Population Health & Reproduction
Non Technical Summary
The merit of this proposal relates to demonstrating the role of ticks as vectors of Bartonella. It will have broad implications, as ticks are one of the most important arthropod vectors infecting animals and humans. Demonstrating the vector competency of ticks will also lead to appropriate recommendations for prevention and control of these emerging zoonotic pathogens.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories
Goals / Objectives
Objectives are to 1) demonstrate that B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii is present and viable in tick feces, 2)can be transmitted trans-stadially (nymphs to adults) and 3) to experimentally establish the role of tick feces and crushed salivary glands in the transmission of B. v. berkhoffii to dogs.
Rhipicephalus sanguineus nymphs and adults (60 males and 60 females) will be fed artificially on mouse or rabbit skin with dog blood infected with V. vinsonii berkhoffii. Tick feces will be collected once a day until tick detachment and the feces will be divided into 3 equal aliquots. After the ticks are fully engorged, 30 randomly selected female ticks will have their capitulum separated from the rest of their body. These capitula will then be combined into 3 equal batches and crushed using a sterile pestle. An aliquot of each crushed batch will be tested by PCR for detection of B.V. berkhoffii and also inoculated into a liquid enrichment medium to determine viability of the bacteria. As negative controls, 25 nymphs and 30 adults (15 males and 15 females) will be fed on non-infected canine blood and analyzed by PCR for the presence of B. Vinsonii berkhoffii.