Duration of antibodies against 24 kd protein of Rhipicephalus sanguineus extract in dogs infested with the adult ticks.
A 24 kd protein from Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Rs24p) which was common to larvae, nymphs, male and female whole body and salivary gland extract of males and female was detected specifically in the serum from dogs after repeated infestation with adult R. sanguineus. The duration of antibodies against Rs24p in dogs infested with adults was examined by Western blotting analysis. Anti-Rs24p antibody was detected in two of 4 dogs during the period of 40 days in the first infestation. In the second infestation, all dogs showed positive reaction against Rs24p, but the duration of the antibodies varied greatly among the animals. (+info)
Molecular characterization of a Haemaphysalis longicornis tick salivary gland-associated 29-kilodalton protein and its effect as a vaccine against tick infestation in rabbits.
The use of tick vaccines in mammalian hosts has been shown to be the most promising alternative tick control method to current use of acaricides, which suffers from a number of limitations. However, the success of this method is dependent on the identification, cloning, and in vitro expression of tick molecules involved in the mediation of key physiological roles with respect to the biological success of a tick as a vector and pest. We have sequenced and characterized a Haemaphysalis longicornis tick salivary gland-associated cDNA coding for a 29-kDa extracellular matrix-like protein. This protein is expressed in both unfed and fed immature and mature H. longicornis ticks. The predicted amino acid sequence of p29 shows high homology to sequences of some known extracellular matrix like-proteins with the structural conservation similar to all known collagen proteins. Immunization with the recombinant p29 conferred a significant protective immunity in rabbits, resulting in reduced engorgement weight for adult ticks and up to 40 and 56% mortality in larvae and nymphs that fed on the immunized rabbits. We speculate that this protein is associated with formation of tick cement, a chemical compound that enables the tick to remain attached to the host, and suggest a role for p29 as a candidate tick vaccine molecule for the control of ticks. We have discussed our findings with respect to the search of tick molecules for vaccine candidates. (+info)
Successive tick infestations selectively promote a T-helper 2 cytokine profile in mice.
Several studies have revealed that T lymphocytes and cytokines play a crucial role in determining the outcome of parasitic infections in terms of protective immunity. In this study we found that Rhipicephalus sanguineus tick saliva stimulates transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), and reduces interleukin-12 (IL-12) secretion by cells from normal C3H/HeJ mice. Moreover, murine lymph node cells harvested 6 days after the fourth infestation with ticks presented an 82.4% decrease in their proliferative response to concanavalin A (Con A) compared with the response of control cells. In addition, lymph node cells cultured in the presence of Con A showed a T-helper 2-type (Th2-type) cytokine profile, represented by augmented IL-4 and IL-10 and TGF-beta. On the other hand, the IL-2, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and IL-12 synthesis was significantly inhibited. These results indicate that ticks may modulate the host's immune response through saliva injection. Considering that C3H/HeJ mice develop no protective immunity to R. sanguineus infestation, our results suggest that tick-induced Th2-type cytokines and a decreased proliferative response probably lead the host to a susceptible state to both tick and tick-transmitted pathogens. (+info)
Longitudinal study of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi in a population of Peromyscus leucopus at a Lyme disease-enzootic site in Maryland.
The maintenance of Borrelia burgdorferi in a population of Peromyscus leucopus was investigated from 202 mark and recapture mice and 61 mice that were removed from a site in Baltimore County, Maryland. Borrelia burgdorferi infection was detected by culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of ear tissue, and exposure to the spirochete was quantified by serology. Overall prevalence of B. burgdorferi, as determined by culture and PCR of ear tissue at first capture, was 25% in the longitudinal sample and 42% in the cross-sectional sample. Significantly more juvenile mice were captured in the longitudinal sample (18%) than in the cross-sectional sample (0%). Among 36 captured juvenile mice, only one was infected with B. burgdorferi; this contributed to a significant trend for infection with B. burgdorferi with age. Recovery from infection with B. burgdorferi was not detected among 77 mice followed for an average of 160 days. The incidence rate of infection with B. burgdorferi was 10 times greater in mice captured during two periods of high risk of exposure to nymphal Ixodes scapularis ticks compared with a period of low risk. Maintenance of B. burgdorferi in this population was dependent on indirect transmission of the organism from infected ticks to susceptible mice and development of chronic infection with the spirochete, which had no measurable effect on the survival of infected mice. (+info)
African swine fever virus replication in the midgut epithelium is required for infection of Ornithodoros ticks.
Although the Malawi Lil20/1 (MAL) strain of African swine fever virus (ASFV) was isolated from Ornithodoros sp. ticks, our attempts to experimentally infect ticks by feeding them this strain failed. Ten different collections of Ornithodorus porcinus porcinus ticks and one collection of O. porcinus domesticus ticks were orally exposed to a high titer of MAL. At 3 weeks postinoculation (p.i.), <25% of the ticks contained detectable virus, with viral titers of <4 log(10) 50% hemadsorbing doses/ml. Viral titers declined to undetectability in >90% of the ticks by 5 weeks p.i. To further study the growth defect, O. porcinus porcinus ticks were orally exposed to MAL and assayed at regular intervals p.i. Whole-tick viral titers dramatically declined (>1,000-fold) between 2 and 6 days p.i., and by 18 days p.i., viral titers were below the detection limit. In contrast, viral titers of ticks orally exposed to a tick-competent ASFV isolate, Pretoriuskop/96/4/1 (Pr4), increased 10-fold by 10 days p.i. and 50-fold by 14 days p.i. Early viral gene expression, but not extensive late gene expression or viral DNA synthesis, was detected in the midguts of ticks orally exposed to MAL. Ultrastructural analysis demonstrated that progeny virus was rarely present in ticks orally exposed to MAL and, when present, was associated with extensive cytopathology of phagocytic midgut epithelial cells. To determine if viral replication was restricted only in the midgut epithelium, parenteral inoculations into the hemocoel were performed. With inoculation by this route, a persistent infection was established although a delay in generalization of MAL was detected and viral titers in most tissues were typically 10- to 1,000-fold lower than those of ticks injected with Pr4. MAL was detected in both the salivary secretion and coxal fluid following feeding but less frequently and at a lower titer compared to Pr4. Transovarial transmission of MAL was not detected after two gonotrophic cycles. Ultrastructural analysis demonstrated that, when injected, MAL replicated in a number of cell types but failed to replicate in midgut epithelial cells. In contrast, ticks injected with Pr4 had replicating virus in midgut epithelial cells. Together, these results indicate that MAL replication is restricted in midgut epithelial cells. This finding demonstrates the importance of viral replication in the midgut for successful ASFV infection of the arthropod host. (+info)
Tick paralysis: 33 human cases in Washington State, 1946-1996.
Tick paralysis is a preventable cause of illness and death that, when diagnosed promptly, requires simple, low-cost intervention (tick removal). We reviewed information on cases of tick paralysis that were reported to the Washington State Department of Health (Seattle) during 1946-1996. Thirty-three cases of tick paralysis were identified, including 2 in children who died. Most of the patients were female (76%), and most cases (82%) occurred in children aged <8 years. Nearly all cases with information on site of probable exposure indicated exposure east of the Cascade Mountains. Onset of illness occurred from March 14 to June 22. Of the 28 patients for whom information regarding hospitalization was available, 54% were hospitalized. Dermacentor andersoni was consistently identified when information on the tick species was reported. This large series of cases of tick paralysis demonstrates the predictable epidemiology of this disease. Improving health care provider awareness of tick paralysis could help limit morbidity and mortality due to this disease. (+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)