Disparity in the natural cycles of Borrelia burgdorferi and the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis.
We studied the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi and the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) among questing nymphal and adult Ixodes scapularis ticks of the same generation and the infectivity of wild white-footed mice for ticks feeding on them. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi infection in host-seeking ticks increased less than twofold from nymphal (31% to 33%) to adult (52% to 56%) stage, and 52% of white-footed mice were infected. Prevalence of the agent of HGE increased 4.5- to 10.6-fold from nymphal (1.5% to 1.8%) to adult stage (7.6% to 19.0%), while only 18% of mice were infectious to ticks. B. burgdorferi infection was more common in mouse-fed ticks than in ticks collected from vegetation, whereas the agent of HGE was half as common in mouse-fed ticks as in ticks collected from vegetation. The different prevalence in nature of these pathogens in ticks suggests that their maintenance cycles are also different. (+info)
Development of Babesia gibsoni in the midgut of the nymphal stage of the tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus.
Studies were made on the development of Babesia gibsoni in the midgut of the nymphal stage of the tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Six hr after repletion, merozoites of B. gibsoni, free of erythrocytes, were observed in the midgut contents of the ticks. After that, within 24 hr, those merozoites were transformed into ring-forms which were relatively large ring 1-2 microns in diameter. Later, the ring forms developed into spherical forms which were somewhat elliptical in shape and 3-4 microns in diameter. Within 2-4 days, bizarre forms (5-6 microns in diameter) developed into elongated forms (5-6 microns in length). About 5-6 days after repletion, large round or elliptic zygotes (7-9 microns in diameter) were observed in the ticks gut. (+info)
Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes ricinus ticks (Acari, Ixodidae) in different Polish woodlands.
In 1996-1998, a total of 2285 Ixodes ricinus ticks (1063 nymphs, 637 males, 585 females) were collected from vegetation from 25 different localities in the 8 Polish provinces throughout the country. Ticks inhabited all 25 collection sites. The average number of ticks per collection site was 91.4 +/- 13.7. All 2285 ticks were examined for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) presence, of which 1333 specimens from 3 provinces were tested by routine indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) using polyclonal antibody PAB 1B29. The remaining 952 specimens from 5 provinces were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), using FL6 and FL7 primers. The overall infection rate in ticks estimated by these 2 methods was 10. 2%. Nymphs showed lower positivity rate (6.2%) as compared to adult ticks (14.9% in females and 12.4% in males). The highest percentage of infected I. ricinus ticks (37.5%) was noted in the Katowice province while the lowest (4.1%) in the Bia ystok province. In particular collection sites, infection rates varied from 0-37.5%. The obtained results confirmed that B. burgdorferi s.l. is present throughout the distributional areas of I. ricinus in Poland and that a prevalence of spirochete-infected ticks may be high in some locations. (+info)
Inter-specific and developmental differences on the array of antennal chemoreceptors in four species of Triatominae (Hemiptera: reduviidae).
The aim of the work was to investigate the pattern of chemoreceptor sensilla in adults and fifth stage nymphs of Rhodnius prolixus, R. neglectus, Triatoma infestans and T. sordida in order to study differences and similarities between genera and species. Three types of sensilla were analyzed by light microscopy: thin-walled trichoidea, thick-walled trichoidea and basiconica. The number of sensilla of each three types were counted. The length of the antennal segments were also used as a variable for the analysis. The statistical analysis showed that the number of these antennal chemoreceptors had significant differences between species and between adults and nymphs of each species. Discriminant analysis separates incompletely the fifth stage nymphs of the four species and showed similarity between them. Discriminant analysis performed with 12 variables of the antennae, allowed a complete separation of the adults of the four species. (+info)
Prevalence of Lyme disease Borrelia spp. in ticks from migratory birds on the Japanese mainland.
Borrelia sp. prevalence in ticks on migratory birds was surveyed in central Japan. In autumn, a total of 1,733 birds representing 40 species were examined for ticks. A total of 361 ticks were obtained from 173 birds of 15 species, and these ticks were immature Haemaphysalis flava (94.4%), Haemaphysalis longicornis, Ixodes columnae, Ixodes persulcatus, Ixodes turdus, and an unidentified Ixodes species. Of these, 27 juveniles of H. flava on Turdus pallidus, Turdus cardis, or Emberiza spodocephala, 2 juveniles of I. persulcatus on T. pallidus, and 1 female H. flava molted from a T. pallidus-derived nymph were positive for the presence of Borrelia by Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly culture passages. In spring, a total of 16 ticks obtained from 102 birds of 21 species were negative for the spirochete. Isolates from 15 ticks were characterized by 5S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis; all isolates were identified as Borrelia garinii with pattern B/B' based on the previous patterning. According to the intergenic spacer sequences, 2 of 15 isolates, strains Fi14f and Fi24f, were highly similar to B. garinii strains 935T of Korea and ChY13p of Inner Mongolia, China, respectively. These findings indicate that Lyme disease-causing B. garinii may have been introduced to Japan by migratory birds from northeastern China via Korea. Additionally, a case of transstadial transmission of B. garinii from nymph to adult H. flava suggests that the infected H. flava may transmit Borrelia to large animals. (+info)
Acquisition of coinfection and simultaneous transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi and Ehrlichia phagocytophila by Ixodes scapularis ticks.
The agents of Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia phagocytophila) are both transmitted by the tick Ixodes scapularis. In nature, ticks are often infected with both agents simultaneously. We studied whether previous infection with either Borrelia or Ehrlichia in ticks would affect acquisition and transmission of a second pathogen. Ehrlichia-infected I. scapularis nymphs were fed upon Borrelia-infected mice, and Borrelia-infected I. scapularis nymphs were fed upon Ehrlichia-infected mice. The efficiency with which previously infected nymphal ticks acquired a second pathogen from infected hosts was compared to that of uninfected ticks. An average of 51% +/- 15% of ticks acquired Ehrlichia from infected mice regardless of their prior infection status with Borrelia. An average of 85% +/- 10% of ticks acquired Borrelia from infected mice regardless of their prior infection status with Ehrlichia. Also, we assessed the efficiency with which individual nymphs could transmit either agent alone, or both agents simultaneously, to individual susceptible hosts. An average of 76% +/- 9% of Borrelia-infected ticks and 84% +/- 10% of Ehrlichia-infected ticks transmitted these agents to mice regardless of the presence of the other pathogen. There was no evidence of interaction between the agents of Lyme disease and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis in I. scapularis ticks. The presence of either agent in the ticks did not affect acquisition of the other agent from an infected host. Transmission of the agents of Lyme disease and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis by individual ticks was equally efficient and independent. Dually infected ticks transmitted each pathogen to susceptible hosts as efficiently as ticks infected with only one pathogen. (+info)
Nuclear phenotype changes after heat shock in Panstrongylus megistus (Burmeister).
The nuclear phenotypes of Malpighian tubule epithelial cells of male nymphs of the blood-sucking insect, Panstrongylus megistus, subjected to short- and long-duration heat shocks at 40oC were analyzed immediately after the shock and 10 and 30 days later. Normal nuclei with a usual heterochromatic body as well as phenotypes indicative of survival (unravelled heterochromatin, giants) and death (apoptosis, necrosis) responses were observed in control and treated specimens. However, all nuclear phenotypes, except the normal ones, were more frequent in shocked specimens. Similarly altered phenotypes have also been reported in Triatoma infestans following heat shock, although at different frequencies. The frequency of the various nuclear phenotypes observed in this study suggests that the forms of cell survival observed were not sufficient or efficient enough to protect all of the Malpighian tubule cells from the deleterious effects of stress. In agreement with studies on P. megistus survival following heat shock, only long-duration shock produced strongly deleterious effects. (+info)
Genetic characteristics of Borrelia coriaceae isolates from the soft tick Ornithodoros coriaceus (Acari: Argasidae).
Two Borrelia isolates (CA434 and CA435) cultured from the soft tick Ornithodoros coriaceus were analyzed by contour-clamped homogeneous electric field gel electrophoresis of unrestricted and ApaI-restricted DNA, standard electrophoresis of BamHI- and HindIII-restricted DNA, Southern hybridization, restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and amplification of the 5S-23S intergenic spacer region. These isolates were compared with Borrelia coriaceae type strain Co53, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto strain CA4, and the relapsing-fever spirochete B. parkeri (undesignated). The 16S rRNA region of CA434 and CA435 differed from that of B. coriaceae type strain Co53 by the presence of 1 base (C) at position 367 (GenBank accession no. U42286). The linear plasmid profile of CA434 was similar to that of Co53, and the ApaI, BamHI, and HindIII restriction fingerprints of the total cellular DNA of CA434 and Co53 were similar. In contrast, CA435 differed somewhat from CA434 and Co53, which demonstrates that B. coriaceae is genetically diverse. Southern hybridization showed that the DNAs of CA434 and CA435 hybridized strongly with the digoxigenin-labeled DNA of Co53. Low homology was found between the DNA of Co53 and that of B. parkeri. The 16S rRNA sequence of B. parkeri was identical to previously published results for B. parkeri strain M3001 (GenBank accession number U42296). CA434 and CA435 represent only the second and third isolates of B. coriaceae obtained from any source since its initial isolation from an O. coriaceus tick in 1985. All three B. coriaceae isolates were derived from adult ticks collected from the same locality in northwestern California. Difficulties encountered in detecting B. coriaceae in, and isolating this spirochete from, the tissues of O. coriaceus are discussed. The lack of concordance between different detection or isolation methods suggests that reliance upon a single technique may grossly underestimate the true prevalence of spirochetal infection in wild-caught O. coriaceus ticks. (+info)