Transovarial transmission of Francisella-Like endosymbionts and Anaplasma phagocytophilum Variants in Dermacentor albipictus (Acari

Ixodidae)

Gerald D Baldridge, Glen A. Scoles, Nicole Y. Burkhardt, Brian Schloeder, Timothy J Kurtti, Ulrike G Munderloh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dermacentor albipictus (Packard) is a North American tick that feeds on cervids and livestock. It is a suspected vector of anaplasmosis in cattle, but its microbial flora and vector potential remain underevaluated. We screened D. albipictus ticks collected from Minnesota white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) for bacteria of the genera Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Francisella, and Rickettsia using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) gene amplification and sequence analyses. We detected Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Francisella-like endosymbionts (FLEs) in nymphal and adult ticks of both sexes at 45 and 94% prevalences, respectively. The A. phagocytophilum and FLEs were transovarially transmitted to F 1 larvae by individual ticks at efficiencies of 10-40 and 95-100%, respectively. The FLEs were transovarially transmitted to F 2 larvae obtained as progeny of adults from F 1 larval ticks reared to maturity on a calf, but A. phagocytophilum were not. Based on PCR and tissue culture inoculation assays, A. phagocytophilum and FLEs were not transmitted to the calf. The amplified FLE 16S rRNA gene sequences were identical to that of an FLE detected in a D. albipictus from Texas, whereas those of the A. phagocytophilum were nearly identical to those of probable human-nonpathogenic A. phagocytophilum WI-1 and WI-2 variants detected in white-tailed deer from central Wisconsin. However, the D. albipictus A. phagocytophilum sequences differed from that of the nonpathogenic A. phagocytophilum variant-1 associated with Ixodes scapularis ticks and white-tailed deer as well as that of the human-pathogenic A. phagocytophilum ha variant associated with 7. scapularis and the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus. The transovarial transmission of A. phagocytophilum variants in Dermacentor ticks suggests that maintenance of A. phagocytophilum in nature may not be solely dependent on horizontal transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-632
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of medical entomology
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2009

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Francisella
Dermacentor albipictus
Anaplasma phagocytophilum
Dermacentor
transovarial transmission
Ixodidae
endosymbionts
Acari
Ticks
ticks
Odocoileus virginianus
Deer
Peromyscus
Peromyscus leucopus
polymerase chain reaction
Larva
Anaplasma
Ehrlichia
Anaplasmosis
calves

Keywords

  • Anaplasma
  • Francisella-hke
  • Ixodid tick
  • Transovarial transmission

Cite this

Transovarial transmission of Francisella-Like endosymbionts and Anaplasma phagocytophilum Variants in Dermacentor albipictus (Acari : Ixodidae). / Baldridge, Gerald D; Scoles, Glen A.; Burkhardt, Nicole Y.; Schloeder, Brian; Kurtti, Timothy J; Munderloh, Ulrike G.

In: Journal of medical entomology, Vol. 46, No. 3, 01.05.2009, p. 625-632.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Dermacentor albipictus (Packard) is a North American tick that feeds on cervids and livestock. It is a suspected vector of anaplasmosis in cattle, but its microbial flora and vector potential remain underevaluated. We screened D. albipictus ticks collected from Minnesota white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) for bacteria of the genera Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Francisella, and Rickettsia using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) gene amplification and sequence analyses. We detected Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Francisella-like endosymbionts (FLEs) in nymphal and adult ticks of both sexes at 45 and 94{\%} prevalences, respectively. The A. phagocytophilum and FLEs were transovarially transmitted to F 1 larvae by individual ticks at efficiencies of 10-40 and 95-100{\%}, respectively. The FLEs were transovarially transmitted to F 2 larvae obtained as progeny of adults from F 1 larval ticks reared to maturity on a calf, but A. phagocytophilum were not. Based on PCR and tissue culture inoculation assays, A. phagocytophilum and FLEs were not transmitted to the calf. The amplified FLE 16S rRNA gene sequences were identical to that of an FLE detected in a D. albipictus from Texas, whereas those of the A. phagocytophilum were nearly identical to those of probable human-nonpathogenic A. phagocytophilum WI-1 and WI-2 variants detected in white-tailed deer from central Wisconsin. However, the D. albipictus A. phagocytophilum sequences differed from that of the nonpathogenic A. phagocytophilum variant-1 associated with Ixodes scapularis ticks and white-tailed deer as well as that of the human-pathogenic A. phagocytophilum ha variant associated with 7. scapularis and the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus. The transovarial transmission of A. phagocytophilum variants in Dermacentor ticks suggests that maintenance of A. phagocytophilum in nature may not be solely dependent on horizontal transmission.",
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AB - Dermacentor albipictus (Packard) is a North American tick that feeds on cervids and livestock. It is a suspected vector of anaplasmosis in cattle, but its microbial flora and vector potential remain underevaluated. We screened D. albipictus ticks collected from Minnesota white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) for bacteria of the genera Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Francisella, and Rickettsia using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) gene amplification and sequence analyses. We detected Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Francisella-like endosymbionts (FLEs) in nymphal and adult ticks of both sexes at 45 and 94% prevalences, respectively. The A. phagocytophilum and FLEs were transovarially transmitted to F 1 larvae by individual ticks at efficiencies of 10-40 and 95-100%, respectively. The FLEs were transovarially transmitted to F 2 larvae obtained as progeny of adults from F 1 larval ticks reared to maturity on a calf, but A. phagocytophilum were not. Based on PCR and tissue culture inoculation assays, A. phagocytophilum and FLEs were not transmitted to the calf. The amplified FLE 16S rRNA gene sequences were identical to that of an FLE detected in a D. albipictus from Texas, whereas those of the A. phagocytophilum were nearly identical to those of probable human-nonpathogenic A. phagocytophilum WI-1 and WI-2 variants detected in white-tailed deer from central Wisconsin. However, the D. albipictus A. phagocytophilum sequences differed from that of the nonpathogenic A. phagocytophilum variant-1 associated with Ixodes scapularis ticks and white-tailed deer as well as that of the human-pathogenic A. phagocytophilum ha variant associated with 7. scapularis and the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus. The transovarial transmission of A. phagocytophilum variants in Dermacentor ticks suggests that maintenance of A. phagocytophilum in nature may not be solely dependent on horizontal transmission.

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