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Inability of Ixodes cookei and Amblyomma americanum nymphs (Acari: Ixodidae) to transmit Borrelia burgdorferi.

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Abstract

The vector competency of Ixodes cookei Packard and Amblyomma americanum (L.) for Borrelia burgdorferi was studied using Syrian hamsters. Ixodes dammini Spielman, Clifford, Piesman & Corwin were used as controls. Darkfield and immunofluorescent examinations of midgut diverticula revealed B. burgdorferi spirochetes in 32 of 36 (88.9%) I. dammini larvae, 5 of 36 (13.9%) I. cookei larvae, and 7 of 36 (19.4%) A. americanum larvae within 48 h after feeding on infected Syrian hamsters. B. burgdorferi were also observed in the midguts of 94 of 107 (87.8%) I. dammini nymphs that developed from the fed larvae. However, none of 30 I. cookei nymphs was positive for spirochetes and only 1 of 60 (1.7%) A. americanum nymphs was found positive for B. burgdorferi. Nymphs of each tick species, reared from larvae that had fed on infected hamsters, were allowed to feed on uninfected hamsters to determine their ability to transmit B. burgdorferi. Transmission was demonstrated only by I. dammini nymphs.

J Med Entomol. 1992 May;29(3):525-30.

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