The ticks of insular Newfoundland and their potential for transmitting disease

Bennett, Kelly Elizabeth (2005) The ticks of insular Newfoundland and their potential for transmitting disease. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

A two - year study was undertaken to deter111ine the tick fauna of insular Newfoundland and explore their potential as vectors of pathogens to both humans and animals. During 2002 and 2003 seven species of ixodid ticks were collected from nine hosts (snowshoe hare, Lincoln's sparrow, domestic cat, domestic dog, domestic rabbit, Atlantic puffin, common murre, red fox and human) on the island portion of the province: Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, Jxodes uriae, I muris, I scapularis, 1 ricinus, Dermacentor variabilis and Rhipicephalus sanguineus. The most common species was H leporispalustris with July, August and September being the peak period of activity. Although higher numbers of H leporispalustris were collected from male hares than female hares, the difference between the number of ticks of each life stage found on each sex was not statistically significant, except for male ticks in 2002. All life stages of H leporispalustris were capable of surviving temperatures as low as 0°C but none lower than -5°C. Another species that showed a seasonal distribution for the females was 1 scapularis. This tick had a bimodal temporal distribution with no ticks recorded during August and September. Four pathogens were tested for: Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Francisella tularensis and vector - borne viruses, but only B. burgdorferi was detected in 16 % of the 14 1 scapularis tested. The overall conclusion was that Newfoundland has relatively few tick species most of which are introduced. Although the threat of acquiring pathogens from ticks is low, the detection of B. burgdorferi in this study and viruses from I uriae in previous studies, means ongoing monitoring of tick populations and the pathogens they vector, in the province is prudent.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12231
Item ID: 12231
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 65-76).
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: August 2005
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Ticks as carriers of disease--Newfoundland and Labrador; Ticks--Newfoundland and Labrador; Vector-pathogen relationships--Newfoundland and Labrador

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