Comparative vertical transmission of Rickettsia by Dermacentor variabilis and Amblyomma maculatum
JournalTicks and Tick-borne Diseases
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AbstractThe geographical overlap of multiple Rickettsia and tick species coincides with the molecular detection of a variety of rickettsial agents in what may be novel tick hosts. However, little is known concerning transmissibility of rickettsial species by various tick hosts. To examine the vertical transmission potential between select tick and rickettsial species, two sympatric species of ticks, Dermacentor variabilis and Amblyomma maculatum, were exposed to five different rickettsial species, including Rickettsia rickettsii, Rickettsia parkeri, Rickettsia montanensis, Rickettsia amblyommatis, or flea-borne Rickettsia felis. Fitness-related metrics including engorgement weight, egg production index, nutrient index, and egg hatch percentage were then assessed. Subsamples of egg clutches and unfed larvae, nymphs, and adults for each cohort were assessed for transovarial and transstadial transmission of rickettsiae by qPCR. Rickettsial exposure had a minimal fitness effect in D. variabilis and transovarial transmission was observed for all groups except R. rickettsii. In contrast, rickettsial exposure negatively influenced A. maculatum fitness and transovarial transmission of rickettsiae was demonstrated only for R. amblyommatis- and R. parkeri-exposed ticks. Sustained maintenance of rickettsiae via transstadial transmission was diminished from F1 larvae to F1 adults in both tick species. The findings of this study suggest transovarial transmission specificity may not be tick species dependent, and sustained vertical transmission is not common. Copyright 2017 The Authors
SponsorsThis work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [AI077784, AI017828, and AI043006].
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttps://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85018637501&doi=10.1016%2fj.ttbdis.2017.04.003&partnerID=40&md5=b774c8b4fb36f259f5da7c4b021175e3; http://hdl.handle.net/10713/9970