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Sample records for ixodes scapularis ticks

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Saliva, salivary gland, and hemolymph collection from Ixodes scapularis ticks.

    PubMed

    Patton, Toni G; Dietrich, Gabrielle; Brandt, Kevin; Dolan, Marc C; Piesman, Joseph; Gilmore, Robert D

    2012-01-01

    Ticks are found worldwide and afflict humans with many tick-borne illnesses. Ticks are vectors for pathogens that cause Lyme disease and tick-borne relapsing fever (Borrelia spp.), Rocky Mountain Spotted fever (Rickettsia rickettsii), ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia chaffeensis and E. equi), anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum), encephalitis (tick-borne encephalitis virus), babesiosis (Babesia spp.), Colorado tick fever (Coltivirus), and tularemia (Francisella tularensis) (1-8). To be properly transmitted into the host these infectious agents differentially regulate gene expression, interact with tick proteins, and migrate through the tick (3,9-13). For example, the Lyme disease agent, Borrelia burgdorferi, adapts through differential gene expression to the feast and famine stages of the tick's enzootic cycle (14,15). Furthermore, as an Ixodes tick consumes a bloodmeal Borrelia replicate and migrate from the midgut into the hemocoel, where they travel to the salivary glands and are transmitted into the host with the expelled saliva (9,16-19). As a tick feeds the host typically responds with a strong hemostatic and innate immune response (11,13,20-22). Despite these host responses, I. scapularis can feed for several days because tick saliva contains proteins that are immunomodulatory, lytic agents, anticoagulants, and fibrinolysins to aid the tick feeding (3,11,20,21,23). The immunomodulatory activities possessed by tick saliva or salivary gland extract (SGE) facilitate transmission, proliferation, and dissemination of numerous tick-borne pathogens (3,20,24-27). To further understand how tick-borne infectious agents cause disease it is essential to dissect actively feeding ticks and collect tick saliva. This video protocol demonstrates dissection techniques for the collection of hemolymph and the removal of salivary glands from actively feeding I. scapularis nymphs after 48 and 72 hours post mouse placement. We also demonstrate saliva collection from an adult female I

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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. 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

  9. Identification and characterization of Ixodes scapularis antigens that elicit tick immunity using yeast surface display.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-05

    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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Bioinformatics and expression analyses of the Ixodes scapularis tick cystatin family.

    PubMed

    Ibelli, Adriana Mércia Guaratini; Hermance, Meghan M; Kim, Tae Kwon; Gonzalez, Cassandra Lee; Mulenga, Albert

    2013-05-01

    The cystatins are inhibitors of papain- and legumain-like cysteine proteinases, classified in MEROPS subfamilies I25A-I25C. This study shows that 84 % (42/50) of tick cystatins are putatively extracellular in subfamily I25B and the rest are putatively intracellular in subfamily I25A. On the neighbor joining phylogeny guide tree, subfamily I25A members cluster together, while subfamily I25B cystatins segregate among prostriata or metastriata ticks. Two Ixodes scapularis cystatins, AAY66864 and ISCW011771 that show 50-71 % amino acid identity to metastriata tick cystatins may be linked to pathways that are common to all ticks, while ISCW000447 100 % conserved in I. ricinus is important among prostriata ticks. Likewise metastriata tick cystatins, Dermacentor variabilis-ACF35512, Rhipicephalus microplus-ACX53850, A. americanum-AEO36092, R. sanguineus-ACX53922, D. variabilis-ACF35514, R. sanguineus-ACX54033 and A. maculatum-AEO35155 that show 73-86 % amino acid identity may be essential to metastriata tick physiology. RT-PCR expression analyses revealed that I. scapularis cystatins were constitutively expressed in the salivary glands, midguts and other tissues of unfed ticks and ticks that were fed for 24-120 h, except for ISCW017861 that are restricted to the 24 h feeding time point. On the basis of mRNA expression patterns, I. scapularis cystatins, ISCW017861, ISCW011771, ISCW002215 and ISCW0024528 that are highly expressed at 24 h are likely involved in regulating early stage tick feeding events such as tick attachment onto host skin and creation of the feeding lesion. Similarly, ISCW018602, ISCW018603 and ISCW000447 that show 2-3 fold transcript increase by 120 h of feeding are likely associated with blood meal up take, while those that maintain steady state expression levels (ISCW018600, ISCW018601 and ISCW018604) during feeding may not be associated with tick feeding regulation. We discuss our findings in the context of advancing our knowledge of tick

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:21635637

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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. PMID:24703079

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  15. Growth of Coxiella burnetii in the Ixodes scapularis-derived IDE8 tick cell line.

    PubMed

    Herrin, Brian; Mahapatra, Saugata; Blouin, Edmour F; Shaw, Edward I

    2011-07-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-30

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Tick histamine release factor is critical for Ixodes scapularis engorgement and transmission of the lyme disease agent.

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-24

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  7. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Seasonal Activity, Density, and Collection Efficiency of the Blacklegged Tick (Ixodes scapularis) (Acari: Ixodidae) in Mid-Western Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Simmons, T W; Shea, J; Myers-Claypole, M A; Kruise, R; Hutchinson, M L

    2015-11-01

    Although Pennsylvania has recently reported the greatest number of Lyme disease cases in the United States, with the largest increase for PA occurring in its western region, the population biology of the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis Say) has not been adequately characterized in western PA. We studied the seasonal activity of host-seeking I. scapularis larvae, nymphs, and adults in mid-western PA over the course of a year, including a severe winter, and determined their absolute densities and collection efficiencies using replicated mark-release-recapture or removal methods. Our results are compared to those from similar studies conducted in the highly Lyme disease endemic Hudson Valley region of southeastern New York State. The seasonal activity of I. scapularis was intermediate between patterns observed in the coastal northeastern and upper Midwestern United States. Only one peak of larval activity was observed, which was later than the major peak in the Midwest, but earlier than in the northeast. Seasonal synchrony of larvae and nymphs was similar to the northeast, but the activity peaks were much closer together, although not completely overlapping as in the Midwest. Pre- and postwinter relative densities of questing adult I. scapularis were not significantly different from one another. The absolute densities and collection efficiencies of larvae, nymphs, and adults were comparable to results from classic research conducted at the Louis Calder Center in Westchester County, NY. We conclude that the population biology of I. scapularis in mid-western PA is similar to southeastern NYS contributing to a high acarological Lyme disease risk. PMID:26336271

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-21

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    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.

  15. 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

  16. A snapshot of the Ixodes scapularis degradome

    PubMed Central

    Mulenga, Albert; Erikson, Kelly

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-03-01

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

  18. A snapshot of the Ixodes scapularis degradome.

    PubMed

    Mulenga, Albert; Erikson, Kelly

    2011-08-15

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Larson, Scott R; Paskewitz, Susan M

    2016-03-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Associations between Ixodes scapularis ticks and small mammal hosts in a newly endemic zone in southeastern Canada: implications for Borrelia burgdorferi transmission.

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

    Immature Ixodes scapularis infestation and Borrelia burgdorferi infection of wild small mammals were studied from June to October in 2007 and from May to October in 2008 at 71 study sites in a zone where I. scapularis populations and environmental Lyme disease risk are emerging in southwestern Quebec. Seasonal host-seeking activity of immature I. scapularis was similar to patterns reported previously in Canada and the USA: nymphal activity peaked in spring while larval activity peaked in late summer. Synchronous activity of nymphs with some larvae was observed in late spring, which could favour establishment of B. burgdorferi strains that cause short-lived infections in their hosts. White-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), deer mice (P. maniculatus), chipmunks (Tamias striatus), and red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) carried 92.0% of the larvae and 94.2% of the nymphs collected. Adult male white-footed mice carried significantly larger numbers of both larval and nymphal I. scapularis than other species and classes of small mammals (different demographic groups or physiological status: age, sex, sexual activity). We conclude that seasonality and host association were comparable to previous studies in North America, even in the context of a newly endemic pattern of low infection prevalence and low densities of host-seeking and feeding I. scapularis in southwestern Quebec. Our studies suggest that B. burgdorferi transmission cycles are focused on adult male mice (which carried 35% of all feeding ticks collected in the study), so control methods targeting this class of hosts may be particularly effective. However, our study also suggested that habitats containing a diverse host structure may dilute transmission cycles by partitioning of nymphal and larval ticks on different host species. PMID:22108010

  6. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24192510

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

  10. Evaluating a deer-targeted acaricide applicator for area-wide suppression of blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae), in Rhode Island.

    PubMed

    Miller, Nathan J; Thomas, William A; Mather, Thomas N

    2009-08-01

    Over a 5-year period, September 1997 through May 2002, as many as 25 U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service "4-Poster" acaricide applicators were distributed in areas of high deer activity throughout a 518-hectare area in a rural Rhode Island community. Corn consumption and acaricide levels for each device were monitored weekly during each treatment season to assess the degree of deer use. The efficacy of acaricide treatment was determined by comparing relative blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) densities in the 4-Poster treatment site to a separate, similar-sized nontreatment area. The tendency of white-tailed deer to use the 4-Poster was variable temporally, and appeared to be largely dependent on the availability of alternative food sources. Total corn consumption was nearly fourfold lower during large oak masting years when compared with no/low mast years. Moreover, habitat characteristics, such as the presence of maintained hay lands consisting of alfalfa and clover, also appeared to influence the frequency and amount of 4-Poster use. After 2 years of adequate treatment (nearly 12,000 kg of corn consumed), we achieved nearly 50% control of nymphal blacklegged ticks within the treatment site compared with tick abundance levels in the nontreated area. Moreover, that level of tick control was maintained for 1 year after removal of the 4-Poster devices but began to wane 2 years after treatment ended. PMID:19650734

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  13. Tick Genomics: The Ixodes genome project and beyond

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. 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. PMID:9775584

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) distribution surveys in the Chicago metropolitan region.

    PubMed

    Rydzewski, Jennifer; Mateus-Pinilla, Nohra; Warner, Richard E; Nelson, Jeffrey A; Velat, Tom C

    2012-07-01

    Considering recent studies confirming an increased risk of contracting Lyme disease near metropolitan Chicago, we surveyed a more comprehensive area to assess whether the geographical distribution and establishment of Ixodes scapularis (Say) populations across northeast Illinois are widespread or limited in occurrence. From May through October 2008 and from April through October 2009, 602 I. scapularis ticks of all three life stages (larva, nymph, adult) were collected from sites in Cook, DuPage, Lake, and McHenry counties in northeast Illinois. The surveys were conducted by drag sampling vegetation in public-access forested areas. I. scapularis comprised 56.4% of ticks collected (n = 1,067) at 17 of 32 survey sites. In addition, four other tick species were incidentally collected: Dermacentor variabilis (Say), Haemaphysalis leporispalustris (Packard), Ixodes dentatus (Marx), and Amblyomma americanum (L.). This study updates the I. scapularis distribution in northeast Illinois. Our random sampling of suitable tick habitats across a large geographic area of the Chicago metropolitan area suggests a widespread human exposure to I. scapularis, and, potentially, to their associated pathogens throughout the region. These results prompt continued monitoring and investigation of the distribution, emergence, and expansion of I. scapularis populations and Borrelia burgdorferi transmission within this heavily populated region of Illinois. PMID:22897059

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:15266754

  2. 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. PMID:25202684

  3. 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.

  4. An Ixodes scapularis cell line with a predominantly neuron-like phenotype.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Jonathan D; Chávez, Adela S Oliva; Felsheim, Roderick F; Kurtti, Timothy J; Munderloh, Ulrike G

    2015-07-01

    The Ixodes scapularis embryo-derived cell line ISE6 is the most widely utilized tick-derived cell line due to its susceptibility to a wide variety of tick- and non-tick-vectored pathogens. Little is known about its tissue origin or biological background. Protein expression of ISE6 cells was compared with that of another I. scapularis-derived cell line, IDE12, and dissected tick synganglia. Results demonstrated the presence of a neuronal marker protein, type 3 β-tubulin, in all three samples, as well as other shared and unique neuronal and immune response-associated proteins. Of neuronal proteins shared between the two cell lines, ISE6 expressed several in significantly greater quantities than IDE12. Stimulation of ISE6 cells by in vivo exposure to the hemocoel environment in unfed larval and molting nymphal ticks, but not unfed nymphal ticks, resulted in the development of neuron-like morphologic characteristics in the implanted cells.

  5. 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

  6. Invertebrate specific D1-like dopamine receptor in control of salivary glands in the black-legged tick Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-15

    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 vertebrates during evolution. InvD1L expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  9. Invasion of the lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis: implications for Borrelia burgdorferi endemicity.

    PubMed

    Hamer, Sarah A; Tsao, Jean I; Walker, Edward D; Hickling, Graham J

    2010-08-01

    Lyme disease risk is increasing in the United States due in part to the spread of blacklegged ticks Ixodes scapularis, the principal vector of the spirochetal pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi. A 5-year study was undertaken to investigate hypothesized coinvasion of I. scapularis and B. burgdorferi in Lower Michigan. We tracked the spatial and temporal dynamics of the tick and spirochete using mammal, bird, and vegetation drag sampling at eight field sites along coastal and inland transects originating in a zone of recent I. scapularis establishment. We document northward invasion of these ticks along Michigan's west coast during the study period; this pattern was most evident in ticks removed from rodents. B. burgdorferi infection prevalences in I. scapularis sampled from vegetation in the invasion zone were 9.3% and 36.6% in nymphs and adults, respectively, with the majority of infection (95.1%) found at the most endemic site. There was no evidence of I. scapularis invasion along the inland transect; however, low-prevalence B. burgdorferi infection was detected in other tick species and in wildlife at inland sites, and at northern coastal sites in years before the arrival of I. scapularis. These infections suggest that cryptic B. burgdorferi transmission by other vector-competent tick species is occurring in the absence of I. scapularis. Other Borrelia spirochetes, including those that group with B. miyamotoi and B. andersonii, were present at a low prevalence within invading ticks and local wildlife. Reports of Lyme disease have increased significantly in the invasion zone in recent years. This rapid blacklegged tick invasion--measurable within 5 years--in combination with cryptic pathogen maintenance suggests a complex ecology of Lyme disease emergence in which wildlife sentinels can provide an early warning of disease emergence.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-11-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Coinfections Acquired from Ixodes Ticks

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia odocoilei DNA in Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) collected in Indiana.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Fresia E; Pinger, Robert R; Vann, Carolyn N; Abley, Melanie J; Sullivan, Bridget; Grindle, Nate; Clay, Keith; Fuqua, Clay

    2006-03-01

    The blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, first reported in Indiana in 1987, has now been detected in more than half of Indiana's counties. The first case of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (human anaplasmosis) in Indiana was reported in 2002. We now report the detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia odocoilei (Emerson and Wright 1968) in I. scapularis ticks collected in northern Indiana. Using polymerase chain reaction analysis, 41 of 193 adult ticks (21.2%) collected from deer were positive for A. phagocytophylum, and 22 (11.4%) were positive for Babesia sp. Restriction fragment analysis of 12, and sequencing of another five of the amplified products identified these parasites as B. odocoilei. Five ticks (2.6%) were coinfected. Eight of 68 questing adult ticks (11.8%) were positive for A. phagocytophilum; seven (10.3%) were positive for Babesia sp. Six of the latter seven positive samples were determined to be B. odocoilei by restriction fragment analysis and sequencing of two samples. None of 39 pools of nymphs was positive for Babesia sp. Three of 15 ticks (20%) collected from a dog were positive for A. phagocytophilum and three ticks (20%) were positive for Babesia sp. One was confirmed as B. odocoilei. One tick was coinfected. This is the first report of the presence of these two agents in ticks in Indiana.

  3. Confirmation of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Ixodes scapularis, Southwestern Virginia.

    PubMed

    Herrin, Brian H; Zajac, Anne M; Little, Susan E

    2014-11-01

    To determine the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in a newly established population of Ixodes scapularis in the mountainous region of southwestern Virginia, questing adult ticks were collected and the identity and infection status of each tick was confirmed by PCR and sequencing. A total of 364 adult ticks were tested from three field sites. B. burgdorferi sensu stricto was identified in a total of 32/101 (32%) ticks from site A, 49/154 (32%) ticks from site B, and 36/101 (36%) ticks from site C, for a total prevalence rate of 33% (117/356). In addition, A. phagocytophilum was detected in 3/364 (0.8%) ticks, one from site A and two from site B. The prevalence of both pathogens in ticks at these sites is similar to that reported from established endemic areas. These data document the presence of I. scapularis and the agent of Lyme disease in a newly established area of the Appalachian region, providing further evidence of range expansion of both the tick and public and veterinary health risk it creates.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Ixodes scapularis and Borrelia burgdorferi among diverse habitats within a natural area in east-central Illinois.

    PubMed

    Rydzewski, Jennifer; Mateus-Pinilla, Nohra; Warner, Richard E; Hamer, Sarah; Weng, Hsin-Yi

    2011-10-01

    The distributions of the tick vector, Ixodes scapularis, and of the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), have continued expanding in Illinois over the past 20 years, but the extent of their spread is not well known. The role of multiple habitats in the establishment and maintenance of I. scapularis and Bb at local scales is not well understood, and the use of integrated approaches to evaluate local scale dynamics is rare. We evaluated habitat diversity and temporal changes of I. scapularis occurrence and Bb infection within a natural area in Piatt County, Illinois, where I. scapularis were first detected in 2002. Small mammals were trapped and attached ticks were collected in young forest, prairie, mature forest, and flood plain sites from 2005 to 2009. Small mammal abundance, and the prevalence (% mammals infested), mean intensity (I. scapularis per infested mammal), and relative density (I. scapularis per mammal trapped) of I. scapularis were computed for each habitat type and compared. Immature I. scapularis were tested for Bb infection using polymerase chain reaction techniques. Out of 2446 trapped small mammals, 388 were infested with I. scapularis. The prairie had the highest diversity of small mammal hosts. Prevalence, mean intensity, and relative density of I. scapularis and prevalence of Bb infection were highest for the prairie and young forest sites; in the former, all infection was associated with the prairie vole, Microtus ochrogaster. The minimum Bb infection prevalence of on-host I. scapularis collected in the natural area was 14% (n=56). Unlike previous studies solely focused on forested areas and Peromyscus leucopus, our study is the first to provide evidence of I. scapularis collected from prairie habitat and other reservoir hosts, particularly M. ochrogaster. PMID:21688974

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Predicting the Risk of Lyme Disease: Habitat Suitability for Ixodes scapularis in the North Central United States

    PubMed Central

    Guerra, Marta; Walker, Edward; Jones, Carl; Paskewitz, Susan; Cortinas, M. Roberto; Stancil, Ashley; Beck, Louisa; Bobo, Matthew

    2002-01-01

    The distribution and abundance of Ixodes scapularis were studied in Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and portions of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by inspecting small mammals for ticks and by collecting questing ticks at 138 locations in state parks and natural areas. Environmental data were gathered at a local level (i.e., micro and meso levels), and a geographic information system (GIS) was used with several digitized coverages of environmental data to create a habitat profile for each site and a grid map for Wisconsin and Illinois. Results showed that the presence and abundance of I. scapularis varied, even when the host population was adequate. Tick presence was positively associated with deciduous, dry to mesic forests and alfisol-type soils of sandy or loam-sand textures overlying sedimentary rock. Tick absence was associated with grasslands, conifer forests, wet to wet/mesic forests, acidic soils of low fertility and a clay soil texture, and Precambrian bedrock. We performed a discriminant analysis to determine environmental differences between positive and negative tick sites and a regression equation to examine the probability of I. scapularis presence per grid. Both analyses indicated that soil order and land cover were the dominant contributors to tick presence. We then constructed a risk map indicating suitable habitats within areas where I. scapularis is already established. The risk map also shows areas of high probability the tick will become established if introduced. Thus, this risk analysis has both explanatory power and predictive capability. PMID:11927027

  16. Predicting the risk of Lyme disease: habitat suitability for Ixodes scapularis in the north central United States.

    PubMed

    Guerra, Marta; Walker, Edward; Jones, Carl; Paskewitz, Susan; Cortinas, M Roberto; Stancil, Ashley; Beck, Louisa; Bobo, Matthew; Kitron, Uriel

    2002-03-01

    The distribution and abundance of Ixodes scapularis were studied in Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and portions of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by inspecting small mammals for ticks and by collecting questing ticks at 138 locations in state parks and natural areas. Environmental data were gathered at a local level (i.e., micro and meso levels), and a geographic information system (GIS) was used with several digitized coverages of environmental data to create a habitat profile for each site and a grid map for Wisconsin and Illinois. Results showed that the presence and abundance of I. scapularis varied, even when the host population was adequate. Tick presence was positively associated with deciduous, dry to mesic forests and alfisol-type soils of sandy or loam-sand textures overlying sedimentary rock. Tick absence was associated with grasslands, conifer forests, wet to wet/mesic forests, acidic soils of low fertility and a clay soil texture, and Precambrian bedrock. We performed a discriminant analysis to determine environmental differences between positive and negative tick sites and derived a regression equation to examine the probability of I. scapularis presence per grid. Both analyses indicated that soil order and land cover were the dominant contributors to tick presence. We then constructed a risk map indicating suitable habitats within areas where I. scapularis is already established. The risk map also shows areas of high probability the tick will become established if introduced. Thus, this risk analysis has both explanatory power and predictive capability. PMID:11927027

  17. Predicting the risk of Lyme disease: habitat suitability for Ixodes scapularis in the north central United States.

    PubMed

    Guerra, Marta; Walker, Edward; Jones, Carl; Paskewitz, Susan; Cortinas, M Roberto; Stancil, Ashley; Beck, Louisa; Bobo, Matthew; Kitron, Uriel

    2002-03-01

    The distribution and abundance of Ixodes scapularis were studied in Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and portions of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by inspecting small mammals for ticks and by collecting questing ticks at 138 locations in state parks and natural areas. Environmental data were gathered at a local level (i.e., micro and meso levels), and a geographic information system (GIS) was used with several digitized coverages of environmental data to create a habitat profile for each site and a grid map for Wisconsin and Illinois. Results showed that the presence and abundance of I. scapularis varied, even when the host population was adequate. Tick presence was positively associated with deciduous, dry to mesic forests and alfisol-type soils of sandy or loam-sand textures overlying sedimentary rock. Tick absence was associated with grasslands, conifer forests, wet to wet/mesic forests, acidic soils of low fertility and a clay soil texture, and Precambrian bedrock. We performed a discriminant analysis to determine environmental differences between positive and negative tick sites and derived a regression equation to examine the probability of I. scapularis presence per grid. Both analyses indicated that soil order and land cover were the dominant contributors to tick presence. We then constructed a risk map indicating suitable habitats within areas where I. scapularis is already established. The risk map also shows areas of high probability the tick will become established if introduced. Thus, this risk analysis has both explanatory power and predictive capability.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  6. County-level surveillance of white-tailed deer infestation by Ixodes scapularis and Dermacentor albipictus (Acari: Ixodidae) along the Illinois River.

    PubMed

    Cortinas, M Roberto; Kitron, Uriel

    2006-09-01

    From 1998 to 2003, 4,935 hunter-killed deer in northern and central Illinois were examined for ticks; 4,066 blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say, and 6,530 winter ticks, Dermacentor albipictus (Packard) (Acari: Ixodidae), were collected. I. scapularis was the predominant tick species in the northern portion of the study area, with a decreasing north-to-south prevalence gradient. In contrast, D. albipictus was more common in the south with a decreasing south-to-north prevalence gradient. Compared with previous studies, the geographic range for both species expanded into the central portion of the Illinois River. Prevalence and intensity of both tick species were greater on bucks, and infested bucks were geographically more widespread than infested does and fawns. These findings indicate that blacklegged tick and winter tick distributions remain dynamic in the north central United States PMID:17017213

  7. The neuropeptidomics of Ixodes scapularis synganglion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

    Markowski, D; Hyland, K E; Ginsberg, H S; Hu, R

    1997-04-01

    Larval blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, were collected from white-footed mice. Peromyscus leucopus, on Prudence Island (where Microtus pennsylvanicus 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Spatiotemporal patterns of host-seeking Ixodes scapularis nymphs (Acari: Ixodidae) in the United States.

    PubMed

    Diuk-Wasser, M A; Gatewood, A G; Cortinas, M R; Yaremych-Hamer, S; Tsao, J; Kitron, U; Hickling, G; Brownstein, J S; Walker, E; Piesman, J; Fish, D

    2006-03-01

    The risk of Lyme disease for humans in the eastern United States is dependent on the density of host-seeking Ixodes scapularis Say nymphal stage ticks infected with Borrelia burgdorferi. Although many local and regional studies have estimated Lyme disease risk using these parameters, this is the first large-scale study using a standardized methodology. Density of host-seeking I. scapularis nymphs was measured by drag sampling of closed canopy deciduous forest habitats in 95 locations spaced among 2 degrees quadrants covering the entire United States east of the 100th meridian. Sampling was done in five standardized transects at each site and repeated three to six times during the summer of 2004. The total number of adults and nymphs of the seven tick species collected was 17,972, with 1,405 nymphal I. scapularis collected in 31 of the 95 sites. Peak global spatial autocorrelation values were found at the smallest lag distance (300 km) and decreased significantly after 1,000 km. Local auto-correlation statistics identified two significant high-density clusters around endemic areas in the northeast and upper Midwest and a low-density cluster in sites south of the 39th parallel, where only 21 nymphs were collected. Peak nymphal host-seeking density occurred earlier in the southern than in the most northern sites. Spatiotemporal density patterns will be combined with Borrelia prevalence data as part of a 4-yr survey to generate a nationwide spatial risk model for I. scapularis-borne Borrelia, which will improve targeting of disease prevention efforts.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Influence of season and habitat on Ixodes scapularis infestation on white-footed mice in northwestern Illinois.

    PubMed

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

    1994-12-01

    The effects of season and habitat on the infestation of the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) by immature Ixodes scapularis were studied at Castle Rock State Park, northwestern Illinois, during June-October 1991. Relative density of larvae on mice was higher in mid-late summer (13.7 ticks per mouse) than during the rest of the study period, whereas prevalence of nymphal infestation was highest in early summer (33.3%). Relative density of I. scapularis larvae and prevalence of nymphs on mice did not differ significantly among bottomland forest, field-forest ecotone, and upland forest habitats. In bottomland forest, total number of ticks collected from mice (472 larvae and 13 nymphs) and P. leucopus population density (6.6 mice per 0.36 ha) were higher than in the other habitats. Temporal patterns of numbers of larvae collected from mice and through dragging in bottomland forest were significantly correlated. PMID:7799148

  17. Functional genomics tool: Gene silencing in Ixodes scapularis eggs and nymphs by electroporated dsRNA

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Ticks are blood-sucking arthropods responsible for transmitting a wide variety of disease-causing agents, and constitute important public health threats globally. Ixodes scapularis is the primary vector of the Lyme disease agent in the eastern and central U.S. RNAi is a mechanism by which gene-specific double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) triggers degradation of homologous mRNA transcripts. Here, we describe an optimized protocol for effectively suppressing gene expression in the egg and nymphal stages of I. scapularis by electroporation. Results The genes encoding the putative Phospholipase A2 (PLA2), cytoplasmic Cystatin, Syntaxin-5, β-Actin and Calreticulin were targeted by delivering the dsRNA encoding the specific gene coding regions in the unfed nymphs. Silencing was measured using real time qRT-PCR. Electroporation as a mode of dsRNA delivery appears to be substantially efficient and less traumatic to the tick than dsRNA microinjection in the unfed nymphs. Using Cy3-labeled dsRNA to monitor the movement, electroporated dsRNA entered the nymphs and spread to salivary glands and other tissues. The significant disruption of β-actin and cytoplasmic Cystatin transcripts in tick eggs demonstrate the applicability of this technique. The PLA2, cytoplasmic Cystatin, Syntaxin-5, β-Actin and Calreticulin genes were also significantly silenced, suggesting that this method has the potential to introduce dsRNA in eggs and unfed nymphs. Conclusions Our study demonstrates that electroporation can be used as a simple dsRNA delivery tool in assessing the functional role of tick genes in the vector-host interactions. This technique represents a novel approach for specific gene suppression in immature stages of ticks. PMID:20074328

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Distribution of the Ixodes ricinus-like ticks of eastern North America.

    PubMed Central

    Rich, S M; Caporale, D A; Telford, S R; Kocher, T D; Hartl, D L; Spielman, A

    1995-01-01

    We analyzed the geographic distribution of the Ixodes ricinus-like ticks in eastern North America by comparing the mitochondrial 16S rDNA sequences of specimens sampled directly from the field during the 1990s. Two distinct lineages are evident. The southern clade includes ticks from the southeastern and middle-eastern regions of the United States. The range of the northern clade, which appears to have been restricted to the northeastern region until the mid-1900s, now extends throughout the northeastern and middle-eastern regions. These phyletic units correspond to northern and southern taxa that have previously been assigned specific status as Ixodes dammini and Ixodes scapularis, respectively. The expanding range of I. dammini appears to drive the present outbreaks of zoonotic disease in eastern North America that include Lyme disease and human babesiosis. Images Fig. 2 PMID:7603983

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:26487243

  6. Detection of Babesia microti and Borrelia burgdorferi in host-seeking Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Terry L; Jordan, Robert A; Healy, Sean P; Roegner, Vivien E

    2013-03-01

    The etiological agents that cause human babesiosis (Babesia microti) and Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) share a common tick vector (Ixodes scapularis Say) and rodent reservoir (Peromyscus leucopus), but because the geographical distribution of babesiosis is more restricted than Lyme disease, it was not considered a nationally notifiable disease until 2011. Although recent studies have shown dramatic increases in the number of cases of babesiosis and expansion of its range, little is known about infection and coinfection prevalence of these pathogens in the primary tick vector. Of the 478 I. scapularis nymphs collected within six Monmouth County, NJ, municipalities between 2004 and 2006, 4.0 and 10.0% were infected with B. microti and B. burgdorferi, respectively, while 2.9% were coinfected. Analysis of the 610 I. scapularis adults collected during the same period yielded an infection prevalence of 8.2% for B. microti and 45.2% for B. burgdorferi, while 6.2% were coinfected. The potential public health importance of these findings is discussed. PMID:23540127

  7. 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.

  8. A survey for nymphs of host-seeking Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae) on tree trunks in deciduous forests.

    PubMed

    Carroll, J F

    2002-01-01

    Trunks of 83 trees in a mixed deciduous forests in Maryland were sampled for the presence of nymphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, and the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (L.). Although one or more nymphs of either I. scapularis or A. americanum was found in leaf litter and substrate < or = 1 m from the bases of 47% of the trees sampled, a total of 6 I. scapularis nymphs was found on the trunks of only five trees. No nymphs were found on the trunks of 12 dead trees. No A. americanium nymphs were found on any tree trunks. The trunks were sampled to 2.5 m above the soil, but the nymphs were found < or = 1 m from the ground. More than 50% of I. scapularis nymphs found in the leaf litter < or = 1 m from bases of living trees were north of the trees sampled, whereas few I. scapularis were found west of trees. These findings suggest that the I. scapularis nymphs' presence on tree trunks is of little ecological consequence, unless nymphs were being removed from tree trunks by acquiring hosts at such a rapid rate that nymphal numbers on trunks could not accrue.

  9. Control of immature Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) on rodent reservoirs of Borrelia burgdorferi in a residential community of southeastern Connecticut.

    PubMed

    Dolan, Marc C; Maupin, Gary O; Schneider, Bradley S; Denatale, Christopher; Hamon, Nick; Cole, Chuck; Zeidner, Nordin S; Stafford, Kirby C

    2004-11-01

    A 3-yr community-based study was conducted on residential properties on Mason's Island, Mystic, CT, to determine the efficacy of a rodent-targeted acaricide (fipronil) to control immature Ixodes scapularis (Say) on Peromyscus leucopus. Results indicated that modified commercial bait boxes were effective as an acaricide delivery method for reducing nymphal and larval tick infestations on white-footed mice by 68 and 84%, respectively. Passive application of fipronil significantly reduced the infection rate of Borrelia burgdorferi among white-footed mice by 53%. Moreover, the abundance of questing I. scapularis adults on treated properties was reduced by 77% and fewer were infected with spirochetes (31%) compared with untreated sites (47%) after 3 yr of treatment. Likewise, the abundance of host-seeking nymphs was significantly reduced on treated properties by >50%. Finally, infection rates in flagged nymphal ticks for both B. burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum were reduced by 67 and 64%, respectively, after only 2 yr of treatment. Results from this 3-yr trial indicate that the use of fipronil passively applied to reservoir animals by bait boxes is an environmentally acceptable means to control ticks, interrupt the natural disease transmission cycle, and reduce the risk of Lyme disease for residents of treated properties.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:22299376

  12. 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.

  13. Effects of Japanese barberry (Ranunculales: Berberidaceae) removal and resulting microclimatic changes on Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) abundances in Connecticut, USA.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott C; Ward, Jeffrey S

    2010-12-01

    Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii de Candolle) is a thorny, perennial, exotic, invasive shrub that is well established throughout much of the eastern United States. It can form dense thickets that limit native herbaceous and woody regeneration, alter soil structure and function, and harbor increased blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis Say) populations. This study examined a potential causal mechanism for the link between Japanese barberry and blacklegged ticks to determine if eliminating Japanese barberry could reduce tick abundance and associated prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi (Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt, and Brenner). Japanese barberry was controlled at five study areas throughout Connecticut; adult ticks were sampled over three years. Each area had three habitat plots: areas where barberry was controlled, areas where barberry remained intact, and areas where barberry was minimal or absent. Sampled ticks were retained and tested for B. burgdorferi presence. At two study areas, temperature and relative humidity data loggers were deployed in each of the three habitat plots over two growing seasons. Intact barberry stands had 280 ± 51 B. burgdorferi-infected adult ticks/ha, which was significantly higher than for controlled (121 ± 17/ha) and no barberry (30 ± 10/ha) areas. Microclimatic conditions where Japanese barberry was controlled were similar to areas without barberry. Japanese barberry infestations are favorable habitat for ticks, as they provide a buffered microclimate that limits desiccation-induced tick mortality. Control of Japanese barberry reduced the number of ticks infected with B. burgdorferi by nearly 60% by reverting microclimatic conditions to those more typical of native northeastern forests. PMID:22182557

  14. Populations of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) are modulated by drought at a Lyme disease focus in Illinois.

    PubMed

    Jones, C J; Kitron, U D

    2000-05-01

    From 1990 through 1997, Ixodes scapularis Say larvae and nymphs were sampled between May and October along a 400-m segment of a nature trail in a Lyme disease endemic site in northern Illinois. Ticks were removed from Peromyscus leucopus mice and collected via tick drags at approximately 3-wk intervals. Mouse population estimates along the trail varied from 2, in the spring of 1996 following a year of drought, to > 200 in 1993, the wettest year on record. During the 8-yr period, there were major droughts during the summers of 1991 and 1995. Cumulative degree-days were positively correlated with the number of ticks collected on drags in the same year and negatively correlated with larval tick populations for the following year (P < 0.05). Cumulative rainfall was positively correlated with larval tick abundance for the following year. This was most readily apparent by examination of the larval density on captured mice. In the year following each of two drought years, larval densities were significantly depressed compared with the 8-yr average at the site. PMID:15535585

  15. Spread of Ixodes scapularis (Acari:Ixodidae) in Indiana: collections of adults in 1991-1994 and description of a Borrelia burgdorferi-infected population.

    PubMed

    Pinger, R R; Timmons, L; Karris, K

    1996-09-01

    Collection records for the adult black legged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, in Indiana for the period 1991-1994 are presented and a new, established population of Borrelia burgdorferi-infected I. scapularis is described. The number of I. scapularis adults collected in Indiana increased progressively from 19 in 1991 to > 200 in 1994, and the number of Indiana counties reporting at least 1 adult increased from 13 to 29. Also, during this period, 4 countries in northwestern Indiana yielded > 10 specimens each, and B. burgdorferi-infected ticks were collected in 2 of these counties. An established population of I. scapularis, as evidenced by the presence of questing larvae, nymphs, and adults, was discovered in Jasper County in 1993. Twelve of 39 adults (31%) and 4 of 44 nymphs (9%) collected with cloth drags were infected with B. burgdorferi. Three of 49 (6%) white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus, collected from the site were also infected with B. burgdorferi. We believe that this focus was established at least 8 yr ago, and that a tick originating from this focus was responsible for a case of Lyme disease reported from this county in 1985.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. A possible canine tick-bite reaction to Ixodes muris.

    PubMed

    Strong-Klefenz, Jennifer E; Gaskill, Cynthia L

    2008-03-01

    An Airedale terrier became acutely ill following attachment of an Ixodes muris tick. Clinical signs waned within hours of tick removal, similar to a pattern previously documented in animals harboring I. muris. This supports the theory that I. muris can induce a noninfectious, severe inflammatory reaction in domestic animals. PMID:18390101

  6. Natural Transmission of Zoonotic Babesia spp. by Ixodes ricinus Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Claire A.M.; Bouju-Albert, Agnès; Jouglin, Maggy; Chauvin, Alain

    2009-01-01

    To determine characteristics of natural transmission of Babesia sp. EU1 and B. divergens by adult Ixodes ricinus ticks, we examined tick salivary gland contents. We found that I. ricinus is a competent vector for EU1 and that their sporozoites directly invade erythrocytes. We conclude that EU1 is naturally transmitted by I. ricinus. PMID:19193284

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  8. Effectiveness of the 4-Poster passive topical treatment device in the control of Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae) in New Jersey.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Terry L; Jordan, Robert A; Hung, Robert W; Schulze, Christopher J

    2009-08-01

    Twenty-five "4-Poster" feeders were placed throughout a 5.2 km(2) study area within a secured military facility situated in a hyperendemic area for Lyme disease in central Monmouth County, New Jersey. Calculated levels of control, relative to untreated areas, peaked at 82.7%, 77.3%, and 94.2% for of host-seeking Ixodes scapularis Say larvae, nymphs, and adults, respectively, within 5 years of deployment. Control of host-seeking Amblyomma americanum (L.) peaked at 99.2%, 89.5%, and 96.9% for larvae, nymphs, and adults, respectively, during the treatment period. Tick burdens on hunter-killed deer were significantly reduced on deer harvested from the treatment area and on deer that had consumed bait corn. Populations of subadult I. scapularis and A. americanum demonstrated some rebound effect following the removal of 4-Posters, but treatment area tick populations remained lower than control area populations 2 years following withdrawal of the 4-Posters. However, control of I. scapularis adults declined to 20.7% by the third fall activity period following removal of the 4-Posters. The posttreatment phase of the study was of insufficient duration to evaluate continued population rebound of adults and subadults during subsequent activity periods. PMID:19650733

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

  10. Abundance of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) after the complete removal of deer from an isolated offshore island, endemic for Lyme Disease.

    PubMed

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

    2004-07-01

    Monhegan is an isolated 237-ha island lying 16 km off the coast of Maine. Introduced to the island in 1955, white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman, reached a density of approximately 37/km2 by the mid-1990s. Black-legged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say, first noticed in the late 1980s, flourished thereafter. Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus Berkenhout) on Monhegan are highly infected with Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmidt, Hyde, Steigerwalt, and Brenner, the agent of Lyme disease. By 1996, 13% of year-round residents had contracted the disease. The community's subsequent decision to eliminate deer from the island provided a unique opportunity to monitor the abundance of vector ticks in response to the complete and permanent removal of the primary hosts of their reproductive stage. With the exception of humans and their dogs and cats, there are no other potential hosts for adult I. scapularis on Monhegan. From November 1996 to March 1999, all deer were removed from the island. Previous annual fall flagging of vegetation from 1990 to 1998 produced 6-17 adult ticks/h, of which 24-41% were infected with the Lyme disease spirochete. During this same period, up to 18 larvae and 4 nymphs were removed per Norway rat live-trapped on the island each July. With the absence of deer in the fall of 1999, both the density of host-seeking adult ticks and infection prevalence rose substantially to 28/h and 75.0%, respectively. By the summer of 2003, however, no sub-adult ticks were found on rats, and that fall, only 0.67 adult ticks/h were flagged. Of the 68 adults collected from 2002 to 2003, 20 (29.4%) were infected. Over this same period, adult tick abundance on a deer-populated, reference island continued to gradually increase.

  11. Sequence and secondary structure of the mitochondrial 16S ribosomal RNA gene of Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    Krakowetz, Chantel N; Chilton, Neil B

    2015-02-01

    The complete DNA sequences and secondary structure of the mitochondrial (mt) 16S ribosomal (r) RNA gene were determined for six Ixodes scapularis adults. There were 44 variable nucleotide positions in the 1252 bp sequence alignment. Most (95%) nucleotide alterations did not affect the integrity of the secondary structure of the gene because they either occurred at unpaired positions or represented compensatory changes that maintained the base pairing in helices. A large proportion (75%) of the intraspecific variation in DNA sequence occurred within Domains I, II and VI of the 16S gene. Therefore, several regions within this gene may be highly informative for studies of the population genetics and phylogeography of I. scapularis, a major vector of pathogens of humans and domestic animals in North America.

  12. Prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia microti in Ixodes scapularis from a Newly Established Lyme Disease Endemic Area, the Thousand Islands Region of Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Werden, Lisa; Lindsay, L Robbin; Barker, Ian K; Bowman, Jeff; Gonzales, Emily K; Jardine, Claire M

    2015-10-01

    Blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) are vectors for several important human diseases, including Lyme disease, human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA), and human babesiosis, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti, respectively. The continued northward range expansion of blacklegged ticks and associated pathogens is an increasing public health concern in Canada. The Thousand Islands region of eastern Ontario has recently been identified as a new endemic area for Lyme disease in Canada, but the occurrence of other pathogens in ticks in this area has not been fully described. Our objectives were to determine the prevalence of A. phagocytophilum and B. microti in small mammals and questing ticks in the Thousand Islands area and identify the strains of A. phagocytophilum circulating in ticks in the area. Serum and larval ticks were collected from trapped small mammals, and questing ticks were collected via drag sampling from up to 12 island and mainland sites in 2006, 2009, and 2010. A. phagocytophilum was identified by PCR in 3.4% (47/1388) ticks from eight of 12 sites; the prevalence ranged from 8.9% in 2006 to 3% in 2009. All 365 ticks tested for B. microti were negative. Antibodies to A. phagocytophilum were detected in 2.8% (17/611) of white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) at two of 11 sites in 2006, 2009, or 2010. All 34 A. phagocytophilum-positive ticks submitted for strain identification using single-nucleotide polymorphism genotyping assays targeting the 16S rRNA gene were identified as a variant strain (Ap variant-1), which is not commonly associated with human disease. Our findings suggest that people are at low risk of contracting HGA or human babesiosis due to locally acquired tick bites in the Thousand Islands area. However, continued surveillance is warranted as these pathogens continue to expand their ranges in North America. PMID:26393476

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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. PMID:19272000

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-07-05

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

  18. [Tick-borne encephalitis viral titers of engorged adult Ixodes persulcatus ticks].

    PubMed

    Korenberg, E I; Pchelkina, A A

    1984-01-01

    The results of titration of adult virus infected ticks of Ixodes persulcatus are given. The ticks were collected in various natural nidi of tick-borne encephalitis and individually fed on laboratory animals. The results of titration of ticks of the same species primarily infected on laboratory animals during virusemia are given as well. Changes of the virus titer in engorged ticks were observed till the egg production. A role of the presence of virus in engorged ticks for the process of the agent circulation in natural nidi is discussed.

  19. Investigations on the mode and dynamics of transmission and infectivity of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Borrelia afzelii in Ixodes ricinus ticks.

    PubMed

    Crippa, Mara; Rais, Olivier; Gern, Lise

    2002-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (sl), the agent of Lyme disease, is transmitted to the host during the blood meal of Ixodes ticks. In most unfed ticks, spirochetes are present in the midgut and migrate during blood feeding to the salivary glands, from which they are transmitted to the host via saliva. In the present study, the efficiency of Ixodes ricinus ticks to transmit B. afzelii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (ss) and their infectivity for mice were examined in relation to the duration of the blood meal. In addition, we investigated whether these two Borrelia species can penetrate intact skin. Three modes of infection of mice were studied: tick-bite infection, inoculation of tick homogenates, and transcutaneous infection by topical application of tick homogenates on mouse skin. Transmission of B. burgdorferi sl from I. ricinus nymphs to mouse increased with duration of tick attachment. B. afzelii-infected ticks start to transmit infection earlier (< or = 48 h) than B. burgdorferi ss-infected ticks. As previously shown for B. burgdorferi ss in Ixodes scapularis, B. burgdorferi ss and B. afzelii in unfed I. ricinus were noninfectious for mice when tick homogenates were inoculated. However, the inoculation of homogenates of ticks fed for 24 h readily produced infection in mice. Therefore, B. burgdorferi ss and B. afzelii spirochetes are potentially infectious in the tick before natural transmission can occur. None of the mice (n = 33) became infected by transcutaneous transmission when tick homogenates were applied on mouse skin, showing that B. burgdorferi ss and B. afzelii are unable to penetrate intact skin, in contrast to relapsing fever spirochetes. This study also shows that B. afzelii is transmitted by I. ricinus to the host earlier than B. burgdorferi ss and that I. ricinus seems to be a more efficient vector of B. afzelii than B. burgdorferi ss.

  20. 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.

  1. Geographic Variation in the Relationship between Human Lyme Disease Incidence and Density of Infected Host-Seeking Ixodes scapularis Nymphs in the Eastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Pepin, Kim M.; Eisen, Rebecca J.; Mead, Paul S.; Piesman, Joseph; Fish, Durland; Hoen, Anne G.; Barbour, Alan G.; Hamer, Sarah; Diuk-Wasser, Maria A.

    2012-01-01

    Prevention and control of Lyme disease is difficult because of the complex biology of the pathogen's (Borrelia burgdorferi) vector (Ixodes scapularis) and multiple reservoir hosts with varying degrees of competence. Cost-effective implementation of tick- and host-targeted control methods requires an understanding of the relationship between pathogen prevalence in nymphs, nymph abundance, and incidence of human cases of Lyme disease. We quantified the relationship between estimated acarological risk and human incidence using county-level human case data and nymphal prevalence data from field-derived estimates in 36 eastern states. The estimated density of infected nymphs (mDIN) was significantly correlated with human incidence (r = 0.69). The relationship was strongest in high-prevalence areas, but it varied by region and state, partly because of the distribution of B. burgdorferi genotypes. More information is needed in several high-prevalence states before DIN can be used for cost-effectiveness analyses. PMID:22665620

  2. Geographic variation in the relationship between human Lyme disease incidence and density of infected host-seeking Ixodes scapularis nymphs in the Eastern United States.

    PubMed

    Pepin, Kim M; Eisen, Rebecca J; Mead, Paul S; Piesman, Joseph; Fish, Durland; Hoen, Anne G; Barbour, Alan G; Hamer, Sarah; Diuk-Wasser, Maria A

    2012-06-01

    Prevention and control of Lyme disease is difficult because of the complex biology of the pathogen's (Borrelia burgdorferi) vector (Ixodes scapularis) and multiple reservoir hosts with varying degrees of competence. Cost-effective implementation of tick- and host-targeted control methods requires an understanding of the relationship between pathogen prevalence in nymphs, nymph abundance, and incidence of human cases of Lyme disease. We quantified the relationship between estimated acarological risk and human incidence using county-level human case data and nymphal prevalence data from field-derived estimates in 36 eastern states. The estimated density of infected nymphs (mDIN) was significantly correlated with human incidence (r = 0.69). The relationship was strongest in high-prevalence areas, but it varied by region and state, partly because of the distribution of B. burgdorferi genotypes. More information is needed in several high-prevalence states before DIN can be used for cost-effectiveness analyses.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

  4. 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

  5. [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.

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

    PubMed

    Germant, O M; Shashina, N I

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ostfeld, Richard S; Brunner, Jesse L

    2015-04-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Shrub clearing adversely affects the abundance of Ixodes ricinus ticks.

    PubMed

    Tack, Wesley; Madder, Maxime; Baeten, Lander; Vanhellemont, Margot; Verheyen, Kris

    2013-07-01

    In order to get a better understanding of the importance of vertical forest structure as a component of Ixodes ricinus tick habitat, an experiment was set up in a coniferous forest on sandy soils in northern Belgium. Ticks were sampled in six control and six treatment plots on various sampling occasions in 2008-2010. In the course of the study period, a moderate thinning was carried out in all plots and shrub clearing was performed in the treatment plots. Thinning had no effect on tick abundance, while shrub clearing had an adverse affect on the abundance of all three life stages (larva, nymph, adult) up to 2 years post-clearing. Our findings are especially relevant in the light of the ongoing efforts to improve vertical forest structure in Belgium and many other parts of Europe, which might create suitable habitats for ticks and change the epidemiology of tick-borne diseases. Also, our results indicate that shrub clearing could be applied as a tick control measure in recreational areas where there is a high degree of human-tick contact.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lord, C C

    1995-01-01

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

  14. Detection of Rickettsia helvetica in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from Pyrenean chamois in France.

    PubMed

    Davoust, Bernard; Socolovschi, Cristina; Revelli, Paul; Gibert, Philippe; Marié, Jean-Lou; Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe

    2012-12-01

    Seventy-one Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica) in the French Pyrenees were tested by real-time polymerase chain reaction to detect the presence of Rickettsia and Bartonella. Four ticks (6%) were positive for R. helvetica. The chamois carries infected ticks, and this enables the dissemination throughout the environment with this bacterium, a potential human pathogen.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. [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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-22

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  2. 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.

  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. 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).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:26502354

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Experimental Transmission of Ehrlichia equi to Horses through Naturally Infected Ticks (Ixodes pacificus) from Northern California

    PubMed Central

    Reubel, Gerhard H.; Kimsey, Robert B.; Barlough, Jeffrey E.; Madigan, John E.

    1998-01-01

    We report the experimental transmission of Ehrlichia equi from naturally infected Ixodes pacificus ticks to horses. Three weeks after exposure to ticks, two of three horses developed clinical signs compatible with E. equi infection, while one horse remained asymptomatic. 16S rRNA gene PCR of blood leukocyte lysates was positive for all horses at various time points; two horses seroconverted. The 16S rRNA gene sequences amplified from tick-exposed horses showed more than 99% homology to corresponding fragments of the 16S rRNA genes of E. equi, Ehrlichia phagocytophila, and the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis agent. PMID:9650983

  9. The western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus, in the Sutter Buttes.

    PubMed

    Wright, Stan A; Lemenager, Debra A; McBride, Ronald L; Brown, David A

    2003-12-01

    The western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus, was collected from Huff Canyon in the Sutter Buttes in north central California, Sutter County. The Sutter Buttes are within the Sacramento Valley and outside the normal distribution of I. pacificus in California. Adult I. pacificus were collected via flagging as they quested along deer trails; subadult life stages were collected from three species of lizard, Elgaria multicarinata, Sceloporus occidentalis, and S. graciosus. Adult ticks were tested for the presence of spirochetes using the standard IFA with a monoclonal antibody specific for OSPA. Of the ticks tested, 3.3% were identified as positive for the presence of the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. These results present the first published account of Ixodes pacificus as well as the first detection of B. burgdorferi in the Sutter Buttes, Sutter County, California. PMID:14714665

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

    PubMed

    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

  11. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-30

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Borrelia sp. in ticks recovered from white-tailed deer in Alabama.

    PubMed

    Luckhart, S; Mullen, G R; Durden, L A; Wright, J C

    1992-07-01

    Six hundred sixty-five hunter-killed white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) from 18 counties in Alabama (USA) were examined for ticks. Most of the collections were made at state-operated wildlife management areas. Four species of ticks (n = 4,527) were recovered: the lone star tick Amblyomma americanum (n = 482); the Gulf Coast tick A. maculatum (n = 11); the winter tick Dermacentor albipictus (n = 1,242); and the black-legged tick Ixodes scapularis (n = 2,792). Fifty-six percent of the ticks (n = 2,555) were examined for Borrelia sp. spirochetes using an immunofluorescent, polyclonal antibody assay. Spirochetes were detected in I. scapularis (five females, seven males) from Barbour, Butler, Coosa, and Lee counties and A. americanum (four males, four nymphs) from Hale, Lee, and Wilcox counties. Area-specific prevalences in ticks were as high as 3.3% for I. scapularis and 3.8% for A. americanum.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  6. Antibiotic treatment of the hard tick Ixodes ricinus: Influence on Midichloria mitochondrii load following blood meal.

    PubMed

    Ninio, Camille; Plantard, Olivier; Serra, Valentina; Pollera, Claudia; Ferrari, Nicola; Cafiso, Alessandra; Sassera, Davide; Bazzocchi, Chiara

    2015-07-01

    Midichloria mitochondrii is the most prevalent symbiont of the hard tick Ixodes ricinus, present in 100% of eggs and adult females of wild ticks. This bacterium is intracellular, and is the only known symbiont able to invade the mitochondria of the host cells. However, the role that M. mitochondrii plays in the host metabolism has yet to be elucidated. Multiple lines of evidence indicate the possibility of transmission of this bacterium to the vertebrate host during the tick blood meal. In order to investigate the role of M. mitochondrii in the biology of the tick host, we performed an antibiotic treatment on Ixodes ricinus individuals, with the aim of reducing/eliminating the symbiont, and to potentially observe the dynamic of bacterial infection in the tick host. We microinjected engorged adult females of I. ricinus with tetracycline, and we allowed the resulting larvae to feed on gerbils treated with the same antibiotic. The amount of M. mitochondrii was evaluated at different stages of the experiment using molecular techniques. In addition we evaluated the presence/absence of the symbiont DNA in the blood of gerbils used for the larval feeding. The performed treatments did not allow to eliminate the symbiont population from the host tick, however it allowed to reduce the multiplication that occurs after the larval blood meal. These results open the way for future experiments, using different antibiotic molecules, different administration methods and antibiotic administration on subsequent tick stages, to fulfill the goal of eliminating M. mitochondrii from the host I. ricinus, a major step in our understanding of the impact of this bacterium on ticks.

  7. Prevalence of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus Ticks from Different Geographical Locations in Belarus

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23349900

  8. 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.

  9. Prevalence of five pathogenic agents in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks from western France.

    PubMed

    Cotté, Violaine; Bonnet, Sarah; Cote, Martine; Vayssier-Taussat, Muriel

    2010-10-01

    In Europe, Ixodes ricinus ticks are vectors of many emerging pathogens, including Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (sl), Anaplasma phagocytophilum, spotted fever group Rickettsia sp., Babesia sp., and very likely Bartonella sp. In this study, we looked for the presence of DNA of these microorganisms in 572 ticks from two forests in the west of France. DNA extraction and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification were performed on individual nymphal, male, and female I. ricinus ticks. Amplification from 1 tick among the 572 samples (0.2%) resulted in PCR products with Bartonella-specific primers. Sequence analysis of the amplified fragment did not lead to species identification. Two ticks (0.3%) carried A. phagocytophilum-specific DNA. Eight ticks (1.4%) were positive with spotted fever group Rickettsia-specific primers, and all PCR fragments were related to Rickettsia helvetica. Thirty-five ticks (6.1%) were positive with B. burgdorferi sl-specific primers; the sequences were all related to Borrelia garinii or Borrelia afzelii, except one that was related to Borrelia carolinensis, a newly described species never reported in Europe so far. Thirty-five ticks (6.1%) carried Babesia sp. DNA. Female adults were more infected by B. burgdorferi sl than male adults. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi sl and Babesia sp. was significantly different between the two forests, with a higher prevalence of B. burgdorferi sl in ticks from the forest of Princé and a higher prevalence of Babesia sp. in ticks from the forest of Gâvre. To our knowledge, this is the first study that has detected all five pathogens in questing I. ricinus in the west of France and the first report of B. carolinensis DNA in ticks in Europe.

  10. Risk indicators for the tick Ixodes ricinus and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Sweden.

    PubMed

    Jaenson, T G T; Eisen, L; Comstedt, P; Mejlon, H A; Lindgren, E; Bergström, S; Olsen, B

    2009-09-01

    The distributional area of the tick Ixodes ricinus (L.), the primary European vector to humans of Lyme borreliosis spirochaetes (Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato) and tick-borne encephalitis virus, appears to be increasing in Sweden. It is therefore important to determine which environmental factors are most useful to assess risk of human exposure to this tick and its associated pathogens. The geographical distribution of I. ricinus in Sweden was analysed with respect to vegetation zones and climate. The northern limit of I. ricinus and B. burgdorferi s.l. in Sweden corresponds roughly to the northern limit of the southern boreal vegetation zone, and is characterized climatically by snow cover for a mean duration of 150 days and a vegetation period averaging 170 days. The zoogeographical distribution of I. ricinus in Sweden can be classified as southerly-central, with the centre of the distribution south of the Limes Norrlandicus. Ixodes ricinus nymphs from 13 localities in different parts of Sweden were examined for the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. and found to be infected with Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii. Tick sampling localities were characterized on the basis of the density of Borrelia-infected I. ricinus nymphs, presence of specific mammals, dominant vegetation and climate. Densities of I. ricinus nymphs and Borrelia-infected nymphs were significantly correlated, and nymphal density can thus serve as a general indicator of risk for exposure to Lyme borreliosis spirochaetes. Analysis of data from this and other studies suggests that high densities of Borrelia-infected nymphs typically occur in coastal, broadleaf vegetation and in mixed deciduous/spruce vegetation in southern Sweden. Ixodes ricinus populations consistently infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. can occur in: (a) biotopes with shrews, rodents, hares and birds; (b) biotopes with shrews, rodents, hares, deer and birds, and (c) island locations where the varying hare (Lepus timidus) is the

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Spotted fever group rickettsiae identified in Dermacentor marginatus and Ixodes ricinus ticks in Algeria.

    PubMed

    Kernif, Tahar; Messaoudene, Dalila; Ouahioune, Soraya; Parola, Philippe; Raoult, Didier; Bitam, Idir

    2012-12-01

    Our study was carried out using Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from cattle from Tizi-Ouzou and Dermacentor marginatus ticks collected from the vegetation of the Blida region, a tourist site, both regions situated in northern Algeria. The results of real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) specific for a partial sequence of the citrate synthase gene (gltA) indicate that Rickettsia spp. were present in 11/23 (48%) and 4/9 (44%) of the examined ticks from Tizi-Ouzou and Blida, respectively. The sequences of Rickettsia helvetica and Ri. monacensis were found in I. ricinus ticks using gltA primers. In addition, Ri. slovaca was detected based on the sequences of the gltA and the outer membrane protein (OmpA) genes in D. marginatus ticks. DNA sequencing to identify the species revealed for the first time the presence of Ri. helvetica in I. ricinus ticks and Ri. slovaca in D. marginatus ticks from Algeria and confirmed the presence of Ri. monacensis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi and granulocytic and monocytic ehrlichiae in Ixodes ricinus ticks from southern Germany.

    PubMed

    Baumgarten, B U; Röllinghoff, M; Bogdan, C

    1999-11-01

    A total of 287 adult Ixodes ricinus ticks, collected in two regions of southern Germany (Frankonia and Baden-Württemberg) where Borrelia burgdorferi infections are known to be endemic, were examined for the presence of 16S ribosomal DNA specific for the Ehrlichia phagocytophila genogroup, E. chaffeensis, E. canis, and B. burgdorferi by nested PCR. Totals of 2.2% (6 of 275) and 21.8% (65 of 275) of the ticks were positive for the E. phagocytophila genogroup and B. burgdorferi, respectively. Two ticks (0.7%) were coinfected with both bacteria. Of 12 engorged I. ricinus ticks collected from two deer, 8 (67%) were positive for the E. phagocytophila genogroup and one (8%) was positive for B. burgdorferi. There was no evidence of infection with E. canis or E. chaffeensis in the investigated tick population. The nucleotide sequences of the 546-bp Ehrlichia PCR products differed at one or two positions from the original sequence of the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) agent (S.-M. Chen, J. S. Dumler, J. S. Bakken, and D. H. Walker, J. Clin. Microbiol. 32:589-595, 1994). Three groups of sequence variants were detected; two of these were known to occur in other areas in Europe or the United States, whereas one has not been reported before. Thus, in the German I. ricinus tick population closely related granulocytic ehrlichiae are prevalent, which might represent variants of E. phagocytophila or the HGE agent. PMID:10523532

  3. The abundance of Ixodes ricinus ticks depends on tree species composition and shrub cover.

    PubMed

    Tack, W; Madder, M; Baeten, L; De Frenne, P; Verheyen, K

    2012-09-01

    The mainstream forestry policy in many European countries is to convert coniferous plantations into (semi-natural) deciduous woodlands. However, woodlands are the main habitat for Ixodes ricinus ticks. Therefore, assessing to what extent tick abundance and infection with Borrelia spirochetes are affected by forest composition and structure is a prerequisite for effective prevention of Lyme borreliosis. We selected a total of 25 pine and oak stands, both with and without an abundant shrub layer, in northern Belgium and estimated tick abundance between April and October 2008-2010. Additionally, the presence of deer beds was used as an indicator of relative deer habitat use. Borrelia infections in questing nymphs were determined by polymerase chain reactions. The abundance of larvae, nymphs, and adults was higher in oak stands compared to pine stands and increased with increasing shrub cover, most likely due to differences in habitat use by the ticks' main hosts. Whereas tick abundance was markedly higher in structure-rich oak stands compared to homogeneous pine stands, the Borrelia infection rates in nymphs did not differ significantly. Our results indicate that conversion towards structure-rich deciduous forests might create more suitable tick habitats, but we were unable to detect an effect on the infection rate.

  4. A formulation to encapusulate nootkatone oil for tick control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Alexis A.; Pal, Utpal

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Medlock, Jolyon M; Hansford, Kayleigh M; Bormane, Antra; Derdakova, Marketa; Estrada-Peña, Agustín; George, Jean-Claude; Golovljova, Irina; Jaenson, Thomas G T; Jensen, Jens-Kjeld; Jensen, Per M; Kazimirova, Maria; Oteo, José A; Papa, Anna; Pfister, Kurt; Plantard, Olivier; Randolph, Sarah E; Rizzoli, Annapaola; Santos-Silva, Maria Margarida; Sprong, Hein; Vial, Laurence; Hendrickx, Guy; Zeller, Herve; Van Bortel, Wim

    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 21(st) 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

  9. Fall and rise of Lyme disease and other Ixodes tick-borne infections in North America and Europe.

    PubMed

    Barbour, A G

    1998-01-01

    Lyme disease is a spirochaetal infection with acute and chronic manifestations. Lyme disease and other infections transmitted by Ixodes species ticks are increasing in temperate and Holarctic regions of the Northern hemisphere. These zoonotic infections are most commonly acquired in suburban residential areas and outdoor recreation areas close to cities. Different enzootic cycles, which include a variety of large and small mammals as well as migratory birds, maintain and distribute in nature the Borrelia species that cause Lyme disease. The rise in cases of Lyme disease and the other Ixodes tick-borne infections is, in part, the consequence of reforestation and the increase in deer populations in developed countries. PMID:10326291

  10. 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

  11. Time of repletion of subadult Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on diverse hosts.

    PubMed

    Matuschka, F R; Richter, D; Fischer, P; Spielman, A

    1990-01-01

    For a comparison of the times of day at which the subadult stages of Ixodes ricinus detach from nocturnal vs diurnal hosts, these ticks were placed on a variety of indigenous and experimental animals. The time of detachment appears to depend more on properties of the host than on the periodicity of tick behavior. Ticks on rodents, regardless of host periodicity, tended to detach late in the afternoon; those on the hedgehog detached around midnight, and those on lizards and birds, during the morning. Ticks on carnivores (dog, cat) detached throughout the daylight hours. The ability of these parasites to survive to the next developmental stage and, ultimately, to come into contact with another suitable host may be influenced by the identity of the host and, hence, by the circumstances of detachment. Subadult I. ricinus probably concentrate in the host's nest when feeding on mammals but are scattered over the ground when feeding on lizard or avian hosts, an aspect of engorgement behavior that may profoundly affect the capacity of this tick as a vector of agents of Lyme disease and other infections.

  12. [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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hickling, Graham J.; Tsao, Jean I.

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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. PMID:26811985

  15. 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.

  16. Effect of host lizard anemia on host choice and feeding rate of larval western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus).

    PubMed

    Pittman, William; Pollock, Nicholas B; Taylor, Emily N

    2013-12-01

    Although ticks are known to exhibit preferences among host species, there is little evidence that ticks select hosts within a species based on physiological condition. It may be beneficial for ticks to choose hosts that are easier to feed upon if the ticks can perceive indicative chemical or other signals from the host. For example, if ticks can detect host hematocrit they may choose hosts with high hematocrit, facilitating a faster blood meal. It may similarly be adaptive for ticks to avoid anemic hosts because it may be difficult for them to obtain an adequate meal and feeding duration may be extended. We tested the hypothesis that larval western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus) detect host hematocrit using external cues and choose healthy over anemic hosts, allowing them to feed more quickly. We presented groups of larval ticks with pairs of healthy and anemic male western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis), allowed them to select a host, and measured the feeding duration of the ticks. We found that the ticks did not exhibit a statistically significant preference for healthy over anemic lizards, but that the ticks fed to repletion significantly faster on healthy hosts than on anemic hosts. Larval ticks may not be able to detect external cues indicating the health of the host, at least not in terms of their hematocrit. The extended feeding duration likely reflects the extra time needed for the ticks to concentrate the blood meal of their anemic hosts. PMID:23760685

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Life cycle of the tick Ixodes uriae in penguin colonies: relationships with host breeding activity.

    PubMed

    Frenot, Y; de Oliveira, E; Gauthier-Clerc, M; Deunff, J; Bellido, A; Vernon, P

    2001-08-01

    A survey of the temporal pattern of population structure and feeding activity of the seabird tick Ixodes uriae was conducted for the first time in two host species colonies: King penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus halli) and Macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus chrysolophus). The life cycle of the tick was investigated over 3 years in a King penguin colony and 2 years in a Macaroni penguin colony at Possession Island (Crozet Archipelago). There was a marked seasonal feeding activity pattern of ticks in both host species, connected with the presence of birds during the breeding season. Although the King penguin colonies were occupied throughout the year by birds, the favourable period for engorgement was limited to 3.5-4.5 months, and almost all the ticks overwintered in the unengorged state. Consequently, I. uriae probably completed its life cycle over 3 years in King penguin colonies. In contrast, this life cycle could be shortened to 2 years in Macaroni penguin colonies, as a result of a different timetable of the presence of birds for breeding and moulting. The relationships between such plasticity and the host behaviour and subantarctic climatic conditions are discussed. PMID:11429167

  20. 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. PMID:26612395

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Life cycle of the tick Ixodes uriae in penguin colonies: relationships with host breeding activity.

    PubMed

    Frenot, Y; de Oliveira, E; Gauthier-Clerc, M; Deunff, J; Bellido, A; Vernon, P

    2001-08-01

    A survey of the temporal pattern of population structure and feeding activity of the seabird tick Ixodes uriae was conducted for the first time in two host species colonies: King penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus halli) and Macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus chrysolophus). The life cycle of the tick was investigated over 3 years in a King penguin colony and 2 years in a Macaroni penguin colony at Possession Island (Crozet Archipelago). There was a marked seasonal feeding activity pattern of ticks in both host species, connected with the presence of birds during the breeding season. Although the King penguin colonies were occupied throughout the year by birds, the favourable period for engorgement was limited to 3.5-4.5 months, and almost all the ticks overwintered in the unengorged state. Consequently, I. uriae probably completed its life cycle over 3 years in King penguin colonies. In contrast, this life cycle could be shortened to 2 years in Macaroni penguin colonies, as a result of a different timetable of the presence of birds for breeding and moulting. The relationships between such plasticity and the host behaviour and subantarctic climatic conditions are discussed.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

    The fast and safe removal of ticks is of medical and veterinary importance since many tick-borne pathogens require time to be transmitted. In the past, many tools and applications were used to remove ticks from the skin of humans and pets. Choking the ticks by blocking their respiratory system with chemicals cannot be recommended due to the low respiratory rate of ticks. Mechanical devices to remove ticks are usually recommended; however, they vary with regard to their mechanism of seizing and holding the tick and in the way of extraction (pulling or twisting). In this study, five commercial tick removal devices with different mechanisms were tested on pets according to their practicability, injury of the mouthparts, and the idiosoma of female Ixodes ricinus ticks. Therefore, 22 veterinarians and four pet owners removed 596 ticks from various animals by using the different devices and filled in a questionnaire for each case. The tick species and instars were determined, and for the female I. ricinus ticks (n = 527) the condition of the mouthparts as well as the idiosoma was evaluated. Twisting of the female I. ricinus ticks reduced the force required for extraction, the adverse reaction of the animal and the time needed for removal. The device with a "V"-shaped slot which allows a grabbing of the mouthparts delivered the best results according to the condition of the mouthparts and the intactness of the female I. ricinus tick's body. Therefore, grabbing the mouthparts and twisting can be recommended for removal of I. ricinus females from pets. PMID:22733005

  14. 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

  15. Occurrence of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato in Ixodes ricinus Ticks with First Identification of Borrelia miyamotoi in Vojvodina, Serbia.

    PubMed

    Potkonjak, Aleksandar; Kleinerman, Gabriela; Gutiérrez, Ricardo; Savić, Sara; Vračar, Vuk; Nachum-Biala, Yaarit; Jurišić, Aleksandar; Rojas, Alicia; Petrović, Aleksandra; Ivanović, Ivana; Harrus, Shimon; Baneth, Gad

    2016-10-01

    Lyme borreliosis is the most common tick-borne infectious disease in Eurasia. Borrelia miyamotoi is the only known relapsing fever Borrelia group spirochete transmitted by Ixodes species. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of Lyme Borrelia spp. and relapsing fever Borrelia spp. in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from dogs and the vegetation from different parts of Vojvodina, Serbia. A total of 71 Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected and screened for the presence of Lyme Borrelia spp. group and relapsing fever Borrelia spp. by real-time PCR for the Borrelia flagellin B (flaB) gene followed by DNA sequencing of PCR products. Species identification was verified by PCR of the outer surface protein A (ospA) gene for Lyme Disease Borrelia spp. and by PCR of the glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase (glpQ) gene for relapsing fever Borrelia spp. Lyme Borrelia spp. were found in 15/71 (21.13%) of the ticks evaluated and included B. luisitaniae (11.3%), B. afzelii (7%), B. valaisiana (1.4%), and B. garinii (1.4%). Borrelia miyamotoi, from the relapsing fever Borrelia complex, was found, for the first time in Serbia, in one (1.4%) nymph collected from the environment. Co-infections between Borrelia species in ticks were not detected. These results suggest that the dominance of species within B. burgdorferi s.l. complex in I. ricinus ticks may vary over time and in different geographic regions. Further systematic studies of Borrelia species in vectors and reservoir hosts are needed to understand eco-epidemiology of these zoonotic infections and how to prevent human infection in the best way.

  16. Occurrence of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato in Ixodes ricinus Ticks with First Identification of Borrelia miyamotoi in Vojvodina, Serbia.

    PubMed

    Potkonjak, Aleksandar; Kleinerman, Gabriela; Gutiérrez, Ricardo; Savić, Sara; Vračar, Vuk; Nachum-Biala, Yaarit; Jurišić, Aleksandar; Rojas, Alicia; Petrović, Aleksandra; Ivanović, Ivana; Harrus, Shimon; Baneth, Gad

    2016-10-01

    Lyme borreliosis is the most common tick-borne infectious disease in Eurasia. Borrelia miyamotoi is the only known relapsing fever Borrelia group spirochete transmitted by Ixodes species. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of Lyme Borrelia spp. and relapsing fever Borrelia spp. in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from dogs and the vegetation from different parts of Vojvodina, Serbia. A total of 71 Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected and screened for the presence of Lyme Borrelia spp. group and relapsing fever Borrelia spp. by real-time PCR for the Borrelia flagellin B (flaB) gene followed by DNA sequencing of PCR products. Species identification was verified by PCR of the outer surface protein A (ospA) gene for Lyme Disease Borrelia spp. and by PCR of the glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase (glpQ) gene for relapsing fever Borrelia spp. Lyme Borrelia spp. were found in 15/71 (21.13%) of the ticks evaluated and included B. luisitaniae (11.3%), B. afzelii (7%), B. valaisiana (1.4%), and B. garinii (1.4%). Borrelia miyamotoi, from the relapsing fever Borrelia complex, was found, for the first time in Serbia, in one (1.4%) nymph collected from the environment. Co-infections between Borrelia species in ticks were not detected. These results suggest that the dominance of species within B. burgdorferi s.l. complex in I. ricinus ticks may vary over time and in different geographic regions. Further systematic studies of Borrelia species in vectors and reservoir hosts are needed to understand eco-epidemiology of these zoonotic infections and how to prevent human infection in the best way. PMID:27574731

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

  19. A novel Rickettsia species detected in Vole Ticks (Ixodes angustus) from Western Canada.

    PubMed

    Anstead, Clare A; Chilton, Neil B

    2013-12-01

    The genomic DNA of ixodid ticks from western Canada was tested by PCR for the presence of Rickettsia. No rickettsiae were detected in Ixodes sculptus, whereas 18% of the I. angustus and 42% of the Dermacentor andersoni organisms examined were PCR positive for Rickettsia. The rickettsiae from each tick species were characterized genetically using multiple genes. Rickettsiae within the D. andersoni organisms had sequences at four genes that matched those of R. peacockii. In contrast, the Rickettsia present within the larvae, nymphs, and adults of I. angustus had novel DNA sequences at four of the genes characterized compared to the sequences available from GenBank for all recognized species of Rickettsia and all other putative species within the genus. Phylogenetic analyses of the sequence data revealed that the rickettsiae in I. angustus do not belong to the spotted fever, transitional, or typhus groups of rickettsiae but are most closely related to "Candidatus Rickettsia kingi" and belong to a clade that also includes R. canadensis, "Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae," and "Candidatus Rickettsia monteiroi."

  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. [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.

  2. 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. PMID:25297819

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Contreras, Marinela; de la Fuente, José

    2016-06-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:11813653

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Prevalence of granulocytic Ehrlichia and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from Southwestern Finland and from Vormsi Island in Estonia.

    PubMed

    Mäkinen, Johanna; Vuorinen, Ilppo; Oksi, Jarmo; Peltomaa, Miikka; He, Qiushui; Marjamäki, Merja; Viljanen, Matti K

    2003-02-01

    Altogether, 343 adult and 111 nymphal Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from parks in Turku and suburban and rural islands of the Turku archipelago, Finland, and 100 adult I. ricinus ticks collected from Vormsi Island, Estonia, were included in this study. Using the polymerase chain reaction the ticks were examined for 16S rDNA of the Ehrlichia phagocytophila genogroup and for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato recA and flagellin genes. None of the Finnish ticks was found to be infected with E. phagocytophila, whereas 3% of the Estonian ticks were positive for this organism. The rate of Finnish ticks infected with B. burgdorferi sensu lato varied from 0% to 11.6% (mean 5%; 9% for adult and 4% for nymphal ticks). The corresponding rate for Estonian ticks was 15%. Borrelia afzelii was the most common genospecies in both Finnish (2.6%) and Estonian (12%) ticks. B. burgdorferi sensu stricto was detected in 2.0% of the Finnish ticks, but in none of the Estonian ticks. These results suggest that the E. phagocytophila genogroup is very rare in Finnish ticks, although the ticks were collected from an area endemic for Lyme borreliosis. In Estonia, E. phagocytophila is found in ticks and may cause disease.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1993-02-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Neutrophil extracellular traps entrap and kill Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto spirochetes and are not affected by Ixodes ricinus tick saliva.

    PubMed

    Menten-Dedoyart, Catherine; Faccinetto, Céline; Golovchenko, Maryna; Dupiereux, Ingrid; Van Lerberghe, Pierre-Bernard; Dubois, Sophie; Desmet, Christophe; Elmoualij, Benaissa; Baron, Frédéric; Rudenko, Nataliia; Oury, Cécile; Heinen, Ernst; Couvreur, Bernard

    2012-12-01

    Lyme disease is caused by spirochetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex. They are transmitted mainly by Ixodes ricinus ticks. After a few hours of infestation, neutrophils massively infiltrate the bite site. They can kill Borrelia via phagocytosis, oxidative burst, and hydrolytic enzymes. However, factors in tick saliva promote propagation of the bacteria in the host even in the presence of a large number of neutrophils. The neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) consists in the extrusion of the neutrophil's own DNA, forming traps that can retain and kill bacteria. The production of reactive oxygen species is apparently associated with the onset of NETs (NETosis). In this article, we describe NET formation at the tick bite site in vivo in mice. We show that Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto spirochetes become trapped and killed by NETs in humans and that the bacteria do not seem to release significant nucleases to evade this process. Saliva from I. ricinus did not affect NET formation by human neutrophils or its stability. However, it greatly decreased neutrophil reactive oxygen species production, suggesting that a strong decrease of hydrogen peroxide does not affect NET formation. Finally, round bodies trapped in NETs were observed, some of them staining as live bacteria. This observation could help contribute to a better understanding of the early steps of Borrelia invasion and erythema migrans formation after tick bite. PMID:23109724

  7. '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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-04-01

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

  10. Prevalence of Rickettsiales (Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Rickettsia spp.) in hard ticks (Ixodes ricinus) in the city of Hamburg, Germany.

    PubMed

    May, Kathrin; Strube, Christina

    2014-06-01

    To narrow the gap of missing knowledge on Rickettsia spp. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum infections in ticks in northwestern Germany and, at the same time, to provide first prevalence data on these pathogens in the city of Hamburg, a total of 1,400 questing Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected at ten different public green areas from April until October 2011. Ticks were examined using probe-based quantitative real-time PCR. A percentage of 3.6% (51/1,400) ticks were tested positive for A. phagocytophilum infections divided into 2.1% (3/141) adults [1.7% (1/60) females and 2.5% (2/81) males] and 3.8% (48/1,259) nymphs. The percentage of infected ticks per sampling site varied statistically significantly from 0.7% (1/140) to 12.1% (17/140), whereas between sampling months, no statistically significant differences were observed (2.0-6.5%, 4-13/140). The overall Rickettsia spp. infection rate was 52.5% (735/1,400). In adult ticks, Rickettsia spp. infection rate was 56% (79/141) divided into 61.7% (37/60) infected females and 51.9% (42/81) infected males. Nymphs showed an infection rate of 52.1% (656/1,259). In contrast to A. phagocytophilum infections, no statistically significant differences in Rickettsia spp. infection rates among sampling sites (44.3-63.6%, 62-89/140) were observed, whereas seasonal variations were obvious: the percentage of Rickettsia-positive ticks was significantly lower in April (36.5%, 73/200) and May (29.5%, 59/200) compared to the summer and fall months (55.0-64.5%, 110-129/200). Rickettsia species differentiation via real-time pyrosequencing revealed Rickettsia helvetica as the only occurring species. Co-infections with both Rickettsia spp. and A. phagocytophilum were detected in 2.0% (28/1,400) of the ticks. The present study revealed that in the city of Hamburg, the tick infection rate with A. phagocytophilum is comparable with other German data, whereas the Rickettsia spp. infection rate of 52.5% is by far the highest prevalence detected in

  11. Genetic variability of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Ixodes persulcatus ticks and small mammals in the Asian part of Russia.

    PubMed

    Rar, Vera A; Epikhina, Tamara I; Livanova, Natalya N; Panov, Victor V; Doroschenko, Elena K; Pukhovskaya, Natalya M; Vysochina, Nelya P; Ivanov, Leonid I

    2011-08-01

    The specimens of 3552 questing adult Ixodes persulcatus and 1698 blood/tissue samples of small mammals collected in Ural, Siberia, and Far East of Russia were assayed for the presence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum by nested PCR based on the 16S rRNA gene. Totally, A. phagocytophilum was detected in 112 tick and 88 mammalian samples. The nucleotide sequences of the 16S rRNA gene and groESL operon (1244-1295 bp) were determined for A. phagocytophilum samples from 65 ticks and 25 small mammals. Six different 16S rRNA gene variants differing by 1-5 nucleotide substitutions were detected, and only one variant matched the sequences deposited in GenBank. Analysis of groESL sequences allowed the A. phagocytophilum samples to be divided into three groups; moreover, the samples from different groups also differed in the 16S rRNA gene sequences. The A. phagocytophilum sequences from group I were detected in 11 Myodes spp. samples from West Siberia and Far East and in 19 I. persulcatus samples from all examined regions; from group II, in 10 samples of Myodes spp. and common shrews (Sorex araneus) from Ural; and from group III, in four samples of Asian chipmunks (Tamias sibiricus) from West Siberia and Far East; and in 46 I. persulcatus samples from all examined regions. The nucleotide sequences of A. phagocytophilum groESL operon from groups I and II were strictly conserved and formed with A. phagocytophilum groESL sequence from a Swiss bank vole (Myodes glareolus) (GenBank accession no. AF192796), a separate cluster on the phylogenetic tree with a strong bootstrap support. The A. phagocytophilum groESL operon sequences from group III differed from one another by 1-4 nucleotides and formed a separate branch in the cluster generated by European A. phagocytophilum strains from roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and Ixodes ricinus ticks. PMID:21612528

  12. Molecular characterization of tick salivary gland glutaminyl cyclase.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

    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 bloodmeal of adult female ticks prior to fast-feeding phases in both I. scapularis and A. maculatum suggesting a functional link with bloodmeal 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  15. Ticks and spotted fever group rickettsiae of southeastern Virginia

    PubMed Central

    Sonenshine, Daniel E.; Hynes, Wayne L.; Gaff, Holly D.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24201057

  16. Borrelia Species in Host-Seeking Ticks and Small Mammals in Northern Florida

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Kerry

    2004-01-01

    The aim of this study was to improve understanding of several factors related to the ecology and environmental risk of Borrelia infection in northern Florida. Small mammals and host-seeking adult ticks were collected at several sites, and specimens were tested for the presence of Borrelia species, primarily by PCR amplification. Tissues from some vertebrates and ticks were initially cultured in BSK-H medium to isolate spirochetes, but none were recovered. However, comparison of partial flagellin (flaB), 66-kDa protein (p66), and outer surface protein A (ospA) gene sequences from DNAs amplified from small mammals and ticks confirmed the presence of several Borrelia species. Borrelia lonestari DNA was detected among lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum) at four sites. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto strains were detected in all small mammal species tested and in A. americanum, Ixodes affinis, and Ixodes scapularis ticks. Borrelia bissettii was found in a cotton mouse and cotton rats and in I. affinis ticks. The study findings extend the known geographic distributions of B. lonestari in A. americanum and of B. burgdorferi sensu lato in A. americanum, I. affinis, I. scapularis, and small mammals to new sites in Florida. The presence of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto strains in host-seeking lone star ticks at two sites in Florida suggests that A. americanum should still be considered a possible vector of B. burgdorferi sensu lato. PMID:15528699

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Prevalence of Beauveria pseudobassiana among entomopathogenic fungi isolated from the hard tick, Ixodes ricinus.

    PubMed

    Munteanu, Natalia V; Mitkovets, Polina V; Mitina, Galina V; Movila, Alexandru; Tokarev, Yuri S; Leclerque, Andreas

    2014-10-01

    Human and animal disease-transmitting hard ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) are of great concern for public health and animal farming. Alternatives to tick control by chemical acaricides are urgently needed, and one intensively evaluated biocontrol strategy is based on the use of tick-pathogenic filamentous fungi. An indispensable prerequisite for the development of tick-derived fungal isolates into registered myco-acaricides is their sound taxonomic characterisation. A set of fungal strains isolated from ixodid ticks in the Republic of Moldova was genetically characterised at the genus and species level together with further tick-derived fungal isolates from different geographic locations in Europe and North America. In a previous study, the same isolates had been assigned to the species Beauveria bassiana. Using a recent molecular taxonomic approach based on phylogenetic reconstruction from both internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and protein-encoding gene sequences, all fungi investigated were conclusively assigned to one of the two "hyphomycete" genera, Beauveria or Isaria (Ascomycota; Hypocreales; Cordycipitaceae). Within the genus Isaria, two species, Isaria farinosa and Isaria fumosorosea, were equally represented. Within the genus Beauveria, the comparatively rare species Beauveria pseudobassiana was found to strongly prevail among the isolates from Moldova, and one of the two tick-derived Beauveria strains from North America could be assigned to this species as well. In particular, the previous classification as B. bassiana could not be confirmed for any of the characterised tick pathogens from Europe and North America. The data presented here lend support to the hypothesis that within the genus Beauveria specific adaptation to ticks might have occurred within the species B. pseudobassiana. To test this hypothesis, a more extensive molecular taxonomic survey carefully reconsidering previous taxonomic assignments of tick-derived fungal isolates is needed.

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Grigoryeva, L A; Stanyukovich, M K

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Grigoryeva, L A; Stanyukovich, M K

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  4. Ixodes pacificus ticks maintain embryogenesis and egg hatching after antibiotic treatment of Rickettsia endosymbiont.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Early Immunologic Events at the Tick-Host Interface

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Vaccinomics Approach to Tick Vaccine Development.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Vaccinomics Approach to Tick Vaccine Development.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Muzaffar, Sabir B; Jones, Ian L

    2007-04-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, Howard S.; Edited by Sonenshine, Daniel E.; Roe, R. Michael

    2014-01-01

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

  14. The impact of climate change on the expansion of Ixodes persulcatus habitat and the incidence of tick-borne encephalitis in the north of European Russia

    PubMed Central

    Tokarevich, Nikolay K.; Tronin, Andrey A.; Blinova, Olga V.; Buzinov, Roman V.; Boltenkov, Vitaliy P.; Yurasova, Elena D.; Nurse, Jo

    2011-01-01

    Background The increase in tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) incidence is observed in recent decades in a number of subarctic countries. The reasons of it are widely discussed in scientific publications. The objective of this study was to understand if the climate change in Arkhangelsk Oblast (AO) situated in the north of European subarctic zone of Russia has real impact on the northward expansion of Ixodid ticks and stipulates the increase in TBE incidence. Methods This study analyzes: TBE incidence in AO and throughout Russia, the results of Ixodid ticks collecting in a number of sites in AO, and TBE virus prevalence in those ticks, the data on tick bite incidence in AO, and meteorological data on AO mean annual air temperatures and precipitations. Results It is established that in recent years TBE incidence in AO tended to increase contrary to its apparent decrease nationwide. In last 10 years, there was nearly 50-fold rise in TBE incidence in AO when compared with 1980–1989. Probably, the increase both in mean annual air temperatures and temperatures during tick active season resulted in the northward expansion of Ixodes Persulcatus, main TBE virus vector. The Ixodid ticks expansion is confirmed both by the results of ticks flagging from the surface vegetation and by the tick bite incidence in the population of AO locations earlier free from ticks. Our mathematical (correlation and regression) analysis of available data revealed a distinct correlation between TBE incidence and the growth of mean annual air temperatures in AO in 1990–2009. Conclusion Not ruling out other factors, we conclude that climate change contributed much to the TBE incidence increase in AO. PMID:22028678

  15. Transgene expression and silencing in a tick cell line: A model system for functional tick genomics.

    PubMed

    Kurtti, Timothy J; Mattila, Joshua T; Herron, Michael J; Felsheim, Roderick F; Baldridge, Gerald D; Burkhardt, Nicole Y; Blazar, Bruce R; Hackett, Perry B; Meyer, Jason M; Munderloh, Ulrike G

    2008-10-01

    The genome project of the black legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, provides sequence data for testing gene function and regulation in this important pathogen vector. We tested Sleeping Beauty (SB), a Tc1/mariner group transposable element, and cationic lipid-based transfection reagents for delivery and genomic integration of transgenes into I. scapularis cell line ISE6. Plasmid DNA and dsRNA were effectively transfected into ISE6 cells and they were successfully transformed to express a red fluorescent protein (DsRed2) and a selectable marker, neomycin phosphotransferase (NEO). Frequency of transformation was estimated as 1 transformant per 5000-10,000 cells and cultures were incubated for 2-3 months in medium containing the neomycin analog G418 in order to isolate transformants. Genomic integration of the DsRed2 transgene was confirmed by inverse PCR and sequencing that demonstrated a TA nucleotide pair inserted between SB inverted/direct repeat sequences and tick genomic sequences, indicating that insertion of the DsRed2 gene into the tick cell genome occurred through the activity of SB transposase. RNAi using dsRNA transcribed from the DsRed2 gene silenced expression of red fluorescent protein in transformed ISE6 cells. SB transposition in cell line ISE6 provides an effective means to explore the functional genomics of I. scapularis. PMID:18722527

  16. Molecular detection and phylogenetic analysis of Hepatozoon spp. in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks and rodents from Slovakia and Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Hamšíková, Zuzana; Silaghi, Cornelia; Rudolf, Ivo; Venclíková, Kristýna; Mahríková, Lenka; Slovák, Mirko; Mendel, Jan; Blažejová, Hana; Berthová, Lenka; Kocianová, Elena; Hubálek, Zdeněk; Schnittger, Leonhard; Kazimírová, Mária

    2016-10-01

    By amplification and sequencing of 18S rRNA gene fragments, Hepatozoon spp. DNA was detected in 0.08 % (4/5057) and 0.04 % (1/2473) of questing Ixodes ricinus ticks from Slovakia and Czech Republic, respectively. Hepatozoon spp. DNA was also detected in spleen and/or lungs of 4.45 % (27/606) of rodents from Slovakia. Prevalence of infection was significantly higher in Myodes glareolus (11.45 %) than in Apodemus spp. (0.28 %) (P < 0.001). Sequencing of 18S rRNA Hepatozoon spp. gene amplicons from I. ricinus showed 100 % identity with Hepatozoon canis isolates from red foxes or dogs in Europe. Phylogenetic analysis showed that at least two H. canis 18S rRNA genotypes exist in Slovakia of which one was identified also in the Czech Republic. The finding of H. canis in questing I. ricinus suggests the geographical spread of the parasite and a potential role of other ticks as its vectors in areas where Rhipicephalus sanguineus is not endemic. Sequencing of 18S rRNA gene amplicons from M. glareolus revealed the presence of two closely related genetic variants, Hepatozoon sp. SK1 and Hepatozoon sp. SK2, showing 99-100 % identity with isolates from M. glareolus from other European countries. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrates that 18S rRNA variants SK1 and SK2 correspond to previously described genotypes UR1 and UR2 of H. erhardovae, respectively. The isolate from Apodemus flavicollis (Hepatozoon sp. SK3b) was 99 % identical with isolates from reptiles in Africa and Asia. Further studies are necessary to identify the taxonomic status of Hepatozoon spp. parasitizing rodents in Europe and the host-parasite interactions in natural foci.

  17. Molecular detection and phylogenetic analysis of Hepatozoon spp. in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks and rodents from Slovakia and Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Hamšíková, Zuzana; Silaghi, Cornelia; Rudolf, Ivo; Venclíková, Kristýna; Mahríková, Lenka; Slovák, Mirko; Mendel, Jan; Blažejová, Hana; Berthová, Lenka; Kocianová, Elena; Hubálek, Zdeněk; Schnittger, Leonhard; Kazimírová, Mária

    2016-10-01

    By amplification and sequencing of 18S rRNA gene fragments, Hepatozoon spp. DNA was detected in 0.08 % (4/5057) and 0.04 % (1/2473) of questing Ixodes ricinus ticks from Slovakia and Czech Republic, respectively. Hepatozoon spp. DNA was also detected in spleen and/or lungs of 4.45 % (27/606) of rodents from Slovakia. Prevalence of infection was significantly higher in Myodes glareolus (11.45 %) than in Apodemus spp. (0.28 %) (P < 0.001). Sequencing of 18S rRNA Hepatozoon spp. gene amplicons from I. ricinus showed 100 % identity with Hepatozoon canis isolates from red foxes or dogs in Europe. Phylogenetic analysis showed that at least two H. canis 18S rRNA genotypes exist in Slovakia of which one was identified also in the Czech Republic. The finding of H. canis in questing I. ricinus suggests the geographical spread of the parasite and a potential role of other ticks as its vectors in areas where Rhipicephalus sanguineus is not endemic. Sequencing of 18S rRNA gene amplicons from M. glareolus revealed the presence of two closely related genetic variants, Hepatozoon sp. SK1 and Hepatozoon sp. SK2, showing 99-100 % identity with isolates from M. glareolus from other European countries. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrates that 18S rRNA variants SK1 and SK2 correspond to previously described genotypes UR1 and UR2 of H. erhardovae, respectively. The isolate from Apodemus flavicollis (Hepatozoon sp. SK3b) was 99 % identical with isolates from reptiles in Africa and Asia. Further studies are necessary to identify the taxonomic status of Hepatozoon spp. parasitizing rodents in Europe and the host-parasite interactions in natural foci. PMID:27245074

  18. Lower temperature limits for activity of several Ixodid ticks (Acari: Ixodidae): effects of body size and rate of temperature change.

    PubMed

    Clark, D D

    1995-07-01

    Uncoordinated activity threshold temperature, the temperature below which ticks can no longer seek a host in a coordinated manner, and the activity threshold temperature, when all activity ceases, were examined for three species of ticks found in coastal sections of New York. The mean uncoordinated activity threshold and activity threshold temperatures were determined for nymphal, female and male Ixodes scapularis Say, nymphal, female, and male Amblyomma americanum (L.), and for female and male Dermacentor variabilis (Say). Only the uncoordinated activity threshold and activity threshold temperatures for adult I. scapularis were significantly correlated to the rate of temperature decrease. The mean uncoordinated activity threshold and activity threshold temperatures were significantly correlated to the mean size of each tick species.

  19. Anaplasma phagocytophilum Infection in Small Mammal Hosts of Ixodes Ticks, Western United States

    PubMed Central

    Nieto, Nathan C.; Adjemian, Jennifer; Dabritz, Haydee; Brown, Richard N.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

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

  1. Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Anaplasma marginale Elicit Different Gene Expression Responses in Cultured Tick Cells

    PubMed Central

    Zivkovic, Zorica; Blouin, Edmour F.; Manzano-Roman, Raúl; Almazán, Consuelo; Naranjo, Victoria; Massung, Robert F.; Jongejan, Frans; Kocan, Katherine M.; de la Fuente, José

    2009-01-01

    The genus Anaplasma (Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae) includes obligate tick-transmitted intracellular organisms, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Anaplasma marginale that multiply in both vertebrate and tick host cells. Recently, we showed that A. marginale affects the expression of tick genes that are involved in tick survival and pathogen infection and multiplication. However, the gene expression profile in A. phagocytophilum-infected tick cells is currently poorly characterized. The objectives of this study were to characterize tick gene expression profile in Ixodes scapularis ticks and cultured ISE6 cells in response to infection with A. phagocypthilum and to compare tick gene expression responses in A. phagocytophilum- and A. marginale-infected tick cells by microarray and real-time RT-PCR analyses. The results of these studies demonstrated modulation of tick gene expression by A. phagocytophilum and provided evidence of different gene expression responses in tick cells infected with A. phagocytophilum and A. marginale. These differences in Anaplasma-tick interactions may reflect differences in pathogen life cycle in the tick cells. PMID:19636428

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

  3. Molecular evidence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia microti co-infections in Ixodes ricinus ticks in central-eastern region of Poland.

    PubMed

    Sytykiewicz, Hubert; Karbowiak, Grzegorz; Hapunik, Joanna; Szpechciński, Adam; Supergan-Marwicz, Marta; Goławska, Sylwia; Sprawka, Iwona; Czerniewicz, Paweł

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the study was to elucidate the distribution of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia microti co-infection in Ixodes ricinus populations within the central-eastern region of Poland. The prevalence of analysed tick-borne human pathogens in single and polymicrobial infections in I. ricinus ticks were analysed using the conventional and nested PCR techniques. A total number of 1,123 questing tick individuals (291 females, 267 males and 565 nymphs) were collected at different ecosystems (municipal parks, suburban forests, and woodlands). In the presented study, 95 samples of ticks (8.5%) were infected with A.phagocytophilum, 3.1% (n=35) with B. microti, whereas the co-existence status of these human pathogens was detected in 1.8% (n=20) of all tested samples. It has been demonstrated that the prevalence of co-infection status was the highest among females of I. ricinus (11 samples, 3.8%), whereas the lowest within tested nymphs (5 samples, 0.9%). Ticks collected at city parks in Warsaw and suburban areas of this town characterized the highest prevalence of co-infections (3.3 and 4.8%, respectively). Furthermore, it was established that co-infection rates of ticks inhabiting woodlands within Kampinos National Park and Nadbużański Landscape Park were similar and reached the levels of 1.4% (n=5) and 1.1% (n=4), respectively.

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

    PubMed

    Korotkov, Yu; Kozlova, T; Kozlovskaya, L

    2015-06-01

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

  5. Trial of a minimal-risk botanical compound to control the vector tick of Lyme disease.

    PubMed

    Rand, Peter W; Lacombe, Eleanor H; Elias, Susan P; Lubelczyk, Charles B; St Amand, Theodore; Smith, Robert P

    2010-07-01

    We compared the application of IC2, a minimal-risk (25B) botanical compound containing 10% rosemary oil, with bifenthrin, a commonly used synthetic compound, and with water for the control of Ixodes scapularis Say (= Ixodes dammini Spielman, Clifford, Piesman & Corwin), on tick-infested grids in Maine, in an area where Lyme disease is established and other tick-borne diseases are emerging. High-pressure sprays of IC2, bifenthrin, and water were applied during the peak nymphal (July) and adult (October) seasons of the vector tick. No ticks could be dragged on the IC2 grids within 2 wk of the July spray, and few adult ticks were found in October or the following April. Similarly, no adult ticks could be dragged 1.5 wk after the October IC2 spray, and few the following April. No ticks were found on the bifenthrin grids after either spray through the following April, whereas substantial numbers of ticks remained throughout on the grids sprayed with water. Thus, IC2 appears to be an effective, minimum-risk acaricide to control the vector tick of Lyme disease.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-12-01

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

  8. Molecular identification of Salp15, a key salivary gland protein in the transmission of lyme disease spirochetes, from Ixodes persulcatus and Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Hojgaard, Andrias; Biketov, Sergey F; Shtannikov, Alexander V; Zeidner, Nordin S; Piesman, Joseph

    2009-11-01

    Salp15 is a multifunctional protein, vital to the tick in its need to obtain vertebrate host blood without stimulating a host inflammatory and immune response. The Salpl5 protein from both Ixodes scapularis Say and Ixodes ricinus (L.), the principal vectors of the Lyme disease spirochete in eastern North America and Europe, respectively, have been well characterized and found to bind the murine CD4 receptor, DC-SIGN, and the OspC protein of Borrelia burgdorferi. In the current study, we characterized the full salp15 gene in Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls and Ixodes persulcatus Schulze, the principal vectors of Lyme disease spirochetes in western North America and Asia, respectively. In comparing the Salp15 protein of all four principal vector ticks of public health importance for the transmission of Lyme disease spirochetes, we find the 53 C-terminal amino acids to have a high degree of similarity. There are at least three clades in the tree of Salp15 and its homologues, probably representing a multigene family.

  9. Repelling properties of some plant materials on the tick Ixodes ricinus L.

    PubMed

    Thorsell, W; Mikiver, A; Tunón, H

    2006-01-01

    The repellent effects on nymphal stages of Ixodes ricinus L. of some plant materials have been studied in the laboratory. The plant material consisted of an ethanolic extract from Achillea millefolium L., and volatile oils of birch and/or pine tar, citronella, cloves, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lily of the valley and peppermint. The most pronounced effects were observed for the oils of citronella, cloves and lily of the valley. They possessed repelling activities of the same magnitude as the reference repellent DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide). Some major constituents of these oils, e.g. citronellol and geraniol (oil of citronella and lily of the valley) and eugenol (oil of cloves) showed pronounced repelling effects. This was also the case for phenethyl alcohol, a minor component in the oil from lily of the valley. PMID:16360943

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

    PubMed

    Korotkov, Iu S

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Korotkov, Iu S

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. Spatial and seasonal variation in the prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks in Norway

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Understanding the variation in prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Lyme Borreliosis Spirochaetes, LBS) and Anaplasma phagocytophilum (causing tick-borne fever in ruminants and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis) in ticks is vital from both a human and an animal disease perspective to target the most effective mitigation measures. From the host competence hypothesis, we predicted that prevalence of LBS would decrease with red deer density, while prevalence of A. phagocytophilum would increase. Methods Based on a sample of 112 adult and 686 nymphal Ixodes ricinus ticks collected with flagging during questing from 31 transects (4–500 m long) corresponding to individual seasonal home ranges of 41 red deer along the west coast of Norway, we tested whether there were spatial and seasonal variations in prevalence with a special emphasis on the population density of the most common large host in this area, the red deer (Cervus elaphus). We used a multiplex real-time PCR assay for detection of A. phagocytophilum and LBS. Results Prevalence of LBS was higher in adult female ticks (21.6%) compared to adult male ticks (11.5%) and nymphs (10.9%), while prevalence was similar among stages for prevalence of A. phagocytophilum (8.8%). Only partly consistent with predictions, we found a lower prevalence of LBS in areas of high red deer density, while there was no relationship between red deer density and prevalence of A. phagocytophilum in ticks. Prevalence of both bacteria was much higher in ticks questing in May compared to August. Conclusions Our study provides support to the notion that spatial variation in host composition forms a role for prevalence of LBS in ticks also in a northern European ecosystem, while no such association was found for A. phagocytophilum. Further studies are needed to fully understand the similar seasonal pattern of prevalence of the two pathogens. PMID:23786850

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  20. Habitat requirements of the seabird tick, Ixodes uriae (Acari: Ixodidae), from the Antarctic Peninsula in relation to water balance characteristics of eggs, nonfed and engorged stages.

    PubMed

    Benoit, J B; Yoder, J A; Lopez-Martinez, G; Elnitsky, M A; Lee, R E; Denlinger, D L

    2007-02-01

    The seabird tick Ixodes uriae is exposed to extreme environmental conditions during the off-host phase of its life cycle on the Antarctic Peninsula. To investigate how this tick resists desiccation, water requirements of each developmental stage were determined. Features of I. uriae water balance include a high percentage body water content, low dehydration tolerance limit, and a high water loss rate, which are characteristics that classify this tick as hydrophilic. Like other ticks, I. uriae relies on water vapor uptake as an unfed larva and enhanced water retention in the adult, while nymphs are intermediate and exploit both strategies. Stages that do not absorb water vapor, eggs, fed larvae and fed nymphs, rely on water conservation. Other noteworthy features include heat sensitivity that promotes water loss in eggs and unfed larvae, an inability to drink free water from droplets, and behavioral regulation of water loss by formation of clusters. We conclude that I. uriae is adapted for life in a moisture-rich environment, and this requirement is met by clustering in moist, hydrating, microhabitats under rocks and debris that contain moisture levels that are higher than the tick's critical equilibrium activity.

  1. Distribution of the common tick, Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae), in different vegetation types in southern Sweden.

    PubMed

    Lindström, Anders; Jaenson, Thomas G T

    2003-07-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether differences in Ixodes ricinus (L.) nymphal relative density exist among different vegetation types in southern Sweden. Nymphal I. ricinus were sampled in southeastern Scania in southern Sweden during June-August 1997. A total of 110-180 25-m2 samples were taken by blanket-dragging from each of nine different vegetation types. There was a highly significant difference in nymphal abundance between the open areas as one group and the forested areas as another group (P < 0.0001). Vegetation types that differed significantly in median nymphal abundance from all other vegetation types were pine forest (16 nymphs/100 m2) and beech forest (40 nymphs/100 m2). No significant differences in median nymphal density were revealed among mixed deciduous forest, alder forest, oak forest, and hazel forest (28-32 nymphs/100 m2), or among dry meadow, meadow, and heath (0 nymphs/100 m2). Forestation of open areas is likely to lead to increased I. ricinus abundance and disease risk.

  2. Protective value of prophylactic antibiotic treatment of tick bite for Lyme disease prevention: an animal model.

    PubMed

    Piesman, Joseph; Hojgaard, Andrias

    2012-06-01

    Clinical studies have demonstrated that prophylactic antibiotic treatment of tick bites by Ixodes scapularis in Lyme disease hyperendemic regions in the northeastern United States can be effective in preventing infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, the Lyme disease spirochete. A large clinical trial in Westchester County, NY (USA), demonstrated that treatment of tick bite with 200mg of oral doxycycline was 87% effective in preventing Lyme disease in tick-bite victims (Nadelman, R.B., Nowakowski, J., Fish, D., Falco, R.C., Freeman, K., McKenna, D., Welch, P., Marcus, R., Agúero-Rosenfeld, M.E., Dennis, D.T., Wormser, G.P., 2001. Prophylaxis with single-dose doxycycline for the prevention of Lyme disease after an Ixodes scapularis tick bite. N. Engl. J. Med. 345, 79-84.). Although this excellent clinical trial provided much needed information, the authors enrolled subjects if the tick bite occurred within 3 days of their clinical visit, but did not analyze the data based on the exact time between tick removal and delivery of prophylaxis. An animal model allows for controlled experiments designed to determine the point in time after tick bite when delivery of oral antibiotics would be too late to prevent infection with B. burgdorferi. Accordingly, we developed a tick-bite prophylaxis model in mice that gave a level of prophylactic protection similar to what had been observed in clinical trials and then varied the time post tick bite of antibiotic delivery. We found that two treatments of doxycycline delivered by oral gavage to mice on the day of removal of a single potentially infectious nymphal I. scapularis protected 74% of test mice compared to controls. When treatment was delayed until 24 h after tick removal, only 47% of mice were protected; prophylactic treatment was totally ineffective when delivered ≥2 days after tick removal. Although the dynamics of antibiotic treatment in mice may differ from humans, and translation of animal studies to

  3. Protective value of prophylactic antibiotic treatment of tick bite for Lyme disease prevention: an animal model.

    PubMed

    Piesman, Joseph; Hojgaard, Andrias

    2012-06-01

    Clinical studies have demonstrated that prophylactic antibiotic treatment of tick bites by Ixodes scapularis in Lyme disease hyperendemic regions in the northeastern United States can be effective in preventing infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, the Lyme disease spirochete. A large clinical trial in Westchester County, NY (USA), demonstrated that treatment of tick bite with 200mg of oral doxycycline was 87% effective in preventing Lyme disease in tick-bite victims (Nadelman, R.B., Nowakowski, J., Fish, D., Falco, R.C., Freeman, K., McKenna, D., Welch, P., Marcus, R., Agúero-Rosenfeld, M.E., Dennis, D.T., Wormser, G.P., 2001. Prophylaxis with single-dose doxycycline for the prevention of Lyme disease after an Ixodes scapularis tick bite. N. Engl. J. Med. 345, 79-84.). Although this excellent clinical trial provided much needed information, the authors enrolled subjects if the tick bite occurred within 3 days of their clinical visit, but did not analyze the data based on the exact time between tick removal and delivery of prophylaxis. An animal model allows for controlled experiments designed to determine the point in time after tick bite when delivery of oral antibiotics would be too late to prevent infection with B. burgdorferi. Accordingly, we developed a tick-bite prophylaxis model in mice that gave a level of prophylactic protection similar to what had been observed in clinical trials and then varied the time post tick bite of antibiotic delivery. We found that two treatments of doxycycline delivered by oral gavage to mice on the day of removal of a single potentially infectious nymphal I. scapularis protected 74% of test mice compared to controls. When treatment was delayed until 24 h after tick removal, only 47% of mice were protected; prophylactic treatment was totally ineffective when delivered ≥2 days after tick removal. Although the dynamics of antibiotic treatment in mice may differ from humans, and translation of animal studies to

  4. Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. in Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) ticks collected from vegetation and small rodents in recreational areas of the city of Poznań.

    PubMed

    Michalik, Jerzy; Hofman, Teresa; Buczek, Alicja; Skoracki, Maciej; Sikora, Bozena

    2003-09-01

    During 1998-1999, Ixodes ricinus (L.) populations were investigated in three different biotopes (deciduous, mixed, coniferous forest) situated in popular recreational areas in Poznań, Poland. In total, 1,123 questing ticks (1,002 nymphs, 69 males, 52 females) were collected by flagging vegetation. Additionally, in 1998 between May and September small rodents were trapped and inspected for feeding ticks. Altogether, 213 rodents of three species: Apodemus agrarius Pall., A. flavicollis Melchior, Clethrionomys glareolus Schreber were captured. Of 323 engorged ticks, 304 were larvae and 19 nymphs. All ticks collected from vegetation, as well as from rodents were examined for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigenwalt & Brenner s.l. spirochetes by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) using PAB 1B29. The seasonal pattern of activity of questing I. ricinus was always bimodal (May/June and August/September). The most abundant tick population occurred in the deciduous forest. The total infection rate in questing ticks was 16.2%. Differences in mean infection prevalence of host-seeking ticks between three biotopes each year were not significant. On average more larvae parasitized on the genus of Apodemus than on C. glareolus. 17.8% of larvae and 31.6% of nymphs fed on rodents harbored spirochetes. The three rodent species contributed to a different degree in to transmission of the pathogen to subadult stages. Approximately 27% of larvae infested on A. agrarius, 22% on C. glareolus, and only 4.2% on A. flavicollis contained spirochetes. The results suggest that the prevalence of A. agrarius and C. glareolus in disturbed urban forests used for leisure activities seems to be crucial for the maintenance of B. burgdorferi s.l. in I. ricinus populations.

  5. Genetic variability of Babesia parasites in Haemaphysalis spp. and Ixodes persulcatus ticks in the Baikal region and Far East of Russia.

    PubMed

    Rar, V A; Epikhina, T I; Suntsova, O V; Kozlova, I V; Lisak, O V; Pukhovskaya, N M; Vysochina, N P; Ivanov, L I; Tikunova, N V

    2014-12-01

    To study Babesia diversity in Ixodid ticks in Russia, Ixodes persulcatus, Haemaphysalis japonica, Haemaphysalisconcinna, Dermacentor silvarum, and Dermacentor nuttalli ticks collected in the Far East and Baikal region were assayed for the presence of Babesia spp. using nested PCR. In total, Babesia DNA was detected in 30 of the 1125 (2.7%) I. persulcatus, 17 of the 573 (3.0%) H. concinna, and 12 of the 543 (2.2%) H. japonica but was undetectable in any of the 294 analyzed Dermacentor spp. Partial 18S rRNA gene sequences were determined for all of the positive samples. Among the positive ticks, nine I. persulcatus were infected by Babesia microti 'US'-type, five I. persulcatus were infected by Babesia divergens-like parasites, and 11 I. persulcatus were infected by Babesia venatorum. For all three of these species, the determined 18S rRNA gene sequences were identical to those of the Babesia genetic variants found previously in I. persulcatus in Russia. In addition, five I. persulcatus from the Baikal region and all of the positive Haemaphysalis spp. ticks carried 13 different sequence variants of Babesia sensu stricto belonging to distinct phylogenetic clusters. Babesia spp. from 29 ticks of different species collected in distinct locations belonged to the cluster of cattle and ovine parasites (Babesia crassa, Babesiamajor, Babesiamotasi, Babesiabigemina, etc.). Babesia spp. from four H. japonica ticks in the Far East belonged to the cluster formed by parasites of carnivores. One more Babesia sequence variant detected in an I. persulcatus tick from the Baikal region belonged to the cluster formed by parasites of cattle and wild cervids (B. divergens, Babesiacapreoli, B. venatorum, Babesiaodocoilei, etc.).

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-06-01

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

  9. A cautionary note: survival of nymphs of two species of ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) among clothes laundered in an automatic washer.

    PubMed

    Carroll, J F

    2003-09-01

    Host-seeking ticks often remain on clothing of persons returning home from work or recreation in tick habitats, and can pose at least a temporary risk to people and pets in these homes. Laundering clothing has been one of the recommendations to reduce tick exposure. Host-seeking lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (L.), and blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, nymphs confined in polyester mesh packets, were included with laundry in cold, warm, and hot wash cycles of an automatic clothes washer. Ticks were also placed with washed clothing and subjected to drying in an automatic clothes dryer set on high heat and on air only (unheated). Most nymphs (> or = 90%) of both species survived the cold and warm washes, and 95% of A. americanum nymphs survived the hot wash. At the time of their removal from the washer, I. scapularis nymphs were clearly affected by the hot wash, but 65% were considered alive 20-24 h later. Large percentages of nymphs of both species survived hot washes in which two other detergents (a powder containing a nonchlorine bleach and a liquid) were used. All ticks were killed by the 1 h cycle at high heat in the clothes dryer, but with unheated air some nymphs of both species survived the 1 h cycle in the dryer. Given the laundering recommendations of clothing manufacturers and variation in the use automatic clothes washers, laundry washed in automatic washers should not be considered free of living ticks.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  14. Host and pathogen DNA identification in blood meals of nymphal Ixodes ricinus ticks from forest parks and rural forests of Poland.

    PubMed

    Wodecka, Beata; Rymaszewska, Anna; Skotarczak, Bogumila

    2014-04-01

    DNA analysis of blood meals from unfed nymphal Ixodes ricinus allows for the identification of tick host and tick-borne pathogens in the host species. The recognition of host species for tick larvae and the reservoirs of Borrelia, Rickettsia and Anaplasma species were simultaneously carried out by analysis of the blood meals of 880 questing nymphal I. ricinus ticks collected in forest parks of Szczecin city and rural forests in northwestern Poland that are endemic areas for Lyme borreliosis. The results obtained from the study indicate that I. ricinus larvae feed not only on small or medium animals but also on large animals and they (i.e. roe deer, red deer and wild boars) were the most prevalent in all study areas as the essential hosts for larvae of I. ricinus. The composition of medium and small vertebrates (carnivores, rodents, birds and lizards) provided a more diverse picture depending on study site. The reservoir species that contain the most pathogens are the European roe deer Capreolus capreolus, in which two species of Rickettsia and two species of Borrelia were identified, and Sus scrofa, in which one Rickettsia and three Borrelia species were identified. Rickettsia helvetica was the most common pathogen detected, and other included species were the B. burgdorferi s.l. group and B. miyamotoi related to relapsing fever group. Our results confirmed a general association of B. garinii with birds but also suggested that such associations may be less common in the transmission cycle in natural habitats than what was thought previously.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Attachment-site patterns of adult blacklegged ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) on white-tailed deer and horses.

    PubMed

    Schmidtmann, E T; Carroll, J F; Watson, D W

    1998-01-01

    The attachment site pattern of adult Ixodes scapularis Say on white-tailed deer and horses in Maryland was determined by whole-body examinations during fall and spring periods of tick host-seeking activity. On deer in the fall, both female and male I. scapularis attached largely to anterior dorsal body regions, with attachment to the ears (outside), head, neck, and brisket accounting for 87.9% of females and 86.6% of males. The attachment pattern of females differed between bucks and does during fall, but not in spring, and both females and males were more abundant on bucks than does during fall, but not in spring. Neither female nor male attachment patterns on deer differed between fall and spring seasons. In contrast to deer, the ears and neck of horses were largely devoid of blacklegged ticks, and 84% of the females were attached either on the chest, in the axillae of the fore and rear legs, or under the jawbone. The restricted attachment of female blacklegged ticks to ventral body regions of horses may reflect avoidance of light. An understanding of the attachment patterns of adult I. scapularis, an increasingly abundant and economically important species, enhances sampling of feeding ticks, deticking to limit host irritation or exposure to tick-borne pathogens, and identifies body areas that should be targeted for delivery of repellents or acaricides. PMID:9542346

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

  18. Prevalence of infection with Rickettsia helvetica in Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on non-rickettsiemic rodent hosts in sylvatic habitats of west-central Poland.

    PubMed

    Biernat, Beata; Stańczak, Joanna; Michalik, Jerzy; Sikora, Bożena; Wierzbicka, Anna

    2016-02-01

    Ixodes ricinus is the most prevalent and widely distributed tick species in European countries and plays a principal role in transmission of a wide range of microbial pathogens. It is also a main vector and reservoir of Rickettsia spp. of the spotted fever group with the infection level ranging in Poland from 1.3% to 11.4%. Nevertheless, little research has been conducted so far to identify reservoir hosts for these pathogens. A survey was undertaken to investigate the presence of Rickettsia spp. in wild small rodents and detached I. ricinus. Rodents, Apodemus flavicollis mice and Myodes glareolus voles were captured in typically sylvatic habitats of west-central Poland. Blood samples and collected ticks were analyzed by conventional, semi-nested and nested PCRs. Rickettsial species were determined by sequence analysis of obtained fragments of gltA and 16S rRNA genes. A total of 2339 immature I. ricinus (mostly larvae) were collected from 158 animals. Proportion of hosts carrying ticks was 84%, being higher for A. flavicollis than for M. glareolus. Rickettsia helvetica, the only species identified, was detected in 8% of 12 nymphs and in at least 10.7% (MIR) of 804 larvae investigated. Prevalence of infected ticks on both rodent species was comparable (10.8 vs. 9%). None of blood samples tested was positive for Rickettsia spp. The results showed that in sylvatic habitats the level of infestation with larval I. ricinus was higher in A. flavicollis mice in comparison with M. glareolus voles. They show that R. helvetica frequently occurred in ticks feeding on rodents. Positive immature ticks were collected from non-rickettsiemic hosts what might suggest a vertical route of their infection (transovarial and/or transstadial) or a very short-lasting rickettsiemia in rodents. A natural vertebrate reservoir host for R. helvetica remains to be determined.

  19. Prevalence of infection with Rickettsia helvetica in Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on non-rickettsiemic rodent hosts in sylvatic habitats of west-central Poland.

    PubMed

    Biernat, Beata; Stańczak, Joanna; Michalik, Jerzy; Sikora, Bożena; Wierzbicka, Anna

    2016-02-01

    Ixodes ricinus is the most prevalent and widely distributed tick species in European countries and plays a principal role in transmission of a wide range of microbial pathogens. It is also a main vector and reservoir of Rickettsia spp. of the spotted fever group with the infection level ranging in Poland from 1.3% to 11.4%. Nevertheless, little research has been conducted so far to identify reservoir hosts for these pathogens. A survey was undertaken to investigate the presence of Rickettsia spp. in wild small rodents and detached I. ricinus. Rodents, Apodemus flavicollis mice and Myodes glareolus voles were captured in typically sylvatic habitats of west-central Poland. Blood samples and collected ticks were analyzed by conventional, semi-nested and nested PCRs. Rickettsial species were determined by sequence analysis of obtained fragments of gltA and 16S rRNA genes. A total of 2339 immature I. ricinus (mostly larvae) were collected from 158 animals. Proportion of hosts carrying ticks was 84%, being higher for A. flavicollis than for M. glareolus. Rickettsia helvetica, the only species identified, was detected in 8% of 12 nymphs and in at least 10.7% (MIR) of 804 larvae investigated. Prevalence of infected ticks on both rodent species was comparable (10.8 vs. 9%). None of blood samples tested was positive for Rickettsia spp. The results showed that in sylvatic habitats the level of infestation with larval I. ricinus was higher in A. flavicollis mice in comparison with M. glareolus voles. They show that R. helvetica frequently occurred in ticks feeding on rodents. Positive immature ticks were collected from non-rickettsiemic hosts what might suggest a vertical route of their infection (transovarial and/or transstadial) or a very short-lasting rickettsiemia in rodents. A natural vertebrate reservoir host for R. helvetica remains to be determined. PMID:26515058

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Geographic distribution of white-tailed deer with ticks and antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in Connecticut.

    PubMed

    Magnarelli, L A; Anderson, J F; Cartter, M L

    1993-01-01

    Ticks and blood specimens were collected from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Connecticut and analyzed to identify foci for Lyme borreliosis. Males and females of Ixodes scapularis, the chief vector of Borrelia burgdorferi, were collected from deer in five of eight counties during 1989-1991. Analysis by indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) staining of midgut tissues showed that prevalence of infection was highest (9.5% of 367 ticks) in south central and southeastern Connecticut. Infected I. scapularis also were collected from southwestern regions of the state (12.1% of 99 ticks), but prevalence of infection in northern counties was considerably lower (0.8% of 124 ticks). Deer sera, obtained in 1980 and 1989-1991, were analyzed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or by IFA staining methods. Antibodies to B. burgdorferi were detected in sera collected from all eight counties in Connecticut. Deer had been infected by this spirochete in at least 50 towns, 17 (34%) of which are in south central and southeastern parts of the state. Borrelia burgdorferi is widely distributed in I. scapularis populations in Connecticut. PMID:8256460

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-13

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Mevalonate-Farnesal Biosynthesis in Ticks: Comparative Synganglion Transcriptomics and a New Perspective.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jiwei; Khalil, Sayed M; Mitchell, Robert D; Bissinger, Brooke W; Egekwu, Noble; Sonenshine, Daniel E; Roe, R Michael

    2016-01-01

    Juvenile hormone (JH) controls the growth, development, metamorphosis, and reproduction of insects. For many years, the general assumption has been that JH regulates tick and other acarine development and reproduction the same as in insects. Although researchers have not been able to find the common insect JHs in hard and soft tick species and JH applications appear to have no effect on tick development, it is difficult to prove the negative or to determine whether precursors to JH are made in ticks. The tick synganglion contains regions which are homologous to the corpora allata, the biosynthetic source for JH in insects. Next-gen sequencing of the tick synganglion transcriptome was conducted separately in adults of the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, and the relapsing fever tick, Ornithodoros turicata as a new approach to determine whether ticks can make JH or a JH precursor. All of the enzymes that make up the mevalonate pathway from acetyl-CoA to farnesyl diphosphate (acetoacetyl-CoA thiolase, HMG-S, HMG-R, mevalonate kinase, phosphomevalonate kinase, diphosphomevalonate decarboxylase, and farnesyl diphosphate synthase) were found in at least one of the ticks studied but most were found in all three species. Sequence analysis of the last enzyme in the mevalonate pathway, farnesyl diphosphate synthase, demonstrated conservation of the seven prenyltransferase regions and the aspartate rich motifs within those regions typical of this enzyme. In the JH branch from farnesyl diphosphate to JH III, we found a putative farnesol oxidase used for the conversion of farnesol to farnesal in the synganglion transcriptome of I. scapularis and D. variabilis. Methyltransferases (MTs) that add a methyl group to farnesoic acid to make methyl farnesoate were present in all of the ticks studied with similarities as high as 36% at the amino acid level to insect JH acid methyltransferase (JHAMT). However, when the tick MTs were compared to

  5. Mevalonate-Farnesal Biosynthesis in Ticks: Comparative Synganglion Transcriptomics and a New Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jiwei; Khalil, Sayed M.; Mitchell, Robert D.; Bissinger, Brooke W.; Egekwu, Noble; Sonenshine, Daniel E.; Roe, R. Michael

    2016-01-01

    Juvenile hormone (JH) controls the growth, development, metamorphosis, and reproduction of insects. For many years, the general assumption has been that JH regulates tick and other acarine development and reproduction the same as in insects. Although researchers have not been able to find the common insect JHs in hard and soft tick species and JH applications appear to have no effect on tick development, it is difficult to prove the negative or to determine whether precursors to JH are made in ticks. The tick synganglion contains regions which are homologous to the corpora allata, the biosynthetic source for JH in insects. Next-gen sequencing of the tick synganglion transcriptome was conducted separately in adults of the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, and the relapsing fever tick, Ornithodoros turicata as a new approach to determine whether ticks can make JH or a JH precursor. All of the enzymes that make up the mevalonate pathway from acetyl-CoA to farnesyl diphosphate (acetoacetyl-CoA thiolase, HMG-S, HMG-R, mevalonate kinase, phosphomevalonate kinase, diphosphomevalonate decarboxylase, and farnesyl diphosphate synthase) were found in at least one of the ticks studied but most were found in all three species. Sequence analysis of the last enzyme in the mevalonate pathway, farnesyl diphosphate synthase, demonstrated conservation of the seven prenyltransferase regions and the aspartate rich motifs within those regions typical of this enzyme. In the JH branch from farnesyl diphosphate to JH III, we found a putative farnesol oxidase used for the conversion of farnesol to farnesal in the synganglion transcriptome of I. scapularis and D. variabilis. Methyltransferases (MTs) that add a methyl group to farnesoic acid to make methyl farnesoate were present in all of the ticks studied with similarities as high as 36% at the amino acid level to insect JH acid methyltransferase (JHAMT). However, when the tick MTs were compared to

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. American Black Bears as Hosts of Blacklegged Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) in the Northeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Zolnik, Christine P; Makkay, Amanda M; Falco, Richard C; Daniels, Thomas J

    2015-09-01

    Ticks and whole blood were collected from American black bears (Ursus americanus Pallas) between October 2011 and October 2012 across four counties in northwestern New Jersey, an area where blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis Say) and their associated tick-borne pathogens are prevalent. Adult American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis Say) were the most frequently collected tick species in late spring, whereas adult and nymphal blacklegged ticks were found in both the late spring and fall months. Additionally, for blacklegged ticks, we determined the quality of bloodmeals that females acquired from black bears compared with bloodmeals from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman), the most important host for the adult stage of this tick species. Measures of fecundity after feeding on each host species were not significantly different, suggesting that the bloodmeal a female blacklegged tick acquires from a black bear is of similar quality to that obtained from a white-tailed deer. These results establish the American black bear as both a host and quality bloodmeal source to I. scapularis. Thus, black bears may help support blacklegged tick populations in areas where they are both present. In addition, samples of black bear blood were tested for DNA presence of three tick-borne pathogens. Anaplasma phagocytophilum Foggie and Babesia microti Franca were found in 9.2 and 32.3% of blood samples, respectively. All blood samples were quantitative polymerase chain reaction-negative for Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt, & Brenner. Although circulating pathogens were found in blood, the status of black bears as reservoirs for these pathogens remains unknown.

  8. American Black Bears as Hosts of Blacklegged Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) in the Northeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Zolnik, Christine P; Makkay, Amanda M; Falco, Richard C; Daniels, Thomas J

    2015-09-01

    Ticks and whole blood were collected from American black bears (Ursus americanus Pallas) between October 2011 and October 2012 across four counties in northwestern New Jersey, an area where blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis Say) and their associated tick-borne pathogens are prevalent. Adult American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis Say) were the most frequently collected tick species in late spring, whereas adult and nymphal blacklegged ticks were found in both the late spring and fall months. Additionally, for blacklegged ticks, we determined the quality of bloodmeals that females acquired from black bears compared with bloodmeals from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman), the most important host for the adult stage of this tick species. Measures of fecundity after feeding on each host species were not significantly different, suggesting that the bloodmeal a female blacklegged tick acquires from a black bear is of similar quality to that obtained from a white-tailed deer. These results establish the American black bear as both a host and quality bloodmeal source to I. scapularis. Thus, black bears may help support blacklegged tick populations in areas where they are both present. In addition, samples of black bear blood were tested for DNA presence of three tick-borne pathogens. Anaplasma phagocytophilum Foggie and Babesia microti Franca were found in 9.2 and 32.3% of blood samples, respectively. All blood samples were quantitative polymerase chain reaction-negative for Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt, & Brenner. Although circulating pathogens were found in blood, the status of black bears as reservoirs for these pathogens remains unknown. PMID:26336232

  9. Hemocytic rickettsia-like organisms in ticks: serologic reactivity with antisera to Ehrlichiae and detection of DNA of agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis by PCR.

    PubMed Central

    Magnarelli, L A; Stafford, K C; Mather, T N; Yeh, M T; Horn, K D; Dumler, J S

    1995-01-01

    Ixodid ticks were collected from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and British Columbia (Canada) during 1991 to 1994 to determine the prevalence of infection with hemocytic (blood cell), rickettsia-like organisms. Hemolymph obtained from these ticks was analyzed by direct and indirect fluorescent antibody (FA) staining methods with dog, horse, or human sera containing antibodies to Ehrlichia canis, Ehrlichia equi, or Rickettsia rickettsii. Of the 693 nymphal and adult Amblyomma americanum, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes scapularis, and Ixodes pacificus ticks tested with dog anti-E. canis antiserum, 209 (32.5%) contained hemocytic bacteria. The prevalence of infected ticks varied greatly with species and locale. In parallel tests of duplicate hemolymph preparations from adult I. scapularis ticks, the hemocytic organisms reacted positively with E. canis and/or E. equi antisera, including sera from persons who had granulocytic ehrlichiosis. In separate PCR analyses, DNA of the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis was detected in 59 (50.0%) of 118 adult and in 1 of 2 nymphal I. scapularis ticks tested from Connecticut. There was no evidence of Ehrlichia chaffeensis DNA in these ticks. In indirect FA tests of hemolymph for spotted fever group rickettsiae, the overall prevalence of infection was less than 4%. Specificity tests of antigens and antisera used in these studies revealed no cross-reactivity between E. canis and E. equi or between any of the ehrlichial reagents and those of R. rickettsii. The geographic distribution of hemocytic microorganisms with shared antigens to Ehrlichia species or spotted fever group rickettsiae is widespread. PMID:8567911

  10. Induction and suppression of tick cell antiviral RNAi responses by tick-borne flaviviruses

    PubMed Central

    Schnettler, Esther; Tykalová, Hana; Watson, Mick; Sharma, Mayuri; Sterken, Mark G.; Obbard, Darren J.; Lewis, Samuel H.; McFarlane, Melanie; Bell-Sakyi, Lesley; Barry, Gerald; Weisheit, Sabine; Best, Sonja M.; Kuhn, Richard J.; Pijlman, Gorben P.; Chase-Topping, Margo E.; Gould, Ernest A.; Grubhoffer, Libor; Fazakerley, John K.; Kohl, Alain

    2014-01-01

    Arboviruses are transmitted by distantly related arthropod vectors such as mosquitoes (class Insecta) and ticks (class Arachnida). RNA interference (RNAi) is the major antiviral mechanism in arthropods against arboviruses. Unlike in mosquitoes, tick antiviral RNAi is not understood, although this information is important to compare arbovirus/host interactions in different classes of arbovirus vectos. Using an Ixodes scapularis-derived cell line, key Argonaute proteins involved in RNAi and the response against tick-borne Langat virus (Flaviviridae) replication were identified and phylogenetic relationships characterized. Analysis of small RNAs in infected cells showed the production of virus-derived small interfering RNAs (viRNAs), which are key molecules of the antiviral RNAi response. Importantly, viRNAs were longer (22 nucleotides) than those from other arbovirus vectors and mapped at highest frequency to the termini of the viral genome, as opposed to mosquito-borne flaviviruses. Moreover, tick-borne flaviviruses expressed subgenomic flavivirus RNAs that interfere with tick RNAi. Our results characterize the antiviral RNAi response in tick cells including phylogenetic analysis of genes encoding antiviral proteins, and viral interference with this pathway. This shows important differences in antiviral RNAi between the two major classes of arbovirus vectors, and our data broadens our understanding of arthropod antiviral RNAi. PMID:25053841

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  15. Environmental determinants of Ixodes ricinus ticks and the incidence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the agent of Lyme borreliosis, in Scotland.

    PubMed

    James, M C; Bowman, A S; Forbes, K J; Lewis, F; McLeod, J E; Gilbert, L

    2013-02-01

    Lyme borreliosis (LB) is the most common arthropod-borne disease of humans in the Northern hemisphere. In Europe, the causative agent, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, is principally vectored by Ixodes ricinus ticks. The aim of this study was to identify environmental factors influencing questing I. ricinus nymph abundance and B. burgdorferi s.l. infection in questing nymphs using a large-scale survey across Scotland. Ticks, host dung and vegetation were surveyed at 25 woodland sites, and climatic variables from a Geographical Information System (GIS) were extracted for each site. A total of 2397 10 m2 transect surveys were conducted and 13 250 I. ricinus nymphs counted. Questing nymphs were assayed for B. burgdorferi s.l. and the average infection prevalence was 5·6% (range 0·8-13·9%). More questing nymphs and higher incidence of B. burgdorferi s.l. infection were found in areas with higher deer abundance and in mixed/deciduous compared to coniferous forests, as well as weaker correlations with season, altitude, rainfall and ground vegetation. No correlation was found between nymph abundance and infection prevalence within the ranges encountered. An understanding of the environmental conditions associated with tick abundance and pathogen prevalence may be used to reduce risk of exposure and to predict future pathogen prevalence and distributions under environmental changes.

  16. [Conjugated variability of spontaneous activity and behavioral response to olfactory stimuli in the taiga tick (Ixodes persulcatus)].

    PubMed

    Romashchenko, A V; Shnaĭder, E P; Petrovskiĭ, D V; Moshkin, M P

    2013-01-01

    According to -the automatic tracing of the movement of ticks in a Petri dish, motivational variability of the spontaneous activity and behavioral response of the taiga tick to olfactory stimuli was analyzed. In the studied sample, two groups of ticks that differ in the movement trajectory in the absence of stimulus were isolated, including ticks that mainly moved on the edge of the dish at maximum accessible height (group 1) and ticks that mainly moved at the bottom and wall of the dish (group 2). It was registered that ticks of group 1 (as opposed to ticks of group 2) demonstrated a pronounced behavioral response to olfactory stimuli (human synthetic pheromones and ammonia) and negative geotaxis. It was established that belonging to these groups depended On the time of day when the testing was performed and did not depend on the physiological age and infectious status.

  17. Bacteria associated with Amblyomma cajennense tick eggs

    PubMed Central

    Machado-Ferreira, Erik; Vizzoni, Vinicius Figueiredo; Piesman, Joseph; Gazeta, Gilberto Salles; Soares, Carlos Augusto Gomes

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Ticks represent a large group of pathogen vectors that blood feed on a diversity of hosts. In the Americas, the Ixodidae ticks Amblyomma cajennense are responsible for severe impact on livestock and public health. In the present work, we present the isolation and molecular identification of a group of culturable bacteria associated with A. cajennense eggs from females sampled in distinct geographical sites in southeastern Brazil. Additional comparative analysis of the culturable bacteria from Anocentor nitens, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Ixodes scapularis tick eggs were also performed. 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses identified 17 different bacterial types identified as Serratia marcescens, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Enterobacter spp., Micrococcus luteus, Ochrobactrum anthropi, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus spp., distributed in 12 phylogroups. Staphylococcus spp., especially S. sciuri, was the most prevalent bacteria associated with A. cajennense eggs, occurring in 65% of the samples and also frequently observed infecting A. nitens eggs. S. maltophilia, S. marcescens and B. cereus occurred infecting eggs derived from specific sampling sites, but in all cases rising almost as pure cultures from infected A. cajennense eggs. The potential role of these bacterial associations is discussed and they possibly represent new targets for biological control strategies of ticks and tick borne diseases. PMID:26537602

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Microbiome changes through ontogeny of a tick pathogen vector.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    Blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) are one of the most important pathogen vectors in the United States, responsible for transmitting Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. The structure of a host's microbial community has the potential to affect the ecology and evolution of the host. We employed high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene V3-V4 hypervariable regions in the first study to investigate the tick microbiome across all developmental stages (larvae, nymphs, adults). In addition to field-collected life stages, newly hatched laboratory-reared larvae were studied to determine the baseline microbial community structure and to assess transovarial transmission. We also targeted midguts and salivary glands due to their importance in pathogen maintenance and transmission. Over 100 000 sequences were produced per life stage replicate. Rickettsia was the most abundant bacterial genus across all sample types matching mostly the Ixodes rickettsial endosymbionts, and its proportion decreased as developmental stage progressed, with the exception of adult females that harboured a mean relative abundance of 97.9%. Laboratory-reared larvae displayed the lowest bacterial diversity, containing almost exclusively Rickettsia. Many of the remaining bacteria included genera associated with soil, water and plants, suggesting environmental acquisition while off-host. Female organs exhibited significantly different β-diversity than the whole tick from which they were derived. Our results demonstrate clear differences in both α- and β-diversity among tick developmental stages and between tick organs and the tick as a whole. Furthermore, field-acquired bacteria appear to be very important to the overall internal bacterial community of this tick species, with influence from the host bloodmeal appearing limited. PMID:27588381

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  1. Effect of temperature on feeding period of larval blacklegged ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) on eastern fence lizards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rulison, Eric L.; LeBrun, Roger A.; Ginsberg, Howard S.

    2014-01-01

    Ambient temperature can influence tick development time, and can potentially affect tick interactions with pathogens and with vertebrate hosts. We studied the effect of ambient temperature on duration of attachment of larval blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say, to eastern fence lizards, Sceloporus undulatus (Bose & Daudin). Feeding periods of larvae that attached to lizards under preferred temperature conditions for the lizards (WARM treatment: temperatures averaged 36.6°C at the top of the cage and 25.8°C at the bottom, allowing behavioral thermoregulation) were shorter than for larvae on lizards held under cool conditions (COOL treatment temperatures averaged 28.4°C at top of cage and 24.9°C at the bottom). The lizards were infested with larvae four times at roughly monthly intervals. Larval numbers successfully engorging and dropping declined and feeding period was longer after the first infestation.

  2. Exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi and other tick-borne pathogens in Gettysburg National Military Park, South-Central Pennsylvania, 2009.

    PubMed

    Han, George S; Stromdahl, Ellen Y; Wong, David; Weltman, Andre C

    2014-04-01

    Since 1998, Lyme disease cases have increased in south-central Pennsylvania, which includes Gettysburg National Military Park (NMP). Limited information is available about tick populations or pathogens in this area, and no data regarding frequency of tick bites or prevention measures among Gettysburg NMP employees are available. To address these gaps, ticks were collected, classified, and replaced (to minimize disruptions to tick populations) at two sites within Gettysburg NMP during April-September, 2009, among eight nonremoval samplings. On two additional occasions during May and June, 2009, ticks were collected and removed from the two original sites plus 10 additional sites and tested for tick-borne pathogens by using PCR. A self-administered anonymous survey of Gettysburg NMP employees was conducted to determine knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding tick-borne diseases. Peak Ixodes scapularis nymph populations were observed during May-July. Of 115 I. scapularis ticks tested, 21% were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, including 18% of 74 nymphs and 27% of 41 adults; no other pathogen was identified. The entomologic risk index was calculated at 1.3 infected nymphs/hour. An adult and nymph Amblyomma americanum were also found, representing the first confirmed field collection of this tick in Pennsylvania, but no pathogens were detected. The survey revealed that most park employees believed Lyme disease was a problem at Gettysburg NMP and that they frequently found ticks on their skin and clothing. However, use of personal preventive measures was inconsistent, and 6% of respondents reported contracting Lyme disease while employed at Gettysburg NMP. These findings indicate a need to improve surveillance for tick bites among employees and enhance prevention programs for park staff and visitors. PMID:24689815

  3. Detection, characterization, and prediction of tick-borne disease foci.

    PubMed

    Cortinas, M Roberto; Guerra, Marta A; Jones, Carl J; Kitron, Uriel

    2002-06-01

    Tick-borne disease (TBD) transmission foci need to be characterized in space and time, and are often discontinuous on both scales. An active TBD focus is dependent on the fulfillment of three conditions: tick survival, pathogen survival and opportunities for human exposure. The essentials for tick survival include food sources, reproduction, and protection from environmental extremes. The pathogen survival kit includes sufficient densities of ticks and suitable reservoir hosts, and opportunities for transmission between them in order to maintain infection. Opportunities for human exposure depend on sufficient number of encounters between ticks and humans. Because tick foci need to be described on a range of spatial and temporal resolutions, data for such characterization include a variety of surveillance data, field and laboratory experimental data, as well as results of statistical and mathematical analysis and modeling. The application of new tools from molecular biology, geographic information systems (GIS), and satellite imagery, in conjunction with appropriate analytical methods allow for detection of unknown foci and prediction of new ones. A long-term multi-scale study of Ixodes scapularis and Lyme disease in the north-central U. S. is reviewed. Diverse surveillance methods of ticks, rodents, deer, canids and humans were coupled with environmental characterization in situ to create a habitat profile for Lyme disease ticks. Incorporating various digitized databases, a statistical model was used to develop a risk map for tick distribution in the region. The process of introduction and establishment of new tick foci along the Illinois River is described in relation to the known tick distribution and predictions of invasion based on the risk model. PMID:12141734

  4. Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Rickettsia spp. infections in hard ticks (Ixodes ricinus) in the city of Hanover (Germany): revisited.

    PubMed

    Tappe, Julia; Strube, Christina

    2013-09-01

    The present study aimed to determine the prevalence of Rickettsiales (A. phagocytophilum and Rickettsia spp.) in 2100 I. ricinus ticks collected at 10 different sampling sites every month during the tick season 2010 in the city of Hanover, northern Germany. At the same time, the results served as a fifth-year-follow-up study to monitor whether changes or stagnation of tick infection rates - possibly due to climate change--were obvious or not. To detect infections with A. phagocytophilum and/or Rickettsia spp., tick samples were analysed by quantitative real-time PCR. Differentiation of Rickettsia species was accomplished using real-time pyrosequencing technology. Overall, 4.5% (94/2100) of the collected ticks were tested positive for A. phagocytophilum and 26.2% (551/2100) were positive for Rickettsia spp. infections. Species differentiation of Rickettsia-positive ticks via real-time pyrosequencing was possible in 48.6% (268/551) of samples, which were all identified as R. helvetica. Coinfections with both pathogens were found in 1.0% (20/2100) of ticks. Statistically significant seasonal fluctuations between sampling months as well as local differences between sampling sites were detected for Rickettsia spp. infection rates. For A. phagocytophilum infections, only significant seasonal variations were found. When comparing infection rates of Hanoverian ticks in 2010 to those in 2005, infection rates of A. phagocytophilum-infected nymphs increased statistically significant (P=0.008, power: 0.762) from 2.3% in 2005 (Schicht et al., 2011) to 4.5% in 2010. Rickettsia spp. infections in female ticks decreased significantly (P=0.049, power: 0.491) from 41.8% in 2005 (Schicht et al., 2012) to 32.4% in 2010. Comparison of the remaining tick stages showed no statistically significant differences.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Quantitative Real-Time PCR for Detection of Members of the Ehrlichia phagocytophila Genogroup in Host Animals and Ixodes ricinus Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Pusterla, Nicola; Huder, Jon B.; Leutenegger, Christian M.; Braun, Ueli; Madigan, John E.; Lutz, Hans

    1999-01-01

    A TaqMan PCR was established for identification and quantitation of members of the Ehrlichia phagocytophila group in experimentally infected cows and in Ixodes ricinus ticks. The TaqMan PCR identified a 106-bp section of the 16S rRNA gene by use of a specific fluorogenic probe and two primers. This technique was specific for members of the E. phagocytophila group, which include E. phagocytophila, Ehrlichia equi, and the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis. The TaqMan system identified 10 copies of a cloned section of the 16S rRNA gene of E. phagocytophila. The sensitivity and specificity of the TaqMan PCR were similar to those of conventional nested PCR. The numbers of ehrlichiae in leukocytes of the two cows experimentally infected with E. phagocytophila were measured daily by TaqMan PCR and had a course similar to that of the percentages of infected leukocytes determined daily by light microscopy. The prevalence of infected free-living ticks, which were collected from areas where bovine ehrlichiosis is endemic and from regions with sporadic occurrences of granulocytic ehrlichiosis in dogs and horses, was identical as determined by nested PCR and TaqMan PCR. PMID:10203480

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

  9. [Microorganisms of the order Rickettsiales in taiga tick (Ixodes persulcatus Sch.) from the Pre-Ural region].

    PubMed

    Nefedova, V V; Korenberg, E I; Kovalevskiĭ, Iu V; Gorelova, N B; Vorob'eva, N N

    2008-01-01

    The PCR and sequence analysis revealed DNA Ehrlichia muris, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Rickettsia spp. in the I. persulcatus ticks and blood samples from a patients with acute febrile illness occurring after a tick bite, registered in the seasonal peak of the tick activity of one of the highly endemic areas of Russia (Perm region). These data confirmed the validity a diagnosis of HME and HGA, which were made earlier on the basis of the clinical-serologic survey. In 10.0% of the tested taiga ticks were detected DNA of two and more agents in various combinations i.e. E. muris and Rickettsia spp, A. phagocytophilum and Rickettsia spp., and E. muris, A. phagocytophilum and Rickettsia spp. DNA of a R. helvetica was detected in I. persulcatus tick and blood tick-bitten patient with febrile episodes. Probably that R. helvetica can be etiological agent in some part of cases with the serologically unconfirmed diagnoses of acute feverish diseases developing after tick bite.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. An investigation of binding ability of Ixodes persulcatus Schulze Salp15 with Lyme disease spirochetes.

    PubMed

    Murase, Yusuke; Konnai, Satoru; Yamada, Shinji; Githaka, Naftaly; Isezaki, Masayoshi; Ito, Takuya; Takano, Ai; Ando, Shuji; Kawabata, Hiroki; Murata, Siro; Ohashi, Kazuhko

    2015-05-01

    Salp15, a 15-kDa tick salivary gland protein, has several suppressive modes of activity against host immunity and plays a critical role in the transmission of Lyme disease spirochetes in Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes ricinus, major vectors of Lyme disease in North America and Western Europe. Salp15 adheres to Borrelia burgdorferi and specifically interacts with its outer surface protein C (OspC), protecting the spirochete from antibody-mediated cytotoxicity and facilitating infection in the mice. Recently, we identified two Salp15 homologues, IperSalp15-1 and IperSalp15-2, in Ixodes persulcatus, a vector for Lyme disease in Japan. Here we describe the function of IperSalp15 in the transmission of Lyme borreliosis. To investigate the function of IperSalp15, recombinant IperSalp15-1 and IperSalp15-2 were prepared in bacterial and insect cells. Both were identified in the sera of tick-immunized hamsters, indicating that these are secretory proteins in exposed host animals. Solid-phase overlay and indirect fluorescence assays showed that IperSalp15 binds to OspC from B. burgdorferi, Borrelia garinii, and Borrelia afzelii. Importantly, this binding likely protected the spirochete from antibody-mediated cytotoxicity in vitro. In addition, IperSalp15 tended to facilitate infection in mice. Thus, further characterization of tick molecules, including IperSalp15, could lead to the development of new strategies to prevent the transmission of tick-borne diseases.

  12. Tissue and life-stage distribution of a defensin gene in the Lone Star tick, Amblyomma americanum.

    PubMed

    Todd, S M; Sonenshine, D E; Hynes, W L

    2007-06-01

    The transcript sequence of the Amblyomma americanum Linnaeus (Acari: Ixodidae) defensin, termed amercin (amn), was ascertained and a 219-bp amn coding region identified. The gene encodes a 72-amino acid prepropeptide with a putative 37-amino acid mature peptide. This gene shows little similarity to either of the defensins from Amblyomma hebraeum Koch, the only other Amblyomma species for which a defensin has been described. Sequence comparisons with other tick defensins reveal amn to be shorter (6 bp or 2 amino acids) than the Ixodes scapularis Linnaeus (Acari: Ixodidae) and Dermacentor variabilis (Say) (Acari: Ixodidae) defensin sequences. The amercin prepropeptide has 60.8% and 59.5% similarity with the I. scapularis and D. variabilis prepropeptides, respectively, whereas the mature amercin peptide has 73.7% and 71.1% similarity with the mature peptides of these ticks. Similarity with other tick defensins ranges from 42% to 71%. In A. americanum, defensin transcript was found in the midgut, fat body and salivary gland tissues, as well as in the haemocytes. Defensin transcript was also present in early-stage eggs (less than 48 h old), late-stage eggs (approximately 2 weeks old), larvae and nymphs of A. americanum and I. scapularis, both of which are vector-competent for Borrelia spirochetes. PMID:17550433

  13. Integrated Metabolomics, Transcriptomics and Proteomics Identifies Metabolic Pathways Affected by Anaplasma phagocytophilum Infection in Tick Cells.

    PubMed

    Villar, Margarita; Ayllón, Nieves; Alberdi, Pilar; Moreno, Andrés; Moreno, María; Tobes, Raquel; Mateos-Hernández, Lourdes; Weisheit, Sabine; Bell-Sakyi, Lesley; de la Fuente, José

    2015-12-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an emerging zoonotic pathogen that causes human granulocytic anaplasmosis. These intracellular bacteria establish infection by affecting cell function in both the vertebrate host and the tick vector, Ixodes scapularis. Previous studies have characterized the tick transcriptome and proteome in response to A. phagocytophilum infection. However, in the postgenomic era, the integration of omics datasets through a systems biology approach allows network-based analyses to describe the complexity and functionality of biological systems such as host-pathogen interactions and the discovery of new targets for prevention and control of infectious diseases. This study reports the first systems biology integration of metabolomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics data to characterize essential metabolic pathways involved in the tick response to A. phagocytophilum infection. The ISE6 tick cells used in this study constitute a model for hemocytes involved in pathogen infection and immune response. The results showed that infection affected protein processing in endoplasmic reticulum and glucose metabolic pathways in tick cells. These results supported tick-Anaplasma co-evolution by providing new evidence of how tick cells limit pathogen infection, while the pathogen benefits from the tick cell response to establish infection. Additionally, ticks benefit from A. phagocytophilum infection by increasing survival while pathogens guarantee transmission. The results suggested that A. phagocytophilum induces protein misfolding to limit the tick cell response and facilitate infection but requires protein degradation to prevent ER stress and cell apoptosis to survive in infected cells. Additionally, A. phagocytophilum may benefit from the tick cell's ability to limit bacterial infection through PEPCK inhibition leading to decreased glucose metabolism, which also results in the inhibition of cell apoptosis that increases infection of tick cells. These results

  14. Evolutionary conserved microRNAs are ubiquitously expressed compared to tick-specific miRNAs in the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that act as regulators of gene expression in eukaryotes modulating a large diversity of biological processes. The discovery of miRNAs has provided new opportunities to understand the biology of a number of species. The cattle tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, causes significant economic losses in cattle production worldwide and this drives us to further understand their biology so that effective control measures can be developed. To be able to provide new insights into the biology of cattle ticks and to expand the repertoire of tick miRNAs we utilized Illumina technology to sequence the small RNA transcriptomes derived from various life stages and selected organs of R. microplus. Results To discover and profile cattle tick miRNAs we employed two complementary approaches, one aiming to find evolutionary conserved miRNAs and another focused on the discovery of novel cattle-tick specific miRNAs. We found 51 evolutionary conserved R. microplus miRNA loci, with 36 of these previously found in the tick Ixodes scapularis. The majority of the R. microplus miRNAs are perfectly conserved throughout evolution with 11, 5 and 15 of these conserved since the Nephrozoan (640 MYA), Protostomian (620MYA) and Arthropoda (540 MYA) ancestor, respectively. We then employed a de novo computational screening for novel tick miRNAs using the draft genome of I. scapularis and genomic contigs of R. microplus as templates. This identified 36 novel R. microplus miRNA loci of which 12 were conserved in I. scapularis. Overall we found 87 R. microplus miRNA loci, of these 15 showed the expression of both miRNA and miRNA* sequences. R. microplus miRNAs showed a variety of expression profiles, with the evolutionary-conserved miRNAs mainly expressed in all life stages at various levels, while the expression of novel tick-specific miRNAs was mostly limited to particular life stages and/or tick organs. Conclusions Anciently acquired mi

  15. When is a parasite not a parasite? Effects of larval tick burdens on white-footed mouse survival.

    PubMed

    Hersh, Michelle H; LaDeau, Shannon L; Previtali, M Andrea; Ostfeld, Richard S

    2014-05-01

    Many animal species can carry considerable burdens of ectoparasites: parasites living on the outside of a host's body. Ectoparasite infestation can decrease host survival, but the magnitude and even direction of survival effects can vary depending on the type of ectoparasite and the nature and duration of the association. When ectoparasites also serve as vectors of pathogens, the effects of ectoparasite infestation on host survival have the potential to alter disease dynamics by regulating host populations and stabilizing transmission. We quantified the impact of larval Ixodes scapularis tick burdens on both within-season and overwinter survival of white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) using a hierarchical Bayesian capture-mark-recapture model. I. scapularis and P. leucopus are, respectively, vectors and competent reservoirs for the causative agents of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. Using a data set of 5587 individual mouse capture histories over sixteen years, we found little evidence for any effect of tick burdens on either within-season or overwinter mouse survival probabilities. In male mice, tick burdens were positively correlated with within-season survival probabilities. Mean maximum tick burdens were also positively correlated with population rates of change during the concurrent breeding season. The apparent indifference of mice to high tick burdens may contribute to their effectiveness as reservoir hosts for several human zoonotic pathogens.

  16. When is a parasite not a parasite? Effects of larval tick burdens on white-footed mouse survival.

    PubMed

    Hersh, Michelle H; LaDeau, Shannon L; Previtali, M Andrea; Ostfeld, Richard S

    2014-05-01

    Many animal species can carry considerable burdens of ectoparasites: parasites living on the outside of a host's body. Ectoparasite infestation can decrease host survival, but the magnitude and even direction of survival effects can vary depending on the type of ectoparasite and the nature and duration of the association. When ectoparasites also serve as vectors of pathogens, the effects of ectoparasite infestation on host survival have the potential to alter disease dynamics by regulating host populations and stabilizing transmission. We quantified the impact of larval Ixodes scapularis tick burdens on both within-season and overwinter survival of white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) using a hierarchical Bayesian capture-mark-recapture model. I. scapularis and P. leucopus are, respectively, vectors and competent reservoirs for the causative agents of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. Using a data set of 5587 individual mouse capture histories over sixteen years, we found little evidence for any effect of tick burdens on either within-season or overwinter mouse survival probabilities. In male mice, tick burdens were positively correlated with within-season survival probabilities. Mean maximum tick burdens were also positively correlated with population rates of change during the concurrent breeding season. The apparent indifference of mice to high tick burdens may contribute to their effectiveness as reservoir hosts for several human zoonotic pathogens. PMID:25000767

  17. [Ticks Ixodes ricinus (Linnaeus, 1758) from selected municipal forests of the city Poznań and their infection with the spirochetes Borrelia burgdorferi senso lato].

    PubMed

    Nowosad, A; Jenek, J; Głazaczow, A; Wal, M

    1999-01-01

    The results of research (1997-1998) on the occurrence of the spirochetes Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. in ticks Ixodes ricinus (L.) in selected municipal forests of the city of Poznań (localities--districts of Poznań: 1 Debiec, 2 Marcelin, 3 Golecin and Wola, 4 Krzyzowniki and Smochowice, 5 Kiekrz and Strzeszynek, 6 Morasko, 7 Piatkowo, 8 Umultowo, 9 Naramowice and Rózany Młyn, 10 Malta and Antoninek) are presented. A total of 1432 ticks were collected from 10 localities (748 larvae, 590 nymphs, 47 males, and 47 females). Out of this number, 266 specimens were selected at random for further analysis (20 larvae, 160 nymphs, 44 males, and 42 females) which were then tested for the presence of the spirochetes using the PCR technique (tab. I-III, fig. 1). Spirochetes were found in 60 specimens (22.6%). Percentages of infected nymphs and males were similar: 25.6% and 27.3%, respectively. The level of infection of females was lower (14.3%) and of larvae lowest (5.0%). Infected ticks were found in all ten localities, but their proportions differed from site to site and varied from 9.5% (Piatkowo) to 34.6% (Krzyzowniki and Smochowice). Special attention was devoted to those municipal woods where ticks were abundant (Kiekrz and Strzeszynek, as well as Malta and Antoninek, and relatively numerous Debiec) and where their extensiveness of infestation was high (Krzyzowniki and Smochowice: 34.6%; Debiec: 29.6%; Naramowice and Rózany Młyn: 28.6%; Malta and Antoninek: 28.1%; and Golecin and Wola: 26.9%). After summing up all the data from the literature on Wielkopolska and the city of Poznań, the mean extensiveness of infestation in Wielkopolska turns out to be 21.8% and in Poznań slightly higher, 22.2% (tab. IV). The infection levels of the particular developmental stages are different, though: highly variable in nymphs (8.3-25.6%), and more stable in males (22.0-27.3%) and females (22.0-24.5%).

  18. Ticks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, H.S.; Faulde, M.K.

    2008-01-01

    The most common vector-borne diseases in both Europe and North America are transmitted by ticks. Lyme borreliosis (LB), a tick-borne bacterial zoonosis, is the most highly prevalent. Other important tick-borne diseases include TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Europe, Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) in North America, and numerous less common tick-borne bacterial, viral, and protozoan diseases on both continents. The major etiological agent of LB is Borrelia burgdorferi in North America, while in Europe several related species of Borrelia can also cause human illness. These Borrelia genospecies differ in clinical manifestations, ecology (for example, some have primarily avian and others primarily mammalian reservoirs), and transmission cycles, so the epizootiology of LB is more complex in Europe than in North America. Ticks dwell predominantly in woodlands and meadows, and in association with animal hosts, with only limited colonization of human dwellings by a few species. Therefore, suburbanization has contributed substantially to the increase in tick-borne disease transmission in North America by fostering increased exposure of humans to tick habitat. The current trend toward suburbanization in Europe could potentially result in similar increases in transmission of tick-borne diseases. Incidence of tick-borne diseases can be lowered by active public education campaigns, targeted at the times and places of greatest potential for encounter between humans and infected ticks. Similarly, vaccines (e.g., against TBE) are most effective when made available to people at greatest risk, and for high-prevalence diseases such as LB. Consultation with vector-borne disease experts during the planning stages of new human developments can minimize the potential for residents to encounter infected ticks (e.g., by appropriate dwelling and landscape design). Furthermore, research on tick vectors, pathogens, transmission ecology, and on

  19. Tryptogalinin Is a Tick Kunitz Serine Protease Inhibitor with a Unique Intrinsic Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Valdés, James J.; Schwarz, Alexandra; Cabeza de Vaca, Israel; Calvo, Eric; Pedra, Joao H. F.

    2013-01-01

    Background A salivary proteome-transcriptome project on the hard tick Ixodes scapularis revealed that Kunitz peptides are the most abundant salivary proteins. Ticks use Kunitz peptides (among other salivary proteins) to combat host defense mechanisms and to obtain a blood meal. Most of these Kunitz peptides, however, remain functionally uncharacterized, thus limiting our knowledge about their biochemical interactions. Results We discovered an unusual cysteine motif in a Kunitz peptide. This peptide inhibits several serine proteases with high affinity and was named tryptogalinin due to its high affinity for β-tryptase. Compared with other functionally described peptides from the Acari subclass, we showed that tryptogalinin is phylogenetically related to a Kunitz peptide from Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, also reported to have a high affinity for β-tryptase. Using homology-based modeling (and other protein prediction programs) we were able to model and explain the multifaceted function of tryptogalinin. The N-terminus of the modeled tryptogalinin is detached from the rest of the peptide and exhibits intrinsic disorder allowing an increased flexibility for its high affinity with its inhibiting partners (i.e., serine proteases). Conclusions By incorporating experimental and computational methods our data not only describes the function of a Kunitz peptide from Ixodes scapularis, but also allows us to hypothesize about the molecular basis of this function at the atomic level. PMID:23658744

  20. [Estimation of the biological age in taiga tick females (Ixodes persulcatus:Ixodidae) by the fat reserves in organism].

    PubMed

    Balashov, Iu S; Grigor'eva, L A

    2010-01-01

    The method of estimation of the biological age in non-feeding tick females by the level of adipose inclusions in the cells of the midgut and fat body is developed. In order to estimate the fat reserves in non-feeding females, alive ticks were dissected and fragments of their internal were vitally stained with the pregnant solution of sudan III in 70 % ethanol. Three age-specific groups were established: I, young females whose intestines and fat body were filled with fat inclusions; II, mature females whose fat reserves were partially expended; III, old females having isolated fat inclusions in their midgut and fat body.

  1. The effect of spatial heterogenity on the aggregation of ticks on white-footed mice

    PubMed Central

    Devevey, G.; Brisson, D.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Parasites are often aggregated on a minority of the individuals in their host populations. Although host characteristics are commonly presumed to explain parasite aggregation on hosts, spatio-temporal aggregation of parasites during their host-seeking stages may have a dominant effect on the aggregation on hosts. We aimed to quantify, using mixed models, repeatability and autocorrelation analyses, the degree to which the aggregation of blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) on white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) is influenced by spatio-temporal distributions of the host-seeking ticks and by heterogeneity among mice. Host-seeking ticks were spatially aggregated at both the larval and nymphal life-stages. However, this spatial aggregation accounted for little of the variation in larval and nymphal burdens observed on mice (3% and 0%, respectively). Conversely, mouse identity accounted for a substantial proportion of the variance in tick burdens. Mouse identity was a significant explanatory factor as the majority of ticks parasitized a consistent set of mice throughout the activity seasons. Of the characteristics associated with mouse identity investigated, only gender affected larval burdens, and body mass and home range sizes in males were correlated with nymphal burdens. These analyses suggest that aggregation of ticks on a minority of mice does not result from the distribution of host-seeking ticks but from characteristics of the hosts. PMID:22409977

  2. The effect of spatial heterogenity on the aggregation of ticks on white-footed mice.

    PubMed

    Devevey, G; Brisson, D

    2012-06-01

    Parasites are often aggregated on a minority of the individuals in their host populations. Although host characteristics are commonly presumed to explain parasite aggregation on hosts, spatio-temporal aggregation of parasites during their host-seeking stages may have a dominant effect on the aggregation on hosts. We aimed to quantify, using mixed models, repeatability and autocorrelation analyses, the degree to which the aggregation of blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) on white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) is influenced by spatio-temporal distributions of the host-seeking ticks and by heterogeneity among mice. Host-seeking ticks were spatially aggregated at both the larval and nymphal life-stages. However, this spatial aggregation accounted for little of the variation in larval and nymphal burdens observed on mice (3% and 0%, respectively). Conversely, mouse identity accounted for a substantial proportion of the variance in tick burdens. Mouse identity was a significant explanatory factor as the majority of ticks parasitized a consistent set of mice throughout the activity seasons. Of the characteristics associated with mouse identity investigated, only gender affected larval burdens, and body mass and home range sizes in males were correlated with nymphal burdens. These analyses suggest that aggregation of ticks on a minority of mice does not result from the distribution of host-seeking ticks but from characteristics of the hosts. PMID:22409977

  3. Evidence of the role of tick subolesin in gene expression

    PubMed Central

    de la Fuente, José; Maritz-Olivier, Christine; Naranjo, Victoria; Ayoubi, Patricia; Nijhof, Ard M; Almazán, Consuelo; Canales, Mario; de la Lastra, José M Pérez; Galindo, Ruth C; Blouin, Edmour F; Gortazar, Christian; Jongejan, Frans; Kocan, Katherine M

    2008-01-01

    Background Subolesin is an evolutionary conserved protein that was discovered recently in Ixodes scapularis as a tick protective antigen and has a role in tick blood digestion, reproduction and development. In other organisms, subolesin orthologs may be involved in the control of developmental processes. Because of the profound effect of subolesin knockdown in ticks and other organisms, we hypothesized that subolesin plays a role in gene expression, and therefore affects multiple cellular processes. The objective of this study was to provide evidence for the role of subolesin in gene expression. Results Two subolesin-interacting proteins were identified and characterized by yeast two-hybrid screen, co-affinity purification and RNA interference (RNAi). The effect of subolesin knockdown on the tick gene expression pattern was characterized by microarray analysis and demonstrated that subolesin RNAi affects the expression of genes involved in multiple cellular pathways. The analysis of subolesin and interacting protein sequences identified regulatory motifs and predicted the presence of conserved protein kinase C (PKC) phosphorylation sites. Conclusion Collectively, these results provide evidence that subolesin plays a role in gene expression in ticks. PMID:18673577

  4. Efficacy of a granular formulation containing Metarhizium brunneum F52 (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) microsclerotia against nymphs of the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixoididae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Technical improvements in the production and formulation of microbial agents will increase the potential for development of biological pesticides able to compete with chemical insecticides in the marketplace. Here we report the efficacy of a simple granule formulation containing microsclerotia of Me...

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

    PubMed

    Wodecka, Beata; Skotarczak, Bogumila

    2016-01-01

    Forest animals play fundamental roles in the maintenance of Ixodes ricinus and Borrelia species in the forest biotope. To identify the forest vertebrate species that are host for I. ricinus and for the recognition of the reservoirs of Borrelia species, the blood-meal of 325 I. ricinus ticks collected at two forest sites in north-western Poland were analysed. Nested PCR was used to detect polymorphisms in a fragment of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene for the identification of the hosts species. The products were digested with the restriction enzymes, a combination that allows the identification of 60 vertebrate species, comprising 17 bird, 4 reptile and 39 mammalian species. Host DNA was detected in 244 (75%) I. ricinus individuals, with the species being detected and classified for 210 (86%) samples. The restriction patterns resulted in the identification of 14 vertebrate species, including 2 species of birds, lizard, badger, rabbit, deer; most of the samples contained DNA from wild boar (Sus scrofa), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), red deer (Cervus elaphus) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). Identification of Borrelia species was based on the flaB gene using nested PCR coupled to RFLP. This method allows the identification of all Borrelia species transmitted by I. ricinus in Europe, including B. miyamotoi and 3 genetic variants of B. garinii. In the studied isolates, 2 species belonging to B. burgdorferi sensu lato were identified--B. garinii and B. afzelii, and B. miyamotoi, which are related to relapsing fever borreliae. PMID:27007518

  6. Deorphanization and target validation of cross-tick species conserved novel Amblyomma americanum tick saliva protein

    PubMed Central

    Mulenga, Albert; Kim, Tae Kwon; Ibelli, Adriana Mércia Guaratini

    2013-01-01

    We previously identified a cross-tick species conserved tick feeding stimuli responsive Amblyomma americanum (Aam) AV422 gene. This study demonstrates that AamAV422 belongs to a novel group of arthropod proteins that is characterized by 14 cysteine amino acid residues: C23-X7/9-C33-X23/24-C58-C8-C67X7-X75-X23-C99-X15-C115-X10-C126X24/25/33-C150C151-X7-C159-X8-X168-X23/24-C192-X9/10-C202 predicted to form seven disulfide bonds. We show that AamAV422 protein is a ubiquitously expressed protein that is injected into the host within the first 24 h of the tick attaching onto the host as revealed by western blotting analyses of recombinant (r)AamAV422, tick saliva and dissected tick organ protein extracts using antibodies to 24 h and 48 h tick saliva proteins (TSPs). Native AamAV422 is apparently involved with mediating tick anti-hemostasis and anti-complement functions in that rAamAV422 delayed plasma clotting time in a dose responsive manner by up to ~160 s, prevented platelet aggregation by up to ~16% and caused ~24% reduction in production of terminal complement complexes. Target validation analysis revealed that rAamAV422 is a potential candidate for a cocktail or multivalent tick vaccine preparation in that RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated silencing of AamAV422 mRNA caused a statistically significant (~44%) reduction in tick engorgement weights, which is proxy for amounts of ingested blood. We speculate that AamAV422 is a potential target antigen for development of the highly desired universal tick vaccine in that consistent with high conservation among ticks, antibodies to 24 h Ixodes scapularis TSPs specifically bound rAamAV422. We discuss data in this study in the context of advancing the biology of tick feeding physiology and discovery of potential target antigens for tick vaccine development. PMID:23428900

  7. [Prediction of sites with an increased risk of infestation with Ixodes ricinus and tick-borne encephalitis infection in the Central Bohemia Region based satellite data].

    PubMed

    Daniel, M; Kolár, J; Zeman, P; Pavelka, K; Sádlo, J

    1998-02-01

    Based on elaboration of a prediction map of sites of increased incidence of Ixodes ricinus associated with an increased risk of attack on humans and activation of the virus of tick-borne encephalitis it was assumed that different types of vegetation can serve this purpose as suitable indicators. For assessment of these sites and their location on the territory of the Central Bohemian region (on an area of 11,508 sq.km) data from spectral analysis of reflected light recorded by a scanner, Thematic Mapper, working on satellite LANDSAT 5 with a spatial resolution of 30 m, obtained in six bands of the visible and near infrared spectrum resp. was used. Digital satellite data were processed in station IBM RISC 6000 using the professional software EASI/PACE of PCI Co. Inc. Canada. First by supervised classification seven main classes describing the position of the whole area were differentiated and then by a combination of unsupervised and subsequently supervised classification the forest areas were divided into nine classes of forests (with a different structure and different composition as to species), which have a different incidence of ticks. These classes were then compared by statistical methods with the epidemiological map of risk of acquisition of the tick-borne encephalitis virus. This resulted in the finding that coniferous tree forests ("1" and "2") are practically devoid of risk, while mixed and deciduous forests ("3" to "9") involve a varying degree of risk. The maximum risk was found in class 6 which comprises very heterogeneous young deciduous growth and ecotones. The results are presented graphically on the specimen of the prediction map (part of the classified picture supplemented by topographic signs at scale 1:25,000) and on classified satellite picture of the whole area (scale of the original computer printout 1:300,000). In the legend the grade of risk of different classes is expressed verbally, corresponding to values of the Spearman coefficient of

  8. Coinfection of tick cell lines has variable effects on replication of intracellular bacterial and viral pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Moniuszko, Anna; Rückert, Claudia; Alberdi, M. Pilar; Barry, Gerald; Stevenson, Brian; Fazakerley, John K.; Kohl, Alain; Bell-Sakyi, Lesley

    2014-01-01

    Ticks transmit various human and animal microbial pathogens and may harbour more than one pathogen simultaneously. Both viruses and bacteria can trigger, and may subsequently suppress, vertebrate host and arthropod vector anti-microbial responses. Microbial coinfection of ticks could lead to an advantage or disadvantage for one or more of the microorganisms. In this preliminary study, cell lines derived from the ticks Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes ricinus were infected sequentially with 2 arthropod-borne pathogens, Borrelia burgdorferi s.s., Ehrlichia ruminantium, or Semliki Forest virus (SFV), and the effect of coinfection on the replication of these pathogens was measured. Prior infection of tick cell cultures with the spirochaete B. burgdorferi enhanced subsequent replication of the rickettsial pathogen E. ruminantium whereas addition of spirochaetes to cells infected with E. ruminantium had no effect on growth of the latter. Both prior and subsequent presence of B. burgdorferi also had a positive effect on SFV replication. Presence of E. ruminantium or SFV had no measurable effect on B. burgdorferi growth. In tick cells infected first with E. ruminantium and then with SFV, virus replication was significantly higher across all time points measured (24, 48, 72 h post infection), while presence of the virus had no detectable effect on bacterial growth. When cells were infected first with SFV and then with E. ruminantium, there was no effect on replication of either pathogen. The results of this preliminary study indicate that interplay does occur between different pathogens during infection of tick cells. Further study is needed to determine if this results from direct pathogen–pathogen interaction or from effects on host cell defences, and to determine if these observations also apply in vivo in ticks. If presence of one pathogen in the tick vector results in increased replication of another, this could have implications for disease transmission and incidence

  9. Coinfection of tick cell lines has variable effects on replication of intracellular bacterial and viral pathogens.

    PubMed

    Moniuszko, Anna; Rückert, Claudia; Alberdi, M Pilar; Barry, Gerald; Stevenson, Brian; Fazakerley, John K; Kohl, Alain; Bell-Sakyi, Lesley

    2014-06-01

    Ticks transmit various human and animal microbial pathogens and may harbour more than one pathogen simultaneously. Both viruses and bacteria can trigger, and may subsequently suppress, vertebrate host and arthropod vector anti-microbial responses. Microbial coinfection of ticks could lead to an advantage or disadvantage for one or more of the microorganisms. In this preliminary study, cell lines derived from the ticks Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes ricinus were infected sequentially with 2 arthropod-borne pathogens, Borrelia burgdorferi s.s., Ehrlichia ruminantium, or Semliki Forest virus (SFV), and the effect of coinfection on the replication of these pathogens was measured. Prior infection of tick cell cultures with the spirochaete B. burgdorferi enhanced subsequent replication of the rickettsial pathogen E. ruminantium whereas addition of spirochaetes to cells infected with E. ruminantium had no effect on growth of the latter. Both prior and subsequent presence of B. burgdorferi also had a positive effect on SFV replication. Presence of E. ruminantium or SFV had no measurable effect on B. burgdorferi growth. In tick cells infected first with E. ruminantium and then with SFV, virus replication was significantly higher across all time points measured (24, 48, 72h post infection), while presence of the virus had no detectable effect on bacterial growth. When cells were infected first with SFV and then with E. ruminantium, there was no effect on replication of either pathogen. The results of this preliminary study indicate that interplay does occur between different pathogens during infection of tick cells. Further study is needed to determine if this results from direct pathogen-pathogen interaction or from effects on host cell defences, and to determine if these observations also apply in vivo in ticks. If presence of one pathogen in the tick vector results in increased replication of another, this could have implications for disease transmission and incidence.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Identifying sources of tick blood meals using unidentified tandem mass spectral libraries

    PubMed Central

    Önder, Özlem; Shao, Wenguang; Kemps, Brian D.; Lam, Henry; Brisson, Dustin

    2013-01-01

    Rapid and reliable identification of the vertebrate species on which a disease vector previously parasitized is imperative to study ecological factors that affect pathogen distribution and can aid the development of public health programs. Here we describe a proteome profiling technique designed to identify the source of blood meals of hematophagous arthropods. This method employs direct spectral matching and thus does not require a priori knowledge of any genetic or protein sequence information. Using this technology, we detect remnants of blood in blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) and correctly determine the vertebrate species from which the blood was derived even six months after the tick had fed. This biological fingerprinting methodology is sensitive, fast, cost-effective, and can potentially be adapted for other biological and medical applications when existing genome-based methods are impractical or ineffective. PMID:23612287

  13. Gene silencing in tick cell lines using small interfering or long double-stranded RNA.

    PubMed

    Barry, Gerald; Alberdi, Pilar; Schnettler, Esther; Weisheit, Sabine; Kohl, Alain; Fazakerley, John K; Bell-Sakyi, Lesley

    2013-03-01

    Gene silencing by RNA interference (RNAi) is an important research tool in many areas of biology. To effectively harness the power of this technique in order to explore tick functional genomics and tick-microorganism interactions, optimised parameters for RNAi-mediated gene silencing in tick cells need to be established. Ten cell lines from four economically important ixodid tick genera (Amblyomma, Hyalomma, Ixodes and Rhipicephalus including the sub-species Boophilus) were used to examine key parameters including small interfering RNA (siRNA), double stranded RNA (dsRNA), transfection reagent and incubation time for silencing virus reporter and endogenous tick genes. Transfection reagents were essential for the uptake of siRNA whereas long dsRNA alone was taken up by most tick cell lines. Significant virus reporter protein knockdown was achieved using either siRNA or dsRNA in all the cell lines tested. Optimum conditions varied according to the cell line. Consistency between replicates and duration of incubation with dsRNA were addressed for two Ixodes scapularis cell lines; IDE8 supported more consistent and effective silencing of the endogenous gene subolesin than ISE6, and highly significant knockdown of the endogenous gene 2I1F6 in IDE8 cells was achieved within 48 h incubation with dsRNA. In summary, this study shows that gene silencing by RNAi in tick cell lines is generally more efficient with dsRNA than with siRNA but results vary between cell lines and optimal parameters need to be determined for each experimental system.

  14. Characterizing the relationship between tick bites and Lyme disease in active component U.S. Armed Forces in the eastern United States.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Carlo; Stromdahl, Ellen Y; Rohrbeck, Patricia; Olsen, Cara; DeFraites, Robert F

    2015-03-01

    Lyme disease (LD) is the most commonly diagnosed vector-borne illness in the U.S. Analysis of ticks that are removed from patients (rather than collected from the environment) may inform LD surveillance. In this ecological study, LD rates among active component U.S. Armed Forces in the eastern U.S. were compared with tick data from the U.S. Army Public Health Command Human Tick Test Kit Program (HTTKP) covering the same geographic region. In the population of service members in the study sample, mean annual LD incidence was 52.2 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI±; 7.6 per 100,000) between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2012. A 10% increase in the rate of ticks submitted to the HTTKP corresponded to an increase in LD incidence of 5.7% (p<0.01). Where Borrelia burgdorferi infection of Ixodes scapularis ticks was high (20% or greater tick infection prevalence), tick removal rates explained 53.7% of the annual variation in LD incidence (p=0.01). These data support using location-specific rates of ticks removed while feeding on active component service members to complement LD surveillance. PMID:25825928

  15. Characterizing the relationship between tick bites and Lyme disease in active component U.S. Armed Forces in the eastern United States.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Carlo; Stromdahl, Ellen Y; Rohrbeck, Patricia; Olsen, Cara; DeFraites, Robert F

    2015-03-01

    Lyme disease (LD) is the most commonly diagnosed vector-borne illness in the U.S. Analysis of ticks that are removed from patients (rather than collected from the environment) may inform LD surveillance. In this ecological study, LD rates among active component U.S. Armed Forces in the eastern U.S. were compared with tick data from the U.S. Army Public Health Command Human Tick Test Kit Program (HTTKP) covering the same geographic region. In the population of service members in the study sample, mean annual LD incidence was 52.2 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI±; 7.6 per 100,000) between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2012. A 10% increase in the rate of ticks submitted to the HTTKP corresponded to an increase in LD incidence of 5.7% (p<0.01). Where Borrelia burgdorferi infection of Ixodes scapularis ticks was high (20% or greater tick infection prevalence), tick removal rates explained 53.7% of the annual variation in LD incidence (p=0.01). These data support using location-specific rates of ticks removed while feeding on active component service members to complement LD surveillance.

  16. Ixodid ticks associated with feral swine in Texas.

    PubMed

    Sanders, David M; Schuster, Anthony L; McCardle, P Wesley; Strey, Otto F; Blankenship, Terry L; Teel, Pete D

    2013-12-01

    Ixodid ticks were collected from feral swine in eight Texas ecoregions from 2008-2011. Sixty-two percent of 806 feral swine were infested with one or more of the following species: Amblyomma americanum, A. cajennense, A. maculatum, Dermacentor albipictus, D. halli, D. variabilis, and Ixodes scapularis. Juvenile and adult feral swine of both sexes were found to serve as host to ixodid ticks. Longitudinal surveys of feral swine at four geographic locations show persistent year-round tick infestations of all gender-age classes for tick species common to their respective geographic locations and ecoregions. Amblyomma americanum, A. cajennense, A. maculatum and D. variabilis were collected from 66% of feral swine harvested through an abatement program in seven ecoregions from March to October in 2009. These results indicate westward geographic expansion of D. variabilis. Summary results show feral swine are competent hosts for ixodid species responsible for the transmission of pathogens and diminished well-being in livestock, wildlife, and humans.

  17. Molecular detection and identification of Rickettsia species in Ixodes pacificus in California.

    PubMed

    Phan, Jimmy Ninh; Lu, Casey Roy; Bender, William Garrett; Smoak, Robert Marion; Zhong, Jianmin

    2011-07-01

    We amplified 16S rRNA, gltA, and ompA genes from Ixodes pacificus by polymerase chain reaction. Sequencing, BLAST analysis, and phylogenetic constructions indicated that two Rickettsia phylotypes are present in I. pacificus. While phylotype G021 has high homology to Ixodes scapularis endosymbiotic Rickettsia, phylotype G022 is a deeply branched novel spotted fever group Rickettsia.

  18. [Genetic characterisation of Powassan virus (POWV) isolated from Haemophysalis longicornis ticks in Primorye and two strains of Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) (Flaviviridae, Flavivirus): Alma-Arasan virus (AAV) isolated from Ixodes persulcatus ticks in Kazakhstan and Malyshevo virus isolated from Aedes vexans nipponii mosquitoes in Khabarovsk kray].

    PubMed

    L'vov, D K; Al'khovskiĭ, S V; Shchelkanov, M Iu; Deriabin, P G; Gitel'man, A K; Botikov, A G; Aristova, V A

    2014-01-01

    The complete genomes of the three tick-borne flaviviruses (genus Flavivirus, fam. Bunyaviridae) were sequenced: Povassan virus (POWV, strain LEIV-3070Prm, isolated from Haemophysalis logicornis in Primorsky Krai, Russia in 1977), Alma-Arasan virus (AAV, strain LEIV-1380Kaz, isolated from Ixodes persulcatus ticks in Kazakhstan in 1977) and Malyshevo virus (isolated from a pool of Aedes vexans nipponii mosquitoes, in the Khabarovsk Krai, Russia in 1978). It is shown that AAV and Malyshevo virus are the strains of Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and belong to Sibirian and Far-Eastern genotypes, respectively (GenBank ID: AAV KJ744033; strain Malyshevo KJ744034). Phylogenetically AAV is closest related (94,6% nt and 98,3% aa identity) to TBEV strains, isolated in Sibiria (Vasilchenko, Aino, Chita-653, Irkutsk-12). Malyshevo virus is closest related (96,4% nt and 98,3% nt identity) to strains of TBEV, isolated in Far Eastern part of Russia (1230, Spassk-72, Primorye-89). POWV LEIV-3070Prm has 99.7% identity with the prototype strain POWV LB, isolated in Canada and 99.5% of isolates with Far-Eastern strains of POWV (Spassk-9 and Nadezdinsk-1991).

  19. Tick bite protection with permethrin-treated summer-weight clothing.

    PubMed

    Miller, Nathan J; Rainone, Erin E; Dyer, Megan C; González, M Liliana; Mather, Thomas N

    2011-03-01

    The number of tick bites received by individuals wearing either permethrin-treated or untreated summer clothing (T-shirt, shorts, socks, and sneakers) was compared during a controlled indoor study. Pathogen-free nymphal Ixodes scapularis Say were placed on the left shoe, right leg, and left arm of 15 (5/treatment group/d) human volunteers wearing untreated outfits or outfits treated with permethrin either commercially or using a do-at-home treatment kit. The number and location of ticks attached to subjects' skin were recorded 2.5 h postinfestation. Subjects wearing outfits treated with permethrin received 3.36 times fewer tick bites than subjects wearing untreated outfits. No statistically significant differences in number of tick bites were detected between commercial permethrin treatment (19.33%) and the do-at-home permethrin application method (24.67%). The success of permethrin-treated clothing in reducing tick bites varied depending on the specific article of clothing. Subjects wearing permethrin-treated sneakers and socks were 73.6 times less likely to have a tick bite than subjects wearing untreated footware. Subjects wearing permethrin-treated shorts and T-shirts were 4.74 and 2.17 times, respectively, less likely to receive a tick bite in areas related to those specific garments than subjects wearing untreated shorts and T-shirts. Ticks attached to subjects were classified as alive or dead before removal. On subjects wearing untreated outfits, 97.6% of attached nymphs were alive, whereas significantly fewer (22.6%) attached nymphs were alive on subjects wearing repellent-treated outfits. Results of this study demonstrate the potential of permethrin-treated summer clothing for signi