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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Impact of Spring Bird Migration on the Range Expansion of Ixodes scapularis Tick Population.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaotian; Röst, Gergely; Zou, Xingfu

    2016-01-01

    Many observational studies suggest that seasonal migratory birds play an important role in spreading Ixodes scapularis, a vector of Lyme disease, along their migratory flyways, and they are believed to be responsible for geographic range expansion of I. scapularis in Canada. However, the interplay between the dynamics of I. scapularis on land and migratory birds in the air is not well understood. In this study, we develop a periodic delay meta-population model which takes into consideration the local landscape for tick reproduction within patches and the times needed for ticks to be transported by birds between patches. Assuming that the tick population is endemic in the source region, we find that bird migration may boost an already established tick population at the subsequent region and thus increase the risk to humans, or bird migration may help ticks to establish in a region where the local landscape is not appropriate for ticks to survive in the absence of bird migration, imposing risks to public health. This theoretical study reveals that bird migration plays an important role in the geographic range expansion of I. scapularis, and therefore our findings may suggest some strategies for Lyme disease prevention and control.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-27

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-27

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

  18. Dermatologic Changes Induced by Repeated Ixodes scapularis Bites and Implications for Prevention of Tick-Borne Infection

    PubMed Central

    Grant-Kels, Jane M.; Tahan, Steven R.; Dardick, Kenneth R.; Alarcon-Chaidez, Francisco; Bouchard, Keith; Visini, Christine; Deriso, Cindy; Foppa, Ivo M.; Wikel, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    Previous studies in rodents and people have demonstrated that repeated tick exposure is associated with reduced Borrelia burgdorferi transmission but the mechanism of prevention remains unclear. We examined the acute histopathologic reactions to initial and repeated Ixodes scapularis bites in BALB/c mice and in people. Skin biopsies of BALB/c mice infested for the first time by I. scapularis nymphs revealed vascular dilatation and an accumulation of inflammatory cells adjacent to the bite site but absent at the site of tick attachment. Such changes would enhance tick-borne pathogen transmission. Mice reexposed to I. scapularis nymphs experienced a decrease in vascular dilatation and a marked increase in inflammatory cells at the site of tick attachment. Skin biopsies of people with attached I. scapularis nymphs revealed similar histologic patterns. These results indicate that cellular changes at the tick-dermal interface following I. scapularis attachment are likely to allow for successful transmission of tick-borne pathogens in non-tick-immune hosts and to inhibit tick-borne pathogen transmission in hosts that have developed tick immunity. PMID:19196014

  19. Dermatologic changes induced by repeated Ixodes scapularis bites and implications for prevention of tick-borne infection.

    PubMed

    Krause, Peter J; Grant-Kels, Jane M; Tahan, Steven R; Dardick, Kenneth R; Alarcon-Chaidez, Francisco; Bouchard, Keith; Visini, Christine; Deriso, Cindy; Foppa, Ivo M; Wikel, Stephen

    2009-12-01

    Previous studies in rodents and people have demonstrated that repeated tick exposure is associated with reduced Borrelia burgdorferi transmission but the mechanism of prevention remains unclear. We examined the acute histopathologic reactions to initial and repeated Ixodes scapularis bites in BALB/c mice and in people. Skin biopsies of BALB/c mice infested for the first time by I. scapularis nymphs revealed vascular dilatation and an accumulation of inflammatory cells adjacent to the bite site but absent at the site of tick attachment. Such changes would enhance tick-borne pathogen transmission. Mice reexposed to I. scapularis nymphs experienced a decrease in vascular dilatation and a marked increase in inflammatory cells at the site of tick attachment. Skin biopsies of people with attached I. scapularis nymphs revealed similar histologic patterns. These results indicate that cellular changes at the tick-dermal interface following I. scapularis attachment are likely to allow for successful transmission of tick-borne pathogens in non-tick-immune hosts and to inhibit tick-borne pathogen transmission in hosts that have developed tick immunity.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Donghun; Šimo, Ladislav; Park, Yoonseong

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Barbour, Alan G

    2014-10-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  1. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-01

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

  7. Molecular analysis of microbial communities identified in different developmental stages of Ixodes scapularis ticks from Westchester and Dutchess Counties, New York.

    PubMed

    Moreno, Claudia X; Moy, Fred; Daniels, Thomas J; Godfrey, Henry P; Cabello, Felipe C

    2006-05-01

    Ixodes scapularis ticks play an important role in the transmission of a wide variety of pathogens between various mammalian species, including humans. Pathogens transmitted by ticks include Borrelia, Anaplasma and Babesia. Although ticks may harbour both pathogenic and non-pathogenic microflora, little is known about how the diversity of the microflora within ticks may influence the transmission of pathogens. To begin addressing this question, we examined the composition of bacterial communities present in Ixodes scapularis collected from Westchester and Dutchess Counties, New York State, at different developmental and nutritional stages. Genetic fingerprints of bacterial populations were generated by temporal temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TTGE) separation of individual polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments, followed by DNA sequence analysis for bacterial identification. The fingerprints of the TTGE bands were grouped into five clusters. The most abundant DNA sequence found in all the samples was Rickettsia, followed by Pseudomonas and Borrelia. Ralstonia, Anaplasma, Enterobacterias, Moraxella, Rhodococcus and uncultured proteobacterium were present as well. We also determined the prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi by PCR and DNA sequence analysis. Statistical analyses indicated significant variations in the bacterial communities depending on tick developmental stage and degree of engorgement. We suggest that these two elements affect microbial diversity within the tick and may in turn influence pathogen transmission to humans and animals after tick bite.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Pathogenicity of entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Deuteromycetes) to Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhioua, E.; Browning, M.; Johnson, P.W.; Ginsberg, H.S.; LeBrun, R.A.

    1997-01-01

    The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is highly pathogenic to the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Spore concentrations of 108/ml for engorged larvae and 107/ml for engorged females resulted in 100% tick mortality, 2 wk post-infection. The LC50 value for engorged larvae (concentration to kill 50% of ticks) was 107 spores/ml. Metarhizium anisopliae shows considerable potential as a microbial control agent for the management of Ixodes scapularis.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Estrada-Peña, A

    1998-11-01

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

  19. Comparative bioinformatics, temporal and spatial expression analyses of Ixodes scapularis organic anion transporting polypeptides

    PubMed Central

    Radulović, Željko; Porter, Lindsay M.; Kim, Tae K.; Mulenga, Albert

    2015-01-01

    Organic anion-transporting polypeptides (Oatps) are an integral part of the detoxification mechanism in vertebrates and invertebrates. These cell surface proteins are involved in mediating the sodium-independent uptake and/or distribution of a broad array of organic amphipathic compounds and xenobiotic drugs. This study describes bioinformatics and biological characterization of 9 Oatp sequences in the Ixodes scapularis genome. These sequences have been annotated on the basis of 12 transmembrane domains, consensus motif D-X-RW-(I,V)-GAWW-X-G-(F,L)-L, and 11 conserved cysteine amino acid residues in the large extracellular loop 5 that characterize the Oatp superfamily. Ixodes scapularis Oatps may regulate non-redundant cross-tick species conserved functions in that they did not cluster as a monolithic group on the phylogeny tree and that they have orthologs in other ticks. Phylogeny clustering patterns also suggest that some tick Oatp sequences transport substrates that are similar to those of body louse, mosquito, eye worm, and filarial worm Oatps. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that all 9 I. scapularis Oatp sequences were expressed during tick feeding. Ixodes scapularis Oatp genes potentially regulate functions during early and/or late-stage tick feeding as revealed by normalized mRNA profiles. Normalized transcript abundance indicates that I. scapularis Oatp genes are strongly expressed in unfed ticks during the first 24 h of feeding and/or at the end of the tick feeding process. Except for 2 I. scapularis Oatps, which were expressed in the salivary glands and ovaries, all other genes were expressed in all tested organs, suggesting the significance of I. scapularis Oatps in maintaining tick homeostasis. Different I. scapularis Oatp mRNA expression patterns were detected and discussed with reference to different physiological states of unfed and feeding ticks. PMID:24582512

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-10

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Pathogenicity of Steinernema carpocapsae and Steinernema glaseri (Nematoda:Steinernematidae) to Ixodes Scapularis (Acari:Ixodidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-11-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, John F.; Armstrong, Philip M.

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 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

  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. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, is the primary vector to humans in the eastern United States of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, as well as causative agents of anaplasmosis and babesiosis. Its close relative in the far western United States, the western blacklegged tick Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls, is the primary vector to humans in that region of the Lyme disease and anaplasmosis agents. Since 1991, when standardized surveillance and reporting began, Lyme disease case counts have increased steadily in number and in geographical distribution in the eastern United States. Similar trends have been observed for anaplasmosis and babesiosis. To better understand the changing landscape of risk of human exposure to disease agents transmitted by I. scapularis and I. pacificus, and to document changes in their recorded distribution over the past two decades, we updated the distribution of these species from a map published in 1998. The presence of I. scapularis has now been documented from 1,420 (45.7%) of the 3,110 continental United States counties, as compared with 111 (3.6%) counties for I. pacificus. Combined, these vectors of B. burgdorferi and other disease agents now have been identified in a total of 1,531 (49.2%) counties spread across 43 states. This marks a 44.7% increase in the number of counties that have recorded the presence of these ticks since the previous map was presented in 1998, when 1,058 counties in 41 states reported the ticks to be present. Notably, the number of counties in which I. scapularis is considered established (six or more individuals or one or more life stages identified in a single year) has more than doubled since the previous national distribution map was published nearly two decades ago. The majority of county status changes occurred in the North-Central and Northeastern states, whereas the distribution in the South remained fairly stable. Two previously distinct foci for I. scapularis in the

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-07-01

    In the Middle Atlantic region of the U.S.A., the vector of Lyme disease, human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and other human and veterinary pathogens is the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say. In 1997 and 1998, 663 adult I. scapularis ticks were collected from 320 transects spanning 66,400 km2 in five states of the Middle Atlantic region. Tick abundance patterns were clustered, with relatively high numbers along the coastal plain of the Chesapeake Bay, decreasing to the west and south. There were significant associations between tick abundance and land cover, distance to water, distance to forest edge, elevation, and soil type.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bunnell, J.E.; Price, S.D.; Das, A.; Shields, T.M.; Glass, G.E.

    2003-01-01

    In the Middle Atlantic region of the U.S.A., the vector of Lyme disease, human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and other human and veterinary pathogens is the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say. In 1997 and 1998, 663 adult I. scapularis ticks were collected from 320 transects spanning 66,400 km2 in five states of the Middle Atlantic region. Tick abundance patterns were clustered, with relatively high numbers along the coastal plain of the Chesapeake Bay, decreasing to the west and south. There were significant associations between tick abundance and land cover, distance to water, distance to forest edge, elevation, and soil type.

  13. Different activities and footwear influence exposure to host-seeking nymphs of Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Carroll, J F; Kramer, M

    2001-07-01

    The relative potential for a person accidentally acquiring host-seeking nymphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, and lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (L.), while wearing either of two types of footwear, walking, crawling on hands and knees, and sitting on large fallen logs in deciduous woods, was evaluated. Although flag samples indicated substantial populations of I. scapularis nymphs and low to moderate numbers of A. americanum at the study sites, relatively few I. scapularis and fewer still A. americanum nymphs were acquired during 30-s and 5-min walks. Significantly fewer I. scapularis were picked up when boots were, worn with ankles taped (an anti-tick precaution) than when sneakers were worn with socks exposed during 5-min walks, but when thus attired, there was no significant difference between the number of nymphs acquired during 30-s walks. Nymphs of I. scapularis did not appear to accumulate incrementally on footwear or clothing during walks when boots were worn and ankles taped. Crawling for 30 s (approximately 3 m distance) yielded significantly more I. scapularis nymphs than walking for 30 s. During crawling, I. scapularis nymphs were picked up on 58% of the 30-s samples. Most ticks picked up during crawls were on pant legs. When a flannel flag cloth (0.5 by 0.5 m) was appressed to the upper surface of logs suitable to be sat upon by tired hikers, I. scapularis nymphs were found on 87% of the logs and in 36% of the samples. These data indicate that the potential for contact with host-seeking nymphs of I. scapularis occurring at these densities is greatly elevated by engaging in activities that involve contact with fallen logs and close contact of hands and knees with leaf litter.

  14. Transovarial transmission of Borrelia spirochetes by Ixodes scapularis: a summary of the literature and recent observations.

    PubMed

    Rollend, Lindsay; Fish, Durland; Childs, James E

    2013-02-01

    Transovarial transmission (TOT) of Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato), the agent of Lyme disease, by the Ixodes persulcatus group of hard ticks (Ixodidae) has frequently been reported in the literature since the discovery of Lyme disease 1982. Evidence for and against TOT by B. burgdorferi has led to uncertainty and confusion in the literature, causing misconceptions that may have public health consequences. In this report, we review the published information implicating B. burgdorferi as a bacterium transovarially transmitted among ticks of the Ixodes persulcatus group and present new data indicating the transovarially transmitted agent is actually Borrelia miyamotoi. B. miyamotoi, first described in 1995, is antigenically and phylogenetically related to B. burgdorferi, although more closely related to the relapsing fever-group Borrelia typically transmitted by soft ticks (Argasidae). Borrelia infections of unfed larvae derived from egg clutches of wild-caught Ixodes scapularis are demonstrated to result from transovarial transmission of B. miyamotoi, not B. burgdorferi. The presence of this second Borrelia species, apparently sympatric with B. burgdorferi worldwide also may explain other confusing observations reported on Borrelia/Ixodes relationships.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  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

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Linkages of Weather and Climate With Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae), Enzootic Transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi, and Lyme Disease in North America

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease has increased both in incidence and geographic extent in the United States and Canada over the past two decades. One of the underlying causes is changes during the same time period in the distribution and abundance of the primary vectors: Ixodes scapularis Say and Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls in eastern and western North America, respectively. Aside from short periods of time when they are feeding on hosts, these ticks exist in the environment where temperature and relative humidity directly affect their development, survival, and host-seeking behavior. Other important factors that strongly influence tick abundance as well as the proportion of ticks infected with the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, include the abundance of hosts for the ticks and the capacity of tick hosts to serve as B. burgdorferi reservoirs. Here, we explore the linkages between climate variation and: 1) duration of the seasonal period and the timing of peak activity; 2) geographic tick distributions and local abundance; 3) enzootic B. burgdorferi transmission cycles; and 4) Lyme disease cases. We conclude that meteorological variables are most influential in determining host-seeking phenology and development, but, while remaining important cofactors, additional variables become critical when exploring geographic distribution and local abundance of ticks, enzootic transmission of B. burgdorferi, and Lyme disease case occurrence. Finally, we review climate change-driven projections for future impact on vector ticks and Lyme disease and discuss knowledge gaps and research needs. PMID:26681789

  13. Genotypic diversity of an emergent population of Borrelia burgdorferi at a coastal Maine island recently colonized by Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    MacQueen, Douglas D; Lubelczyk, Charles; Elias, Susan P; Cahill, Bruce K; Mathers, Amy J; Lacombe, Eleanor H; Rand, Peter W; Smith, Robert P

    2012-06-01

    The recent range expansion of Ixodes scapularis has been accompanied by the emergence of Borrelia burgdorferi. The development of genetic diversity in B. burgdorferi at these sites of emergence and its relationship to range expansion is poorly understood. We followed colonization of I. scapularis on a coastal Maine island over a 17-year period. B. burgdorferi's emergence was documented, as was expansion of ospC strain diversity. Ticks collected from rodents and vegetation were examined for the presence of B. burgdorferi. Sequencing and reverse line blot were used to detect B. burgdorferi ospC major groups (oMG). No I. scapularis were found until year four of the study, after which time they increased in abundance. No B. burgdorferi was detected by darkfield microscopy in I. scapularis until 10 years into the study, when 4% of adult ticks were infected. Seven years later, 43% of adult ticks were infected. In 2003, one oMG accounted for 91% of B. burgdorferi strains. This "founder" strain persisted in 2005, but by 2007 was a minority of the 7 oMGs present. Given the island's isolation, gene flow by avian introduction of multiple strains is suggested in the development of B. burgdorferi oMG diversity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Complement, a major component of innate immunity, presents a rapid and robust defense of the intravascular space. While regulatory proteins protect host cells from complement attack, when these measures fail, unrestrained complement activation may trigger self-tissue injury, leading to pathologic conditions. Of the three complement activation pathways, the alternative pathway (AP) in particular has been implicated in numerous disease and injury states. Consequently, the AP components represent attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. The common hard-bodied ticks from the family Ixodidae derive nourishment from the blood of their mammalian hosts. During its blood meal the tick is exposed to host immune effectors, including the complement system. In defense, the tick produces salivary proteins that can inhibit host immune functions. The Salp20 salivary protein of Ixodes scapularis inhibits the host AP pathway by binding properdin and dissociating C3bBbP, the active C3 convertase. In these studies we examined Salp20 activity in various complement-mediated pathologies. Our results indicate that Salp20 can inhibit AP-dependent pathogenesis in the mouse. Its efficacy may be part in due to synergic effects it provides with the endogenous AP regulator, factor H. While Salp20 itself would be expected to be highly immunogenic and therefore inappropriate for therapeutic use, its emergence speaks for the potential development of a non-immunogenic Salp20 mimic that replicates its anti-properdin activity. PMID:26675068

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-03-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Martin, P A; Schmidtmann, E T

    1998-08-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhioua, Elyes; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Humber, Richard A.; LeBrun, Roger A.

    1999-01-01

    Free-living larval, nymphal, and adult Ixodes scapularis Say were collected from scattered locales in southern New England and New York to determine infection rates with entomopathogenic fungi. Infection rates of larvae, nymphs, males, and females were 0% (571), 0% (272), 0% (57), and 4.3% (47), respectively. Two entomopathogenic fungi were isolated from field-collected I. scapularis females from Fire Island, NY. Isolates were identified as Verticillium lecanii (Zimmermann) Viegas and Verticillium sp. (a member of the Verticillium lecanii species complex).Ixodes scapularis Say is the principal vector of Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner (Burgdorfer et al. 1982, Johnson et al. 1984), the etiologic agent of Lyme disease in the northeastern and upper-midwestern United States. Control of I. scapularis is based on chemical treatment (Mather et al. 1987b; Schulze et al. 1987, 1991), environmental management (Wilson et al. 1988, Schulze et al. 1995), and habitat modification (Wilson 1986). These methods have shown variable success, and some potentially have negative environmental effects (Wilson and Deblinger 1993, Ginsberg 1994).Studies concerning natural predators, parasitoids, and pathogens of I. scapularis are rare. The use of ground-dwelling birds as tick predators has had only limited success (Duffy et al. 1992). Nymphal I. scapularis are often infected with the parasitic wasp Ixodiphagus hookeri (Howard) (Mather et al. 1987a, Hu et al. 1993, Stafford et al. 1996, Hu and Hyland 1997), but this wasp does not effectively control I. scapularis populations (Stafford et al. 1996). The entomopathogenic nematodes Steinernema carpocapsae (Weiser) and S. glaseri (Steiner) are pathogenic only to engorged female I. scapularis, and thus have limited applicability (Zhioua et al. 1995). In contrast, the entomogenous fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin is highly pathogenic to all stages of I. scapularis, unfed as well as engorged

  6. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Patrican, L A; Allan, S A

    1995-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-07-05

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Efficacy of sarolaner in the prevention of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum transmission from infected Ixodes scapularis to dogs.

    PubMed

    Honsberger, Nicole A; Six, Robert H; Heinz, Thomas J; Weber, Angela; Mahabir, Sean P; Berg, Thomas C

    2016-05-30

    The efficacy of sarolaner (Simparica™, Zoetis) to prevent transmission primarily of Borrelia burgdorferi and secondarily of Anaplasma phagocytophilum from infected wild-caught Ixodes scapularis to dogs was evaluated in a placebo-controlled laboratory study. Twenty-four purpose-bred laboratory Beagles seronegative for B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum antibodies were allocated randomly to one of three treatment groups: placebo administered orally on Days 0 and 7, or sarolaner at 2mg/kg administered orally on Day 0 (28 days prior to tick infestation) or on Day 7 (21 days prior to tick infestation). On Day 28, each dog was infested with approximately 25 female and 25 male wild caught adult I. scapularis that were determined to have prevalence of 57% for B. burgdorferi and 6.7% for A. phagocytophilum by PCR. In situ tick counts were conducted on Days 29 and 30. On Day 33, all ticks were counted and removed. Acaricidal efficacy was calculated based on the reduction of geometric mean live tick counts in the sarolaner-treated groups compared to the placebo-treated group for each tick count. Blood samples collected from each dog on Days 27, 49, 63, 77, 91 and 104 were tested for the presence of B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum antibodies using the SNAP(®) 4Dx(®) Plus Test, and quantitatively assayed for B. burgdorferi antibodies using an ELISA test. Skin biopsies collected on Day 104 were tested for the presence of B. burgdorferi by bacterial culture and PCR. Geometric mean live tick counts for placebo-treated dogs were 14.8, 12.8, and 19.1 on Days 29, 30, and 33, respectively. The percent reductions in mean live tick counts at 1, 2, and 5 days after infestation were 86.3%, 100%, and 100% for the group treated with sarolaner 21 days prior to infestation, and 90.9%, 97.1%, and 100% for the group treated with sarolaner 28 days prior to infestation. Geometric mean live tick counts for both sarolaner-treated groups were significantly lower than those for the

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1997-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1997-11-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ostfeld, Richard S; Brunner, Jesse L

    2015-04-05

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1990-01-01

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

  18. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-22

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

  13. The role of deer as vehicles to move ticks, Ixodes ricinus, between contrasting habitats.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Fons, Francisco; Gilbert, Lucy

    2010-08-01

    In Europe the most important hosts maintaining Ixodes ricinus tick populations are deer. Therefore, excluding deer by fencing or culling are potential tick management tools. Here we test the hypothesis that deer act as vehicles for moving ticks between two distinct habitats: forest and open heather moorland. We utilised an ideal "natural experiment" whereby forests were either fenced or unfenced to prevent or allow deer to move between habitats. We aimed to test the hypothesis that deer cause a net movement of ticks from high tick density areas, i.e. forests, to low tick density areas, i.e. open moorland. We recorded I. ricinus and host abundance in 10 unfenced and seven fenced forests and their respective surrounding heather moorland. We found that fenced forests had fewer deer and fewer I. ricinus nymphs than unfenced forests. However, we found no evidence that fencing forests reduced I. ricinus abundance on adjacent heather moorland. Thus there was insufficient evidence for our hypothesis that deer cause a net movement of ticks from forest onto adjacent moorland. However, we found that deer abundance generally correlates with I. ricinus abundance. We conclude that fencing can be used as a tool to reduce ticks and disease risk in forests, but that fencing forests is unlikely to reduce ticks or disease risk on adjacent moorland. Instead, reducing deer numbers could be a potential tool to reduce tick abundance with implications for disease mitigation.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

    Despite the importance of roe deer as a host for Ixodes ticks in central Europe, estimates of total tick burden on roe deer are not available to date. We aimed at providing (1) estimates of life stage and sex specific (larvae, nymphs, males and females, hereafter referred to as tick life stages) total Ixodes burden and (2) equations which can be used to predict the total life stage burden by counting the life stage on a selected body area. Within a period of 1(1/2) years, we conducted whole body counts of ticks from 80 hunter-killed roe deer originating from a beech dominated forest area in central Germany. Averaged over the entire study period (winter 2007-summer 2009), the mean tick burden per roe deer was 64.5 (SE +/- 10.6). Nymphs were the most numerous tick life stage per roe deer (23.9 +/- 3.2), followed by females (21.4 +/- 3.5), larvae (10.8 +/- 4.2) and males (8.4 +/- 1.5). The individual tick burden was highly aggregated (k = 0.46); levels of aggregation were highest in larvae (k = 0.08), followed by males (k = 0.40), females (k = 0.49) and nymphs (k = 0.71). To predict total life stage specific burdens based on counts on selected body parts, we provide linear equations. For estimating larvae abundance on the entire roe deer, counts can be restricted to the front legs. Tick counts restricted to the head are sufficient to estimate total nymph burden and counts on the neck are appropriate for estimating adult ticks (females and males). In order to estimate the combined tick burden, tick counts on the head can be used for extrapolation. The presented linear models are highly significant and explain 84.1, 77.3, 90.5, 91.3, and 65.3% (adjusted R (2)) of the observed variance, respectively. Thus, these models offer a robust basis for rapid tick abundance assessment. This can be useful for studies aiming at estimating effects of abiotic and biotic factors on tick abundance, modelling tick population dynamics, modelling tick-borne pathogen transmission dynamics

  1. Ticks and tick-borne pathogens in South Bohemia (Czech Republic)--Spatial variability in Ixodes ricinus abundance, Borrelia burgdorferi and tick-borne encephalitis virus prevalence.

    PubMed

    Hönig, V; Svec, P; Halas, P; Vavruskova, Z; Tykalova, H; Kilian, P; Vetiskova, V; Dornakova, V; Sterbova, J; Simonova, Z; Erhart, J; Sterba, J; Golovchenko, M; Rudenko, N; Grubhoffer, L

    2015-07-01

    Spatial distribution of Ixodes ricinus tick host-seeking activity, as well as prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) were studied in the TBE endemic area of South Bohemia (Czech Republic). High variability in tick abundance detected in a network of 30 study sites was most closely associated with characteristics of vegetation cover. Of 11,182 tested tick samples, 12% carried DNA of spirochete from B. burgdorferi s.l. complex. B. afzelii and B. garinii prevailed among spirochete species. The presence of B. spielmanii in the region was confirmed. The median number of borrelial genome copies in positive samples reached 6.6 × 10(3) by real-time PCR. The total prevalence of TBEV in pooled samples reached 0.32% (20,057 samples tested), at least one TBEV positive tick was present in 21 out of 30 sampling sites.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    MacDonald, Andrew J; Briggs, Cheryl J

    2016-02-01

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

  5. The vector tick Ixodes ricinus feeding on an arboreal rodent-the edible dormouse Glis glis.

    PubMed

    Fietz, Joanna; Langer, Franz; Havenstein, Nadine; Matuschka, Franz-Rainer; Richter, Dania

    2016-04-01

    The reservoir competence and long life expectancy of edible dormice, Glis glis, suggest that they serve as efficient reservoir hosts for Lyme disease (LD) spirochetes. Their arboreality, however, may reduce the probability to encounter sufficient questing Ixodes ricinus ticks to acquire and perpetuate LD spirochetes. To define the potential role of this small arboreal hibernator in the transmission cycle of LD spirochetes, we examined their rate and density of infestation with subadult ticks throughout the season of activity. Of the 1081 edible dormice that we captured at five study sites in Southern Germany and inspected for ticks at 2946 capture occasions, 26 % were infested with at least one and as many as 26 subadult ticks on their ear pinnae. The distribution of ticks feeding on edible dormice was highly aggregated. Although only few individuals harbored nymphal ticks soon after their emergence from hibernation, the rate of nymphal infestation increased steadily throughout the season and reached about 35 % in September. Dormice inhabiting a site with few conspecifics seemed more likely to be infested by numerous ticks, particularly nymphs, than those individuals living in densely populated sites. Male dormice were more likely to be parasitized by numerous nymphs than were females, independent of their age and body mass. Our observation that season, population density, and sex affect the rates of ticks feeding on edible dormice suggests that the contribution of edible dormice to the transmission cycle of LD spirochetes depends mainly on their ranging behavior and level of activity.

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kleinjan, Joyce E.; Lane, Robert S.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

  8. Towards an Evolutionary Understanding of Questing Behaviour in the Tick Ixodes ricinus

    PubMed Central

    Tomkins, Joseph L.; Aungier, Jennifer; Hazel, Wade; Gilbert, Lucy

    2014-01-01

    The tick Ixodes ricinus finds its hosts by climbing vegetation and adopting a sit-and-wait tactic. This “questing” behaviour is known to be temperature-dependent, such that questing increases with temperature up to a point where the vapor pressure deficit (drying effect) forces ticks down to rehydrate in the soil or mat layer. Little if any attention has been paid to understanding the questing of ticks from an evolutionary perspective. Here we ask whether populations from colder climatic conditions respond differently in terms of the threshold temperature for questing and the rate of response to a fixed temperature. We find significant variation between populations in the temperature sensitivity of questing, with populations from cooler climates starting questing at lower temperatures than populations from warmer temperatures. Cool climate populations also quest sooner when the temperature is held constant. These patterns are consistent with local adaptation to temperature either through direct selection or acclimation and challenge the use of fixed thresholds for questing in modeling the spread of tick populations. Our results also show how both time and temperature play a role in questing, but we are unable to explain the relationship in terms of degree-time used to model Arthropod development. We find that questing in response to temperature fits well with a quantitative genetic model of the conditional strategy, which reveals how selection on questing may operate and hence may be of value in understanding the evolutionary ecology of questing. PMID:25333919

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Tveten, Ann-Kristin

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Length of tick repellency depends on formulation of the repellent compound (icaridin = Saltidin®): tests on Ixodes persulcatus and Ixodes ricinus placed on hands and clothes.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Ghaffar, Fathy; Al-Quraishy, Saleh; Mehlhorn, Heinz

    2015-08-01

    The present study had the aim to test the repellent potential of the compound icaridin = Saltidin® against the tick species Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes persulcatus using different formulations of the compound. Tests were done on backs of impregnated human hands, on impregnated linen cloth and versus impregnated dog hair. It was found that 1. Ixodes persulcatus-the common Eastern European, Russian Ixodes species is significantly sensitive to icaridin = Saltidin® as I. ricinus protecting for the test period of 5 h. This is an important finding, since I. persulcatus is the vector of agents of the severe Eastern meningoencephalitis; 2. that this repellent compound acts similarly on both I. ricinus and I. persulcatus, when sprayed either on naked skin or on cloths; 3. that there are only slight differences in duration of the repellency when using different formulations containing icaridin = Saltidin®; 4. that icaridin = Saltidin® sprayed on dog hair has identical repellent effects like those seen on human skin and cloths; thus, this compound can also be used to protect animals such as dogs, cats, horses; and 5. that the icaridin = Saltidin® did not induce a bad sensation on skin, nor bad smells; furthermore, it was not sticky and did not leave residuals neither on clothes nor on dog's hair.

  1. Comparison of flagging, walking, trapping, and collecting from hosts as sampling methods for northern deer ticks, Ixodes dammini, and lone-star ticks, Amblyomma americanum (Acari:Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Ginsberg, H S; Ewing, C P

    1989-09-01

    Ticks were sampled by flagging, collecting from the investigator's clothing (walking samples), trapping with dry-ice bait, and collecting from mammal hosts on Fire Island, NY, U.S.A. The habitat distribution of adult deer ticks, Ixodes dammini, was the same in simultaneous collections from the investigator's clothing and from muslin flags. Walking and flagging samples can both be biased by differences between investigators, so the same person should do comparative samples whenever possible. Walking samples probably give a more accurate estimate than flagging samples of the human risk of encountering ticks. However, ticks (such as immature I. dammini) that seek hosts in leaf litter and ground-level vegetation are poorly sampled by walking collections. These ticks can be sampled by flagging at ground level. Dry-ice-baited tick-traps caught far more lone-star ticks, Amblyomma americanum, than deer ticks, even in areas where deer ticks predominated in flagging samples. In comparisons of tick mobility in the lab, nymphal A. americanum were more mobile than nymphal I. dammini in 84% of the trials. Therefore, the trapping bias may result from increased trap encounter due to more rapid movement by A. americanum, although greater attraction to carbon dioxide may also play a role. Tick traps are useful for intraspecific between-habitat comparisons. Early in their seasonal activity period, larval I. dammini were better represented in collections from mouse hosts than in flagging samples. Apparently, sampling from favored hosts can detect ticks at low population levels, but often cannot be used to get accurate estimates of pathogen prevalence in questing ticks.

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

    PubMed

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

    1978-10-01

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

  3. Population genetic structure of the tree-hole tick Ixodes arboricola (Acari: Ixodidae) at different spatial scales

    PubMed Central

    Van Oosten, A R; Heylen, D J A; Jordaens, K; Backeljau, T; Matthysen, E

    2014-01-01

    The endophilic tick Ixodes arboricola infests cavity-nesting birds, and its dispersal strongly depends on the movements of its host. Population genetic structure of I. arboricola was studied with seven polymorphic microsatellite markers. We collected 268 ticks from 76 nest boxes in four woodlots near Antwerp, Belgium. These nest boxes are mainly used by the principal hosts of I. arboricola, the great tit Parus major and the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus. As these birds typically return to the same cavity for roosting or breeding, ticks within nest boxes were expected to be highly related, and tick populations were expected to be spatially structured among woodlots and among nest boxes within woodlots. In line with the expectations, genetic population structure was found among woodlots and among nest boxes within woodlots. Surprisingly, there was considerable genetic variation among ticks within nest boxes. This could be explained by continuous gene flow from ticks from nearby tree holes, yet this remains to be tested. A pairwise relatedness analysis conducted for all pairs of ticks within nest boxes showed that relatedness among larvae was much higher than among later instars, which suggests that larvae are the most important instar for tick dispersal. Overall, tick populations at the studied spatial scale are not as differentiated as predicted, which may influence the scale at which host–parasite evolution occurs. PMID:24781806

  4. Hypersensitivity to ticks and Lyme disease risk.

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-02

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Rymaszewska, Anna

    2007-04-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Schwantes, Ulrich; Dautel, Hans; Jung, Gerd

    2008-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. '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.

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

    PubMed

    Leydet, Brian F; Liang, Fang-Ting

    2013-04-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Goddard, Jerome

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Lindgren, E; Tälleklint, L; Polfeldt, T

    2000-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lindgren, E; Tälleklint, L; Polfeldt, T

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. 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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Gryczyńska, Alicja; Welc-Falęciak, Renata

    2016-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  15. [Fine structure of tarsal sensilla in the taiga tick Ixodes persulcatus (Ixodinae)].

    PubMed

    Leonovich, S A

    2004-01-01

    The first tarsal segment of the taiga tick bears 4 general types of sensilla (except for sensilla forming the Haller's sensory organ on the dorsal surface of the tarsus): tactile mechanoreceptor sensilla of 3 types, contact chemo-mechanoreceptor sensilla of 2 types, and double-walled pore sensilla. One of these types, the chemo-mechanoreceptor upper-pore sensilla, was found only in the Ixodinae, and not found in the examined representatives of the Amblyomminae. This type of sensilla was also found in the palpal receptor organ of the ixodid and argasid ticks.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Borrelia burgdorferi DNA absent, multiple Rickettsia spp. DNA present in ticks collected from a teaching forest in North Central Florida.

    PubMed

    Sayler, Katherine; Rowland, Jessica; Boyce, Carisa; Weeks, Emma

    2017-01-01

    Tick-borne diseases are an emerging public health threat in the United States. In Florida, there has been public attention directed towards the possibility of locally acquired Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, the causative agent of Lyme disease, in association with the lone star tick. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of ticks and the pathogens they carry and potentially transmit, such as B. burgdorferi, in a highly utilized teaching and research forest in North Central Florida. Ticks were collected by dragging and flagging methods over a four month period in early 2014, identified, and tested by PCR for multiple pathogens including Anaplasma, Borrelia, Rickettsia, and Ehrlichia species. During the study period the following ticks were collected: 2506 (96.5%) Amblyomma americanum L., 64 (2.5%) Ixodes scapularis Say, 19 (0.7%) Dermacentor variabilis Say, and 5 (0.2%) Ixodes affinis Neuman. Neither Borrelia spp. (0/846) nor Anaplasma spp. (0/69; Ixodes spp. only) were detected by PCR in any of the ticks tested. However, Rickettsia DNA was present in 53.7% (86/160), 62.5% (40/64), 60.0% (3/5) and 31.6% (6/19) of A. americanum, I. scapularis, I. affinis and D. variabilis, respectively. Furthermore, E. chaffeensis and E. ewingii DNA were detected in 1.3% and 4.4% of adult A. americanum specimens tested, respectively. Although receiving an A. americanum bite is likely in wooded areas in North Central Florida due to the abundance of this tick, the risk of contracting a tick-borne pathogen in this specific area during the spring season appears to be low. The potential for pathogen prevalence to be highly variable exists, even within a single geographical site and longitudinal studies are needed to assess how tick-borne pathogen prevalence is changing over time in North Central Florida.

  20. [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.

  1. A dispersal model for the range expansion of blacklegged tick (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Madhav, Nita K; Brownstein, John S; Tsao, Jean I; Fish, Durland

    2004-09-01

    The blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, a vector for the agents of Lyme borreliosis and other diseases, has expanded its range dramatically over the past 20 yr. However, the relative contributions of different vertebrate host species to this expansion have remained largely unexplored. To address this issue, we simulated the expansion of a theoretical tick population across a simple landscape by using a deterministic, spatially explicit, cellular automata model. The model incorporates the ecology of ticks and three vertebrate hosts: white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann; white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus Rafinesque; and American robin, Turdus migratorius L. Host contribution to tick dispersal is modeled as a function of tick burden, home range size, and population density. These parameters were determined using published and unpublished data. Our results suggest that 1) hosts with high tick burdens and large home ranges (e.g., deer) play a critical role in I. scapularis range expansion; 2) hosts with small home ranges (e.g., mice) can limit range expansion if they divert a sufficient number of ticks from feeding on more mobile hosts; and (3) birds that migrate annually (e.g., robins) can play a crucial role in tick range expansion.

  2. Evaluation of the United States Department Of Agriculture Northeast Area-wide Tick Control Project by meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Brei, Brandon; Brownstein, John S; George, John E; Pound, J Mathews; Miller, J Allen; Daniels, Thomas J; Falco, Richard C; Stafford, Kirby C; Schulze, Terry L; Mather, Thomas N; Carroll, John F; Fish, Durland

    2009-08-01

    As part of the Northeast Area-wide Tick Control Project (NEATCP), meta-analyses were performed using pooled data on the extent of tick-vector control achieved through seven concurrent studies, conducted within five states, using U.S. Department of Agriculture "4-Poster" devices to deliver targeted-acaricide to white-tailed deer. Although reductions in the abundance of all life-stages of Ixodes scapularis were the measured outcomes, this study focused on metrics associated with I. scapularis nymphal tick densities as this measure has consistently proven to directly correlate with human risk of acquiring Lyme disease. Since independent tick sampling schemes were undertaken at each of the five environmentally distinct study locations, a meta-analytic approach permitted estimation of a single true control-effect size for each treatment year of the NEATCP. The control-effect is expressed as the annual percent I. scapularis nymphal control most consistent with meta-analysis data for each treatment year. Our meta-analyses indicate that by the sixth treatment year, the NEATCP effectively reduced the relative density of I. scapularis nymphs by 71% on the 5.14 km(2) treatment sites, corresponding to a 71% lower relative entomologic risk index for acquiring Lyme disease.

  3. 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.

  4. A chitin deacetylase-like protein is a predominant constituent of tick peritrophic membrane that influences the persistence of Lyme disease pathogens within the vector.

    PubMed

    Kariu, Toru; Smith, Alexis; Yang, Xiuli; Pal, Utpal

    2013-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis is the specific arthropod vector for a number of globally prevalent infections, including Lyme disease caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. A feeding-induced and acellular epithelial barrier, known as the peritrophic membrane (PM) is detectable in I. scapularis. However, whether or how the PM influences the persistence of major tick-borne pathogens, such as B. burgdorferi, remains largely unknown. Mass spectrometry-based proteome analyses of isolated PM from fed ticks revealed that the membrane contains a few detectable proteins, including a predominant and immunogenic 60 kDa protein with homology to arthropod chitin deacetylase (CDA), herein termed I. scapularis CDA-like protein or IsCDA. Although IsCDA is primarily expressed in the gut and induced early during tick feeding, its silencing via RNA interference failed to influence either the occurrence of the PM or spirochete persistence, suggesting a redundant role of IsCDA in tick biology and host-pathogen interaction. However, treatment of ticks with antibodies against IsCDA, one of the most predominant protein components of PM, affected B. burgdorferi survival, significantly augmenting pathogen levels within ticks but without influencing the levels of total gut bacteria. These studies suggested a preferential role of tick PM in limiting persistence of B. burgdorferi within the vector. Further understanding of the mechanisms by which vector components contribute to pathogen survival may help the development of new strategies to interfere with the infection.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Established Population of Blacklegged Ticks with High Infection Prevalence for the Lyme Disease Bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato, on Corkscrew Island, Kenora District, Ontario

    PubMed Central

    Scott, John D.; Foley, Janet E.; Clark, Kerry L.; Anderson, John F.; Durden, Lance A.; Manord, Jodi M.; Smith, Morgan L.

    2016-01-01

    We document an established population of blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, on Corkscrew Island, Kenora District, Ontario, Canada. Primers of the outer surface protein A (OspA) gene, the flagellin (fla) gene, and the flagellin B (flaB) gene were used in the PCR assays to detect Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), the Lyme disease bacterium. In all, 60 (73%) of 82 adult I. scapularis, were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. As well, 6 (43%) of 14 unfed I. scapularis nymphs were positive for B. burgdorferi s.l. An I. scapularis larva was also collected from a deer mouse, and several unfed larvae were gathered by flagging leaf litter. Based on DNA sequencing of randomly selected Borrelia amplicons from six nymphal and adult I. scapularis ticks, primers for the flagellin (fla) and flagellin B (flaB) genes reveal the presence of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), a genospecies pathogenic to humans and certain domestic animals. We collected all 3 host-feeding life stages of I. scapularis in a single year, and report the northernmost established population of I. scapularis in Ontario. Corkscrew Island is hyperendemic for Lyme disease and has the highest prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l. for any established population in Canada. Because of this very high infection prevalence, this population of I. scapularis has likely been established for decades. Of epidemiological significance, cottage owners, island visitors, outdoors enthusiasts, and medical professionals must be vigilant that B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected I. scapularis on Corkscrew Island pose a serious public health risk. PMID:27877080

  7. Established Population of Blacklegged Ticks with High Infection Prevalence for the Lyme Disease Bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato, on Corkscrew Island, Kenora District, Ontario.

    PubMed

    Scott, John D; Foley, Janet E; Clark, Kerry L; Anderson, John F; Durden, Lance A; Manord, Jodi M; Smith, Morgan L

    2016-01-01

    We document an established population of blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, on Corkscrew Island, Kenora District, Ontario, Canada. Primers of the outer surface protein A (OspA) gene, the flagellin (fla) gene, and the flagellin B (flaB) gene were used in the PCR assays to detect Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), the Lyme disease bacterium. In all, 60 (73%) of 82 adult I. scapularis, were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. As well, 6 (43%) of 14 unfed I. scapularis nymphs were positive for B. burgdorferi s.l. An I. scapularis larva was also collected from a deer mouse, and several unfed larvae were gathered by flagging leaf litter. Based on DNA sequencing of randomly selected Borrelia amplicons from six nymphal and adult I. scapularis ticks, primers for the flagellin (fla) and flagellin B (flaB) genes reveal the presence of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), a genospecies pathogenic to humans and certain domestic animals. We collected all 3 host-feeding life stages of I. scapularis in a single year, and report the northernmost established population of I. scapularis in Ontario. Corkscrew Island is hyperendemic for Lyme disease and has the highest prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l. for any established population in Canada. Because of this very high infection prevalence, this population of I. scapularis has likely been established for decades. Of epidemiological significance, cottage owners, island visitors, outdoors enthusiasts, and medical professionals must be vigilant that B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected I. scapularis on Corkscrew Island pose a serious public health risk.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Jaree L.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Zhioua, Elyes; Whitworth, Ulysses G.; Markowski, Daniel; Hyland, Kerwin E.; Hu, Renjie

    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.

  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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background 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 of host-targeted approaches is the reduced need for broad-scale pesticide usage. In the eastern USA, one of the best-known of these approaches is the corn-baited “4-poster” deer feeding station, so named because of the four pesticide-treated rollers that surround the bait troughs. Wildlife visitors to these devices receive an automatic topical application of acaricide, which kills attached ticks before they can reproduce. We conducted a 5-year controlled experiment to estimate the effects of 4-poster stations on tick populations in southeastern Massachusetts, where the incidence of Lyme disease is among the highest in the USA. Methods We deployed a total of forty-two 4-posters among seven treatment sites and sampled for nymph and adult ticks at these sites and at seven untreated control sites during each year of the study. Study sites were distributed among Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. The density of 4-poster deployment was lower than in previous 4-poster studies and resembled or possibly exceeded the levels of effort considered by county experts to be feasible for Lyme disease risk managers. Results Relative to controls, blacklegged tick abundance at treated sites was reduced by approximately 8.4%, which is considerably less than in previous 4-poster studies. Conclusions In addition to the longer duration and greater replication in our study compared to others, possible but still incomplete explanations for the smaller impact we observed include the lower density of 4-poster deployment as well as landscape and mammalian community characteristics that may complicate the ecological relationship between white-tailed deer and blacklegged tick populations. PMID

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  15. 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.).

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    1977-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Beware of Ticks … & Lyme Disease

    MedlinePlus

    ... ticks known as Ixodes . Ticks in this group—deer ticks, western black-legged ticks, and black-legged ... is a key early-stage symptom. This circular red patch usually appears at the bite site 3 ...

  3. 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

  4. An Assessment for the Presence of Powassan Virus in Ixodes scapularis Nymphs from Locations in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-03-21

    with the former being most important (28). Known as the groundhog or woodchuck tick, I. cookei may be found east of the Rocky Mountains and...later and was associated with respiratory distress, vomiting, prolonged and sustained fever , possible convulsions, and paralysis (52; 72...1987. Isolation of Powassan virus from a spotted skunk in California. Journal of wildlife diseases 23:152-3 45. Jordan I, Briese T, Fischer N, Lau

  5. Risk of encountering ticks and tick-borne pathogens in a rapidly growing metropolitan area in the U.S. Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Noden, Bruce H; Loss, Scott R; Maichak, Courtney; Williams, Faithful

    2017-01-01

    The prevalence of tick-borne diseases has increased dramatically in many urban areas of the U.S., yet little is known about the ecology of ticks and tick-borne pathogens in relation to characteristics of North American urban and suburban landscapes. This study aimed to begin identification of the risk of encountering ticks and tick-borne pathogens within a rapidly expanding metropolitan area in the U.S. Great Plains region. Ten sites across Oklahoma City, Oklahoma were selected for tick sampling based on presence of tick habitat and level of urbanization intensity. Sampling was conducted using CO2 traps and flagging in June, July and October 2015. A total of 552 ticks were collected from eight of the ten sampled greenspaces. The majority of ticks collected in summer were Amblyomma americanum (N=534 (97.8%)), followed by Dermacentor variabilis (N=10 (1.8%)) and Amblyomma maculatum (N=2 (0.3%)). Ixodes scapularis adult females (N=4) and nymphal A. americanum (N=2) were also collected in October 2015. Tick species diversity was highest in sites with >15% of the surrounding landscape composed of undeveloped land. Rickettsia sp. (including R. amblyommii and 'Candidatus R. andeanae'), Ehrlichia chaffeensis and/or E. ewingii were detected in tick pools from all eight sites where ticks were found. Our data suggest that the risk of encountering ticks and tick-borne pathogens exists throughout the Oklahoma City metropolitan area and that tick populations are likely influenced by urbanization intensity. Continued research is needed to clarify the full range of abiotic and biotic features of urban landscapes that influence the risk of encountering ticks and transmitting tick-borne diseases.

  6. Population Structure of the Lyme Borreliosis Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in the Western Black-Legged Tick (Ixodes pacificus) in Northern California ▿

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. Spring migratory birds (Aves) extend the northern occurrence of blacklegged tick (Acari:Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Klich, M; Lankester, M W; Wu, K W

    1996-07-01

    Birds that had migrated northward across Lake Superior were captured upon reaching landfall at Thunder Cape (48 degrees 18' N, 88 degrees 56' W) at the southwestern tip of the Sibley Peninsula, northwestern Ontario, from 9 May to 9 June 1995. Twenty-one of 530 birds examined (6 of 55 species) had a total of 34 ticks; 1 blue jay, Cyanocitta cristata, had a northern fowl mite, Ornithonyssus sylviarum (Canestrini & Fanzago). Four blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, larvae were found on an American robin, Turdus migratorius, and 2 on a chipping sparrow, Spizella passerina. This tick was not found on small mammals at Thunder Cape. Twenty-six larvae and a nymph of the rabbit tick, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris (Packard) were found on 1 American robin, 2 Swainson's thrushes, Catharus ustulatus, 1 white-throated sparrow, Zonotrichia albicollis, 1 common yellowthroat, Geothlypis trichas, 1 blue jay, and 12 chipping sparrows. A nymph of H. chordeilis (Packard) occurred on 1 chipping sparrow. Results demonstrate that northward migrating birds transport larvae of I. scapularis to areas of Ontario where the tick does not appear to have become established in small mammal populations. Spring migrants may be more involved in the dispersal of I. scapularis larvae than previously thought. Cooler temperatures and shorter seasons experienced in the more northerly, continental parts of the established distribution of this tick may extend the life cycle, resulting in a predominance of larvae rather than nymphs being acquired by northward-bound birds in early spring. Consequently, the role of spring migrating birds in the northward spread of I. scapularis and of borreliosis should be reevaluated.

  9. Evidence for Personal Protective Measures to Reduce Human Contact With Blacklegged Ticks and for Environmentally Based Control Methods to Suppress Host-Seeking Blacklegged Ticks and Reduce Infection with Lyme Disease Spirochetes in Tick Vectors and Rodent Reservoirs.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Lars; Dolan, Marc C

    2016-07-20

    In the 1980s, the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, and rodents were recognized as the principal vector and reservoir hosts of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in the eastern United States, and deer were incriminated as principal hosts for I. scapularis adults. These realizations led to pioneering studies aiming to reduce the risk for transmission of B. burgdorferi to humans by attacking host-seeking ticks with acaricides, interrupting the enzootic transmission cycle by killing immatures infesting rodent reservoirs by means of acaricide-treated nesting material, or reducing deer abundance to suppress tick numbers. We review the progress over the past three decades in the fields of: 1) prevention of human-tick contact with repellents and permethrin-treated clothing, and 2) suppression of I. scapularis and disruption of enzootic B. burgdorferi transmission with environmentally based control methods. Personal protective measures include synthetic and natural product-based repellents that can be applied to skin and clothing, permethrin sprays for clothing and gear, and permethrin-treated clothing. A wide variety of approaches and products to suppress I. scapularis or disrupt enzootic B. burgdorferi transmission have emerged and been evaluated in field trials. Application of synthetic chemical acaricides is a robust method to suppress host-seeking I. scapularis ticks within a treated area for at least 6-8 wk. Natural product-based acaricides or entomopathogenic fungi have emerged as alternatives to kill host-seeking ticks for homeowners who are unwilling to use synthetic chemical acaricides. However, as compared with synthetic chemical acaricides, these approaches appear less robust in terms of both their killing efficacy and persistence. Use of rodent-targeted topical acaricides represents an alternative for homeowners opposed to open distribution of acaricides to the ground and vegetation on their properties. This host-targeted approach also

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Ticks elicit variable f ibrinogenolytic activities upon feeding on hosts with different immune backgrounds

    PubMed Central

    Vora, Ashish; Taank, Vikas; Dutta, Sucharita M.; Anderson, John F.; Fish, Durland; Sonenshine, Daniel E.; Catravas, John D.; Sultana, Hameeda; Neelakanta, Girish

    2017-01-01

    Ticks secrete several anti-hemostatic factors in their saliva to suppress the host innate and acquired immune defenses against infestations. Using Ixodes scapularis ticks and age-matched mice purchased from two independent commercial vendors with two different immune backgrounds as a model, we show that ticks fed on immunodeficient animals demonstrate decreased fibrinogenolytic activity in comparison to ticks fed on immunocompetent animals. Reduced levels of D-dimer (fibrin degradation product) were evident in ticks fed on immunodeficient animals in comparison to ticks fed on immunocompetent animals. Increased engorgement weights were noted for ticks fed on immunodeficient animals in comparison to ticks fed on immunocompetent animals. Furthermore, the LC-MS/MS and quantitative real-time-PCR analysis followed by inhibitor and antibody-blocking assays revealed that the arthropod HSP70-like molecule contributes to differential fibrinogenolysis during tick feeding. Collectively, these results not only indicate that ticks elicit variable fibrinogenolysis upon feeding on hosts with different immune backgrounds but also provide insights for the novel role of arthropod HSP70-like molecule in fibrinogenolysis during blood feeding. PMID:28300174

  13. 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.

  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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. [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.

  18. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi-infected ticks from wildlife hosts, a response to Norris et al.

    PubMed

    Esteve-Gassent, Maria D; Grover, Abha; Feria-Arroyo, Teresa P; Castro-Arellano, Ivan; Medina, Raul F; Gordillo-Pérez, Guadalupe; de León, Adalberto A Pérez

    2015-02-27

    In a recent Letter to the Editor, Norris et al. questioned the validity of some of our data reported by Feria-Arroyo et al. The main issue investigated by us was the potential impact of climate change on the probable distribution of the tick vector Ixodes scapularis in the Texas-Mexico transboundary region. As an ancillary issue, an analysis of sequence data for the intergenic spacer of Borrelia burgdorferi was conducted. In the present letter, we provide further evidence supporting our original results, and advocate that extensive study of the population genetics of B. burgdorferi is needed in the Texas-Mexico transboundary region.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. [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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Increasing habitat suitability in the United States for the tick that transmits Lyme disease: a remote sensing approach.

    PubMed Central

    Estrada-Peña, Agustín

    2002-01-01

    The warnings about the spread of (italic)Ixodes scapularis(/italic), one of the vectors of Lyme disease, into the United States are based on reports about regional distribution and increasing local abundance. In a modeling approach, I used the recorded, current distribution of this tick and remotely sensed bioclimatic factors over the United States to establish the changes of habitat for this tick since 1982 and to detect the areas with factors adequate to support tick colonization. Results indicate the geographic expansion of areas with adequate habitat suitability in the period 1982-2000. A discriminant analysis of counties with different degrees of habitat suitability shows that the increase in winter temperatures and in vegetation vitality (as a direct consequence of higher rainfall) is key to habitat switch from unsuitable to suitable. PMID:12117639

  10. [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.

  11. Prevalence and Distribution of Human and Tick Infections with the Ehrlichia muris-Like Agent and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Wisconsin, 2009-2015.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Darby S; Lee, Xia; Larson, Scott R; Johnson, Diep K Hoang; Loo, Theoren; Paskewitz, Susan M

    2017-04-01

    Ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis are important emerging tickborne zoonoses that affect both humans and animals. Knowledge of the geographic distribution and prevalence of Ehrlichia spp. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Wisconsin is important information as a baseline for future comparisons. Reported human cases between 2009 and 2015 were identified using the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS) and mapped by county of residence. Vector surveillance was established using ticks collected from animals by partners, including veterinary medical clinics, domestic animal shelters, and wildlife rehabilitation centers from 40 Wisconsin counties. A total of 1835 Ixodes scapularis tick specimens (larvae, nymphs, and adults) were collected from 18 different domestic and wildlife species from July 2011 to November 2015. An additional 1136 nymphs were collected by drag sampling at 23 locations in 19 counties in 2015. A real-time PCR assay that detects and distinguishes several Ehrlichia species, including a pathogenic Ehrlichia muris-like agent (EMLA), and A. phagocytophilum was performed on adult and nymphal ticks. A total of 757 I. scapularis ticks (predominately adults) were tested from animal collections, with 67 (8.9%) individuals positive for A. phagocytophilum and 22 (2.9%) positive for EMLA DNA. Of the 1150 questing nymphs, 62 (5.4%) were positive for A. phagocytophilum and 10 (0.9%) were positive for EMLA DNA. Specimens of I. scapularis that were positive for A. phagocytophilum were found in 27 of the 33 counties surveyed. Specimens that were positive for EMLA were less common and were found in nine counties. This study provides the first statewide survey of I. scapularis ticks for these pathogens and indicates that the risk of human exposure is widely distributed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-02-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. [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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

    Keirans, J E; Lacombe, E H

    1998-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-07-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. [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).

  5. 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 significantly reducing tick bites and tick-borne pathogen transmission.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-01

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

  7. Whole-Chain Tick Saliva Proteins Presented on Hepatitis B Virus Capsid-Like Particles Induce High-Titered Antibodies with Neutralizing Potential

    PubMed Central

    Kolb, Philipp; Wallich, Reinhard; Nassal, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Ticks are vectors for various, including pathogenic, microbes. Tick saliva contains multiple anti-host defense factors that enable ticks their bloodmeals yet also facilitate microbe transmission. Lyme disease-causing borreliae profit specifically from the broadly conserved tick histamine release factor (tHRF), and from cysteine-rich glycoproteins represented by Salp15 from Ixodes scapularis and Iric-1 from Ixodes ricinus ticks which they recruit to their outer surface protein C (OspC). Hence these tick proteins are attractive targets for anti-tick vaccines that simultaneously impair borrelia transmission. Main obstacles are the tick proteins´ immunosuppressive activities, and for Salp15 orthologs, the lack of efficient recombinant expression systems. Here, we exploited the immune-enhancing properties of hepatitis B virus core protein (HBc) derived capsid-like particles (CLPs) to generate, in E. coli, nanoparticulate vaccines presenting tHRF and, as surrogates for the barely soluble wild-type proteins, cysteine-free Salp15 and Iric-1 variants. The latter CLPs were exclusively accessible in the less sterically constrained SplitCore system. Mice immunized with tHRF CLPs mounted a strong anti-tHRF antibody response. CLPs presenting cysteine-free Salp15 and Iric-1 induced antibodies to wild-type, including glycosylated, Salp15 and Iric-1. The broadly distributed epitopes included the OspC interaction sites. In vitro, the anti-Salp15 antibodies interfered with OspC binding and enhanced human complement-mediated killing of Salp15 decorated borreliae. A mixture of all three CLPs induced high titered antibodies against all three targets, suggesting the feasibility of combination vaccines. These data warrant in vivo validation of the new candidate vaccines´ protective potential against tick infestation and Borrelia transmission. PMID:26352137

  8. Survey of ticks collected in Mississippi for Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, and Borrelia species.

    PubMed

    Goddard, Jerome; Sumner, John W; Nicholson, William L; Paddock, Christopher D; Shen, John; Piesman, Joseph

    2003-12-01

    From November 1999 through October 2000, we tested ticks collected from vegetation as well as from deer, dogs, and humans for spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, and Borrelia spp. spirochetes. A total of 149 adult ticks representing four species was collected from 11 collection sites from southwestern to northern Mississippi. Amblyomma americanum was most commonly collected (n=68), followed by Ixodes scapularis (n=53). The bird tick, Ixodes brunneus (usually rare), was the third most commonly collected tick (n=17). Eleven Dermacentor variabilis were also collected. Ticks were cut longitudinally to make smears on three microscope slides. The remaining body parts were frozen at -65 degrees C for additional testing. Tick smears were stained by direct immunofluorescence assays (DFA) for Rickettsia spp. and Borrelia spp., while indirect immunofluorescence assays (IFA) were used for Ehrlichia spp. The corresponding tick for each positive smear was evaluated using PCR analysis. None of the 149 ticks tested was DFA positive for Borrelia spp. However, smears of 30 (20%) and 32 (22%) ticks reacted with anti-E. chaffeensis sera and anti-R. rickettsii conjugate (known to react with several members of the spotted fever group), respectively. None of the ticks staining with the IFA for Ehrlichia was positive for E. chaffeensis using PCR. However, 23 (72%) of 32 FA-positive ticks for SFG rickettsiae yielded amplicons of the appropriate size when tested using a PCR assay for SFG rickettsiae, corresponding to an overall infection rate with SFG rickettsiae among the collected ticks of 15%. Smears of 12 (71%) of 17 I. brunneus revealed abundant bacilliform bacteria. PCR amplification of DNA from a single I. brunneus containing these bacteria was performed using universal primers for the 16S rRNA gene as well as Borrelia-specific primers. The predominant sequence obtained using the universal primers did not match any sequence in GenBank, but it showed 91

  9. Detection of bacteria related to Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii in tick cell lines.

    PubMed

    Najm, Nour-Addeen; Silaghi, Cornelia; Bell-Sakyi, Lesley; Pfister, Kurt; Passos, Lygia M Friche

    2012-01-01

    Many ticks have been shown to be infected with intracellular bacteria. One of these bacteria is Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii which is the only characterized bacterium that has the ability to invade the mitochondria within ovarian cells and consume them without any effect on the female tick's reproduction. In the present study, eight cell lines derived from the ticks Ixodes ricinus, Ixodes scapularis, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decoloratus were examined for the presence of the bacterium Ca. Midichloria mitochondrii. PCR assays for this bacterium were carried out using two sets of primers targeting the eubacterial 16SrRNA gene and a set of primers specific for the gyrB gene of Ca. Midichloria mitochondrii. With the 16S rRNA primers, DNA was amplified from two cell lines (R. (B.) decoloratus line BDE/CTVM14 and I. ricinus line IRE/CTVM19) on one out of three occasions each. Sequencing of the PCR products showed that the two cell lines gave sequences with 100% similarity to Ca. Midichloria mitochondrii. However, all cell lines, including the two positive cell lines, were negative with the specific primers. Phylogenetic analysis shows that our sequences belong to the subclass α-proteobacteria. They were identical to the sequences amplified from the tick I. ricinus. The results suggest that two cell lines, IRE/CTVM19 and BDE/CTVM14, may contain bacteria closely related to Ca. Midichloria mitochondrii and identical with it in a 350-bp part of the 16S rRNA gene sequence. To our knowledge, this constitutes the first report of the presence of DNA similar to the DNA of Ca. Midichloria mitochondrii in tick cell lines.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

  12. Molecular Detection of Rickettsia Species Within Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) Collected from Arkansas United States.

    PubMed

    Trout Fryxell, R T; Steelman, C D; Szalanski, A L; Billingsley, P M; Williamson, P C

    2015-05-01

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), caused by the etiological agent Rickettsia rickettsii, is the most severe and frequently reported rickettsial illness in the United States, and is commonly diagnosed throughout the southeast. With the discoveries of Rickettsia parkeri and other spotted fever group rickettsiae (SFGR) in ticks, it remains inconclusive if the cases reported as RMSF are truly caused by R. rickettsii or other SFGR. Arkansas reports one of the highest incidence rates of RMSF in the country; consequently, to identify the rickettsiae in Arkansas, 1,731 ticks, 250 white-tailed deer, and 189 canines were screened by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the rickettsial genes gltA, rompB, and ompA. None of the white-tailed deer were positive, while two of the canines (1.1%) and 502 (29.0%) of the ticks were PCR positive. Five different tick species were PCR positive: 244 (37%) Amblyomma americanum L., 130 (38%) Ixodes scapularis Say, 65 (39%) Amblyomma maculatum (Koch), 30 (9%) Rhipicephalus sanguineus Latreille, 7 (4%) Dermacentor variabilis Say, and 26 (44%) unidentified Amblyomma ticks. None of the sequenced products were homologous to R. rickettsii. The most common Rickettsia via rompB amplification was Rickettsia montanensis and nonpathogenic Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii, whereas with ompA amplification the most common Rickettsia was Ca. R. amblyommii. Many tick specimens collected in northwest Arkansas were PCR positive and these were commonly A. americanum harboring Ca. R. amblyommii, a currently nonpathogenic Rickettsia. Data reported here indicate that pathogenic R. rickettsii was absent from these ticks and suggest by extension that other SFGR are likely the causative agents for Arkansas diagnosed RMSF cases.

  13. [Estimation of the biological age in females of the taiga tick Ixodes persulcatus by changes in the body shape and surface of cuticle].

    PubMed

    Balashov, Iu S; Grigor'eva, L A; Leonovich, S A

    2009-01-01

    A method of visual estimation of the biological age of living hungry tick females by visible changes in the depth of marginal groove and the structure of the alloscutum cuticle during natural ageing is developed. In recently activated individuals, the body is convex and the marginal groove is exposed, demonstrating distinctly visible cuticular microfolds (Figs 1-4). In attenuated ticks, the body is flattened and marginal fold overlays the marginal groove, concealing cuticular microfolds (Figs 5-8).

  14. Babesia species in questing Ixodes ricinus, Sweden.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Maria E; Andersson, Martin O

    2016-02-01

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

  15. The ticks (Acari: Ixodida: Argasidae, Ixodidae) of Bolivia.

    PubMed

    Mastropaolo, Mariano; Beltrán-Saavedra, L Fabián; Guglielmone, Alberto A

    2014-03-01

    The tick species reported in Bolivia are reviewed here as (1) endemic or established: Ornithodoros echimys, O. guaporensis, O. hasei, O. kohlsi, O. mimon, O. peropteryx, O. rostratus, Otobius megnini, Amblyomma auricularium, A. cajennense, A. calcaratum, A. coelebs, A. dubitatum, A. humerale, A. incisum, A. longirostre, A. naponense, A. nodosum, A. oblongoguttatum, A. ovale, A. parvitarsum, A. parvum, A. pecarium, A. pseudoconcolor, A. rotundatum, A. scalpturatum, A. tigrinum, A. triste, Dermacentor nitens, Haemaphysalis juxtakochi, H. leporispalustris, I. boliviensis, I. cooleyi, I. luciae, Rhipicephalus microplus, R. sanguineus, and (2) erroneously reported: Ornithodoros puertoricensis, O. talaje, O. turicata, Amblyomma americanum, A. maculatum, A. multipunctum, Ixodes ricinus, I. scapularis, Rhipicephalus annulatus. Many of these records are lacking locality and/or host, and some of them need new findings for confirmation. Some of the species recorded may represent a threat for human and animal health, therefore would be of great value to make a countrywide survey of ticks in order to update the information presented in this work.

  16. The relationship between deer density, tick abundance, and human cases of Lyme disease in a residential community.

    PubMed

    Kilpatrick, Howard J; LaBonte, Andrew M; Stafford, Kirby C

    2014-07-01

    White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman), serve as the primary host for the adult blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis Say), the vector for Lyme disease, human babesiosis, and human granulocytic anaplasmosis. Our objective was to evaluate the degree of association between deer density, tick abundance, and human cases of Lyme disease in one Connecticut community over a 13-yr period. We surveyed 90-98% of all permanent residents in the community six times from 1995 to 2008 to document resident's exposure to tick-related disease and frequency and abundance of deer observations. After hunts were initiated, number and frequency of deer observations in the community were greatly reduced as were resident-reported cases of Lyme disease. Number of resident-reported cases of Lyme disease per 100 households was strongly correlated to deer density in the community. Reducing deer density to 5.1 deer per square kilometer resulted in a 76% reduction in tick abundance, 70% reduction in the entomological risk index, and 80% reduction in resident-reported cases of Lyme disease in the community from before to after a hunt was initiated.

  17. Different populations of blacklegged tick nymphs exhibit differences in questing behavior that have implications for human lyme disease risk

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arsnoe, Isis M.; Hickling, Graham J.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; McElreath, Richard; Tsao, Jean I.

    2015-01-01

    Animal behavior can have profound effects on pathogen transmission and disease incidence. We studied the questing (= host-seeking) behavior of blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) nymphs, which are the primary vectors of Lyme disease in the eastern United States. Lyme disease is common in northern but not in southern regions, and prior ecological studies have found that standard methods used to collect host-seeking nymphs in northern regions are unsuccessful in the south. This led us to hypothesize that there are behavior differences between northern and southern nymphs that alter how readily they are collected, and how likely they are to transmit the etiological agent of Lyme disease to humans. To examine this question, we compared the questing behavior of I. scapularis nymphs originating from one northern (Lyme disease endemic) and two southern (non-endemic) US regions at field sites in Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Florida. Laboratory-raised uninfected nymphs were monitored in circular 0.2 m2 arenas containing wooden dowels (mimicking stems of understory vegetation) for 10 (2011) and 19 (2012) weeks. The probability of observing nymphs questing on these stems (2011), and on stems, on top of leaf litter, and on arena walls (2012) was much greater for northern than for southern origin ticks in both years and at all field sites (19.5 times greater in 2011; 3.6-11.6 times greater in 2012). Our findings suggest that southern origin I. scapularis nymphs rarely emerge from the leaf litter, and consequently are unlikely to contact passing humans. We propose that this difference in questing behavior accounts for observed geographic differences in the efficacy of the standard sampling techniques used to collect questing nymphs. These findings also support our hypothesis that very low Lyme disease incidence in southern states is, in part, a consequence of the type of host-seeking behavior exhibited by southern populations of the key Lyme disease vector.

  18. Different Populations of Blacklegged Tick Nymphs Exhibit Differences in Questing Behavior That Have Implications for Human Lyme Disease Risk

    PubMed Central

    Arsnoe, Isis M.; Hickling, Graham J.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; McElreath, Richard; Tsao, Jean I.

    2015-01-01

    Animal behavior can have profound effects on pathogen transmission and disease incidence. We studied the questing (= host-seeking) behavior of blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) nymphs, which are the primary vectors of Lyme disease in the eastern United States. Lyme disease is common in northern but not in southern regions, and prior ecological studies have found that standard methods used to collect host-seeking nymphs in northern regions are unsuccessful in the south. This led us to hypothesize that there are behavior differences between northern and southern nymphs that alter how readily they are collected, and how likely they are to transmit the etiological agent of Lyme disease to humans. To examine this question, we compared the questing behavior of I. scapularis nymphs originating from one northern (Lyme disease endemic) and two southern (non-endemic) US regions at field sites in Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Florida. Laboratory-raised uninfected nymphs were monitored in circular 0.2 m2 arenas containing wooden dowels (mimicking stems of understory vegetation) for 10 (2011) and 19 (2012) weeks. The probability of observing nymphs questing on these stems (2011), and on stems, on top of leaf litter, and on arena walls (2012) was much greater for northern than for southern origin ticks in both years and at all field sites (19.5 times greater in 2011; 3.6–11.6 times greater in 2012). Our findings suggest that southern origin I. scapularis nymphs rarely emerge from the leaf litter, and consequently are unlikely to contact passing humans. We propose that this difference in questing behavior accounts for observed geographic differences in the efficacy of the standard sampling techniques used to collect questing nymphs. These findings also support our hypothesis that very low Lyme disease incidence in southern states is, in part, a consequence of the type of host-seeking behavior exhibited by southern populations of the key Lyme disease vector. PMID

  19. Different populations of blacklegged tick nymphs exhibit differences in questing behavior that have implications for human lyme disease risk.

    PubMed

    Arsnoe, Isis M; Hickling, Graham J; Ginsberg, Howard S; McElreath, Richard; Tsao, Jean I

    2015-01-01

    Animal behavior can have profound effects on pathogen transmission and disease incidence. We studied the questing (= host-seeking) behavior of blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) nymphs, which are the primary vectors of Lyme disease in the eastern United States. Lyme disease is common in northern but not in southern regions, and prior ecological studies have found that standard methods used to collect host-seeking nymphs in northern regions are unsuccessful in the south. This led us to hypothesize that there are behavior differences between northern and southern nymphs that alter how readily they are collected, and how likely they are to transmit the etiological agent of Lyme disease to humans. To examine this question, we compared the questing behavior of I. scapularis nymphs originating from one northern (Lyme disease endemic) and two southern (non-endemic) US regions at field sites in Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Florida. Laboratory-raised uninfected nymphs were monitored in circular 0.2 m2 arenas containing wooden dowels (mimicking stems of understory vegetation) for 10 (2011) and 19 (2012) weeks. The probability of observing nymphs questing on these stems (2011), and on stems, on top of leaf litter, and on arena walls (2012) was much greater for northern than for southern origin ticks in both years and at all field sites (19.5 times greater in 2011; 3.6-11.6 times greater in 2012). Our findings suggest that southern origin I. scapularis nymphs rarely emerge from the leaf litter, and consequently are unlikely to contact passing humans. We propose that this difference in questing behavior accounts for observed geographic differences in the efficacy of the standard sampling techniques used to collect questing nymphs. These findings also support our hypothesis that very low Lyme disease incidence in southern states is, in part, a consequence of the type of host-seeking behavior exhibited by southern populations of the key Lyme disease vector.

  20. Tick Paralysis

    MedlinePlus

    ... Resources Contact About The Foundation Select Page Tick Paralysis Menu What is Tick Paralysis? Where is Tick ... Tick Paralysis Tick-borne Relapsing Fever Tularemia Tick Paralysis Tick species that cause Tick Paralysis: Deer tick, ...

  1. Acetylcholinesterases of blood-feeding flies and ticks.

    PubMed

    Temeyer, Kevin B; Tuckow, Alexander P; Brake, Danett K; Li, Andrew Y; Pérez de León, Adalberto A

    2013-03-25

    Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is the biochemical target of organophosphate (OP) and carbamate pesticides for invertebrates, vertebrate nerve agents, and AChE inhibitors used to reduce effects of Alzheimer's disease. Organophosphate pesticides (OPs) are widely used to control blood-feeding arthropods, including biting flies and ticks. However, resistance to OPs in pests affecting animal and human health has compromised control efficacy. OP resistance often results from mutations producing an OP-insensitive AChE. Our studies have demonstrated production of OP-insensitive AChEs in biting flies and ticks. Complementary DNA (cDNA) sequences encoding AChEs were obtained for the horn fly, stable fly, sand fly, and the southern cattle tick. The availability of cDNA sequences enables the identification of mutations, expression and characterization of recombinant proteins, gene silencing for functional studies, as well as in vitro screening of novel inhibitors. The southern cattle tick expresses at least three different genes encoding AChE in their synganglion, i.e. brain. Gene amplification for each of the three known cattle tick AChE genes and expression of multiple alleles for each gene may reduce fitness cost associated with OP-resistance. AChE hydrolyzes the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, but may have additional roles in physiology and development. The three cattle tick AChEs possess significantly different biochemical properties, and are expressed in neural and non-neural tissues, which suggest separation of structure and function. The remarkable complexity of AChEs in ticks suggested by combining genomic data from Ixodes scapularis with our genetic and biochemical data from Rhipicephalus microplus is suggestive of previously unknown gene duplication and diversification. Comparative studies between invertebrate and vertebrate AChEs could enhance our understanding of structure-activity relationships. Research with ticks as a model system offers the opportunity to

  2. Reducing Tick-Borne Disease in Alabama: Linking Health Risk Perception with Spatial Analysis Using the NASA Earth Observing System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hemmings, S.; Renneboog, N.; Firsing, S.; Capilouto, E.; Harden, J.; Hyden, R.; Tipre, M.; Zhang, Y.

    2010-01-01

    Lyme disease (LD) accounts for most vector-borne disease reports in the U.S., and although its existence in Alabama remains controversial, other tick-borne illnesses (TBI) such as Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI) pose a health concern in the state. Phase One of the Marshall Space Flight Center-UAB DEVELOP study of TBI identified the presence of the chain of infection for LD (Ixodes scapularis ticks carrying Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria) and STARI (Amblyomma americanum ticks and an as-yet-unconfirmed agent) in Alabama. Both LD and STARI are associated with the development of erythema migrans rashes around an infected tick bite, and while treatable with oral antibiotics, a review of educational resources available to state residents revealed low levels of prevention information. To improve prevention, recognition, and treatment of TBI in Alabama, Phase Two builds a health communication campaign based on vector habitat mapping and risk perception assessment. NASA Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) satellite imagery identified likely tick habitats using remotely sensed measurements of vegetation vigor (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) and soil moisture. Likely tick habitats, identified as those containing both high vegetation density and soil moisture, included Oak Mountain State Park, Bankhead National Forest, and Talladega National Forest. To target a high-risk group -- outdoor recreation program participants at Alabama universities -- the study developed a behavior survey instrument based on existing studies of LD risk factors and theoretical constructs from the Social Ecological Model and Health Belief Model. The survey instrument was amended to include geographic variables in the assessment of TBI knowledge, attitudes, and prevention behaviors, and the vector habitat model will be expanded to incorporate additional environmental variables and in situ data. Remotely sensed environmental data combined with

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-02-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  6. Use of refrigeration as a practical means to preserve viability of in vitro-cultured IDE8 tick cells.

    PubMed

    Bastos, Camila V; das Vasconcelos, Maria Mercês C; Ribeiro, Múcio Flávio B; Passos, Lygia M Friche

    2006-01-01

    In vitro cultivation of the IDE8 cell line, derived from embryonic Ixodes scapularis ticks, constitutes an important system for the study of tick-borne pathogens, as these cells support growth of rickettsial species which are not normally transmitted by this tick. However, since cryopreservation of IDE8 cells is not always successful, there is a need to develop alternative ways to preserve these cells. In the present study, a suspension of IDE8 cells in culture medium was kept under refrigeration at 4 degrees C for up to 60 days. Every 15 days, the suspension was mixed and aliquots were re-cultured in 2-ml tubes, under standardized conditions. In addition, three techniques for cryopreservation, using two different cryoprotectants (DMSO and glycerol), were evaluated. Medium changes were carried out every week and subculturing every 2 weeks. The development of cultures and their respective subcultures, after returning to standard culture temperature, was evaluated by percentage viability and by cellular morphology evaluated in Giemsa-stained cytocentrifuge smears. All cultures and subcultures appeared healthy, showing growth rates comparable to cultures that had not been kept under refrigeration. The results demonstrated that storage under refrigeration at 4 degrees C is an efficient method for preservation of IDE8 cells for up to 60 days and that refrigeration may be preferable to cryopreservation for short-term preservation of IDE8 cells.

  7. bptA (bbe16) is essential for the persistence of the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in its natural tick vector

    PubMed Central

    Revel, Andrew T.; Blevins, Jon S.; Almazán, Consuelo; Neil, Lori; Kocan, Katherine M.; de la Fuente, José; Hagman, Kayla E.; Norgard, Michael V.

    2005-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), the agent of Lyme disease, is a zoonotic spirochetal bacterium that depends on arthropod (Ixodes ticks) and mammalian (rodent) hosts for its persistence in nature. The quest to identify borrelial genes responsible for Bb's parasitic dependence on these two diverse hosts has been hampered by limitations in the ability to genetically manipulate virulent strains of Bb. Despite this constraint, we report herein the inactivation and genetic complementation of a linear plasmid-25-encoded gene (bbe16) to assess its role in the virulence, pathogenesis, and survival of Bb during its natural life cycle. bbe16 was found to potentiate the virulence of Bb in the murine model of Lyme borreliosis and was essential for the persistence of Bb in Ixodes scapularis ticks. As such, we have renamed bbe16 a gene encoding borrelial persistence in ticks (bpt)A. Although protease accessibility experiments suggested that BptA as a putative lipoprotein is surface-exposed on the outer membrane of Bb, the molecular mechanism(s) by which BptA promotes Bb persistence within its tick vector remains to be elucidated. BptA also was shown to be highly conserved (>88% similarity and >74% identity at the deduced amino acid levels) in all Bb sensu lato strains tested, suggesting that BptA may be widely used by Lyme borreliosis spirochetes for persistence in nature. Given Bb's absolute dependence on and intimate association with its arthropod and mammalian hosts, BptA should be considered a virulence factor critical for Bb's overall parasitic strategy. PMID:15860579

  8. Genetic identification of rickettsiae isolated from ticks in Japan.

    PubMed

    Fournier, Pierre-Edouard; Fujita, Hiromi; Takada, Nobuhiro; Raoult, Didier

    2002-06-01

    Following the description in Japan of Japanese spotted fever, caused by Rickettsia japonica, a search for the vector of this disease led to the isolation of several rickettsiae from various tick species. Sixty-three rickettsial isolates were obtained from six different tick species, and six type strains were described by PCR and monoclonal antibody testing. We identified these six strains by amplification and sequencing of the genes encoding 16S rRNA and citrate synthase. We confirmed that the isolates from Dermacentor taiwanensis and Haemaphysalis flava ticks were R. japonica isolates. In Ixodes ovatus, Ixodes persulcatus, and Ixodes monospinosus, we identified a Rickettsia identical or closely related to Rickettsia helvetica, a species that is pathogenic for humans and that to date has only been found in Europe. Finally, we identified a new genotype of unknown pathogenicity, genotype AT, that was isolated from Amblyomma testudinarium ticks and that is closely related to a Slovakian genotype obtained from Ixodes ricinus ticks.

  9. Transmission bottlenecks and RNAi collectively influence tick-borne flavivirus evolution

    PubMed Central

    Grubaugh, Nathan D.; Rückert, Claudia; Armstrong, Philip M.; Bransfield, Angela; Anderson, John F.; Ebel, Gregory D.; Brackney, Doug E.

    2016-01-01

    Arthropod-borne RNA viruses exist within hosts as heterogeneous populations of viral variants and, as a result, possess great genetic plasticity. Understanding the micro-evolutionary forces shaping these viruses can provide insights into how they emerge, adapt, and persist in new and changing ecological niches. While considerable attention has been directed toward studying the population dynamics of mosquito-borne viruses, little is known about tick-borne virus populations. Therefore, using a mouse and Ixodes scapularis tick transmission model, we examined Powassan virus (POWV; Flaviviridae, Flavivirus) populations in and between both the vertebrate host and arthropod vector. We found that genetic bottlenecks, RNAi-mediated diversification, and selective constraints collectively influence POWV evolution. Together, our data provide a mechanistic explanation for the slow, long-term evolutionary trends of POWV, and suggest that all arthropod-borne viruses encounter similar selective pressures at the molecular level (i.e. RNAi), yet evolve much differently due to their unique rates and modes of transmission. PMID:28058113

  10. Discovery of antagonists of tick dopamine receptors via chemical library screening and comparative pharmacological analyses.

    PubMed

    Ejendal, Karin F K; Meyer, Jason M; Brust, Tarsis F; Avramova, Larisa V; Hill, Catherine A; Watts, Val J

    2012-11-01

    Ticks transmit a wide variety of disease causing pathogens to humans and animals. Considering the global health impact of tick-borne diseases, there is a pressing need to develop new methods for vector control. We are exploring arthropod dopamine receptors as novel targets for insecticide/acaricide development because of their integral roles in neurobiology. Herein, we developed a screening assay for dopamine receptor antagonists to further characterize the pharmacological properties of the two D₁-like dopamine receptors (Isdop1 and Isdop2) identified in the Lyme disease vector, Ixodes scapularis, and develop a screening assay for receptor antagonists. A cell-based, cyclic AMP luciferase reporter assay platform was implemented to screen the LOPAC(1280) small molecule library for Isdop2 receptor antagonists, representing the first reported chemical library screen for any tick G protein-coupled receptor. Screening resulted in the identification of 85 "hit" compounds with antagonist activity at the Isdop2 receptor. Eight of these chemistries were selected for confirmation assays using a direct measurement of cAMP, and the effects on both Isdop1 and Isdop2 were studied for comparison. Each of these eight compounds showed antagonistic activity at both Isdop1 and Isdop2, although differences were observed regarding their relative potencies. Furthermore, comparison of the pharmacological properties of the tick dopamine receptors with that of the AaDOP2 receptor from the yellow fever mosquito and the human dopamine D₁ receptor (hD₁) revealed species-specific pharmacological profiles of these receptors. Compounds influencing dopaminergic functioning, such as the dopamine receptor antagonists discovered here, may provide lead chemistries for discovery of novel acaricides useful for vector control

  11. Lyme Disease Transmission

    MedlinePlus

    ... bite of infected ticks. The blacklegged tick (or deer tick, Ixodes scapularis ) spreads the disease in the ... cook meat thoroughly. Note that hunting and dressing deer or squirrels may bring you into close contact ...

  12. Detecting ticks on light versus dark clothing.

    PubMed

    Stjernberg, Louise; Berglund, Johan

    2005-01-01

    It is a common belief that ticks are more visible and easier to detect on light clothing in comparison with dark clothing. We studied which of the clothing, light or dark, had the least attractive effect on Ixodes ricinus, thus minimizing exposure and thereby in theory helping to prevent tick-borne diseases in humans. 10 participants, exposed by walking in tick endemic areas, wore alternately light and dark clothing before every new exposure. Nymphal and adult ticks on the clothing were collected and counted. In total, 886 nymphal ticks were collected. The overall mean in found ticks between both groups differed significantly, with 20.8 more ticks per person on light clothing. All participants had more ticks on light clothing in all periods of exposure. Dark clothing seems to attract fewer ticks.

  13. Ixodid ticks of road-killed wildlife species in southern Italy: new tick-host associations and locality records.

    PubMed

    Lorusso, Vincenzo; Lia, Riccardo Paolo; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Mallia, Egidio; Ravagnan, Silvia; Capelli, Gioia; Otranto, Domenico

    2011-11-01

    The present study aimed to identify ticks collected from road-killed wildlife species retrieved in several localities of southern Italy and to assess the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Rickettsia spp. DNA in ticks. Collections were carried out from January 2000 to December 2009 on wild animals found dead within the territories of 11 municipalities from three regions (i.e., Apulia, Basilicata, and Calabria). In total, 189 carcasses of wild animals belonging to 10 species were checked for tick infestation, and 40 animals belonging to seven species were found parasitized. One hundred and twenty-five ixodid ticks (11 larvae, 14 nymphs, 77 males, and 23 females) were collected and identified as belonging to nine species, namely Dermacentor marginatus, Haemaphysalis erinacei, Hyalomma marginatum, Ixodes acuminatus, Ixodes canisuga, Ixodes hexagonus, Ixodes ricinus, Rhipicephalus bursa, and Rhipicephalus turanicus. None of the 36 tick specimens tested by PCR was positive for tick-borne pathogens. The results add new information on the tick fauna associated with wild animals in Italy, reporting new tick-host associations. Further field studies are still needed to ascertain the suitability of certain wildlife species as hosts for some tick species, particularly for those implicated in the transmission of pathogens to domestic animals and humans. Finally, from a conservation perspective, it would be interesting to assess whether these wild animals (e.g., Lepus corsicanus) are exposed to tick-borne pathogens, investigating the possible implications for their health and behavior.

  14. Tick species and tick-borne infections identified in population from a rural area of Spain.

    PubMed Central

    Merino, Francisco Jesús; Nebreda, Teresa; Serrano, Jose Luis; Fernández-Soto, Pedro; Encinas, Antonio; Pérez-Sánchez, Ricardo

    2005-01-01

    To determine the tick species that bite humans in the province of Soria (Spain) and ascertain the tick-borne pathogens that threaten people's health in that province, 185 tick specimens were collected from 179 patients who sought medical advice at health-care centres. The ticks were identified, and their DNA examined by PCR for pathogens. Most ticks were collected in autumn and spring (59 and 57 respectively). Nine species of ticks were identified, the most frequent being Dermacentor marginatus (55.7%), Ixodes ricinus (12.4%) and Rhipicephalus bursa (11.9%). Ninety-seven females, 66 males, 21 nymphs and one larva were identified. Twenty-six ticks carried DNA from Rickettsia spp. (11 Rickettsia slovaca, 6 Rickettsia spp. RpA4/DnS14, 1 Rickettsia massiliae/Bar29, and 8 unidentified); two ticks carried DNA from Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and seven ticks harboured DNA from Anaplasma phagocytophilum. PMID:16181517

  15. Determination of the effective dose of a novel oral formulation of sarolaner (Simparica™) for the treatment and month-long control of fleas and ticks on dogs.

    PubMed

    McTier, Tom L; Six, Robert H; Fourie, Josephus J; Pullins, Aleah; Hedges, Laura; Mahabir, Sean P; Myers, Melanie R

    2016-05-30

    Three laboratory studies were conducted to determine the appropriate dose of sarolaner, a novel isoxazoline, for the treatment and month-long control of infestations of fleas and ticks on dogs. In the first study, dogs were treated orally with sarolaner suspension formulations at 1.25, 2.5 or 5.0mg/kg, and infested with Dermacentor reticulatus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks and with Ctenocephalides felis felis (cat flea) prior to treatment and then weekly for up to 8 weeks. Fleas and ticks were counted 48h after treatment and after each subsequent infestation at 24h for fleas and 48h for ticks. The lowest dose of sarolaner (1.25mg/kg) provided 100% efficacy against fleas from treatment through Day 35 and 98.4% at Day 56. This dose of sarolaner resulted in 99.7-100% control of both species of ticks through Day 28. In Study 2, dogs were dosed orally with placebo or sarolaner suspension formulations at 0.625, 1.25 or 2.5mg/kg and infested with Ixodes scapularis prior to treatment and weekly for 6 weeks, Amblyomma americanum (pretreatment and Day 26), Dermacentor variabilis (Day 33) and A. maculatum (Day 41). Ixodes scapularis was the most susceptible; the lowest dose (0.625mg/kg) providing>95% efficacy through Day 43. Efficacy against D. variabilis on Day 35 was>95% at 1.25 and 2.5mg/kg, whereas the 0.625mg/kg dose gave only 61.4% efficacy. Amblyomma spp. were the least susceptible ticks; efficacy of the 1.25mg/kg dose at Day 28 for A. americanum was markedly lower (88.5%) than achieved for D. reticulatus (100%) at Day 28 and also lower than for D. variabilis at Day 35 (96.2%). In Study 3, dogs were dosed orally with placebo or sarolaner in the proposed commercial tablet (Simparica™) at 1.0, 2.0 or 4.0mg/kg, and infested with A. maculatum, one of the ticks determined to be dose limiting, prior to treatment and then weekly for 5 weeks. All doses gave 100% control of the existing infestation. The two highest dosages resulted in >93% control of subsequent challenges

  16. Babesia Species Occurring in Austrian Ixodes ricinus Ticks▿

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. Molecular survey of hard ticks in endemic areas of tick-borne diseases in China.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xin; Lin, Xian-Dan; Wang, Jian-Bo; Qin, Xin-Cheng; Tian, Jun-Hua; Guo, Wen-Ping; Fan, Fei-Neng; Shao, Renfu; Xu, Jianguo; Zhang, Yong-Zhen

    2013-06-01

    Over the past several years, there was a substantial increase in the number of cases of known and novel tick-borne infections in humans in China. To better understand the ticks associated with these infections, we collected hard ticks from animals or around livestock shelters in 29 localities in 5 provinces (Beijing, Henan, Hubei, Inner Mongolia, and Zhejiang) where cases of tick-borne illness were reported. We collected 2950 hard ticks representing 7 species of 4 genera (Dermacentor sinicus, Haemaphysalis flava, Haemaphysalis longicornis, Ixodes granulatus, Ixodes persulcatus, Rhipicephalus microplus, and Rhipicephalus sanguineus). These ticks were identified to species using morphological characters initially. We then sequenced the mitochondrial small subunit rRNA (12S rRNA) gene, cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene, and the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) gene of these ticks, and conducted phylogenetic analyses. Our analyses showed that the molecular and morphological data are consistent in the identification of the 7 tick species. Furthermore, all these 7 tick species from China were genetically closely related to the same species or related species found outside China. Rapid and accurate identification and long-term monitoring of these ticks will be of significance to the prevention and control of tick-borne diseases in China.

  18. Urban Breeding Corvids as Disseminators of Ticks and Emerging Tick-Borne Pathogens.

    PubMed

    Sándor, Attila D; Kalmár, Zsuzsa; Matei, Ioana; Ionică, Angela Monica; Mărcuţan, Ioan-Daniel

    2017-02-01

    Crows (Corvidae) are common city dwellers worldwide and are increasingly important subjects of epidemiology studies. Although their importance as hosts and transmitters of a number of zoonotic parasites and pathogens is well known, there are no studies on their importance as tick hosts. After mosquitoes, ticks are the most important vectors of zoonotic pathogens, especially for those causing emerging zoonotic diseases. Pathogenic bacteria, especially Borrelia spp., Rickettsia spp., and Anaplasma spp., vectored by ticks, are the cause for most vector-borne diseases in Europe. Here we report on ticks and tick-borne pathogens harbored by urban breeding crows. A total of 36 birds (33.33%, n = 108) hosted ticks, with 91 individual ticks belonging to 6 species (Haemaphysalis concinna, Haemaphysalis parva, Haemaphysalis punctata, Hyalomma marginatum, Ixodes arboricola, and Ixodes ricinus). Rickettsia spp. DNA was found in 6.6% of ticks and 1.9% of bird tissues, whereas Anaplasma phagocytophilum was found in 5.9% of ticks and 0.9% of birds. Two rickettsial genospecies were located, Rickettsia helvetica and Rickettsia monacensis. This is the first study to determine such a diverse tick spectrum feeding on urban corvids, while highlighting their importance as tick hosts and raising concerns about their potential risk to human health.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  20. Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus in ticks collected from humans, South Korea, 2013.

    PubMed

    Yun, Seok-Min; Lee, Wook-Gyo; Ryou, Jungsang; Yang, Sung-Chan; Park, Sun-Whan; Roh, Jong Yeol; Lee, Ye-Ji; Park, Chan; Han, Myung Guk

    2014-08-01

    We investigated the infection rate for severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) among ticks collected from humans during May-October 2013 in South Korea. Haemaphysalis longicornis ticks have been considered the SFTSV vector. However, we detected the virus in H. longicornis, Amblyomma testudinarium, and Ixodes nipponensis ticks, indicating additional potential SFTSV vectors.

  1. Ticks and tick-borne pathogens in wild birds in Greece.

    PubMed

    Diakou, Anastasia; Norte, Ana Cláudia; Lopes de Carvalho, Isabel; Núncio, Sofia; Nováková, Markéta; Kautman, Matej; Alivizatos, Haralambos; Kazantzidis, Savas; Sychra, Oldřich; Literák, Ivan

    2016-05-01

    Wild birds are common hosts of ticks and can transport them for long distances, contributing to the spreading of tick-borne pathogens. The information about ticks on birds and tick-borne pathogens in Greece is limited. The present study aimed to evaluate the prevalence and species of ticks infesting wild resident birds (mostly small passerines) in Greece, and to assess Borrelia and Rickettsia infection in the collected ticks. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. was performed by nested PCR targeting the flaB gene. Rickettsia spp. were detected by PCR targeting the gltA and ompA genes. Seven (2 %) out of 403 birds examined in northern Greece in 2013 were infested with 15 ticks, identified as Ixodes frontalis, Ixodes acuminatus, Hyalomma marginatum, Hyalomma aegyptium and Hyalomma sp. All ticks were negative for Borrelia spp. while four of them were positive for rickettsiae (Rickettsia aeschlimannii in H. aegyptium and Rickettsia sp. in I. frontalis, H. aegyptium and H. marginatum). Ixodes acuminatus is reported for the first time in Greece and Sylvia borin is reported as a new host record for I. acuminatus.

  2. Borrelia mayonii sp. nov., a member of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, detected in patients and ticks in the upper midwestern United States.

    PubMed

    Pritt, Bobbi S; Respicio-Kingry, Laurel B; Sloan, Lynne M; Schriefer, Martin E; Replogle, Adam J; Bjork, Jenna; Liu, Gongping; Kingry, Luke C; Mead, Paul S; Neitzel, David F; Schiffman, Elizabeth; Hoang Johnson, Diep K; Davis, Jeffrey P; Paskewitz, Susan M; Boxrud, David; Deedon, Alecia; Lee, Xia; Miller, Tracy K; Feist, Michelle A; Steward, Christopher R; Theel, Elitza S; Patel, Robin; Irish, Cole L; Petersen, Jeannine M

    2016-11-01

    Lyme borreliosis (LB) is a multisystem disease caused by spirochetes in the Borrelia burgdorferisensu lato (Bbsl) genospecies complex. We previously described a novel Bbsl genospecies (type strain MN14-1420T) that causes LB among patients with exposures to ticks in the upper midwestern USA. Patients infected with the novel Bbsl genospecies demonstrated higher levels of spirochetemia and somewhat differing clinical symptoms as compared with those infected with other Bbsl genospecies. The organism was detected from human specimens using PCR, microscopy, serology and culture. The taxonomic status was determined using an eight-housekeeping-gene (uvrA, rplB, recG, pyrG, pepX, clpX, clpA and nifS) multi-locus sequence analysis (MLSA) and comparison of 16S rRNA gene, flaB, rrf-rrl, ospC and oppA2 nucleotide sequences. Using a system threshold of 98.3 % similarity for delineation of Bbsl genospecies by MLSA, we demonstrated that the novel species is a member of the Bbsl genospecies complex, most closely related to B. burgdorferisensu stricto (94.7-94.9 % similarity). This same species was identified in Ixodes scapularis ticks collected in Minnesota and Wisconsin. This novel species, Borrelia mayonii sp. nov, is formally described here. The type strain, MN14-1420, is available through the Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zelkulturen GmbH (DSM 102811) and the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC BAA-2743).

  3. Molecular characterization and expression analysis of three novel autophagy-related genes from the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Flores Fernández, José Miguel; Barragán Álvarez, Carla Patricia; Sánchez Hernández, Carla Vanessa; Padilla Camberos, Eduardo; González Castillo, Celia; Ortuño Sahagún, Daniel; Martínez Velázquez, Moisés

    2016-11-01

    The cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus is a hematophagous ectoparasite of major importance for the livestock industry. It shows a remarkable ability to survive over long periods without feeding. However, the mechanisms used to endure long-term starvation are poorly understood. It is believed that autophagy, a process of intracellular protein degradation, may play a significant role to confront adverse environmental conditions. To advance our understanding of autophagy in R. microplus, in the present study we report the molecular characterization of three autophagy-related (ATG) genes, namely, RmATG3, RmATG4 and RmATG6, as well as their expression profiles in different developmental stages and organs of the parasite. The deduced amino acid sequences derived from the characterized gene sequences were subjected to Basic Local Alignment Search Tool analysis. The testing produced significant alignments with respective ATG proteins from Haemaphysalis longicornis and Ixodes scapularis ticks. Real-time polymerase chain reaction assays revealed that RmATG4 and RmATG6 transcripts were elevated in egg and ovary tissue, when compared with larva and midgut samples, while RmATG3 expression in midgut was 2-fold higher than in egg, larva and ovary samples.

  4. Ehrlichiosis

    MedlinePlus

    ... can be carried by the: American dog tick Deer tick ( Ixodes scapularis ), which can also cause Lyme ... of bleeding into the skin (petechial rash) Flat red rash (maculopapular rash), which is uncommon General ill ...

  5. [Abundance of larvae and nymphs of the taiga tick Ixodes persuicatus (Acari: Ixodidae) on small mammals in the cut-over lands of the middle taiga subzone of Karelia].

    PubMed

    Bugmyrin, S V; Bespiatova, L A; Anikanova, V S; Ieshko, E P

    2009-01-01

    Data of long-term investigations (1998-2004) on the abundance of the taiga tick larvae and nymphs in the cut-over lands of different age in the middle taiga subzone of Karelia (62 degrees 04'S; 33 degrees 55'W) are presented. The investigation was carried out on three model cut-over lands of different age: 1) "young" cut-over land; age of cut-over in the beginning of investigation is 7 years; Betula-Deschampsia cespitosa-Agrostis tenuis; 2) "middle" cut-over land; age of cut-over is 12 years; Salix-Deschampsia cespitosa-Agrostis tenuis; 3) "old" cut-over land; age of cut-over 25 years; Alnus incana-Rubus idaeus-grass. The number of ticks was estimated by using common parasitological indices: prevalence, abundance, and index of feeding intensity (the tick abundance multiply by the number of small mammals per hundred traps-nights). In the beginning of investigation the "young" cut-over land was a typical meadow association. The lowest tick abundance was recorded here. That was a result of unfavorable abiotic conditions and low number of small mammals in the beginning of summer. "Middle" cut-over land is characterized by the highest number of the tick larvae, which is the evidence for high number of the hosts of tick imago. "Old" cut-over land has the optimum conditions for development of taiga ticks. High abundance of the ticks (larvae and nymphs) was recorded during the whole period of investigations. The number of preimaginal ticks is shown to be much higher in cut-over lands as compared with that in mixed and coniferous forests, due to the higher number of small mammals.

  6. Stop Ticks

    MedlinePlus

    ... and bringing ticks with them. Prevent Ticks on Animals Use tick control products to prevent family pets ... medications should be used regularly to protect your animals and your family from ticks. Consult your veterinarian ...

  7. Tick bite

    MedlinePlus

    ... Images Lyme disease, erythema migrans Lyme disease organism, Borrelia burgdorferi Deer ticks Ticks Tick, deer engorged on the skin Lyme disease - Borrelia burgdorferi organism Tick, deer - adult female Deer and dog ...

  8. Risk for human tick-borne encephalitis, borrelioses, and double infection in the pre-Ural region of Russia.

    PubMed Central

    Korenberg, E. I.; Gorban, L. Y.; Kovalevskii, Y. V.; Frizen, V. I.; Karavanov, A. S.

    2001-01-01

    We assessed the risk for human tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), ixodid tick-borne borrelioses, and double infection from 1994 to 1998 in Perm, which has among the highest rates of reported cases in Russia. We studied 3,473 unfed adult Ixodes persulcatus ticks collected from vegetation in natural foci and 62,816 ticks removed from humans. TBE virus and Borrelia may coexist in ticks. PMID:11384529

  9. Influences of Host Community Characteristics on Borrelia burgdorferi Infection Prevalence in Blacklegged Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Grace S.; Smouse, Peter E.; Fonseca, Dina M.; Brisson, Dustin; Morin, Peter J.; Ostfeld, Richard S.

    2017-01-01

    Lyme disease is a major vector-borne bacterial disease in the USA. The disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, and transmitted among hosts and humans, primarily by blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis). The ~25 B. burgdorferi genotypes, based on genotypic variation of their outer surface protein C (ospC), can be phenotypically separated as strains that primarily cause human diseases—human invasive strains (HIS)—or those that rarely do. Additionally, the genotypes are non-randomly associated with host species. The goal of this study was to examine the extent to which phenotypic outcomes of B. burgdorferi could be explained by the host communities fed upon by blacklegged ticks. In 2006 and 2009, we determined the host community composition based on abundance estimates of the vertebrate hosts, and collected host-seeking nymphal ticks in 2007 and 2010 to determine the ospC genotypes within infected ticks. We regressed instances of B. burgdorferi phenotypes on site-specific characteristics of host communities by constructing Bayesian hierarchical models that properly handled missing data. The models provided quantitative support for the relevance of host composition on Lyme disease risk pertaining to B. burgdorferi prevalence (i.e. overall nymphal infection prevalence, or NIPAll) and HIS prevalence among the infected ticks (NIPHIS). In each year, NIPAll and NIPHIS was found to be associated with host relative abundances and diversity. For mice and chipmunks, the association with NIPAll was positive, but tended to be negative with NIPHIS in both years. However, the direction of association between shrew relative abundance with NIPAll or NIPHIS differed across the two years. And, diversity (H') had a negative association with NIPAll, but positive association with NIPHIS in both years. Our analyses highlight that the relationships between the relative abundances of three primary hosts and the community diversity with NIPAll, and NIPHIS, are variable in time and

  10. The US Air Force Tick Identification Service

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-05-22

    Haemaphysal i s concinna - - - - - - - V STT l-e achir- - - - - - - spin gera - - - - - - - - KFD Hyal omma anatolicum - - - - - - - - CCHF asiaticum...STT minaiitumh - - - - - - - - CCHF Ixodes d-ammnini Y - - - - - - - AB holocyclus M - - - - V - - pacacifcus Y...American babesiosis, BF =boutonneuse fever, CTF = Colorado tick fever, 10 TU = tularemia, CCHF = Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, HE = human ehrlichio

  11. Novel rickettsia in ticks, Tasmania, Australia.

    PubMed

    Izzard, Leonard; Graves, Stephen; Cox, Erika; Fenwick, Stan; Unsworth, Nathan; Stenos, John

    2009-10-01

    A novel rickettsia was detected in Ixodes tasmani ticks collected from Tasmanian devils. A total of 55% were positive for the citrate synthase gene by quantitative PCR. According to current criteria for rickettsia speciation, this new rickettsia qualifies as Candidatus Rickettsia tasmanensis, named after the location of its detection.

  12. A case of tick bite.

    PubMed

    Hara, S; Takei, Y; Shiga, N

    1982-01-01

    A 30-year-old women suffered from right superior eyelid infestation of Ixodes ovatus Neumann, which was mechanically removed with forceps after application of benzine. No mouth parts were retained in the eyelid. Removed mouth parts were examined by a scanning electron microscope. There were no complications except focal trichotylosis in the involved area. The mode of attachment of the tick to the host and the method of removal were discussed.

  13. Patterns of tick infestation and their Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. infection in wild birds in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Norte, A C; da Silva, L P; Tenreiro, P J Q; Felgueiras, M S; Araújo, P M; Lopes, P B; Matos, C; Rosa, A; Ferreira, P J S G; Encarnação, P; Rocha, A; Escudero, R; Anda, P; Núncio, M S; Lopes de Carvalho, I

    2015-09-01

    Wild birds may act as reservoirs for zoonotic pathogens and may be mechanical carriers of pathogen infected vector ticks through long distances during migration. The aim of this study was to assess tick infestation patterns in birds in Portugal and the prevalence of tick infection by Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. using PCR techniques. Seven tick species were collected from birds including Haemaphysalis punctata, Hyalomma spp., Ixodes acuminatus, Ixodes arboricola, Ixodes frontalis, Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes ventalloi. We found that I. frontalis and Hyalomma spp. were the most common ticks infesting birds of several species and that they were widespread in Portugal. Turdus merula was the bird species that presented the highest diversity of infesting ticks and had one of the highest infestation intensities. B. burgdorferi s.l. was detected in 7.3% (37/505) of Ixodidae ticks derived from birds. The most common genospecies was Borrelia turdi (6.9%), detected in ticks collected from Parus major, T. merula and Turdus philomelos, but Borrelia valaisiana (0.2%) and one Borrelia sp. (0.2%) similar to Borrelia bissettii (96% of similarity of the flaB gene in Blastn) were also detected. This study contributed to a better knowledge of the Ixodidae tick fauna parasitizing birds in Western Europe and to the assessment of the prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l. associated with birds and their ticks.

  14. Bmcystatin, a cysteine proteinase inhibitor characterized from the tick Boophilus microplus

    SciTech Connect

    Lima, Cassia A.; Sasaki, Sergio D.; Tanaka, Aparecida S. . E-mail: Tanaka.bioq@epm.br

    2006-08-18

    The bovine tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus is a blood-sucking animal, which is responsible for Babesia spp and Anaplasma marginale transmission for cattle. From a B. microplus fat body cDNA library, 465 selected clones were sequenced randomly and resulted in 60 Contigs. An open reading frame (ORF) contains 98 amino acids named Bmcystatin, due to 70% amino acid identity to a classical type 1 cystatin from Ixodes scapularis tick (GenBank Accession No. DQ066227). The Bmcystatin amino acid sequence analysis showed two cysteine residues, theoretical pI of 5.92 and M{sub r} of 11kDa. Bmcystatin gene was cloned in pET 26b vector and the protein expressed using bacteria Escherichia coli BL21 SI. Recombinant Bmcystatin (rBmcystatin) purified by affinity chromatography on Ni-NTA-agarose column and ionic exchange chromatography on HiTrap Q column presented molecular mass of 11kDa, by SDS-PAGE and the N-terminal amino acid sequenced revealed unprocessed N-terminal containing part of pelB signal sequence. Purified rBmcystatin showed to be a C1 cysteine peptidase inhibitor with K{sub i} value of 0.1 and 0.6nM for human cathepsin L and VTDCE (vitellin degrading cysteine endopeptidase), respectively. The rBmcystatin expression analyzed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR confirmed the amplification of a specific DNA sequence (294bp) in the fat body and ovary cDNA preparation. On the other hand, a protein band was detected in the fat body, ovary, and the salivary gland extracts using anti-Bmcystatin antibody by Western blot. The present results suggest a possible role of Bmcystatin in the ovary, even though the gene was cloned from the fat body, which could be another site of this protein synthesis.

  15. Prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in ticks collected from migratory birds in Latvia.

    PubMed

    Capligina, Valentina; Salmane, Ineta; Keišs, Oskars; Vilks, Karlis; Japina, Kristine; Baumanis, Viesturs; Ranka, Renate

    2014-02-01

    Migratory birds act as hosts and long-distance vectors for several tick-borne infectious agents. Here, feeding Ixodes ticks were collected from migratory birds during the autumn migration period in Latvia and screened for the presence of epidemiologically important non-viral pathogens. A total of 93 DNA samples of ticks (37 larvae and 56 nymphs) removed from 41 birds (order Passeriformes, 9 species) was tested for Lyme borreliosis spirochaetes, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia spp., and Babesia spp. Borrelia burgdorferi DNA was detected in 18% of the tick samples, and a majority of infected ticks were from thrush (Turdus spp.) birds. Among the infected ticks, Borrelia valaisiana was detected in 41% of cases, Borrelia garinii in 35%, and mixed Bo. valaisiana and Bo. garinii infection in 24%. Anaplasma phagocytophilum DNA was detected in 2% of ticks, R. helvetica in 12%, and Babesia spp. pathogens in 4% of ticks. Among these samples, 3 Babesia species were identified: Ba. divergens, Ba. microti, and Ba. venatorum. Coinfection with different pathogens that included mixed infections with different Borrelia genospecies was found in 20% of nymphal and 3% of larval Ixodes ticks. These results suggest that migratory birds may support the circulation and spread of medically significant zoonoses in Europe.

  16. Family outbreak of alimentary tick-borne encephalitis in Slovakia associated with a natural focus of infection.

    PubMed

    Kohl, I; Kozuch, O; Elecková, E; Labuda, M; Zaludko, J

    1996-08-01

    A family outbreak of tick-borne encephalitis involving 7 people, all of them hospitalized, was observed in the district of Povazská Bystrica (central Slovakia). The disease was associated with the drinking of unboiled goat milk and tick-borne encephalitis virus was recovered from Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from places where goats were grazing.

  17. Ticks and Tick Bites Presenting as “Funny Moles”: A Review of Different Presentations and a Focus on Tick-borne Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kallini, Joseph R.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: To describe a man with an adherent tick mimicking a melanoma, summarize the salient features of this condition, and review other cases of ticks mistaken for dermatoses. Background: Ticks are obligatory ectoparasites. Disease-causing ticks belong to two families: Ixodidae (hard ticks) and Argasidae (soft ticks). Ticks thrive by consuming blood from animal hosts, and the transfer of infected blood from one host to the next is the method by which ticks spread disease. Materials and methods: The authors describe a man who presented to their dermatology clinic in New York with an unusual black pigmented lesion on the right zygomatic region of his face. He was worried about how rapidly the lesion had developed and the tingling of the skin surrounding it. Since the patient had a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer, he was concerned that the lesion was a melanoma. An excisional biopsy of the lesion revealed a non-Ixodes tick with a surrounding tick-bite reaction. Results: Ticks cause cutaneous manifestations through physical trauma and their salivary contents. A number of reports describe a similar phenomenon of a persistent tick being mistaken for a nodule or tumor. Management includes complete removal of a tick, either mechanically or surgically, along with the appropriate work-up for tick-borne diseases in the relevant geographic location. The decision to test for systemic disease depends on the clinical presentation of the patient and geographic location of the tick bite. Conclusion: A patient presented to the authors’ dermatology clinic with a pigmented lesion suspicious for a melanoma, but the lesion was actually an adherent non-Ixodes tick. This case illustrates the importance of keeping insects and arthropods in the differential diagnosis of a sudden- and recent-onset pigmented skin lesion. PMID:28360969

  18. Tick-borne encephalitis in the USSR*

    PubMed Central

    Graščenkov, N. I.

    1964-01-01

    The author gives the history of the study of tick-borne encephalitis in the USSR, following it up with a description of the etiological and epidemiological aspects and of the pathology, symptomology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the disease. He stresses that other ticks as well as the main vectors of the virus, Ixodes, transmit the disease, in particular Dermacentor and Haemaphysalis. A detailed account of tick-borne encephalitis in the USSR may be of value in the study of the rather similar forms of the disease now being encountered more and more frequently in countries of South-East Asia as well as of northern and eastern Europe. PMID:14153408

  19. Primary report on distribution of tick fauna in Iran.

    PubMed

    Rahbari, Sadegh; Nabian, Sedighe; Shayan, Parviz

    2007-09-01

    A tick survey was carried out in four different geographical areas of Iran, where the majority of the domestic ruminants in Iran exist. About 1,500 sheep, 1,200 goats and 500 cattle of 12 herds in different provinces lying in the corresponding zones were inspected for tick infestation. The occurrence of ticks on cattle, sheep and goats were 62, 55 and 57%, respectively, with no differences between the zones. The mean number of ticks on each animal was low (10-20 ticks per animal). Ixodid ticks were found throughout the year, whereas the soft tick Ornithodoros sp., which occurred in mountainous area with a significant difference in abundance, showed a clear pattern of seasonality, being generally present from November to March. The largest numbers of adult ixodid ticks were generally present from April to August. Rhipicephalus, Haemaphysalis and Dermacentor ticks occurred in the mountainous area, whereas Boophilus and Ixodes ticks were only present in the Caspian region. Hyalomma were very abundant in each zone but especially in the mountainous area, whereas Ixodes ticks were the minor genus.

  20. Detection of tick-borne pathogens in ticks from migratory birds in the Baltic region of Russia.

    PubMed

    Movila, A; Alekseev, A N; Dubinina, H V; Toderas, I

    2013-03-01

    We report the finding of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)-virus in indigenous Ixodes ricinus (L.), 'Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis' in exotic Ixodes frontalis (Panzer) and Rickettsia aeshlimannii in exotic Hyalomma marginatum Koch subadult ticks detached from 18.5% (107/577) infested migratory birds in the Baltic region of Russia. This is the first record of human pathogenic 'Candidatus N. mikurensis' in I. frontalis ticks. Moreover, seven other pathogens were identified in I. ricinus ticks. Spotted Fever Group rickettsiae were the predominant pathogen group and were detected only in nymphs. Future investigations are warranted to further characterize the role of birds in the epizootiology of tick-borne pathogens in this region.

  1. Species, developmental stage and infection with microbial pathogens of engorged ticks removed from dogs and questing ticks.

    PubMed

    Leschnik, M W; Khanakah, G; Duscher, G; Wille-Piazzai, W; Hörweg, C; Joachim, A; Stanek, G

    2012-12-01

    Research into tick-borne diseases implies vector sampling and the detection and identification of microbial pathogens. Ticks were collected simultaneously from dogs that had been exposed to tick bites and by flagging the ground in the area in which the dogs had been exposed. In total, 200 ticks were sampled, of which 104 came from dogs and 96 were collected by flagging. These ticks were subsequently examined for DNA of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia spp. and Babesia canis. A mixed sample of adult ticks and nymphs of Ixodes ricinus (Ixodida: Ixodidae) and Haemaphysalis concinna (Ixodida: Ixodidae) was obtained by flagging. Female I. ricinus and adult Dermacentor reticulatus (Ixodida: Ixodidae) ticks dominated the engorged ticks removed from dogs. Rickettsia spp. were detected in 17.0% of the examined ticks, A. phagocytophilum in 3.5%, B. canis in 1.5%, and B. burgdorferi s.l. in 16.0%. Ticks with multiple infections were found only among the flagging sample. The ticks removed from the dogs included 22 infected ticks, whereas the flagging sample included 44 infected ticks. The results showed that the method for collecting ticks influences the species composition of the sample and enables the detection of a different pattern of pathogens. Sampling strategies should be taken into consideration when interpreting studies on tick-borne pathogens.

  2. Different tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) prevalences in unfed versus partially engorged ixodid ticks--evidence of virus replication and changes in tick behavior.

    PubMed

    Belova, Oxana A; Burenkova, Ludmila A; Karganova, Galina G

    2012-09-01

    There is some evidence that tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) prevalence in ticks, removed from humans, is higher than that in field-collected ticks from the same area. There are two possible explanations: (i) Infected ticks are more active and aggressive and can be found on humans more often. (ii) Some questing ticks are infected with TBEV in a low, undetectable concentration; during tick feeding, virus replicates and reaches the titers that can be detected. The aim of our work was to evaluate both hypotheses. Using unfed adult Ixodes ricinus, we compared three methods of tick infection with TBEV: (i) injection of the virus under the tick's 4th coxa (percoxal method), (ii) injection through anus (rectal method), and (iii) immersion of ticks in virus-containing medium. The percoxal method showed the best results and was used in further experiments. We compared the dynamics of virus reproduction in ticks that remain unfed after inoculation and in partially engorged ticks fed on mice. When ticks fed for 15 h, the titer of the virus increased in 3 log(10)PFU/tick since inoculation, while in unfed ticks it did not change. We also studied the reaction on the repellent DEET of uninfected versus TBEV-infected Ixodes ricinus ticks of the physiological age levels III and IV. We investigated ticks movements upwards in the direction of the bait on the cotton tape, impregnated with an increasing concentration of DEET. Obtained data showed that infected ticks were more active and tolerant to DEET. About 70% of the non-infected ticks and only 13% of the infected ticks did not get over the lowest concentration of the repellent (0.1%). Only infected ticks (5.6%) got over 1% concentration of DEET. Ticks of the physiological age level IV from both infected and uninfected groups were the most active and tolerant to the repellent. Both above-mentioned hypotheses were approved and can be used to explain higher virus prevalences in partially engorged ticks than in field

  3. Identification of Borrelia burgdorferi ospC genotypes in canine tissue following tick infestation: Implications for Lyme disease vaccine and diagnostic assay design

    PubMed Central

    Rhodes, D.V.L.; Earnhart, C.G.; Mather, T.N.; Meeus, P.F.M; Marconi, R.T.

    2013-01-01

    In endemic regions, Lyme disease is a potential health threat to dogs. Canine Lyme disease manifests with arthritis-induced lameness, anorexia, fever, lethargy, lymphadenopathy and, in some cases, fatal glomerulonephritis. A recent study revealed that the regional mean for the percentage of seropositive dogs in the Northeast of the USA is 11.6%. The outer surface protein C (OspC) of Lyme disease spirochetes is an important virulence factor required for the establishment of infection in mammals. It is a leading candidate in human and canine Lyme disease vaccine development efforts. Over 30 distinct ospC phyletic types have been defined. It has been hypothesized that ospC genotype may influence mammalian host range. In this study, Ixodes scapularis ticks collected from the field in Rhode Island were assessed for infection with B. burgdorferi. Ticks were fed on purpose bred beagles to repletion and infection of the dogs was assessed through serology and PCR. Tissue biopsies (n = 2) were collected from each dog 49 days post-tick infestation (dpi) and the ospC genotype of the infecting strains determined by direct PCR of DNA extracted from tissue or by PCR after cultivation of spirochetes from biopsy samples. The dominant ospC types associated with B. burgdorferi canine infections differed from those associated with human infection, indicating a relationship between ospC sequence and preferred host range. Knowledge of the most common ospC genotypes associated specifically with infection of dogs will facilitate the rational design of OspC-based canine Lyme disease vaccines and diagnostic assays. PMID:23962611

  4. Identification of Borrelia burgdorferi ospC genotypes in canine tissue following tick infestation: implications for Lyme disease vaccine and diagnostic assay design.

    PubMed

    Rhodes, D V L; Earnhart, C G; Mather, T N; Meeus, P F M; Marconi, R T

    2013-11-01

    In endemic regions, Lyme disease is a potential health threat to dogs. Canine Lyme disease manifests with arthritis-induced lameness, anorexia, fever, lethargy, lymphadenopathy and, in some cases, fatal glomerulonephritis. A recent study revealed that the regional mean for the percentage of seropositive dogs in the north-east of the USA is 11.6%. The outer surface protein C (OspC) of Lyme disease spirochetes is an important virulence factor required for the establishment of infection in mammals. It is a leading candidate in human and canine Lyme disease vaccine development efforts. Over 30 distinct ospC phyletic types have been defined. It has been hypothesized that ospC genotype may influence mammalian host range. In this study, Ixodes scapularis ticks collected from the field in Rhode Island were assessed for infection with B. burgdorferi. Ticks were fed on purpose bred beagles to repletion and infection of the dogs was assessed through serology and PCR. Tissue biopsies (n=2) were collected from each dog 49 days post-tick infestation (dpi) and the ospC genotype of the infecting strains determined by direct PCR of DNA extracted from tissue or by PCR after cultivation of spirochetes from biopsy samples. The dominant ospC types associated with B. burgdorferi canine infections differed from those associated with human infection, indicating a relationship between ospC sequence and preferred host range. Knowledge of the most common ospC genotypes associated specifically with infection of dogs will facilitate the rational design of OspC-based canine Lyme disease vaccines and diagnostic assays.

  5. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato in Ticks Collected from Migratory Birds in Switzerland

    PubMed Central

    Poupon, Marie-Angèle; Lommano, Elena; Humair, Pierre-François; Douet, Véronique; Rais, Olivier; Schaad, Michael; Jenni, Lukas; Gern, Lise

    2006-01-01

    The prevalence of ticks infected by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato on birds during their migrations was studied in Switzerland. A total of 1,270 birds captured at two sites were examined for tick infestation. Ixodes ricinus was the dominant tick species. Prevalences of tick infestation were 6% and 18.2% for birds migrating northward and southward, respectively. Borrelia valaisiana was the species detected most frequently in ticks, followed by Borrelia garinii and Borrelia lusitaniae. Among birds infested by infected ticks, 23% (6/26) were infested by B. lusitaniae-infected larvae. Migratory birds appear to be reservoir hosts for B. lusitaniae. PMID:16391149

  6. Tick Bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... that go outdoors, you need to beware of ticks. Ticks are small bloodsucking parasites. Many species transmit diseases ... of the diseases you can get from a tick bite are Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted ...

  7. Tick infestation in birds and prevalence of pathogens in ticks collected from different places in Germany.

    PubMed

    Klaus, Christine; Gethmann, Jörn; Hoffmann, Bernd; Ziegler, Ute; Heller, Martin; Beer, Martin

    2016-07-01

    The importance of ticks and tick-borne pathogens for human and animal health has been increasing over the past decades. For their transportation and dissemination, birds may play a more important role than wingless hosts. In this study, tick infestation of birds in Germany was examined. Eight hundred ninety-two captured birds were infested with ticks and belonged to 48 different species, of which blackbirds (Turdus merula) and song thrushes (Turdus philomelos) were most strongly infested. Ground feeders were more strongly infested than non-ground feeders, sedentary birds more strongly than migratory birds, and short-distance migratory birds more strongly than long-distance migratory birds. Mean tick infestation per bird ranged between 2 (long-distance migratory bird) and 4.7 (sedentary bird), in some single cases up to 55 ticks per bird were found. With the exception of three nymphs of Haemaphysalis spp., all ticks belonged to Ixodes spp., the most frequently detected tick species was Ixodes ricinus. Birds were mostly infested by nymphs (65.1 %), followed by larvae (32.96 %). Additionally, ticks collected from birds were examined for several pathogens: Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and Sindbisvirus with real-time RT-PCR, Flaviviruses, Simbuviruses and Lyssaviruses with broad-range standard RT-PCR-assays, and Borrelia spp. with a Pan-Borrelia real-time PCR. Interestingly, no viral pathogens could be detected, but Borrelia spp. positive ticks were collected from 76 birds. Borrelia (B.) garinii, B. valaisiaina, B. burgdorferi s.s. and B. afzelii were determined. The screening of ticks and birds for viral pathogens with broad range PCR-assays was tested and the use as an "early warning system" is discussed.

  8. Tick-borne pathogens in ticks collected from breeding and migratory birds in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Lommano, Elena; Dvořák, Charles; Vallotton, Laurent; Jenni, Lukas; Gern, Lise

    2014-10-01

    From 2007 to 2010, 4558 migrating and breeding birds of 71 species were caught and examined for ticks in Switzerland. A total of 1205 specimens were collected; all were Ixodes ricinus ticks except one Ixodes frontalis female, which was found on a common chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) for the first time in Switzerland. Each tick was analysed individually for the presence of Borrelia spp., Rickettsia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). Altogether, 11.4% of birds (22 species) were infested by ticks and 39.8% of them (15 species) were carrying infected ticks. Bird species belonging to the genus Turdus were the most frequently infested with ticks and they were also carrying the most frequently infected ticks. Each tick-borne pathogen for which we tested was identified within the sample of bird-feeding ticks: Borrelia spp. (19.5%) and Rickettsia helvetica (10.5%) were predominantly detected whereas A. phagocytophilum (2%), Rickettsia monacensis (0.4%) and TBEV (0.2%) were only sporadically detected. Among Borrelia infections, B. garinii and B. valaisiana were largely predominant followed by B. afzelii, B. bavariensis, B. miyamotoi and B. burgdorferi ss. Interestingly, Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis was identified in a few ticks (3.3%), mainly from chaffinches. Our study emphasizes the role of birds in the natural cycle of tick-borne pathogens that are of human medical and veterinary relevance in Europe. According to infection detected in larvae feeding on birds we implicate the common blackbird (Turdus merula) and the tree pipit (Anthus trivialis) as reservoir hosts for Borrelia spp., Rickettsia spp. and A. phagocytophilum.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  10. Thirty years of tick population genetics: a comprehensive review.

    PubMed

    Araya-Anchetta, Ana; Busch, Joseph D; Scoles, Glen A; Wagner, David M

    2015-01-01

    Population genetic studies provide insights into the basic biology of arthropod disease vectors by estimating dispersal patterns and their potential to spread pathogens. In wingless vectors, such as ticks, gene flow will be defined in large part by the mobility of their hosts. However, tick behaviors and life cycle strategies can limit their dispersal even on highly mobile hosts and lead to an increase in genetic structure. In this review we synthesize the published literature from three decades of tick population genetic studies. Based on studies from 22 tick species (including representatives from Amblyomma, Bothriocroton, Dermacentor, Ixodes, Ornithodoros, and Rhipicephalus), observed levels of population genetic structure in ticks varied from no structure to very high levels. In about half of the species (including representatives from Amblyomma, Bothriocroton, Dermacentor, and Ornithodoros), tick genetic structure appeared to be determined primarily by the movement capacity of hosts, with low gene flow observed in ticks that use smaller bodied less mobile hosts and high gene flow in ticks using highly mobile hosts. In a number of other species (primarily from Ixodes, Ornithodoros, and Rhipicephalus), behavioral limitations to gene flow appeared to result in greater genetic structure than expected based upon host movement capability alone. We also discuss the strengths and limitations of genetic markers and their applicability to ticks and suggest possible analyses when planning population genetic studies for ticks.

  11. Tick burden on European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus)

    PubMed Central

    Kiffner, Christian; Hagedorn, Peter; Niedrig, Matthias; Rühe, Ferdinand

    2010-01-01

    In our study we assessed the tick burden on roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) in relation to age, physical condition, sex, deer density and season. The main objective was to find predictive parameters for tick burden. In September 2007, May, July, and September 2008, and in May and July 2009 we collected ticks on 142 culled roe deer from nine forest departments in Southern Hesse, Germany. To correlate tick burden and deer density we estimated deer density using line transect sampling that accounts for different detectability in March 2008 and 2009, respectively. We collected more than 8,600 ticks from roe deer heads and necks, 92.6% of which were Ixodes spp., 7.4% Dermacentor spp. Among Ixodes, 3.3% were larvae, 50.5% nymphs, 34.8% females and 11.4% males, with significant seasonal deviation. Total tick infestation was high, with considerable individual variation (from 0 to 270 ticks/deer). Adult tick burden was positively correlated with roe deer body indices (body mass, age, hind foot length). Significantly more nymphs were found on deer from forest departments with high roe deer density indices, indicating a positive correlation with deer abundance. Overall, tick burden was highly variable. Seasonality and large scale spatial characteristics appeared to be the most important factors affecting tick burden on roe deer. PMID:20099011

  12. Tick burden on European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus).

    PubMed

    Vor, Torsten; Kiffner, Christian; Hagedorn, Peter; Niedrig, Matthias; Rühe, Ferdinand

    2010-08-01

    In our study we assessed the tick burden on roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) in relation to age, physical condition, sex, deer density and season. The main objective was to find predictive parameters for tick burden. In September 2007, May, July, and September 2008, and in May and July 2009 we collected ticks on 142 culled roe deer from nine forest departments in Southern Hesse, Germany. To correlate tick burden and deer density we estimated deer density using line transect sampling that accounts for different detectability in March 2008 and 2009, respectively. We collected more than 8,600 ticks from roe deer heads and necks, 92.6% of which were Ixodes spp., 7.4% Dermacentor spp. Among Ixodes, 3.3% were larvae, 50.5% nymphs, 34.8% females and 11.4% males, with significant seasonal deviation. Total tick infestation was high, with considerable individual variation (from 0 to 270 ticks/deer). Adult tick burden was positively correlated with roe deer body indices (body mass, age, hind foot length). Significantly more nymphs were found on deer from forest departments with high roe deer density indices, indicating a positive correlation with deer abundance. Overall, tick burden was highly variable. Seasonality and large scale spatial characteristics appeared to be the most important factors affecting tick burden on roe deer.

  13. Molecular investigation of tick-borne pathogens in ticks from grazing cattle in Korea.

    PubMed

    Kang, Seung Won; Doan, Huong Thi Thanh; Choe, Se Eun; Noh, Jin Hyeong; Yoo, Mi Sun; Reddy, Kondreddy Eswar; Kim, Young Ha; Kweon, Chang Hee; Jung, Suk Chan; Chang, Ki Yoon

    2013-06-01

    This study was carried out to identify the tick species that infest grazing cattle and to determine the presence of tick-borne pathogens transmitted by these ticks in Korea. A total of 903 ticks (categorized into 566 tick pools) were collected from five provinces during 2010-2011. The most prevalent tick species was Haemaphysalis longicornis, followed by three Ixodes spp. ticks. The collected ticks were infected with both rickettsial and protozoan pathogens. In all, 469 (82.9%) tick pools tested positive for the Anaplasma/Ehrlichia 16S rRNA gene, whereas 67 (11.8%) were positive for the Babesia/Theileria 18S rRNA gene. Among the rickettsial pathogens, E. canis was detected with the highest rate (22.3%), followed by A. platys (20%), E. chaffeensis (19.4%), E. ewingii (19.3%), Rickettsia sp. (12.4%), A. phagocytophilum (5.5%) and E. muris (0.5%). Among the protozoan pathogens, T. equi was detected with the highest rate (7.2%), followed by T. sergenti/T. buffeli (3.7%) and B. caballi (0.35%). Simultaneous infections with up to seven pathogens were also identified. In particular, ticks infected with rickettsial pathogens were also infected with protozoan pathogens (22 samples). All five provinces investigated infected with tick-borne pathogens.

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

    PubMed

    Mihalca, Andrei D; Sándor, Attila D

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Ticks of Australia. The species that infest domestic animals and humans.

    PubMed

    Barker, Stephen C; Walker, Alan R

    2014-06-18

    The book Australian Ticks by F.H.S. Roberts (1970) is a land-mark in Australian tick biology. But it is time for a new and improved book on the ticks of Australia. The present book has identification guides and accounts of the biology and diseases associated with the 16 species of ticks that may feed on domestic animals and humans in Australia. These comprise five argasid (soft) ticks: Argas persicus (poultry tick), Argas robertsi (Robert's bird tick), Ornithodoros capensis (seabird soft tick), O. gurneyi (kangaroo soft tick), Otobius megnini (spinose ear tick); and 11 ixodid (hard) ticks, Amblyomma triguttatum (ornate kangaroo tick), Bothriocroton auruginans (wombat tick), B. hydrosauri (southern reptile tick), Haemaphysalis bancrofti (wallaby tick), H. longicornis (bush tick), Ixodes cornuatus (southern paralysis tick), I. hirsti (Hirst's marsupial tick), I. holocyclus (paralysis tick), I. tasmani (common marsupial tick), Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) australis (Australian cattle tick) and R. sanguineus (brown dog tick).  We use an image-matching system to identify ticks, much like the image-matching systems used in field-guides for birds and flowers. Ticks may be identified by drawings that emphasise unique matrices of uniformly defined morphological characters that, together, allow these 16 ticks to be identified by morphology unequivocally. The species accounts have seven sections: (i) General; (ii)  Differential diagnosis; (iii) Hosts; (iv) Life-cycle and seasonality; (v) Disease; (vi) Habitat and geographic distribution; (vii) Genes and genomes; and (viii) Other information. There are 71 figures and tables, including a glossary character matrices, drawings of life-cycles, drawings of genera, species, and colour photographs of tick biology.

  16. [Tick borne encephalitis and enviromental changes].

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. Hard ticks (Acari, Ixodidae) of Croatia

    PubMed Central

    Krčmar, Stjepan

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The present paper is based on original and literature data. In Croatia the first studies on the occurrence of ixodid species were made about 80 years ago. The number of tick species recorded in Croatia considerably increased during the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s of the past century. A total of 21 species of hard tick belonging to 5 genera have been recorded in Croatia. Ixodes is the best represented genus, with seven species recorded. Haemaphysalis is represented by six species, followed by Rhipicephalus with four species. Dermacentor and Hyalomma are represented by two species each. The ticks were collected on 47 different host species. Eleven tick species were collected on Bos taurus and Ovis aries, followed by Capra hircus and Equus caballus with 8 species and Canis lupus familiaris with 6 species. On the remaining 42 host species one, two or three tick species were collected. The most widespread tick is Ixodes ricinus which was found on 25 different host species. PMID:23372407

  19. Widespread Rickettsia spp. Infections in Ticks (Acari: Ixodoidea) in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Chi-Chien; Shu, Pei-Yun; Mu, Jung-Jung; Lee, Pei-Lung; Wu, Yin-Wen; Chung, Chien-Kung; Wang, Hsi-Chieh

    2015-09-01

    Ticks are second to mosquitoes as the most important disease vectors, and recent decades have witnessed the emergence of many novel tick-borne rickettsial diseases, but systematic surveys of ticks and tick-borne rickettsioses are generally lacking in Asia. We collected and identified ticks from small mammal hosts between 2006 and 2010 in different parts of Taiwan. Rickettsia spp. infections in ticks were identified by targeting ompB and gltA genes with nested polymerase chain reaction. In total, 2,732 ticks were collected from 1,356 small mammals. Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides Supino (51.8% of total ticks), Haemaphysalis bandicota Hoogstraal & Kohls (28.0%), and Ixodes granulatus Supino (20.0%) were the most common tick species, and Rattus losea Swinhoe (44.7% of total ticks) and Bandicota indica Bechstein (39.9%) were the primary hosts. The average Rickettsia infective rate in 329 assayed ticks was 31.9% and eight Rickettsia spp. or closely related species were identified. This study shows that rickettsiae-infected ticks are widespread in Taiwan, with a high diversity of Rickettsia spp. circulating in the ticks. Because notifiable rickettsial diseases in Taiwan only include mite-borne scrub typhus and flea-borne murine typhus, more studies are warranted for a better understanding of the real extent of human risks to rickettsioses in Taiwan.

  20. Attachment site selection of ticks on roe deer, Capreolus capreolus.

    PubMed

    Kiffner, C; Lödige, C; Alings, M; Vor, T; Rühe, F

    2011-01-01

    The spatio-temporal attachment site patterns of ticks feeding on their hosts can be of significance if co-feeding transmission (i.e. from tick to tick without a systemic infection of the host) of pathogens affects the persistence of a given disease. Using tick infestation data on roe deer, we analysed preferred attachment sites and niche width of Ixodes ticks (larvae, nymphs, males, females) and investigated the degree of inter- and intrastadial aggregation. The different development stages showed rather consistent attachment site patterns and relative narrow feeding site niches. Larvae were mostly found on the head and on the front legs of roe deer, nymphs reached highest densities on the head and highest adult densities were found on the neck of roe deer. The tick stages feeding (larvae, nymphs, females) on roe deer showed high degrees of intrastadial spatial aggregation, whereas males did not. Male ticks showed large feeding site overlap with female ticks. Feeding site overlap between larval-female and larval-nymphal ticks did occur especially during the months May-August on the head and front legs of roe deer and might allow pathogen transmission via co-feeding. Tick density, niche width and niche overlap on roe deer are mainly affected by seasonality, reflecting seasonal activity and abundance patterns of ticks. Since different tick development stages occur spatially and temporally clustered on roe deer, transmission experiments of tick-borne pathogens are urgently needed.

  1. Surveillance of tick-borne encephalitis virus in wild birds and ticks in Tomsk city and its suburbs (Western Siberia).

    PubMed

    Mikryukova, Tamara P; Moskvitina, Nina S; Kononova, Yulia V; Korobitsyn, Igor G; Kartashov, Mikhail Y; Tyuten Kov, Oleg Y; Protopopova, Elena V; Romanenko, Vladimir N; Chausov, Evgeny V; Gashkov, Sergey I; Konovalova, Svetlana N; Moskvitin, Sergey S; Tupota, Natalya L; Sementsova, Alexandra O; Ternovoi, Vladimir A; Loktev, Valery B

    2014-03-01

    To study the role of wild birds in the transmission of tick borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), we investigated randomly captured wild birds bearing ixodid ticks in a very highly endemic TBE region located in Tomsk city and its suburbs in the south of Western Siberia, Russia. The 779 wild birds representing 60 species were captured carrying a total of 841 ticks, Ixodes pavlovskyi Pom., 1946 (n=531), Ixodes persulcatus P. Sch., 1930 (n=244), and Ixodes plumbeus Leach. 1815 (n=66). The highest average number of ticks per bird in a particular species was found for the fieldfare (Turdus pilaris Linnaeus, 1758) (5.60 ticks/bird) and the tree pipit (Anthus trivialis Linnaeus, 1758) (13.25 ticks/bird). Samples from wild birds and ticks collected in highly endemic periods from 2006 to 2011 were tested for the TBEV markers using monoclonal modified enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and RT-PCR. TBEV RNA and antigen were found in 9.7% and 22.8% samples collected from wild birds, respectively. TBEV markers were also detected in 14.1% I. persulcatus ticks, 5.2% I. pavlovskyi, and 4.2% I. plumbeus ticks collected from wild birds. Two TBEV strains were also isolated on PKE (pig kidney embryo) cells from fieldfare and Blyth's reed warbler (Acrocephalus dumetorum Blyth, 1849). Sequencing of 5'-NCR of TBEV revealed that all TBEV isolates belong to Far Eastern (dominate) and Siberian genotypes. Several phylogenetic subgroups included TBEV sequences novel for the Tomsk region. Our data suggest that wild birds are potential disseminators of TBEV, TBEV-infected ixodid ticks, and possibly other tick-borne infections.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Padgett, Kerry A; Bonilla, Denise L

    2011-12-01

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

  5. Ixodid ticks parasitizing wild carnivores in Romania.

    PubMed

    D'Amico, Gianluca; Dumitrache, Mirabela Oana; Matei, Ioana Adriana; Ionică, Angela Monica; Gherman, Călin Mircea; Sándor, Attila David; Modrý, David; Mihalca, Andrei Daniel

    2017-02-01

    In Romania, data regarding hard-tick diversity and tick-host associations in wild carnivores are scarce. We aimed to identify tick species in wild carnivores and to establish reliable data on tick-host associations. The study was conducted in various Romanian localities from all five ecoregions found in the country. Fourteen species of wild carnivores were examined. Immature and adult ticks were collected and identified using the morphological keys. The frequency and mean intensity of tick infestation, overall and differentiated by species, developmental stage and host were calculated. Of 202 wild carnivores, 68 were parasitized by seven tick species (predominantly Ixodes ricinus, I. hexagonus and Dermacentor reticulatus). The mean intensity of tick infestation was similar in males (6.97, BCa 95% CI 5.15-9.88) and females (5.76, BCa 95% CI 4.15-9.17). The highest prevalence of infested animals was recorded in the pannonian and steppic ecoregions, 66.7 and 52.7%, respectively. In the continental ecoregion the prevalence was 26.7%, whereas in the pontic ecoregion it was 28%. The lowest value, 16.7% was recorded in the alpine ecoregion. In total 430 ticks were collected, and 24.8% (n = 50) of the animals were infested with more than one tick species. Fourteen new tick-host associations were recorded. Our results suggest that anthropogenic changes of the environment lead to the diminishing of the boundaries, between wild and domestic animals, increasing the exposure for both animals and humans, to infective agents, including tick-borne pathogens.

  6. Preliminary observations on specific adaptations of exophilic ixodid ticks to forests or open country habitats.

    PubMed

    Uspensky, Igor

    2002-01-01

    Some features of three-host exophilic ticks important for their survival differ at the generic level in relation to the types of their habitat. Ixodes and Haemaphysalis are typical forest genera. Hyalomma is an open country genus, whereas Dermacentor and Rhipicephalus, having some features of forest ticks, are closer to the ticks of open country. Forest ticks encounter rather stable and favorable temperature, humidity and illumination conditions as compared with open country ticks. A few differences determining every-day survival, hostseeking. and reproduction of ticks are considered. (1) Tolerance to desiccation is very low in forest ticks and much greater in ticks of open country. (2) Lack of eyes in forest ticks (having, however, epithelial photoreceptor cells) and formation of eyes as special morphological structures in ticks of open country. (3) Capability of mating and insemination of unfed specimens both on and off hosts in forest ticks (Ixodes) and insemination of partially engorged females only on hosts by fed males in open country ticks. (4) Reciprocal sexual dimorphism where in forest ticks females have a larger body than males and in open country ticks this correlation is opposite. (5) Linear dependence between female weight and number of eggs laid is established in forest ticks after the female weight becomes higher than 50% of mean engorgement weight whereas in open country ticks linear dependence begins to reveal itself much earlier. (6) In forest ticks the compensatory growth occurs only during adult feeding whereas in open country ticks such a growth occurs both during nymphal and adult feeding. The adaptive nature of the above differences and their evolutionary trends have been hypothesized.

  7. Distribution pattern and number of ticks on lizards.

    PubMed

    Dudek, Krzysztof; Skórka, Piotr; Sajkowska, Zofia Anna; Ekner-Grzyb, Anna; Dudek, Monika; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-02-01

    The success of ectoparasites depends primarily on the site of attachment and body condition of their hosts. Ticks usually tend to aggregate on vertebrate hosts in specific areas, but the distribution pattern may depend on host body size and condition, sex, life stage or skin morphology. Here, we studied the distribution of ticks on lizards and tested the following hypothesis: occurrence or high abundance of ticks is confined with body parts with smaller scales and larger interscalar length because such sites should provide ticks with superior attachment conditions. This study was performed in field conditions in central Poland in 2008-2011. In total, 500 lizards (Lacerta agilis) were caught and 839 ticks (Ixodes ricinus, larvae and nymphs) were collected from them. Using generalised linear mixed models, we found that the ticks were most abundant on forelimbs and their axillae, with 90% of ticks attached there. This part of the lizard body and the region behind the hindlimb were covered by the smallest scales with relatively wide gaps between them. This does not fully support our hypothesis that ticks prefer locations with easy access to skin between scales, because it does not explain why so few ticks were in the hindlimb area. We found that the abundance of ticks was positively correlated with lizard body size index (snout-vent length). Tick abundance was also higher in male and mature lizards than in female and young individuals. Autotomy had no effect on tick abundance. We found no correlation between tick size and lizard morphology, sex, autotomy and body size index. The probability of occurrence of dead ticks was positively linked with the total number of ticks on the lizard but there was no relationship between dead tick presence and lizard size, sex or age. Thus lizard body size and sex are the major factors affecting the abundance of ticks, and these parasites are distributed nearly exclusively on the host's forelimbs and their axillae.

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

    PubMed

    Baxter, Cg; Vogelnest, Lj; Doggett, Sl

    2009-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Anaplasma marginale and Theileria annulata in questing ticks from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Antunes, S; Ferrolho, J; Domingues, N; Santos, A S; Santos-Silva, M M; Domingos, A

    2016-09-01

    Ticks are ubiquitous arthropods and vectors of several pathogenic agents in animals and humans. Monitoring questing ticks is of great importance to ascertain the occurrence of pathogens and the potential vector species, offering an insight into the risk of disease transmission in a given area. In this study 428 host-seeking ticks, belonging to nine species of Ixodidae and collected from 17 of the 23 Portuguese mainland subregions, were screened for several tick-borne agents with veterinary relevance: Anaplasma marginale, Anaplasma ovis, Anaplasma centrale, Babesia spp., Coxiella burnetii and Theileria spp. Prevalence was assessed by PCR and amplified amplicons sequenced for validation of results. Twenty ticks, in a total of 428, were found positive: one Ixodes ventalloi for Theileria annulata and four Dermacentor marginatus, one Haemaphysalis punctata, five Ixodes ricinus, five I. ventalloi, and four Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato for A. marginale. According to the reviewed literature, this is the first report of A. marginale and T. annulata detection in I. ventalloi. Furthermore, the amplification of A. marginale DNA in several tick species suggests a broad range for this agent in Portugal that might include other uncommon species as R. sanguineus s.l. This work provides new data towards a better understanding of tick-pathogen associations and also contributes to the surveillance of tick-borne agents in geographic areas with limited information.

  13. <