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Sample records for para ixodes pararicinus

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

    PubMed

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-06-01

    This work was performed to evaluate the presence of Borrelia in different populations of Ixodes pararicinus from northwestern Argentina (Jujuy, Salta and Tucumán provinces). Questing adults and nymphs of I. pararicinus were collected from vegetation, and I. pararicinus nymphs were also collected on birds. Eighty-two ticks were tested for Borrelia presence by PCR targeting the gene flagellin and the rrfA-rrlB intergenic spacer region. Pools of ticks positive to Borrelia were formed by two nymphs collected on Turdus rufiventris in Tucumán, one nymph collected on Syndactyla rufosuperciliata in Jujuy, one nymph collected on Turdus nigriceps in Tucumán, three nymphs collected on T. nigriceps in Tucumán, and two females collected from vegetation in Salta. Two haplotypes of Borrelia sp. belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex were found. One of them is closely related to the haplotypes of Borrelia genospecies previously reported in I. aragaoi from Uruguay (haplotypes D and E) and in I. pararicinus from Jujuy Province in Argentina. The second haplotype (detected in the sample of Salta) is closely related to the haplotypes A, B and C associated with I. aragaoi from Uruguay. All these results suggest that the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies in I. pararicinus ticks is widespread along the entire distribution of this tick species in northwestern Argentina. However, the Borrelia presence in I. pararicinus cannot be directly assumed as a phenomenon of medical relevance, because Ixodes ticks are not relevant as human parasites in South America, and none of the two Borrelia genospecies detected in this work is related to any of the Borrelia genospecies currently known to be pathogenic to humans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Validation of the taxon Ixodes aragaoi Fonseca (Acari: Ixodidae) based on morphological and molecular data.

    PubMed

    Onofrio, Valeria C; Ramirez, Diego G; Giovanni, Dalton N S; Marcili, Arlei; Mangold, Atilio J; Venzal, José M; Mendonça, Ronaldo Z; Labruna, Marcelo B; Barros-Battesti, Darci M

    2014-09-08

    The species Ixodes aragaoi Fonseca was described as Ixodes ricinus aragaoi, and later placed in synonymy with Ixodes affinis. However, this synonymy was rejected and the subspecies was elevated to species, and named as I. aragaoi. Some researchers did not consider the validity of I. aragaoi and maintained the synonymy proposed until 1998 when I. aragaoi was revalidated, and it was suggested that Ixodes pararicinus could be a synonym. The aim of this study was to confirm the taxonomic validity of I. aragaoi by means of redescription of adults and molecular analysis. Morphological studies were performed by optical and scanning electron microscopy; types of I. aragaoi were compared with those of I. pararicinus from Argentina, and also with material of I. pararicinus from Uruguay and I. affinis from the United States. Mitochondrial 16S rDNA sequences were obtained for determining phylogenetic relationships based on maximum parsimony. Morphological and molecular differences between I. aragaoi, I. pararicinus from Argentina, and I. affinis confirm the validity of the first each of these species. The morphological similarities of I. pararicinus from Uruguay with I. aragaoi, and the small distance of nucleotide sequences between them, confirm that the Uruguayan ticks are in fact I. aragaoi and expand the geographical distribution of this species. Based on the specimens of Ixodes examined in the present study, from the same locality of the types of I. ricinus rochensis in Uruguay, we agree with the synonymy of this subspecies with I. aragaoi as previously reported. Finally, our analyses indicate that both I. aragaoi and Ixodes fuscipes, another South American tick species, belong to the I. ricinus complex, currently composed of 19 species. 

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-10

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-06-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The efficacy of repellents against Aedes, Anopheles, Culex and Ixodes spp. - a literature review.

    PubMed

    Lupi, Eleonora; Hatz, Christoph; Schlagenhauf, Patricia

    2013-01-01

    Travellers are confronted with a variety of vector-borne threats. Is one type of repellent effective against all biting vectors? The aim of this review is to examine the literature, up to December 31st, 2012, regarding repellent efficacy. We searched PubMed for relevant papers. Repellents of interest were DEET, Icaridin as well as other piperidine-derived products (SS220), Insect Repellent (IR) 3535 (ethyl-butylacetyl-amino-propionat, EBAAP) and plant-derived products, including Citriodora (para-menthane-3,8-diol). As vectors, we considered the mosquito species Anopheles, Aedes and Culex as well as the tick species Ixodes. We selected only studies evaluating the protective efficacy of repellents on human skin. We reviewed a total of 102 publications. Repellents were evaluated regarding complete protection time or as percentage efficacy [%] in a time interval. We found no standardized study for tick bite prevention. Regarding Aedes, DEET at concentration of 20% or more, showed the best efficacy providing up to 10 h protection. Citriodora repellency against this mosquito genus was lower compared to the other products. Also between subspecies a difference could be observed: Ae. aegypti proved more difficult to repel than Ae. Albopictus. Fewer studies have been conducted on mosquito species Anopheles and Culex. The repellency profile against Anopheles species was similar for the four principal repellents of interest, providing on average 4-10 h of protection. Culex mosquitoes are easier to repel and all four repellents provided good protection. Few studies have been conducted on the tick species Ixodes. According to our results, the longest protection against Ixodes scapularis was provided by repellents containing IR3535, while DEET and commercial products containing Icaridin or PMD showed a better response than IR3535 against Ixodes ricinus. Many plant-based repellents provide only short duration protection. Adding vanillin 5% to plant-based repellents and to DEET

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Tick paralysis in Australia caused by Ixodes holocyclus Neumann

    PubMed Central

    Hall-Mendelin, S; Craig, S B; Hall, R A; O’Donoghue, P; Atwell, R B; Tulsiani, S M; Graham, G C

    2011-01-01

    Ticks are obligate haematophagous ectoparasites of various animals, including humans, and are abundant in temperate and tropical zones around the world. They are the most important vectors for the pathogens causing disease in livestock and second only to mosquitoes as vectors of pathogens causing human disease. Ticks are formidable arachnids, capable of not only transmitting the pathogens involved in some infectious diseases but also of inducing allergies and causing toxicoses and paralysis, with possible fatal outcomes for the host. This review focuses on tick paralysis, the role of the Australian paralysis tick Ixodes holocyclus, and the role of toxin molecules from this species in causing paralysis in the host. PMID:21396246

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Exotic Rickettsiae in Ixodes ricinus: fact or artifact?

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Several pathogenic Rickettsia species can be transmitted via Ixodes ricinus ticks to humans and animals. Surveys of I. ricinus for the presence of Rickettsiae using part of its 16S rRNA gene yield a plethora of new and different Rickettsia sequences. Interpreting these data is sometimes difficult and presenting these findings as new or potentially pathogenic Rickettsiae should be done with caution: a recent report suggested presence of a known human pathogen, R. australis, in questing I. ricinus ticks in Europe. A refined analysis of these results revealed that R. helvetica was most likely to be misinterpreted as R. australis. Evidence in the literature is accumulating that rickettsial DNA sequences found in tick lysates can also be derived from other sources than viable, pathogenic Rickettsiae. For example, from endosymbionts, environmental contamination or even horizontal gene transfer. PMID:20569494

  8. 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.

  9. Ixodes persulcatus, a major vector of Alphaproteobacteria in Russia.

    PubMed

    Shpynov, Stanislav

    2012-12-01

    Ixodes persulcatus Schulze, 1930 (I. persulcatus) is distributed from the western to the eastern borders of Russia where it is found in the taiga and in mixed forests of the European type. This tick is a known vector of viral (tick-borne encephalitis virus), spirochetal (Borrelia spp.), and protozoan (Babesia spp.) agents. In this work, we analyzed the phylogenetic position of I. persulcatus within the Prostriata based on its 18S rRNA gene. Furthermore, we review the relationship of this tick with 9 Alphaproteobacteria from the genera Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma which are found in I. persulcatus in the territory of Russia. These observations suggest that I. persulcatus may be one of the more important vectors and reservoirs of Alphaproteobacteria and other microorganisms in Russia. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Germant, O M; Shashina, N I

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ostfeld, Richard S.; Brunner, Jesse L.

    2015-01-01

    The evidence that climate warming is changing the distribution of Ixodes ticks and the pathogens they transmit is reviewed and evaluated. The primary approaches are either phenomenological, which typically assume that climate alone limits current and future distributions, or mechanistic, asking which tick-demographic parameters are affected by specific abiotic conditions. Both approaches have promise but are severely limited when applied separately. For instance, phenomenological approaches (e.g. climate envelope models) often select abiotic variables arbitrarily and produce results that can be hard to interpret biologically. On the other hand, although laboratory studies demonstrate strict temperature and humidity thresholds for tick survival, these limits rarely apply to field situations. Similarly, no studies address the influence of abiotic conditions on more than a few life stages, transitions or demographic processes, preventing comprehensive assessments. Nevertheless, despite their divergent approaches, both mechanistic and phenomenological models suggest dramatic range expansions of Ixodes ticks and tick-borne disease as the climate warms. The predicted distributions, however, vary strongly with the models' assumptions, which are rarely tested against reasonable alternatives. These inconsistencies, limited data about key tick-demographic and climatic processes and only limited incorporation of non-climatic processes have weakened the application of this rich area of research to public health policy or actions. We urge further investigation of the influence of climate on vertebrate hosts and tick-borne pathogen dynamics. In addition, testing model assumptions and mechanisms in a range of natural contexts and comparing their relative importance as competing models in a rigorous statistical framework will significantly advance our understanding of how climate change will alter the distribution, dynamics and risk of tick-borne disease. PMID:25688022

  13. 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.

  14. [Spatial and temporal variability of Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes persulcatus infection with the Lyme disease agent in Moscow Region].

    PubMed

    Korotkov, Iu S; Kislenko, G S; Burenkova, L A; Rudnikova, N A; Karan', L S

    2008-01-01

    Analysis of long-term data on the infection rated of the taxonomic complex Borrelia burgdorferi s. l. in Ixodes persulcatus and I. ricinus from Moscow Region is carried out. More than 14 000 tick specimens were examined by dark-field microscopy and 704 specimens were investigated by PCR. Two borrelia genospicies, B. afzelii (6.3%) and B. garinii (20%) proved the most prevalent. The genospecies could form a mixtinfection (11%). Borrelia miyamotoi, B. valaisiana, and B. burgdorferi s. s. were also found in the studied territory, with the total ratio lesser than 6%. Acarotropism of Borrelia proved 2.4 times higher with respect to I. persulcatus, than to I. ricinus. Average long-term infection rates of these tick species were 27.3 and 11.3% respectively. Spatial variability of the infection rate in ticks significantly exceeds interannual fluctuations with the variation coefficients 66 and 26% respectively.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-09

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Padgett, Kerry A; Bonilla, Denise L

    2011-12-01

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

  3. Relative humidity and activity patterns of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berger, K.A.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Gonzalez, L.; Mather, T.N.

    2014-01-01

    Laboratory studies have shown clear relationships between relative humidity (RH) and the activity and survival of Ixodes scapularis Say (blacklegged tick). However, field studies have produced conflicting results. We examined this relationship using weekly tick count totals and hourly RH observations at three field sites, stratified by latitude, within the state of Rhode Island. Records of nymphal tick abundance were compared with several RH-related variables (e.g., RH at time of sampling and mean weekly daytime RH). In total, 825 nymphs were sampled in 2009, a year of greater precipitation, with a weighted average leaf litter RH recorded at time of sampling of 85.22%. Alternatively, 649 nymphs were collected in 2010, a year of relatively low precipitation, and a weighted average RH recorded at time of sampling was 75.51%. Negative binomial regression analysis of tick count totals identified cumulative hours <82% RH threshold as a significant factor observed in both years (2009: P = 0.0037; 2010: P < 0.0001). Mean weekly daytime RH did not significantly predict tick activity in either year. However, mean weekly daytime RH recorded with 1-wk lag before sample date was a significant variable (P = 0.0016) in 2010. These results suggest a lag effect between moisture availability and patterns of tick activity and abundance. Differences in the relative importance of each RH variable between years may have been due to abnormally wet summer conditions in 2009.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-09-07

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Ixodes scapularis is arguably the most medically important tick species in the United States. This tick transmits 5 of the 14 human tick-borne disease (TBD) agents in the USA: Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, B. miyamotoi, Babesia microti, and Powassan virus disease. Except for the Powassan virus disease, I. scapularis-vectored TBD agents require more than 24h post attachment to be transmitted. This study describes identification of 24h immunogenic I. scapularis tick saliva proteins, which could provide opportunities to develop strategies to stop tick feeding before transmission of the majority of pathogens. A 24h fed female I. scapularis phage display cDNA expression library was biopanned using rabbit antibodies to 24h fed I. scapularis female tick saliva proteins, subjected to next generation sequencing, de novo assembly, and bioinformatic analyses. A total of 182 contigs were assembled, of which ∼19% (35/182) are novel and did not show identity to any known proteins in GenBank. The remaining ∼81% (147/182) of contigs were provisionally identified based on matches in GenBank including ∼18% (27/147) that matched protein sequences previously annotated as hypothetical and putative tick saliva proteins. Others include proteases and protease inhibitors (∼3%, 5/147), transporters and/or ligand binding proteins (∼6%, 9/147), immunogenic tick saliva housekeeping enzyme-like (17%, 25/147), ribosomal protein-like (∼31%, 46/147), and those classified as miscellaneous (∼24%, 35/147). Notable among the miscellaneous class include antimicrobial peptides (microplusin and ricinusin), myosin-like proteins that have been previously found in tick saliva, and heat shock tick saliva protein. Data in this study provides the foundation for in-depth analysis of I. scapularis feeding during the first 24h, before the majority of TBD agents can be transmitted.

  3. Spatiotemporal dynamics of emerging pathogens in questing Ixodes ricinus

    PubMed Central

    Coipan, Elena Claudia; Jahfari, Setareh; Fonville, Manoj; Maassen, Catharina B.; van der Giessen, Joke; Takken, Willem; Takumi, Katsuhisa; Sprong, Hein

    2013-01-01

    Ixodes ricinus transmits Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the etiological agent of Lyme disease. Previous studies have also detected Rickettsia helvetica, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Neoehrlichia mikurensis, and several Babesia species in questing ticks in The Netherlands. In this study, we assessed the acarological risk of exposure to several tick-borne pathogens (TBPs), in The Netherlands. Questing ticks were collected monthly between 2006 and 2010 at 21 sites and between 2000 and 2009 at one other site. Nymphs and adults were analysed individually for the presence of TBPs using an array-approach. Collated data of this and previous studies were used to generate, for each pathogen, a presence/absence map and to further analyse their spatiotemporal variation. R. helvetica (31.1%) and B. burgdorferi sensu lato (11.8%) had the highest overall prevalence and were detected in all areas. N. mikurensis (5.6%), A. phagocytophilum (0.8%), and Babesia spp. (1.7%) were detected in most, but not all areas. The prevalences of pathogens varied among the study areas from 0 to 64%, while the density of questing ticks varied from 1 to 179/100 m2. Overall, 37% of the ticks were infected with at least one pathogen and 6.3% with more than one pathogen. One-third of the Borrelia-positive ticks were infected with at least one other pathogen. Coinfection of B. afzelii with N. mikurensis and with Babesia spp. occurred significantly more often than single infections, indicating the existence of mutual reservoir hosts. Alternatively, coinfection of R. helvetica with either B. afzelii or N. mikurensis occurred significantly less frequent. The diversity of TBPs detected in I. ricinus in this study and the frequency of their coinfections with B. burgdorferi s.l., underline the need to consider them when evaluating the risks of infection and subsequently the risk of disease following a tick bite. PMID:23908971

  4. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-10-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-28

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Fritzsche, Markus

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Most Lyme borreliosis cases in Russia result from Borrelia garinii NT29 group infection. Borrelias of this group circulate exclusively in Ixodes persulcatus ticks, which are seldom found beyond Russia and the far east. Here we report the whole-genome sequence of Borrelia garinii BgVir isolated from an I. persulcatus female. PMID:23012288

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Grigor'eva, L A

    2013-01-01

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

  16. [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.

  17. 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

  18. Detection of an undescribed Rickettsia sp. in Ixodes boliviensis from Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Troyo, Adriana; Moreira-Soto, Andrés; Carranza, Marco; Calderón-Arguedas, Olger; Hun, Laya; Taylor, Lizeth

    2014-10-01

    Ixodes boliviensis is a tick of carnivores that is common on domestic dogs. The only Rickettsia that has been detected previously in this species is 'Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae'. We report the detection of an undescribed Rickettsia sp., named strain IbR/CRC, in I. boliviensis collected from dogs in Costa Rica. Analyses of gltA, ompA, and htrA partial sequences place Rickettsia sp. strain IbR/CRC in the group of R. monacensis, also close to an endosymbiont of Ixodes scapularis and other undescribed rickettsiae. It was not possible to isolate Rickettsia sp. strain IbR/CRC in Vero E6 or C6/36 cell lines. Isolation and further characterization of Rickettsia sp. strain IbR/CRC and the other undescribed rickettsiae are required to determine their taxonomic status and pathogenic potential. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Leal, Sebastián; González-Acuña, Daniel

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-15

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

  16. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-30

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  14. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  19. Repellency and efficacy of 65% permethrin and 9.7% fipronil against Ixodes ricinus.

    PubMed

    Endris, R G; Matthewson, M D; Cooke, M D; Amodie, D

    2000-01-01

    Two topically applied spot-on products--65% permethrin (Defend Exspot Treatment for Dogs, Schering-Plough Animal Health, Union, NJ) and 9.7% fipronil (Frontline Spot On Dog, Merial Limited, Iselin, NJ)--used for canine flea and tick control were evaluated for repellency against Ixodes ricinus, the tick species that is the primary vector of Lyme disease in Europe. Eighteen dogs were randomly assigned to the following treatment groups (n = 6): (1) 65% permethrin, (2) 9.7% fipronil, or (3) untreated control. Dogs were exposed to ticks in individually assigned cages with a carpet that covered =70% of the cage bottom. Dogs in treatment groups 1 and 2 were treated in accordance with label directions for each re-spective product on study day 0. Fifty unfed, male and female adult ticks were placed in the cages 15 to 30 minutes before the dogs. The dogs were placed in the cages for a 2-hour exposure period at 2, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, and 41 days after treatment. After a 2-hour exposure period, dogs were removed from the cages and live (attached and unattached) and dead ticks were counted on the dogs, on the carpets, and in the cages. Cages were thoroughly cleaned and new carpet was used for each tick exposure period. Treatment of dogs with 65% permethrin reduced tick numbers on dogs by 99.1% at 2 days, 99.0% at 1 week, 95.9% at 2 weeks, 88.5% at 3 weeks, 87.1% at 4 weeks, and 48.0% at 6 weeks after application. In contrast, treatment of dogs with 9.7% fipronil reduced tick numbers on dogs by 61.4% at 2 days, 51.6% at 1 week, 37.0% at 2 weeks, 33.7% at 3 weeks, 10.8% at 4 weeks, and 0% at 6 weeks after application. The efficacy of 65% permethrin was significant (P < or = .05) when compared to the control at all challenges, whereas the efficacy of 9.7% fipronil was not significant as compared to controls at 21, 28, 35, and 41 days after treatment. The 65% permethrin killed significantly more Ixodes ricinus ticks (P < or = .05) than 9.7% fipronil from 2 to 41 days after treatment

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-11-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-11-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-05

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

  14. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. First record of Ixodes ariadnae in Western Europe, Belgium--Short communication.

    PubMed

    Hornok, Sándor; Krawczyk, Aleksandra

    2016-12-01

    Fourteen long-legged ixodid ticks (6 nymphs and 8 larvae) were collected from Bechstein's bat (Myotis bechsteinii) in Rochefort, Belgium. All ticks were morphologically identified as Ixodes ariadnae, based on their long legs (Haller's organ longer than maximum diameter of tarsus I), broad palps and posteriorly reverse bell-shaped scutum with wavy surface. The DNA was extracted from these ticks, followed by PCR amplification of part of their cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. All obtained sequences were 100% identical with each other, and with the COI sequence of I. ariadnae reported previously from Hungary and Germany. Taking into account that the collection site in the present study is close to the French border of Belgium, and migration of Bechstein's bat is known between Belgium and France, it is reasonable to suppose that I. ariadnae also occurs in France. This is the first record of I. ariadnae in Western Europe, outside its formerly known geographical range (Central Europe).

  18. [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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  2. 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.

  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. © The Author 2014

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-09-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Flagging versus dragging as sampling methods for nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rulison, Eric L.; Kuczaj, Isis; Pang, Genevieve; Hickling, Graham J.; Tsao, Jean I.; Ginsberg, Howard S.

    2013-01-01

    The nymphal stage of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae), is responsible for most transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, to humans in North America. From 2010 to fall of 2012, we compared two commonly used techniques, flagging and dragging, as sampling methods for nymphal I. scapularis at three sites, each with multiple sampling arrays (grids), in the eastern and central United States. Flagging and dragging collected comparable numbers of nymphs, with no consistent differences between methods. Dragging collected more nymphs than flagging in some samples, but these differences were not consistent among sites or sampling years. The ratio of nymphs collected by flagging vs dragging was not significantly related to shrub density, so habitat type did not have a strong effect on the relative efficacy of these methods. Therefore, although dragging collected more ticks in a few cases, the numbers collected by each method were so variable that neither technique had a clear advantage for sampling nymphal I. scapularis.

  5. 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.

  6. [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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-09-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Jore, Solveig; Vanwambeke, Sophie O; Viljugrein, Hildegunn; Isaksen, Ketil; Kristoffersen, Anja B; Woldehiwet, Zerai; Johansen, Bernt; Brun, Edgar; Brun-Hansen, Hege; Westermann, Sebastian; Larsen, Inger-Lise; Ytrehus, Bjørnar; Hofshagen, Merete

    2014-01-08

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-06-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-13

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

  1. Multi-criteria Decision Analysis to Model Ixodes ricinus Habitat Suitability.

    PubMed

    Rousseau, Raphaël; McGrath, Guy; McMahon, Barry J; Vanwambeke, Sophie O

    2017-06-19

    Tick-borne diseases present a major threat to both human and livestock health throughout Europe. The risk of infection is directly related to the presence of its vector. Thereby it is important to know their distribution, which is strongly associated with environmental factors: the presence and availability of a suitable habitat, of a suitable climate and of hosts. The present study models the habitat suitability for Ixodes ricinus in Ireland, where data on tick distribution are scarce. Tick habitat suitability was estimated at a coarse scale (10 km) with a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) method according to four different scenarios (depending on the variables used and on the weights granted to each of them). The western part of Ireland and the Wicklow mountains in the East were estimated to be the most suitable areas for I. ricinus in the island. There was a good level of agreement between results from the MCDA and recorded tick presence. The different scenarios did not affect the spatial outputs substantially. The current study suggests that tick habitat suitability can be mapped accurately at a coarse scale in a data-scarce context using knowledge-based methods. It can serve as a guideline for future countrywide sampling that would help to determine local risk of tick presence and refining knowledge on tick habitat suitability in Ireland.

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1992-06-16

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

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

    PubMed

    Lord, C C

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Behavioural responses of Ixodes ricinus nymphs to carbon dioxide and rodent odour.

    PubMed

    VAN Duijvendijk, G; Gort, G; Sprong, H; Takken, W

    2017-06-01

    Many haematophagous ectoparasites use carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and host odour to detect and locate their hosts. The tick Ixodes ricinus (Linnaeus) (Ixodida: Ixodidae) walks only small distances and quests in vegetation until it encounters a host. The differential effects of CO2 and host odour on the host-finding behaviour of I. ricinus have, however, never been clarified and hence represent the subject of this study. The effects of CO2 and odour from bank voles on the activation and attraction of I. ricinus nymphs were analysed in a Y-tube olfactometer. Carbon dioxide evoked a response in the absence and presence of host odour, but did not attract nymphs. Host odour, however, did not evoke a response but did attract nymphs in the absence and presence of CO2 . The current results show that CO2 is an activator, but not an attractant, and that host odour is an attractant, but not an activator, of I. ricinus nymphs, and provide ecological insights into the host-finding behaviour of I. ricinus. © 2016 The Royal Entomological Society.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-29

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is used as a biological pest control agent against various arthropod species, including ticks. However, the efficacy depends on tick species, tick stage and fungus strain. We studied the effect of M. anisopliae on engorged larvae and nymphs of Ixodes ricinus, the most abundant tick species in Europe, under laboratory and semi-field conditions. A significant reduction of engorged larvae and nymphs could be shown under laboratory as well as under semi-field conditions. Only 3.5% of the larvae treated in the lab and only 18.5% kept under semi-field conditions were able to develop into nymphs compared to the recovered nymphs of the control groups, which were regarded as 100%. Only 7.1% of nymphs were recovered as adult ticks after fungal treatment under semi-field conditions compared to the control (100%). The efficacy of blastospores of M. anisopliae against engorged larvae and nymphs of I. ricinus under semi-field conditions was demonstrated in this study, showing their high potential as a biological control agent of ticks. Further studies will have to investigate the effect of this agent against other stages of I. ricinus as well as other tick species before its value as a biological control agent against ticks can be fully assessed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

  10. 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

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Reptiles were collected in nine counties in Oklahoma from September 2002 to May 2004 and examined for Ixodes scapularis (Say) larvae and nymphs to determine seasonal incidence and prevalence of these ticks. In total, 209 reptile specimens consisting of nine species of lizards and seven species of snakes were collected. Plestiodon fasciatus (L.) was the most numerous species collected (55%) followed by Sceloporus undulatus (Latreille) (17%) and Scincella lateralis (Say) (11%). Less than 10 individuals were collected for all remaining reptile species. The infestation prevalence of I. scapularis on all reptile specimens collected was 14% for larvae and 25% for nymphs. Larvae were found on lizards from April until September and peaked in May, while nymphs were found from March until September and peaked in April. I. scapularis larvae (84%) and nymphs (73%) preferentially attached to the axillae/front leg of P. fasciatus. Two chigger species, Eutrombicula splendens (Ewing) and Eutrombicula cinnabaris (Ewing), were found on 2% of the reptiles collected. No ectoparasites, including ticks, were obtained from the seven species of snakes collected. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-05-01

    Tick-borne pathogens transmitted by Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae), also known as the deer tick or blacklegged tick, are increasing in incidence and geographic distribution in the United States. We examined the risk of tick-borne disease exposure in 9 national parks across six Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States and the District of Columbia in 2014 and 2015. To assess the recreational risk to park visitors, we sampled for ticks along frequently used trails and calculated the density of I. scapularis nymphs (DON) and the density of infected nymphs (DIN). We determined the nymphal infection prevalence of I. scapularis with a suite of tick-borne pathogens including Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia miyamotoi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti. Ixodes scapularis nymphs were found in all national park units; DON ranged from 0.40 to 13.73 nymphs per 100 m2. Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, was found at all sites where I. scapularis was documented; DIN with B. burgdorferi ranged from 0.06 to 5.71 nymphs per 100 m2. Borrelia miyamotoi and A. phagocytophilum were documented at 60% and 70% of the parks, respectively, while Ba. microti occurred at just 20% of the parks. Ixodes scapularis is well established across much of the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, and our results are generally consistent with previous studies conducted near the areas we sampled. Newly established I. scapularis populations were documented in two locations: Washington, D.C. (Rock Creek Park) and Greene County, Virginia (Shenandoah National Park). This research demonstrates the potential risk of tick-borne pathogen exposure in national parks and can be used to educate park visitors about the importance of preventative actions to minimize tick exposure. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Uspensky, I; Rubina, M

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-09-01

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

  11. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Barbour, Alan G.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Modeling and empirical evidence suggests that Lyme disease is undergoing geographic expansion from principal foci in the midwestern and northeastern United States. Virginia is at the southern edge of the current expansion zone and has seen dramatic rise in human Lyme disease cases since 2007, potentially owing to a recent increase in vector abundance. Ixodes scapularis is known throughout the eastern US but behavioral or physiological variation between northern and southern lineages might lead northern-variant ticks to more frequently parasitize humans. We hypothesized that recent spatial and numerical increase in Lyme disease cases is associated with demographic and/or spatial expansion of I. scapularis and that signals of these phenomena would be detectable and discernable in population genetic signals. In summer and fall 2011, we collected nymphal I. scapularis by drag sampling and adult I. scapularis from deer carcasses at hunting check stations at nine sites arranged along an east-west transect through central Virginia. We analyzed 16S mtDNA sequences data from up to 24 I. scapularis individuals collected from each site and detected a total of 24 haplotypes containing 29 segregating sites. We found no evidence for population genetic structure among these sites but we did find strong signals of both demographic and spatial expansion throughout our study system. We found two haplotypes (one individual each) representing a lineage of ticks that is only found in the southeastern United States, with the remaining individuals representing a less genetically diverse clade that is typical of the northern United States, but that has also been detected in the American South. Taken together, these results lead us to conclude that I. scapularis populations in Virginia are expanding and that this expansion may account for recent observed increases in Lyme disease. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Anaplasma spp. in wild mammals and Ixodes ricinus from the north of Spain.

    PubMed

    Portillo, Aránzazu; Pérez-Martínez, Laura; Santibáñez, Sonia; Santibáñez, Paula; Palomar, Ana M; Oteo, José A

    2011-01-01

    Our objectives were to investigate the presence of Anaplasma spp. infection in red deer, wild boars, and Ixodes ricinus removed from deer surveyed in La Rioja, as well as to analyze the presence of Anaplasma spp. in I. ricinus from different Spanish regions--ours included. A total of 21 deer and 13 wild boar blood samples as well as 295 I. ricinus removed from deer, vegetation, or asymptomatic people were tested by polymerase chain reaction targeting Anaplasma spp. 16S rRNA gene and groESL heat shock operon. Twelve deer blood samples were found to be infected with Anaplasma centrale (n = 7) or Anaplasma phagocytophilum (n = 5). No wild boar blood samples gave positive polymerase chain reaction results. Further, A. phagocytophilum was detected in 12 out of 89 I. ricinus removed from deer and in 18 out of 168 I. ricinus collected over vegetation in the North of Spain. Anaplasma spp. was not detected in any of the 38 I. ricinus removed from people. Nucleotide sequences for 16S rRNA gene showed substancial heterogeneity. The etiological agent of human anaplasmosis was found in two deer blood samples, an adult tick from deer, and a nymph from vegetation. The 16S rRNA sequences for 12 out of 35 samples matched the sequence of the Ap-variant 1 strain previously described in the United States, and the remaining 19 positive samples (deer blood and I. ricinus) showed variations with unknown significance. Although the groEL DNA sequences varied among analyzed strains, the deduced amino acid sequences did not change for any of them. This study suggests that deer population from La Rioja harbors strains of A. phagocytophilum similar to that pathogen for humans and other of unknown pathogenicity. Further, it seems that the Ap-variant 1 is circulating among I. ricinus ticks from the North of Spain more frequently than the A. phagocytophilum strain associated to human anaplasmosis.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Evidence for Borrelia bavariensis infections of Ixodes uriae within seabird colonies of the North Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Munro, Hannah J; Ogden, Nicholas H; Lindsay, L Robbin; Robertson, Gregory J; Whitney, Hugh; Lang, Andrew S

    2017-08-11

    The first report of members of the spirochete genus Borrelia in the seabird tick, Ixodes uriae, and seabird colonies occurred during the early 1990s. Since then, Borrelia spp. have been detected in these ticks and seabird colonies around the world. To-date, the primary species detected has been B. garinii, with rare occurrences of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto and B. lusitaniae. During our research on Borrelia and I. uriae in seabird colonies of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, we have identified B. bavariensis in I. uriae To our knowledge, B. bavariensis has previously only been found in the Eurasian tick species, I. persulcatus and I. ricinus, and it was believed to be a rodent-specific Borrelia ecotype. We found B. bavariensis within I. uriae from three seabird colonies, over three calendar years. We also reanalyzed B. garinii sequences collected from I. uriae from Eurasian seabird colonies, and determined that sequences from two Russian seabird colonies likely also represent B. bavariensis The Canadian B. bavariensis sequences from I. uriae analysed in this study cluster with previously described sequences from Asia. Overall, this is an important discovery that illustrates and expands the range of hosts and vectors for B. bavariensis and it raises questions regarding the possible mechanisms of pathogen dispersal from Asia to North America.Importance To our knowledge this is the first documentation of B. bavariensis outside Eurasia. Additionally, the bacterium was found in a marine ecosystem involving the seabird tick, I. uriae, and its associated seabird hosts. This indicates the epizootiology of B. bavariensis transmission is much different from what was previously described, with this species previously believed to be a rodent-specific ecotype, and indicates that this pathogen is established, or establishing, much more widely. © Crown copyright 2017.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  11. Infection of Ixodes ricinus by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in peri-urban forests of France.

    PubMed

    Marchant, Axelle; Le Coupanec, Alain; Joly, Claire; Perthame, Emeline; Sertour, Natacha; Garnier, Martine; Godard, Vincent; Ferquel, Elisabeth; Choumet, Valerie

    2017-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis is the most common tick-borne disease in the northern hemisphere. In Europe, it is transmitted by Ixodes ticks that carry bacteria belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex. The objective of this work was to explore eco-epidemiological factors of Lyme borreliosis in peri-urban forests of France (Sénart, Notre-Dame and Rambouillet). We investigated whether the introduction of Tamias sibiricus in Sénart could alter the density of infected ticks. Moreover, the density and tick infection were investigated according to the tree species found in various patches of Sénart forest. For this purpose, ticks were sampled during 3 years. In the Sénart forest, the density of nymph and adult ticks showed no significant difference between 2008, 2009 and 2011. The nymph density varied significantly as a function of the month of collection. Regarding the nymphs, a higher rate of infection and infected density were found in 2009. Plots with chipmunks (C) presented a lower density of both nymphs and adult ticks than plots without chipmunks (NC) did. A higher rate of infection of nymphs with Borrelia was seen in C plots. The prevalence of the various species of Borrelia was also found to vary between C and NC plots with the year of the collect. The presence of chestnut trees positively influenced the density of both nymphs and adults. The infected nymph density showed a significant difference depending on the peri-urban forest studied, Sénart being higher than Rambouillet. The prevalence of Borrelia species also differed between the various forests studied. Concerning the putative role that Tamias sibiricus may play in the transmission of Borrelia, our results suggest that its presence is correlated with a higher rate of infection of questing ticks by Borrelia genospecies and if its population increases, it could play a significant role in the risk of transmission of Lyme borreliosis.

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ginsberg, H S; Zhioua, E

    1999-05-01

    Nymphal and adult Ixodes scapularis Say were sampled by flagging at 2 sites on a barrier island, Fire Island, NY, and at 2 sites on the nearby mainland. Nymphal densities did not differ consistently between island and mainland sites, but adult densities were consistently lower on the island. We tested whether lower adult densities on the island resulted from greater nymphal mortality on the island than the mainland, or whether adult ticks on the island were poorly sampled by flagging because they had attached abundantly to deer, which were common on Fire Island. Differential nymphal mortality on islands versus mainland did not explain this difference in adult densities because survival of flat and engorged nymphs in enclosures was the same at island and mainland sites. Ticks were infected by parasitic wasps on the island and not the mainland, but the infection rate (4.3%) was too low to explain the difference in adult tick densities. In contrast, exclusion of deer by game fencing on Fire Island resulted in markedly increased numbers of adult ticks in flagging samples inside compared with samples taken outside the exclosures. Therefore, the scarcity of adult ticks in flagging samples on Fire Island resulted, at least in part, from the ticks being unavailable to flagging samples because they were on deer hosts. Differences in the densities of flagged ticks inside and outside the exclosures were used to estimate the percentage of questing adults on Fire Island that found deer hosts, excluding those that attached to other host species. Approximately 56% of these questing adult ticks found deer hosts in 1995 and 50% found deer hosts in 1996. Therefore, in areas where vertebrate hosts are highly abundant, large proportions of the questing tick population can find hosts. Moreover, comparisons of tick densities at different sites by flagging can be potentially biased by differences in host densities among sites.

  14. Habitat distribution of Ixodes dammini (Acari: Ixodidae) an Lyme disease spirochetes on Fire Island, New York.

    PubMed

    Ginsberg, H S; Ewing, C P

    1989-05-01

    The distributions of Ixodes dammini Spielman, Clifford, Piesman, and Corwin and Lyme disease spirochetes were studied on Fire Island, N.Y. Adult ticks were more common in high-shrub habitats (shrubby vegetation greater than or equal to 1 m high) than in grassy and lowshrub habitats (vegetation less than 1 m) in spring and fall. In the fall, adults were also common in the woods. Adults were more abundant on narrow trails than in nearby vegetation. During the summer, questing nymphs and larvae were far more common in the woods (primarily in leaf litter) than in open grass-shrub habitats. In contrast, the number of nymphs and larvae per white-footed mouse did not differ among habitats, suggesting that mice play a role in tick dispersal. CO2 trap captures of nymphs on trails were not significantly greater than off trails. Most collections of larvae and nymphs had more than one tick, whereas most samples of adults had only one individual. Borrelia burgdorferi infection rates in free-living ticks were 38% (n = 12) to 50% (n = 32) in adults, 32% in nymphs (n = 184), and 0% in larvae (n = 15). The proportion of ticks infected did not differ significantly among habitats. Therefore, during the spring and fall, activities that take place in high-shrub areas or in the woods (e.g., landscaping, trail or brush clearing) involve a high risk of exposure to adult ticks infected with Lyme disease. In late spring to early summer, any activity involving close contact with leaf litter (e.g., playing in the leaves, gathering leaves for camp bedding) results in a high risk of exposure to infected nymphs.

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

    PubMed Central

    Lommano, Elena; Bertaiola, Luce; Dupasquier, Christèle

    2012-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, H.S.; Zhioua, E.

    1999-01-01

    Nymphal and adult Ixodes scapularis Say were sampled by flagging at 2 sites on a barrier island, Fire Island, NY, and at 2 sites on the nearby mainland. Nymphal densities did not differ consistently between island and mainland sites, but adult densities were consistently lower on the island. We tested whether lower adult densities on the island resulted from greater nymphal mortality on the island than the mainland, or whether adult ticks on the island were poorly sampled by flagging because they had attached abundantly to deer, which were common on Fire Island. Differential nymphal mortality on islands vs. mainland did not explain this difference in adult densities because survival of flat and engorged nymphs in enclosures was the same at island and mainland sites. Ticks were infected by parasitic wasps on the island and not the mainland, but the infection rate (4.3%) was too low to explain the difference in adult tick densities. In contrast, exclusion of deer by game fencing on Fire Island resulted in markedly increased numbers of adult ticks in flagging samples inside compared to samples taken outside the exclosures. Therefore, the scarcity of adult ticks in flagging samples on Fire Island resulted, at least in part, from the ticks being unavailable to flagging samples because they were on deer hosts. Differences in the densities of flagged ticks inside and outside the exclosures were used to estimate the percentage of questing adults on Fire Island that found deer hosts, excluding those that attached to other host species. Approximately 56% of these questing adult ticks found deer hosts in 1995 and 50% found deer hosts in 1996. Therefore, in areas where vertebrate hosts are highly abundant, large proportions of the questing tick population can find hosts. Moreover, comparisons of tick densities at different sites by flagging can potentially be biased by differences in host densities among sites.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  20. 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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-10

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

  8. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  12. Abiotic predictors and annual seasonal dynamics of Ixodes ricinus, the major disease vector of Central Europe.

    PubMed

    Daniel, Milan; Malý, Marek; Danielová, Vlasta; Kříž, Bohumír; Nuttall, Patricia

    2015-09-18

    Abiotic conditions provide cues that drive tick questing activity. Defining these cues is critical in predicting biting risk, and in forecasting climate change impacts on tick populations. This is particularly important for Ixodes ricinus nymphs, the vector of numerous pathogens affecting humans. A 6-year study of the questing activity of I. ricinus was conducted in Central Bohemia, Czech Republic, from 2001 to 2006. Tick numbers were determined by weekly flagging the vegetation in a defined 600 m(2) field site. After capture, ticks were released back to where they were found. Concurrent temperature data and relative humidity were collected in the microhabitat and at a nearby meteorological station. Data were analysed by regression methods. During 208 monitoring visits, a total of 21,623 ticks were recorded. Larvae, nymphs, and adults showed typical bimodal questing activity curves with major spring peaks and minor late summer or autumn peaks (mid-summer for males). Questing activity of nymphs and adults began with ~12 h of daylight and ceased at ~9 h daylight, at limiting temperatures close to freezing (in early spring and late autumn); questing occurred during ~70 % calendar year without cessation in summer. The co-occurrence of larvae and nymphs varied annually, ranging from 31 to 80 % of monitoring visits, and depended on the questing activity of larvae. Near-ground temperature, day length, and relative air humidity were all significant predictors of nymphal activity. For 70 % of records, near-ground temperatures measured in the microhabitat were 4-5 °C lower than those recorded by the nearby meteorological observatory, although they were strongly dependent. Inter-annual differences in seasonal numbers of nymphs reflected extreme weather events. Weather predictions (particularly for temperature) combined with daylight length, are good predictors of the initiation and cessation of I. ricinus nymph questing activity, and hence of the risk period to humans

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  14. Ixodes scapularis Tick Saliva Proteins Sequentially Secreted Every 24 h during Blood Feeding

    PubMed Central

    Pinto, Antônio F. M.; Moresco, James; Yates, John R.; da Silva Vaz, Itabajara; Mulenga, Albert

    2016-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis is the most medically important tick species and transmits five of the 14 reportable human tick borne disease (TBD) agents in the USA. This study describes LC-MS/MS identification of 582 tick- and 83 rabbit proteins in saliva of I. scapularis ticks that fed for 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h, as well as engorged but not detached (BD), and spontaneously detached (SD). The 582 tick proteins include proteases (5.7%), protease inhibitors (7.4%), unknown function proteins (22%), immunity/antimicrobial (2.6%), lipocalin (3.1%), heme/iron binding (2.6%), extracellular matrix/ cell adhesion (2.2%), oxidant metabolism/ detoxification (6%), transporter/ receptor related (3.2%), cytoskeletal (5.5%), and housekeeping-like (39.7%). Notable observations include: (i) tick saliva proteins of unknown function accounting for >33% of total protein content, (ii) 79% of proteases are metalloproteases, (iii) 13% (76/582) of proteins in this study were found in saliva of other tick species and, (iv) ticks apparently selectively inject functionally similar but unique proteins every 24 h, which we speculate is the tick's antigenic variation equivalent strategy to protect important tick feeding functions from host immune system. The host immune responses to proteins present in 24 h I. scapularis saliva will not be effective at later feeding stages. Rabbit proteins identified in our study suggest the tick's strategic use of host proteins to modulate the feeding site. Notably fibrinogen, which is central to blood clotting and wound healing, was detected in high abundance in BD and SD saliva, when the tick is preparing to terminate feeding and detach from the host. A remarkable tick adaptation is that the feeding lesion is completely healed when the tick detaches from the host. Does the tick concentrate fibrinogen at the feeding site to aide in promoting healing of the feeding lesion? Overall, these data provide broad insight into molecular mechanisms regulating different tick

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Environmental drivers of Ixodes ricinus abundance in forest fragments of rural European landscapes.

    PubMed

    Ehrmann, Steffen; Liira, Jaan; Gärtner, Stefanie; Hansen, Karin; Brunet, Jörg; Cousins, Sara A O; Deconchat, Marc; Decocq, Guillaume; De Frenne, Pieter; De Smedt, Pallieter; Diekmann, Martin; Gallet-Moron, Emilie; Kolb, Annette; Lenoir, Jonathan; Lindgren, Jessica; Naaf, Tobias; Paal, Taavi; Valdés, Alicia; Verheyen, Kris; Wulf, Monika; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael

    2017-09-06

    The castor bean tick (Ixodes ricinus) transmits infectious diseases such as Lyme borreliosis, which constitutes an important ecosystem disservice. Despite many local studies, a comprehensive understanding of the key drivers of tick abundance at the continental scale is still lacking. We analyze a large set of environmental factors as potential drivers of I. ricinus abundance. Our multi-scale study was carried out in deciduous forest fragments dispersed within two contrasting rural landscapes of eight regions, along a macroclimatic gradient stretching from southern France to central Sweden and Estonia. We surveyed the abundance of I. ricinus, plant community composition, forest structure and soil properties and compiled data on landscape structure, macroclimate and habitat properties. We used linear mixed models to analyze patterns and derived the relative importance of the significant drivers. Many drivers had, on their own, either a moderate or small explanatory value for the abundance of I. ricinus, but combined they explained a substantial part of variation. This emphasizes the complex ecology of I. ricinus and the relevance of environmental factors for tick abundance. Macroclimate only explained a small fraction of variation, while properties of macro- and microhabitat, which buffer macroclimate, had a considerable impact on tick abundance. The amount of forest and the composition of the surrounding rural landscape were additionally important drivers of tick abundance. Functional (dispersules) and structural (density of tree and shrub layers) properties of the habitat patch played an important role. Various diversity metrics had only a small relative importance. Ontogenetic tick stages showed pronounced differences in their response. The abundance of nymphs and adults is explained by the preceding stage with a positive relationship, indicating a cumulative effect of drivers. Our findings suggest that the ecosystem disservices of tick-borne diseases, via the

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

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

  19. 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

  20. Genome scaffolding and annotation for the pathogen vector Ixodes ricinus by ultra-long single molecule sequencing.

    PubMed

    Cramaro, Wibke J; Hunewald, Oliver E; Bell-Sakyi, Lesley; Muller, Claude P

    2017-02-08

    Global warming and other ecological changes have facilitated the expansion of Ixodes ricinus tick populations. Ixodes ricinus is the most important carrier of vector-borne pathogens in Europe, transmitting viruses, protozoa and bacteria, in particular Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato), the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis, the most prevalent vector-borne disease in humans in the Northern hemisphere. To faster control this disease vector, a better understanding of the I. ricinus tick is necessary. To facilitate such studies, we recently published the first reference genome of this highly prevalent pathogen vector. Here, we further extend these studies by scaffolding and annotating the first reference genome by using ultra-long sequencing reads from third generation single molecule sequencing. In addition, we present the first genome size estimation for I. ricinus ticks and the embryo-derived cell line IRE/CTVM19. 235,953 contigs were integrated into 204,904 scaffolds, extending the currently known genome lengths by more than 30% from 393 to 516 Mb and the N50 contig value by 87% from 1643 bp to a N50 scaffold value of 3067 bp. In addition, 25,263 sequences were annotated by comparison to the tick's North American relative Ixodes scapularis. After (conserved) hypothetical proteins, zinc finger proteins, secreted proteins and P450 coding proteins were the most prevalent protein categories annotated. Interestingly, more than 50% of the amino acid sequences matching the homology threshold had 95-100% identity to the corresponding I. scapularis gene models. The sequence information was complemented by the first genome size estimation for this species. Flow cytometry-based genome size analysis revealed a haploid genome size of 2.65Gb for I. ricinus ticks and 3.80 Gb for the cell line. We present a first draft sequence map of the I. ricinus genome based on a PacBio-Illumina assembly. The I. ricinus genome was shown to be 26% (500 Mb) larger than the genome of its

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-20

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-09-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Rickettsial infection in ticks infesting wild birds from two eco-regions of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Flores, Fernando Sebastián; Costa, Francisco Borges; Nava, Santiago; Diaz, Luiz Adrián; Labruna, Marcelo Bahia

    2016-01-01

    Several tick-borne Rickettsia species are recognized human pathogens in Argentina. Here we evaluated rickettsial infection in ticks collected on passerine birds during 2011-2012 in two eco-regions of Argentina. The ticks were processed by molecular analysis through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection and DNA sequencing of fragments of two rickettsial genes, gltA and ompA. A total of 594 tick specimens (532 larvae and 62 nymphs), representing at least 4 species (Amblyomma tigrinum, Ixodes pararicinus, Haemaphysalis juxtakochi, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris), were evaluated. At least one A. tigrinum larva, collected on Coryphospingus cucullatus in Chaco Seco, was infected with Rickettsia parkeri, whereas at least 12 larvae and 1 nymph of I. pararicinus, collected from Troglodytes aedon, Turdus amaurochalinus, Turdus rufiventris, C. cucullatus and Zonotrichia capensis, were infected with an undescribed Rickettsia agent, genetically related to several rickettsial endosymbionts of ticks of the Ixodes ricinus complex. R. parkeri is a recognized human pathogen in several American countries including Argentina, where a recent study incriminated A. tigrinum as the potential vector of R. parkeri to humans. Birds could play an important role in dispersing R. parkeri-infected A. tigrinum ticks. Additionally, we report for the first time a rickettsial agent infecting I. pararicinus ticks.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-08-20

    en Peligro de Extinción. Comisión Nacional para el Cono- cimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad , Fondo de Cultura Económica, Instituto de Ecología, UNAM... Biodiversidad y Fondo de Cultura Económica, México, D. F. 981 pp. Chavarría, C.M. (1941) Garrapatas determinadas en México. Caracteres genéricos de las más...Campos, G. (2000) Biodiversidad de los ácaros en México. Fideicomiso Fondo para la Biodiver- sidad, México D. F., 230 pp. Hooker, W.A., Bishopp, F.C

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 81: 289- 298, 2010 Report Documentation Page Form ApprovedOMB No. 0704-0188 Public reporting burden for the collection...internal spur of coxa I overlapping anterior margin of coxa II .................I. tovari Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 80: 289- 298, 2010...Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 80: 289- 298, 2010 293 I with internal and external spurs about equal in length; coxae II-IV with small

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  2. The phylogenetic position of Ixodes stilesi Neumann, 1911 (Acari: Ixodidae): morphological and preliminary molecular evidences from 16S rDNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Guglielmone, Alberto A; Venzal, José M; González-Acuña, Daniel; Nava, Santiago; Hinojosa, Ana; Mangold, Atilio J

    2006-09-01

    The female of Ixodes stilesi Neumann, 1911 (Acari Ixodidae) is redescribed and the male and nymph are described from specimens collected from Pudu puda (Molina) (Artiodactyla: Cervidae) in Chile. Both sexes of I. stilesi have characteristics of the subgenera Ixodes Latreille, 1795 and Ixodiopsis Filippova, 1957. The females of I. stilesi are peculiar in having the combination of the sinuous scutum outline, rounded porose areas with distinct borders separated by the width of one area, slender and long palpi, and two subequal spurs on coxa I. The male is unique in having a combination of a posteriorly wrinkled marginal folder, a basis capituli longer than wide, a non-crenulate hypostome toothed portion, two spurs on coxa II to IV and the presence of a pseudoscutum. The nymph of I. stilesi has blunt anterior and posterior processes on palpal article I (characteristics of the subgenus Ixodiopsis and some Pholeoixodes Schulze, 1942) and a wing-shaped basis capituli with a prominent triangular cornua. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S mitochondrial rDNA sequences of 12 Neotropical and two Australian Ixodes species, plus three argasids, were carried out to clarify the position of I. stilesi. The results of phylogenetic analyses and morphological characters indicate a close relationships between I. stilesi and two other Neotropical species of uncertain subgeneric status, I. neuquenensis Ringuelet, 1947 and I. sigelos Keirans, Clifford & Corwin, 1976.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-30

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Wright, S A; Lane, R S; Clover, J R

    1998-11-01

    To investigate the reservoir potential of the southern alligator lizard, Elgaria multicarinata (Blainville), for the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner, 14 lizards were collected from 1 county on each side of the northern Central Valley of California. Seven animals were collected from a Placer County site (Drivers Flat) and a Yolo County site (Cache Creek) where B. burgdorferi had been isolated previously from Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls. Overall, the mean abundance of I. pacificus on all 14 lizards was 34.1 (range, 3-63) for larvae and 11.0 (range, 1-28) for nymphs. In captivity, field-attached I. pacificus larvae and nymphs required, on average, 12.6 (range, 1-37) and 14.4 (range, 5-44) d to feed to repletion, respectively. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi infection in host-seeking I. pacificus nymphs was 1.4% in Cache Creek Canyon and 9.9% in Drivers Flat. Attempts to isolate spirochetes from lizard blood or ticks that had fed on lizards and subsequently molted were unsuccessful as were efforts to cultivate spirochetes in lizard sera. These data suggest that the southern alligator lizard is not a competent reservoir for B. burgdorferi, although it is an important host for I. pacificus subadults.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bertrand, M R; Wilson, M L

    1997-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Slowik, T J; Lane, R S

    2001-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-29

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

  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. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. '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.

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

    PubMed

    Holland, C T

    2008-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is the most important viral tick-borne disease in Europe and can cause severe disease in humans. In Norway, human cases have been reported only from the southern coast. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks from the north-western part of Norway. A total of 4509 ticks were collected by flagging in May and June 2014. A subpopulation of 2220 nymphs and 162 adult ticks were analysed by real-time PCR and positive samples were confirmed by pyrosequencing. The estimated prevalence of TBEV was 3.08% among adult ticks from Sekken in Møre og Romsdal County and 0.41% among nymphs from both Hitra and Frøya in Sør-Trøndelag County. This study indicates that TBEV might be more widespread than the distribution of reported human cases suggests. © 2015 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Livanova, N N; Livanov, S G

    2006-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Leclerque, Andreas; Kleespies, Regina G

    2012-01-01

    Hard ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) are known to harbour intracellular bacteria from several phylogenetic groups that can develop both mutualistic and pathogenic relationships to the host. This is of particular importance for public health as tick derived bacteria can potentially be transmitted to mammals, including humans, where e.g. Rickettsia or Coxiella act as severe pathogens. Exact molecular taxonomic identification of tick associated prokaryotes is a necessary prerequisite of the investigation of their relationship to both the tick and possible vertebrate hosts. Previously, an intracellular bacterium had been isolated from a monosexual, parthenogenetically reproducing laboratory colony of females of the hard tick, Ixodes woodi Bishopp, and had preliminarily been characterized as a "Rickettsiella-related bacterium". In the present molecular taxonomic study that is based on phylogenetic reconstruction from both 16 S ribosomal RNA and protein-encoding marker sequences complemented with likelihood-based significance testing, the bacterium from I. woodi has been identified as a strain of the taxonomic species Rickettsiella grylli. It is the first time that a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) approach based on a four genes comprising MLST scheme has been implemented in order to classify a Rickettsiella-like bacterium to this species. The study demonstrated that MLST holds potential for a better resolution of phylogenetic relationships within the genus Rickettsiella, but requires sequence determination from further Rickettsiella-like bacteria in order to complete the current still fragmentary picture of Rickettsiella systematics.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Detection of Borrelia lusitaniae, Rickettsia sp. IRS3, Rickettsia monacensis, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Ixodes ricinus collected in Madeira Island, Portugal.

    PubMed

    de Carvalho, Isabel Lopes; Milhano, Natacha; Santos, Ana Sofia; Almeida, Victor; Barros, Silvia C; De Sousa, Rita; Núncio, Maria Sofia

    2008-08-01

    A total of 300 Ixodes ricinus ticks were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of Borrelia spp., Rickettsia spp., and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Sequence analysis demonstrated 8 (2.7%) ticks infected with B. lusitaniae, 60 (20%) with Rickettsia spp., and 1 (0.3%) with A. phagocytophilum. Seven (2.3%) ticks were coinfected with B. lusitaniae and Rickettsia spp., 2 (0.6%) with R. monacensis, and 5 (1.7%) with Rickettsia sp. IRS3. The results of this study suggest simultaneous transmission of multiple tick-borne agents on Madeira Island, Portugal.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-10-15

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

  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. The TICKPRO computer program for predicting Ixodes ricinus host-seeking activity and the warning system published on websites.

    PubMed

    Daniel, Milan; Vráblík, Tomás; Valter, Jaroslav; Kríz, Bohumír; Danielová, Vlasta

    2010-12-01

    The computer program with the acronym TICKPRO (tick prognosis) facilitates medium-range forecasts of the level of host-seeking activity in ticks within a 1-4 day horizon. The program is based on the medium-range weather forecast routinely produced at the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI), as well as on previously developed mathematical models describing the correlation of meteorological factors with the host-seeking activity of Ixodes ricinus. These models are based on a 6-year whole-season monitoring of I. ricinus host-seeking activity on experimental fields in the Central Bohemia Region in a typical habitat, oakhornbeam forest, where tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus and Borrelia burgdorferi s.str., B. afzelii, and B. garinii have been found. Meteorological data provided by the CHMI meteorological station in Prague-Libus were used, and during the development of the forecasting algorithm micrometeorological data have been collected directly at the tick monitoring sites under selected synoptic weather situations. In the TICKPRO program, the two most successful models utilized ambient air temperature, quantity of atmospheric precipitation, and relative air humidity. The prediction determines 5 levels of risk of attack according to the current proportion of host-seeking ticks, and thus determines the risk of TBE infection. The levels of risk defined by the TICKPRO program are supplemented by instructions on how to prepare oneself for entering sites with potential tick occurrence, how to move around once there, and how to behave on returning home. This warning system is weekly published on websites of National Institute of Public Health and CHMI, Prague, over entire season (March-November).

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  6. Prevalence of the Lyme Disease Spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in Blacklegged Ticks, Ixodes scapularis at Hamilton-Wentworth, Ontario

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease has emerged as a major health concern in Canada, where the etiological agent, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), a spirochetal bacterium, is typically spread by the bite of certain ticks. This study explores the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. in blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, collected at Dundas, Ontario (a locality within the region of Hamilton-Wentworth). Using passive surveillance, veterinarians and pet groomers were asked to collect blacklegged ticks from dogs and cats with no history of travel. Additionally, I. scapularis specimens were submitted from local residents and collected by flagging. Overall, 12 (41%) of 29 blacklegged ticks were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing, two borrelial amplicons were characterized as B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), a genospecies pathogenic to humans and certain domestic animals. Notably, three different vertebrate hosts each had two engorged I. scapularis females removed on the same day and, likewise, one cat had three repeat occurrences of this tick species. These multiple infestations suggest that a population of I. scapularis may be established in this area. The local public health unit has been underreporting the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected I. scapularis in the area encompassing Dundas. Our findings raise concerns about the need to erect tick warning signs in parkland areas. Veterinarians, medical professionals, public health officials, and the general public must be vigilant that Lyme disease-carrying blacklegged ticks pose a public health risk in the Dundas area and the surrounding Hamilton-Wentworth region. PMID:27226771

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. The integration of multiple independent data reveals an unusual response to Pleistocene climatic changes in the hard tick Ixodes ricinus.

    PubMed

    Porretta, Daniele; Mastrantonio, Valentina; Mona, Stefano; Epis, Sara; Montagna, Matteo; Sassera, Davide; Bandi, Claudio; Urbanelli, Sandra

    2013-03-01

    In the last few years, improved analytical tools and the integration of genetic data with multiple sources of information have shown that temperate species exhibited more complex responses to ice ages than previously thought. In this study, we investigated how Pleistocene climatic changes affected the current distribution and genetic diversity of European populations of the tick Ixodes ricinus, an ectoparasite with high ecological plasticity. We first used mitochondrial and nuclear genetic markers to investigate the phylogeographic structure of the species and its Pleistocene history using coalescent-based methods; then we used species distribution modelling to infer the climatic niche of the species at last glacial maximum; finally, we reviewed the literature on the I. ricinus hosts to identify the locations of their glacial refugia. Our results support the scenario that during the last glacial phase, I. ricinus never experienced a prolonged allopatric divergence in separate glacial refugia, but persisted with interconnected populations across Southern and Central Europe. The generalist behaviour in host choice of I. ricinus would have played a major role in maintaining connections between its populations. Although most of the hosts persisted in separate refugia, from the point of view of I. ricinus, they represented a continuity of 'bridges' among populations. Our study highlights the importance of species-specific ecology in affecting responses to Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles. Together with other cases in Europe and elsewhere, it contributes to setting new hypotheses on how species with wide ecological plasticity coped with Pleistocene climatic changes. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  18. Methodology for sampling questing nymphs of Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae), the principal vector of Lyme disease in Europe.

    PubMed

    Vassallo, M; Pichon, B; Cabaret, J; Figureau, C; Pérez-Eid, C

    2000-05-01

    To assess the Lyme borreliosis vector population density we set up a methodology for sampling the Ixodes ricinus L. population host questing on the vegetation. We focused on the collection of the nymphal stage, which is the principal stage of disease transmission to humans. This study was carried out in Rambouillet forest (Yvelines, France) where seven study areas were demarcated. These areas are maximally homogeneous for plant species using a finer scale than the phytosociological classification as defined by the method of landscape diagnostics. Out of 23 collections performed from March 1997 to May 1998, 2,906 I. ricinus nymphs were collected. The sampling technique chosen was the cloth lure technique. The technical parameters were studied and fixed (cloth type, cloth size, sample size, researcher position). It appeared that toweling was the best cloth type to optimize the number of ticks collected; the position of the researcher had no effect on tick samples. To satisfy the criteria for correct sampling, we studied representativity, randomness, and nonselectivity of our methodology. The spatial distribution of nymphs in a homogeneous area was close to random and thus very few subsamples were needed to obtain a relative density which was representative. No significant differences were found between random samples and following transect samples; and nonselectivity was totally satisfied because we only worked on questing nymphs. We grouped the samples that presented no significant differences to attribute a density index, which varied from 0 to 5. This methodology, applied with the same parameters, offers potential for producing comparable results from studies in different geographical areas and at different times of the years.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-03-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-05-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-18

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

  13. Integration of Ixodes ricinus genome sequencing with transcriptome and proteome annotation of the naïve midgut.

    PubMed

    Cramaro, Wibke J; Revets, Dominique; Hunewald, Oliver E; Sinner, Regina; Reye, Anna L; Muller, Claude P

    2015-10-28

    In Europe, Ixodes ricinus ticks are the most important vectors of diseases threatening humans, livestock, wildlife and companion animals. Nevertheless, genomic sequence information is missing and functional annotation of transcripts and proteins is limited. This lack of information is restricting studies of the vector and its interactions with pathogens and hosts. Here we present and integrate the first analysis of the I. ricinus genome with the transcriptome and proteome of the unfed I. ricinus midgut. Whole genome sequencing was performed on I. ricinus ticks and the sequences were de novo assembled. In parallel, I. ricinus ticks were dissected and the midgut transcriptome sequenced. Both datasets were integrated by transcript discovery analysis to identify putative genes and genome contigs were screened for homology. An alignment-based and a motif-search-based approach were combined for the annotation of the midgut transcriptome. Additionally, midgut proteins were identified and annotated by mass spectrometry with public databases and the in-house built transcriptome database as references and results were cross-validated. The de novo assembly of 1 billion DNA sequences to a reference genome of 393 Mb length provides an unprecedented insight into the I. ricinus genome. A homology search revealed sequences in the assembled genome contigs homologous to 89% of the I. scapularis genome scaffolds indicating coverage of most genome regions. We identified moreover 6,415 putative genes. More than 10,000 transcripts from naïve midgut were annotated with respect of predicted function and/or cellular localization. By combining an alignment-based with a motif-search-based annotation approach, we doubled the number of annotations throughout all functional categories. In addition, 574 gel spots were significantly identified by mass spectrometry (p<0.05) and 285 distinct proteins expressed in the naïve midgut were annotated functionally and/or for cellular localization. Our

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-15

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-24

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-13

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Piesman, Joseph

    2006-12-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Human behaviors elevating the risk of exposure to Ixodes ricinus larvae and nymphs in two types of lowland coniferous forests in west-central Poland.

    PubMed

    Wierzbicka, Anna; Rączka, Grzegorz; Skorupski, Maciej; Michalik, Jerzy; Lane, Robert S

    2016-10-01

    Ixodes ricinus L. is the commonest tick encountered by humans in Central Europe and the most important vector of tick-borne diseases (TBD) in Europe. Foresters represent a group at elevated risk of exposure to I. ricinus throughout Europe. Here, we employed an experimental design similar to one used previously to determine what behavioral factors heighten exposure to questing Ixodes pacificus nymphs in a hardwood forest in the far-western United States. Five activities were evaluated systematically in a coniferous forest and a mixed broadleaved forest in west-central Poland: (i) walking in low-cut running shoes; (ii) sitting atop logs; (iii) sitting on leaf litter; (iv) sitting against tree trunks; and (v) gathering firewood. In total, 540 I. ricinus ticks were collected (198 larvae, 327 nymphs, 15 adults) in spring and late summer. Many more ticks were collected in spring than in late summer, and in the mixed broadleaved forest versus the coniferous forest. The riskiest behavior for acquiring nymphs in both spring and late summer was gathering firewood, though sitting atop logs was nearly as perilous in late summer. In contrast, the riskiest behaviors for encountering larvae in spring and late summer were sitting against trunks and sitting on leaf litter, respectively. Pairwise comparisons revealed only two significant associations among the variables explored for the nymphs: season and human gender, and season and type of forest. For larval ticks, the most significant associations were gender and sitting behaviors and for type of forest and sitting on leaf litter or against tree trunks. The most commonly infested body region was the lower legs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    Gilmore, Robert D.; Brandt, Kevin S.

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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).

  17. Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) on wild birds in north-central Argentina.

    PubMed

    Flores, Fernando S; Nava, Santiago; Batallán, Gonzalo; Tauro, Laura B; Contigiani, Marta S; Diaz, Luis A; Guglielmone, Alberto A

    2014-10-01

    Ixodid ticks were collected from wild birds in five ecoregions in north-central Argentina, namely: Selva de las Yungas, Esteros del Iberá, Delta e Islas del Paraná, Selva Paranaense and Chaco Seco. A total of 2199 birds belonging to 139 species, 106 genera, 31 families and 11 orders were captured, but ticks were collected only from 121 birds (prevalence=5.5%) belonging to 39 species (28.1%) and three Orders: Tinamiformes (Tinamidae) and Falconiformes (Falconidae) in Selva de las Yungas and Passeriformes (Conopophagidae, Corvidae, Emberizidae, Furnariidae, Icteridae, Parulidae, Thamnophilidae, Thraupidae, Troglodytidae, Turdidae) for all ecoregions. The following tick species were found: Haemaphysalis juxtakochi, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, Ixodes pararicinus plus Amblyomma sp. and Haemaphysalis sp. in Selva de las Yungas; Amblyomma triste and Ixodes auritulus in Delta e Islas del Paraná; Amblyomma dubitatum, A. triste and Amblyomma sp. in Esteros del Iberá; Amblyomma ovale and Amblyomma sp. in Selva Paranaense, and Amblyomma tigrinum in Chaco Seco. Amblyomma dubitatum was found for the first time on Passeriformes, while the records of A. ovale on avian hosts are the first for Argentina. Birds are also new hosts for I. pararicinus females. Besides 2 larvae and 1 nymph, and 1 larvae found on Tinamidae (Tinamiformes) and Falconidae (Falconiformes), respectively, all other ticks (691 larvae, 74 nymphs and 2 females) were found on Passeriformes with a relevant contribution of the family Turdidae. Birds are important hosts for I. pararicinus as shown by a prevalence of 45% while all others prevalence were below 15%. All the species of Amblyomma and Haemaphysalis found on birds in Argentina have been also detected on humans and are proven or potential vectors for human diseases. Therefore, their avian hosts are probable reservoirs of human pathogens in Argentina. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  18. SNP-based real-time pyrosequencing as a sensitive and specific tool for identification and differentiation of Rickettsia species in Ixodes ricinus ticks

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Rickettsioses are caused by pathogenic species of the genus Rickettsia and play an important role as emerging diseases. The bacteria are transmitted to mammal hosts including humans by arthropod vectors. Since detection, especially in tick vectors, is usually based on PCR with genus-specific primers to include different occurring Rickettsia species, subsequent species identification is mainly achieved by Sanger sequencing. In the present study a real-time pyrosequencing approach was established with the objective to differentiate between species occurring in German Ixodes ticks, which are R. helvetica, R. monacensis, R. massiliae, and R. felis. Tick material from a quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) based study on Rickettsia-infections in I. ricinus allowed direct comparison of both sequencing techniques, Sanger and real-time pyrosequencing. Methods A sequence stretch of rickettsial citrate synthase (gltA) gene was identified to contain divergent single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) sites suitable for Rickettsia species differentiation. Positive control plasmids inserting the respective target sequence of each Rickettsia species of interest were constructed for initial establishment of the real-time pyrosequencing approach using Qiagen’s PSQ 96MA Pyrosequencing System operating in a 96-well format. The approach included an initial amplification reaction followed by the actual pyrosequencing, which is traceable by pyrograms in real-time. Afterwards, real-time pyrosequencing was applied to 263 Ixodes tick samples already detected Rickettsia-positive in previous qPCR experiments. Results Establishment of real-time pyrosequencing using positive control plasmids resulted in accurate detection of all SNPs in all included Rickettsia species. The method was then applied to 263 Rickettsia-positive Ixodes ricinus samples, of which 153 (58.2%) could be identified for their species (151 R. helvetica and 2 R. monacensis) by previous custom Sanger sequencing. Real

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Influence of abiotic and environmental factors on the density and infection prevalence of Ixodes pacificus (Acari:Ixodidae) with Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Swei, A; Meentemeyer, R; Briggs, C J

    2011-01-01

    The abiotic and biotic factors that govern the spatial distribution of Lyme disease vectors are poorly understood. This study addressed the influence of abiotic and biotic environmental variables on Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls (Acari:Ixodidae) nymphs, because it is the primary vector of Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmidt, Hyde, Steigerwaldt & Brenner in the far-western United States. Three metrics of Lyme disease risk were evaluated: the density of nymphs, the density of infected nymphs, and the nymphal infection prevalence. This study sampled randomly located plots in oak (Quercus spp.) woodland habitat in Sonoma County, CA. Each plot was drag-sampled for nymphal ticks and tested for B. burgdorferi infection. Path analysis was used to evaluate the direct and indirect relationship between topographic, forest structure and microclimatic variables on ticks. Significant negative correlations were found between maximum temperature in the dry season and the density of infected ticks in 2006 and tick density in 2007, but we did not find a significant relationship with nymphal infection prevalence in either year. Tick density and infected tick density had an indirect, positive correlation with elevation, mediated through temperature. This study found that in certain years but not others, temperature maxima in the dry season may constrain the density and density of infected I. pacificus nymphs. In other years, biotic or stochastic factors may play a more important role in determining tick density.

  2. Host-Seeking Phenology of Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) Nymphs in Northwestern California in Relation to Calendar Week, Woodland Type, and Weather Conditions.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Rebecca J; Clark, Rebecca J; Monaghan, Andrew J; Eisen, Lars; Delorey, Mark J; Beard, Charles B

    2017-01-01

    Local knowledge of when humans are at elevated risk for exposure to tick vectors of human disease agents is required both for the effective use of personal protection measures to avoid tick bites and for implementation of control measures to suppress host-seeking ticks. Here, we used previously published data on the seasonal density of host-seeking Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls nymphs, the primary vectors of Lyme disease spirochetes in the far western USA, collected across a broad habitat and climate gradient in northwestern California to identify predictors of periods of time within the year when questing nymphal density is elevated. Models based on calendar week alone performed similarly to models based on calendar week and woodland type, or meteorological variables. The most suitable model for a given application will depend on user objectives, timescale of interest, and the geographic extent of predictions. Our models sought not only to identify when seasonal host-seeking activity commences, but also when it diminishes to low levels. Overall, we report a roughly 5-7 month period in Mendocino County during which host-seeking nymphal densities exceed a low threshold value. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016 This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

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

    PubMed

    Stephenson, Nicole; Wong, Johnny; Foley, Janet

    2016-10-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Host-Seeking Phenology of Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) Nymphs in Northwestern California in Relation to Calendar Week, Woodland Type, and Weather Conditions.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Rebecca J; Clark, Rebecca J; Monaghan, Andrew J; Eisen, Lars; Delorey, Mark J; Beard, Charles B

    2016-10-05

    Local knowledge of when humans are at elevated risk for exposure to tick vectors of human disease agents is required both for the effective use of personal protection measures to avoid tick bites and for implementation of control measures to suppress host-seeking ticks. Here, we used previously published data on the seasonal density of host-seeking Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls nymphs, the primary vectors of Lyme disease spirochetes in the far western USA, collected across a broad habitat and climate gradient in northwestern California to identify predictors of periods of time within the year when questing nymphal density is elevated. Models based on calendar week alone performed similarly to models based on calendar week and woodland type, or meteorological variables. The most suitable model for a given application will depend on user objectives, timescale of interest, and the geographic extent of predictions. Our models sought not only to identify when seasonal host-seeking activity commences, but also when it diminishes to low levels. Overall, we report a roughly 5-7 month period in Mendocino County during which host-seeking nymphal densities exceed a low threshold value. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016 This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-26

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-28

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-03-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-06-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kramer, V L; Beesley, C

    1993-05-01

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

  4. Low intraspecific variation in the rRNA internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) of the Australian paralysis tick, Ixodes holocyclus.

    PubMed

    Shaw, M; Murrell, A; Barker, S C

    2002-03-01

    Ixodes holocyclus has a narrow, discontinuous distribution along the east coast of Australia. We studied ticks from 17 localities throughout the geographic range of this tick. The ITS2 of I. holocyclus is 793 bp long. We found nucleotide variation at eight of the 588 nucleotide positions (1.4%) that were compared for all ticks. There were eight different nucleotide sequences. Most sequences were not restricted to a particular geographic region. However, sequences F, G and H, which had an adenine at position 197, were found only in the far north of Queensland--all other ticks had a guanine at this position. The low level of intraspecific variation in this tick (0.7%) contrasts with the sequence divergence between I. holocyclus and its close relative, I. cornuatus (13.1%). These data indicate that I. holocyclus does not contain cryptic species despite possible geographic isolation of some populations. We conclude that variation in the ITS2 is likely to be informative about the phylogeny of the group.

  5. Evaluation of microbial communities and symbionts in Ixodes ricinus and ungulate hosts (Cervus elaphus and Ovis aries) from shared habitats on the west coast of Norway.

    PubMed

    Granquist, Erik G; Kristiansson, Malin; Lindgren, Per-Eric; Matussek, Andreas; Nødtvedt, Ane; Okstad, Wenche; Stuen, Snorre

    2014-10-01

    Recent reports suggest a potential for transmission of a newly discovered rickettsial endosymbiont, Midichloria mitochondrii, to animals and humans from feeding ticks (Ixodes ricinus). Using molecular methods; I. ricinus, sheep and red deer in Anaplasma phagocytophilum-endemic areas of Norway, were examined to see if they were infected by M. mitochondrii or related organisms like Wolbachia pipientis and Rickettsia spp. A total of 532 ticks collected from pastures, 76 blood samples from grazing lambs and 12 organ samples from hunted deer, were analyzed during the study. All larval pools, 60.4% pooled nymphs and 35.1% of adult ticks were positive for M. mitochondrii. There was a significant difference between geographical areas in the prevalence of M. mitochondrii infection among nymphs. A total of 2.2% pooled nymphs and 5.3% adult ticks were positive for A. phagocytophilum. Eleven percent of pooled nymphs were positive for Borrelia spp, 2.2% of pooled nymphs and 3.5% of adult ticks were positive for Rickettsia spp. and none of the ticks were positive for W. pipientis. The prevalence of A. phagocytophilum infection was 54% and 75% in grazing lambs and deer, respectively. No animals were positive for Borrelia spp., M. mitochondrii, Rickettsia spp. or W. pipientis. The reported findings suggest that M. mitochondrii is widespread in tick populations at different geographical sites, and may appear in co-infection with A. phagocytophilum, Borrelia spp. and Rickettsia spp. in ticks. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  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. 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. © 2015 The Royal Entomological Society.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. ParaDIS_lib

    SciTech Connect

    Cook, Richard D.

    2016-05-25

    The ParaDIS_lib software is a project that is funded by the DOE ASC Program. Its purpose is to provide visualization and analysis capabilities for the existing ParaDIS parallel dislocation dynamics simulation code.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. A Systems Level Analysis Reveals Transcriptomic and Proteomic Complexity in Ixodes Ricinus Midgut and Salivary Glands During Early Attachment and Feeding*

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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