symbiont Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii in the mitochondria of the tick Ixodes holocyclus.

    PubMed

    Beninati, Tiziana; Riegler, Markus; Vilcins, Inger-Marie E; Sacchi, Luciano; McFadyen, Raelene; Krockenberger, Mark; Bandi, Claudio; O'Neill, Scott L; Lo, Nathan

    2009-10-01

    Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii (M. mitochondrii) belongs to a novel clade of bacteria within the order Rickettsiales. Recent PCR-based screening studies indicate that it is present in a number of blood-sucking arthropods, as well as the blood of some vertebrates. Its medical and veterinary significance remains to be determined. Electron microscopic examinations of M. mitochondrii have thus far been conducted on two infected tick species. Remarkably, the bacterium was found in abundance within the mitochondria of the ovarian cells of each tick species. This makes it the only characterized bacterium able to invade the mitochondria of any multicellular organism. To examine whether mitochondrial invasion is a consistent characteristic of M. mitochondrii, we examined two tick species found in Eastern Australia. One of these species, Ixodes holocyclus, was infected with two M. mitochondrii strains; however, no bacteria were seen in the mitochondria. Comparative studies involving these strains may shed light on the unique phenomenon of mitochondrial invasion.

  1. Predicting Ixodes scapularis abundance on white-tailed deer using geographic information systems.

    PubMed

    Glass, G E; Amerasinghe, F P; Morgan, J M; Scott, T W

    1994-11-01

    We collected 1,410 Ixodes scapularis from 139 white-tailed deer in Kent County, Maryland during the 1990 hunting season. A geographic information system was used to extract 41 environmental variables in the areas surrounding the collection sites of the deer. Stepwise linear regression was used to evaluate the association between the abundance of ticks on deer and the environmental data. A significant statistical association was observed between the abundance of I. scapularis and seven environmental variables (R = 0.69). Tick abundance was negatively correlated with urban land use patterns, wetlands, the amount of privately owned land, soils that tended to be saturated with water, and one drainage system. Tick abundance was positively correlated with well-drained, sandy soils having low water tables. These results indicate that geographically referenced environmental data may be useful in anticipating the risk of exposure to vectors over large areas.

  2. Lizards as hosts for immature Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in North Carolina.

    PubMed

    Levine, J F; Apperson, C S; Howard, P; Washburn, M; Braswell, A L

    1997-11-01

    Previously archived museum specimens of lizards collected throughout North Carolina were examined for Ixodes scapularis (Say). Lizards (n = 1,349) collected in 80 of North Carolina's 100 counties were examined. Lizards with ticks were collected in 23 (29%) of the 80 counties from which lizards were examined. I. scapularis was detected on 8.7% (n = 117) of the lizards and was the sole species of tick obtained from lizards. Immature ticks were most frequently found on the southeastern five-lined skink, Eumeces inexpectatus, and the eastern glass lizard, Ophisaurus ventralis. Larvae were most frequently found on the six-lined racerunner, Cnemidophorus sexlineatus. One C. sexlineatus harbored 177 larvae and 2 nymphs. Nymphs were most frequently observed on E. inexpectatus. The majority of counties (chi 2, P < 0.01) where ticks were found on lizards were in the Coastal Plain.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Ixodes scapularis dystroglycan-like protein promotes Borrelia burgdorferi migration from the gut.

    PubMed

    Coumou, Jeroen; Narasimhan, Sukanya; Trentelman, Jos J; Wagemakers, Alex; Koetsveld, Joris; Ersoz, Jasmin I; Oei, Anneke; Fikrig, Erol; Hovius, Joppe W

    2016-03-01

    The causative agent of Lyme borreliosis, Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted by Ixodes ticks. During tick feeding, B. burgdorferi migrates from the tick gut to the salivary glands from where transmission to the host occurs. B. burgdorferi-interacting tick proteins might serve as vaccine targets to thwart B. burgdorferi transmission. A previous screening for B. burgdorferi-interacting Ixodes scapularis gut proteins identified an I. scapularis putative dystroglycan protein (ISCW015049). Here, we describe the ISCW015049's protein structure and its cellular location in the tick gut in relation to B. burgdorferi migration. Secondly, in vivo B. burgdorferi-tick attachment murine models were performed to study the role of ISCW015049 during B. burgdorferi migration and transmission. In silico analysis confirmed that ISCW015049 is similar to dystroglycan and was named I. scapularis dystroglycan-like protein (ISDLP). Confocal microscopy of gut tissue showed that ISDLP is expressed on the surface of gut cells, is upregulated during tick feeding, and is expressed significantly higher in infected ticks compared to uninfected ticks. Inhibition of ISDLP by RNA interference (RNAi) resulted in lower B. burgdorferi transmission to mice. In conclusion, we have identified a dystroglycan-like protein in I. scapularis gut that can bind to B. burgdorferi and promotes B. burgdorferi migration from the tick gut. Key messages: B. burgdorferi exploits tick proteins to orchestrate its transmission to the host. B. burgdorferi is able bind to an I. scapularis dystroglycan-like protein (ISDLP). Inhibition of ISDLP in ticks results in lower B. burgdorferi transmission to mice. ISDLP is a potential target to prevent Lyme borreliosis.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Molecular cytogenetic analysis and genomic organization of major DNA repeats in castor bean (Ricinus communis L.).

    PubMed

    Alexandrov, O S; Karlov, G I

    2016-04-01

    This article addresses the bioinformatic, molecular genetic, and cytogenetic study of castor bean (Ricinus communis, 2n = 20), which belongs to the monotypic Ricinus genus within the Euphorbiaceae family. Because castor bean chromosomes are small, karyotypic studies are difficult. However, the use of DNA repeats has yielded new prospects for karyotypic research and genome characterization. In the present study, major DNA repeat sequences were identified, characterized and localized on mitotic metaphase and meiotic pachytene chromosomes. Analyses of the nucleotide composition, curvature models, and FISH localization of the rcsat39 repeat suggest that this repeat plays a key role in building heterochromatic arrays in castor bean. Additionally, the rcsat390 sequences were determined to be chromosome-specific repeats located in the pericentromeric region of mitotic chromosome A (pachytene chromosome 1). The localization of rcsat39, rcsat390, 45S and 5S rDNA genes allowed for the development of cytogenetic landmarks for chromosome identification. General questions linked to heterochromatin formation, DNA repeat distribution, and the evolutionary emergence of the genome are discussed. The article may be of interest to biologists studying small genome organization and short monomer DNA repeats.

  11. 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

    2016-04-14

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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. Efficacy of Plant-Derived and Synthetic Compounds on Clothing as Repellents Against Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-01-01

    concern (Gratz 1999). Lyme disease, caused by the spirocheteBorrelia burgdorferi , is themost commonly reported vector-borne disease in the United States...105 lence of Ehrlichia, Borrelia , and Rickettsial agents in Am- blyomma americanum collected from nine states within its range. J. Med. Entomol. 43... Borrelia , Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma in- fections inAmblyommaamericanum and Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) ticks from central New Jersey. J. Med

  16. Prevalence of Lyme borrelia in Ixodes persulcatus ticks from an area with a confirmed case of Lyme disease.

    PubMed

    Murase, Yusuke; Konnai, Satoru; Githaka, Naftaly; Hidano, Arata; Taylor, Kyle; Ito, Takuya; Takano, Ai; Ando, Shuji; Kawabata, Hiroki; Tsubota, Toshio; Murata, Shiro; Ohashi, Kazuhiko

    2013-02-01

    In this study, the prevalence of Borrelia infections in Ixodes ticks from a site in Hokkaido, Japan, with confirmed cases of Lyme disease was determined by a PCR method capable of detecting and differentiating between strains of pathogenic Borrelia, with particular emphasis on Borrelia garinii (B. garinii) and Borrelia afzelli (B. afzelli), using tick-derived DNA extracts as template. A total of 338 ticks, inclusive of 284 Ixodes persulcatus (I. persulcatus), were collected by flagging vegetation in mid-spring. Ninety-eight (34.5%) of I. persulcatus tested positive for Borrelia species DNA, whereas the overall prevalence of Borrelia species in Ixodes ovatus and Haemaphysalis longicornis ticks was 19.5 and 7.7%, respectively. PCR-RFLP and sequence analysis of Borrelia rrf(5S)-rrl(23S) intergenic spacer DNA amplicons indicated that they originated from three different Borrelia species namely, B. garinii, B. afzelii and B. japonica. Among the I. persulcatus species, which is a known vector of human borreliosis, 86 were mono-infected with B. garinii, 2 ticks were mono-infected with B. afzelii and whereas 12 ticks had dual infections. Most significant, 11 of the I. persulcatus ticks were coinfected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum and B. garinii. The difference between the number of obtained and expected co-infections was significant (χ(2)=4.32, P=0.038).

  17. [The importance of recombinant proteins of West Siberian isolates of Borrelia burgdorferi S.L. for serological diagnostic of ixodic tick borreliosis].

    PubMed

    Karavayev, V S; Genina, E S; Ryabchenko, A V; Beklemoschev, A B

    2014-06-01

    The structural proteins OspC, FlaB, FlaA and DbpB of agent of ixodic tick borreliosis are one of main antigens inducing humoral immunity at initial stages of disease. Owing to it, the task was stated to evaluate antigen activity of recombinant proteins OspC (OscP-Bg), fragment of FlaB (f-FlaB) and DbpB of genospecies B. garinii and OspC (OscC-Ba) of genospecies of B. afzelii of West Siberian isolates of Borrelia Burgdorferi S.L. for their possible application as antigens for serological diagnostic of ixodic tick borreliosis The recombinant proteins OscP-Bg, OscC-Ba, f-FlaB, FlaA and DbpB are analyzed using technique of enzymoimmunoassay to detect ability to bound antibodies of serums of patients with ixodic tick borreliosis with localized and disseminated stage of infection. The difference of their sensitivity as antigens during detection of specific antibodies in blood serum of patients with ixodic tick borreliosis was demonstrated In serum of patients with ixodic tick borreliosis with disseminated stage of infection the level of specific IgM and IgG antibodies reacting with OscP-Bg, OscC-Ba, f-FlaB, FlaA and DbpB is within the limits 15.7-52.6% for IgG. The results of enzymoimmunoassay applied to patients with ixodic tick borreliosis for detection of IgM and IgG in serum demonstrated that OscP-Bg and f-FlaB determined the highest antigen activity with antigens. The study results make it possible to consider these proteins as perspective components for development of immune enzyme test system of diagnostic of ixodic tick borreliosis.

  18. 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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-06-01

    per night. 1 Against blackflies and mosquitoes, wide mesh jackets treated with 70 mg a.i. permethrin/m were reported to rapidly decrease landing...jackets and hoods for personal protection against blackflies and mosquitoes. Mosq News 1978; 38: 350-6. 13. Schreck CE, Mount GA, Carlson DA

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Phytochemical investigation characterisation and anticonvulsant activity of Ricinus communis seeds in mice.

    PubMed

    Tripathi, Avinash Chandra; Gupta, Rajiv; Saraf, Shailendra K

    2011-11-01

    The ethanol extract of the dried, powdered hull portion of Ricinus communis seeds indicated the presence of alkaloids, steroids, flavonoids, glycosides and phenolics, amongst others. Ricinine was isolated as an active constituent and characterised by various chemical and spectroscopic techniques. The anticonvulsant activity of the isolated compound was evaluated in mice using the maximal electroshock (MES) model. The isolated compound at a dose of 60 mg kg⁻¹ body weight, orally, significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the extensor tonus phase of convulsion by MES-induced seizures in albino mice when compared with the standard drug diazepam (30 mg kg⁻¹ body weight, orally). The results of this study support the folkloric use of the plant in epileptic remedies.

  3. Forensic applications of light-element stable isotope ratios of Ricinus communis seeds and ricin preparations.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Seeds of the castor plant Ricinus communis are of forensic interest because they are the source of the poison ricin. We tested whether stable isotope ratios of castor seeds and ricin preparations can be used as a forensic signature. We collected over 300 castor seed samples worldwide and measured the C, N, O, and H isotope ratios of the whole seeds and oil. We prepared ricin by three different procedures, acetone extraction, salt precipitation, and affinity chromatography, and compared their isotope ratios to those of the source seeds. The N isotope ratios of the ricin samples and source seeds were virtually identical. Therefore, 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 pairwise comparison tests. Stable isotope ratios therefore constitute a valuable forensic signature for ricin preparations.

  4. Characterization of the 11S globulin gene family in the castor plant Ricinus communis L.

    PubMed

    Chileh, Tarik; Esteban-García, Belén; Alonso, Diego López; García-Maroto, Federico

    2010-01-13

    The 11S globulin (legumin) gene family has been characterized in the castor plant Ricinus communis L. Phylogenetic analysis reveals the presence of two diverged subfamilies (RcLEG1 and RcLEG2) comprising a total of nine genes and two putative pseudogenes. The expression of castor legumin genes has been studied, indicating that it is seed specific and developmentally regulated, with a maximum at the stage when cellular endosperm reaches its full expansion (around 40-45 DAP). However, conspicuous differences are appreciated in the expression timing of individual genes. A characterization of the 5'-proximal regulatory regions for two genes, RcLEG1-1 and RcLEG2-1, representative of the two legumin subfamilies, has also been performed by fusion to the GUS reporter gene. The results obtained from heterologous expression in tobacco and transient expression in castor, indicating seed-specific regulation, support the possible utility of these promoters for biotechnological purposes.

  5. Time-course proteome analysis of developing extrafloral nectaries of Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Shah, Mohibullah; Teixeira, Fabiano M; Soares, Emanoella L; Soares, Arlete A; Carvalho, Paulo C; Domont, Gilberto B; Thornburg, Robert W; Nogueira, Fábio C S; Campos, Francisco A P

    2016-02-01

    Floral and extrafloral nectaries are unique organs that secrete energy rich chemical components, but their contribution for nectar production is largely unknown. Here, we present the first comparative proteome dataset of four developmental stages of the extrafloral nectaries from castor plant (Ricinus communis), an important biofuel crop. Respectively, from stage I-IV, we identified 626, 613, 449 and 356 proteins, respectively, summing up 882 nonredundant proteins. Surprisingly, we identified two isoforms of the potent toxin ricin, indicating that ricin expression is not limited to seeds, but it may serve a general defense purpose for the castor plant. To date, this is the most complete dataset of proteins either from floral or extrafloral nectaries, thus contributing to lay the foundations for investigations on their ecological and evolutionary importance.

  6. Concanavalin A and ricinus communis receptor sites in normal human oral mucosa.

    PubMed

    Dabelsteen, E; Fejerskov, O; Norén, O; Mackenzie, I C

    1978-01-01

    Fluorescein conjugates of concanavalin A (Con-A) and Ricinus communis fraction 120 (RCA120) were shown to bind to the cell surfaces of basal and spinous cell layers in oral buccal mucosa. Palatal epithelium showed distinct binding to basal and spinous cells; cell membranes in the granular layer occasionally bound Con-A and always RCA120. The ultrastructural localization of Con-A binding sites on exfoliated buccal cells was detected by the Con-A peroxidase staining method. The Con-A receptors were seen on the cell surface in association with the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane. The reaction products appeared as a homogeneous, electron-dense layer containing irregularly distributed globules.

  7. Graviresponsiveness and columella cell structure in primary and secondary roots of Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Moore, R; Pasieniuk, J

    1984-01-01

    In order to determine what structural changes are associated with the onset of graviresponsiveness by plant roots, we have monitored the quantitative ultrastructures of columella (i.e., graviperceptive) cells in primary and secondary roots of Ricinus communis. The relative volumes of cellular components in lateral (i.e., minimally graviresponsive) roots were not significantly different from those of primary roots. The relative volumes of cellular components in secondary roots growing laterally were not significantly different from those of graviresponsive secondary roots. Therefore, the onset of graviresponsiveness by secondary roots of R. communis is not correlated with changes in organellar concentrations in columella cells. These results are discussed relative to a model for the differential graviresponsiveness of plant roots.

  8. Effects of Ricinus communis oil esters on salivary glands of Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille, 1806) (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Arnosti, André; Brienza, Paula Desjardins; Furquim, Karim Christina Scopinho; Chierice, Gilberto Orivaldo; Neto, Salvador Claro; Bechara, Gervásio Henrique; Sampieri, Bruno Rodrigues; Camargo-Mathias, Maria Izabel

    2011-02-01

    This study showed the interference of esters extracted from Ricinus communis in the secretory cycle of salivary glands of Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks, which consequently caused collateral effects on their feeding process. Ticks attached on hosts which were fed with commercial feed containing different concentrations of R. communis oil esters suffered damages such as cytoplasmic changes in their salivary glands, notably in the acinar cells, impairing the functioning of the acini and accelerating the organs degeneration as a whole. It was found that esters interfered with the activity of cellular secretion by changing the glycoprotein of salivary composition especially in acini II cells. It was also shown that the damages caused by esters in the salivary glands cells of these ectoparasites increased in higher concentrations of the product and degenerative glandular changes were more pronounced.

  9. Adenosine stimulates anabolic metabolism in developing castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) cotyledons.

    PubMed

    Flörchinger, Martin; Zimmermann, Marc; Traub, Michaela; Neuhaus, H Ekkehard; Möhlmann, Torsten

    2006-01-01

    In previous experiments it was shown that Castor-bean (Ricinus communis) endosperm releases carbohydrates, amino acids and nucleoside derivatives, which are subsequently imported into the developing cotyledons (Kombrink and Beevers in Plant Physiol 73:370-376, 1983). To investigate the importance of the most prominent nucleoside adenosine for the metabolism of growing Ricinus seedlings, we supplied adenosine to cotyledons of 5-days-old seedlings after removal of the endosperm. This treatment led to a 16% increase in freshweight of intact seedlings within 16 h, compared to controls. Using detached cotyledons, we followed uptake of radiolabelled adenosine and identified 40% of label in solubles (mostly ATP and ADP), 46% incorporation in RNA and 2.5% in DNA, indicating a highly active salvage pathway. About 7% of freshly imported adenosine entered the phloem, which indicates a major function of adenosine for cotyledon metabolism. Import and conversion of adenosine improved the energy content of cotyledons as revealed by a substantially increased ATP/ADP ratio. This effect was accompanied by slight increases in respiratory activity, decreased levels of hexose phosphates and increased levels of fructose-1,6-bisphosphate and triose phosphates. These alterations indicate a stimulation of glycolytic flux by activation of phosphofructokinase, and accordingly we determined a higher activity of this enzyme. Furthermore the rate of [(14)C]-sucrose driven starch biosynthesis in developing castor-bean is significantly increased by feeding of adenosine. In conclusion, our data indicate that adenosine imported from mobilizing endosperm into developing castor-bean cotyledons fulfils an important function as it promotes anabolic reactions in this rapidly developing tissue.

  10. Phloem mobility and translocation of fluorescent conjugate containing glucose and NBD in castor bean (Ricinus communis).

    PubMed

    Lei, Zhiwei; Wang, Jie; Mao, Genlin; Wen, Yingjie; Xu, Hanhong

    2014-03-05

    Phloem mobility is an important factor for long-distance transport of systemic pesticides in plants. Our previous study revealed that a fluorescent glucose-insecticide conjugate, N-{3-cyano-1-[2,6-dichloro-4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-4-iodo-1H-pyrazol-5-yl}-N-{[1-(β-D-glucopyranosyl)-1H-1,2,3-triazole-4-yl]methyl}-N-{[1-((N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazole-4-amine))-propyl)-1H-1,2,3-triazole-4-yl]methyl}amine (IPGN), can be transported in tobacco cells. Several studies have also indicated that glucose moieties can guide the conjugates into plant cells. In this study, we investigated the phloem mobility of IPGN within castor bean seedlings. Cotyledon uptake experiment results show that IPGN could enter the phloem of the mid-veins of cotyledons. The results of further quantitative analysis show that IPGN was present in small amounts in the phloem sap despite the inconsistencies of physicochemical properties with diffusion through the plasma membrane. Its concentration in the phloem sap (about 370nM at 5h) was much lower than that in the incubation medium (100μM), which suggests that IPGN exhibited weak phloem mobility. After the leaves of Ricinus plantlets were treated with IPGN, green fluorescence could be observed in the phloem of the petioles, bud apical nodes, bud mid-veins, and mid-veins of the untreated leaves. The localization of the fluorescent conjugate at various levels of Ricinus plantlets indicates that it was translocated at a distance to sink organs via sieve tubes. The results proved that introducing a glucose group is a feasible approach to modify non-phloem-mobile pesticides and produce phloem-mobile pesticides.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    2010-12-01

    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

  13. 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.

  14. Habitat Suitability Model for the Distribution of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in Minnesota.

    PubMed

    Johnson, T L; Bjork, J K H; Neitzel, D F; Dorr, F M; Schiffman, E K; Eisen, R J

    2016-05-01

    Ixodes scapularis Say, the black-legged tick, is the primary vector in the eastern United States of several pathogens causing human diseases including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. Over the past two decades, I. scapularis-borne diseases have increased in incidence as well as geographic distribution. Lyme disease exists in two major foci in the United States, one encompassing northeastern states and the other in the Upper Midwest. Minnesota represents a state with an appreciable increase in counties reporting I. scapularis-borne illnesses, suggesting geographic expansion of vector populations in recent years. Recent tick distribution records support this assumption. Here, we used those records to create a fine resolution, subcounty-level distribution model for I. scapularis using variable response curves in addition to tests of variable importance. The model identified 19% of Minnesota as potentially suitable for establishment of the tick and indicated with high accuracy (AUC = 0.863) that the distribution is driven by land cover type, summer precipitation, maximum summer temperatures, and annual temperature variation. We provide updated records of established populations near the northwestern species range limit and present a model that increases our understanding of the potential distribution of I. scapularis in Minnesota.

  15. 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.

  16. Habitat Suitability Model for the Distribution of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in Minnesota

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, T. L.; Bjork, J. K. H.; Neitzel, D. F.; Dorr, F. M.; Schiffman, E. K.; Eisen, R. J.

    2016-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis Say, the black-legged tick, is the primary vector in the eastern United States of several pathogens causing human diseases including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. Over the past two decades, I. scapularis-borne diseases have increased in incidence as well as geographic distribution. Lyme disease exists in two major foci in the United States, one encompassing northeastern states and the other in the Upper Midwest. Minnesota represents a state with an appreciable increase in counties reporting I. scapularis-borne illnesses, suggesting geographic expansion of vector populations in recent years. Recent tick distribution records support this assumption. Here, we used those records to create a fine resolution, subcounty-level distribution model for I. scapularis using variable response curves in addition to tests of variable importance. The model identified 19% of Minnesota as potentially suitable for establishment of the tick and indicated with high accuracy (AUC = 0.863) that the distribution is driven by land cover type, summer precipitation, maximum summer temperatures, and annual temperature variation. We provide updated records of established populations near the northwestern species range limit and present a model that increases our understanding of the potential distribution of I. scapularis in Minnesota. PMID:27026161

  17. Sylvatic Infestation of Oklahoma Reptiles with Immature Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Garvin, Stephen D; Noden, Bruce H; Dillwith, Jack W; Fox, Stanley F; Payton, Mark E; Barker, Robert W

    2015-09-01

    Reptiles were collected in nine counties in Oklahoma from September 2002 to May 2004 and examined for Ixodes scapularis (Say) larvae and nymphs to determine seasonal incidence and prevalence of these ticks. In total, 209 reptile specimens consisting of nine species of lizards and seven species of snakes were collected. Plestiodon fasciatus (L.) was the most numerous species collected (55%) followed by Sceloporus undulatus (Latreille) (17%) and Scincella lateralis (Say) (11%). Less than 10 individuals were collected for all remaining reptile species. The infestation prevalence of I. scapularis on all reptile specimens collected was 14% for larvae and 25% for nymphs. Larvae were found on lizards from April until September and peaked in May, while nymphs were found from March until September and peaked in April. I. scapularis larvae (84%) and nymphs (73%) preferentially attached to the axillae/front leg of P. fasciatus. Two chigger species, Eutrombicula splendens (Ewing) and Eutrombicula cinnabaris (Ewing), were found on 2% of the reptiles collected. No ectoparasites, including ticks, were obtained from the seven species of snakes collected.

  18. Studies on the biology of Ixodes dammini in the upper midwest of the United States.

    PubMed

    Platt, K B; Novak, M G; Rowley, W A

    1992-06-16

    The seasonal activity pattern of Ixodes dammini was monitored in south-central Wisconsin in 1989 and 1990. Immature tick activity and abundance were assessed by small mammal trapping (732 Peromyscus leucopus examined) and supplemented with flagging. Tick survival and molting times were evaluated by maintaining ticks in environmental chambers at field sites. Results indicate the biology of I. dammini in the upper midwest is similar to that previously reported from the eastern United States. One notable difference was that seasonal larval activity appeared broader (late April through October) and peaked earlier (on 9 July 1989 mean was 7.7 larvae/mouse; on 9 June 1990 mean was 7.3 larvae/mouse). Nymphal activity on P. leucopus peaked in May of both years (mean = 2.5 in 1989; mean = 1.8 in 1990). Bloodfed females placed in the field in early May 1990 oviposited in early June, and larvae emerged by early August. All bloodfed stages successfully overwintered at field sites.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, Howard S.; Zhioua, Elyes; Mitra, Shaibal; Fischer, Jason L.; Buckley, P.A.; Verret, Frank; Underwood, H. Brian; Buckley, Francine 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.

  20. 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

    2016-02-09

    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.

  1. Isolation of entomopathogenic fungi from soils and Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) ticks: prevalence and methods.

    PubMed

    Tuininga, Amy R; Miller, Jessica L; Morath, Shannon U; Daniels, Thomas J; Falco, Richard C; Marchese, Michael; Sahabi, Sadia; Rosa, Dieshia; Stafford, Kirby C

    2009-05-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi are commonly found in forested soils that provide tick habitat, and many species are pathogenic to Ixodes scapularis Say, the blacklegged tick. As a first step to developing effective biocontrol strategies, the objective of this study was to determine the best methods to isolate entomopathogenic fungal species from field-collected samples of soils and ticks from an Eastern deciduous forest where I. scapularis is common. Several methods were assessed: (1) soils, leaf litter, and ticks were plated on two types of media; (2) soils were assayed for entomopathogenic fungi using the Galleria bait method; (3) DNA from internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of the nuclear ribosomal repeat was extracted from pure cultures obtained from soils, Galleria, and ticks and was amplified and sequenced; and (4) DNA was extracted directly from ticks, amplified, and sequenced. We conclude that (1) ticks encounter potentially entomopathogenic fungi more often in soil than in leaf litter, (2) many species of potentially entomopathogenic fungi found in the soil can readily be cultured, (3) the Galleria bait method is a sufficiently efficient method for isolation of these fungi from soils, and (4) although DNA extraction from ticks was not possible in this study because of small sample size, DNA extraction from fungi isolated from soils and from ticks was successful and provided clean sequences in 100 and 73% of samples, respectively. A combination of the above methods is clearly necessary for optimal characterization of entomopathogenic fungi associated with ticks in the environment.

  2. Isolation of Entomopathogenic Fungi From Soils and Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) Ticks: Prevalence and Methods

    PubMed Central

    Tuininga, Amy R.; Miller, Jessica L.; Morath, Shannon U.; Daniels, Thomas J.; Falco, Richard C.; Marchese, Michael; Sahabi, Sadia; Rosa, Dieshia; Stafford, Kirby C.

    2009-01-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi are commonly found in forested soils that provide tick habitat, and many species are pathogenic to Ixodes scapularis Say, the blacklegged tick. As a first step to developing effective biocontrol strategies, the objective of this study was to determine the best methods to isolate entomopathogenic fungal species from field-collected samples of soils and ticks from an Eastern deciduous forest where I. scapularis is common. Several methods were assessed: (1) soils, leaf litter, and ticks were plated on two types of media; (2) soils were assayed for entomopathogenic fungi using the Galleria bait method; (3) DNA from internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of the nuclear ribosomal repeat was extracted from pure cultures obtained from soils, Galleria, and ticks and was amplified and sequenced; and (4) DNA was extracted directly from ticks, amplified, and sequenced. We conclude that (1) ticks encounter potentially entomopathogenic fungi more often in soil than in leaf litter, (2) many species of potentially entomopathogenic fungi found in the soil can readily be cultured, (3) the Galleria bait method is a sufficiently efficient method for isolation of these fungi from soils, and (4) although DNA extraction from ticks was not possible in this study because of small sample size, DNA extraction from fungi isolated from soils and from ticks was successful and provided clean sequences in 100 and 73% of samples, respectively. A combination of the above methods is clearly necessary for optimal characterization of entomopathogenic fungi associated with ticks in the environment. PMID:19496427

  3. 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

  4. Analysis of the Langat Virus Genome in Persistent Infection of an Ixodes scapularis Cell Line

    PubMed Central

    Mlera, Luwanika; Melik, Wessam; Offerdahl, Danielle K.; Dahlstrom, Eric; Porcella, Stephen F.; Bloom, Marshall E.

    2016-01-01

    Tick-borne flaviviruses (TBFVs) cause a broad spectrum of disease manifestations ranging from asymptomatic to mild febrile illness and life threatening encephalitis. These single-stranded positive-sense (ss(+)) RNA viruses are naturally maintained in a persistent infection of ixodid ticks and small-medium sized mammals. The development of cell lines from the ixodid ticks has provided a valuable surrogate system for studying the biology of TBFVs in vitro. When we infected ISE6 cells, an Ixodes scapularis embryonic cell line, with Langat virus (LGTV) we observed that the infection proceeded directly into persistence without any cytopathic effect. Analysis of the viral genome at selected time points showed that no defective genomes were generated during LGTV persistence by 10 weeks of cell passage. This was in contrast to LGTV persistence in 293T cells in which defective viral genomes are detectable by five weeks of serial cell passage. We identified two synonymous nucleotide changes i.e., 1893A→C (29% of 5978 reads at 12 h post infection (hpi)) and 2284T→A (34% of 4191 reads at 12 hpi) in the region encoding for the viral protein E. These results suggested that the mechanisms supporting LGTV persistence are different between tick and mammalian cells. PMID:27626437

  5. 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.

  6. The fecal odor of sick hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) mediates olfactory attraction of the tick Ixodes hexagonus.

    PubMed

    Bunnell, Toni; Hanisch, Kerstin; Hardege, Jörg D; Breithaupt, Thomas

    2011-04-01

    Parasite loads of animals vary among individuals, but the underlying mechanisms have not been fully identified. Here, we investigated whether health status of hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) is correlated with tick burden, and whether chemical cues linked to the health status of the host mediate attraction of the tick Ixodes hexagonus. An ecological survey conducted over 10 years, involving 226 wild hedgehogs, revealed a strong association between health status and tick burden of hedgehogs, with healthy animals being less likely to carry ticks than unhealthy ones. Behavioral choice tests demonstrated that ticks display a preference for the fecal odor from sick hedgehogs compared with healthy ones. Chemical analysis of fecal odors using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry showed differences in the odor profile between sick and healthy hedgehogs. Sick animals tended to exhibit raised levels of the volatile aromatic heterocyclic compound indole in their feces. Ticks were attracted to indole when given the choice between indole and a solvent control. However, fecal matter from healthy hosts, with the addition of indole, was not attractive to ticks, suggesting that indole interacts with other, undetected compounds in mediating attraction. This study implies that it is the attraction to fecal odor that causes higher tick burdens in sick hedgehogs. Ticks might benefit from this preference by avoiding possible repulsion mechanisms of healthy hosts. We suggest that ticks potentially choose their host based on odor linked to the host's health status.

  7. The Nucleotide Excision Repair Pathway Protects Borrelia burgdorferi from Nitrosative Stress in Ixodes scapularis Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Bourret, Travis J.; Lawrence, Kevin A.; Shaw, Jeff A.; Lin, Tao; Norris, Steven J.; Gherardini, Frank C.

    2016-01-01

    The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi encounters a wide range of environmental conditions as it cycles between ticks of the genus Ixodes and its various mammalian hosts. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are potent antimicrobial molecules generated during the innate immune response to infection, however, it is unclear whether ROS and RNS pose a significant challenge to B. burgdorferi in vivo. In this study, we screened a library of B. burgdorferi strains with mutations in DNA repair genes for increased susceptibility to ROS or RNS in vitro. Strains with mutations in the methyl-directed mismatch repair gene mutS1 are hypersensitive to killing by ROS, while strains lacking the nucleotide excision repair (NER) gene uvrB show increased susceptibility to both ROS and RNS. Therefore, mutS1-deficient and uvrB-deficient strains were compared for their ability to complete their infectious cycle in Swiss Webster mice and I. scapularis ticks to help identify sites of oxidative and nitrosative stresses encountered by B. burgdorferi in vivo. Both mutS1 and uvrB were dispensable for infection of mice, while uvrB promoted the survival of spirochetes in I. scapularis ticks. The decreased survival of uvrB-deficient B. burgdorferi was associated with the generation of RNS in I. scapularis midguts and salivary glands during feeding. Collectively, these data suggest that B. burgdorferi must withstand cytotoxic levels of RNS produced during infection of I. scapularis ticks. PMID:27656169

  8. Ixodes persulcatus Ticks as Vectors for the Babesia microti U.S. Lineage in Japan.

    PubMed

    Zamoto-Niikura, Aya; Morikawa, Shigeru; Hanaki, Ken-Ichi; Holman, Patricia J; Ishihara, Chiaki

    2016-11-15

    The U.S. lineage, one of the major clades in the Babesia microti group, is known as a causal agent of human babesiosis mostly in the northeastern and upper midwestern United States. This lineage, however, also is distributed throughout the temperate zone of Eurasia with several reported human cases, although convincing evidence of the identity of the specific vector(s) in this area is lacking. Here, the goal was to demonstrate the presence of infectious parasites directly in salivary glands of Ixodes persulcatus, from which U.S. lineage genetic sequences have been detected in Asia, and to molecularly characterize the isolates. Five PCR-positive specimens were individually inoculated into hamsters, resulting in infections in four; consequently, four strains were newly established. Molecular characterization, including 18S rRNA, β-tubulin, and CCT7 gene sequences, as well as Western blot analysis and indirect fluorescent antibody assay, revealed that all four strains were identical to each other and to the U.S. lineage strains isolated from rodents captured in Japan. The 18S rRNA gene sequence from the isolates was identical to those from I. persulcatus in Russia and China, but the genetic and antigenic profiles of the Japanese parasites differ from those in the United States and Europe. Together with previous epidemiological and transmission studies, we conclude that I. persulcatus is likely the principal vector for the B. microti U.S. lineage in Japan and presumably in northeastern Eurasia.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  10. 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.

  11. [Epidemiological characterization of Ixodes tick-borne borreliosis in the Krasnoyarsk territory].

    PubMed

    Shetekauri, S A; Mar'ina, N M; Solokhina, D V

    2005-01-01

    The analysis of morbidity in tick-borne infections for many years indicates that in the 1960s-1990s in the total structure of the clinical forms of tick-borne encephalitis the erythematic form amounted to 1.4-20.9, which 1.9- to 3.1-fold exceeded the morbidity characteristics for the whole of Russia. The epidemiological analysis of morbidity at the territory for the period of 1992-2001 is indicative of the presence of the combined foci of tick-borne encephalitis and Ixodes tick-born borrelioses (TBB) in 42 regions of the territory. The cyclic character of morbidity and the irregularity of its spread in different regions of the territory can be observed. Among the TBB patients, town dwellers constitute, on the average, 75.8%. These tick-born infections exhibit regional differences connected with landscape variations and the patients age. However official statistics does not reflect the real epidemic situation at the territory: hypodiagnostics is primarily due to the absence of reliable laboratory confirmation in remote regions of the Krasnoyarsk territory.

  12. 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

  13. Evaluating the submission of digital images as a method of surveillance for Ixodes scapularis ticks.

    PubMed

    Koffi, J K; Savage, J; Thivierge, K; Lindsay, L R; Bouchard, C; Pelcat, Y; Ogden, N H

    2017-03-27

    Widespread access to the internet is offering new possibilities for data collection in surveillance. We explore, in this study, the possibility of using an electronic tool to monitor occurrence of the tick vector of Lyme disease, Ixodes scapularis. The study aimed to compare the capacity for ticks to be identified in web-based submissions of digital images/photographs, to the traditional specimen-based identification method used by the provincial public health laboratory in Quebec, Canada. Forty-one veterinary clinics participated in the study by submitting digital images of ticks collected from pets via a website for image-based identification by an entomologist. The tick specimens were then sent to the provincial public health laboratory to be identified by the 'gold standard' method using a microscope. Of the images submitted online, 74·3% (284/382) were considered of high-enough quality to allow identification. The laboratory identified 382 tick specimens from seven different species, with I. scapularis representing 76% of the total submissions. Of the 284 ticks suitable for image-based species identification, 276 (97·2%) were correctly identified (Kappa statistic of 0·92, Z = 15·46, P < 0·001). This study demonstrates that image-based tick identification may be an accurate and useful method of detecting ticks for surveillance when images are of suitable quality.

  14. Orchestration of salivary secretion mediated by two different dopamine receptors in the blacklegged tick Ixodes scapularis

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Donghun; Šimo, Ladislav; Park, Yoonseong

    2014-01-01

    Salivary secretion is crucial for successful tick feeding, and it is the mediator of pathogen transmission. Salivation functions to inhibit various components of the host immune system and remove excess water and ions during the ingestion of large blood meals. Control of salivary glands involves autocrine/paracrine dopamine, which is the most potent inducer of tick salivation. Previously, we reported the presence of two dopamine receptors in the salivary glands of the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis): dopamine receptor (D1) and invertebrate specific D1-like dopamine receptor (InvD1L). Here, we investigated the different physiological roles of the dopamine receptors in tick salivary glands by using pharmacological tools that discriminate between the two distinct receptors. Heterologous expressions followed by reporter assays of the dopamine receptors identified receptor-specific antagonists and agonists. These pharmacological tools were further used to discriminate the physiological role of each receptor by using in vitro assays: measuring salivary secretions of isolated salivary glands and monitoring dynamic changes in the size of individual salivary gland acini. We propose that the D1 receptor acts on salivary gland acini epithelial cells for inward fluid transport. InvD1L controls (or modulates) each acinus for expelling saliva from the acini to the salivary ducts, presumably through the actions of myoepithelial cells and valves for pumping/gating. We conclude that dopamine acts on the D1 and the InvD1L receptors and leads different physiological actions to orchestrate tick salivary secretion. PMID:25320269

  15. Molecular Evidence of Coinfection of Ticks with Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato and the Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis Agent in Switzerland

    PubMed Central

    Leutenegger, Christian M.; Pusterla, Nicola; Mislin, Caroline N.; Weber, Rainer; Lutz, Hans

    1999-01-01

    Adult Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected in Switzerland and tested for the presence of coinfection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) agent by real-time PCR. Of 100 ticks, 49% were positive for B. burgdorferi and 2% were positive for the HGE agent. The two HGE agent-positive ticks were also found to be positive for B. burgdorferi. PMID:10488215

  16. Distinct Combinations of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Genospecies Found in Individual Questing Ticks from Europe

    PubMed Central

    Kurtenbach, Klaus; De Michelis, Simona; Sewell, Henna-Sisko; Etti, Susanne; Schäfer, Stefanie M.; Hails, Rosie; Collares-Pereira, Margarida; Santos-Reis, Margarida; Haninçová, Klára; Labuda, Milan; Bormane, Antra; Donaghy, Michael

    2001-01-01

    The genetic diversity of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato was assessed in individual adult Ixodes ricinus ticks from Europe by direct PCR amplification of spirochetal DNA followed by genospecies-specific hybridization. Analysis of mixed infections in the ticks showed that B. garinii and B. valaisiana segregate from B. afzelii. This and previous findings suggest that host complement interacts with spirochetes in the tick, thereby playing an important role in the ecology of Lyme borreliosis. PMID:11571205

  17. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

    BackgroundSeveral investigators have reported genetic differences between northern and southern populations of Ixodes scapularis in North America, as well as differences in patterns of disease transmission. Ecological and behavioral correlates of these genetic differences, which might have implications for disease transmission, have not been reported. We compared survival of northern with that of southern genotypes under both northern and southern environmental conditions in laboratory trials.MethodsSubadult I. scapularis from laboratory colonies that originated from adults collected from deer from several sites in the northeastern, north central, and southern U.S. were exposed to controlled conditions in environmental chambers. Northern and southern genotypes were exposed to light:dark and temperature conditions of northern and southern sites with controlled relative humidities, and mortality through time was recorded.ResultsTicks from different geographical locations differed in survival patterns, with larvae from Wisconsin surviving longer than larvae from Massachusetts, South Carolina or Georgia, when held under the same conditions. In another experiment, larvae from Florida survived longer than larvae from Michigan. Therefore, survival patterns of regional genotypes did not follow a simple north–south gradient. The most consistent result was that larvae from all locations generally survived longer under northern conditions than under southern conditions.ConclusionsOur results suggest that conditions in southern North America are less hospitable than in the north to populations of I. scapularis. Southern conditions might have resulted in ecological or behavioral adaptations that contribute to the relative rarity of I. scapularis borne diseases, such as Lyme borreliosis, in the southern compared to the northern United States.

  19. 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.

  20. Detection of tick-borne encephalitis virus in I. ricinus ticks collected from autumn migratory birds in Latvia.

    PubMed

    Kazarina, Alisa; Japiņa, Kristīne; Keišs, Oskars; Salmane, Ineta; Bandere, Dace; Capligina, Valentina; Ranka, Renāte

    2015-03-01

    Birds have a potential of spreading ticks via bird migration routes. In this study, we screened 170 ticks removed during autumn 2010 from 55 birds belonging to 10 species for the presence of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). In total, TBEV RNA was detected in 14% of I. ricinus tick samples obtained from different birds species. The results of this study indicate the possible role of migrating birds in the dispersal of TBEV-infected ticks along the southward migration route.

  1. 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

  2. Effect of Solanum nigrum and Ricinus communis extracts on histamine and carrageenan-induced inflammation in the chicken skin.

    PubMed

    Lomash, V; Parihar, S K; Jain, N K; Katiyar, A K

    2010-02-09

    We studied anti-inflammatory effect of ethanolic extract of Solanum nigrum leaves and Ricinus communis root bark using chicken skin as model. Leaves of these plants were dried under shade and powdered. 5% Ethanol extracts were prepared using Soxhlet and injected intraperitoneally (400 mg/kg) 1 hour prior to the induction of inflammation. Inflammatory lesion were induced by intradermal injection of 0.02 ml 0.05%w/v histamine (0-2 min, 15 min, 30 min, 1 hr and 6 hr) and 1% w/v carrageenan (0-2 min, 30 min, 1 hr, 6 hr, 12 hr and 48 hr) in different group of birds. Increase in vascular permeability was studied using Evans blue as a permeability marker both qualitatively and quantitatively. Cellular events were studied in skin lesions at various time intervals and cells were counted at high power objective under microscope. Both, extracts exhibited significant decrease in permeability response at an early stage (0-2 min) of histamine as well as in carrageenan induced inflammatory lesions. There was a significant (p< 0.05) suppression in the emigration of heterophils, monocytoid cells, basophils and total leukocytosis in Solanum nigrum and Ricinus communis pretreated chicken skin lesions as compared to the control. The present study suggested antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties of ethanolic extract of Solanum nigrum and Ricinus communis.

  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. Prevalence and Diversity of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in Eastern National Parks.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Tammi L; Graham, Christine B; Boegler, Karen A; Cherry, Cara C; Maes, Sarah E; Pilgard, Mark A; Hojgaard, Andrias; Buttke, Danielle E; Eisen, Rebecca J

    2016-12-27

    Tick-borne pathogens transmitted by Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae), also known as the deer tick or blacklegged tick, are increasing in incidence and geographic distribution in the United States. We examined the risk of tick-borne disease exposure in 9 national parks across six Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States and the District of Columbia in 2014 and 2015. To assess the recreational risk to park visitors, we sampled for ticks along frequently used trails and calculated the density of I. scapularis nymphs (DON) and the density of infected nymphs (DIN). We determined the nymphal infection prevalence of I. scapularis with a suite of tick-borne pathogens including Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia miyamotoi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti Ixodes scapularis nymphs were found in all national park units; DON ranged from 0.40 to 13.73 nymphs per 100 m(2) Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, was found at all sites where I. scapularis was documented; DIN with B. burgdorferi ranged from 0.06 to 5.71 nymphs per 100 m(2) Borrelia miyamotoi and A. phagocytophilum were documented at 60% and 70% of the parks, respectively, while Ba. microti occurred at just 20% of the parks. Ixodes scapularis is well established across much of the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, and our results are generally consistent with previous studies conducted near the areas we sampled. Newly established I. scapularis populations were documented in two locations: Washington, D.C. (Rock Creek Park) and Greene County, Virginia (Shenandoah National Park). This research demonstrates the potential risk of tick-borne pathogen exposure in national parks and can be used to educate park visitors about the importance of preventative actions to minimize tick exposure.

  5. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, within southwestern Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Brown, Scott M; Lehman, Preston M; Kern, Ryan A; Henning, Jill D

    2015-06-01

    Prevalence studies of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum have been rare for ticks from southwestern Pennsylvania. We collected 325 Ixodes scapularis ticks between 2011 and 2012 from four counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. We tested for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum using PCR. Of the ticks collected from Pennsylvania, B. burgdorferi (causative agent of Lyme disease) was present in 114/325 (35%) and Anaplasma phagocytophilum (causative agent of Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis) was present in 48/325 (15%) as determined by PCR analysis.

  6. [PCR identification of DNA of hosts of the taiga tick nymphs (Ixodes persulcatus: Ixodinae) in St. Petersburg and its suburbs].

    PubMed

    Grigor'eva, L A; Markov, A V

    2011-01-01

    PCR identification of host DNA in unfed females and males of taiga tick Ixodes persulcatus was performed. Amplification of each sample was done using primers species-specific by 12S rDNA mitochondrial gene. Four species of small mammals (Apodemus uralensis, Clethrionomys glareolus, Microtus arvalis, and Sorex araneus) and two passeriform bird species (Fringilla coelebs and Parus major) were analysed. For one third of tick samples, hosts of previous stages were established using this method. In five cases, feeding on more than one host species was detected.

  7. Parasitism of lizards by immature stages of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis (Acari, Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Durden, Lance A; Oliver, James H; Banks, Craig W; Vogel, Gregory N

    2002-01-01

    From 1982-1985 and 1993-1999, a total of 309 individual reptiles, mostly lizards and snakes, belonging to 12 species (American alligator, six lizard species, five snake species) was captured on St. Catherine's Island, Liberty County, Georgia, USA, and examined for ticks. Three lizard species, the broad-headed skink Eumeces laticeps, southeastern 5-lined skink Eumeces inexpectatus, and eastern glass lizard Ophisaurus ventralis, were severely infested with larvae and nymphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Ticks were not found on any of the other reptile species. Overall, 80% of 65 E. inexpectatus examined were parasitized by a mean intensity of 21.5 larvae and 88% were parasitized by a mean intensity of 4.8 nymphs. Corresponding figures for E. laticeps (n=56) were 93% and 51.3 for larvae and 89% and 7.4 for nymphs, and for O. ventralis (n=3) were 67% and 22.5 for larvae and 100% and 21.3 for nymphs. Larvae and nymphs attached along the lateral grooves of O. ventralis. Nymphs attached mainly behind the ears and in the foreleg axillae whereas larvae mainly attached to these sites and on the hindlegs in Eumeces spp. Seasonally, both larvae and nymphs were recorded on lizards from April through October. A unimodal larval peak was recorded in May or June. Seasonal data for nymphs did not reveal any distinct peaks but small bimodal peaks in mean intensities may have occurred (one in early summer, the other in late summer) suggesting that some ticks complete their life cycle in one year, and others in two years, on St. Catherine's Island. Potential epidemiological consequences of these findings with respect to Lyme disease in the southeastern United States are briefly addressed.

  8. Identification and functional characterization of a pyrokinin neuropeptide receptor in the Lyme disease vector, Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    Gondalia, Kinsi; Qudrat, Anam; Bruno, Brigida; Fleites Medina, Janet; Paluzzi, Jean-Paul V

    2016-12-01

    Pyrokinin-related peptides are pleiotropic factors that are defined by their conserved C-terminal sequence FXPRL-NH2. The pyrokinin nomenclature derives from their originally identified myotropic actions and, as seen in some family members, a blocked amino terminus with pyroglutamate. The black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, is well known as a vector of Lyme disease and various other illnesses; however, in comparison to blood-feeding insects, knowledge on its physiology (along with other Ixodid ticks) is rather limited. In this study, we have isolated, examined the expression profile, and functionally deorphanized the pyrokinin peptide receptor in the medically important tick, I. scapularis. Phylogenetic analysis supports that the cloned receptor is indeed a bona fide member of the pyrokinin-related peptide receptor family. The tick pyrokinin receptor transcript expression is most abundant in the central nervous system (i.e. synganglion), but is also detected in trachea, female reproductive tissues, and in a pooled sample comprised of Malpighian (renal) tubules and the hindgut. Finally, functional characterization of the identified receptor confirmed it as a pyrokinin peptide receptor as it was activated equally by four endogenous pyrokinin-related peptides. The receptor was slightly promiscuous as it was also activated by a peptide sharing some structural similarity, namely the CAPA-periviserokinin (CAPA-PVK) peptide. Nonetheless, the I. scapularis pyrokinin receptor required a CAPA-PVK peptide concentration of well over three orders of magnitude to achieve a comparable receptor activation response, which indicates it is quite selective for its native pyrokinin peptide ligands. This study sets the stage for future research to examine the prospective tissue targets identified in order to resolve the physiological roles of this family of peptides in Ixodid ticks.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  10. 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.

  11. Phylogeny of a relapsing fever Borrelia species transmitted by the hard tick Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    Barbour, Alan G

    2014-10-01

    The discovery of Borrelia species that were related to the agents of relapsing fever but were transmitted by hard ticks rather than soft ticks challenged previous taxonomies based largely on microbe-host specificities and geographic considerations. One of these newly-identified organisms is the Borrelia miyamotoi sensu lato strain LB-2001 from North America and transmitted by Ixodes scapularis. This or related strains have been identified as the cause of human disease, but comparatively little is known about their biology or genetics. Using recently acquired chromosome sequence of LB-2001 together with database sequences and additional sequences determined here, I carried out comparisons of the several species of Borrelia, including those in the two major clades: the relapsing fever group of species and the Lyme disease group of species. Phylogenetic inference at the species level was based on four data sets: whole chromosomes of ∼1Mb each, and concatenated sequences of 19 ribosomal protein genes, 3 conserved nucleic acid enzymes (rpoC, recC, and dnaE), and 4 contiguous genes for nucleotide salvage on a large plasmid. Analyses using neighbor-joining, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian methods were largely concordant for each of the trees. They showed that LB-2001 and related hard tick-associated organisms, like Borrelia lonestari, are deeply positioned within the RF group of species and that these organisms did not, as some earlier estimations had suggested, constitute a paraphyletic group. The analyses also provided further evidence that major changes in host ranges and life cycles, such as hard to soft ticks or vice versa, may not correlate well with overall sequence differences. The genetic differences between LB-2001 and B. miyamotoi sensu stricto justify provisional use of the "sensu lato" designation for LB-2001.

  12. Anaplasma phagocytophilum Infection Subverts Carbohydrate Metabolic Pathways in the Tick Vector, Ixodes scapularis

    PubMed Central

    Cabezas-Cruz, Alejandro; Alberdi, Pilar; Valdés, James J.; Villar, Margarita; de la Fuente, José

    2017-01-01

    The obligate intracellular pathogen, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, is the causative agent of human, equine, and canine granulocytic anaplasmosis and tick-borne fever (TBF) in ruminants. A. phagocytophilum has become an emerging tick-borne pathogen in the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia, with increasing numbers of infected people and animals every year. It has been recognized that intracellular pathogens manipulate host cell metabolic pathways to increase infection and transmission in both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. However, our current knowledge on how A. phagocytophilum affect these processes in the tick vector, Ixodes scapularis is limited. In this study, a genome-wide search for components of major carbohydrate metabolic pathways was performed in I. scapularis ticks for which the genome was recently published. The enzymes involved in the seven major carbohydrate metabolic pathways glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, pentose phosphate, tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA), glyceroneogenesis, and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and β-oxidation were identified. Then, the available transcriptomics and proteomics data was used to characterize the mRNA and protein levels of I. scapularis major carbohydrate metabolic pathway components in response to A. phagocytophilum infection of tick tissues and cultured cells. The results showed that major carbohydrate metabolic pathways are conserved in ticks. A. phagocytophilum infection inhibits gluconeogenesis and mitochondrial metabolism, but increases the expression of glycolytic genes. A model was proposed to explain how A. phagocytophilum could simultaneously control tick cell glucose metabolism and cytoskeleton organization, which may be achieved in part by up-regulating and stabilizing hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha in a hypoxia-independent manner. The present work provides a more comprehensive view of the major carbohydrate metabolic pathways involved in the response to A. phagocytophilum infection in ticks

  13. Phylogeny of a relapsing fever Borrelia species transmitted by the hard tick Ixodes scapularis

    PubMed Central

    Barbour, Alan G.

    2014-01-01

    The discovery of Borrelia species that were related to the agents of relapsing fever but were transmitted by hard ticks rather than soft ticks challenged previous taxonomies based largely on microbe-host specificities and geographic considerations. One of these newly-identified organisms is the Borrelia miyamotoi sensu lato strain LB-2001 from North America and transmitted by Ixodes scapularis. This or related strains have been identified as the cause of human disease, but comparatively little is known about their biology or genetics. Using recently acquired chromosome sequence of LB-2001 together with database sequences and additional sequences determined here, I carried out comparisons of the several species of Borrelia, including those in the two major clades: the relapsing fever group of species and the Lyme disease group of species. Phylogenetic inference at the species level was based on four data sets: whole chromosomes of ~1 Mb each, and concatenated sequences of 19 ribosomal protein genes, 3 conserved nucleic acid enzymes (rpoC, recC, and dnaE), and 4 contiguous genes for nucleotide salvage on a large plasmid. Analyses using neighbor-joining, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian methods were largely concordant for each of the trees. They showed that LB-2001 and related hard tick-associated organisms, like B. lonestari, are deeply positioned within the RF group of species and that these organisms did not, as some earlier estimations had suggested, constitute a paraphyletic group. The analyses also provided further evidence that major changes in host ranges and life cycles, such as hard to soft ticks or vice versa, may not correlate well with overall sequence differences. The genetic differences between LB-2001 and B. miyamotoi sensu stricto justify provisional use of the “sensu lato” designation for LB-2001. PMID:24813576

  14. Tertiary structure-related activity of tick defensin (persulcatusin) in the taiga tick, Ixodes persulcatus.

    PubMed

    Isogai, Emiko; Isogai, Hiroshi; Okumura, Kazuhiko; Hori, Hatsuhiro; Tsuruta, Hiroki; Kurebayashi, Yoichi

    2011-01-01

    Defensins are small cysteine-rich cationic proteins found in both vertebrates and invertebrates constituting the front line of host innate immunity. To examine the importance of the tertiary structure of tick defensin in its antimicrobial activity, we synthesized two types of the peptides with tertiary structure or primary one on basis of the information of the sequence in the defensin originated from the taiga tick, Ixodes persulcatus. Chemically synthesized peptides were used to investigate the activity spectrum against Staphylococcus aureus, Borrelia garinii and flora-associated bacteria. Both synthetic peptides showed antimicrobial activity against S. aureus in short-time killing within 1 h, but they do not show the activity against B. garinii, Stenotrophomonas maltophila and Bacillus spp., which were frequently isolated from the midgut of I. persulcatus. The teriary structure brought more potent activity to S. aureus than primary one in short-time killing. We also examined its antimicrobial activity by evaluation of growth inhibition in the presence of the synthetic peptides. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was ranged from 1.2 to 5.0 μg/ml in tertiary peptide and from 10 to 40 μg/ml in primary peptide, when 10 strains of S. aureus were used. From the curve of cumulative inhibition rates, MIC50 (MIC which half of the strains showed) to S. aureus is about 1.2 μg/ml in the peptide with tertiary structure and about 10 μg/ml in the linear one. Corynebacterium renale is 10 times or more sensitive to tertiary peptide than primary one. In conclusion, the presence of 3 disulfide bridges, which stabilize the molecule and maintain the tertiary structure, is considered to have an effect on their antimicrobial activities against Gram-positive bacteria such as S. aureus.

  15. 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.

  16. Avian hosts of Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) and the detection of Borrelia burgdorferi in larvae feeding on the Oregon junco.

    PubMed

    Wright, S A; Tucker, J R; Donohue, A M; Castro, M B; Kelley, K L; Novak, M G; Macedo, P A

    2011-07-01

    Larval and nymphal western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls (Acari: Ixodidae), were collected from birds, rodents, and lizards at Quail Ridge Reserve located in Napa County in northwestern California. Species from three vertebrate classes were sampled simultaneously from two transects during two consecutive spring seasons. Feeding larval and nymphal ticks were removed and preserved for counting, examination and testing for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner. Mean infestations with I. pacificus subadults on lizards were 10.0, on birds 2.9, and on rodents 1.3. I. pacificus larvae (204) collected from 10 avian species and (215) collected from two rodent species were tested for the presence of B. burgdorferi s.s. via real-time polymerase chain reaction. Three B. burgdorferi-infected larvae were taken from two Junco hyemalis and two infected larvae from one Neotoma fuscipes Baird. This is the detection of B. burgdorferi ss in an Ixodes pacificus larvae feeding on a Junco hyemalis L., [corrected] in western North America.

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

    PubMed Central

    van de Loo, F J; Broun, P; Turner, S; Somerville, C

    1995-01-01

    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 approximately 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. Images Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:7624314

  18. In vivo biocompatibility of three different chemical compositions of Ricinus communis polyurethane.

    PubMed

    Barros, Valdemar M R; Rosa, Adalberto L; Beloti, Márcio M; Chierice, Gilberto

    2003-10-01

    Alteration in the chemical composition of a biomaterial may be undertaken to improve its biological properties. The aim of this work was to evaluate the biocompatibility of three chemical compositions of Ricinus communis polyurethane (RCP): RCPp (pure RCP), RCP + CaCO(3), and RCP +Ca(3)(PO(4))(2). RCP cylinders were surgically implanted in rabbit femurs. After 8, 12, and 16 weeks, the femurs were removed, fixed, sectioned, ground, and stained by Stevenel's blue/Alizarin red S for light microscopy and histomorphometry. The osseointegration and osseoconductivity were calculated by means of image analysis and the data were submitted to the Kruskal-Wallis test followed by Dunn's test. Osseointegration was already completed after 8 weeks on RCP + Ca(3)(PO(4))(2) because similar values were found from week 8 to 16, whereas it showed a time-dependent increase on RCPp and RCP +CaCO(3). The osseointegration was greater on RCP + Ca(3)(PO(4))(2) in all periods when compared with RCPp, and after 8 and 12 weeks when compared with RCP + CaCO(3). None of the RCP samples presented osseoconductivity. The present results showed that RCP blended with calcium phosphate improved the biocompatibility by both enhancing and accelerating its osseointegration. Based on the absence of osseoconductivity, RCP was considered to be a bioinert material.

  19. 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.

  20. Bone cell responses to the composite of Ricinus communis polyurethane and alkaline phosphatase.

    PubMed

    Beloti, Marcio Mateus; de Oliveira, Paulo Tambasco; Tagliani, Marcela Martini; Rosa, Adalberto Luiz

    2008-02-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the response of osteoblastic cells to the composite of Ricinus communis polyurethane (RCP) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) incubated in synthetic body fluid (SBF). RCP pure (RCPp) and RCP blended with ALP 6 mg/mL polymer (RCP+ALP) were incubated in SBF for 17 days. Four groups of RCP were tested: RCPp, RCP+ALP, and RCPp and RCP+ALP incubated in SBF (RCPp/SBF and RCP+ALP/SBF). Stem cells from rat bone marrow were cultured in conditions that allowed osteoblastic differentiation on RCP discs and were evaluated: cell adhesion, culture growth, cell viability, total protein content, ALP activity, and bone-like nodule formation. Data were compared by ANOVA or Kruskal-Wallis test. The group RCP+ALP was highly cytotoxic and, therefore, was not considered here. Cell adhesion (p = 0.14), culture growth (p = 0.39), viability (p = 0.46) and total protein content (p = 0.12) were not affected by either RCP composition or incubation in SBF. ALP activity was affected (p = 0.0001) as follows: RCPp < RCPp/SBF < RCP+ALP/SBF. Bone-like nodule formation was not observed on all evaluated groups. The composite RCP+ALP prior to SBF incubation is cytotoxic and must not be considered as biomaterial, but the incorporation of ALP to the RCP followed by SBF incubation could be a useful alternative to improve the biological properties of the RCP.

  1. ABA flow modelling in Ricinus communis exposed to salt stress and variable nutrition

    PubMed Central

    Peuke, Andreas D.

    2016-01-01

    In a series of experiments with Ricinus communis, abscisic acid (ABA) concentrations in tissues and transport saps, its de novo biosynthesis, long-distance transport, and metabolism (degradation) were affected by nutritional conditions, nitrogen (N) source, and nutrient limitation, or salt stress. In the present study these data were statistically re-evaluated, and new correlations presented that underpin the importance of this universal phytohormone. The biggest differences in ABA concentration were observed in xylem sap. N source had the strongest effect; however, nutrient limitation (particularly phosphorus limitation) and salt also had significant effects. ABA was found in greater concentration in phloem sap compared with xylem sap; however, the effect of treatment on ABA concentration in phloem was lower. In the leaves, ABA concentration was most variable compared with the other tissues. This variation was only affected by the N source. In roots, ABA was significantly decreased by nutrient limitation. Of the compartments in which ABA was quantified, xylem sap ABA concentration was most significantly correlated with leaf stomatal conductance and leaf growth. Additionally, ABA concentration in xylem was significantly correlated to that in phloem, indicating a 6-fold concentration increase from xylem to phloem. The ABA flow model showed that biosynthesis of ABA in roots affected the xylem flow of ABA. Moreover, ABA concentration in xylem affected the degradation of the phytohormone in shoots and also its export from shoots via phloem. The role of phloem transport is discussed since it stimulates ABA metabolism in roots. PMID:27440939

  2. 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.

  3. Effect of experimental Ricinus communis solution for denture cleaning on the properties of acrylic resin teeth.

    PubMed

    Pisani, Marina Xavier; Macedo, Ana Paula; Paranhos, Helena de Freitas Oliveira; Silva, Cláudia Helena Lovato da

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluated Knoop hardness, surface roughness and color alteration of artificial teeth for dentures after immersion in water, 1% sodium hypochlorite and an experimental solution of 2% Ricinus communis (RC). Thirty specimens of Vipi, Biolux and Trilux were analyzed. Tests of Knoop hardness, surface roughness and color alteration were conducted immediately after specimen preparation (T0) and after two immersion protocols for 15 days (ΔT(15)) and 183 days (ΔT(183)). Data variation (ΔT) were subjected to ANOVA and Tukey's test (p<0.05). At ΔT(15), Vipi presented hardness increase and Biolux presented the highest variation (p=0.01). RC caused the highest increase in hardness (p=0) and the lowest increase (p=0.005) in roughness. Biolux presented the lowest color alteration (p =0). At ΔT(183), Trilux underwent the highest hardness variation (p=0). Biolux presented an increase in roughness (p=0). There was no significant differences in color alteration among the artificial teeth (p=0.06) and among solutions (p=0.08) after 183 days of immersion. All solutions (distilled water, 1% sodium hypochlorite and 2% RC) caused alterations on the analyzed properties. Both immersion protocols caused alterations on the analyzed properties.

  4. Comparison of chelates for enhancing Ricinus communis L. phytoremediation of Cd and Pb contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hanzhi; Guo, Qingjun; Yang, Junxing; Ma, Jie; Chen, Gang; Chen, Tongbin; Zhu, Guangxu; Wang, Jian; Zhang, Guangxin; Wang, Xin; Shao, Chunyan

    2016-11-01

    We studied chelate effects on castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) growth. These effects included Cd and Pb accumulation in plant tissues and the chemical behavior of Cd and Pb in the plant rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere. Tests were conducted in a glasshouse using the rhizobag method. Two castor bean cultivars (Zibo-3 and Zibo-9) were grown in soil contaminated with 3.53mg/kg Cd and 274mg/kg Pb. The soil was treated with citric acid (CA), ethylenediamine disuccinic acid (EDDS) or ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) (5mmol/kg). EDDS-treated soil produced 28.8% and 59.4% greater biomass for Zibo-3 and Zibo-9 respectively. In contrast, CA and EDTA inhibited the growth of the two cultivars. Zibo-9 had greater tolerance than Zibo-3 to chelate toxicity. Based on Cd and Pb plant uptake, EDDS could substitute for EDTA for phytoremediation of Cd in soil. EDTA was the most effective of the three chelates for Pb phytoremediation but it is less suitable for field use due to toxicology environmental persistence. Acid extractable Cd and Pb in the rhizosphere or reducible Cd and Pb in the non-rhizosphere of soil were the main influences on Cd and Pb accumulation in castor bean.

  5. Evaluation of medicinal plant extracts and isolated compound epicatechin from Ricinus communis against Paramphistomum cervi.

    PubMed

    Zahir, Abdul Abduz; Rahuman, Abdul Abdul; Bagavan, Asokan; Geetha, Kannappan; Kamaraj, Chinnaperumal; Elango, Gandhi

    2012-10-01

    The purpose of this study is to determine the efficacies of hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, acetone, and methanol leaf extracts of Euphorbia hirta L., Psidium guajava L., Ricinus communis L., Solanum trilobatum L., and Tridax procumbens L. against sheep fluke Paramphistomum cervi (Digenea: Paramphistomatidae). All plant extracts showed moderate effects after 24 h of exposure; however, the highest parasite mortality was found in the methanol extract of R. communis. In the present study, bioassay-guided fractionation of methanol extract of R. communis led to the separation and identification of epicatechin as a potential new compound (LC(50) = 31.2; LC(90) = 105.0 ppm) against P. cervi. The structures were established from infrared, ultraviolet, (1)H-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), (13)C-NMR, and mass spectral data which confirmed the identification of the compound epicatechin from R. communis. Results of this study showed that the methanol extract of R. communis may be considered as a potent source and epicatechin as a new natural parasitic agent.

  6. In vitro antimicrobial activity of an experimental dentifrice based on Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Leite, Vanessa Maria Fagundes; Pinheiro, Juliana Barchelli; Pisani, Marina Xavier; Watanabe, Evandro; de Souza, Raphael Freitas; Paranhos, Helena de Freitas Oliveira; Lovato-Silva, Cláudia Helena

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of a Ricinus communis-based experimental dentifrice for denture hygiene against the following standard strains: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus mutans, Enterococcus faecalis, Candida albicans and Candida glabrata. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assay was performed with R. communis in pure oil at 2.5%. Only E. coli was not inhibited by R. communis, but the MIC (0.0781%) was effective against the other microorganisms. From these results it was determined the R. communis concentrations for experimental dentifrices, 1, 2, 5 and 10%, which were evaluated by the test-well diffusion in agar. The commercial dentifrices Colgate, Trihydral and Corega Brite were tested for comparative purposes. The diameter of the zones of bacterial growth inhibition produced around the wells was measured (in mm) with a rule under reflected light. Data were analyzed statistically by analysis of variance and Tukey's post-hoc test (α=0.05). Neither the commercial nor the experimental dentifrices were effective against E. coli. The experimental dentifrices containing R. communis at 2, 5 and 10% presented action against S. mutans, S. aureaus and E. faecallis. The experimental dentifrices showed no antimicrobial activity against Candida spp. and E. coli in any of the tested concentrations. Trihydral was the most effective. Comparing the experimental dentifrices, the product with 10% R. communis produced the largest zones of bacterial growth inhibition and had similar antimicrobial activity to the commercial dentifrices, except against S. aureus.

  7. acetylcholinesterase inhibitory potential and insecticidal activity of an endophytic Alternaria sp. from Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Singh, Bahaderjeet; Thakur, Abhinay; Kaur, Sanehdeep; Chadha, B S; Kaur, Amarjeet

    2012-11-01

    Keeping in view the vast potential of endophytic fungi to produce bioactive molecules, this study aimed at isolating and screening endophytes for the production of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Fifty-four endophytic fungi were isolated from Ricinus communis and screened for their AChE inhibitory activity using Ellman's colorimetric assay method. Six isolates were found to possess AChE inhibitory activity with maximum inhibition of 78 % being evinced by culture Cas1 which was identified to be Alternaria sp. on the basis of molecular as well as microscopic methods. Optimization of inhibitor production was carried out using one factor at a time approach. Maximum production of inhibitor was obtained on potato dextrose broth after 10 days incubation. The IC(50) of the chloroform extract was observed to be 40 μg/ml. The extract was purified on silica gel and eluted stepwise with a gradient of chloroform/methanol. The insecticidal potential of the extract was evaluated by feeding the larvae of Spodoptera litura on diet containing varying concentrations of the extract. It was observed that with increase in the concentration of the extract, mortality of the larvae increased. The culture has the potential of being exploited in medicine as well as a biocontrol agent.

  8. Can adaptive modulation of traits to urban environments facilitate Ricinus communis L. invasiveness?

    PubMed

    Goyal, Neha; Pardha-Saradhi, P; Sharma, Gyan P

    2014-11-01

    This paper addresses the phenotypic variation among Ricinus communis L. populations in four urban habitat types (road verges, garbage dumps, construction debris, and natural area) in Delhi, India, by evaluating important traits such as plant height, basal circumference, seeds per plant, seed size, seed weight, specific leaf area, and reproductive index. An important biochemical marker, proline, considered as a good plant performance indicator under stress was also quantified in leaves of R. communis to evaluate its response in different habitats. Interestingly, the species showed significant variation in plant height, specific leaf area, seed size, seed weight, and leaf proline content in different habitat types. Leaf proline content was positively related to plant height, specific leaf area, and seed size while negatively related to the total number of seeds/plant. Interestingly, reproductive index, calculated as a ratio of the total number of seeds to the plant height also showed a negative relation with leaf proline content. Results indicated that R. communis exhibits adaptive modulation of growth, reproductive traits, and leaf proline content in various urban habitats which contributes to invasiveness, range expansion, and establishment of the species. The study also gives evidence of how morphological and physiological traits could directly affect invasiveness of R. communis.

  9. Temporal and spatial expression of 2S albumin in castor (Ricinus communis L.).

    PubMed

    Ahn, Yeh-Jin; Chen, Grace Q

    2007-11-28

    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 polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that the 2S albumin transcript accumulated to a maximum level at the middle of seed development, showing a bell-shaped temporal pattern. Residual levels of the transcript were present in the mature seed and degraded rapidly upon germination. Immunodetection analysis was performed using an anti-2S albumin antibody under reducing conditions. During seed development, the 2S albumin precursor pro-protein began to be synthesized at 26 days after pollination (DAP); the pro-protein was thereafter processed to mature proteins at 40 DAP, suggesting that the post-translation modification of 2S albumin takes place during this time period. Both the 2S albumin precursor pro-protein and the mature proteins accumulated throughout seed maturation and desiccation stages. During seed germination, both forms of the 2S albumin proteins were present in endosperm and cotyledon until the completion of germination and degraded rapidly afterwards. However, the antibody also detected a group of proteins/peptides in endosperm and cotyledon when the seeds progressed to germination and post-germination stages. A 14 kDa protein in the leaves of fully developed seedlings and mature plants also reacted to the anti-2S albumin antibody. The identity of the proteins accumulated in germinating seed and leaf remains unknown.

  10. 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.

  11. Isotope labeling-based quantitative proteomics of developing seeds of castor oil seed (Ricinus communis L.).

    PubMed

    Nogueira, Fábio C S; Palmisano, Giuseppe; Schwämmle, Veit; Soares, Emanuela L; Soares, Arlete A; Roepstorff, Peter; Domont, Gilberto B; Campos, Francisco A P

    2013-11-01

    In this study, we used a mass spectrometry-based quantification approach employing isotopic (ICPL) and isobaric (iTRAQ) labeling to investigate the pattern of protein deposition during castor oil seed (Ricinus communis L.) development, including that of proteins involved in fatty acid metabolism, seed-storage proteins (SSPs), toxins, and allergens. Additionally, we have used off-line hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) as a step of peptide fractionation preceding the reverse-phase nanoLC coupled to a LTQ Orbitrap. We were able to identify a total of 1875 proteins, and from these 1748 could be mapped to extant castor gene models, considerably expanding the number of proteins so far identified from developing castor seeds. Cluster validation and statistical analysis resulted in 975 protein trend patterns and the relative abundance of 618 proteins. The results presented in this work give important insights into certain aspects of the biology of castor oil seed development such as carbon flow, anabolism, and catabolism of fatty acid and the pattern of deposition of SSPs, toxins, and allergens such as ricin and 2S albumins. We also found, for the first time, some genes of SSP that are differentially expressed during seed development.

  12. Ricin and Ricinus communis agglutinin subunits are all derived from a single-size polypeptide precursor.

    PubMed

    Butterworth, A G; Lord, J M

    1983-12-01

    Antibodies have been raised in rabbits against the individually purified A and B subunits of the toxic castor bean lectin, ricin, and against the A' and B' subunits of Ricinus communis agglutinin type I. Each of the antisera recognised a single polypeptide species of Mr 60 500 when maturing castor bean endosperm mRNA was translated in vitro in a rabbit-reticulocyte-derived system. When dog pancreatic microsomal vesicles were included in the translational system, each subunit antiserum precipitated a group of 66 000-68 000-Mr core-glycosylated polypeptides which had been translocated into the lumen of the vesicles. The 60 500-Mr polypeptide appeared to be a common precursor to all four individual lectin subunits since (a) its glycosylated (66 000-68 000-Mr) forms were readily detected in the endoplasmic reticulum fraction isolated from maturing castor bean endosperm and (b) pulse-chase studies showed that the glycosylated precursors disappeared from the endoplasmic reticulum fraction with the concomittant appearance of authentic lectin subunits in a soluble protein fraction which included protein body matrix components. Antiserum prepared against whole R. communis agglutinin, type I, also precipitated the 65 000-Mr precursor in vitro and in vivo, but in addition precipitated a non-glycosylated 34 000-Mr polypeptide. This smaller protein is not a lectin subunit precursor, contradicting an earlier suggestion. It is most probably a precursor to the 2-S albumin storage proteins found in castor bean endosperm protein bodies.

  13. 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.

  14. A phloem-enriched cDNA library from Ricinus: insights into phloem function.

    PubMed

    Doering-Saad, C; Newbury, H J; Couldridge, C E; Bale, J S; Pritchard, J

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this study was to identify genes that are expressed in the phloem. Increased knowledge of phloem regulation will contribute to our understanding of its many roles, from transport of solutes to information about interactions with pathogens. A cDNA library constructed from phloem-enriched sap exuding from cut Ricinus communis (L.) hypocotyls was sequenced. To assess contamination from other tissues, two libraries were constructed: one using the first 15 min of exudation and the other from sap collected after 120 min of exudation had elapsed. Of 1012 clones sequenced, 158 unique transcripts were identified. The presence of marker molecules such as profilin, the low occurrence of chloroplast-related mRNAs, and the sieve element localization of constituent mRNA using in situ hybridization were consistent with a phloem origin of the sap. Functional analysis of the cDNAs revealed classifications including ribosomal function, interaction with the environment, transport, DNA/RNA binding, and protein turnover. An analysis of the closest Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) homologue for each clone indicated that genes involved in cell localization, protein synthesis, tissue localization, organ localization, organ differentiation, and cell fate were represented at twice the level occurring in the whole Arabidopsis genome. The transcripts found in this phloem-enriched library are discussed in the context of phloem function and the relationship between the companion cell and sieve element.

  15. Antidiabetic activity of 50% ethanolic extract of Ricinus communis and its purified fractions.

    PubMed

    Shokeen, Poonam; Anand, Prachi; Murali, Y Krishna; Tandon, Vibha

    2008-11-01

    We investigated the antidiabetic activity of 50% ethanolic extract of roots of Ricinus communis (RCRE) along with its bioassay-guided purification. Five-hundred milligram per kilogram body weight appeared to be the effective dose as it caused the maximum lowering of the fasting blood glucose, both in normal as well as type 1 diabetic animals. The maximum hypoglycemic effect was always observed at the 8th h up to which the study has been conducted. Administration of the effective dose of RCRE to the diabetic rats for 20 days showed favorable effects not only on fasting blood glucose, but also on total lipid profile and liver and kidney functions on 10th and 20th day. RCRE was purified using silica gel column chromatography. Out of several different fractions tested, only one fraction (R-18) showed significant antihyperglycemic activity. RCRE seemed to have a high margin of safety as no mortality and no statistically significant difference in alkaline phosphatase, serum bilirubin, creatinine, serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase and total protein was observed even after the administration of the extract at a dose of 10 g/kg b.wt. Thus R. communis seems to have a promising value for the development of a potent phytomedicine for diabetes.

  16. Graviresponsiveness and cap dimensions of primary and secondary roots of Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae).

    PubMed

    Moore, R; Pasieniuk, J

    1984-01-01

    After branching from the primary root, secondary roots of castor bean (Ricinus communis) grow laterally for 15-20 mm, after which they bend downward (i.e., become positively gravitropic). During the first 10 mm of growth, the lengths of caps of secondary roots increase from 120 +/- 26 to 220 +/- 28 micrometers. Although this increase is statistically significant (P < 0.1%), the resulting secondary roots are only minimally graviresponsive. A subsequent doubling of the lengths and widths of the root caps (i.e., to 420 +/- 34 and 450 +/- 41 micrometers, respectively) is positively correlated with the onset of gravicurvature. The graviresponsiveness and dimensions of caps of positively gravitropic secondary roots are not significantly different from those of positively gravitropic primary roots. These results indicate that (i) a statistically significant increase in the length and length : width ratio of a root cap does not necessarily result in the root becoming positively gravitropic, (ii) there may be a minimum cap length and (or) width necessary for graviresponsiveness, and (iii) the degree of graviresponsiveness exhibited by a particular root may be related to the size of its root cap.

  17. Relationship between Ricinus communis agglutinin-1 binding and nucleolar organizer regions in human gliomas.

    PubMed

    Niikawa, S; Hara, A; Shirakami, S; Zhang, W; Sakai, N; Yamada, H; Shimokawa, K

    1993-06-01

    Histochemical staining using lectins from Ricinus communis (RCA-1), Arachis hypogaea, and Canavalia ensiformis was investigated in 40 human gliomas, three central neurocytomas, one human neuroblastoma cell line (IMR-32), and two normal brain tissues. Staining was uniform in low-grade gliomas, but heterogeneous in high-grade gliomas, particularly with RCA-1. The correlation between RCA-1 reactivity and cellular proliferative potential was investigated in 10 high-grade gliomas using a combined staining technique: the silver colloid method for nucleolar organizer regions (Ag-NORs) and histochemistry with RCA-1. The mean number of Ag-NORs counted on a simple preparation was significantly greater in the nuclei of RCA-1-negative cells than in those of RCA-1-positive cells (p < 0.001). The staining intensity of inflammatory cells was obviously higher than that of neoplastic cells, and therefore inflammatory cells were easily discriminated from neoplastic cells. Combined RCA-1 histochemical and Ag-NOR silver colloid staining revealed heterogeneous expression of RCA-1 receptor in high-grade gliomas with changes in Ag-NOR number. This result seems to show that high-grade gliomas express heterogeneous cellular carbohydrate structure and proliferative potential even within the same tumor.

  18. Graviresponsiveness and the development of columella tissue in primary and lateral roots of Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Moore, R; Pasieniuk, J

    1984-01-01

    Half-tipped primary and lateral roots of Ricinus communis cv Hale bend toward the side of the root on which the intact half-tip remains. Therefore, the minimal graviresponsiveness of lateral roots is not due to the inability of their caps to produce growth effectors (presumably inhibitors). The columella tissues of primary (i.e. graviresponsive) roots are (a) 4.30 times longer, (b) 2.95 times wider, (c) 37.4 times more voluminous, and (d) composed of 17.2 times more cells than those of lateral roots. The onset of positive gravitropism by lateral roots is positively correlated with a (a) 2.99-fold increase in length, (b) 2.63-fold increase in width, (c) 20.7-fold increase in volume of their columella tissues. We propose that the minimal graviresponsiveness of lateral roots is due to the small size of their columella tissues, which results in their caps being unable to (a) establish a concentration gradient of the effector sufficient to induce gravicurvature and (b) produce as much as the effector as caps of graviresponsive roots.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. Cytotoxic, cell agglutinating, and syncytium forming effect of purified lectins from Ricinus communis on cultured cells.

    PubMed

    Koga, M; Ohtsu, M; Funatsu, G

    1979-10-01

    The toxicity of lectins from castor bean (Ricinus communis L.), ricin-D, ricin-E, and castor bean hemagglutinin, was investigated on five cultured cell lines. The differential effect of their constituent polypeptide chains was also investigated using these cell lines. Ricin-D, ricin-E, and castor bean hemagglutinin (CBH) possessed cytoagglutinating activity and cytotoxic activity to all five cell lines. These lectins showed the strongest toxicity to L5178Y cells, which are leukemic cells. The toxic activity of ricin-D was stronger than that of CBH in all cell lines. The constituent polypebtide chains of ricin-D and CBH were separated by DEAE-cellulose chromatography and designated as isoleucine chain and alanine chain denoted by their N-terminal amino acids. Only alanine chain of ricin-D was toxic to cells grown in vitro, whereas isoleucine chain of ricin-D and alanine chain of CBH were not toxic to the cells. Moreover, it was found that both lectins caused syncytium formation in NIH3T3 cells infected with Moloney leukemia virus and this cell fusion activity was shown to be exclusively associated with the alanine chain. Cytotoxic, cell agglutinating, and syncytium forming effect of the lectins is due to binding of the alanine chain of ricin-D to galactose-like residues of the membrane constituents of these cells.

  1. Bone regeneration after demineralized bone matrix and castor oil (Ricinus communis) polyurethane implantation.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. New efficient DNA extraction method to access the microbiome of Ricinus communis seeds.

    PubMed

    Santos, C D; Dias, A C C; Amaral, I M R; Bonetti, A M; Campos, T A

    2013-02-28

    Ricinus communis (castor bean) seeds are used to produce an alcohol-soluble oil that is used in more than 400 industrial processes. Despite its economic importance, there has been little research on the endophytic microbiota of castor bean seeds. This microbiota is important for plant metabolic processes and may have considerable biotechnological potential, such as production of lipases and plant growth promoter agents. We evaluated several DNA extraction methodologies in order to access the microbial diversity of castor bean through a metagenomic approach. Based on our observations, we developed a new methodology that takes advantage of the low solubility of calcium phosphates and the high affinity of these phosphates for proteins and polysaccharides. The extracted DNA quality was evaluated by PCR, using a selective primer pair for bacterial and mitochondrial 16S rDNA genes (799F and 1492R). We found this methodology quantitatively and qualitatively more efficient than the other approaches. In evaluating this new extraction methodology, we found that the difficulties of DNA extraction from castor bean seeds, such as abundant oil, polysaccharides, phenolic compounds, and plant enzymes, could be overcome. The resulting extracts had high concentration and purity, and they were obtained faster than with previous methods. The samples contained virtually all of the DNA, including the microbial DNA; this was validated by PCR analysis.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Preparation and evaluation of Ricinus communis agglutinin affinity adsorbents using polymeric supports.

    PubMed

    Cartellieri, S; Helmholz, H; Niemeyer, B

    2001-08-01

    A practicable and efficient procedure for preparation of Ricinus communis agglutinin (RCA) affinity adsorbents has been developed. For immobilization of RCA two different polymer-based supports, Toyopearl and TSKgel (TosoHaas), were used. RCA has been successfully immobilized onto these supports with amounts of coupled ligand between 15 and 23 mg/g dry support and corresponding coupling yields of 69-93% (w/w). The prepared affinity adsorbents were characterized concerning their binding capacity for the glycoprotein asialofetuin (ASF) and accessibility of the ligand binding sites. The high accessibility of 80% showed that steric hindrance was negligible at the present ligand density. RCA-Toyopearl was successfully applied in affinity chromatography of glycoproteins indicating its high specificity. A long-term stability test proved no change in capacity for a period of at least 12 months. High-performance affinity chromatography (HPLAC) was carried out using RCA-TSKgel. Experimental results showed that the prepared adsorbents are suitable for selective separation of glycoproteins and oligosaccharides and therefore can be used for investigations of adsorption characteristics of glycoconjugates and for laboratory-scale preparations.

  7. Phloem transport in Ricinus: Its dependence on the water balance of the tissues.

    PubMed

    Hall, S M; Milburn, J A

    1973-03-01

    Phloem exudation from Ricinus has been examined in plants subjected to changes in water balance induced by a number of means. The results have provided a clear demonstration that the phloem system can operate osmotically. When the availability of water in the xylem is reduced by withholding water, the rate of exudation decreases sharply and this is accompanied by a rise in the sap concentration. On removing the water stress, the rate increases rapidly with a corresponding fall in sap concentration.Small variations in water availability do not give significant results and may be buffered by responses from the plant itself. This could also explain the insignificant changes in sap composition during exudation previously reported, where exudation rate, which should bear some relation to sieve tube turgor pressure, seems independent of sap concentration. Fluctuations in exudation rate are large in comparison with the changes in sap concentration when severe water stresses are applied. This result, coupled with the observation that exudation will occur from plants under considerable water stress suggests the operation of a "sugar pump" capable of maintaining a high turgor pressure at the source against a considerable water potential gradient. The main "pump" is probably located in the leaves.Thus interpreted, the results seem to accord with the Münch pressure flow hypothesis in all significant aspects.

  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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Vascularization of syngenic intracerebral RG2 and F98 rat transplantation tumors. A histochemical and morphometric study by use of ricinus communis agglutinin I.

    PubMed

    Seitz, R J; Deckert, M; Wechsler, W

    1988-01-01

    The vascularization of intracerebral transplantation tumors of the two rat glioma clones RG2 and F98 was studied in various stages of progressive tumor growth by use of biotinylated Ricinus communis agglutinin I (B-RCA I) in avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex (ABC)-histochemistry. The tumors were induced by stereotactic implantation of 1000 glioma cells into the right caudate nucleus of 26 adult CDF-rats and examined after 10, 14, 18, and 21 days following controlled intracardial perfusion of the host animals. Our histochemical results on paraffin sections demonstrate that B-RCA I selectively stains vascular endothelial cells of arteries, veins, and capillaries not only in the normal rat brain but also in the transplantation tumors. Subsequently morphometric measurements of the B-RCA I-stained sections were performed to define the tumor vascularization in quantitative terms. There was an increase in the mean tumor vessel diameters during tumor growth in both transplantation tumor types leading to values about two times above those of the normal rat striatum. On the contrary, the mean vessel density and the mean vessel surface per tumor area were markedly reduced in the late stages of both tumor types when compared to the normal striatum. The RG2 and F98 transplantation tumors differed with regard to the intercapillary distance, which was two times higher in the F98 transplantation tumors than in the RG2 tumors on day 21. In conclusion, B-RCA I is a very sensitive histochemical marker for rat vascular endothelia on paraffin sections. Moreover, this method appears to provide the possibility for qualitative and quantitative study of the development of vasculature in intracerebral transplantation systems including tumors.

  12. 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

  13. Diurnal changes in assimilate concentrations and fluxes in the phloem of castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) and tansy (Tanacetum vulgare L.).

    PubMed

    Kallarackal, Jose; Bauer, Susanne N; Nowak, Heike; Hajirezaei, Mohammad-Reza; Komor, Ewald

    2012-07-01

    Reports about diurnal changes of assimilates in phloem sap are controversial. We determined the diurnal changes of sucrose and amino acid concentrations and fluxes in exudates from cut aphid stylets on tansy leaves (Tanacetum vulgare), and sucrose, amino acid and K(+) concentrations and fluxes in bleeding sap of castor bean pedicel (Ricinus communis). Approximately half of the tansy sieve tubes exhibited a diurnal cycle of sucrose concentrations and fluxes in phloem sap. Data from many tansy plants indicated an increased sucrose flux in the phloem during daytime in case of low N-nutrition, not at high N-nutrition. The sucrose concentration in phloem sap of young Ricinus plants changed marginally between day and night, whereas the sucrose flux increased 1.5-fold during daytime (but not in old Ricinus plants). The amino acid concentrations and fluxes in tansy sieve tubes exhibited a similar diurnal cycle as the sucrose concentrations and fluxes, including their dependence on N-nutrition. The amino acid fluxes, but not the concentrations, in phloem sap of Ricinus were higher at daytime. The sucrose/amino acid ratio showed no diurnal cycle neither in tansy nor in Ricinus. The K(+)-concentrations in phloem sap of Ricinus, but not the K(+) fluxes, decreased slightly during daytime and the sucrose/K(+)-ratio increased. In conclusion, a diurnal cycle was observed in sucrose, amino acid and K(+) fluxes, but not necessarily in concentrations of these assimilates. Because of the large variations between different sieve tubes and different plants, the nutrient delivery to sink tissues is not homeostatic over time.

  14. Hepatoprotective role of Ricinus communis leaf extract against d-galactosamine induced acute hepatitis in albino rats.

    PubMed

    Babu, Pappithi Ramesh; Bhuvaneswar, Cherukupalle; Sandeep, Gandham; Ramaiah, Chintha Venkata; Rajendra, Wudayagiri

    2017-04-01

    Ricinus communis (RC) is a traditional medicinal plant which has been used by Chenchu and Yerukula tribes for treating their liver ailments. The present work is aimed to explore the hepatoprotective efficacy of Ricinus communis against d-galactosamine (D-GalN) induced hepatitis rat model and its therapeutic potential compared with standard drug, silymarin (100mg/kg.bw). In vitro antioxidant activity of Methanolic extract of Ricinus communis leaves (MERCL) was assayed through DPPH and H2O2 free radical scavenging activity. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of MERCL using HPLC, demonstrated that Rutin was found to be predominant bioactive compound in the extract. Hepatitis was induced by treating the rats with D-GalN at a single intraperitoneal dose of 800mg/kg.bw. Serum markers viz, Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were significantly increased and the activity levels of antioxidant enzymes such as Superoxide dismutase (SOD),Catalase (CAT), Glutathione reductase (GR), Glutathione peroxidase (GPx), non-enzymatic antioxidant Glutathione (GSH) levels were decreased in the liver of hepatitis induced rats when compared to controls. Pre and post treatment with MERCL significantly altered the enzyme activities, GSH and MDA to normal levels. Histopathological observations also showed protective and curative effects of MERCL against D-GalN intoxication. These results demonstrated that MERCL significantly protected the liver from d-galactosamine induced hepatitis, improved the curative effect in the liver and hence, MERCL can be used as a potent hepatoprotective drug in future.

  15. Tick infestation (Acari: Ixodidae) in roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) from northwestern Spain: population dynamics and risk stratification.

    PubMed

    Vázquez, Luís; Panadero, Rosario; Dacal, Vicente; Pato, Francisco Javier; López, Ceferino; Díaz, Pablo; Arias, María Sol; Fernández, Gonzalo; Díez-Baños, Pablo; Morrondo, Patrocinio

    2011-04-01

    During the 2007 and 2008 hunting seasons (April-October) the skin of 367 roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.), hunted in different preserves from Galicia (Northwestern Spain), were examined for ticks (Acari: Ixodidae). The overall prevalence of infestation by ticks was 83.1%. The predominant species was Ixodes ricinus (83.1%), whereas a single Dermacentor marginatus specimen appeared in one roe deer. All developmental stages of I. ricinus were found parasitizing roe deer, the adults being the most frequent (82.2%), followed by nymphs (45.6%) and larvae (27.2%). The mean intensity of infestation by I. ricinus was 43.2 ± 49.85; most of them were adults (30.7 ± 31.64) and in a lesser extend nymphs (16.9 ± 24.74) and larvae (10.7 ± 29.90). Ixodes ricinus was present all over the study with percentages that oscillated between 100% in spring and 57.4% in autumn. CHAID algorithm showed the sex of roe deer as the most influential factor in tick prevalence, followed by the climatic area. The different developmental stages of I. ricinus were more frequent in males than in females, and the prevalence of adults and larvae were higher in roe deer from coastal areas than in those from mountainous and central areas, whereas nymphs were more frequent in mountainous areas. Host age and density were not determinants for tick infestation. Our results confirm that roe deer are important hosts for I. ricinus in northwestern Spain, serving as a vehicle for the geographic distribution of these ticks.

  16. A comparative ultrastructural localization of concanavalin A, wheat germ and Ricinus communis on glomeruli of normal rat kidney.

    PubMed

    Bretton, R; Bariety, J

    1976-10-01

    Three lectins, concanavalin A, peroxidase labeled wheat germ and peroxidase labeled Ricinus communis have been utilized to determine the localization of various saccharide determinants in the glomerulus of the normal rat kidney. In order to obtain a homogeneous penetration of the lectins throughout the whole section, various technical parameters were studied. Only with concanavalin A, a diffuse labeling of the endoplasmic reticulum was obtained. With the three lectins, the basement membrane, mesangial matrix and the cell coat of the three cell types in the glomerulus were labeled. Differences in the labeling of the capillary wall were also noted.

  17. 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

  18. Evaluation of automated and manual DNA purification methods for detecting Ricinus communis DNA during ricin investigations.

    PubMed

    Hutchins, Anne S; Astwood, Michael J; Saah, J Royden; Michel, Pierre A; Newton, Bruce R; Dauphin, Leslie A

    2014-03-01

    In April of 2013, letters addressed to the President of United States and other government officials were intercepted and found to be contaminated with ricin, heightening awareness about the need to evaluate laboratory methods for detecting ricin. This study evaluated commercial DNA purification methods for isolating Ricinus communis DNA as measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Four commercially available DNA purification methods (two automated, MagNA Pure compact and MagNA Pure LC, and two manual, MasterPure complete DNA and RNA purification kit and QIAamp DNA blood mini kit) were evaluated. We compared their ability to purify detectable levels of R. communis DNA from four different sample types, including crude preparations of ricin that could be used for biological crimes or acts of bioterrorism. Castor beans, spiked swabs, and spiked powders were included to simulate sample types typically tested during criminal and public health investigations. Real-time PCR analysis indicated that the QIAamp kit resulted in the greatest sensitivity for ricin preparations; the MasterPure kit performed best with spiked powders. The four methods detected equivalent levels by real-time PCR when castor beans and spiked swabs were used. All four methods yielded DNA free of PCR inhibitors as determined by the use of a PCR inhibition control assay. This study demonstrated that DNA purification methods differ in their ability to purify R. communis DNA; therefore, the purification method used for a given sample type can influence the sensitivity of real-time PCR assays for R. communis.

  19. The synthesis of Ricinus communis agglutinin, cotranslational and posttranslational modification of agglutinin polypeptides.

    PubMed

    Roberts, L M; Lord, J M

    1981-09-01

    Polyadenylated RNA isolated from the endosperm tissue of maturing castor bean seeds was translated in a cell-free rabbit reticulocyte lysate system. Rabbit antibodies raised against Ricinus communis agglutinin were used to identify nascent agglutinin chains. In contrast to the authentic agglutinin polypeptides with molecular weights of 31000 (A chains) and 37000 (glycosylated B chains), immunoreactive translational products of Mr 33500 and 59000 were observed. The inclusion of canine pancreatic microsomes in the translational system resulted in the cotranslational segregation of these immunoreactive products into the lumen of the vesicles and their modification, to molecular weights of 32000 and 66000--69000 respectively. These cotranslational size modifications resulted from the cleavage of leader sequences and, in the case of the larger product, concomittant core glycosylation, 32000-Mr and 66000--69000-Mr proteins were also observed amongst the immunoreactive products initially formed during the labelling of intact endosperm tissue in vivo, together with 37000-Mr and 39000-Mr proteins. Pulse-chase experiments showed that 66000--69000-Mr proteins slowly disappeared while the smaller proteins were further cleaved to chains of Mr 31000 (authentic A chain), 34000 and 37000 (authentic glycosylated B chains). It was concluded that R. communis agglutinin polypeptides were synthesized in precursor form, possibly as a 'giant' precursor in the case of the B chain, on membrane-bound polysomes. Cotranslational translocation across the endoplasmic reticulum membrane was accompanied by proteolysis to remove leader sequences and, where appropriate, core glycosylation. Even after cotranslational processing agglutinin polypeptides were still in precursor form. Processing to authentic size appeared to occur posttranslationally.

  20. Programmed cell death in Ricinus and Arabidopsis: the function of KDEL cysteine peptidases in development.

    PubMed

    Hierl, Georg; Vothknecht, Ute; Gietl, Christine

    2012-05-01

    Programmed cell death (PCD) in plants is a prerequisite for development as well as seed and fruit production. It also plays a significant role in pathogen defense. A unique group of papain-type cysteine endopeptidases, characterized by a C-terminal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retention signal (KDEL CysEP), is involved in plant PCD. Genes for these endopeptidases have been sequenced and analyzed from 25 angiosperms and gymnosperms. They have no structural relationship to caspases involved in mammalian PCD and homologs to this group of plant cysteine endopeptidases have not been found in mammals or yeast. In castor beans (Ricinus communis), the CysEP is synthesized as pre-pro-enzyme. The pro-enzyme is transported to the cytosol of cells undergoing PCD in ER-derived vesicles called ricinosomes. These vesicles release the mature CysEP in the final stages of organelle disintegration triggered by acidification of the cytoplasm resulting from the disruption of the vacuole. Mature CysEP digests the hydroxyproline (Hyp)-rich proteins (extensins) that form the basic scaffold of the plant cell wall. The KDEL CysEPs accept a wide variety of amino acids at the active site, including the glycosylated Hyp residues of the extensins. In Arabidopsis, three KDEL CysEPs (AtCEP1, AtCEP2 and AtCEP3) are expressed in tissues undergoing PCD. In transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing β-glucuronidase under the control of the promoters for these three genes, cell- and tissue-specific activities were mapped during seedling, flower and seed development. KDEL CysEPs participate in the collapse of tissues in the final stage of PCD and in tissue re-modeling such as lateral root formation.

  1. Sugar concentrations along and across the Ricinus communis L. hypocotyl measured by single cell sampling analysis.

    PubMed

    Verscht, Jutta; Tomos, Deri; Komor, Ewald

    2006-11-01

    Single cell sap sampling and analysis were used to measure the longitudinal and radial distribution of sucrose, glucose and fructose in the apical cell division zone and in the basal, elongated zone of the Ricinus hypocotyl. Sucrose and hexose increased in concentration from the apex to the base of the seedling axis. In the cell division zone low hexose and sucrose concentrations prevailed in cortex and pith, with a slightly higher hexose concentration in pith cells. The sucrose concentrations in sieve tubes and in phloem were much higher than in the cortex and pith cells. In the basal zone of the hypocotyl high levels of sucrose in phloem, cortex and pith were found, therefore radial, diffusional sucrose flow away from the phloem was considered unlikely. It is proposed that radial flow of growth-water to the hypocotyl periphery together with the down-regulation of a sucrose transporter at the phloem leads to a preferential sucrose flow to the expanding cortex. The pith cells, which do not experience flow of growth-water, are probably insufficiently supplied with sucrose from the phloem resulting eventually in cell death as the plant grows. Shortage of sucrose supply, experimentally achieved by removal of the endosperm, led to sucrose hydrolysis in the pith. The sucrose levels in the other tissues decreased less. It appears that the hydrolysis to hexose was initiated to maintain the osmotic value in the pith cell sap. It is speculated that high hexose levels in the cells are indicative of insufficient sucrose supply via the phloem and that the pith cells are confronted with that situation during early seedling development.

  2. Tick-borne flavivirus infection in Ixodes scapularis larvae: development of a novel method for synchronous viral infection of ticks

    PubMed Central

    Mitzel, Dana N.; Wolfinbarger, James B.; Daniel Long, R.; Masnick, Max; Best, Sonja M.; Bloom, Marshall E.

    2007-01-01

    Following a bite from an infected tick, tick-borne flaviviruses cause encephalitis, meningitis and hemorrhagic fever in humans. Although these viruses spend most of their time in the tick, little is known regarding the virus-vector interactions. We developed a simple method for synchronously infecting Ixodes scapularis larvae with Langat virus (LGTV) by immersion in media containing the virus. This technique resulted in approximately 96% of ticks becoming infected. LGTV infection and replication were demonstrated by both viral antigen expression and the accumulation of viral RNA. Furthermore, ticks transmitted LGTV to 100% of the mice and maintained the virus through molting into the next life stage. This technique circumvents limitations present in the current methods by mimicking the natural route of infection and by using attenuated virus strains to infect ticks; thereby, making this technique a powerful tool to study both virus and tick determinants of replication, pathogenesis and transmission. PMID:17490700

  3. Anaplasma phagocytophilum induces Ixodes scapularis ticks to express an antifreeze glycoprotein gene that enhances their survival in the cold

    PubMed Central

    Neelakanta, Girish; Sultana, Hameeda; Fish, Durland; Anderson, John F.; Fikrig, Erol

    2010-01-01

    In the United States, Ixodes scapularis ticks overwinter in the Northeast and Upper Midwest and transmit the agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, among other pathogens. We now show that the presence of A. phagocytophilum in I. scapularis ticks increases their ability to survive in the cold. We identified an I. scapularis antifreeze glycoprotein, designated IAFGP, and demonstrated via RNAi knockdown studies the importance of IAFGP for the survival of I. scapularis ticks in a cold environment. Transfection studies also show that IAFGP increased the viability of yeast cells subjected to cold temperature. Remarkably, A. phagocytophilum induced the expression of iafgp, thereby increasing the cold tolerance and survival of I. scapularis. These data define a molecular basis for symbiosis between a human pathogenic bacterium and its arthropod vector and delineate what we believe to be a new pathway that may be targeted to alter the life cycle of this microbe and its invertebrate host. PMID:20739755

  4. Tick-borne flavivirus infection in Ixodes scapularis larvae: development of a novel method for synchronous viral infection of ticks.

    PubMed

    Mitzel, Dana N; Wolfinbarger, James B; Long, R Daniel; Masnick, Max; Best, Sonja M; Bloom, Marshall E

    2007-09-01

    Following a bite from an infected tick, tick-borne flaviviruses cause encephalitis, meningitis and hemorrhagic fever in humans. Although these viruses spend most of their time in the tick, little is known regarding the virus-vector interactions. We developed a simple method for synchronously infecting Ixodes scapularis larvae with Langat virus (LGTV) by immersion in media containing the virus. This technique resulted in approximately 96% of ticks becoming infected. LGTV infection and replication were demonstrated by both viral antigen expression and the accumulation of viral RNA. Furthermore, ticks transmitted LGTV to 100% of the mice and maintained the virus through molting into the next life stage. This technique circumvents limitations present in the current methods by mimicking the natural route of infection and by using attenuated virus strains to infect ticks, thereby making this technique a powerful tool to study both virus and tick determinants of replication, pathogenesis and transmission.

  5. Effects of demineralized bone matrix and a 'Ricinus communis' polymer on bone regeneration: a histological study in rabbit calvaria.

    PubMed

    Laureano Filho, José R; Andrade, Emanuel S S; Albergaria-Barbosa, José R; Camargo, Igor B; Garcia, Robson R

    2009-09-01

    The aim of the present study was to histologically analyze the effects of bovine and human demineralized bone matrix and a Ricinus communis polymer on the bone regeneration process. Two surgical bone defects were created in rabbit calvaria, one on the right and the other on the left side of the parietal suture. Eighteen rabbits were divided into three groups. In Group I, the experimental defect was treated with bovine demineralized bone matrix, Group II with human demineralized bone matrix, and in Group III, the experimental cavity was treated with polyurethane resin derived from Ricinus communis oil. The control defects were filled with the animals' own blood. The animals were sacrificed after 7 and 15 weeks. Histological analysis revealed that in all groups (control and experimental), bone regeneration increased with time. The least time required for bone regeneration was noted in the control group, with a substantial decrease in the thickness of the defect. All materials proved to be biologically compatible, but polyurethane resorbed more slowly and demonstrated considerably better results than the demineralized bone matrices.

  6. Albumin and Ricinus communis agglutinin decrease endothelial permeability via interactions with matrix.

    PubMed

    Qiao, R; Siflinger-Birnboim, A; Lum, H; Tiruppathi, C; Malik, A B

    1993-08-01

    We studied the effects of albumin and the lectin Ricinus communis agglutinin (RCA) on hydraulic conductivity (Lp) of bovine pulmonary microvascular endothelial cell monolayers (BPMVEC) because of the evidence that albumin and RCA can interfere with transendothelial albumin permeability (Siflinger-Birnboim, A., J. Schnitzer, H. Lum, F. Blumenstock, C. Shen, P. Del Vecchio, and A. Malik. J. Cell. Physiol. 149: 575-584, 1991). BPMVEC were seeded on microporous polycarbonate filters, and the liquid flux was measured by collecting effluent into a tubing of known inner diameter at transendothelial hydrostatic pressures (P) ranging from 5 to 20 cmH2O. Lp was calculated as the slope of the relationship of liquid flux per unit surface area (Jv) vs. P. Addition of RCA (50 micrograms/ml) or albumin (5 mg/ml) to the endothelial cell medium containing albumin-free Hanks' balanced saline solution (HBSS) decreased total Lp (expressed x 10(-6) cm.s-1 x cmH2O-1) from 17.2 +/- 3.6 during HBSS to 4.7 +/- 0.9 during albumin and 5.7 +/- 1.6 during RCA (P < 0.01 for both). The RCA effect, but not that of albumin, was prevented by the addition of D-galactose (0.1 M) (the cognate hapten monosaccharide of RCA). We determined the contribution of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in decreasing the Lp by obtaining ECM after treatment of the monolayers with 0.025 M NH4OH to detach endothelial cells from the ECM. Basal ECM Lp (expressed x 10(-6) cm.s-1 x cmH2O-1) was 57.0 +/- 15.3, and it decreased to 19.7 +/- 4.3 and 17.5 +/- 2.9 during RCA and albumin, respectively (P < 0.01 for both). In contrast, RCA and albumin did not alter the filter Lp values. Another lectin, Ulex europaeus agglutinin, and the protein immunoglobulin G had no effect on Lp values.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  7. 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

  8. Transcriptome-Wide Identification and Characterization of MicroRNAs from Castor Bean (Ricinus communis L.)

    PubMed Central

    Li, Fei; Liu, Aizhong

    2013-01-01

    Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenously encoded small RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression and play essential roles in numerous developmental and physiological processes. Currently, little information on the transcriptome and tissue-specific expression of miRNAs is available in the model non-edible oilseed crop castor bean (Ricinus communis L.), one of the most important non-edible oilseed crops cultivated worldwide. Recent advances in sequencing technologies have allowed the identification of conserved and novel miRNAs in many plant species. Here, we used high-throughput sequencing technologies to identify and characterize the miRNAs in castor bean. Results Five small RNA libraries were constructed for deep sequencing from root tips, leaves, developing seeds (at the initial stage, seed1; and at the fast oil accumulation stage, seed2) and endosperms in castor bean. High-throughput sequencing generated a large number of sequence reads of small RNAs in this study. In total, 86 conserved miRNAs were identified, including 63 known and 23 newly identified. Sixteen miRNA isoform variants in length were found from the conserved miRNAs of castor bean. MiRNAs displayed diverse organ-specific expression levels among five libraries. Combined with criteria for miRNA annotation and a RT-PCR approach, 72 novel miRNAs and their potential precursors were annotated and 20 miRNAs newly identified were validated. In addition, new target candidates for miRNAs newly identified in this study were proposed. Conclusions The current study presents the first high-throughput small RNA sequencing study performed in castor bean to identify its miRNA population. It characterizes and increases the number of miRNAs and their isoforms identified in castor bean. The miRNA expression analysis provides a foundation for understanding castor bean miRNA organ-specific expression patterns. The present study offers an expanded picture of miRNAs for castor bean and other members

  9. Trace isotope analysis of Ricinus communis seed core for provenance determination by laser ablation-ICP-MS.

    PubMed

    Bagas, Christina K; Scadding, Rachel L; Scadding, Cameron J; Watling, R John; Roberts, Warren; Ovenden, Simon P B

    2017-01-01

    The castor bean plant, Ricinus communis, grows wild throughout many regions of Australia. The seeds of the plant contain the schedule 1 chemical agent ricin, a type II ribosomal inhibiting protein. Currently there are limited analytical techniques that can be applied in analysis of the seeds to establish attribution. In this study, laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) was used for the analysis of seeds collected from 68 plants across 38 locations around Australia. Of the 92 elemental isotopes measured, fifteen ((24)Mg, (27)Al, (44)Ca, (53)Cr, (55)Mn, (57)Fe, (60)Ni, (65)Cu, (66)Zn, (75)As, (85)Rb, (88)Sr, (98)Mo, (138)Ba and (202)Hg) yielded data that were relevant to all collection sites. Data were further analysed using multivariate statistical analysis which facilitated the potential for the identification of unique provenance isotopes. Furthermore, this analysis indicated that (59)Co was present at significant levels in Victorian and Sydney specimens only.

  10. Methyl jasmonate promotes the transient reduction of the levels of 2-Cys peroxiredoxin in Ricinus communis plants.

    PubMed

    dos Santos Soares, Alexandra Martins; de Souza, Thiago Freitas; de Souza Domingues, Sarah Jane; Jacinto, Tânia; Tavares Machado, Olga Lima

    2004-06-01

    Jasmonates are signaling molecules that play a key role in the regulation of metabolic processes, reproduction and defense against insects and pathogens. This study investigated the effects of methyl jasmonate on the protein pattern of Ricinus communis plants and the activity of guaiacol peroxidase, an antioxidant enzyme. Methyl jasmonate treatment caused a transient reduction in guaiacol peroxidase activity. A similar response was observed for the levels of 2-Cys peroxiredoxin protein. Moreover, the levels of the small and large chains of Rubisco were also reduced. The transient reduction of the levels and activity of antioxidant enzymes could account for the increase in the levels of H2O2, an important signaling molecule in plant defense.

  11. Autotomy in rats after nerve section compared with nerve degeneration following intraneural injection of Ricinus communis agglutinin I.

    PubMed

    Wiesenfeld-Hallin, Z; Nennesmo, I; Kristensson, K

    1987-07-01

    Partial unilateral deafferentation of the hind limb of rats was carried out by section of the sciatic nerve or the intraneural injection of Ricinus communis agglutinin 1 (RCA I). The development of autotomy was observed over a 6 week period. The axotomized animals autotomized more than those injected with RCA I. A neuroma developed on the proximal stump of the axotomized nerves. Within 7 days the axons of the RCA I-injected nerve degenerated and the cell bodies in dorsal root ganglia L4 and L5 were destroyed. Since the RCA I-injected animals autotomized, it is concluded that purely central factors have a role in the generation of this abnormal behavior. As the axotomized animals autotomized more than the RCA I-treated ones it is further concluded that abnormal impulse activity arising from a neuroma may be an additional factor in causing autotomy.

  12. Central projection of rat sciatic nerve fibres as revealed by Ricinus communis agglutinin and horseradish peroxidase tracers.

    PubMed

    Leong, S K; Tan, C K

    1987-10-01

    The central projection of afferent fibres in the rat sciatic nerve has been studied by means of the suicide transport of a lectin, Ricinus communis agglutinin 60 (RCA 60), and the transganglionic transport of horseradish peroxidase (HRP). The results obtained from these two methods are similar; however, the RCA method gave a more consistent and better localisation of the primary afferent terminals than the HRP method. The present study has shown that primary afferents from the sciatic nerve project predominantly to the ipsilateral gracile nucleus. In addition, they also project to several other brainstem nuclei; these include the contralateral nucleus gracilis, the ipsilateral main cuneate nucleus, the external cuneate nucleus and the presumptive nucleus z.

  13. Intercropping for Management of Insect Pests of Castor, Ricinus communis, in the Semi—Arid Tropics of India

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasa Rao, M.; Venkateswarlu, B.

    2012-01-01

    Intercropping is one of the important cultural practices in pest management and is based on the principle of reducing insect pests by increasing the diversity of an ecosystem. On—farm experiments were conducted in villages of semi—arid tropical (SAT) India to identify the appropriate combination of castor (Ricinus communis L.) (Malpighiales: Euphorbiaceae) and intercropping in relation to pest incidence. The diversity created by introducing cluster bean, cowpea, black gram, or groundnut as intercrops in castor (1:2 ratio proportions) resulted in reduction of incidence of insect pests, namely semilooper (Achaea janata L.), leaf hopper (Empoasca flavescens Fabricius), and shoot and capsule borer (Conogethes punctiferalis Guenee). A buildup of natural enemies (Microplitis, coccinellids, and spiders) of the major pests of castor was also observed in these intercropping systems and resulted in the reduction of insect pests. Further, these systems were more efficient agronomically and economically, and were thus more profitable than a castor monocrop. PMID:22934569

  14. Intercropping for management of insect pests of castor, Ricinus communis, in the semi-arid tropics of India.

    PubMed

    Rao, M Srinivasa; Rama Rao, C A; Srinivas, K; Pratibha, G; Vidya Sekhar, S M; Sree Vani, G; Venkateswarlu, B

    2012-01-01

    Intercropping is one of the important cultural practices in pest management and is based on the principle of reducing insect pests by increasing the diversity of an ecosystem. On-farm experiments were conducted in villages of semi-arid tropical (SAT) India to identify the appropriate combination of castor (Ricinus communis L.) (Malpighiales: Euphorbiaceae) and intercropping in relation to pest incidence. The diversity created by introducing cluster bean, cowpea, black gram, or groundnut as intercrops in castor (1:2 ratio proportions) resulted in reduction of incidence of insect pests, namely semilooper (Achaea janata L.), leaf hopper (Empoasca flavescens Fabricius), and shoot and capsule borer (Conogethes punctiferalis Guenee). A buildup of natural enemies (Microplitis, coccinellids, and spiders) of the major pests of castor was also observed in these intercropping systems and resulted in the reduction of insect pests. Further, these systems were more efficient agronomically and economically, and were thus more profitable than a castor monocrop.

  15. Estimated Effects of Projected Climate Change on the Basic Reproductive Number of the Lyme Disease Vector Ixodes scapularis

    PubMed Central

    Radojevic´, Milka; Wu, Xiaotian; Duvvuri, Venkata R.; Leighton, Patrick A.; Wu, Jianhong

    2014-01-01

    Background: The extent to which climate change may affect human health by increasing risk from vector-borne diseases has been under considerable debate. Objectives: We quantified potential effects of future climate change on the basic reproduction number (R0) of the tick vector of Lyme disease, Ixodes scapularis, and explored their importance for Lyme disease risk, and for vector-borne diseases in general. Methods: We applied observed temperature data for North America and projected temperatures using regional climate models to drive an I. scapularis population model to hindcast recent, and project future, effects of climate warming on R0. Modeled R0 increases were compared with R0 ranges for pathogens and parasites associated with variations in key ecological and epidemiological factors (obtained by literature review) to assess their epidemiological importance. Results: R0 for I. scapularis in North America increased during the years 1971–2010 in spatio-temporal patterns consistent with observations. Increased temperatures due to projected climate change increased R0 by factors (2–5 times in Canada and 1.5–2 times in the United States), comparable to observed ranges of R0 for pathogens and parasites due to variations in strains, geographic locations, epidemics, host and vector densities, and control efforts. Conclusions: Climate warming may have co-driven the emergence of Lyme disease in northeastern North America, and in the future may drive substantial disease spread into new geographic regions and increase tick-borne disease risk where climate is currently suitable. Our findings highlight the potential for climate change to have profound effects on vectors and vector-borne diseases, and the need to refocus efforts to understand these effects. Citation: Ogden NH, Radojević M, Wu X, Duvvuri VR, Leighton PA, Wu J. 2014. Estimated effects of projected climate change on the basic reproductive number of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis. Environ Health

  16. Salicylic acid transport in Ricinus communis involves a pH-dependent carrier system in addition to diffusion.

    PubMed

    Rocher, Françoise; Chollet, Jean-François; Legros, Sandrine; Jousse, Cyril; Lemoine, Rémi; Faucher, Mireille; Bush, Daniel R; Bonnemain, Jean-Louis

    2009-08-01

    Despite its important functions in plant physiology and defense, the membrane transport mechanism of salicylic acid (SA) is poorly documented due to the general assumption that SA is taken up by plant cells via the ion trap mechanism. Using Ricinus communis seedlings and modeling tools (ACD LogD and Vega ZZ softwares), we show that phloem accumulation of SA and hydroxylated analogs is completely uncorrelated with the physicochemical parameters suitable for diffusion (number of hydrogen bond donors, polar surface area, and, especially, LogD values at apoplastic pHs and Delta LogD between apoplast and phloem sap pH values). These and other data (such as accumulation in phloem sap of the poorly permeant dissociated form of monohalogen derivatives from apoplast and inhibition of SA transport by the thiol reagent p-chloromercuribenzenesulfonic acid [pCMBS]) lead to the following conclusions. As in intestinal cells, SA transport in Ricinus involves a pH-dependent carrier system sensitive to pCMBS; this carrier can translocate monohalogen analogs in the anionic form; the efficiency of phloem transport of hydroxylated benzoic acid derivatives is tightly dependent on the position of the hydroxyl group on the aromatic ring (SA corresponds to the optimal position) but moderately affected by halogen addition in position 5, which is known to increase plant defense. Furthermore, combining time-course experiments and pCMBS used as a tool, we give information about the localization of the SA carrier. SA uptake by epidermal cells (i.e. the step preceding the symplastic transport to veins) insensitive to pCMBS occurs via the ion-trap mechanism, whereas apoplastic vein loading involves a carrier-mediated mechanism (which is targeted by pCMBS) in addition to diffusion.

  17. De novo sequencing of RCB-1 to -3: peptide biomarkers from the castor bean plant Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Ovenden, Simon P B; Fredriksson, Sten-Ake; Bagas, Christina K; Bergström, Tomas; Thomson, Stuart A; Nilsson, Calle; Bourne, David J

    2009-05-15

    Ricinus communis (also know as the castor bean plant) whose forbears escaped from suburban gardens or commercial cultivation grow wild in many countries. In temperate and tropical climates seeds will develop to maturity, and plants may be perennial. In Australia these plants have become widespread and are regarded as noxious weeds in many localities. The seeds of R. communis contain ricin, a protein toxin which can easily be extracted into an aqueous solution. Ricin is toxic by ingestion, inhalation, and injection. The history of terrorist and anarchist interest in the use of seeds from R. communis has driven the development of strategies for determination of cultivar and geographic location of the source of an extract of wild-grown castor bean seed. This forensic information is of considerable interest to law enforcement and intelligence organizations. During forensic studies of both the metabolome and proteome of extracts from eight specimens of six different cultivars of R. communis ("zanzibariensis" collected from Kenya and Tanzania, "gibsonii", "impala", "dehradun", "carmencita", and "sanguineus" collected from Spain and Tanzania), three peptide biomarkers (designated Ricinus communis biomarkers, or RCB) were identified in both the MALDI and electrospray LC-MS spectra. Two of these peptides (RCB-1 and RCB-2) were present in varying amounts in all cultivars, while RCB-3 was present only in the "carmencita" cultivar. The amino acid sequences of RCB-1 to -3 were determined using LC-MS(n) fragmentation and de novo sequencing on both the intact and the carbamidomethyl modified peptides. The connectivity of the two disulfide bonds that were present in all three RCB were determined using a strategy of partial reduction and differential alkylation using tris-(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine with N-ethylmaleimide to reduce and alkylate the most accessible disulfide bond, followed by reduction and alkylation of the remaining disulfide bond with dithiolthreitol and

  18. Receptors for the Neuropeptides, Myoinhibitory Peptide and SIFamide, in Control of the Salivary Glands of the Blacklegged Tick Ixodes scapularis

    PubMed Central

    Šimo, Ladislav; Koči, Juraj; Park, Yoonseong

    2013-01-01

    Tick salivary glands are important organs that enable the hematophagous feeding of the tick. We previously described the innervation of the salivary gland acini types II and III by a pair of protocerebral salivary gland neurons that produce both myoinhibitory peptide (MIP) and SIFamide (Šimo et al., 2009b). In this study we identified authentic receptors expressed in the salivary glands for these neuropeptides. Homology-based searches for these receptors in the Ixodes scapularis genome sequence were followed by gene cloning and functional expression of the receptors. Both receptors were activated by low nanomolar concentrations of their respective ligands. The temporal expression patterns of the two ligands and their respective receptors suggest that the SIFamide signaling system pre-exists in unfed salivary glands, while the MIP system is activated upon initiation of feeding. Immunoreactivity for the SIFamide receptor in the salivary gland was detected in acini types II and III, surrounding the acinar valve and extending to the basal region of the acinar lumen. The location of the SIFamide receptor in the salivary glands suggests three potential target cell types and their probable functions: myoepithelial cells that may function in the contraction of the acini and/or the control of the valve; large, basally located dopaminergic granular cells for regulation of paracrine dopamine; and neck cells that may be involved in the control of the acinar duct and its valve. PMID:23357681

  19. 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.

  20. Reduction of immature Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in woodlots by application of desiccant and insecticidal soap formulations.

    PubMed

    Allan, S A; Patrican, L A

    1995-01-01

    The efficacy of two commercially available formulations of a desiccant and insecticidal soap were compared with chlorpyrifos wettable powder (0.6 kg [AI]/ha) against the immatures of Ixodes scapularis Say in a woodlot in Westchester County, New York. The desiccant formulation (Drione) was applied at 61.04 kg/ha and an insecticidal soap (Safer's) was applied as a mixture (39 ml concentrate per liter of water) at 107 liters/ha. By 1 wk after application, all treatments significantly reduced the density of nymphs in comparison to untreated plots. Only plots treated with chlorpyrifos had significantly reduced nymphal densities 2 wk after application. By 6 wk after application, there were no differences in nymphal density between treated and untreated plots, which was likely the result of a decline in overall nymphal populations. None of the treatments against nymphs affected larval densities sampled 6 wk after application. Larval density was significantly lower 1 wk after application in plots treated with chlorpyrifos and Safer's insecticidal soap than in untreated plots. By 2 wk after treatment, only plots treated with chlorpyrifos had lower larval densities than untreated plots. Results indicate that the desiccant Drione and Safer's insecticidal soap are good for short-term control of immature I. scapularis.

  1. 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

    2015-11-14

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Infestation of the southern alligator lizard (Squamata: Anguidae) by Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) and its susceptibility to Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Wright, S A; Lane, R S; Clover, J R

    1998-11-01

    To investigate the reservoir potential of the southern alligator lizard, Elgaria multicarinata (Blainville), for the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner, 14 lizards were collected from 1 county on each side of the northern Central Valley of California. Seven animals were collected from a Placer County site (Drivers Flat) and a Yolo County site (Cache Creek) where B. burgdorferi had been isolated previously from Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls. Overall, the mean abundance of I. pacificus on all 14 lizards was 34.1 (range, 3-63) for larvae and 11.0 (range, 1-28) for nymphs. In captivity, field-attached I. pacificus larvae and nymphs required, on average, 12.6 (range, 1-37) and 14.4 (range, 5-44) d to feed to repletion, respectively. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi infection in host-seeking I. pacificus nymphs was 1.4% in Cache Creek Canyon and 9.9% in Drivers Flat. Attempts to isolate spirochetes from lizard blood or ticks that had fed on lizards and subsequently molted were unsuccessful as were efforts to cultivate spirochetes in lizard sera. These data suggest that the southern alligator lizard is not a competent reservoir for B. burgdorferi, although it is an important host for I. pacificus subadults.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Dermatologic Changes Induced by Repeated Ixodes scapularis Bites and Implications for Prevention of Tick-Borne Infection

    PubMed Central

    Grant-Kels, Jane M.; Tahan, Steven R.; Dardick, Kenneth R.; Alarcon-Chaidez, Francisco; Bouchard, Keith; Visini, Christine; Deriso, Cindy; Foppa, Ivo M.; Wikel, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    Previous studies in rodents and people have demonstrated that repeated tick exposure is associated with reduced Borrelia burgdorferi transmission but the mechanism of prevention remains unclear. We examined the acute histopathologic reactions to initial and repeated Ixodes scapularis bites in BALB/c mice and in people. Skin biopsies of BALB/c mice infested for the first time by I. scapularis nymphs revealed vascular dilatation and an accumulation of inflammatory cells adjacent to the bite site but absent at the site of tick attachment. Such changes would enhance tick-borne pathogen transmission. Mice reexposed to I. scapularis nymphs experienced a decrease in vascular dilatation and a marked increase in inflammatory cells at the site of tick attachment. Skin biopsies of people with attached I. scapularis nymphs revealed similar histologic patterns. These results indicate that cellular changes at the tick-dermal interface following I. scapularis attachment are likely to allow for successful transmission of tick-borne pathogens in non-tick-immune hosts and to inhibit tick-borne pathogen transmission in hosts that have developed tick immunity. PMID:19196014

  7. Dermatologic changes induced by repeated Ixodes scapularis bites and implications for prevention of tick-borne infection.

    PubMed

    Krause, Peter J; Grant-Kels, Jane M; Tahan, Steven R; Dardick, Kenneth R; Alarcon-Chaidez, Francisco; Bouchard, Keith; Visini, Christine; Deriso, Cindy; Foppa, Ivo M; Wikel, Stephen

    2009-12-01

    Previous studies in rodents and people have demonstrated that repeated tick exposure is associated with reduced Borrelia burgdorferi transmission but the mechanism of prevention remains unclear. We examined the acute histopathologic reactions to initial and repeated Ixodes scapularis bites in BALB/c mice and in people. Skin biopsies of BALB/c mice infested for the first time by I. scapularis nymphs revealed vascular dilatation and an accumulation of inflammatory cells adjacent to the bite site but absent at the site of tick attachment. Such changes would enhance tick-borne pathogen transmission. Mice reexposed to I. scapularis nymphs experienced a decrease in vascular dilatation and a marked increase in inflammatory cells at the site of tick attachment. Skin biopsies of people with attached I. scapularis nymphs revealed similar histologic patterns. These results indicate that cellular changes at the tick-dermal interface following I. scapularis attachment are likely to allow for successful transmission of tick-borne pathogens in non-tick-immune hosts and to inhibit tick-borne pathogen transmission in hosts that have developed tick immunity.

  8. The Relationship Between Soil Arthropods and the Overwinter Survival of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) Under Manipulated Snow Cover.

    PubMed

    Burtis, J C; Ostfeld, R S; Yavitt, J B; Fahey, T J

    2016-01-01

    We explored the relationship between the diversity and abundance of the soil arthropod predator community and the overwinter survival of engorged larval Ixodes scapularis Say under variable snow cover in a hardwood forest. We reduced the snow cover over 30 soil core field microcosms, simulating predicted changes in snow pack in the northeastern United States. An additional 29 microcosms were used as references with no snow pack manipulation. Each microcosm contained 15 engorged larval I. scapularis. We expected lower soil temperature without insulating snow cover to reduce tick survival. However, we observed that reduced snow cover had no effect, with 44.2 and 44.7% overwintering successfully in the reference and snow-removal plots, respectively. Increasing taxonomic family richness of arthropod predators and the total number of large (>1 mm) arthropod predators significantly reduced the overwinter survivorship of I. scapularis within the microcosms. Small (<1 mm) arthropod predator abundance had no effect. Our results suggest that forests with complex natural arthropod predator communities show reduced tick survival.

  9. 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

  10. Discovery of an extended bundle sheath in Ricinus communis L. and its role as a temporal storage compartment for the iron chelator nicotianamine.

    PubMed

    Rutten, T; Krüger, C; Melzer, M; Stephan, U W; Hell, R

    2003-07-01

    The extended bundle sheath (EBS) is a specialized layer of cells that enhances the lateral transport of photoassimilates within the leaf. This little-known tissue is often considered to be legume-specific. We identified an EBS in cotyledons and leaves of the non-legume Ricinus communis L. By means of cytological and immunological studies and using the localization of the iron-chelator nicotianamine as an established indicator for mass transport, we confirmed its role as a transport tissue and a temporal sink. Observations on cotyledons of Ricinus seedlings further proved that the EBS carries out these tasks from a very early stage of development onwards. This is the first time that information has been obtained on the physiological role of an EBS in a non-legume. Our results support the idea of its widespread occurrence among higher plants.

  11. 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.

  12. The surface glycoproteins of human skin fibroblasts detected after electrophoresis by the binding of peanut (Arachis hypogaea) agglutinin and Ricinus communis (castor-bean) agglutinin I.

    PubMed

    Gordon, B B; Pena, S D

    1982-11-15

    A new methodology was developed to study the cell-surface glycoproteins of cultured human skin fibroblasts. This was based on the binding of a variety of biotinyl-lectins to nitrocellulose electrophoretic transfers of total fibroblast lysates after separation in sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide gels, followed by reaction with avidin-biotinyl-peroxidase complexes and detection with 3,3'-diaminobenzidine. The technique proved to be very sensitive and a large number of glycoproteins were detected by binding of concanavalin A and wheat-germ agglutinin. Binding of peanut agglutinin and to a lesser extent of Ricinus communis agglutinin I were found to be dependent on prior removal of sialic acid residues from the glycoproteins. Since by treatment of intact viable cells with neuraminidase only external sialic acid residues were removed, peanut agglutinin and Ricinus communis agglutinin I could thus be utilized for selective detection of cell-surface glycoproteins. Also, because peanut agglutinin was known to bind preferentially to oligosaccharides of the O-glycosidic type, and Ricinus communis agglutinin I to those of the N-glycosidic type, the two lectins were complementary in displaying the surface glycoproteins and in providing information about their oligosaccharide composition.

  13. Efficiency of flagging and dragging for tick collection.

    PubMed

    Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Lia, Riccardo Paolo; Capelli, Gioia; Otranto, Domenico

    2013-09-01

    It is acknowledged that data from field studies on tick ecology might be biased by collection methods, but actually comparative studies are still limited. Herein we assessed whether the efficiency of flagging and dragging varies according to tick developmental stage, species, season and habitat. Ticks were collected in three sites bordered by an oak forest. The abundance of ticks collected by each collection method varied according to tick species, developmental stage, season, and habitat. Flagging was in general more efficient in collecting adult ticks, especially in spring and winter. Females were more frequently collected by flagging in the meadow and grassland habitats and males in the man-made trail. Flagging collected significantly more adults of Dermacentor marginatus, Hyalomma marginatum, Haemaphysalis inermis and Ixodes ricinus. Flagging was more efficient in collecting D. marginatus and I. ricinus in spring, and H. inermis and I. ricinus females in both spring and winter. In summer and autumn tick abundances were generally similar, with the exception of D. marginatus female in autumn. Flagging was more efficient in collecting D. marginatus adults in the meadow habitat and in the man-made trail, and I. ricinus adults in the meadow and grassland habitats. Dragging was more efficient in grassland for R. turanicus. Our results suggest that variations in terms of collection method performance are associated to factors linked to tick behaviour, habitat characteristics, and climate. Field studies employing these collection methods should take this into account to avoid misleading conclusions about tick population dynamics and tick-borne pathogen transmission risk.

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

    PubMed Central

    Daniels, Thomas J.

    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

  15. Different activities and footwear influence exposure to host-seeking nymphs of Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Carroll, J F; Kramer, M

    2001-07-01

    The relative potential for a person accidentally acquiring host-seeking nymphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, and lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (L.), while wearing either of two types of footwear, walking, crawling on hands and knees, and sitting on large fallen logs in deciduous woods, was evaluated. Although flag samples indicated substantial populations of I. scapularis nymphs and low to moderate numbers of A. americanum at the study sites, relatively few I. scapularis and fewer still A. americanum nymphs were acquired during 30-s and 5-min walks. Significantly fewer I. scapularis were picked up when boots were, worn with ankles taped (an anti-tick precaution) than when sneakers were worn with socks exposed during 5-min walks, but when thus attired, there was no significant difference between the number of nymphs acquired during 30-s walks. Nymphs of I. scapularis did not appear to accumulate incrementally on footwear or clothing during walks when boots were worn and ankles taped. Crawling for 30 s (approximately 3 m distance) yielded significantly more I. scapularis nymphs than walking for 30 s. During crawling, I. scapularis nymphs were picked up on 58% of the 30-s samples. Most ticks picked up during crawls were on pant legs. When a flannel flag cloth (0.5 by 0.5 m) was appressed to the upper surface of logs suitable to be sat upon by tired hikers, I. scapularis nymphs were found on 87% of the logs and in 36% of the samples. These data indicate that the potential for contact with host-seeking nymphs of I. scapularis occurring at these densities is greatly elevated by engaging in activities that involve contact with fallen logs and close contact of hands and knees with leaf litter.

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

    PubMed

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

  17. Risk maps for range expansion of the Lyme disease vector, Ixodes scapularis, in Canada now and with climate change

    PubMed Central

    Ogden, Nicholas H; St-Onge, Laurie; Barker, Ian K; Brazeau, Stéphanie; Bigras-Poulin, Michel; Charron, Dominique F; Francis, Charles M; Heagy, Audrey; Lindsay, L Robbin; Maarouf, Abdel; Michel, Pascal; Milord, François; O'Callaghan, Christopher J; Trudel, Louise; Thompson, R Alex

    2008-01-01

    Background Lyme disease is the commonest vector-borne zoonosis in the temperate world, and an emerging infectious disease in Canada due to expansion of the geographic range of the tick vector Ixodes scapularis. Studies suggest that climate change will accelerate Lyme disease emergence by enhancing climatic suitability for I. scapularis. Risk maps will help to meet the public health challenge of Lyme disease by allowing targeting of surveillance and intervention activities. Results A risk map for possible Lyme endemicity was created using a simple risk algorithm for occurrence of I. scapularis populations. The algorithm was calculated for each census sub-division in central and eastern Canada from interpolated output of a temperature-driven simulation model of I. scapularis populations and an index of tick immigration. The latter was calculated from estimates of tick dispersion distances by migratory birds and recent knowledge of the current geographic range of endemic I. scapularis populations. The index of tick immigration closely predicted passive surveillance data on I. scapularis occurrence, and the risk algorithm was a significant predictor of the occurrence of I. scapularis populations in a prospective field study. Risk maps for I. scapularis occurrence in Canada under future projected climate (in the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s) were produced using temperature output from the Canadian Coupled Global Climate Model 2 with greenhouse gas emission scenario enforcing 'A2' of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Conclusion We have prepared risk maps for the occurrence of I. scapularis in eastern and central Canada under current and future projected climate. Validation of the risk maps provides some confidence that they provide a useful first step in predicting the occurrence of I. scapularis populations, and directing public health objectives in minimizing risk from Lyme disease. Further field studies are needed, however, to continue validation and refinement

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Deuterium NMR used to indicate a common mechanism for the biosynthesis of ricinoleic acid by Ricinus communis and Claviceps purpurea.

    PubMed

    Billault, Isabelle; Mantle, Peter G; Robins, Richard J

    2004-03-17

    Previous studies have shown that ricinoleic acid from castor bean oil of Ricinus communis is synthesized by the direct hydroxyl substitution of oleate, while it has been proposed that ricinoleate is formed by hydration of linoleate in the ergot fungus Claviceps purpurea. The mechanism of the enzymes specific to ricinoleate synthesis has not yet been established, but hydroxylation and desaturation of fatty acids in plants apparently involve closely related mechanisms. As mechanistic differences in the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of natural products can lead to different isotopic distributions in the product, we could expect ricinoleate isolated from castor or ergot oil to show distinct (2)H distribution patterns. To obtain information concerning the substrate and isotope effects that occur during the biosynthesis of ricinoleate, the site-specific natural deuterium distributions in methyl ricinoleate isolated from castor oil and in methyl ricinoleate and methyl linoleate isolated from ergot oils have been measured by quantitative (2)H NMR. First, the deuterium profiles for methyl ricinoleate from the plant and fungus are equivalent. Second, the deuterium profile for methyl linoleate from ergot is incompatible with this chemical species being the precursor of methyl ricinoleate. Hence, it is apparent that 12-hydroxylation in C. purpurea is consistent with the biosynthetic mechanisms proposed for R. communis and is compatible with the general fundamental mechanistic similarities between hydroxylation and desaturation previously proposed for plant fatty acid biosynthesis.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Quantification of ricin, RCA and comparison of enzymatic activity in 18 Ricinus communis cultivars by isotope dilution mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Schieltz, David M; McWilliams, Lisa G; Kuklenyik, Zsuzsanna; Prezioso, Samantha M; Carter, Andrew J; Williamson, Yulanda M; McGrath, Sara C; Morse, Stephen A; Barr, John R

    2015-03-01

    The seeds of the Ricinus communis (Castor bean) plant are the source of the economically important commodity castor oil. Castor seeds also contain the proteins ricin and R. communis agglutinin (RCA), two toxic lectins that are hazardous to human health. Radial immunodiffusion (RID) and the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) are two antibody-based methods commonly used to quantify ricin and RCA; however, antibodies currently used in these methods cannot distinguish between ricin and RCA due to the high sequence homology of the respective proteins. In this study, a technique combining antibody-based affinity capture with liquid chromatography and multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mass spectrometry (MS) was used to quantify the amounts of ricin and RCA independently in extracts prepared from the seeds of eighteen representative cultivars of R. communis which were propagated under identical conditions. Additionally, liquid chromatography and MRM-MS was used to determine rRNA N-glycosidase activity for each cultivar and the overall activity in these cultivars was compared to a purified ricin standard. Of the cultivars studied, the average ricin content was 9.3 mg/g seed, the average RCA content was 9.9 mg/g seed, and the enzymatic activity agreed with the activity of a purified ricin reference within 35% relative activity.

  4. Removal of malachite green from aqueous solution by activated carbon prepared from the epicarp of Ricinus communis by adsorption.

    PubMed

    Santhi, T; Manonmani, S; Smitha, T

    2010-07-15

    The use of low-cost, locally available, highly efficient and eco-friendly adsorbents has been investigated as an ideal alternative to the current expensive methods of removing dyes from wastewater. This study investigates the potential use of activated carbon prepared from the epicarp of Ricinus communis for the removal of malachite green (MG) dye from simulated wastewater. The effects of different system variables, adsorbent dosage, initial dye concentration, pH and contact time were investigated and optimal experimental conditions were ascertained. The results showed that as the amount of the adsorbent increased, the percentage of dye removal increased accordingly. Optimum pH value for dye adsorption was 7.0. Maximum dye was sequestered within 50 min of the start of every experiment. The adsorption of malachite green followed the pseudo-second-order rate equation and fits the Langmuir, Freundlich, Dubinin-Radushkevich (D-R) and Tempkin equations well. The maximum removal of MG was obtained at pH 7 as 99.04% for adsorbent dose of 1 g 50 mL(-1) and 25 mg L(-1) initial dye concentration at room temperature. Activated carbon developed from R. communis can be an attractive option for dye removal from diluted industrial effluents since test reaction made on simulated dyeing wastewater showed better removal percentage of MG.

  5. Effects on spermatogenesis in swiss mice of a protein isolated from the roots of Ricinus communis (Linn.) (Euphorbiaceae).

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-15

    This study was aimed to evaluate the effect on spermatogenesis of a 62 kDa protein (Rp) isolated from 50% ethanolic extract of the root of Ricinus communis in mice. A dose response study in mice revealed that 25mg/kg body weight/day was the most effective dose. Swiss strain mature male mice of 30 days old were divided into two group namely control and Rp treated (25mg/kg body weight/day). The study showed that sperm motility and count were decreased significantly in the treated group as compared to the control. The fertility index of the treated groups was reduced by 100%. The activity of HMG Co A reductase and cholesterol were increased significantly in the treated group. The testicular activities of 3βHSD, 17βHSD, glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase and malic enzyme and the level of serum testosterone were decreased significantly in the treated group. The expression of 3βHSD and 17βHSD were decreased and the expression of StAR increased significantly in the treated group as compared to the control. Proteolytic digestion of the native protein with trypsin and chymotrypsin showed that the proteolytic cleavage did not affect the spermicidal action of Rp. Hence this study can be concluded that Rp impaired spermatogenesis in vivo by suppressing the production of testosterone.

  6. 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.

  7. Phloem sugar flux and jasmonic acid-responsive cell wall invertase control extrafloral nectar secretion in Ricinus communis.

    PubMed

    Millán-Cañongo, Cynthia; Orona-Tamayo, Domancar; Heil, Martin

    2014-07-01

    Plants secrete extrafloral nectar (EFN) that attracts predators. The efficiency of the resulting anti-herbivore defense depends on the quantity and spatial distribution of EFN. Thus, according to the optimal defense hypothesis (ODH), plants should secrete EFN on the most valuable organs and when herbivore pressure is high. Ricinus communis plants secreted most EFN on the youngest (i.e., most valuable) leaves and after the simulation of herbivory via the application of jasmonic acid (JA). Here, we investigated the physiological mechanisms that might produce these seemingly adaptive spatiotemporal patterns. Cell wall invertase (CWIN; EC 3.2.1.26) was most active in the hours before peak EFN secretion, its decrease preceded the decrease in EFN secretion, and CWIN activity was inducible by JA. Thus, CWIN appears to be a central player in EFN secretion: its activation by JA is likely to cause the induction of EFN secretion after herbivory. Shading individual leaves decreased EFN secretion locally on these leaves with no effect on CWIN activity in the nectaries, which is likely to be because it decreased the content of sucrose, the substrate of CWIN, in the phloem. Our results demonstrate how the interplay of two physiological processes can cause ecologically relevant spatiotemporal patterns in a plant defense trait.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Receptors for the lectins wheat germ. Ricinus communis I and soybean in ameloblastomas and normal oral mucosa.

    PubMed

    Vedtofte, P; Dabelsteen, E

    1981-11-01

    The histological distribution of receptors for the lectins Wheat germ (WGA). Ricinus communis I (RCA I) and Soybean (SBA) was examined in ameloblastomas and normal oral mucosa from 12 patients. The study utilized fluorescein-conjugated WGA, RCA I and SBA. Cell-membrane bound receptors for these 3 lectins were demonstrated in the spinous cell layer of the normal oral mucosa. WGA and RCA I receptors were also located in the basal cell layer, whereas SBA receptors were not detectable there. Cell-membrane bound WGA receptors were shown in the epithelial cells of the ameloblastomas. Titrations showed significant differences in staining reactivity related to the morphology of the peripheral epithelial cells of the ameloblastomas. The distribution of RCA I and SBA receptors in the peripheral cells was also related to the morphology of these cells and was independent of the histological types of the tumours. It is suggested that the distribution of these receptors is related to cellular activities such as cell differentiation and cell migration in the tumour and therefore possibly reflects the biological behavior of the tumours.

  12. Ultrastructural identification of Ricinus communis agglutinin-1 positive cells in primary dissociated cell cultures of human embryonic brain.

    PubMed

    Bobryshev, Y; Ashwell, K

    1994-12-01

    While Ricinus communis agglutinin 1 (RCA-1) can be used as a specific marker to study the development and differentiation of microglial cells in human embryogenesis, little is known about the structural heterogeneity and nature of RCA-1+ cells. To analyse the structural peculiarities of RCA-1+ cells, we have used primary dissociated cultures of human embryonic brain. These have been used as models for investigating many of the aspects of central nervous system (CNS) HIV infection. We have shown that primary dissociated cultures from human embryos as young as 10 weeks gestation contain RCA-1+ cells. The RCA-1+ cells exist in two forms, those without (type I) and those with (type II) processes. The former have a poorly developed ultrastructure, while the latter have well developed ultrastructural features, such as rough endoplasmic reticulum with short cisternae, abundant ribosomes, mitochondria, lysosomes and vacuoles. Furthermore, some of these cells with processes have well developed cytoskeletal features. In this paper, the classification of RCA-1+ cells of embryonic human brain is considered and their morphology compared to microglia identified in rodent CNS.

  13. Binding and cytotoxicity of Ricinus communis lectins to HeLa cells, Sarcoma 180 ascites tumor cells and erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Oda, T; Aizono, Y; Funatsu, G

    1984-08-01

    The binding of Ricinus communis lectins to HeLa cells, Sarcoma 180 ascites tumor cells and human erythrocytes was studied in detail. Scatchard plots of binding of 125I-lectins to these cells gave biphasic lines except for HeLa cells at 0 degree C. The association constants of lectins for the three cell types at 37 degrees C were lower than those at 0 degree C. The numbers of total binding sites were estimated to be 7 to 16 X 10(7) per HeLa cell, 3 to 4 X 10(7) per Sarcoma 180 ascites tumor cell and 0.4 to 1 X 10(6) per erythrocyte. A fraction, 16 to 27% of the total amount of cell-bound lectin at 37 degrees C, appeared to be bound irreversibly as judged by non-removal on washing with 0.1 M lactose, whereas no lectin was irreversibly bound at 0 degree C. In the case of erythrocytes, no lectin became irreversibly bound even at 37 degrees C. The toxicity of lectins on HeLa cells and Sarcoma 180 ascites tumor cells was investigated. The toxicity of ricin D was 50 times for Sarcoma 180 ascites tumor cells and 140 times for HeLa cells as much as that for castor bean hemagglutinin. As to the sensitivities of both cell types to these lectins, it became apparent that Sarcoma 180 ascites tumor cells were more susceptible than HeLa cells.

  14. Effect of the chemical composition of Ricinus communis polyurethane on rat bone marrow cell attachment, proliferation, and differentiation.

    PubMed

    Beloti, Márcio M; Hiraki, Karen R N; Barros, Valdemar M R; Rosa, Adalberto L

    2003-01-01

    Alterations in the chemical composition of a polymer may be undertaken to improve its biological properties. The aim of this study was to investigate the in vitro biocompatibility of Ricinus communis polyurethane (RCP) with three different chemical compositions: RCPp (pure RCP), RCP+CaCO(3), and RCP+Ca(3)(PO(4))(2). Rat bone marrow cells were cultivated under conditions that allowed osteoblastic differentiation and were evaluated for cell attachment, cell proliferation, cell morphology, total protein content, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and bonelike nodule formation. For the evaluation of attachment, cells were cultured for 4 h. After 3 days, cell morphology was evaluated. Cell proliferation was evaluated after 7 and 14 days. Total protein content and ALP activity were evaluated after 14 days. For bonelike nodule formation, cells were cultured for 21 days. Data were compared with an analysis of variance and Duncan's multiple range test when appropriate. Cell attachment and ALP activity were not affected by RCP chemical composition. Proliferation, total protein content, and bonelike nodule formation were all affected by RCP chemical composition. These results suggest that initial cell events are not affected by RCP chemical composition, whereas RCPs blended with calcium carbonate or, better yet, calcium phosphate, by favoring events that promote matrix mineralization, are more biocompatible materials.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Quantification of ricin, RCA and comparison of enzymatic activity in 18 Ricinus communis cultivars by isotope dilution mass spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Schieltz, David M.; McWilliams, Lisa G.; Kuklenyik, Zsuzsanna; Prezioso, Samantha M.; Carter, Andrew J.; Williamson, Yulanda M.; McGrath, Sara C.; Morse, Stephen A.; Barr, John R.

    2016-01-01

    The seeds of the Ricinus communis (Castor bean) plant are the source of the economically important commodity castor oil. Castor seeds also contain the proteins ricin and R. communis agglutinin (RCA), two toxic lectins that are hazardous to human health. Radial immunodiffusion (RID) and the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) are two antibody-based methods commonly used to quantify ricin and RCA; however, antibodies currently used in these methods cannot distinguish between ricin and RCA due to the high sequence homology of the respective proteins. In this study, a technique combining antibody-based affinity capture with liquid chromatography and multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mass spectrometry (MS) was used to quantify the amounts of ricin and RCA independently in extracts prepared from the seeds of eighteen representative cultivars of R. communis which were propagated under identical conditions. Additionally, liquid chromatography and MRM-MS was used to determine rRNA N-glycosidase activity for each cultivar and the overall activity in these cultivars was compared to a purified ricin standard. Of the cultivars studied, the average ricin content was 9.3 mg/g seed, the average RCA content was 9.9 mg/g seed, and the enzymatic activity agreed with the activity of a purified ricin reference within 35% relative activity. PMID:25576235

  18. 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.

  19. Vectorization of agrochemicals: amino acid carriers are more efficient than sugar carriers to translocate phenylpyrrole conjugates in the Ricinus system.

    PubMed

    Wu, Hanxiang; Marhadour, Sophie; Lei, Zhi-Wei; Yang, Wen; Marivingt-Mounir, Cécile; Bonnemain, Jean-Louis; Chollet, Jean-François

    2016-12-13

    Producing quality food in sufficient quantity while using less agrochemical inputs will be one of the great challenges of the twenty-first century. One way of achieving this goal is to greatly reduce the doses of plant protection compounds by improving the targeting of pests to eradicate. Therefore, we developed a vectorization strategy to confer phloem mobility to fenpiclonil, a contact fungicide from the phenylpyrrole family used as a model molecule. It consists in coupling the antifungal compound to an amino acid or a sugar, so that the resulting conjugates are handled by active nutrient transport systems. The method of click chemistry was used to synthesize three conjugates combining fenpiclonil to glucose or glutamic acid with a spacer containing a triazole ring. Systemicity tests with the Ricinus model have shown that the amino acid promoiety was clearly more favorable to phloem mobility than that of glucose. In addition, the transport of the amino acid conjugate is carrier mediated since the derivative of the L series was about five times more concentrated in the phloem sap than its counterpart of the D series. The systemicity of the L-derivative is pH dependent and almost completely inhibited by the protonophore carbonyl cyanide 3-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP). These data suggest that the phloem transport of the L-derivative is governed by a stereospecific amino acid carrier system energized by the proton motive force.

  20. 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.

  1. Molecular analysis of microbial communities identified in different developmental stages of Ixodes scapularis ticks from Westchester and Dutchess Counties, New York.

    PubMed

    Moreno, Claudia X; Moy, Fred; Daniels, Thomas J; Godfrey, Henry P; Cabello, Felipe C

    2006-05-01

    Ixodes scapularis ticks play an important role in the transmission of a wide variety of pathogens between various mammalian species, including humans. Pathogens transmitted by ticks include Borrelia, Anaplasma and Babesia. Although ticks may harbour both pathogenic and non-pathogenic microflora, little is known about how the diversity of the microflora within ticks may influence the transmission of pathogens. To begin addressing this question, we examined the composition of bacterial communities present in Ixodes scapularis collected from Westchester and Dutchess Counties, New York State, at different developmental and nutritional stages. Genetic fingerprints of bacterial populations were generated by temporal temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TTGE) separation of individual polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments, followed by DNA sequence analysis for bacterial identification. The fingerprints of the TTGE bands were grouped into five clusters. The most abundant DNA sequence found in all the samples was Rickettsia, followed by Pseudomonas and Borrelia. Ralstonia, Anaplasma, Enterobacterias, Moraxella, Rhodococcus and uncultured proteobacterium were present as well. We also determined the prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi by PCR and DNA sequence analysis. Statistical analyses indicated significant variations in the bacterial communities depending on tick developmental stage and degree of engorgement. We suggest that these two elements affect microbial diversity within the tick and may in turn influence pathogen transmission to humans and animals after tick bite.