Ticks parasitizing gallinaceous birds in Canada and first record of Borrelia burgdorferi-infected Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) from California Quail

Systematic & Applied Acarology 21(1): 1–12 (2016)
http://doi.org/10.11158/saa.21.1.1

JOHN D. SCOTT, JOHN F. ANDERSON, LANCE A. DURDEN, MORGAN L. SMITH, JODI M. MANORD & KERRY L. CLARK

Abstract
In far-western Canada, gallinaceous birds are hosts of hard ticks (Ixodida: Ixodidae) that can carry zoonotic pathogens. In this study, we collected the avian coastal tick, Ixodes auritulus Neumann, the western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls, and Ixodes spinipalpis Hadwen & Nuttall, from gallinaceous birds on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Notably, we provide the first records of these three tick species on California Quail, Callipepla californica (Shaw), in Canada. We document the first records of I. auritulus parasitizing Sooty Grouse, Dendragapus fulginosis (Ridway). Moreover, we furnish the first report of I. spinipalpis on a quail. An I. pacificus nymph was collected from a California Quail, and it was positive for the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner. Using PCR on the nymphal extract and DNA sequencing on the borrelial amplicon, we specifically detected B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), a genospecies pathogenic to humans and certain domestic animals. Since some ground-dwelling birds are involved in the enzootic maintenance of Lyme disease, veterinarians, wildlife rehabilitators, hunters, and health-care providers should bevigilant that gallinaceous birds may play a role in the enzootic transmission of B. burgdorferi s.l. in Canada.

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