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Avian hosts of Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) and the detection of Borrelia burgdorferi in larvae feeding on the Oregon junco.

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Abstract

Larval and nymphal western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls (Acari: Ixodidae), were collected from birds, rodents, and lizards at Quail Ridge Reserve located in Napa County in northwestern California. Species from three vertebrate classes were sampled simultaneously from two transects during two consecutive spring seasons. Feeding larval and nymphal ticks were removed and preserved for counting, examination and testing for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner. Mean infestations with I. pacificus subadults on lizards were 10.0, on birds 2.9, and on rodents 1.3. I. pacificus larvae (204) collected from 10 avian species and (215) collected from two rodent species were tested for the presence of B. burgdorferi s.s. via real-time polymerase chain reaction. Three B. burgdorferi-infected larvae were taken from two Junco hyemalis and two infected larvae from one Neotoma fuscipes Baird. This is the detection of B. burgdorferi ss in an Ixodes pacificus larvae feeding on a Junco hyemalis L., [corrected] in western North America.

J Med Entomol. 2011 Jul;48(4):852-9.

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