Science.gov

Sample records for ixodes scapularis ticks

  1. Two Anaplasma phagocytophilum Strains in Ixodes scapularis Ticks, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Krakowetz, Chantel N.; Dibernardo, Antonia; Lindsay, L. Robbin

    2014-01-01

    We developed PCR-based assays to distinguish a human pathogenic strain of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ap-ha, from Ap-variant 1, a strain not associated with human infection. The assays were validated on A. phagocytophilum-infected blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) collected in Canada. The relative prevalence of these 2 strains in I. scapularis ticks differed among geographic regions. PMID:25417645

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Application of M13 phage display for identifying immunogenic proteins from tick (Ixodes scapularis) saliva.

    PubMed

    Becker, Martin; Felsberger, André; Frenzel, André; Shattuck, Wendy M C; Dyer, Megan; Kügler, Jonas; Zantow, Jonas; Mather, Thomas N; Hust, Michael

    2015-05-30

    Ticks act as vectors for a large number of different pathogens, perhaps most notably Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. The most prominent tick vector in the United States is the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Tick bites are of special public health concern since there are no vaccines available against most tick-transmitted pathogens. Based on the observation that certain non-natural host animals such as guinea pigs or humans can develop adaptive immune responses to tick bites, anti-tick vaccination is a potential approach to tackle health risks associated with tick bites. The aim of this study was to use an oligopeptide phage display strategy to identify immunogenic salivary gland proteins from I. scapularis that are recognized by human immune sera. Oligopeptide libraries were generated from salivary gland mRNA of 18 h fed nymphal I. scapularis. Eight immunogenic oligopeptides were selected using human immune sera. Three selected immunogenic oligopeptides were cloned and produced as recombinant proteins. The immunogenic character of an identified metalloprotease (MP1) was validated with human sera. This enzyme has been described previously and was hypothesized as immunogenic which was confirmed in this study. Interestingly, it also has close homologs in other Ixodes species. An immunogenic protein of I. scapularis was identified by oligopeptide phage display. MP1 is a potential candidate for vaccine development.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Selective cysteine protease inhibition contributes to blood-feeding success of the tick Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    Kotsyfakis, Michalis; Karim, Shahid; Andersen, John F; Mather, Thomas N; Ribeiro, José M C

    2007-10-05

    Ixodes scapularis is the main vector of Lyme disease in the eastern and central United States. Tick salivary secretion has been shown as important for both blood-meal completion and pathogen transmission. Here we report a duplication event of cystatin genes in its genome that results in a transcription-regulated boost of saliva inhibitory activity against a conserved and relatively limited number of vertebrate papain-like cysteine proteases during blood feeding. We further show that the polypeptide products of the two genes differ in their binding affinity for some enzyme targets, and they display different antigenicity. Moreover, our reverse genetic approach employing RNA interference uncovered a crucial mediation in tick-feeding success. Given the role of the targeted enzymes in vertebrate immunity, we also show that host immunomodulation is implicated in the deleterious phenotype of silenced ticks making I. scapularis cystatins attractive targets for development of anti-tick vaccines.

  10. Identification and Characterization of Ixodes scapularis Antigens That Elicit Tick Immunity Using Yeast Surface Display

    PubMed Central

    Daffre, Sirlei; DePonte, Kathleen; Hovius, Joppe W. R.; Veer, Cornelis van't; van der Poll, Tom; Bakhtiari, Kamran; Meijers, Joost C. M.; Boder, Eric T.; van Dam, Alje P.; Fikrig, Erol

    2011-01-01

    Repeated exposure of rabbits and other animals to ticks results in acquired resistance or immunity to subsequent tick bites and is partially elicited by antibodies directed against tick antigens. In this study we demonstrate the utility of a yeast surface display approach to identify tick salivary antigens that react with tick-immune serum. We constructed an Ixodes scapularis nymphal salivary gland yeast surface display library and screened the library with nymph-immune rabbit sera and identified five salivary antigens. Four of these proteins, designated P8, P19, P23 and P32, had a predicted signal sequence. We generated recombinant (r) P8, P19 and P23 in a Drosophila expression system for functional and immunization studies. rP8 showed anti-complement activity and rP23 demonstrated anti-coagulant activity. Ixodes scapularis feeding was significantly impaired when nymphs were fed on rabbits immunized with a cocktail of rP8, rP19 and rP23, a hall mark of tick-immunity. These studies also suggest that these antigens may serve as potential vaccine candidates to thwart tick feeding. PMID:21246036

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

    2017-05-01

    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 m2. 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 m2. 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. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  2. Adverse moisture events predict seasonal abundance of Lyme disease vector ticks (Ixodes scapularis)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Lyme borreliosis (LB) is the most commonly reported vector-borne disease in north temperate regions worldwide, affecting an estimated 300,000 people annually in the United States alone. The incidence of LB is correlated with human exposure to its vector, the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis). To date, attempts to model tick encounter risk based on environmental parameters have been equivocal. Previous studies have not considered (1) the differences between relative humidity (RH) in leaf litter and at weather stations, (2) the RH threshold that affects nymphal blacklegged tick survival, and (3) the time required below the threshold to induce mortality. We clarify the association between environmental moisture and tick survival by presenting a significant relationship between the total number of tick adverse moisture events (TAMEs - calculated as microclimatic periods below a RH threshold) and tick abundance each year. Methods We used a 14-year continuous statewide tick surveillance database and corresponding weather data from Rhode Island (RI), USA, to assess the effects of TAMEs on nymphal populations of I. scapularis. These TAMEs were defined as extended periods of time (>8 h below 82% RH in leaf litter). We fit a sigmoid curve comparing weather station data to those collected by loggers placed in tick habitats to estimate RH experienced by nymphal ticks, and compiled the number of historical TAMEs during the 14-year record. Results The total number of TAMEs in June of each year was negatively related to total seasonal nymphal tick densities, suggesting that sub-threshold humidity episodes >8 h in duration naturally lowered nymphal blacklegged tick abundance. Furthermore, TAMEs were positively related to the ratio of tick abundance early in the season when compared to late season, suggesting that lower than average tick abundance for a given year resulted from tick mortality and not from other factors. Conclusions Our results clarify the mechanism

  3. Adverse moisture events predict seasonal abundance of Lyme disease vector ticks (Ixodes scapularis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berger, Kathryn A.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Dugas, Katherine D.; Hamel, Lutz H.; Mather, Thomas N.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Lyme borreliosis (LB) is the most commonly reported vector-borne disease in north temperate regions worldwide, affecting an estimated 300,000 people annually in the United States alone. The incidence of LB is correlated with human exposure to its vector, the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis). To date, attempts to model tick encounter risk based on environmental parameters have been equivocal. Previous studies have not considered (1) the differences between relative humidity (RH) in leaf litter and at weather stations, (2) the RH threshold that affects nymphal blacklegged tick survival, and (3) the time required below the threshold to induce mortality. We clarify the association between environmental moisture and tick survival by presenting a significant relationship between the total number of tick adverse moisture events (TAMEs - calculated as microclimatic periods below a RH threshold) and tick abundance each year.Methods: We used a 14-year continuous statewide tick surveillance database and corresponding weather data from Rhode Island (RI), USA, to assess the effects of TAMEs on nymphal populations of I. scapularis. These TAMEs were defined as extended periods of time (>8 h below 82% RH in leaf litter). We fit a sigmoid curve comparing weather station data to those collected by loggers placed in tick habitats to estimate RH experienced by nymphal ticks, and compiled the number of historical TAMEs during the 14-year record.Results: The total number of TAMEs in June of each year was negatively related to total seasonal nymphal tick densities, suggesting that sub-threshold humidity episodes >8 h in duration naturally lowered nymphal blacklegged tick abundance. Furthermore, TAMEs were positively related to the ratio of tick abundance early in the season when compared to late season, suggesting that lower than average tick abundance for a given year resulted from tick mortality and not from other factors.Conclusions: Our results clarify the mechanism

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. The E3 Ubiquitin Ligase XIAP Restricts Anaplasma phagocytophilum Colonization of Ixodes scapularis Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Severo, Maiara S.; Choy, Anthony; Stephens, Kimberly D.; Sakhon, Olivia S.; Chen, Gang; Chung, Duk-Won D.; Le Roch, Karine G.; Blaha, Gregor; Pedra, Joao H. F.

    2013-01-01

    Ubiquitination is a posttranslational modification that regulates protein degradation and signaling in eukaryotes. Although it is acknowledged that pathogens exploit ubiquitination to infect mammalian cells, it remains unknown how microbes interact with the ubiquitination machinery in medically relevant arthropods. Here, we show that the ubiquitination machinery is present in the tick Ixodes scapularis and demonstrate that the E3 ubiquitin ligase named x-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) restricts bacterial colonization of this arthropod vector. We provide evidence that xiap silencing significantly increases tick colonization by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the causative agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis. We also demonstrate that (i) XIAP polyubiquitination is dependent on the really interesting new gene (RING) catalytic domain, (ii) XIAP polyubiquitination occurs via lysine (K)-63 but not K-48 residues, and (iii) XIAP-dependent K-63 polyubiquitination requires zinc for catalysis. Taken together, our data define a role for ubiquitination during bacterial colonization of disease vectors. PMID:23901084

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Efficacy of a novel topical combination of fipronil, (S)-methoprene, eprinomectin, and praziquantel, against the ticks, Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes scapularis, on cats.

    PubMed

    Tielemans, E; Prullage, J; Knaus, M; Visser, M; Manavella, C; Chester, S T; Young, David; Everett, William R; Rosentel, J

    2014-04-28

    Five controlled, blinded and randomized studies were conducted to examine the efficacy of a single topical application of a combination of fipronil, (S)-methoprene, eprinomectin, and praziquantel (BROADLINE(®), Merial) against induced infestations with Ixodes ticks on cats. Three studies investigated the efficacy against Ixodes ricinus and two against Ixodes scapularis. In each study, purpose-bred cats were assigned at random to an untreated group or to a treated group. For the studies using I. ricinus, cats were infested with 50 female ticks and a similar number of males 2 days before treatment application, and weekly afterwards on between four and six occasions. For the studies using I. scapularis, cats were infested with a total of 50 ticks (approximately 25 females and 25 males) according to the same schedule as for I. ricinus. Tick counts for the evaluation of efficacy were performed 48 h after treatment and 48 h after the subsequent weekly infestations. Weekly attachment rates to untreated cats of at least 29% for I. ricinus and at least 30% for I. scapularis demonstrated consistently that the ticks were vigorous and that the attachment rates were adequate for efficacy evaluation. In the I. ricinus studies, an efficacy of at least 93% was demonstrated for up to 37 days after the treatment. In the I. scapularis studies, the efficacy level was at least 95% 30 days after the treatment. The product was well tolerated and caused no adverse reaction. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Use of imidacloprid-permethrin to prevent transmission of Anaplasma phagocytophilum from naturally infected Ixodes scapularis ticks to dogs.

    PubMed

    Blagburn, Byron L; Spencer, Jennifer A; Billeter, Sarah A; Drazenovich, Nicole L; Butler, Jamie M; Land, Tracey M; Dykstra, Christine C; Stafford, Kirby C; Pough, Margaret B; Levy, Steven A; Bledsoe, David L

    2004-01-01

    One group of eight beagles was treated with a combination of imidacloprid and permethrin 7 days before exposure to Ixodes scapularis ticks that were naturally infected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum. A second group of eight beagles was not treated and was also exposed to infected ticks. Seven of eight non-treated dogs--but none of the treated dogs--developed specific antibodies to A. phagocytophilum. Results of this study indicate that a combination of imidacloprid and permethrin can prevent transmission of A. phagocytophilum to dogs if administered before exposure to infected ticks.

  19. Systems Biology of Tissue-Specific Response to Anaplasma phagocytophilum Reveals Differentiated Apoptosis in the Tick Vector Ixodes scapularis

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Detection of Borreliacidal Antibodies in Dogs after Challenge with Borrelia burgdorferi-Infected Ixodes scapularis Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Callister, Steven M.; Jobe, Dean A.; Schell, Ronald F.; Lovrich, Steven D.; Onheiber, Keysha L.; Korshus, Jon B.

    2000-01-01

    Detection of borreliacidal antibodies is an accurate serodiagnostic test for confirmation of Lyme disease in humans. In this study, 13 pathogen-free beagles, 12 to 26 weeks old, were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi by tick challenge. Dogs were monitored for clinical signs and symptoms of Lyme disease along with borreliacidal antibody production against B. burgdorferi sensu stricto isolates 297 and 50772. Ten (77%) dogs developed lameness in one or more legs within 210 days after attachment of Ixodes scapularis ticks. Eight (80%) of the lame animals had concurrent fever of ≥38°C. Spirochetes were also recovered from the skin and joints of 12 (92%) dogs, but rarely from other organs. Borreliacidal antibodies against B. burgdorferi isolate 297 were detected in only four (31%) dogs, and the levels of killing antibodies remained low for the duration of the infection. In contrast, borreliacidal antibodies against B. burgdorferi isolate 50772 were detected in 13 (100%) dogs within 21 days of infection. Furthermore, the borreliacidal antibody levels correlated with the severity of B. burgdorferi infection. Detection of borreliacidal antibodies, especially against B. burgdorferi isolate 50772, is also a reliable serodiagnostic test for detection of Lyme disease in dogs. PMID:11015381

  2. Molecular Characterization of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi in Ixodes scapularis Ticks from Pennsylvania

    PubMed Central

    Courtney, Joshua W.; Dryden, Richard L.; Montgomery, Jill; Schneider, Bradley S.; Smith, Gary; Massung, Robert F.

    2003-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis ticks were collected in 2000 and 2001 from two areas in Pennsylvania and tested for the presence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi by PCR and DNA sequencing. Of the ticks collected from northwestern and southeastern Pennsylvania, 162 of 263 (61.6%) and 25 of 191 (13.1%), respectively, were found to be positive for B. burgdorferi. DNA sequencing showed >99% identity with B. burgdorferi strains B31 and JD1. PCR testing for A. phagocytophilum revealed that 5 of 263 (1.9%) from northwestern Pennsylvania and 76 of 191 (39.8%) from southeastern Pennsylvania were positive. DNA sequencing revealed two genotypes of A. phagocytophilum, the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) agent and a variant (AP-Variant 1) that has not been associated with human infection. Although only the HGE agent was present in northwestern Pennsylvania, both genotypes were found in southeastern Pennsylvania. These data add to a growing body of evidence showing that AP-Variant 1 is the predominant agent in areas where both genotypes coexist. PMID:12682147

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Elemol and amyris oil repel the ticks Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae) in laboratory bioassays.

    PubMed

    Carroll, J F; Paluch, G; Coats, J; Kramer, M

    2010-08-01

    The essential oil from Amyris balsamifera (Rutaceae) and elemol, a principal constituent of the essential oil of Osage orange, Maclura pomifera (Moraceae) were evaluated in in vitro and in vivo laboratory bioassays for repellent activity against host-seeking nymphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, and the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum. Both bioassays took advantage of the tendency of these host-seeking ticks to climb slender vertical surfaces. In one bioassay, the central portion of a vertical strip of filter paper was treated with test solution and ticks placed or allowed to crawl onto the untreated lower portion. In the other bioassay, a strip of organdy cloth treated with test solution was doubly wrapped (treatment on outer layer) around the middle phalanx of a forefinger and ticks released on the fingertip. Both amyris oil and elemol were repellent to both species of ticks. Elemol did not differ significantly in effectiveness against A. americanum from the widely used repellent deet. At 2 and 4 h after application to filter paper, 827 microg amyris oil/cm(2) paper repelled 80 and 55%, respectively, of A. americanum nymphs. Ixodes scapularis was repelled by lower concentrations of amyris oil and elemol than A. americanum.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  19. 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.

  20. Cloning of a salivary gland metalloprotease and characterization of gelatinase and fibrin(ogen)lytic activities in the saliva of the Lyme Disease tick vector Ixodes scapularis

    PubMed Central

    Francischetti, Ivo M. B.; Mather, Thomas N.; Ribeiro, José M. C.

    2010-01-01

    The full-length sequence of tick salivary gland cDNA coding for a protein similar to metalloproteases (MP) of the reprolysin family is reported. The Ixodes scapularis MP is a 488 aminoacid (aa) protein containing pre- and pro-enzyme domains, the zinc-binding motif HExxHxxGxxH common to metalloproteases and a cysteine-rich region. In addition, the predicted amino-terminal sequences of I. scapularis MPs were found by Edman degradation of PVDF-transferred SDS/PAGE-separated tick saliva proteins, indicating these putative enzymes are secreted. Furthermore, saliva has a metal-dependent proteolytic activity towards gelatin, fibrin(ogen) and fibronectin, but not collagen or laminin. Accordingly, I. scapularis saliva has a rather specific metalloprotease similar to the hemorrhagic proteases of snake venoms. This is the first description of such activity in tick saliva and its role in tick feeding and Borrelia transmission are discussed. PMID:12767911

  1. 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.

  2. Comparison of Tick Feeding Success and Vector Competence for Borrelia burgdorferi Among Immature Ixodes scapularis (Ixodida: Ixodidae) of Both Southern and Northern Clades

    PubMed Central

    Goddard, Jerome; Embers, Monica; Hojgaard, Andrias; Piesman, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Northern and southern Ixodes scapularis Say populations differ greatly in density, host utilization, and especially questing behavior of the immatures. Haplotypes of I. scapularis in North America can be divided into two major clades—the All American Clade (haplotypes A through J) and the Southern Clade (M through O). This genetic variation may affect feeding success and vector competence. This study compared feeding success of larval I. scapularis measured by time-to-drop-off and subsequent transmissibility success of Borrelia burgdorferi to mice using ticks from Mississippi, Connecticut (both F haplotype), and Louisiana (haplotype O). Northern ticks (CT) fed to repletion much faster than MS and LA ticks: overall, 73.6% of CT ticks had dropped off mice at Day 3 compared to only 1.7% and 6.6% of ticks dropped off for MS and LA ticks at that same time point. As for vector competence, 4 of the 4 mice in each case (MS or CT) that had been fed on by infected nymphs tested positive for B. burgdorferi. In a second experiment, 5 of the 6 mice tested positive for B. burgdorferi after exposure to infected LA ticks as compared with 3 of the 4 mice exposed to infected CT ticks. These data demonstrate that there is no difference in northern and southern populations of I. scapularis in their ability to transmit B. burgdorferi, but the ability of the northern populations to feed rapidly on rodents exceeds that of southern populations. PMID:26336283

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  4. Comparative activity of deet and AI3-37220 repellents against the ticks Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae) in laboratory bioassays.

    PubMed

    Carroll, J F; Solberg, V B; Klun, J A; Kramer, M; Debboun, M

    2004-03-01

    The repellents N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (deet) and racemic 2-methylpiperidinyl-3-cyclohexene-1-carboxamide (AI3-37220) were evaluated using two different laboratory bioassays to determine their relative effectiveness against host-seeking nymphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, and the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (L.). In a petri dish bioassay, ticks were released within a ring of repellent on a horizontal filter paper disk. In the second bioassay, ticks were allowed to climb a vertical strip of filter paper whose central portion was treated with a repellent. Deet and AI3-37220 were more effective against I. scapularis than A. americanum nymphs. In the petri dish bioassay, none of the concentrations of deet or AI3-37220 tested confined A. americanum within the treated ring. However, in the vertical bioassay, both species exhibited avoidance of the repellents, and I. scapularis was repelled by much lower concentrations than A. americanum. I. scapularis were repelled by lower concentrations in the vertical bioassay than in the petri dish bioassay. Deet was slightly more effective against I. scapularis than AI3-37220 in both bioassays, but AI3-37220 was significantly more effective than deet against A. americanum in the vertical bioassay.

  5. Role of migratory birds in introduction and range expansion of Ixodes scapularis ticks and of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Canada.

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-01

    During the spring in 2005 and 2006, 39,095 northward-migrating land birds were captured at 12 bird observatories in eastern Canada to investigate the role of migratory birds in northward range expansion of Lyme borreliosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, and their tick vector, Ixodes scapularis. The prevalence of birds carrying I. scapularis ticks (mostly nymphs) was 0.35% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.30 to 0.42), but a nested study by experienced observers suggested a more realistic infestation prevalence of 2.2% (95% CI = 1.18 to 3.73). The mean infestation intensity was 1.66 per bird. Overall, 15.4% of I. scapularis nymphs (95% CI = 10.7 to 20.9) were PCR positive for Borrelia burgdorferi, but only 8% (95% CI = 3.8 to 15.1) were positive when excluding nymphs collected at Long Point, Ontario, where B. burgdorferi is endemic. A wide range of ospC and rrs-rrl intergenic spacer alleles of B. burgdorferi were identified in infected ticks, including those associated with disseminated Lyme disease and alleles that are rare in the northeastern United States. Overall, 1.4[corrected]% (95% CI = 0.3 [corrected] to 0.41) of I. scapularis nymphs were PCR positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum. We estimate that migratory birds disperse 50 million to 175 million I. scapularis ticks across Canada each spring, implicating migratory birds as possibly significant in I. scapularis range expansion in Canada. However, infrequent larvae and the low infection prevalence in ticks carried by the birds raise questions as to how B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum become endemic in any tick populations established by bird-transported ticks.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  7. Prevalence of five tick-borne bacterial genera in adult Ixodes scapularis removed from white-tailed deer in western Tennessee.

    PubMed

    Mays, Sarah E; Hendricks, Brian M; Paulsen, David J; Houston, Allan E; Trout Fryxell, Rebecca T

    2014-10-22

    In the northeastern and midwestern regions of the United States Ixodes scapularis Say transmits the causal agents of anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum), babesiosis (Babesia microti), and borreliosis (Borrelia burgdorferi and B. miyamotoi). In the southeastern United States, none of those pathogens are considered endemic and two other tick-borne diseases (TBDs) (ehrlicihosis and rickettiosis) are more common. Our objective was to determine baseline presence and absence data for three non-endemic bacterial agents (Anaplasma, Borrelia and Babesia) and two commonly reported bacterial agents (Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia) in southern I. scapularis (n = 47) collected from 15 hunter-harvested white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in western Tennessee. Of the 47 ticks, 27 tested PCR positive for non-pathogenic Rickettsia species, two for Ehrlichia ewingii, one for Ehrlichia sp. "Panola Mountain", and one for Anaplasma phagocytophilum variant 1 strain. None of these ticks were positive for Babesia or Borrelia (including B. burgdorferi). Finding human pathogens in host-fed I. scapularis merits additional studies surveying pathogen prevalence in questing ticks. Collection of questing I. scapularis in their peak activity months should be undertaken to determine the overall encounter rates and relative risk of pathogenic Ehrlichia in southern I. scapularis. Ehrlichia sequences were homologous to previous human isolates, but neither Babesia nor B. burgdorferi were identified in these ticks. With the identification of pathogenic bacteria in this relatively small collection of I. scapularis from western Tennessee, the study of the absence of Lyme disease in the south should be refocused to evaluate the role of pathogenic Ehrlichia in southern I. scapularis.

  8. A quantitative evaluation of the extent of fluralaner uptake by ticks (Ixodes ricinus, Ixodes scapularis) in fluralaner (Bravecto) treated vs. untreated dogs using the parameters tick weight and coxal index.

    PubMed

    Williams, Heike; Demeler, Janina; Taenzler, Janina; Roepke, Rainer K A; Zschiesche, Eva; Heckeroth, Anja R

    2015-06-30

    Fluralaner is a new antiparasitic drug that was recently introduced as Bravecto chewable tablets for the treatment of tick and flea infestations in dogs. Most marketed tick products exert their effect via topical application and contact exposure to the parasite. In contrast, Bravecto delivers its acaricidal activity through systemic exposure. Tick exposure to fluralaner occurs after attachment to orally treated dogs, which induces a tick-killing effect within 12 h. The fast onset of killing lasts over the entire treatment interval (12 weeks) and suggests that only marginal uptake by ticks is required to induce efficacy. Three laboratory studies were conducted to quantify the extent of uptake by comparison of ticks' weight and coxal index obtained from Bravecto-treated and negative-control dogs. Three studies were conducted using experimental tick infestation with either Ixodes ricinus or Ixodes scapularis after oral administration of fluralaner to dogs. All studies included a treated (Bravecto chewable tablets, MSD Animal Health) and a negative control group. Each study had a similar design for assessing vitality and weighing of ticks collected from dogs of both groups. Additionally, in one study the coxal index (I. ricinus) was calculated as a ratio of tick's ventral coxal gap and dorsal width of scutum. Tick weight data and coxal indices from Bravecto-treated and negative-control groups were compared via statistical analysis. Ticks collected from Bravecto-treated dogs weighed significantly less (p ≤ 0.0108) than ticks collected from negative-control dogs, and their coxal index was also significantly lower (p < 0.0001). The difference in tick weights was demonstrated irrespective of the tick species investigated (I. ricinus, I. scapularis). At some assessments the mean tick weights of Bravecto-treated dogs were significantly lower than those of unfed pre-infestation (baseline) ticks. The demonstrated tick-killing efficacy was in the range of 94.6 - 100

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Anaplasma phagocytophilum increases the levels of histone modifying enzymes to inhibit cell apoptosis and facilitate pathogen infection in the tick vector Ixodes scapularis

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Epigenetic mechanisms have not been characterized in ticks despite their importance as vectors of human and animal diseases worldwide. The objective of this study was to characterize the histones and histone modifying enzymes (HMEs) of the tick vector Ixodes scapularis and their role during Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection. We first identified 5 histones and 34 HMEs in I. scapularis in comparison with similar proteins in model organisms. Then, we used transcriptomic and proteomic data to analyze the mRNA and protein levels of I. scapularis histones and HMEs in response to A. phagocytophilum infection of tick tissues and cultured cells. Finally, selected HMEs were functionally characterized by pharmacological studies in cultured tick cells. The results suggest that A. phagocytophilum manipulates tick cell epigenetics to increase I. scapularis p300/CBP, histone deacetylase, and Sirtuin levels, resulting in an inhibition of cell apoptosis that in turn facilitates pathogen infection and multiplication. These results also suggest that a compensatory mechanism might exist by which A. phagocytophilum manipulates tick HMEs to regulate transcription and apoptosis in a tissue-specific manner to facilitate infection, but preserving tick fitness to guarantee survival of both pathogens and ticks. Our study also indicates that the pathogen manipulates arthropod and vertebrate cell epigenetics in similar ways to inhibit the host response to infection. Epigenetic regulation of tick biological processes is an essential element of the infection by A. phagocytophilum and the study of the mechanisms and principal actors involved is likely to provide clues for the development of anti-tick drugs and vaccines. PMID:27019326

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  13. Response of nymphal Ixodes scapularis, the primary tick vector of Lyme disease spirochetes in North America, to barriers derived from wood products or related home and garden items.

    PubMed

    Piesman, Joseph

    2006-12-01

    Forest products were tested to see if they functioned as a barrier to nymphal Ixodes scapularis. These products could potentially be used to define a border between high density and low density tick zones on residential properties in Lyme disease endemic regions of North America. Common home and garden items were also tested. Three wood products effectively acted as barriers to nymphal I. scapularis: Alaska Yellow Cedar sawdust, Alaska Yellow Cedar woodchips, and cellulose. These three products were then weathered to determine how long they remained active. Cellulose and Alaska Yellow Cedar woodchips lost their activity almost immediately (within three days); in contrast, Alaska Yellow Cedar sawdust impeded crossing by nymphal ticks for up to one month. Creating barriers at the woods-lawn interface may someday play a role in integrated campaigns to prevent Lyme disease but will not serve as a stand-alone measure to block transmission of Lyme disease spirochetes.

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

    PubMed

    Feria-Arroyo, Teresa P; Castro-Arellano, Ivan; Gordillo-Perez, Guadalupe; Cavazos, Ana L; Vargas-Sandoval, Margarita; Grover, Abha; Torres, Javier; Medina, Raul F; de León, Adalberto A Pérez; Esteve-Gassent, Maria D

    2014-04-25

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  2. Bioassays to evaluate non-contact spatial repellency, contact irritancy, and acute toxicity of permethrin-treated clothing against nymphal Ixodes scapularis ticks.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Lars; Rose, Dominic; Prose, Robert; Breuner, Nicole E; Dolan, Marc C; Thompson, Karen; Connally, Neeta

    2017-10-01

    Summer-weight clothing articles impregnated with permethrin are available as a personal protective measure against human-biting ticks in the United States. However, very few studies have addressed the impact of contact with summer-weight permethrin-treated textiles on tick vigor and behavior. Our aim was to generate new knowledge of how permethrin-treated textiles impact nymphal Ixodes scapularis ticks, the primary vectors in the eastern United States of the causative agents of Lyme disease, human anaplasmosis, and human babesiosis. We developed a series of bioassays designed to: (i) clarify whether permethrin-treated textiles impact ticks through non-contact spatial repellency or contact irritancy; (ii) evaluate the ability of ticks to remain in contact with vertically oriented permethrin-treated textiles, mimicking contact with treated clothing on arms or legs; and (iii) determine the impact of timed exposure to permethrin-treated textiles on the ability of ticks to move and orient toward a human finger stimulus, thus demonstrating normal behavior. Our results indicate that permethrin-treated textiles provide minimal non-contact spatial repellency but strong contact irritancy against ticks, manifesting as a "hot-foot" effect and resulting in ticks actively dislodging from contact with vertically oriented treated textile. Preliminary data suggest that the contact irritancy hot-foot response may be weaker for field-collected nymphs as compared with laboratory-reared nymphs placed upon permethrin-treated textile. We also demonstrate that contact with permethrin-treated textiles negatively impacts the vigor and behavior of nymphal ticks for >24h, with outcomes ranging from complete lack of movement to impaired movement and unwillingness of ticks displaying normal movement to ascend onto a human finger. The protective effect of summer-weight permethrin-treated clothing against tick bites merits further study. Published by Elsevier GmbH.

  3. Single-tube real-time PCR assay for differentiation of Ixodes affinis and Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    Wright, Chelsea L; Hynes, Wayne L; White, Breanna T; Marshall, Mindy N; Gaff, Holly D; Gauthier, David T

    2014-02-01

    Ixodes affinis Neumann (1899) and Ixodes scapularis Say (1821) are tick vectors of the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto. Ixodes affinis and I. scapularis are morphologically very similar, and as they are sympatric in the mid- and south-Atlantic U.S. coastal states, their accurate identification is crucial to studies of disease and vector ecology in this area. This work describes a rapid, single-tube SYBR(®) Green-based real-time PCR assay for differentiation of I. affinis and I. scapularis at all life stages. The assay employs 2 pairs of species-specific primers directed against the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region of the nuclear rRNA operon. Amplification products for these primer pairs differ in size and may be differentiated with a melt curve analysis. This tool is intended as a supplement to morphological methods for accurate identification of these ticks.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-26

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

  6. 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.

  7. Geostatistics and remote sensing as predictive tools of tick distribution: a cokriging system to estimate Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) habitat suitability in the United States and Canada from advanced very high resolution radiometer satellite imagery.

    PubMed

    Estrada-Peña, A

    1998-11-01

    Geostatistics (cokriging) was used to model the cross-correlated information between satellite-derived vegetation and climate variables and the distribution of the tick Ixodes scapularis (Say) in the Nearctic. Output was used to map the habitat suitability for I. scapularis on a continental scale. A data base of the localities where I. scapularis was collected in the United States and Canada was developed from a total of 346 published and geocoded records. This data base was cross-correlated with satellite pictures from the advanced very high resolution radiometer sensor obtained from 1984 to 1994 on the Nearctic at 10-d intervals, with a resolution of 8 km per pixel. Eight climate and vegetation variables were tabulated from this imagery. A cokriging system was generated to exploit satellite-derived data and to estimate the distribution of I. scapularis. Results obtained using 2 vegetation (standard NDVI) and 4 temperature variables closely agreed with actual records of the tick, with a sensitivity of 0.97 and a specificity of 0.89, with 6 and 4% of false-positive and false-negative sites, respectively. Such statistical analysis can be used to guide field work toward the correct interpretation of the distribution limits of I. scapularis and can also be used to make predictions about the impact of global change on tick range.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti, and Borrelia burgdorferi in Ixodes scapularis, Southern Coastal Maine

    PubMed Central

    Caporale, Diane A.; Goldberg, John; Lacombe, Eleanor; Lubelczyk, Charles; Rand, Peter W.; Smith, Robert P.

    2004-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis (deer ticks) from Maine were tested for multiple infections by polymerase chain reaction and immunofluorescence. In 1995, 29.5%, 9.5%, and 1.9% of deer ticks were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti, respectively. In 1996 and 1997, the number of A. phagocytophilum-infected ticks markedly declined. In 1995 through 1996, 4 (1.3%) of 301 were co-infected. PMID:15200875

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Evaluation of the SELECT Tick Control System (TCS), a Host-Targeted Bait Box, to Reduce Exposure to Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in a Lyme Disease Endemic Area of New Jersey.

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-15

    We describe a 2-yr trial to evaluate the ability of SELECT Tick Control System (TCS) host-targeted bait boxes to reduce numbers of host-seeking Ixodes scapularis nymphs in a residential neighborhood. After four successive 9-wk deployments, nymphal and larval I. scapularis infestation prevalence and intensity were significantly reduced on target small mammals. In addition, these deployments resulted in 87.9% and 97.3% control of host-seeking nymphs in treatment sites at 1 yr and 2 yr postintervention, respectively. Installation of a protective metal cover around the SELECT TCS bait boxes eliminated nontarget wildlife damage to bait boxes that resulted in failure of previous bait box types. The results are discussed in the context of the residential environment and future research needs.

  15. OspA immunization decreases transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes from infected Peromyscus leucopus mice to larval Ixodes scapularis ticks.

    PubMed

    Tsao, J; Barbour, A G; Luke, C J; Fikrig, E; Fish, D

    2001-01-01

    Recombinant outer surface protein A (OspA) vaccination of wild animal reservoirs has potential application for reducing Borrelia burgdorferi transmission in nature and subsequent risk of human infection. As a major reservoir host, the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) is a candidate for a vaccination program designed to reduce infection prevalence in vector ticks. In this study we characterized the effect of various levels of immunization with recombinant OspA-glutathione transferase fusion protein on transmission dynamics from infected P. leucopus to larval ticks. Control mice were vaccinated with glutathione transferase alone. All mice were experimentally infected with B. burgdorferi before vaccination. The immune responses of the immunized mice were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for antibodies to OspA. Transmission of B. burgdorferi from infected mice was determined by xenodiagnosis with uninfected larval ticks. Spirochetes in ticks were counted by direct immunofluorescence assay. The concentration of antibody to OspA increased with each OspA vaccination but most markedly after the first and second vaccinations. In comparison with control mice, there was reduced transmission by OspA-vaccinated mice to uninfected ticks. One, two, or three doses of OspA reduced infection prevalence in xenodiagnostic ticks by 48%, 92%, or 99% and the numbers of spirochetes per tick by 84%, 98%, or 99%, respectively. This study suggests that vaccination of P. leucopus with OspA could reduce transmission to the tick vector in nature despite prior infection of the reservoir host.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Evaluation of Doxycycline-Laden Oral Bait and Topical Fipronil Delivered in a Single Bait Box to Control Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) and Reduce Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum Infection in Small Mammal Reservoirs and Host-Seeking Ticks.

    PubMed

    Dolan, Marc C; Schulze, Terry L; Jordan, Robert A; Schulze, Christopher J; Ullmann, Amy J; Hojgaard, Andrias; Williams, Martin A; Piesman, Joseph

    2017-03-01

    A field trial was conducted on residential properties in a Lyme disease endemic area of New Jersey to determine the efficacy of Maxforce Tick Management System (TMS) bait boxes modified with doxycycline hyclate-laden bait to reduce the acarological risk of Lyme disease and the utility of galvanized steel shrouds to protect the bait boxes from squirrel depredation and ability to routinely service these devices. The strategy began with a 9-wk deployment against larvae followed by a 17-wk deployment against nymphs and larvae the second year. Passive application of fipronil reduced nymphal and larval tick burdens on small mammals by 76 and 77%, respectively, and nymphal tick abundance by 81% on treated properties. In addition, the percentage of infected small mammals recovered from intervention areas following treatment was reduced by 96% for Borrelia burgdorferi and 93% for Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Infection prevalence in host-seeking nymphal ticks for both B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum were reduced by 93 and 61%, respectively. Results indicate that Maxforce TMS bait boxes fitted with doxycycline-impregnated bait is an effective means of reducing ticks and infection prevalence for B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum in both rodent reservoirs and questing Ixodes scapularis Say ticks. The protective shroud allows the device to be routinely serviced and protect against squirrel depredation. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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.

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

  12. First Evidence of an Established Population of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in South Dakota.

    PubMed

    Maestas, Lauren P; Adams, Seryna L; Britten, Hugh B

    2016-07-01

    Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae) is the most important vector of human disease in the United States. Recent efforts by public health officials to determine its presence on a county-by-county basis have been undertaken to assist in Lyme disease risk assessment. Recent modeling efforts show that South Dakota can potentially support populations of I. scapularis based on favorable climatic conditions and presence of suitable hosts to support tick populations within the state. We provide the first documentation of an established population of I. scapularis in Clay County, SD, providing only the third record of the presence of this tick species within the state. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  13. Modeling the Geographic Distribution of Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the Contiguous United States.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Micah B; Jarnevich, Catherine S; Monaghan, Andrew J; Eisen, Rebecca J

    2016-06-09

    In addition to serving as vectors of several other human pathogens, the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, and western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls, are the primary vectors of the spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) that causes Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Over the past two decades, the geographic range of I. pacificus has changed modestly while, in contrast, the I. scapularis range has expanded substantially, which likely contributes to the concurrent expansion in the distribution of human Lyme disease cases in the Northeastern, North-Central and Mid-Atlantic states. Identifying counties that contain suitable habitat for these ticks that have not yet reported established vector populations can aid in targeting limited vector surveillance resources to areas where tick invasion and potential human risk are likely to occur. We used county-level vector distribution information and ensemble modeling to map the potential distribution of I. scapularis and I. pacificus in the contiguous United States as a function of climate, elevation, and forest cover. Results show that I. pacificus is currently present within much of the range classified by our model as suitable for establishment. In contrast, environmental conditions are suitable for I. scapularis to continue expanding its range into northwestern Minnesota, central and northern Michigan, within the Ohio River Valley, and inland from the southeastern and Gulf coasts. Overall, our ensemble models show suitable habitat for I. scapularis in 441 eastern counties and for I. pacificus in 11 western counties where surveillance records have not yet supported classification of the counties as established. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the United States.

  14. Modeling the geographic distribution of Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the contiguous United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hahn, Micah; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Monaghan, Andrew J.; Eisen, Rebecca J.

    2016-01-01

    In addition to serving as vectors of several other human pathogens, the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, and western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls, are the primary vectors of the spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi ) that causes Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Over the past two decades, the geographic range of I. pacificus has changed modestly while, in contrast, the I. scapularis range has expanded substantially, which likely contributes to the concurrent expansion in the distribution of human Lyme disease cases in the Northeastern, North-Central and Mid-Atlantic states. Identifying counties that contain suitable habitat for these ticks that have not yet reported established vector populations can aid in targeting limited vector surveillance resources to areas where tick invasion and potential human risk are likely to occur. We used county-level vector distribution information and ensemble modeling to map the potential distribution of I. scapularis and I. pacificus in the contiguous United States as a function of climate, elevation, and forest cover. Results show that I. pacificus is currently present within much of the range classified by our model as suitable for establishment. In contrast, environmental conditions are suitable for I. scapularis to continue expanding its range into northwestern Minnesota, central and northern Michigan, within the Ohio River Valley, and inland from the southeastern and Gulf coasts. Overall, our ensemble models show suitable habitat for I. scapularis in 441 eastern counties and for I. pacificus in 11 western counties where surveillance records have not yet supported classification of the counties as established.

  15. Efficacy of a novel topical combination of fipronil, amitraz and (S)-methoprene for treatment and control of induced infestations with four North American tick species (Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes scapularis, Amblyomma americanum and Amblyomma maculatum) on dogs.

    PubMed

    Baker, Christine F; Hunter, James S; McCall, John W; Young, David R; Hair, Jakie A; Everett, William R; Yoon, Stephen S; Irwin, Jennifer P; Young, Stephanie L; Cramer, Luiz G; Pollmeier, Matthias G; Prullage, Joseph B

    2011-07-15

    Five laboratory studies were conducted to confirm that a single topical dose of the novel combination of fipronil, amitraz and (S)-methoprene, CERTIFECT™ (Merial Limited, GA, USA), is efficacious for the rapid control of pre-existing infestations and the prevention of new infestations with Ixodes scapularis, Dermacentor variabilis, Amblyomma americanum and Amblyomma maculatum for at least 28 days on dogs. In each study, 8 male and 8 female purpose-bred, laboratory beagles were randomly assigned to one of two study groups (treated and untreated). Starting on the day before treatment, each dog was infested weekly with about 30 or 50 ticks, depending on the study. Treatment with the novel combination rapidly eliminated pre-existing infestations and controlled weekly re-infestations for at least 28 days. Pre-existing infestations with all four tick species were rapidly and effectively reduced, with post-treatment therapeutic efficacies ranging from 91.7 to 99.5% within 18-48 h post treatment. Amblyomma maculatum numbers were significantly (p<0.05) reduced on treated dogs from the first tick counts as early as 6h post-treatment. All subsequent infestations with each of the 4 tick species were quickly disrupted, with prophylactic efficacies greater than 90% within 18-48 h post-infestation for at least a full month. Because the combination of fipronil, amitraz and (S)-methoprene quickly starts disrupting and killing ixodid ticks within hours of treatment, with similar high levels of efficacy maintained for at least 28 days in these and other studies, the authors conclude that a single topical treatment with CERTIFECT may prevent the transmission of most infectious agents carried by ixodid ticks for at least one month. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. Effectiveness of Metarhizium anisopliae (Deuteromycetes) against Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) engorging on Peromnyscus leucopus.

    PubMed

    Hornbostel, V L; Ostfeld, Richard S; Benjamin, Michael A

    2005-06-01

    With the incidence of Lyme disease increasing throughout the United States, reducing risk of exposure to the disease is of the utmost concern. In the northeastern U.S., the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, is the primary vector and the white-footed mouse, (Peromyscus leucopus), the primary reservoir for Borrelia burgdorteri, the bacterium causing Lyme disease. Targeting I. scapularis engorging on white-footed mice with an effective biological control agent, such as the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, could be an effective and relatively safe control technique. In 2002-2003, we performed laboratory and field experiments to determine whether M anisopliae-treated nesting material could effectively control larval I. scapularis ticks engorging on white-footed mice, and therefore reduce the number of infected nymphal I. scapularis questing the following summer. Our laboratory experiment demonstrated a strong negative effect of M. anisopliae-treated nesting material on survival of I. scapularis larvae feeding on P. leucopus, with 75% versus 35% larval mortality in treatment versus control nests. Our field trials caused only modest, localized reductions in nymphal abundance and had no effect on the proportion of nymphal I. scapularis infected with B. burgdorferi. Field results probably could be improved by increasing the density of nestboxes to allow fungal delivery to a higher proportion of the mouse population and by deploying nestboxes in an area with lower mammalian diversity, such as a suburban landscape.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-17

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Landscape patterns of abundance of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) on Shelter Island, New York.

    PubMed

    Duffy, D C; Clark, D D; Campbell, S R; Gurney, S; Perello, R; Simon, N

    1994-11-01

    Nymphal Ixodes scapularis Say, the vector of Lyme borreliosis, was most common in forested areas across Shelter Island, Suffolk County, New York, and least common in xeric habitats such as beach and grassland. At the scale of individual house yards, nymphs were most common at wooded edges of property and least common on lawns. The abundance of ticks at yard edges was positively correlated with numbers on lawns and in landscaping, suggesting that tick abundance in woods affects abundances in adjacent yards. Because 57% of all yard area is adjacent to woodlands on Shelter Island, public health efforts to reduce tick populations in wooded areas should supplement efforts by individual yard owners to decrease risk. Methods of tick control for woodlands should also be evaluated for their effect on tick populations in adjacent yard habitats.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Borrelia burgdorferi not detected in widespread Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) collected from white-tailed deer in Tennessee.

    PubMed

    Rosen, M E; Hamer, S A; Gerhardt, R R; Jones, C J; Muller, L I; Scott, M C; Hickling, G J

    2012-11-01

    Lyme disease (LD), caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted in the eastern United States by blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say, is classified as nonendemic in Tennessee and surrounding states in the Southeast. Low incidence of LD in these states has been attributed, in part, to vector ticks being scarce or absent; however, tick survey data for many counties are incomplete or out of date. To improve our knowledge of the distribution, abundance, and Borrelia spp. prevalence of I. scapularis, we collected ticks from 1,018 hunter-harvested white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmerman)) from 71 of 95 Tennessee counties in fall 2007 and 2008. In total, 160 deer (15.7%) from 35 counties were infested with adult I. scapularis; 30 of these counties were new distributional records for this tick. The mean number of I. scapularis collected per infested deer was 5.4 +/- 0.6 SE. Of the 883 I. scapularis we removed from deer, none were positive for B. burgdorferi and one tested positive for B. miyamotoi. Deer are not reservoir hosts for B. burgdorferi; nevertheless, past surveys in northern LD-endemic states have readily detected B. burgdoreferi in ticks collected from deer. We conclude that I. scapularis is far more widespread in Tennessee than previously reported. The absence of detectable B. burgdorferi infection among these ticks suggests that the LD risk posed by I. scapularis in the surveyed areas of Tennessee is much lower than in LD-endemic areas of the Northeast and upper Midwest.

  14. Evaluation of an imidacloprid (8.8% w/w)--permethrin (44.0% w/w) topical spot-on and a fipronil (9.8% w/w)--(S)-methoprene (8.8% w/w) topical spot-on to repel, prevent attachment, and kill adult Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum ticks on dogs.

    PubMed

    Dryden, M W; Payne, P A; Smith, V; Hostetler, J

    2006-01-01

    This study evaluated the effectiveness of two topical spot-on formulations -- imidacloprid(8.8% w/w)-permethrin (44.0% w/w) and fipronil (9.8% w/w)-(S)-methoprene (8.8% w/w)--to repel, prevent the attachment of, and kill adult Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum on dogs. Twelve purpose-bred beagles were distributed into three groups of four dogs each; one group served as untreated controls, and each of the other two groups received one of the test products. Dogs were exposed to 25 adult ticks of each species for 10 minutes on posttreatment days 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28. Unattached or repelled ticks were collected and evaluated for viability, and on-dog tick counts were conducted at 3, 24, and 48 hours after tick exposure. The imidacloprid-permethrin formulation provided significant repellency against I. scapularis for up to 3 weeks after treatment, and both formulations provided good overall control of I. scapularis and A. americanum during the study period.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Influences of weather on Ixodes scapularis nymphal densities at long-term study sites in Connecticut.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Laura E; Scott, Jennifer A; Stafford, Kirby C

    2015-04-01

    Tick species worldwide are implicated in transmission of pathogens that cause mild to severe diseases in humans and livestock. Although tick population densities are often highly correlated with tick-borne disease rates, we currently know little about which factors underlie annual changes in those tick population densities. We used a 25-year dataset of Ixodes scapularis drag-sampling surveys at two locations in CT, USA, to investigate the relationship between average nymphal density from mid-May to mid-August and monthly, lagged regional weather variables. The dataset was randomly split into two data subsets, one for hypothesis development and one for hypothesis testing. Nymphal density showed the strongest association with the Standardized Precipitation Index for January of the same year that density data were collected in the analysis based on the hypothesis development data subset. This association was positive; nymphal tick density increased with regional winter precipitation. Nymphal density was positively associated with this same weather variable in the hypothesis testing data subset. Weather conditions during the coldest months of the year may serve as a bottleneck to tick populations, thereby functioning as an important correlate of not only annual blacklegged tick nymphal densities the following summer, but also entomological risk associated with tick-borne pathogens transmitted by this species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. The neuropeptidomics of Ixodes scapularis synganglion

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ginsberg, H S; Zhioua, E

    1999-05-01

    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 versus 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 with 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 be potentially biased by differences in host densities among sites.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Cytogenetic characteristics of cell lines from Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Chen, C; Munderloh, U G; Kurtti, T J

    1994-05-01

    Three new cell lines, IDE8 and IDE12 from embryos of northern specimens of Ixodes scapularis Say and ISE18 from southern specimens of I. scapularis, were compared cytogenetically via conventional karyotyping, C- and G-banding, and nucleolar organizing regions (NORs). The karyotypes were very similar. The standard karyotype in the three cell lines consisted of 28 chromosomes with 26 autosomes and XX (female) or XY (male) sex chromosomes. The X chromosome was the largest, and the Y chromosome the smallest chromosome of the karyotype. Constitutive heterochromatin (C-bands) was almost entirely restricted to the centromeric region. An additional interstitial C-band in chromosome 7 was an important notable characteristic of the three cell lines. In sets showing a similar degree of condensation, individual chromosomes of the three lines had identical G-banding patterns. In addition, there was no difference among the cells in number and position of NORs. There were approximately 100 G-bands per haploid set in chromosomes from cells in metaphase, with three to 18 G-bands in each chromosome arm. After staining with silver nitrate, interstitial NORs were identified in chromosomes 7, 10, and the X chromosome. Male cells had five and female cells had six NORs. These findings support the notion that I. scapularis and I. dammini Spielman et al. are conspecific.

  20. Motor rotation is essential for the formation of the periplasmic flagellar ribbon, cellular morphology, and Borrelia burgdorferi persistence within Ixodes scapularis tick and murine hosts.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi must migrate within and between its arthropod and mammalian hosts in order to complete its natural enzootic cycle. During tick feeding, the spirochete transmits from the tick to the host dermis, eventually colonizing and persisting within multiple, distant tissues. This dissemination modality suggests that flagellar motor rotation and, by extension, motility are crucial for infection. We recently reported that a nonmotile flaB mutant that lacks periplasmic flagella is rod shaped and unable to infect mice by needle or tick bite. However, those studies could not differentiate whether motor rotation or merely the possession of the periplasmic flagella was crucial for cellular morphology and host persistence. Here, we constructed and characterized a motB mutant that is nonmotile but retains its periplasmic flagella. Even though ΔmotB bacteria assembled flagella, part of the mutant cell is rod shaped. Cryoelectron tomography revealed that the flagellar ribbons are distorted in the mutant cells, indicating that motor rotation is essential for spirochetal flat-wave morphology. The ΔmotB cells are unable to infect mice, survive in the vector, or migrate out of the tick. Coinfection studies determined that the presence of these nonmotile ΔmotB cells has no effect on the clearance of wild-type spirochetes during murine infection and vice versa. Together, our data demonstrate that while flagellar motor rotation is necessary for spirochetal morphology and motility, the periplasmic flagella display no additional properties related to immune clearance and persistence within relevant hosts. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. Expansion of the Lyme Disease Vector Ixodes scapularis in Canada inferred from CMIP5 Climate Projections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McPherson, Michelle Yvonne; García-García, Almudena; José Cuesta-Valero, Francisco; Beltrami, Hugo; Hansen-Ketchum, Patti; MacDougall, Donna; Hume Ogden, Nicholas

    2017-04-01

    A number of studies have assessed possible climate change impacts on the Lyme disease vector, Ixodes scapularis. However, most have used surface air temperature from only one climate model simulation and/or one emission scenario, representing only one possible climate future. We quantified effects of different Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) and climate model outputs on the projected future changes in the basic reproduction number (R0) of I. scapularis to explore uncertainties in future R0 estimates. We used surface air temperature generated by a complete set of General Circulation Models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) to hindcast historical and forecast future effects of climate change on the R0 of I. scapularis. As in previous studies, R0 of I. scapularis increased with a warming climate under future projected climate. Increases in the multi-model mean R0 values showed significant changes over time under all RCP scenarios, however; only the estimated R0 mean values between RCP6.0 and RCP8.5 showed statistically significant differences. Our results highlight the potential for climate change to have an effect on future Lyme disease risk in Canada even if the Paris Agreement's goal to keep global warming below 2°C is achieved, although mitigation reducing emissions from RCP8.5 levels to those of RCP6.0 or less would be expected to slow tick invasion after the 2030s. On-going planning is needed to inform and guide adaptation in light of the projected range of possible futures.

  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. 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.

  6. Comparative speed of kill of sarolaner (Simparica) and afoxolaner (NexGard against induced infestations of Ixodes scapularis on dogs.

    PubMed

    Six, Robert H; Young, David R; Myers, Melanie R; Mahabir, Sean P

    2016-02-15

    The black-legged (or deer) tick, Ixodes scapularis, commonly infests dogs and cats in North America and is the main vector for the pathogen that causes Lyme disease in dogs and humans. The speed of kill of a parasiticide is critical to minimize the direct and deleterious effects of tick infestation and especially to reduce the risk of tick-borne pathogen transmission. In this study, speed of kill of a novel orally administered isoxazoline parasiticide, sarolaner chewable tablets (Simparica), against I. scapularis on dogs was evaluated and compared with afoxolaner (NexGard) for five weeks after a single oral dose. Twenty four dogs were randomly allocated to treatment with either placebo, sarolaner (2 to 4 mg/kg), or afoxolaner (2.5 to 6.8 mg/kg) based on pretreatment tick counts. Dogs were examined and live ticks counted at 8, 12, and 24 h after treatment and subsequent re-infestations on Days 7, 14, 21, 28 and 35. Efficacy was determined at each time point relative to counts for placebo dogs. A single oral dose of sarolaner provided >99% efficacy within 24 h of treatment and >95% against subsequent weekly re-infestations of ticks consistently to Day 35. For the earlier time points, sarolaner significantly reduced tick counts versus placebo from Day 0 to Day 21 at 8 and 12 h, and on Day 35 at 12 h (P ≤ 0.0174), while afoxolaner was only significantly lower at 8 h on Days 0 and 14 (P ≤ 0.0309), and at 12 h on Day 0 only (P < 0.0001). Significantly more live ticks were recovered from afoxolaner-treated dogs than from sarolaner-treated dogs at 24 h after infestation from Day 14 to Day 35 (P ≤ 0.0278). At 24 h, efficacy (based on geometric mean counts) of afoxolaner declined to less than 80% from Day 21 through the end of the study, while efficacy for sarolaner was >95% for 35 days. There were no adverse reactions to treatments. In this controlled laboratory evaluation, sarolaner had a faster speed of kill against I. scapularis than afoxolaner

  7. 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

  8. Passive surveillance for I. scapularis ticks: enhanced analysis for early detection of emerging Lyme disease risk.

    PubMed

    Koffi, Jules K; Leighton, Patrick A; Pelcat, Yann; Trudel, Louise; Lindsay, L Robbin; Milord, François; Ogden, Nicholas H

    2012-03-01

    Lyme disease (LD) is emerging in Canada because of the northward expansion of the geographic range of the tick vector Ixodes scapularis (Say). Early detection of emerging areas of LD risk is critical to public health responses, but the methods to do so on a local scale are lacking. Passive tick surveillance has operated in Canada since 1990 but this method lacks specificity for identifying areas where tick populations are established because of dispersion of ticks from established LD risk areas by migratory birds. Using data from 70 field sites in Quebec visited previously, we developed a logistic regression model for estimating the risk of I. scapularis population establishment based on the number of ticks submitted in passive surveillance and a model-derived environmental suitability index. Sensitivity-specificity plots were used to select an optimal threshold value of the linear predictor from the model as the signal for tick population establishment. This value was used to produce an "Alert Map" identifying areas where the passive surveillance data suggested ticks were establishing in Quebec. Alert Map predictions were validated by field surveillance at 76 sites: the prevalence of established I. scapularis populations was significantly greater in areas predicted as high-risk by the Alert map (29 out of 48) than in areas predicted as moderate-risk (4 out of 30) (P < 0.001). This study suggests that Alert Maps created using this approach can provide a usefully rapid and accurate tool for early identification of emerging areas of LD risk at a geographic scale appropriate for local disease control and prevention activities.

  9. Comparison of Vector Efficiency of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) From the Northeast and Upper Midwest of the United States for the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia mayonii.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Lars; Breuner, Nicole E; Hojgaard, Andrias; Hoxmeier, J Charles; Pilgard, Mark A; Replogle, Adam J; Biggerstaff, Brad J; Dolan, Marc C

    2017-01-01

    Borrelia mayonii, a recently recognized species within the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, has been detected in host-seeking Ixodes scapularis Say ticks and found to be associated with Lyme disease in the Upper Midwest. This spirochete has, to date, not been documented from the Northeast, but we previously demonstrated that I. scapularis ticks originating from Connecticut are capable of serving as a vector of B. mayonii In this follow-up study, we compared the vector efficiency for B. mayonii (strain MN14-1420) of I. scapularis ticks originating from Minnesota in the Upper Midwest and Connecticut in the Northeast. CD-1 outbred white mice previously infected with B. mayonii via tick bite were exposed to simultaneous feeding by Minnesota and Connecticut larvae contained within separate feeding capsules. We found no difference in the ability of Minnesota and Connecticut larvae to acquire B. mayonii from infected mice and pass spirochetes to the nymphal stage (overall nymphal infection rates of 11.6 and 13.3%, respectively). Moreover, the efficiency of transmission of B. mayonii by single infected nymphs was similar for the Minnesota and Connecticut ticks (33 and 44%, respectively). We conclude that the examined I. scapularis ticks from the Upper Midwest and Northeast did not differ in their efficiency as vectors for B. mayonii. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016 This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  10. Comparison of Vector Efficiency of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) From the Northeast and Upper Midwest of the United States for the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia mayonii.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Lars; Breuner, Nicole E; Hojgaard, Andrias; Hoxmeier, J Charles; Pilgard, Mark A; Replogle, Adam J; Biggerstaff, Brad J; Dolan, Marc C

    2016-09-28

    Borrelia mayonii, a recently recognized species within the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, has been detected in host-seeking Ixodes scapularis Say ticks and found to be associated with Lyme disease in the Upper Midwest. This spirochete has, to date, not been documented from the Northeast, but we previously demonstrated that I. scapularis ticks originating from Connecticut are capable of serving as a vector of B. mayonii In this follow-up study, we compared the vector efficiency for B. mayonii (strain MN14-1420) of I. scapularis ticks originating from Minnesota in the Upper Midwest and Connecticut in the Northeast. CD-1 outbred white mice previously infected with B. mayonii via tick bite were exposed to simultaneous feeding by Minnesota and Connecticut larvae contained within separate feeding capsules. We found no difference in the ability of Minnesota and Connecticut larvae to acquire B. mayonii from infected mice and pass spirochetes to the nymphal stage (overall nymphal infection rates of 11.6 and 13.3%, respectively). Moreover, the efficiency of transmission of B. mayonii by single infected nymphs was similar for the Minnesota and Connecticut ticks (33 and 44%, respectively). We conclude that the examined I. scapularis ticks from the Upper Midwest and Northeast did not differ in their efficiency as vectors for B. mayonii. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016 This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  11. Relative utilization of reptiles and rodents as hosts by immature Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in the coastal plain of North Carolina, USA.

    PubMed

    Apperson, C S; Levine, J F; Evans, T L; Braswell, A; Heller, J

    1993-10-01

    The interaction of immature black-legged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, with reptiles and rodents was investigated in various woodland habitats in the coastal plain of North Carolina. Reptiles were sampled from April 1 to September 30, 1991. No ticks were found on 95 specimens representing 16 species of snakes. Ticks were found on 54 (36.7%) of 147 lizards. I. scapularis was the only tick recovered from lizards. Some lizards were collected in drift fence traps each month of the study except August. Capture rates averaged one lizard per 16 trap-days. Larvae and nymphs of I. scapularis were removed from the southeastern five-lined skink (Eumeces inexpectatus), the ground skink (Scincella lateralis), the broad-headed skink (E. laticeps) and the eastern glass lizard (Ophisaurus ventralis), but ticks were not found on three other lizard species. Tick infestation rates and loads for parasitized species are presented. Ticks were almost exclusively attached at the base or in the axils of forelimbs of skinks and in the lateral grooves of eastern glass lizards. Rodents were live-trapped at sites where lizards were sampled and at other sites from 1 July, 1990 to 30 January, 1992. Capture rates averaged one rodent per 47 trap-nights. Ticks were found on 23 (17.8%) of 129 animals inspected. Five species of rodents were examined but only four species were found to be tick-infested. In contrast to lizards, few I. scapularis were collected. Rodents, principally the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) and cotton mouse (P. gossypinus) were most frequently infested with immature American dog ticks, Dermacentor variabilis, during winter and early spring months. Burdens of D. variabilis on these rodents averaged 0.3 ticks per rodent. Effects of the diversion of ticks from feeding on Peromyscus mice on the transmission of the Lyme disease spirochete are discussed.

  12. 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.

  13. Duration of Borrelia mayonii infectivity in an experimental mouse model for feeding Ixodes scapularis larvae.

    PubMed

    Dolan, Marc C; Breuner, Nicole E; Hojgaard, Andrias; Hoxmeier, J Charles; Pilgard, Mark A; Replogle, Adam J; Eisen, Lars

    2017-01-01

    A novel species within the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, Borrelia mayonii, was recently described and found to be associated with Lyme borreliosis in the Upper Midwest of the United States. The blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, is naturally infected with B. mayonii in the Upper Midwest and has been experimentally demonstrated to serve as a vector for this spirochete. Natural vertebrate reservoirs for B. mayonii remain unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that an experimental spirochete host, the CD-1 strain outbred white mouse, can maintain active infection with B. mayonii for up to 1year: infected mice consistently yielded ear biopsies containing motile spirochetes from 29 to 375days after they were first infected via tick bite. Infection rates in resultant nymphal ticks varied greatly both over time for larvae fed on the same individual mouse at different time points after infection (2-42%) and for larvae fed on different mice at a given time point up to 8 months after infection (0-48%). Infection rates were lower in nymphs fed as larvae on mice 10-12 months after infection (2-3% for 5 mice and 9.8% for 1 mouse). In addition to ear biopsies, B. mayonii was detected from bladder, heart, and spinal cord of infected mice when they were sacrificed 163-375days after initial infection via tick bite. Examination of blood from mice determined to be infected with B. mayonii by ear biopsy did not produce evidence of B. mayonii DNA in blood taken 8-375days after the mice were first infected via tick bite. Published by Elsevier GmbH.

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

    PubMed

    Bertrand, M R; Wilson, M L

    1997-03-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Transmission of the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia mayonii in Relation to Duration of Attachment by Nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Dolan, Marc C; Breuner, Nicole E; Hojgaard, Andrias; Boegler, Karen A; Hoxmeier, J Charles; Replogle, Adam J; Eisen, Lars

    2017-09-01

    The recently recognized Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia mayonii, has been detected in host-seeking Ixodes scapularis Say ticks and is associated with human disease in the Upper Midwest. Although experimentally shown to be vector competent, studies have been lacking to determine the duration of time from attachment of a single B. mayonii-infected I. scapularis nymph to transmission of spirochetes to a host. If B. mayonii spirochetes were found to be transmitted within the first 24 h after tick attachment, in contrast to Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes (>24 h), then current recommendations for tick checks and prompt tick removal as a way to prevent transmission of Lyme disease spirochetes would need to be amended. We therefore conducted a study to determine the probability of transmission of B. mayonii spirochetes from single infected nymphal I. scapularis ticks to susceptible experimental mouse hosts at three time points postattachment (24, 48, and 72 h) and for a complete feed (>72-96 h). No evidence of infection with or exposure to B. mayonii occurred in mice that were fed upon by a single infected nymph for 24 or 48 h. The probability of transmission by a single infected nymphal tick was 31% after 72 h of attachment and 57% for a complete feed. In addition, due to unintended simultaneous feeding upon some mice by two B. mayonii-infected nymphs, we recorded a single occasion in which feeding for 48 h by two infected nymphs resulted in transmission and viable infection in the mouse. We conclude that the duration of attachment of a single infected nymphal I. scapularis tick required for transmission of B. mayonii appears to be similar to that for B. burgdorferi: transmission is minimal for the first 24 h of attachment, rare up to 48 h, but then increases distinctly by 72 h postattachment. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-06-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Evolution, expansion and expression of the Kunitz/BPTI gene family associated with long-term blood feeding in Ixodes Scapularis

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Recent studies of the tick saliva transcriptome have revealed the profound role of salivary proteins in blood feeding. Kunitz/BPTI proteins are abundant in the salivary glands of ticks and perform multiple functions in blood feeding, such as inhibiting blood coagulation, regulating host blood supply and disrupting host angiogenesis. However, Kunitz/BPTI proteins in soft and hard ticks have different functions and molecular mechanisms. How these differences emerged and whether they are associated with the evolution of long-term blood feeding in hard ticks remain unknown. Results In this study, the evolution, expansion and expression of Kunitz/BPTI family in Ixodes scapularis were investigated. Single- and multi-domain Kunitz/BPTI proteins have similar gene structures. Single-domain proteins were classified into three groups (groups I, II and III) based on their cysteine patterns. Group I represents the ancestral branch of the Kunitz/BPTI family, and members of this group function as serine protease inhibitors. The group I domain was used as a module to create multi-domain proteins in hard ticks after the split between hard and soft ticks. However, groups II and III, which evolved from group I, are only present and expanded in the genus Ixodes. These lineage-specific expanded genes exhibit significantly higher expression during long-term blood feeding in Ixodes scapularis. Interestingly, functional site analysis suggested that group II proteins lost the ability to inhibit serine proteases and evolved a new function of modulating ion channels. Finally, evolutionary analyses revealed that the expansion and diversification of the Kunitz/BPTI family in the genus Ixodes were driven by positive selection. Conclusions These results suggest that the differences in the Kunitz/BPTI family between soft and hard ticks may be linked to the evolution of long-term blood feeding in hard ticks. In Ixodes, the lineage-specific expanded genes (Group II and III) lost the

  5. Effectiveness of Garlic for the Control of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) on Residential Properties in Western Connecticut.

    PubMed

    Bharadwaj, Anuja; Hayes, Laura E; Stafford, Kirby C

    2015-07-01

    We conducted field trials to evaluate the ability of a garlic juice-based product to control or suppress nymphal activity of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, at residential properties in Connecticut in 2009, 2010, and 2011. The product was applied at a rate of 0.2 g AI/m2. Percent control of nymphal densities achieved by the spray treatment at 6, 11, and 18 d postspray for the 3 yr was 37.0, 59.0, and 47.4%, respectively. Differences between nymphal densities were greatest during the first post-spray sampling period. While garlic may require multiple applications for the suppression of tick activity, this product could provide a minimal-risk option for the short-term control of nymphal I. scapularis in the residential landscape. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Estimated effects of projected climate change on the basic reproductive number of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    Ogden, Nicholas H; Radojevic, Milka; Wu, Xiaotian; Duvvuri, Venkata R; Leighton, Patrick A; Wu, Jianhong

    2014-06-01

    The extent to which climate change may affect human health by increasing risk from vector-borne diseases has been under considerable debate. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Effects of reduced deer density on the abundance of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) and Lyme disease incidence in a northern New Jersey endemic area.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Robert A; Schulze, Terry L; Jahn, Margaret B

    2007-09-01

    We monitored the abundance of Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae) and the Lyme disease incidence rate after the incremental removal of white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann, within a suburban residential area to determine whether there was a measurable decrease in the abundance of ticks due to deer removal and whether the reduction in ticks resulted in a reduction in the incidence rate within the human population. After three seasons, the estimated deer population was reduced by 46.7%, from the 2002 postfawning estimate of 2,899 deer (45.6 deer per km2) to a 2005 estimate of 1,540 deer (24.3 deer per km2). There was no apparent effect of the deer culling program on numbers of questing I. scapularis subadults in the culling areas, and the overall numbers of host-seeking ticks in the culling areas seemed to increase in the second year of the program. The Lyme disease incidence rate generated by both passive and active surveillance systems showed no clear trend among years, and it did not seem to vary with declining deer density. Given the resources required to mount and maintain a community-based program of sufficient magnitude to effectively reduce vector tick density in ecologically open situations where there are few impediments to deer movement, it may be that deer reduction, although serving other community goals, is unlikely to be a primary means of tick control by itself. However, in concert with other tick control interventions, such programs may provide one aspect of a successful community effort to reduce the abundance of vector ticks.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  17. 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

  18. The use of harvested white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and geographic information system (GIS) methods to characterize distribution and locate spatial clusters of Borrelia burgdorferi and its vector Ixodes scapularis in Indiana.

    PubMed

    Keefe, Lisa M; Moro, Manuel H; Vinasco, Javier; Hill, Catherine; Wu, Ching C; Raizman, Eran A

    2009-12-01

    Ixodes scapularis (Say) is the vector for Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) the causative agent of Lyme disease (LD). The increased number and presence of ticks in the environment pose a significant health risk to people and many domestic animals including dogs, cats, and horses. This study characterized the distribution and expansion of I. scapularis and Bb and identified areas of increased risk of LD transmission in Indiana using geographical information systems (GIS) and spatial analysis. A cross-sectional sampling was performed for 3 consecutive years (2005-2007). A total of 3,412 harvested white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were searched for ticks at Department of Natural Resources manned deer check-in stations. Hunters were asked for verbal permission to search the deer and to indicate on a road atlas where the deer was killed. All deer points were digitized into a GIS database. Identification of clustering in space and time for these organisms was performed using geostatistical software. Multiple spatial clusters of I. scapularis-infested deer were identified in western Indiana. B. burgdorferi was isolated from tick pools in 11 counties. In addition to the I. scapularis clusters, one spatial cluster of Bb-infected ticks was identified. Our current survey results and cluster analysis indicate that the western geographic regions of Indiana should be considered by the healthcare community to be at increased risk of LD compared with the rest of Indiana.

  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. 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

  1. Acquisition of Borrelia burgdorferi infection by larval Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) associated with engorgement measures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Couret, Janelle; Dyer, M.C.; Mather, T.N.; Han, S.; Tsao, J.I.; LeBrun, R.A.; Ginsberg, Howard

    2017-01-01

    Measuring rates of acquisition of the Lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner, by the larval stage of Ixodes scapularis Say is a useful tool for xenodiagnoses of B. burgdorferi in vertebrate hosts. In the nymphal and adult stages of I. scapularis, the duration of attachment to hosts has been shown to predict both body engorgement during blood feeding and the timing of infection with B. burgdorferi. However, these relationships have not been established for the larval stage of I. scapularis. We sought to establish the relationship between body size during engorgement of larval I. scapularis placed on B. burgdorferi-infected, white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus Rafinesque) and the presence or absence of infection in larvae sampled from hosts over time. Body size, time, and their interaction were the best predictors of larval infection with B. burgdorferi. We found that infected larvae showed significantly greater engorgement than uninfected larvae as early as 24 h after placement on a host. These findings may suggest that infection with B. burgdorferi affects the larval feeding process. Alternatively, larvae that engorge more rapidly on hosts may acquire infections faster. Knowledge of these relationships can be applied to improve effective xenodiagnosis of B. burgdorferi in white-footed mice. Further, these findings shed light on vector–pathogen–host interactions during an understudied part of the Lyme disease transmission cycle.

  2. Environmental factors affecting survival of immature Ixodes scapularis and implications for geographical distribution of lyme disease: The climate/behavior hypothesis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, Howard; Albert, Marisa; Acevedo, Lixis; Dyer, Megan C.; Arsnoe, Isis M.; Tsao, Jean I.; Mather, Thomas N.; LeBrun, Roger A.

    2017-01-01

    Recent reports suggest that host-seeking nymphs in southern populations of Ixodes scapularis remain below the leaf litter surface, while northern nymphs seek hosts on leaves and twigs above the litter surface. This behavioral difference potentially results in decreased tick contact with humans in the south, and fewer cases of Lyme disease. We studied whether north-south differences in tick survival patterns might contribute to this phenomenon. Four month old larvae resulting from a cross between Wisconsin males and South Carolina females died faster under southern than under northern conditions in the lab, as has previously been reported for ticks from both northern and southern populations. However, newly-emerged larvae from Rhode Island parents did not differ consistently in mortality under northern and southern conditions, possibly because of their younger age. Survival is lower, and so the north-south survival difference might be greater in older ticks. Larval survival was positively related to larval size (as measured by scutal area), while survival was positively related to larval fat content in some, but not all, trials. The difference in larval survival under northern vs. southern conditions might simply result from faster metabolism under warmer southern conditions leading to shorter life spans. However, ticks consistently died faster under southern than under northern conditions in the laboratory when relative humidity was low (75%), but not under moderate (85%) or high (95%) RH. Therefore, mortality due to desiccation stress is greater under southern than under northern conditions. We hypothesize that mortality resulting from the greater desiccation stress under southern conditions acts as a selective pressure resulting in the evolution of host-seeking behavior in which immatures remain below the leaf litter surface in southern I. scapularis populations, so as to avoid the desiccating conditions at the surface. If this hypothesis is correct, it has

  3. Environmental Factors Affecting Survival of Immature Ixodes scapularis and Implications for Geographical Distribution of Lyme Disease: The Climate/Behavior Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Albert, Marisa; Acevedo, Lixis; Dyer, Megan C.; Arsnoe, Isis M.; Tsao, Jean I.; Mather, Thomas N.; LeBrun, Roger A.

    2017-01-01

    Recent reports suggest that host-seeking nymphs in southern populations of Ixodes scapularis remain below the leaf litter surface, while northern nymphs seek hosts on leaves and twigs above the litter surface. This behavioral difference potentially results in decreased tick contact with humans in the south, and fewer cases of Lyme disease. We studied whether north-south differences in tick survival patterns might contribute to this phenomenon. Four month old larvae resulting from a cross between Wisconsin males and South Carolina females died faster under southern than under northern conditions in the lab, as has previously been reported for ticks from both northern and southern populations. However, newly-emerged larvae from Rhode Island parents did not differ consistently in mortality under northern and southern conditions, possibly because of their younger age. Survival is lower, and so the north-south survival difference might be greater in older ticks. Larval survival was positively related to larval size (as measured by scutal area), while survival was positively related to larval fat content in some, but not all, trials. The difference in larval survival under northern vs. southern conditions might simply result from faster metabolism under warmer southern conditions leading to shorter life spans. However, ticks consistently died faster under southern than under northern conditions in the laboratory when relative humidity was low (75%), but not under moderate (85%) or high (95%) RH. Therefore, mortality due to desiccation stress is greater under southern than under northern conditions. We hypothesize that mortality resulting from the greater desiccation stress under southern conditions acts as a selective pressure resulting in the evolution of host-seeking behavior in which immatures remain below the leaf litter surface in southern I. scapularis populations, so as to avoid the desiccating conditions at the surface. If this hypothesis is correct, it has

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-09-01

    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).

  7. 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.

  8. [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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Characterizing the virome of Ixodes ricinus ticks from northern Europe.

    PubMed

    Pettersson, John H-O; Shi, Mang; Bohlin, Jon; Eldholm, Vegard; Brynildsrud, Ola B; Paulsen, Katrine Mørk; Andreassen, Åshild; Holmes, Edward C

    2017-09-07

    RNA viruses are abundant infectious agents and present in all domains of life. Arthropods, including ticks, are well known as vectors of many viruses of concern for human and animal health. Despite their obvious importance, the extent and structure of viral diversity in ticks is still poorly understood, particularly in Europe. Using a bulk RNA-sequencing approach that captures the complete transcriptome, we analysed the virome of the most common tick in Europe - Ixodes ricinus. In total, RNA sequencing was performed on six libraries consisting of 33 I. ricinus nymphs and adults sampled in Norway. Despite the small number of animals surveyed, our virus identification pipeline revealed nine diverse and novel viral species, phylogenetically positioned within four different viral groups - bunyaviruses, luteoviruses, mononegavirales and partitiviruses - and sometimes characterized by extensive genetic diversity including a potentially novel genus of bunyaviruses. This work sheds new light on the virus diversity in I. ricinus, expands our knowledge of potential host/vector-associations and tick-transmitted viruses within several viral groups, and pushes the latitudinal limit where it is likely to find tick-associated viruses. Notably, our phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of tick-specific virus clades that span multiple continents, highlighting the role of ticks as important virus reservoirs.

  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. 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.

  14. On the core bacterial flora of Ixodes persulcatus (Taiga tick).

    PubMed

    Sui, Shuo; Yang, Yu; Sun, Yi; Wang, Xumin; Wang, Guoliang; Shan, Guangle; Wang, Jiancheng; Yu, Jun

    2017-01-01

    Ixodes persulcatus is a predominant hard tick species that transmits a wide range of human and animal pathogens. Since bacterial flora of the tick dwelling in the wild always vary according to their hosts and the environment, it is highly desirable that species-associated microbiomes are fully determined by using next-generation sequencing and based on comparative metagenomics. Here, we examine such metagenomic changes of I. persulcatus starting with samples collected from the wild ticks and followed by the reared animals under pathogen-free laboratory conditions over multiple generations. Based on high-coverage genomic sequences from three experimental groups-wild, reared for a single generation or R1, and reared for eight generations or R8 -we identify the core bacterial flora of I. persulcatus, which contains 70 species that belong to 69 genera of 8 phyla; such a core is from the R8 group, which is reduced from 4625 species belonging to 1153 genera of 29 phyla in the wild group. Our study provides a novel example of tick core bacterial flora acquired based on wild-to-reared comparison, which paves a way for future research on tick metagenomics and tick-borne disease pandemics.

  15. On the core bacterial flora of Ixodes persulcatus (Taiga tick)

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yi; Wang, Xumin; Wang, Guoliang; Shan, Guangle; Wang, Jiancheng; Yu, Jun

    2017-01-01

    Ixodes persulcatus is a predominant hard tick species that transmits a wide range of human and animal pathogens. Since bacterial flora of the tick dwelling in the wild always vary according to their hosts and the environment, it is highly desirable that species-associated microbiomes are fully determined by using next-generation sequencing and based on comparative metagenomics. Here, we examine such metagenomic changes of I. persulcatus starting with samples collected from the wild ticks and followed by the reared animals under pathogen-free laboratory conditions over multiple generations. Based on high-coverage genomic sequences from three experimental groups–wild, reared for a single generation or R1, and reared for eight generations or R8 –we identify the core bacterial flora of I. persulcatus, which contains 70 species that belong to 69 genera of 8 phyla; such a core is from the R8 group, which is reduced from 4625 species belonging to 1153 genera of 29 phyla in the wild group. Our study provides a novel example of tick core bacterial flora acquired based on wild-to-reared comparison, which paves a way for future research on tick metagenomics and tick-borne disease pandemics. PMID:28692666

  16. Microtomography of the Baltic amber tick Ixodes succineus reveals affinities with the modern Asian disease vector Ixodes ovatus.

    PubMed

    Dunlop, Jason A; Apanaskevich, Dmitry A; Lehmann, Jens; Hoffmann, René; Fusseis, Florian; Ehlke, Moritz; Zachow, Stefan; Xiao, Xianghui

    2016-10-10

    Fossil ticks are extremely rare and Ixodes succineus Weidner, 1964 from Eocene (ca. 44-49 Ma) Baltic amber is one of the oldest examples of a living hard tick genus (Ixodida: Ixodidae). Previous work suggested it was most closely related to the modern and widespread European sheep tick Ixodes ricinus (Linneaus, 1758). Restudy using phase contrast synchrotron x-ray tomography yielded images of exceptional quality. These confirm the fossil's referral to Ixodes Latreille, 1795, but the characters resolved here suggest instead affinities with the Asian subgenus Partipalpiger Hoogstraal et al., 1973 and its single living (and medically significant) species Ixodes ovatus Neumann, 1899. We redescribe the amber fossil here as Ixodes (Partipalpiger) succineus. Our data suggest that Ixodes ricinus is unlikely to be directly derived from Weidner's amber species, but instead reveals that the Partipalpiger lineage was originally more widely distributed across the northern hemisphere. The closeness of Ixodes (P.) succineus to a living vector of a wide range of pathogens offers the potential to correlate its spatial and temporal position (northern Europe, nearly 50 million years ago) with the estimated origination dates of various tick-borne diseases.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Lack of Bartonella sp. in 167 Ixodes ricinus ticks collected in central Sweden.

    PubMed

    La Scola, Bernard; Holmberg, Martin; Raoult, Didier

    2004-01-01

    Sudden death in Swedish orienteers was demonstrated to be significantly associated with antibodies to Bartonella sp. To test if these antibodies could be related with tick exposure, we searched Bartonella sp. in Ixodes ricinus ticks using specific PCR amplification and culture. No Bartonella sp. was detected in 167 ticks tested.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. [Articular lesions in Ixodes tick-borne borreliosis (Lyme disease)].

    PubMed

    Anan'eva, L P; Barskova, V G; Koneva, O A; Ushakova, M A; Mach, E S; Pushkova, O V; Guseva, I A; Zakharova, M M; Radenska-Lopovok, S G; Speranskiĭ, A I; Kashnikova, L N

    2003-01-01

    Articular lesions in 157 patients infected with ixodes tick-borne borreliosis (ITB) in a central Russia's region set on, on the average, in 4 months after tick attack; they were associated with systemic signs of an early disseminated infection and set on less seldom in a late period. The most often encountered systemic signs were as follows: secondary erythema (32% of patients), neurological syndrome (13%), cardio-vascular lesions (22%), ocular lesions (13%) and hepatic lesions (8%). The articular syndrome manifested itself through arthralgia (53 patients) and arthritis (104 patients), which set on quite often in the tick-attack area. There was a peculiarity typical of articular lesions, which made it possible to distinguish them from other rheumatic disease. A dynamic follow-up revealed different clinical variations of Lyme's arthritis and peculiarities of the genetic profile, i.e. a higher prevalence of HLA A2, HLA-B15 and HLA-DR4 as well as of haplo-types HLA A2-B15 and HLAB15-DR4. The articular lesions were associated with an intensive specific humoral immune response. The instrumental examination methods, i.e. ultrasonography of joints as well as scintigraphy of bones and joints, did not reveal any qualitative differences between arthralgia and arthritis, which is indicative of a common nature different-intensity manifestations of arthropathy in thick-borne borreliosis.

  4. Molecular biology of tick Acetylcholinesterases – a minireview

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Ticks are important hematophagous arthropod ectoparasites and like mosquitoes, are vectors for a wide variety of human and animal pathogens. Ticks have significant world-wide health and economic impacts. In the U.S., major impacts include the ability of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, to tr...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Infection with Borrelia chilensis in Ixodes stilesi ticks collected from Pudu puda deer.

    PubMed

    Verdugo, Claudio; Jiménez, Omar; Hernández, Carlos; Álvarez, Pedro; Espinoza, Angelo; González-Acuña, Daniel

    2017-08-01

    Lyme borreliosis is a vector-borne zoonosis caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species complex spirochetes, which are maintained in transmission cycles among vertebrates and Ixodes ticks. Recently, a new genospecies within this complex, Borrelia chilensis, was described in Ixodes stilesi collected from the environment and from rodents in Chile. This tick also infests the native Southern pudu deer (Pudu puda). The objectives of this study were to investigate the prevalence, intensity of infestation, and aggregation of hard ticks on this deer species, and to determine the presence of borrelial pathogens in the ticks. Sixty-six deer were examined over a two-year period. A total of 179 ticks of two species, I. stilesi and Ixodes taglei, were collected. Of those, 100 were adults, 78 were nymphs, and one was a larva. Ixodes stilesi was the most prevalent tick (47%) and was highly aggregated (D=0.77) on the deer. Deer body weight was positively associated with tick burden. Borrelia spirochetes were detected in two (6.45%) of the examined I. stilesi ticks. Phylogenetic analyses of 16S and flaB gene sequences positioned these samples in the same clade with Borrelia chilensis VA1 previously described from Chile. These findings suggest that I. stilesi may play a role in the local persistence of B. chilensis. Further studies are required to fully understand the mechanisms of natural transmission of B. chilensis and the risk of infection in humans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. [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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    Hybridization of ticks of the genus Ixodes has been described for several species under laboratory conditions although no molecular genetics evidence confirming interspecific hybridization in nature is available. We have designed a real time PCR targeted on nuclear (ITS2) and mitochondrial (cox1) markers to accurately identify tick species and to detect interspecific hybrids of Ixodes persulcatus and Ixodes pavlovskyi in their sympatric populations in Western Siberia. A survey of 783 individual ticks from a suburb of Tomsk showed that 44.2% of ticks belong to I. pavlovskyi species and 55.8% to I. persulcatus, based on the mtDNA data. Results obtained with the nuclear marker were not consistent, indicating that approximately 10% of the ticks were hybrids and about 5% revealed mtDNA introgression. Both hybridization and introgression have been shown to occur bidirectionally but more efficiently in the mating pair female I. pavlovskyi×male I. persulcatus than vice versa. The existence of the first generation hybrids and backcrosses challenges the existing view about effective reproductive barriers between I. pavlovskyi and I. persulcatus. While using only mitochondrial markers can lead to errors in determining tick species, we propose to use nuclear or both markers instead. The results obtained in the present paper and published earlier suggest that hybridization between closely related tick species in their sympatric zones is common rather than exceptional. The role of hybrid populations of vectors in the evolution of transmitted pathogens is also discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. The tick Ixodes uriae (Acari: Ixodidae): Hosts, geographical distribution, and vector roles.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Leal, Sebastián; González-Acuña, Daniel

    2015-09-01

    The seabird tick Ixodes uriae White 1852, has the most extensive geographical distribution of all tick species, including Afrotropical, Australasian, Nearctic, Neotropical and Palearctic Zoogeographic Regions. Additionally, this tick species parasitizes a wide range of seabirds and constitutes a host for several viral and bacterial agents. Considering the current biological knowledge about this tick species, in this article we list localities, hosts, tick-borne microorganisms and viruses transmitted by I. uriae described in the literature and include new geographical records. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  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. Seasonal feeding activity of the tree-hole tick, Ixodes arboricola.

    PubMed

    Heylen, D J A; Van Oosten, A R; Devriendt, N; Elst, J; De Bruyn, L; Matthysen, E

    2014-07-01

    Bird-specific ticks do not infest humans and livestock, but these ticks often share their avian hosts with generalist ticks that do. Therefore, their feeding activity may have an impact on the transmission of pathogens outside bird-tick transmission cycles. Here we examined the seasonal feeding activity of the tree-hole tick (Ixodes arboricola) in relation to the activity of its hole-breeding hosts (Parus major and Cyanistes caeruleus). We analysed data on ticks derived from birds, on the abundance of engorged ticks inside nest boxes, and on bird nests that were experimentally exposed to ticks. We observed a non-random pattern of feeding associated with the tick instar and host age. The majority of adult ticks fed on nestlings, while nymphs and larvae fed on both free-flying birds and nestlings. Due to their fast development, some ticks were able to feed twice within the same breeding season. The highest infestation rates in free-flying birds were found during the pre-breeding period and during autumn and winter when birds roost inside cavities. Except during winter, feeding of I. arboricola overlapped in time with the generalist Ixodes ricinus, implying that tick-borne microorganisms that are maintained by I. arboricola and birds could be bridged by I. ricinus to other hosts.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes longiscutatus ticks from Brazilian Pampa.

    PubMed

    Dall'Agnol, Bruno; Michel, Thaís; Weck, Bárbara; Souza, Ugo Araújo; Webster, Anelise; Leal, Bruna Ferreira; Klafke, Guilherme Marcondes; Martins, João Ricardo; Ott, Ricardo; Venzal, José Manuel; Ferreira, Carlos Alexandre Sanchez; Reck, José

    2017-10-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) complex includes the agents of Lyme disease/borreliosis in North America, Europe, and Asia, such Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia bavariensis, Borrelia spielmanii, Borrelia bissettiae, and Borrelia mayonii. In 2013 B. burgdorferi s.l. was reported for the first time in the Neotropical region, from Ixodes aragaoi ticks in Uruguayan Pampa. In addition, from 2011 to 2016, 17 suspected human cases of borreliosis-like syndrome were reported in Rio Grande do Sul (RS) state, Brazil, which contains only part of country in the Pampa biome. The goal of this work is to report the results of a state surveillance program conducted in order to investigate the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. in its classic vector, Ixodes spp. ticks, from the Brazilian Pampa. For this, we searched for Ixodes spp. ticks in 307 rodents from 11 municipalities of RS state. We then tested the ticks for the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA using PCR analysis. Of 35 Ixodes spp. ticks tested, one larva and one nymph of Ixodes longiscutatus ticks tested positive for Borrelia sp. DNA. The phylogenetic analysis of the flaB fragment grouped our samples (referred as Borrelia sp. haplotype Pampa) into B. burgdorferi s.l. group in a particular branch with other South American haplotypes, and this group was close to Borrelia carolinensis, B. bissettiae, and Borrelia californiensis. This is the first evidence of B. burgdorferi s.l. circulation in ticks of the genus Ixodes in Brazil. These results highlight the need for the implementation of public health policies for the diagnosis and prevention of potential cases of human borreliosis in Brazil. Further studies are needed to fill the gaps in our knowledge of the distribution, pathogenicity, reservoirs, and vectors of these emerging South American B. burgdorferi s.l. haplotypes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  2. Detection of Babesia EU1 in Ixodes ricinus ticks in northern Italy.

    PubMed

    Cassini, Rudi; Bonoli, Cristina; Montarsi, Fabrizio; Tessarin, Cinzia; Marcer, Federica; Galuppi, Roberta

    2010-07-15

    Babesia EU1, a potentially important emerging zoonotic pathogen, already detected in ticks and wild ruminants of different European Countries, was found in three pools of Ixodes ricinus nymphs in three different sites located in a single District of north-eastern Italy. Totally 356 ticks (60 pools) were collected from the environment during a surveillance activity in the year 2006. Babesia EU1 estimated individual tick prevalence in the area is 0.85%. The finding that also in northern Italy the tick population is carrying Babesia EU1 suggests a wide geographical spreading of this zoonotic pathogen in Europe. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Molecular analysis of Ixodes granulatus, a possible vector tick for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chao, Li-Lian; Wu, Wen-Jer; Shih, Chien-Ming

    2009-08-01

    The genetic identity of Ixodes granulatus ticks was determined for the first time in Taiwan. The phylogenetic relationships were analyzed by comparing the sequences of mitochondrial 16S ribosomal DNA gene obtained from 19 strains of ticks representing seven species of Ixodes and two outgroup species (Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Haemaphysalis inermis). Four major clades could be easily distinguished by neighbour-joining analysis and were congruent by maximum-parsimony method. All these I. granulatus ticks of Taiwan were genetically affiliated to a monophyletic group with highly homogeneous sequences (92.2-99.3% similarity), and can be discriminated from other Ixodes species and other genera of ticks with a sequence divergence ranging from 11.7 to 30.8%. Moreover, intraspecific analysis revealed that two distinct lineages are evident between the same species of I. granulatus ticks collected from Taiwan and Malaysia. Our results demonstrate that all these I. granulatus ticks of Taiwan represent a unique lineage distinct from the common vector ticks (I. ricinus complex) for Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes.

  5. 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.

  6. A list of the 70 species of Australian ticks; diagnostic guides to and species accounts of Ixodes holocyclus (paralysis tick), Ixodes cornuatus (southern paralysis tick) and Rhipicephalus australis (Australian cattle tick); and consideration of the place of Australia in the evolution of ticks with comments on four controversial ideas.

    PubMed

    Barker, Stephen C; Walker, Alan R; Campelo, Dayana

    2014-10-15

    Seventy species of ticks are known from Australia: 14 soft ticks (family Argasidae) and 56 hard ticks (family Ixodidae). Sixteen of the 70 ticks in Australia may feed on humans and domestic animals (Barker and Walker 2014). The other 54 species of ticks in Australia feed only on wild mammals, reptiles and birds. At least 12 of the species of ticks in Australian also occur in Papua New Guinea. We use an image-matching system much like the image-matching systems of field guides to birds and flowers to identify Ixodes holocyclus (paralysis tick), Ixodes cornuatus (southern paralysis tick) and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) australis (Australian cattle tick). Our species accounts have reviews of the literature on I. holocyclus (paralysis tick) from the first paper on the biology of an Australian tick by Bancroft (1884), on paralysis of dogs by I. holocyclus, to papers published recently, and of I. cornuatus (southern paralysis tick) and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) australis (Australian cattle tick). We comment on four controversial questions in the evolutionary biology of ticks: (i) were labyrinthodont amphibians in Australia in the Devonian the first hosts of soft, hard and nuttalliellid ticks?; (ii) are the nuttalliellid ticks the sister-group to the hard ticks or the soft ticks?; (iii) is Nuttalliella namaqua the missing link between the soft and hard ticks?; and (iv) the evidence for a lineage of large bodied parasitiform mites (ticks plus the holothyrid mites plus the opiliocarid mites).

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

    PubMed Central

    Fritzsche, Markus

    2002-01-01

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

  8. Whole-Genome Sequencing of Borrelia garinii BgVir, Isolated from Taiga Ticks (Ixodes persulcatus)

    PubMed Central

    Kurilshikov, Alexander M.; Stronin, Oleg V.; Fomenko, Nataliya V.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23012288

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae): abundance and rate of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi in four state parks in Wisconsin.

    PubMed

    Paskewitz, S M; Vandermause, M; Belongia, E A; Kazmierczak, J J

    2001-01-01

    Four state parks located in Lyme disease endemic regions of Wisconsin were surveyed for the presence of Ixodes scapularis Say during May and June of 1998 by drag sampling along hiking trails. Nymphal abundance varied between parks, with the average number of nymphs encountered in 1 h ranging from 6.2 +/- 3.8-47.1 +/- 36.3 (mean +/- SD). Questing nymphs were tested for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi by culture in BSK medium and 7-12% was found to be infected. The average risk of encountering an infected nymph (entomologic risk index) ranged from 0.5 to 5.2 infected nymphs per hour. The highest entomological risk index was recorded from a small island park in northwestern Wisconsin during the last week in May (8.0 infected nymphs per hour). These results indicate a lower risk for human Lyme disease exposure in Wisconsin state parks in comparison with highly endemic areas of the northeastern United States.

  12. Increased mortality of black-browed albatross chicks at a colony heavily-infested with the tick Ixodes uriae.

    PubMed

    Bergström, S; Haemig, P D; Olsen, B

    1999-09-01

    At Bird Island, South Georgia, we studied the effects of the tick Ixodes uriae on survival of chicks at two colonies of the black-browed albatross Diomedea melanophrys, one where most chicks were infested with ticks, the other where most chicks were tick-free. When the two colonies were compared, it was found that the colony heavily-infested with ticks had significantly greater chick mortality than the colony lightly-infested with ticks. However, within each of the two colonies, there was no significant difference in survival between chicks with ticks and those without ticks.

  13. [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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. PCR Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato, Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus, and the Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis Agent in Ixodes persulcatus Ticks from Western Siberia, Russia

    PubMed Central

    Morozova, Olga V.; Dobrotvorsky, Andrey K.; Livanova, Natalya N.; Tkachev, Sergey E.; Bakhvalova, Valentina N.; Beklemishev, Anatoly B.; Cabello, Felipe C.

    2002-01-01

    PCR assays were used to test adult Ixodes persulcatus ticks from Western Siberia, Russia, for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), and the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) agent. Of the 150 ticks that were studied, 38% were infected with B. burgdorferi, 46% were infected with TBEV, and 8% were infected with the HGE agent. These three pathogens were distributed in the ticks independently of one another. PMID:12354885

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Modelling the effect of temperature variation on the seasonal dynamics of Ixodes ricinus tick populations.

    PubMed

    Hancock, Penelope A; Brackley, Robert; Palmer, Stephen C F

    2011-04-01

    Seasonal variation in temperature is known to drive annual patterns of tick activity and can influence the dynamics of tick-borne diseases. An age-structured model of the dynamics of Ixodes ricinus populations was developed to explore how changes in average temperature and different levels of temperature variability affect seasonal patterns of tick activity and the transmission of tick-borne diseases. The model produced seasonal patterns of tick emergence that are consistent with those observed throughout Great Britain. Varying average temperature across a continuous spectrum produced a systematic pattern in the times of peak emergence of questing ticks which depends on cumulative temperature over the year. Examination of the effects of between-year stochastic temperature variation on this pattern indicated that peak emergence times are more strongly affected by temperature stochasticity at certain levels of average temperature. Finally the model was extended to give a simple representation of the dynamics of a tick-borne disease. A threshold level of annual cumulative temperature was identified at which disease persistence is sensitive to stochastic temperature variation. In conclusion, the effect of changing patterns of temperature variation on the dynamics of I. ricinus ticks and the diseases they transmit may depend on the cumulative temperature over the year and will therefore vary across different locations. The results also indicate that diapause mechanisms have an important influence on seasonal patterns of tick activity and require further study. Copyright © 2011 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. 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. © 2015 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. 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.

  7. Microtomography of the Baltic amber tick Ixodes succineus reveals affinities with the modern Asian disease vector lxodes ovatus

    SciTech Connect

    Dunlop, Jason; Apanaskevich, Dmitry A.; Lehmann, Jens; Hoffmann, Rene; Fusseis, Florian; Ehlke, Moritz; Zachow, Stefan; Xiao, Xianghui

    2016-10-10

    Background: Fossil ticks are extremely rare, whereby Ixodes succineus Weidner, 1964 from Eocene (ca. 44–49 Ma) Baltic amber is one of the oldest examples of a living hard tick genus (Ixodida: Ixodidae). Previous work suggested it was most closely related to the modern and widespread European sheep tick Ixodes ricinus (Linneaus, 1758). Results: Restudy using phase contrast synchrotron x-ray tomography yielded images of exceptional quality. These confirm the fossil’s referral to Ixodes Latreille, 1795, but the characters resolved here suggest instead affinities with the Asian subgenus Partipalpiger Hoogstraal et al., 1973 and its single living (and medically significant) species Ixodes ovatus Neumann, 1899. We redescribe the amber fossil here as Ixodes (Partipalpiger) succineus. Conclusions: Our data suggest that Ixodes ricinus is unlikely to be directly derived from Weidner’s amber species, but instead reveals that the Partipalpiger lineage was originally more widely distributed across the northern hemisphere. The closeness of Ixodes (P.) succineus to a living vector of a wide range of pathogens offers the potential to correlate its spatial and temporal position (northern Europe, nearly 50 million years ago) with the estimated origination dates of various tick-borne diseases.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. First evidence of established populations of the taiga tick Ixodes persulcatus (Acari: Ixodidae) in Sweden.

    PubMed

    Jaenson, Thomas G T; Värv, Kairi; Fröjdman, Isabella; Jääskeläinen, Anu; Rundgren, Kaj; Versteirt, Veerle; Estrada-Peña, Agustín; Medlock, Jolyon M; Golovljova, Irina

    2016-07-01

    The tick species Ixodes ricinus and I. persulcatus are of exceptional medical importance in the western and eastern parts, respectively, of the Palaearctic region. In Russia and Finland the range of I. persulcatus has recently increased. In Finland the first records of I. persulcatus are from 2004. The apparent expansion of its range in Finland prompted us to investigate if I. persulcatus also occurs in Sweden. Dog owners and hunters in the coastal areas of northern Sweden provided information about localities where ticks could be present. In May-August 2015 we used the cloth-dragging method in 36 localities potentially harbouring ticks in the Bothnian Bay area, province Norrbotten (NB) of northern Sweden. Further to the south in the provinces Västerbotten (VB) and Uppland (UP) eight localities were similarly investigated. Ixodes persulcatus was detected in 9 of 36 field localities in the Bothnian Bay area. Nymphs, adult males and adult females (n = 46 ticks) of I. persulcatus were present mainly in Alnus incana - Sorbus aucuparia - Picea abies - Pinus sylvestris vegetation communities on islands in the Bothnian Bay. Some of these I. persulcatus populations seem to be the most northerly populations so far recorded of this species. Dog owners asserted that their dogs became tick-infested on these islands for the first time 7-8 years ago. Moose (Alces alces), hares (Lepus timidus), domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) and ground-feeding birds are the most likely carriers dispersing I. persulcatus in this area. All ticks (n = 124) from the more southern provinces of VB and UP were identified as I. ricinus. The geographical range of the taiga tick has recently expanded into northern Sweden. Increased information about prophylactic, anti-tick measures should be directed to people living in or visiting the coastal areas and islands of the Baltic Bay.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. [Detection of tick-borne encephalitis virus in Ixodes ticks collected in a natural focus of Gornyi Altai].

    PubMed

    Morozova, O V; Grishechkin, A E; Karan, L S; Isayeva, E I; Shchuchinova, L D; Loginova, N V; Zlobin, V I

    2011-01-01

    Enzyme immunoassay of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBE) in the samples of Ixodes ticks collected in the outskirts of the settlement of Manzherok, Maiminsk District, Republic of Altai, revealed TBE antigen in 16.9 +/- 1.9% of the talga ticks. Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with specific fluorescent probes and phylogenetic analysis of the nucleotide sequences of RT-RCR products corresponding to 5'-terminal fragment of the E gene of TBE, all the virus strains isolated from the ticks collected in Gomyi Altai were referred to as the Siberian genetic type that was dominant in virus-carrying ticks in the majority of endemic areas of Russia and near abroad. Viral load assays using the real-time RT-PCR with the probes indicated the threshold cycles Ct = 25.34-28.98, which, with regard to the efficiency of RNA identification and reverse transcription, was equal to about 10(4)-10(5) viral RNA copies per tick.

  17. 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.

  18. Bartonella-like DNA detected in Ixodes tasmani ticks (Acari: Ixodida) infesting Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in Victoria, Australia.

    PubMed

    Vilcins, Inger-Marie E; Kosoy, Michael; Old, Julie M; Deane, Elizabeth M

    2009-10-01

    A total of 42 ticks comprising Ixodes tasmani (n = 41) and Ixodes trichosuri (n = 1) were collected from wild koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) at the Koala Convention Centre, Philip Island, Victoria, Australia and screened for the presence of Bartonella using the target gene gltA. Bartonella-like DNA was detected in 4 of the 19 pooled tick samples (21%). All positive ticks were male. Analysis of partial sequences for the gltA gene indicated the presence of a Bartonella-related species similar to that reported in another Ixodid species. This is the first report of Bartonella-like organisms in a native Australian marsupial.

  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. Infections and Coinfections of Questing Ixodes ricinus Ticks by Emerging Zoonotic Pathogens in Western Switzerland

    PubMed Central

    Lommano, Elena; Bertaiola, Luce; Dupasquier, Christèle

    2012-01-01

    In Europe, Ixodes ricinus is the vector of many pathogens of medical and veterinary relevance, among them Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and tick-borne encephalitis virus, which have been the subject of numerous investigations. Less is known about the occurrence of emerging tick-borne pathogens like Rickettsia spp., Babesia spp., “Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis,” and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in questing ticks. In this study, questing nymph and adult I. ricinus ticks were collected at 11 sites located in Western Switzerland. A total of 1,476 ticks were analyzed individually for the simultaneous presence of B. burgdorferi sensu lato, Rickettsia spp., Babesia spp., “Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis,” and A. phagocytophilum. B. burgdorferi sensu lato, Rickettsia spp., and “Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis” were detected in ticks at all sites with global prevalences of 22.5%, 10.2%, and 6.4%, respectively. Babesia- and A. phagocytophilum-infected ticks showed a more restricted geographic distribution, and their prevalences were lower (1.9% and 1.5%, respectively). Species rarely reported in Switzerland, like Borrelia spielmanii, Borrelia lusitaniae, and Rickettsia monacensis, were identified. Infections with more than one pathogenic species, involving mostly Borrelia spp. and Rickettsia helvetica, were detected in 19.6% of infected ticks. Globally, 34.2% of ticks were infected with at least one pathogen. The diversity of tick-borne pathogens detected in I. ricinus in this study and the frequency of coinfections underline the need to take them seriously into consideration when evaluating the risks of infection following a tick bite. PMID:22522688

  1. Molecular detection of Bartonella henselae in 11 Ixodes ricinus ticks extracted from a single cat.

    PubMed

    Regier, Yvonne; Ballhorn, Wibke; Kempf, Volkhard A J

    2017-03-13

    Bartonella henselae is a highly prevalent, vector-borne pathogen. Transmission to humans and animals by ticks is discussed controversially. Here, we present a case report, where eleven Ixodes ricinus ticks all harbouring B. henselae DNA were removed from one single cat. The first feeding tick was tested positive for B. henselae DNA. The cat was also found to be seropositive for anti-B. henselae IgG antibodies (titer 1:640). Bartonella henselae was not cultivatable from cat blood. Ten more feeding ticks removed 7 months later contained also B. henselae DNA. Sequence analysis of the 16SrDNA and the 16S-23S internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region revealed 100% sequence homology between all ticks. Bartonella adhesin A (badA) and VirB/VirD4 type IV secretion system (virB) DNA were also detected in all ticks. Our results indicate that cats may serve as a reservoir for adult ticks to acquire B. henselae. Whether this observation implies an increased threat for human and animal health needs to be resolved.

  2. Diversity of Ixodes ricinus tick-associated bacterial communities from different forests.

    PubMed

    van Overbeek, Leo; Gassner, Fedor; van der Plas, Carin Lombaers; Kastelein, Pieter; Nunes-da Rocha, Ulisses; Takken, Willem

    2008-10-01

    Nymphal Ixodes ricinus ticks (n=180) were collected from three different areas in the Netherlands to investigate the effect of forest composition on tick-associated microbial communities. Sampled habitats differed in thickness of leaf litter and humus layers and vegetation associations and were located near Amsterdam (Beech-Oak), Ede (Birch-Oak) and Veldhoven (Birch-Oak). Analysis of nine 16S rRNA gene clone libraries made from individual ticks showed nearest matches with presumed pathogens Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis and Rickettsia australis and arthropod endosymbionts Wolbachia pipientis and Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii. Total bacterial species diversity (Shannon index) and Borrelia species infections were determined in I. ricinus by, respectively, PCR-denaturing gradient gel-electrophoresis and PCR-reverse line blot with probes specific for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia valaisiana, Borrelia lusitaniae and Borrelia ruski. Bacterial diversity differed significantly per area and was lowest in Ede. In contrast, Borrelia species-infected ticks were more abundant in Ede, Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis-infected ticks in Ede and Veldhoven, and R. australis-infected ticks in Amsterdam. Borrelia afzelii was the most common Borrelia species found in all three areas. Bacterial tick diversity was influenced by local differences in forest structure, which is proposed to modulate animal populations that are commonly parasitized by I. ricinus.

  3. Molecular evidence of Leishmania infantum in Ixodes ricinus ticks from dogs and cats, in Italy.

    PubMed

    Salvatore, Daniela; Aureli, Sara; Baldelli, Raffaella; Di Francesco, Antonietta; Tampieri, Maria Paola; Galuppi, Roberta

    2014-12-29

    Leishmaniosis, caused by Leishmania infantum, is an endemic zoonosis in the Mediterranean basin. To date, phlebotomine sand flies are the only accepted biological vectors of Leishmania parasites to dogs and humans. The absence of the primary vector in autochthonous Leishmania outbreaks suggests a possible role of fleas or ticks as alternative vectors. In this study, 119 ticks were collected between August 2007-June 2008 and between March 2010-October 2010 from various animal species and humans living in Italian areas where canine leishmaniosis is endemic (i.e. rural areas of the North) and were tested for the presence of L. infantum DNA. Nine (7.5%) out of 119 ticks resulted PCR positive. All ticks were morphologically identified as Ixodes ricinus ticks, 3 from 1 cat, 6 from 4 dogs. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of L. infantum DNA in ticks from cat, suggesting that the debate about the epidemiological role of ticks in canine leishmaniosis might be extended to feline leishmaniosis.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Fatal Deer Tick Virus Infection in Maine.

    PubMed

    Cavanaugh, Catherine E; Muscat, Paul L; Telford, Sam R; Goethert, Heidi; Pendlebury, William; Elias, Susan P; Robich, Rebecca; Welch, Margret; Lubelczyk, Charles B; Smith, Robert P

    2017-09-15

    Deer tick virus (DTV), a genetic variant (lineage II) of Powassan virus, is a rare cause of encephalitis in North America. We report a fatal case of DTV encephalitis following a documented bite from an Ixodes scapularis tick and the erythema migrans rash associated with Lyme disease. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. A formulation to encapusulate nootkatone oil for tick control

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  17. [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.

  18. 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

  19. [Changes in the ranges of pasture ixodid ticks of the genus Ixodes Latr., 1795 (Parasitiformes, Ixodinae) in Western Siberia].

    PubMed

    Mal'kova, M G; Iakimenko, V V; Tantsev, A K

    2012-01-01

    The character of distribution of two species from the genus Ixodes, the Taiga tick Ixodes persulcatus and Ixodes pavlovskyi in the plain part of Western Siberia is analyzed. The northern border of the range of I. persulcatus in HMAO-Ugra was clarified on the basis of long-term data on the population density of adult and immature ticks (1960-2011). The shift of the southern border of the species range in Western Siberia at the background of anthropogenic transformation (forest restoring activity, stopped sanitary forest cutting, road construction etc) is demonstrated; peculiarities of the distribution of the Taiga tick in some localities of the southwestern Siberia is analyzed. The modern state of the tick population in the joint dwelling zone of I. persulcatus and I. pavlovskyi is characterized. Possible reasons of changes in the structure of tick communities toward total prevalence of I. pavlovskyi in recreation zones of Novosibirsk and Tomsk are discussed. It is noted that the most significant changes in the character of distribution of these two tick species in Western Siberia had evidently occurred after 1990. Just in this period, local stable populations of the Taiga tick to the south of its main range in Western Siberia (within Omsk and Novosibirsk Provinces) were formed; the character of its distribution in the right bank of the Ob River (Novosibirsk Province) and in the valley of the Tom River (Tomsk Province) had changed; I. pavlovskyi became the dominating species.

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. Identification of novel tick salivary gland proteins for vaccine development.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yun; Bruno, John F; Luft, Benjamin J

    2005-01-28

    Methods currently used to control Ixodes scapularis ticks rely principally on acaricidal applications which suffer from a number of limitations. Recently, host vaccination against ticks has been shown to be a promising alternative tick control method. In tick salivary glands, numerous genes are induced during the feeding process. Many of these newly expressed proteins are secreted in tick saliva and may play a role in modulating host immune responses and pathogen transmission. We have performed suppression subtraction hybridization to identify unique I. scapularis salary gland proteins specifically expressed during engorgement. We have cloned and sequenced ten unique salivary gland-associated cDNAs that are up-regulated during feeding. The protein products of these genes represent potential vaccine candidates for use in the control of ticks and to prevent transmission of tick-borne diseases.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    Ticks collected from mustelids from four counties in Maine and one in New Hampshire were identified after harvest. Of the 18 fishers Martes pennanti Erxleben, two mink Neovison vison Schreber, and one long-tailed weasel Mustela frenata Lichtenstein, 589 ticks were collected and identified. They were identified as, in order of abundance, Ixodes gregsoni Lindquist, Wu, and Redner (158 larvae, 189 nymphs, four adults), Ixodes cookei Packard (99 larvae, 77 nymphs, six adults), Ixodes scapularis Say (53 adults), Dermacentor variabilis Say (two nymphs), and Ixodes angustus Neumann (one nymph). Seasonally, all but the D. variabilis were collected in winter. This study reports the first record of adult I. scapularis from a M. pennanti in the northeastern United States. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  14. New Records of Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) From Dogs, Cats, Humans, and Some Wild Vertebrates in Alaska: Invasion Potential.

    PubMed

    Durden, Lance A; Beckmen, Kimberlee B; Gerlach, Robert F

    2016-11-01

    During 2010-2016, tick specimens were solicited from veterinarians, biologists, and members of the public in Alaska. Eight species of ticks were recorded from domestic dogs. Some ticks were collected from dogs with recent travel histories to other countries or other U.S. states, which appears to explain records of ticks not native to Alaska such as Amblyomma americanum (L.) (lone star tick), Ixodes scapularis (Say) (blacklegged tick), and Ixodes ricinus (L.). However, we recorded Dermacentor variabilis (Say) (American dog tick) from dogs (and humans) both with and without travel history, suggesting that this nonindigenous tick could be establishing populations in Alaska. Other ticks commonly recorded from dogs included the indigenous Ixodes angustus Neumann and the invasive Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille) (brown dog tick). Domestic cats were only parasitized by one tick species, the native I. angustus Six species of ticks were recorded from humans: A. americanum (with and without travel history), Dermacentor andersoni Stiles (Rocky Mountain wood tick; travel associated), D. variabilis (with and without travel history), Haemaphysalis leporispalustris (Packard) (rabbit tick, native to Alaska), I. angustus, and R. sanguineus. Ixodes angustus predominated among tick collections from native mammals. Also, Ixodes texanus Banks (first record from Alaska) was collected from an American marten, Martes americana (Turton), H. leporispalustris was recorded from a snowshoe hare, Lepus americanus Erxleben, and Ixodes auritulus Neumann was collected from a Northwestern crow, Corvus caurinus Baird. The establishment of D. variabilis, D. andersoni, A. americanum, and/or I. scapularis in Alaska would have strong implications for animal and human health. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Occurrence and genetic variability of Kemerovo virus in Ixodes ticks from different regions of Western Siberia, Russia and Kazakhstan.

    PubMed

    Tkachev, Sergey E; Tikunov, Artem Yu; Babkin, Igor V; Livanova, Natalia N; Livanov, Stanislav G; Panov, Victor V; Yakimenko, Valeriy V; Tantsev, Alexey K; Taranenko, Dmitrii E; Tikunova, Nina V

    2017-01-01

    Kemerovo virus (KEMV), a member of the Reoviridae family, Orbivirus genus, is transmitted by Ixodes ticks and can cause aseptic meningitis and meningoencephalitis. Recently, this virus was observed in certain provinces of European part of Russia, Ural, and Western and Eastern Siberia. However, the occurrence and genetic diversity of KEMV in Western Siberia remain poorly studied. Therefore, the aim of this work was to investigate the prevalence and genetic variability of KEMV in Ixodes ticks from Western Siberia. A total of 1958 Ixodes persulcatus, I. pavlovskyi ticks and their hybrids from Novosibirsk and Omsk provinces, Altai Republic (Russia) and East Kazakhstan province (Kazakhstan) were analyzed for the presence of KEMV and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) RNA. It was observed that the KEMV distribution area in Western Siberia was wider than originally thought and included Northern and Northeastern Altai in addition to the Omsk and Novosibirsk provinces. For the first time, this virus was found in Kazakhstan. The occurrence of KEMV was statistically lower than TBEV in most locations in Western Siberia. KEMV was found both in I. persulcatus and I. pavlovskyi ticks and in their hybrids. Notably, KEMV variants observed in the 2010s were genetically different from those isolated in the 1960s, which indicated the ongoing process of evolution of the Kemerovo virus group. Moreover, the possibility of reassortment for KEMV was demonstrated for the first time. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Growth of Coxiella burnetii in the Ixodes scapularis–Derived IDE8 Tick Cell Line

    PubMed Central

    Herrin, Brian; Mahapatra, Saugata; Blouin, Edmour F.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Q fever, a zoonotic disease, is caused by a gram-negative intracellular bacterium, Coxiella burnetii. Although normally transmitted during exposure to infectious aerosols, C. burnetii is also found in arthropod vectors. In the environment, ticks are thought to play a crucial role in bacterial maintenance and transmission by infecting various mammalian species. However, the nature of the pathogen–tick relationship is not well defined. To determine C. burnetii's interactions with a cultured tick cell line, we introduced purified C. burnetii NMII into Ixodes scapularis–derived IDE8 cells and assayed for bacterial presence, replication, gene expression, and subsequent infectivity for mammalian cells. Tick cells were harvested at 24 h, 72 h, 7 days, and 11 days postinfection (PI). C. burnetii uptake and subsequent replication was demonstrated by indirect immunofluorescence assay, electron microscopy, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). When a genome equivalent multiplicity of infection of 30 was used, 30%–40% of exposed cells were seen to have small, rounded, vacuoles at 72 h PI, whereas at 7 and 11 days PI, 60%–70% of cells contained enlarged vacuoles harboring large numbers of bacteria. Quantitative PCR analysis of total genomic DNA confirmed that C. burnetii genome numbers increased significantly from 24 h to 11 days PI. Expression of C. burnetii type four secretion system homologs at 7 days PI was demonstrated by reverse transcriptase PCR. Finally, indirect immunofluorescence assay demonstrated that C. burnetii propagated within IDE8 cells were infectious for mammalian cells. These studies demonstrate the utility of cultured tick cell lines as a model to investigate C. burnetii's molecular interactions with its arthropod vectors. PMID:21254834

  17. 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.

  18. Effect of landscape features on the relationship between Ixodes ricinus ticks and their small mammal hosts.

    PubMed

    Perez, Grégoire; Bastian, Suzanne; Agoulon, Albert; Bouju, Agnès; Durand, Axelle; Faille, Frédéric; Lebert, Isabelle; Rantier, Yann; Plantard, Olivier; Butet, Alain

    2016-01-15

    The consequences of land use changes are among the most cited causes of emerging infectious diseases because they can modify the ecology and transmission of pathogens. This is particularly true for vector-borne diseases which depend on abiotic (e.g. climate) and biotic conditions (i.e. hosts and vectors). In this study, we investigated how landscape features affect the abundances of small mammals and Ixodes ricinus ticks, and how they influence their relationship. From 2012 to 2014, small mammals and questing I. ricinus ticks were sampled in spring and autumn in 24 sites located in agricultural and forest landscapes in Brittany, France. We tested the effects of landscape features (composition and configuration) on the abundances of small mammal species and immature ticks and their relationship. Additionally, we quantified the larval tick burden of small mammals in 2012 to better describe this relationship. The nymph abundance was positively influenced by the larval occurrence and the wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus abundance the previous spring because they hosted tenfold more larvae than the bank vole Myodes glareolus. The bank vole abundance in spring and autumn had a negative and positive effect, respectively, on the nymph abundance. In agricultural landscapes, wood mice were positively influenced by woodland cover and woodland/hedgerow-grassland ecotone, whereas bank voles showed the opposite or non-significant responses to these landscape variables. The woodland cover had a positive effect on immature ticks. The landscape configuration, likely by affecting the landscape connectivity, influences the small mammal communities in permanent habitats. Our study showed that the wood mouse, due to its dominance and to its tolerance to ticks, feeds a substantial proportion of larvae. The acquired resistance to ticks in the bank vole can reduce its role as a trophic resource over time. The nymph abundance seems indirectly influenced by landscape features via their

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. pncA and bptA Are Not Sufficient To Complement Ixodes scapularis Colonization and Persistence by Borrelia burgdorferi in a Linear Plasmid lp25-Deficient Background

    PubMed Central

    Gilmore, Robert D.; Brandt, Kevin S.

    2014-01-01

    The complex segmented genome of Borrelia burgdorferi is comprised of a linear chromosome along with numerous linear and circular plasmids essential for tick and/or mammalian infectivity. The pathogenic necessity for specific borrelial plasmids has been identified; most notably, infections of the tick vector and mammalian host both require linear plasmid 25 (lp25). Genes carried on lp25, specifically bptA and pncA, are postulated to play a role for B. burgdorferi to infect and persist in Ixodes ticks. In this study, we complemented an lp25-deficient borrelial strain with pncA alone or pncA accompanied by bptA to evaluate the ability of the complemented strains to restore larval colonization and persistence through transstadial transmission relative to that of wild-type B. burgdorferi. The acquisition of the complemented strains by tick larvae from infected mice and/or the survival of these strains was significantly decreased when assayed by cultivation and quantitative PCR (qPCR). Only 10% of the pncA-complemented strain organisms were found by culture to survive 17 days following larval feeding, while 45% of the pncA- and bptA-complemented strain organisms survived, with similar results by PCR. However, neither of the complemented B. burgdorferi strains was capable of persisting through the molt to the nymphal stage as analyzed by culture. qPCR analyses of unfed nymphs detected B. burgdorferi genomes in several nymphs at low copy numbers, likely indicating the presence of DNA from dead or dying cells. Overall, the data indicate that pncA and bptA cannot independently support infection, suggesting that lp25 carries additional gene(s) or regulatory elements critical for B. burgdorferi survival and pathogenesis in the Ixodes vector. PMID:25245809

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Modulation of the tick gut milieu by a secreted tick protein favors Borrelia burgdorferi colonization.

    PubMed

    Narasimhan, Sukanya; Schuijt, Tim J; Abraham, Nabil M; Rajeevan, Nallakkandi; Coumou, Jeroen; Graham, Morven; Robson, Andrew; Wu, Ming-Jie; Daffre, Sirlei; Hovius, Joppe W; Fikrig, Erol

    2017-08-04

    The Lyme disease agent, Borrelia burgdorferi, colonizes the gut of the tick Ixodes scapularis, which transmits the pathogen to vertebrate hosts including humans. Here we show that B. burgdorferi colonization increases the expression of several tick gut genes including pixr, encoding a secreted gut protein with a Reeler domain. RNA interference-mediated silencing of pixr, or immunity against PIXR in mice, impairs the ability of B. burgdorferi to colonize the tick gut. PIXR inhibits bacterial biofilm formation in vitro and in vivo. Abrogation of PIXR function in vivo results in alterations in the gut microbiome, metabolome and immune responses. These alterations influence the spirochete entering the tick gut in multiple ways. PIXR abrogation also impairs larval molting, indicative of its role in tick biology. This study highlights the role of the tick gut in actively managing its microbiome, and how this impacts B. burgdorferi colonization of its arthropod vector. Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, is transmitted by the tick Ixodes scapularis. Here, the authors show that a tick secreted protein (PIXR) modulates the tick gut microbiota and facilitates B. burgdorferi colonization.

  9. Erythema chronicum migrans and lyme arthritis: field study of ticks.

    PubMed

    Wallis, R C; Brown, S E; Kloter, K O; Main, A J

    1978-10-01

    Ticks were collected during 1977 in communities east of the Connecticut River where there was a high incidence of erythema chronicum migrans and Lyme arthritis and were compared with collections from a similar area 20 km west of the river where cases of the disease were rare. Ixodes scapularis was much more abundant on the east side than on the west. Immature I. scapularis were 13 times more abundant on white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), and adult I. scapularis 16 times more abundant on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the east than in the west communities. In addition, all active stages in the life cycle of this tick--larvae, nymphs, and adults--both males and females, were found on humans (mostly patients) in the east communities. Both nymphs and adults were abundant on dogs and cats in this area. Attempts to recover an etiologic agent from ticks were unsuccessful.

  10. Essential oils of aromatic Egyptian plants repel nymphs of the tick Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    El-Seedi, Hesham R; Azeem, Muhammad; Khalil, Nasr S; Sakr, Hanem H; Khalifa, Shaden A M; Awang, Khalijah; Saeed, Aamer; Farag, Mohamed A; AlAjmi, Mohamed F; Pålsson, Katinka; Borg-Karlson, Anna-Karin

    2017-09-01

    Due to the role of Ixodes ricinus (L.) (Acari: Ixodidae) in the transmission of many serious pathogens, personal protection against bites of this tick is essential. In the present study the essential oils from 11 aromatic Egyptian plants were isolated and their repellent activity against I. ricinus nymphs was evaluated Three oils (i.e. Conyza dioscoridis L., Artemisia herba-alba Asso and Calendula officinalis L.) elicited high repellent activity in vitro of 94, 84.2 and 82%, respectively. The most active essential oil (C. dioscoridis) was applied in the field at a concentration of 6.5 µg/cm(2) and elicited a significant repellent activity against I. ricinus nymphs by 61.1%. The most repellent plants C. dioscoridis, C. officinalis and A. herba-alba yielded essential oils by 0.17, 0.11 and 0.14%, respectively. These oils were further investigated using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. α-Cadinol (10.7%) and hexadecanoic acid (10.5%) were the major components of C. dioscoridis whereas in C. officinalis, α-cadinol (21.2%) and carvone (18.2%) were major components. Artemisia herba-alba contained piperitone (26.5%), ethyl cinnamate (9.5%), camphor (7.7%) and hexadecanoic acid (6.9%). Essential oils of these three plants have a potential to be used for personal protection against tick bites.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

  13. Hypersensitivity to Ticks and Lyme Disease Risk

    PubMed Central

    Burke, Georgine; Wikel, Stephen K.; Spielman, Andrew; Telford, Sam R.; McKay, Kathleen

    2005-01-01

    Although residents of Lyme disease–endemic regions describe frequent exposure to ticks, Lyme disease develops in relatively few. To determine whether people who experience cutaneous hypersensitivity against tick bite have fewer episodes of Lyme disease than those who do not, we examined several factors that might restrict the incidence of Lyme disease among residents of Block Island, Rhode Island. Of 1,498 study participants, 27% (95% confidence interval [CI] 23%–31%) reported >1 tick bites, and 17% (95% CI 13%–21%) reported itch associated with tick bite in the previous year. Borrelia burgdorferi infected 23% (95% CI 20%–26%) of 135 nymphal Ixodes scapularis (I. dammini) ticks. The likelihood of Lyme disease infection decreased with >3 reports of tick-associated itch (odds ratio 0.14, 95% CI 0.94–0.03, p = 0.01). Prior exposure to uninfected vector ticks protects residents of disease-endemic sites from Lyme disease. PMID:15705320

  14. Hypersensitivity to ticks and Lyme disease risk.

    PubMed

    Burke, Georgine; Wikel, Stephen K; Spielman, Andrew; Telford, Sam R; McKay, Kathleen; Krause, Peter J

    2005-01-01

    Although residents of Lyme disease-endemic regions describe frequent exposure to ticks, Lyme disease develops in relatively few. To determine whether people who experience cutaneous hypersensitivity against tick bite have fewer episodes of Lyme disease than those who do not, we examined several factors that might restrict the incidence of Lyme disease among residents of Block Island, Rhode Island. Of 1,498 study participants, 27% (95% confidence interval [CI] 23%-31%) reported > or = 1 tick bites, and 17% (95% CI 13%-21%) reported itch associated with tick bite in the previous year. Borrelia burgdorferi infected 23% (95% CI 20%-26%) of 135 nymphal Ixodes scapularis (I. dammini) ticks. The likelihood of Lyme disease infection decreased with >3 reports of tick-associated itch (odds ratio 0.14, 95% CI 0.94-0.03, p = 0.01). Prior exposure to uninfected vector ticks protects residents of disease-endemic sites from Lyme disease.

  15. Detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum DNA in Ixodes Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) from Madeira Island and Setúbal District, Mainland Portugal

    PubMed Central

    Santos-Silva, Maria Margarida; Almeida, Victor Carlos; Bacellar, Fátima; Dumler, John Stephen

    2004-01-01

    A total of 278 Ixodes ticks, collected from Madeira Island and Setúbal District, mainland Portugal, were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Six (4%) of 142 Ixodes ricinus nymphs collected in Madeira Island and 1 nymph and 1 male (2%) of 93 I. ventalloi collected in Setúbal District tested positive for A. phagocytophilum msp2 genes or rrs. Infection was not detected among 43 I. ricinus on mainland Portugal. All PCR products were confirmed by nucleotide sequencing to be identical or to be most closely related to A. phagocytophilum. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of A. phagocytophilum in ticks from Setúbal District, mainland Portugal, and the first documentation of Anaplasma infection in I. ventalloi. Moreover, these findings confirm the persistence of A. phagocytophilum in Madeira Island's I. ricinus. PMID:15498168

  16. Detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum DNA in Ixodes ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) from Madeira Island and Setubal District, mainland Portugal.

    PubMed

    Santos, Ana Sofia; Santos-Silva, Maria Margarida; Almeida, Victor Carlos; Bacellar, Fátima; Dumler, John Stephen

    2004-09-01

    A total of 278 Ixodes ticks, collected from Madeira Island and Setubal District, mainland Portugal, were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Six (4%) of 142 Ixodes ricinus nymphs collected in Madeira Island and 1 nymph and 1 male (2%) of 93 I. ventalloi collected in Setubal District tested positive for A. phagocytophilum msp2 genes or rrs. Infection was not detected among 43 I. ricinus on mainland Portugal. All PCR products were confirmed by nucleotide sequencing to be identical or to be most closely related to A. phagocytophilum. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of A. phagocytophilum in ticks from Setubal District, mainland Portugal, and the first documentation of Anaplasma infection in I. ventalloi. Moreover, these findings confirm the persistence of A. phagocytophilum in Madeira Island's I. ricinus.

  17. 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

  18. [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.

  19. Asymmetrical focal neurological deficits in dogs and cats with naturally occurring tick paralysis (Ixodes holocyclus): 27 cases (1999-2006).

    PubMed

    Holland, C T

    2008-10-01

    To describe basic epidemiological features, clinical characteristics and outcomes of asymmetrical focal neurological deficits identified in dogs and cats with naturally occurring tick paralysis (Ixodes holocyclus). A retrospective study. Computer records were reviewed for all dogs and cats treated for tick paralysis between July 1999 and June 2006 at a suburban veterinary hospital in Newcastle, New South Wales. Neurological deficits were identified in 17/197 dogs and 10/89 cats and included unilateral facial paralysis (14 dogs; 2 cats), anisocoria (4 dogs; 7 cats), unilateral loss of the cutaneous trunci reflex (1 dog; 1 cat) and Horner's syndrome in 2 cats with anisocoria. Occurrence of deficits was not linked to season, severity of tick paralysis, breed, age, sex or body weight. With facial paralysis and anisocoria, the site of tick attachment was invariably on the head or neck and always ipsilateral to the facial paralysis. By contrast, with anisocoria alone, no consistent relationship was noted between any one pupillary dimension and the side of tick attachment. With cutaneous trunci deficits the site of tick attachment was the ipsilateral caudal axilla. Compared with recovery times from generalised signs of tick paralysis, those for facial paralysis were significantly longer (days to weeks; P < 0.001), those for anisocoria showed no significant difference (P = 0.25) and those for cutaneous trunci deficits lagged by 6 and 7 days. Asymmetrical focal neurological deficits are a consistent finding in a proportion of dogs and cats with naturally occurring tick paralysis due to I. holocylcus.

  20. 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

  1. Description of a new tick species, Ixodes collaris n. sp. (Acari: Ixodidae), from bats (Chiroptera: Hipposideridae, Rhinolophidae) in Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Hornok, Sándor; Görföl, Tamás; Estók, Péter; Tu, Vuong Tan; Kontschán, Jenő

    2016-06-10

    In a recent study on ixodid bat ticks from Eurasia, a high genetic difference was found between Ixodes vespertilionis from Europe and Vietnam. Accordingly, it was proposed that I. vespertilionis is a species complex, with at least one additional, hitherto undescribed species. The aim of the present study was to investigate the morphology of bat ticks from Vietnam and to assess their taxonomic status in comparison with those collected in Europe. Ixodid bat ticks (two females and two nymphs) collected from the pomona leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros pomona) (Hipposideridae) and intermediate horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus affinis) (Rhinolophidae) in Vietnam showed major morphological differences from European isolates of I. vespertilionis, including the shape of the scutum, the enclosure and shape of porose areas, the presence of a caudo-lateral collar-like ridge ventrally on the basis capituli, polytrich coxae with short setae, and grouped (non-linear) arrangement of anterior pit sensillae in Haller's organ. In this study the female and the nymph of an ixodid bat tick species from Vietnam are described for the first time. The genetic and morphological differences between I. vespertilionis Koch, 1844 and these bat ticks from Vietnam justify the status of the latter as a distinct species, Ixodes collaris Hornok n. sp.

  2. Passive surveillance in Maine, an area emergent for tick-borne diseases.

    PubMed

    Rand, Peter W; Lacombe, Eleanor H; Dearborn, Richard; Cahill, Bruce; Elias, Susan; Lubelczyk, Charles B; Beckett, Geoff A; Smith, Robert P

    2007-11-01

    In 1989, a free-of-charge, statewide tick identification program was initiated in Maine, 1 yr after the first Ixodes scapularis Say (=I. dammini Spielman, Clifford, Piesman & Corwin) ticks were reported in the state. This article summarizes data from 18 continuous years of tick submissions during which >24,000 ticks of 14 species were identified. Data provided include tick stage, degree of engorgement, seasonal abundance, geographical location, host, and age of the person from whom the tick was removed. Maps depict the distributions of the three major species submitted. I. scapularis emerged first along the coast, and then it advanced inland up major river valleys, Dermacentor variabilis Say slowly expanded centrifugally from where it was initially reported in southwestern Maine, and the distribution of long-established Ixodes cookei Packard remained unchanged. Submissions of nymphal I. scapularis closely correlated with reported Lyme diseases cases at the county level. Annual fluctuations of nymphal submissions in Maine correlated with those of Lyme disease cases for New England, supporting the possibility of a regional influence on tick abundance. More ticks were removed from people < or =14 and > or =30 yr of age, and their degree of engorgement was greatest in people < or =20 yr of age and progressively increased in people > or =30 yr of age. This study demonstrates the usefulness and potential of tick identification programs.

  3. [Physical factors in rehabilitation treatment of patients with Ixodes tick-borne borreliosis with primary lesions of the joints].

    PubMed

    Reshetova, G G; Zaripova, T N; Titskaia, E V; Moskvin, V S; Udintsev, S N

    2004-01-01

    The studies made in 96 patients suffering from chronic ixode tick borreliosis with a prevalent joint lesion justified two-stage treatment with physiotherapy at the second stage. The proposed therapy is well tolerated, produced a good improvement in 82.4% patients, the response persisting for 8.8 +/- 0.2 months vs 5.6 +/- 1.0 months in the control group on pharmacotherapy alone.

  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. [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.

  6. Deer presence rather than abundance determines the population density of the sheep tick, Ixodes ricinus, in Dutch forests.

    PubMed

    Hofmeester, Tim R; Sprong, Hein; Jansen, Patrick A; Prins, Herbert H T; van Wieren, Sipke E

    2017-09-19

    Understanding which factors drive population densities of disease vectors is an important step in assessing disease risk. We tested the hypothesis that the density of ticks from the Ixodes ricinus complex, which are important vectors for tick-borne diseases, is determined by the density of deer, as adults of these ticks mainly feed on deer. We performed a cross-sectional study to investigate I. ricinus density across 20 forest plots in the Netherlands that ranged widely in deer availability to ticks, and performed a deer-exclosure experiment in four pairs of 1 ha forest plots in a separate site. Ixodes ricinus from all stages were more abundant in plots with deer (n = 17) than in plots without deer (n = 3). Where deer were present, the density of ticks did not increase with the abundance of deer. Experimental exclosure of deer reduced nymph density by 66% and adult density by 32% within a timeframe of two years. In this study, deer presence rather than abundance explained the density of I. ricinus. This is in contrast to previous studies and might be related to the relatively high host-species richness in Dutch forests. This means that reduction of the risk of acquiring a tick bite would require the complete elimination of deer in species rich forests. The fact that small exclosures (< 1 ha) substantially reduced I. ricinus densities suggests that fencing can be used to reduce tick-borne disease risk in areas with high recreational pressure.

  7. Detection of Two Zoonotic Babesia microti Lineages, the Hobetsu and U.S. Lineages, in Two Sympatric Tick Species, Ixodes ovatus and Ixodes persulcatus, Respectively, in Japan

    PubMed Central

    Tsuji, Masayoshi; Qiang, Wei; Nakao, Minoru; Hirata, Haruyuki; Ishihara, Chiaki

    2012-01-01

    The species Babesia microti, commonly found in rodents, demonstrates a high degree of genetic diversity. Three lineages, U.S., Kobe, and Hobetsu, are known to have zoonotic potential, but their tick vector(s) in Japan remains to be elucidated. We conducted a field investigation at Nemuro on Hokkaido Island and at Sumoto on Awaji Island, where up to two of the three lineages occur with similar frequencies in reservoirs. By flagging vegetation at these spots and surrounding areas, 4,010 ticks, comprising six species, were collected. A nested PCR that detects the 18S rRNA gene of Babesia species revealed that Ixodes ovatus and I. persulcatus alone were positive. Lineage-specific PCR for rRNA-positive samples demonstrated that I. ovatus and I. persulcatus carried, respectively, the Hobetsu and U.S. parasites. No Kobe-specific DNA was detected. Infected I. ovatus ticks were found at multiple sites, including Nemuro and Sumoto, with minimum infection rates (MIR) of ∼12.3%. However, all I. persulcatus ticks collected within the same regions, a total of 535, were negative for the Hobetsu lineage, indicating that I. ovatus, but not I. persulcatus, was the vector for the lineage. At Nemuro, U.S. lineage was detected in 2 of 139 adult I. persulcatus ticks (MIR, 1.4%), for the first time, while 48 of I. ovatus ticks were negative for that lineage. Laboratory experiments confirmed the transmission of Hobetsu and U.S. parasites to hamsters via I. ovatus and I. persulcatus, respectively. Differences in vector capacity shown by MIRs at Nemuro, where the two species were equally likely to acquire either lineage of parasite, may explain the difference in distribution of Hobetsu throughout Japan and U.S. taxa in Nemuro. These findings are of importance in the assessment of the regional risk for babesiosis in humans. PMID:22389378

  8. Assessing the Contribution of Songbirds to the Movement of Ticks and Borrelia burgdorferi in the Midwestern United States During Fall Migration.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Sarah C; Parker, Christine M; Miller, James R; Page Fredericks, L; Allan, Brian F

    2015-03-01

    The geographic distributions of Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick) and the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi (the causative agent of Lyme disease) are expanding in the USA. To assess the role of migratory songbirds in the spread of this tick and pathogen, we captured passerines in central Illinois during the fall of 2012. We compared forested sites in regions where I. scapularis populations were either previously or not yet established. Ticks were removed from birds and blood samples were taken from select avian species. Ticks were identified by morphology and molecular techniques were used to detect B. burgdorferi and other tick-borne pathogens in ticks and avian blood samples. Ixodes spp. were detected on 10 of 196 migrants (5.1%), with I. scapularis larvae found on 2 individuals. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto was detected in the blood of 9 of 29 birds sampled (31%), yet only 1 infected bird was infested by ticks. The ticks were mostly Haemaphysalis leporispalustris and I. dentatus larvae, and none tested positive for B. burgdorferi. Infestation of birds by Ixodes spp. differed significantly by region, while B. burgdorferi infection did not. These data suggest that migratory birds may play a larger role in the dispersal of B. burgdorferi than previously realized.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Metabolomics of the tick-Borrelia interaction during the nymphal tick blood meal.

    PubMed

    Hoxmeier, J Charles; Fleshman, Amy C; Broeckling, Corey D; Prenni, Jessica E; Dolan, Marc C; Gage, Kenneth L; Eisen, Lars

    2017-03-13

    The causal agents of Lyme disease in North America, Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii, are transmitted primarily by Ixodes scapularis ticks. Due to their limited metabolic capacity, spirochetes rely on the tick blood meal for nutrients and metabolic intermediates while residing in the tick vector, competing with the tick for nutrients in the blood meal. Metabolomics is an effective methodology to explore dynamics of spirochete survival and multiplication in tick vectors before transmission to a vertebrate host via tick saliva. Using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, we identified statistically significant differences in the metabolic profile among uninfected I. scapularis nymphal ticks, B. burgdorferi-infected nymphal ticks and B. mayonii-infected nymphal ticks by measuring metabolism every 24 hours over the course of their up to 96 hour blood meals. Specifically, differences in the abundance of purines, amino acids, carbohydrates, and fatty acids during the blood meal among the three groups of nymphal ticks suggest that B. mayonii and B. burgdorferi may have different metabolic capabilities, especially during later stages of nymphal feeding. Understanding mechanisms underlying variable metabolic requirements of different Lyme disease spirochetes within tick vectors could potentially aid development of novel methods to control spirochete transmission.

  13. Metabolomics of the tick-Borrelia interaction during the nymphal tick blood meal

    PubMed Central

    Hoxmeier, J. Charles; Fleshman, Amy C.; Broeckling, Corey D.; Prenni, Jessica E.; Dolan, Marc C.; Gage, Kenneth L.; Eisen, Lars

    2017-01-01

    The causal agents of Lyme disease in North America, Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii, are transmitted primarily by Ixodes scapularis ticks. Due to their limited metabolic capacity, spirochetes rely on the tick blood meal for nutrients and metabolic intermediates while residing in the tick vector, competing with the tick for nutrients in the blood meal. Metabolomics is an effective methodology to explore dynamics of spirochete survival and multiplication in tick vectors before transmission to a vertebrate host via tick saliva. Using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, we identified statistically significant differences in the metabolic profile among uninfected I. scapularis nymphal ticks, B. burgdorferi-infected nymphal ticks and B. mayonii-infected nymphal ticks by measuring metabolism every 24 hours over the course of their up to 96 hour blood meals. Specifically, differences in the abundance of purines, amino acids, carbohydrates, and fatty acids during the blood meal among the three groups of nymphal ticks suggest that B. mayonii and B. burgdorferi may have different metabolic capabilities, especially during later stages of nymphal feeding. Understanding mechanisms underlying variable metabolic requirements of different Lyme disease spirochetes within tick vectors could potentially aid development of novel methods to control spirochete transmission. PMID:28287618

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Nymphs of the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus) collected from tree trunks in woodland-grass habitat.

    PubMed

    Slowik, T J; Lane, R S

    2001-12-01

    Nymphs of the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus, were found on the trunks of trees during spring and summer in northwestern California. In a woodland-grass habitat, large- and medium-sized (> 130 cm and 80-130 cm in circumference, respectively), moss-covered oak (Quercus spp.) trees supported ticks significantly more often than trees without these characteristics. Additionally, trees with basal leaf-litter and lacking shade (at time of sampling) were significantly associated with the presence of ticks. Mean tick-burdens were > 1 for all oaks (1.06), all trees with basal leaf-litter (1.05), and all trees of large-circumference (1.19); 0.79 ticks per tree were collected over the entire study. Moss reduced the surface temperature of trees by a mean of 1.9 degrees C (range of 1.6-5.0 degrees C) and increased relative humidity by up to 2.5% from the ambient. These microclimatic changes, along with the presence of refugia in bark and western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) hosts on the lower-most surface of trees, likely accounted for ticks questing on the trunks. Although of undetermined epidemiological significance, the presence of host-seeking I. pacificus nymphs on tree trunks may shed light on the relation of abiotic and biotic factors to the life history of this important vector of disease.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Vertical distribution of the tick Ixodes ricinus and tick-borne pathogens in the northern Moravian mountains correlated with climate warming (Jeseníky Mts., Czech Republic).

    PubMed

    Daniel, Milan; Materna, Jan; Honig, Václav; Metelka, Ladislav; Danielová, Vlasta; Harcarik, Josef; Kliegrová, Stanislava; Grubhoffer, Libor

    2009-09-01

    A study of the vertical distribution of the common tick Ixodes ricinus and tick-borne pathogens--tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.--was performed in the highest part of the Jeseniky mountain area (the Hrubý Jesenik Mts. with the highest summit Praded, 1,491 m above see level). Altogether 1,253 specimens of all tick stages (607 larvae, 614 nymphs, 8 females and 24 males) were collected at the altitude 990-1,300 m above sea level on 12 collection sites by the flagging method. Altogether 1,207 ticks (8 females, 24 males, 568 nymphs and 607 larvae) were examined for the presence of tick-borne encephalitis virus and B. burgdorferi s.l. None of the samples contained TBEV, 35 samples (6% of adult ticks, 5% of nymphs, 0.7% of larvae) were positive for B. burgdorferi s.l. The most prevalent genospecies were B. afzelii (44%), B. garinii (28%), less frequent were B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (5%), B. valaisiana (3%). The rather large number of ticks (in absolute numbers as well as recounted to the index: average number of nymphs/worker/collection hour) and the presence of all developmental stages clearly demonstrate that there are viable local tick populations in all the sites, and that recorded ticks were not randomly individuals brought into higher altitudes by birds or game animals. The results are compared with the long-term (2002-2007) monitoring of the tick altitudinal distribution in the Krkonose Mts. and the conditions, which allow ticks to establish local populations up to the timberline in both mountain areas, are discussed. Simultaneously, changes in climatic conditions (especially the air temperature) monitored at 3 meteorological stations in the area of the Jeseníky Mts. were compared with the records from another 8 stations in other mountain areas in the Czech Republic. A very similar statistically significant trend of increasing mean air temperatures during the last three decades is found at all analyzed

  5. Detection of Lyme Disease Bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, in Blacklegged Ticks Collected in the Grand River Valley, Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Scott, John D; Foley, Janet E; Anderson, John F; Clark, Kerry L; Durden, Lance A

    2017-01-01

    We document the presence of blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, in the Grand River valley, Centre Wellington, Ontario. Overall, 15 (36%) of 42 I. scapularis adults collected from 41 mammalian hosts (dogs, cats, humans) were positive for the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.). Using real-time PCR testing and DNA sequencing of the flagellin (fla) gene, we determined that Borrelia amplicons extracted from I. scapularis adults belonged to B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), which is pathogenic to humans and certain domestic animals. Based on the distribution of I. scapularis adults within the river basin, it appears likely that migratory birds provide an annual influx of I. scapularis immatures during northward spring migration. Health-care providers need to be aware that local residents can present with Lyme disease symptoms anytime during the year.

  6. Detection of Lyme Disease Bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, in Blacklegged Ticks Collected in the Grand River Valley, Ontario, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Scott, John D.; Foley, Janet E.; Anderson, John F.; Clark, Kerry L.; Durden, Lance A.

    2017-01-01

    We document the presence of blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, in the Grand River valley, Centre Wellington, Ontario. Overall, 15 (36%) of 42 I. scapularis adults collected from 41 mammalian hosts (dogs, cats, humans) were positive for the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.). Using real-time PCR testing and DNA sequencing of the flagellin (fla) gene, we determined that Borrelia amplicons extracted from I. scapularis adults belonged to B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), which is pathogenic to humans and certain domestic animals. Based on the distribution of I. scapularis adults within the river basin, it appears likely that migratory birds provide an annual influx of I. scapularis immatures during northward spring migration. Health-care providers need to be aware that local residents can present with Lyme disease symptoms anytime during the year. PMID:28260991

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  8. Bird ticks in Hungary reflect western, southern, eastern flyway connections and two genetic lineages of Ixodes frontalis and Haemaphysalis concinna.

    PubMed

    Hornok, S; Flaisz, B; Takács, N; Kontschán, J; Csörgő, T; Csipak, Á; Jaksa, B R; Kováts, D

    2016-02-24

    Birds play an important role in short- and long-distance transportation of ticks and tick-borne pathogens. The aim of the present study was to provide comprehensive information on the species and genetic diversity of ixodid ticks transported by migratory and non-migratory bird species in Central Europe, and to evaluate relevant data in a geographical, as well as in an ecological context. During a three year period (2012-2014), altogether 3339 ixodid ticks were collected from 1167 passerine birds (representatives of 47 species) at ringing stations in Hungary. These ticks were identified, and the tick-infestations of bird species were compared according to various traits. In addition, PCR and sequencing of part of the cytochrome oxidase subunit-I (COI) and 16S rDNA genes were performed from representatives of five tick species. The most abundant tick species found were Ixodes ricinus and Haemaphysalis concinna (with 2296 and 989 immature stages, respectively). In addition, 48 I. frontalis (all stages), three Hyalomma rufipes nymphs, one I. lividus and two I. festai females were collected. The majority of I. ricinus and I. frontalis specimens occurred on ground-feeding bird species, as contrasted to Ha. concinna. Hy. rufipes showed the highest degree of sequence identity to an Ethiopian hybrid of the same tick species. Based on both COI and 16S rDNA gene analyses, two genetic lineages of I. frontalis were recognized (with only 91.4 % identity in their partial COI gene). These were highly similar to South-Western European isolates of the same tick species. Phylogenetic analysis of Ha. concinna specimens collected from birds in Hungary also revealed two genetic lineages, one of which showed high (≥99 %) degree of 16S rDNA sequence identity to conspecific East Asian isolates. Two genetic lineages of I. frontalis and Ha. concinna are transported by birds in Central Europe, which reflect a high degree of sequence identity to South-Western European and East Asian isolates

  9. Repellency and efficacy of 65% permethrin and selamectin spot-on formulations against Ixodes ricinus ticks on dogs.

    PubMed

    Endris, Richard G; Cooke, Dara; Amodie, Deborah; Sweeney, Diane L; Katz, Terry L

    2002-01-01

    Two topically applied spot-on products used for flea and tick control on dogs, 65% permethrin (Defend EXspot Treatment for Dogs, Schering-Plough Animal Health Corp., Union, NJ) and selamectin (Revolution [United States] or Stronghold [Europe], Pfizer Animal Health, New York, NY), were evaluated for repellency and efficacy against Ixodes ricinus, the primary vector of Lyme disease in Europe. Eighteen dogs were evenly and randomly allocated to the following treatments: 1) 65% permethrin, 2) selamectin, 3) untreated control. Dogs were treated by topical application of the assigned product in accordance with product label directions on Day 0. At 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35 days after treatment, each dog was exposed for 2 hours to 50 unfed, adult ticks in a cage with a carpet that covered approximately 70% of the floor area. After the exposure period, dogs were removed from the cages and live and dead ticks were counted on the dogs and in the cages. The number of live ticks recovered was reduced by 90.3% to 99.5% for dogs treated with 65% permethrin (P <.0001 versus controls and selamectin), compared with 10.9% to 31.1% for dogs treated with selamectin (P >.05 versus controls). The repellency of 65% permethrin was 63.4% to 80.2% against I. ricinus ticks (P <.0001 versus controls, P <.0007 versus selamectin), compared with 0% to 10.9% repellency for selamectin (P >.05 versus controls).

  10. Bat ticks revisited: Ixodes ariadnae sp. nov. and allopatric genotypes of I. vespertilionis in caves of Hungary.

    PubMed

    Hornok, Sándor; Kontschán, Jenő; Kováts, Dávid; Kovács, Richárd; Angyal, Dorottya; Görföl, Tamás; Polacsek, Zsolt; Kalmár, Zsuzsa; Mihalca, Andrei D

    2014-04-27

    In Europe two ixodid bat tick species, Ixodes vespertilionis and I. simplex were hitherto known to occur. Bat ticks were collected from cave walls and bats in Hungary. Their morphology and genotypes were compared with microscopy and conventional PCR (followed by sequencing), respectively. A year-round activity of I. vespertilionis was observed. Molecular analysis of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene of twenty ticks from different caves showed that the occurrence of the most common genotype was associated with the caves close to each other. A few specimens of a morphologically different tick variant were also found and their COI analysis revealed only 86-88% sequence homology with I. simplex and I. vespertilionis, respectively. The microenvironment of caves (well separated from each other) appears to support the existence of allopatric I. vespertilionis COI genotypes, most likely related to the distance between caves and to bat migration over-bridging certain caves. The name I. ariadnae sp. nov. is given to the new tick species described here for the first time.

  11. Bat ticks revisited: Ixodes ariadnae sp. nov. and allopatric genotypes of I. vespertilionis in caves of Hungary

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In Europe two ixodid bat tick species, Ixodes vespertilionis and I. simplex were hitherto known to occur. Methods Bat ticks were collected from cave walls and bats in Hungary. Their morphology and genotypes were compared with microscopy and conventional PCR (followed by sequencing), respectively. Results A year-round activity of I. vespertilionis was observed. Molecular analysis of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene of twenty ticks from different caves showed that the occurrence of the most common genotype was associated with the caves close to each other. A few specimens of a morphologically different tick variant were also found and their COI analysis revealed only 86-88% sequence homology with I. simplex and I. vespertilionis, respectively. Conclusions The microenvironment of caves (well separated from each other) appears to support the existence of allopatric I. vespertilionis COI genotypes, most likely related to the distance between caves and to bat migration over-bridging certain caves. The name I. ariadnae sp. nov. is given to the new tick species described here for the first time. PMID:24766822

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. A Rickettsiella bacterium from the hard tick, Ixodes woodi: molecular taxonomy combining multilocus sequence typing (MLST) with significance testing.

    PubMed

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

    Schwantes, Ulrich; Dautel, Hans; Jung, Gerd

    2008-04-08

    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. 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 x 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. 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 and adults for at least 6

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Bacteria of the genus Rickettsia in ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) collected from birds in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Ogrzewalska, Maria; Literák, Ivan; Capek, Miroslav; Sychra, Oldřich; Calderón, Víctor Álvarez; Rodríguez, Bernardo Calvo; Prudencio, Carlos; Martins, Thiago F; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2015-06-01

    The aim of this study was to document the presence of Rickettsia spp. in ticks parasitizing wild birds in Costa Rica. Birds were trapped at seven locations in Costa Rica during 2004, 2009, and 2010; then visually examined for the presence of ticks. Ticks were identified, and part of them was tested individually for the presence of Rickettsia spp. by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using primers targeting fragments of the rickettsial genes gltA and ompA. PCR products were DNA-sequenced and analyzed in BLAST to determine similarities with previously reported rickettsial agents. A total of 1878 birds were examined, from which 163 birds (9%) were infested with 388 ticks of the genera Amblyomma and Ixodes. The following Amblyomma (in decreasing order of abundance) were found in immature stages (larvae and nymphs): Amblyomma longirostre, Amblyomma calcaratum, Amblyomma coelebs, Amblyomma sabanerae, Amblyomma varium, Amblyomma maculatum, and Amblyomma ovale. Ixodes ticks were represented by Ixodes minor and two unclassified species, designated here as Ixodes sp. genotype I, and Ixodes sp. genotype II. Twelve of 24 tested A. longirostre ticks were found to be infected with 'Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii', and 2 of 4 A. sabanerae were found to be infected with Rickettsia bellii. Eight of 10 larval Ixodes minor were infected with an endosymbiont (a novel Rickettsia sp. agent) genetically related to the Ixodes scapularis endosymbiont. No rickettsial DNA was found in A. calcaratum, A. coelebs, A. maculatum, A. ovale, A. varium, Ixodes sp. I, and Ixodes sp. II. We report the occurrence of I. minor in Costa Rica for the first time and a number of new bird host-tick associations. Moreover, 'Candidatus R. amblyommii' and R. bellii were found in A. longirostre and A. sabanerae, respectively, in Costa Rica for the first time.

  3. Genetic variability of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in ticks and voles from Ixodes persulcatus/Ixodes trianguliceps sympatric areas from Western Siberia, Russia.

    PubMed

    Rar, Vera A; Epikhina, Tamara I; Yakimenko, Valeriy V; Malkova, Marina G; Tancev, Aleksey K; Bondarenko, Evgeny I; Ivanov, Mikhail K; Tikunova, Nina V

    2014-10-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a causative agent of granulocytic anaplasmosis in different mammals. The presence of A. phagocytophilum was assayed in Ixodes persulcatus, Ixodes trianguliceps ticks and Myodes spp. voles from two I. persulcatus/I. trianguliceps sympatric areas in the Omsk region (Western Siberia, Russia). In total, A. phagocytophilum was found in 42/108 (38.9%) of vole blood samples, 13/34 (38.2%) of I. trianguliceps ticks removed from voles, 1/12 (8.3%) of I. persulcatus removed from voles, and 18/279 (7.2%) of questing I. persulcatus. GroESL operon sequence analysis of positive samples revealed three distinct A. phagocytophilum genetic groups previously identified in ticks and mammals in Russia. Genetic group 1 was found in 6/36 (16.7%) of sequenced positive blood samples; this group was previously revealed in I. persulcatus and Myodes spp. voles in different regions of Russia. Genetic group 2 was found in 30/36 (83.3%) of sequenced positive blood samples and all positive I. trianguliceps; this group was previously revealed only in Myodes spp. voles and common shrews (Sorex araneus) in I. persulcatus/I. trianguliceps sympatric areas in the Northern Ural. Genetic group 3 was found in all positive questing I. persulcatus and one blood sample; this group was previously revealed in I. persulcatus and Siberian chipmunks (Tamias sibiricus). We suppose that I. trianguliceps is the most probable vector for A. phagocytophilum of group 2. Analysis of the msp4 gene, intergenic region DOV1, and some other genetic loci has shown that isolates from different genetic groups significantly differ in all studied loci and that A. phagocytophilum of group 2 is closely related to A. phagocytophilum isolates revealed in voles and I. trianguliceps in Europe. A. phagocytophilum of groups 1 and 2 are the most similar to each other, while A. phagocytophilum of group 3 clusters with European A. phagocytophilum isolates from I. ricinus and various mammalian species. Copyright

  4. Physiological age of field-collected female taiga ticks, Ixodes persulcatus (Acari: Ixodidae), and their infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato.

    PubMed

    Uspensky, Igor; Kovalevskii, Yuri V; Korenberg, Edward I

    2006-01-01

    In some studies the prevalence of tick infection (infection rate) and the intensity of infection are negatively correlated with unfed tick age (in the broad sense of this term). However, no special research has been carried out to consider the phenomenon thoroughly. The infection indices of the female taiga ticks, Ixodes persulcatus, infected with Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. were related to tick physiological age, an index that more precisely reflects tick physiological state than the time of tick collection in the field or the duration of tick survival under laboratory conditions. A novel quantitative technique of physiological age determination based on the evaluation of the ratios between sizes of the stable (scutum) and the changing (alloscutum) structures of the tick body was used. The age was estimated in accordance with the classical age-grade scale introduced by Balashov and a more fractional scale determined by the new technique. In total, 131 female ticks were examined for their infection and physiological age, 46 of which were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. (mean infection rate 35.1%). The minimal intensity of infection was 0.4 bacterial cells per 100 fields of view whereas the maximal infection was 172 cells. There was no difference between the prevalence of infection in ticks of different physiological age. The intensity of infection obviously differed between ticks of different age groups in the scale introduced by Balashov but did not significantly differ between ticks of different age groups according to the fractional age-grade scale. The data concerning the relationships between Borrelia burgdorferi and unfed Ixodes ticks are considered.

  5. '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.

  6. A Density Map of the Tick-Borne Encephalitis and Lyme Borreliosis Vector Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) for Germany.

    PubMed

    Brugger, Katharina; Boehnke, Denise; Petney, Trevor; Dobler, Gerhard; Pfeffer, Martin; Silaghi, Cornelia; Schaub, Günter A; Pinior, Beate; Dautel, Hans; Kahl, Olaf; Pfister, Kurt; Süss, Jochen; Rubel, Franz

    2016-11-01

    The castor bean tick Ixodes ricinus (L.) is the principal vector for a variety of viral, bacterial, and protozoan pathogens causing a growing public-health issue over the past decades. However, a national density map of I. ricinus is still missing. Here, I. ricinus nymphs in Germany were investigated by compiling a high-resolution map depicting the mean annually accumulated nymphal density, as observed by monthly flagging an area of 100 m(2) Input data comprise ticks collected at 69 sampling sites. The model domain covers an area of about 357,000 km(2) (regional scale). Two negative binomial regression models were fitted to the data to interpolate the tick densities to unsampled locations using bioclimatic variables and land cover, which were selected according to their significance by the Akaike information criterion (AIC). The default model was fitted to the complete dataset resulting in AIC = 842. An optimized model resulted in a significantly better value of AIC = 732. Tick densities are very low in urban (green) areas. Maximum annual densities up to 1,000 nymphs per 100 m(2) are observed in broad-leaved forests. The tick maps were verified by leave-one-out cross-validation. Root mean square errors of RMSE = 137 and RMSE = 126 nymphs per 100 m(2) were estimated for the two models, respectively. These errors are of the order of the interannual variation of the tick densities. The compilation of a high-resolution density map of unfed nymphal I. ricinus for Germany provides a novel, nationwide insight into the distribution of an important disease vector. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Detection of human bacterial pathogens in ticks collected from Louisiana black bears (Ursus americanus luteolus).

    PubMed

    Leydet, Brian F; Liang, Fang-Ting

    2013-04-01

    There are 4 major human-biting tick species in the northeastern United States, which include: Amblyomma americanum, Amblyomma maculatum, Dermacentor variabilis, and Ixodes scapularis. The black bear is a large mammal that has been shown to be parasitized by all the aforementioned ticks. We investigated the bacterial infections in ticks collected from Louisiana black bears (Ursus americanus subspecies luteolus). Eighty-six ticks were collected from 17 black bears in Louisiana from June 2010 to March 2011. All 4 common human-biting tick species were represented. Each tick was subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting select bacterial pathogens and symbionts. Bacterial DNA was detected in 62% of ticks (n=53). Rickettsia parkeri, the causative agent of an emerging spotted fever group rickettsiosis, was identified in 66% of A. maculatum, 28% of D. variabilis, and 11% of I. scapularis. The Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, was detected in 2 I. scapularis, while one A. americanum was positive for Borrelia bissettii, a putative human pathogen. The rickettsial endosymbionts Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae, rickettsial endosymbiont of I. scapularis, and Rickettsia amblyommii were detected in their common tick hosts at 21%, 39%, and 60%, respectively. All ticks were PCR-negative for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia spp., and Babesia microti. This is the first reported detection of R. parkeri in vector ticks in Louisiana; we also report the novel association of R. parkeri with I. scapularis. Detection of both R. parkeri and B. burgdorferi in their respective vectors in Louisiana demands further investigation to determine potential for human exposure to these pathogens. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  9. Partial pathogen protection by tick-bite sensitization and epitope recognition in peptide-immunized HLA DR3 transgenic mice

    PubMed Central

    Shattuck, Wendy M C; Dyer, Megan C; Desrosiers, Joe; Fast, Loren D; Terry, Frances E; Martin, William D; Moise, Leonard; De Groot, Anne S; Mather, Thomas N

    2014-01-01

    Ticks are notorious vectors of disease for humans, and many species of ticks transmit multiple pathogens, sometimes in the same tick bite. Accordingly, a broad-spectrum vaccine that targets vector ticks and pathogen transmission at the tick/host interface, rather than multiple vaccines against every possible tickborne pathogen, could become an important tool for resolving an emerging public health crisis. The concept for such a tick protective vaccine comes from observations of an acquired tick resistance (ATR) that can develop in non-natural hosts of ticks following sensitization to tick salivary components. Mice are commonly used as models to study immune responses to human pathogens but normal mice are natural hosts for many species of ticks and fail to develop ATR. We evaluated HLA DR3 transgenic (tg) “humanized” mice as a potential model of ATR and assessed the possibility of using this animal model for tick protective vaccine discovery studies. Serial tick infestations with pathogen-free Ixodes scapularis ticks were used to tick-bite sensitize HLA DR3 tg mice. Sensitization resulted in a cytokine skew favoring a Th2 bias as well as partial (57%) protection to infection with Lyme disease spirochetes (Borrelia burgdorferi) following infected tick challenge when compared to tick naïve counterparts. I. scapularis salivary gland homogenate (SGH) and a group of immunoinformatic-predicted T cell epitopes identified from the I. scapularis salivary transcriptome were used separately to vaccinate HLA DR3 tg mice, and these mice also were assessed for both pathogen protection and epitope recognition. Reduced pathogen transmission along with a Th2 skew resulted from SGH vaccination, while no significant protection and a possible T regulatory bias was seen in epitope-vaccinated mice. This study provides the first proof-of-concept for using HLA DR tg “humanized” mice for studying the potential tick protective effects of immunoinformatic- or otherwise-derived tick

  10. Partial pathogen protection by tick-bite sensitization and epitope recognition in peptide-immunized HLA DR3 transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Shattuck, Wendy M C; Dyer, Megan C; Desrosiers, Joe; Fast, Loren D; Terry, Frances E; Martin, William D; Moise, Leonard; De Groot, Anne S; Mather, Thomas N

    2014-01-01

    Ticks are notorious vectors of disease for humans, and many species of ticks transmit multiple pathogens, sometimes in the same tick bite. Accordingly, a broad-spectrum vaccine that targets vector ticks and pathogen transmission at the tick/host interface, rather than multiple vaccines against every possible tickborne pathogen, could become an important tool for resolving an emerging public health crisis. The concept for such a tick protective vaccine comes from observations of an acquired tick resistance (ATR) that can develop in non-natural hosts of ticks following sensitization to tick salivary components. Mice are commonly used as models to study immune responses to human pathogens but normal mice are natural hosts for many species of ticks and fail to develop ATR. We evaluated HLA DR3 transgenic (tg) "humanized" mice as a potential model of ATR and assessed the possibility of using this animal model for tick protective vaccine discovery studies. Serial tick infestations with pathogen-free Ixodes scapularis ticks were used to tick-bite sensitize HLA DR3 tg mice. Sensitization resulted in a cytokine skew favoring a Th2 bias as well as partial (57%) protection to infection with Lyme disease spirochetes (Borrelia burgdorferi) following infected tick challenge when compared to tick naïve counterparts. I. scapularis salivary gland homogenate (SGH) and a group of immunoinformatic-predicted T cell epitopes identified from the I. scapularis salivary transcriptome were used separately to vaccinate HLA DR3 tg mice, and these mice also were assessed for both pathogen protection and epitope recognition. Reduced pathogen transmission along with a Th2 skew resulted from SGH vaccination, while no significant protection and a possible T regulatory bias was seen in epitope-vaccinated mice. This study provides the first proof-of-concept for using HLA DR tg "humanized" mice for studying the potential tick protective effects of immunoinformatic- or otherwise-derived tick salivary

  11. 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

  12. Active surveillance to update county scale distribution of four tick species of medical and veterinary importance in Oklahoma.

    PubMed

    Mitcham, Jessica R; Barrett, Anne W; Gruntmeir, Jeff M; Holland, Taylor; Martin, Jaclyn E; Johnson, Eileen M; Little, Susan E; Noden, Bruce H

    2017-06-01

    The incidence of tick-borne disease continues to increase in humans and companion animals in the United States, yet distribution maps for several tick vectors in Oklahoma, including Dermacentor variabilis, Dermacentor albipictus, Ixodes scapularis, and Amblyomma maculatum, are not available or are outdated. To address this issue, county-scale tick records from peer-reviewed literature and passive collections were reviewed for Oklahoma. Additionally, dry ice traps, tick drags, and harvested deer were utilized to actively collect adult ticks throughout the state. Through these methods, D. variabilis, D. albipictus, I. scapularis, and A. maculatum were identified in 88% (68/77), 45.4% (35/77), 66.2% (51/77), and 64.9% (50/77) of the counties in Oklahoma, respectively. Baseline maps were developed for the distribution of D. variabilis and D. albipictus and distribution maps were updated for I. scapularis and A. maculatum. This data confirms that these four species of ticks continue to be widespread within Oklahoma with a western expansion of the range of I. scapularis within the state. These results assist efforts to better understand the epidemiology of the different diseases caused by pathogens transmitted by these tick species within the Great Plains region. © 2017 The Society for Vector Ecology.

  13. Toxic and repellent activity of selected monoterpenoids (thymol, carvacrol and linalool) against the castor bean tick, Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Tabari, Mohaddeseh Abouhosseini; Youssefi, Mohammad Reza; Maggi, Filippo; Benelli, Giovanni

    2017-10-15

    The castor bean tick, Ixodes ricinus, is a species of medical and veterinary importance. The use of synthetic acaricides for tick control has led to development of resistance, residues in the environment and animal products, and public health concerns. In this regard, plant essential oils and their main constituents represent an appealing alternative strategy to combat ticks. The phenols thymol and carvacrol and the alcohol linalool are monoterpenoids occurring in essential oils of several aromatic and medicinal plants, such as thyme, oregano, savory, lavender and coriander. Recent studies have shown toxicity of these monoterpenoids against selected mosquito vectors and other arthropod pests. However, information on their bioactivity on I. ricinus is not available. On this basis, here we evaluated the ovicidal, larvicidal and repellency effects of these compounds against I. ricinus. Concentrations of 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2 and 5% were sprayed on the egg masses, then hatching rates were noted. Larvicidal assays were conducted on unengorged larvae, following the larval packet technique. The repellency was determined by measuring the vertical migration behavior of ticks in laboratory conditions. Carvacrol and thymol at all concentrations tested led to a significant hatching decrease, showing an efficacy higher than permethrin, whereas linalool did not cause any significant effect. In the larvae treated with carvacrol and thymol (1, 2 and 5%), mortality rates reached 100% after 24h, showing a larvicidal efficacy higher than permethrin, whereas no effect was seen in the larval groups treated with linalool. Carvacrol and thymol at all concentrations tested showed >90% repellency on I. ricinus. Linalool was scarcely effective (50.24% repellency) only at the concentration of 5%. Overall, based on these results, the phenols carvacrol and thymol can be considered as candidate ingredients for the development of novel acaricidal formulations to control the populations of I. ricinus

  14. The influence of red deer space use on the distribution of Ixodes ricinus ticks in the landscape.

    PubMed

    Qviller, Lars; Viljugrein, Hildegunn; Loe, Leif Egil; Meisingset, Erling L; Mysterud, Atle

    2016-10-13

    Many wingless ectoparasites have a limited capacity for active movement and are therefore primarily dependent on hitchhiking on their hosts for transportation. The distribution of the tick Ixodes ricinus is expected to depend mainly on transportation by hosts and tick subsequent survival in areas where they drop off. In Europe, the most important hosts of adult female I. ricinus are cervids. The extensive space use of large hosts provides a much larger dispersal potential for I. ricinus than that of smaller mammalian hosts. We aim to determine the contribution of red deer (Cervus elaphus) space use on the spatial distribution of I. ricinus, after accounting for landscape factors. We analysed the spatial distribution of I. ricinus with generalised mixed effects models (GLMMs) based on data from extensive field surveys of questing density in two coastal regions in Norway, from which home range data from 73 red deer with GPS collars were available. Red deer home ranges were derived using the kernel method to identify areas most frequently used by deer. We first fitted a baseline model with tick questing densities relative to landscape features that are likely to affect local climate conditions and hence, survival. We then added deer space use variables to the baseline model with only landscape variables to test whether areas more frequently used by red deer had higher questing tick densities. Questing I. ricinus density was predicted by several landscape features, such as elevation, distance to the fjord and topographic slope. In addition, we found that areas more heavily used within the red deer home ranges, correlated with higher questing tick densities. Increased effects of deer space use were additive to the landscape model, suggesting that correlations were more than just shared landscape preferences between deer and ticks. Our results imply that the distribution of I. ricinus is controlled by a complex set of factors that include both local conditions related to

  15. Molecular Characterization of Tick Salivary Gland Glutaminyl Cyclase

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Detection of a spotted fever group Rickettsia in the tick Ixodes tasmani collected from koalas in Port Macquarie, Australia.

    PubMed

    Vilcins, Inger-Marie E; Old, Julie M; Deane, Elizabeth M

    2008-07-01

    Four species of Rickettsia are recognized as endemic to Australia. This study reports the detection of a new spotted fever group Rickettsia in the common marsupial tick Ixodes tasmani Neumann collected from koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia. Based on the results of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of extracted tick DNA with primers targeting the citrate synthase gene (gltA) and the outer membrane proteins A and B (ompA. ompB), Rickettsiae were detected in 22 of 78 I. tasmani tick samples (28.2%). Sequence data obtained for the three genes displayed the closest degree of similarity to Rickettsia heilongjiangiensiss for gltA (99.4%; 331/333 bp), Rickettsia amblyommii for the ompA gene (94.8%; 417/440 bp), and both Rickettsia massiliae and Rickettsia rhipicephali for the ompB gene (97%; 770/803 bp). BLAST and phylogenetic analysis of partial sequences obtained for the three genes were found to have sufficient nucleotide variation from the current recognized Australian species to be considered a distinct spotted fever group Rickettsia.

  17. Detection and Characterization of the Emerging Relapsing Fever Pathogen, Borrelia miyamotoi, from the Ixodes ricinus Tick in the Rural Trakya (Thrace) Region of Northwestern Turkey.

    PubMed

    Sakakibara, Keiko; Şen, Ece; Sato, Kozue; Kawabata, Hiroki; Ohashi, Norio; Masuzawa, Toshiyuki

    2016-12-01

    The hard tick-borne relapsing fever agent, Borrelia miyamotoi infection in Ixodes ricinus ticks sampled from Istanbul and the countryside of Kirklareli in northwestern Turkey, was examined by TaqMan-PCR targeting 16S rDNA, nested PCR targeting 16S rDNA, the flagellin gene (flaB), and the 16S and 23S rDNA intergenic spacer (IGS), and sequencing analyses of these amplicons. B. miyamotoi was detected in 1 out of 248 I. ricinus ticks (infection rate 0.4%). The tick infected with B. miyamotoi was collected in Longos, Kirklareli province on the European side of Turkey near the Bulgarian border. The 16S rDNA, flaB, and IGS sequences from the infected tick showed high similarities to those of B. miyamotoi detected in I. ricinus in Europe.

  18. Extraction of total nucleic acids from ticks for the detection of bacterial and viral pathogens.

    PubMed

    Crowder, Chris D; Rounds, Megan A; Phillipson, Curtis A; Picuri, John M; Matthews, Heather E; Halverson, Justina; Schutzer, Steven E; Ecker, David J; Eshoo, Mark W

    2010-01-01

    Ticks harbor numerous bacterial, protozoal, and viral pathogens that can cause serious infections in humans and domestic animals. Active surveillance of the tick vector can provide insight into the frequency and distribution of important pathogens in the environment. Nucleic-acid based detection of tick-borne bacterial, protozoan, and viral pathogens requires the extraction of both DNA and RNA (total nucleic acids) from ticks. Traditional methods for nucleic acid extraction are limited to extraction of either DNA or the RNA from a sample. Here we present a simple bead-beating based protocol for extraction of DNA and RNA from a single tick and show detection of Borrelia burgdorferi and Powassan virus from individual, infected Ixodes scapularis ticks. We determined expected yields for total nucleic acids by this protocol for a variety of adult tick species. The method is applicable to a variety of arthropod vectors, including fleas and mosquitoes, and was partially automated on a liquid handling robot.

  19. Extraction of Total Nucleic Acids From Ticks for the Detection of Bacterial and Viral Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Crowder, Chris D.; Rounds, Megan A.; Phillipson, Curtis A.; Picuri, John M.; Matthews, Heather E.; Halverson, Justina; Schutzer, Steven E.; Ecker, David J.; Eshoo, Mark W.

    2010-01-01

    Ticks harbor numerous bacterial, protozoal, and viral pathogens that can cause serious infections in humans and domestic animals. Active surveillance of the tick vector can provide insight into the frequency and distribution of important pathogens in the environment. Nucleic-acid based detection of tick-borne bacterial, protozoan, and viral pathogens requires the extraction of both DNA and RNA (total nucleic acids) from ticks. Traditional methods for nucleic acid extraction are limited to extraction of either DNA or the RNA from a sample. Here we present a simple bead-beating based protocol for extraction of DNA and RNA from a single tick and show detection of Borrelia burgdorferi and Powassan virus from individual, infected Ixodes scapularis ticks. We determined expected yields for total nucleic acids by this protocol for a variety of adult tick species. The method is applicable to a variety of arthropod vectors, including fleas and mosquitoes, and was partially automated on a liquid handling robot. PMID:20180313

  20. Differential feeding success of two paralysis-inducing ticks, Rhipicephalus warburtoni and Ixodes rubicundus on sympatric small mammal species, Elephantulus myurus and Micaelamys namaquensis.

    PubMed

    Harrison, A; Robb, G N; Bennett, N C; Horak, I G

    2012-09-10

    Rodents are recognised as important hosts of ixodid ticks and as reservoirs of tick-borne pathogens across the world. Sympatric insectivores are usually inconspicuous and often overlooked as hosts of ticks and reservoirs of disease. Elephant shrews or sengis of the order Macroscelidea are small insectivores that often occur in sympatry with rodents in southern Africa. Sengis are invariably parasitised by large numbers of immature ticks while sympatric rodents are infested with very few. The reason for the difference in tick parasitism rates between these hosts is unknown. While a number of mechanisms are possible, we hypothesised that certain tick species exhibit "true host specificity" and as such would only attach and feed successfully on their preferred host or a very closely related host species. To investigate this, we conducted feeding experiments using two economically important tick species, the brown paralysis tick, Rhipicephalus warburtoni and the Karoo paralysis tick, Ixodes rubicundus and two sympatric small mammal species as potential hosts, the eastern rock sengi, Elephantulus myurus and the Namaqua rock mouse, Micaelamys namaquensis. Ticks attached and fed readily on E. myurus, but did not attach or feed successfully on M. namaquensis suggesting that these ticks exhibit true host specificity. We suggest that a kairomonal cue originating from the odour of E. myurus may stimulate the attachment and feeding of these ticks and that they further possess immunosuppressive mechanisms specific to E. myurus, allowing them to feed on this host species but not on M. namaquensis. This study highlights the importance of small mammalian insectivores as potential hosts of ixodid tick species and hence their potential as reservoirs of tick-borne pathogens. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

  2. Identification of endosymbionts in ticks by broad-range polymerase chain reaction and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Rounds, Megan A; Crowder, Christopher D; Matthews, Heather E; Philipson, Curtis A; Scoles, Glen A; Ecker, David J; Schutzer, Steven E; Eshoo, Mark W

    2012-07-01

    Many organisms, such as insects, filarial nematodes, and ticks, contain heritable bacterial endosymbionts that are often closely related to transmissible tickborne pathogens. These intracellular bacteria are sometimes unique to the host species, presumably due to isolation and genetic drift. We used a polymerase chain reaction/electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry assay designed to detect a wide range of vectorborne microorganisms to characterize endosymbiont genetic signatures from Amblyomma americanum (L.), Amblyomma maculatum Koch, Dermacentor andersoni Stiles, Dermacentor occidentalis Marx, Dermacentor variabilis (Say), Ixodes scapularis Say, Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls, Ixodes ricinus (L.), and Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille) ticks collected at various sites and of different stages and both sexes. The assay combines the abilities to simultaneously detect pathogens and closely related endosymbionts and to identify tick species via characterization of their respective unique endosymbionts in a single test.

  3. Identification of Endosymbionts in Ticks by Broad-Range Polymerase Chain Reaction and Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    ROUNDS, MEGAN A.; CROWDER, CHRISTOPHER D.; MATTHEWS, HEATHER E.; PHILIPSON, CURTIS A.; SCOLES, GLEN A.; ECKER, DAVID J.; SCHUTZER, STEVEN E.; ESHOO, MARK W.

    2012-01-01

    Many organisms, such as insects, filarial nematodes, and ticks, contain heritable bacterial endosymbionts that are often closely related to transmissible tickborne pathogens. These intracellular bacteria are sometimes unique to the host species, presumably due to isolation and genetic drift. We used a polymerase chain reaction/electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry assay designed to detect a wide range of vectorborne microorganisms to characterize endosymbiont genetic signatures from Amblyomma americanum (L.), Amblyomma maculatum Koch, Dermacentor andersoni Stiles, Dermacentor occidentalis Marx, Dermacentor variabilis (Say), Ixodes scapularis Say, Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls, Ixodes ricinus (L.), and Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille) ticks collected at various sites and of different stages and both sexes. The assay combines the abilities to simultaneously detect pathogens and closely related endosymbionts and to identify tick species via characterization of their respective unique endosymbionts in a single test. PMID:22897044

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

    This paper presents preliminary findings towards developing a UK-specific approach to reducing public exposure to woodland questing Ixodes ricinus tick populations by harnessing existing biodiversity-enhancing woodland ride (i.e., linear non-wooded herbaceous habitat either side of track within woodland) management strategies. This preliminary study in an English woodland firstly assesses whether ecological and environmental factors determine presence and density of questing Ixodes ricinus along woodland rides. Secondly, it sets these findings in the context of woodland ride management guidelines in England in order to understand what impact ride management strategies might have on numbers of questing ticks and tick survival. Nymph and adult I. ricinus presence and abundance were modelled in relation to relevant microclimate and ecological parameter variables. Predictor variables for increased questing nymph abundance included ride orientation, mat depth, occurrence of bracken/bramble and animal tracks, ride/path width, and sward height. Ticks thrive in the ecotonal habitat of a woodland ride, therefore we urge woodland managers to consider the impact of their ride management on ticks and human exposure to ticks. Possible recommendations for mitigating questing I. ricinus in line with biodiversity management guidelines rides are discussed in this paper and include seasonal mowing regimes, management of mulch/mat, and bracken/bramble management through use of scalloped ride edges. © 2012 The Society for Vector Ecology.

  6. NT-proBNP and cardiac troponin I concentrations in dogs with tick paralysis caused by Ixodes holocyclus.

    PubMed

    Nicolson, G P; McGrath, Alh; Webster, R A; Li, J; Kaye, S; Malik, R; Beijerink, N J

    2016-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine through measurement of cardiac biomarkers whether there was cardiac involvement in dogs infested with Ixodes holocyclus. Dogs with tick paralysis and no-mild (group 1; n = 44) or moderate-severe respiratory compromise (group 2; n = 36) and a control group of dogs (n = 31) were enrolled. Plasma N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), serum cardiac troponin I (cTnI) and serum creatinine concentrations were determined. For most of the affected dogs SpO2 was determined. SpO2 readings did not differ between groups 1 and 2. Three animals in group 2 had an SpO2 reading <90%. NT-proBNP concentrations were lower in both groups 1 and 2 compared with the control group. There was no difference in cTnI concentrations among groups, although they were elevated in four dogs, including the three dogs in group 2 with SpO2 readings <90%. Creatinine concentrations were within the reference interval for all dogs, but did differ among the groups, with control dogs having the highest values, followed by group 1 and then group 2. This study did not detect significant cardiac involvement in dogs with tick paralysis induced by I. holocyclus. Evidence for reduced preload in dogs with tick paralysis was provided by lower NT-proBNP concentrations compared with control dogs. Severe hypoxaemia may not be a significant component of the clinical picture in many of the dogs presenting with tick paralysis. Dogs with severe hypoxaemia may have loss of cardiomyocyte integrity, reflected by elevated cTnI concentrations. © 2016 Australian Veterinary Association.

  7. Ecological factors that determine Ixodes ricinus tick burdens in the great tit (Parus major), an avian reservoir of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.

    PubMed

    Heylen, Dieter; Adriaensen, Frank; Van Dongen, Stefan; Sprong, Hein; Matthysen, Erik

    2013-07-01

    Although bird-tick systems affect the human risk of tick-borne diseases, very little is known about the ecological factors that shape the spatio-temporal variation of tick infestations in terrestrial songbirds. We present a risk model that explains the levels of infestation of Ixodes ricinus, the main vector of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., during the breeding season of the great tit (Parus major), one of Europe's most abundant avian reservoir hosts of B. burgdorferi s.l. Tit tick burden were modelled as a function of variables summarising vegetation, climate, proxies for mammal abundance and characteristics of individual birds and their nests. Tick loads were positively associated with the relative humidity prior to capture of the bird and the cover of bracken inside its territory. The number of cold winter days prior to the bird's breeding season showed a negative association with tick loads. None of the proxies for mammal abundance correlated with tick loads. Tick loads decreased with age in female tits, whereas they increased with age in male tits. Tick burdens in the parental tits were positively associated with their brood size and negatively correlated with the average nestling body weight. Possible mechanisms include: how tit foraging influences tick encounter rates, host tick resistance mechanisms and the environmental conditions that simultaneously affect tick exposure risk and brood characteristics. We believe this study provides the first detailed insights into the ecological factors that shape tick burden in a terrestrial songbird. Copyright © 2013 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Ticks and spotted fever group rickettsiae of southeastern Virginia.

    PubMed

    Nadolny, Robyn M; Wright, Chelsea L; Sonenshine, Daniel E; Hynes, Wayne L; Gaff, Holly D

    2014-02-01

    The incidence of tick-borne rickettsial disease in the southeastern United States has been rising steadily through the past decade, and the range expansions of tick species and tick-borne infectious agents, new and old, has resulted in an unprecedented mix of vectors and pathogens. The results of an ongoing 4-year surveillance project describe the relative abundance of questing tick populations in southeastern Virginia. Since 2009, more than 66,000 questing ticks of 7 species have been collected from vegetation in a variety of habitats, with Amblyomma americanum constituting over 95% of ticks collected. Other species represented included Ixodes scapularis, Dermacentor variabilis, Amblyomma maculatum, Ixodes affinis, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, and Ixodes brunneus. We found that 26.9-54.9% of A. americanum ticks tested were positive for Rickettsia amblyommii, a non-pathogenic symbiont of this tick species. We also found no evidence of R. rickettsii in D. variabilis ticks, although they did show low infection rates of R. montanensis (1.5-2.0%). Rickettsia parkeri and Candidatus R. andeanae were found in 41.8-55.7% and 0-1.5% A. maculatum ticks, respectively. The rate of R. parkeri in A. maculatum ticks is among the highest in the literature and has increased in the 2 years since R. parkeri and A. maculatum were first reported in southeastern Virginia. We conclude that tick populations in southeastern Virginia have recently undergone dramatic changes in species and abundance and that these populations support a variety of rickettsial agents with the potential for increased risk to human health.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Distribution of borreliae among ticks collected from eastern states.

    PubMed

    Taft, Sarah C; Miller, Melissa K; Wright, Stephen M

    2005-01-01

    Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne disease in the United States and is transmitted by Borrelia burgdorferi-infected Ixodes species. The disease is typically characterized by an erythema migrans (EM) rash at the site of tick feeding. EM rashes have also been associated with feeding by Amblyomma americanum ticks despite evidence suggesting that they are incompetent vectors for Lyme disease. In 1996, a Borrelia organism only recently cultivated in the laboratory was described in A. americanum ticks and designated B. lonestari. This Borrelia is believed to be the etiologic agent of a novel Lyme-like disease, southern tick associated rash illness (STARI). This study examined ticks collected from eight eastern states to evaluate the epidemiology of B. lonestari, B. burgdorferi, and their tick hosts. Three hundred individual or small pool samples were evaluated from tick genera that included Amblyomma, Ixodes, and Dermacentor. DNA was extracted following tick homogenization and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed using primers derived from the flagellin gene that amplify sequences from both B. burgdorferi and B. lonestari. Species specific digoxigenin labeled probes were designed and used to differentiate between B. burgdorferi and B. lonestari. Borrelia DNA was detected in approximately 10% of the A. americanum and I. scapularis tick samples, but none was present in any of the Dermacentor samples tested. Positive samples were detected in ticks collected from Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia. This is the first known report of B. lonestari from Massachusetts and New York and the first detection in I. scapularis. This suggests that B. lonestari and its putative association with STARI may be more widespread than previously thought.

  12. The occurrence of Ixodes ricinus ticks and important tick-borne pathogens in areas with high tick-borne encephalitis prevalence in different altitudinal levels of the Czech Republic Part II. Ixodes ricinus ticks and genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex.

    PubMed

    Daniel, M; Rudenko, N; Golovchenko, M; Danielová, V; Fialová, A; Kříž, B; Malý, M

    Three years long research study (2011-2013) on population density of Ixodes ricinus and the infection rate of the pathogens that they transmit was conducted in four topographically distant areas in the Czech Republic. In the previous decade (2001-2010) thirteen loci with increased incidence of tick borne encephalitis cases were defined, suggesting the permanent interaction of human population with ticks and indicating the landmarks for study of the presence of other tick borne pathogens. The work program included the identification of existing spectrum of spirochetes from Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex and the conditions of their occurrence and distribution. In the areas of the Ústí nad Labem Region, Olomouc Region, South Bohemian Region, and Highlands Region, 600 m2 plots were selected in the local optimal I. ricinus habitats where tick flagging was performed every year in the spring-summer and autumn seasons of the tick questing activity. Collected adult ticks (1369 males and 1404 females) were individually screened for B. burgdorferi s. l. spirochets. Spirochetes from B. burgdorferi s.l. complex were detected in all 13 studies sites in all altitudes from 280 to 1030 meters a. s. l. The total rate of infection was determined as 11.4% (males 10.4%, females 12.4%) with range limits from 1.4% (Ústí nad Labem in 2011) to 19.7% (South Bohemian Region, 2012).Genospecies were detected in various proportions and in different combinations: Borrelia afzelii, B. garinii, B. burgdorferi s. s., B. bavariensis, B. bissettii, B. valaisiana, B. spielmanii and B. lusitaniae. The three-year observation justifies the assumption that the regional differences in infectivity of I. ricinus are based on the character of the local biocenosis of the respective region. The dynamics of its seasonal changes, conditioned by climatic factors, determines the annual differences. Three of the medically most important Borrelia species formed a core group among all detected genospecies

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Ixodes pacificus Ticks Maintain Embryogenesis and Egg Hatching after Antibiotic Treatment of Rickettsia Endosymbiont

    PubMed Central

    Kurlovs, Andre H.; Li, Jinze; Cheng, Du; Zhong, Jianmin

    2014-01-01

    Rickettsia is a genus of intracellular bacteria that causes a variety of diseases in humans and other mammals and associates with a diverse group of arthropods. Although Rickettsia appears to be common in ticks, most Rickettsia-tick relationships remain generally uncharacterized. The most intimate of these associations is Rickettsia species phylotype G021, a maternally and transstadially transmitted endosymbiont that resides in 100% of I. pacificus in California. We investigated the effects of this Rickettsia phylotype on I. pacificus reproductive fitness using selective antibiotic treatment. Ciprofloxacin was 10-fold more effective than tetracycline in eliminating Rickettsia from I. pacificus, and quantitative PCR results showed that eggs from the ciprofloxacin-treated ticks contained an average of 0.02 Rickettsia per egg cell as opposed to the average of 0.2 in the tetracycline-treated ticks. Ampicillin did not significantly affect the number of Rickettsia per tick cell in adults or eggs compared to the water-injected control ticks. We found no relationship between tick embryogenesis and rickettsial density in engorged I. pacificus females. Tetracycline treatment significantly delayed oviposition of I. pacificus ticks, but the antibiotic’s effect was unlikely related to Rickettsia. We also demonstrated that Rickettsia-free eggs could successfully develop into larvae without any significant decrease in hatching compared to eggs containing Rickettsia. No significant differences in the incubation period, egg hatching rate, and the number of larvae were found between any of the antibiotic-treated groups and the water-injected tick control. We concluded that Rickettsia species phylotype G021 does not have an apparent effect on embryogenesis, oviposition, and egg hatching of I. pacificus. PMID:25105893

  16. 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

  17. Influence of meteorological parameters during the preceding fall and winter on the questing activity of nymphal Ixodes ricinus ticks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollack, Ken; Sodoudi, Sahar; Névir, Peter; Müller, Klaus; Richter, Dania

    2017-05-01

    Wood ticks, Ixodes ricinus L., serve as vectors for various pathogens and are ubiquitous throughout Central Europe. Survival and development of I. ricinus depend on biotic and abiotic factors. We examined whether relative humidity (RH), air (T a ) and soil temperatures (T s ), or snow depth during November through February affect the questing activity of ticks during their subsequent season of activity. We related the number of host-seeking nymphs to meteorological parameters measured in close proximity at minutely intervals over the period of 6 years (2010-2015) in an urban park in Berlin. We defined thresholds at which associations appeared strongest. Although the annual variations in RH, T a , and snow depth were typical of the mid-latitudes, the questing activity of nymphs during their first peak of activity (March through July) varied among the 6 years more than threefold. The accumulated hours of RH below 77% in 2 m height during November through February affected the questing activity of nymphs during the following activity peak. In contrast to T a , accumulated hours of T s below -1 °C in 0.02 m depth or below -4 °C in 0.05 m depth during the preceding period significantly influenced the average number of nymphs questing during spring. Our observations suggest that RH, T s , and snow cover during the preceding months affect the questing activity of nymphal I. ricinus during their first peak of activity. Snow cover serves as an insulator between the atmosphere and soil, which not only stabilizes T s but also appears to protect ticks from exposure to frost and frequent temperature shifts.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Identification of galactose-α-1,3-galactose in the gastrointestinal tract of the tick Ixodes ricinus; possible relationship with red meat allergy.

    PubMed

    Hamsten, C; Starkhammar, M; Tran, T A T; Johansson, M; Bengtsson, U; Ahlén, G; Sällberg, M; Grönlund, H; van Hage, M

    2013-04-01

    Patients with IgE antibodies against the carbohydrate epitope galactose-α-1,3-galactose (α-Gal) have reported severe allergic reactions after consumption of red meat. Investigations have revealed associations between IgE to α-Gal and tick bites. We provide the first direct evidence that α-Gal is present within ticks thus potentially explaining the relationship between tick exposure and sensitization to α-Gal, with development of red meat allergy as a secondary phenomena. Serum from Swedish patients with delayed severe reactions to red meat was included in the study. A dose-dependent inhibition of IgE responses to α-Gal by the tick Ixodes ricinus is demonstrated. Furthermore, using cryostat-cut sections of I. ricinus, we show that both a monoclonal and a polyclonal antibody against α-Gal stains the gastrointestinal tract of the tick. The same pattern is seen when staining with patient sera IgE positive to α-Gal. These results confirm that the α-Gal epitope is present in I. ricinus and imply host exposure to α-Gal during a tick bite. This provides further evidence that tick bites are associated with IgE responses to α-Gal and red meat allergy. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  1. Ehrlichia ruminantium grows in cell lines from four ixodid tick genera.

    PubMed

    Bell-Sakyi, L

    2004-05-01

    Continuous cell lines from the ticks Amblyomma variegatum, Boophilus decoloratus, Boophilus microplus, Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum, Ixodes scapularis, Ixodes ricinus and Rhipicephalus appendiculatus were tested for ability to support growth of the rickettsial pathogen Ehrlichia (previously Cowdria) ruminantium. Five E.ruminantium isolates, from West Africa, South Africa and the French West Indies, were used. Twelve tick cell lines were inoculated with E.ruminantium derived either from cultures of a bovine endothelial cell strain designated BPC or from other tick cell lines. Successful infection resulted in either continuous growth (in which the pathogen/cell line system could be perpetuated through regular subculture on fresh, uninfected cells for many months or years) or finite growth (in which the pathogen disappeared after one or a few subcultures). Infection with E.ruminantium from BPC was established in I.scapularis, I.ricinus and A.variegatum cell lines; E.ruminantium was transferred from these infected cell lines to B.decoloratus, B.microplus and R. appendiculatus cell lines. H.a.anatolicum cells could not be infected with E.ruminantium by any procedure. All five E.ruminantium isolates grew continuously in at least one tick cell line at temperatures between 28 degrees C and 37 degrees C; three of the isolates were successfully re-established in BPC following prolonged maintenance in tick cells. This study demonstrates that E.ruminantium is not intrinsically restricted to growth in cells from ticks of the natural vector genus Amblyomma.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-03-01

    From September 1997 through July 1999, 300 individuals and 46 species of birds were mist-netted and screened for ticks and spirochetes on St. Catherine's Island, Liberty County, GA. Seventy-six (25%) of the birds were parasitized by a meal intensity of 4.6 ticks. Seasonally, more birds were infested with ticks during the summer (50% in 1998, 34% in 1999) than in spring (15% in 1998, 11% in 1999) or fall