Pabbati Namrata, Jamie M. Miller, Madari Shilpa, Patlolla Raghavender Reddy, Cheryl Bandoski, Michael J. Rossi and Eva Sapi
Veterinary Sciences, 2014, 1(1), 5-15.
It was recently demonstrated that the lone star tick Amblyomma americanum could harbor filarial nematodes within the genus Acanthocheilonema. In this study, Ixodes scapularis (deer) ticks collected from Southern Connecticut were evaluated for their potential to harbor filarial nematodes.
Non-engorged nymphal and adult stage Ixodes scapularis ticks were collected in Southern Connecticut using the standard drag method. In situ hybridization with filarial nematode specific
sequences demonstrated the presence of filarial nematodes in Ixodes ticks.
Filarial nematode specific DNA sequences were amplified and confirmed by direct sequencing in Ixodes nymphal and adult ticks using either general filarial nematode or Onchocercidae family specific PCR primers. Phylogenetic analysis of the 12S rDNA gene sequence indicated that the filarial nematode infecting Ixodes scapularis ticks is most closely related to the species found in Amblyoma americanum ticks and belongs to the genus of Acanthocheilonema.
Our data also demonstrated that infection rate of these filarial nematode in Ixodes ticks is relatively high (about 22% and 30% in nymphal and adult Ixodes ticks, respectively). In summary, the results from our studies demonstrated that filarial nematode infection was found in Ixodes ticks similar to what has been found in Amblyomma americanum ticks.