Regional variation in immature Ixodes scapularis parasitism on North American songbirds: implications for transmission of the lyme pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi

Brinkerhoff, R. Jory, Folsom-O'Keefe, Corrine M., Streby, Henry M., Bent, Stephen J., Tsao, Kimberly and Diuk-Wasser, Maria A. (2011) Regional variation in immature Ixodes scapularis parasitism on North American songbirds: implications for transmission of the lyme pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi. Journal of Medical Entomology, 48 2: 422-428. doi:10.1603/ME10060


Author Brinkerhoff, R. Jory
Folsom-O'Keefe, Corrine M.
Streby, Henry M.
Bent, Stephen J.
Tsao, Kimberly
Diuk-Wasser, Maria A.
Title Regional variation in immature Ixodes scapularis parasitism on North American songbirds: implications for transmission of the lyme pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi
Formatted title
Regional variation in immature Ixodes scapularis parasitism on North American songbirds: implications for transmission of the lyme pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi
Journal name Journal of Medical Entomology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-2585
1938-2928
Publication date 2011-03
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1603/ME10060
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 48
Issue 2
Start page 422
End page 428
Total pages 7
Place of publication Cary, NC, United States
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiological agent of Lyme disease, is transmitted among hosts by the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, a species that regularly parasitizes various vertebrate hosts, including birds, in its immature stages. Lyme disease risk in the United States is highest in the Northeast and in the upper Midwest where I. scapularis ticks are most abundant. Because birds might be important to the range expansion of I. scapularis and B. burgdorferi, we explored spatial variation in patterns of I. scapularis parasitism on songbirds, as well as B. burgdorferi infection in bird-derived I. scapularis larvae. We sampled birds at 23 sites in the eastern United States to describe seasonal patterns of I. scapularis occurrence on birds, and we screened a subset of I. scapularis larvae for presence of B. burgdorferi. Timing of immature I. scapularis occurrence on birds is consistent with regional variation in host-seeking activity with a generally earlier peak in larval parasitism on birds in the Midwest. Significantly more I. scapularis larvae occurred on birds that were contemporaneously parasitized by nymphs in the Midwest than the Northeast, and the proportion of birds that yielded B. burgdorferi-infected larvae was also higher in the Midwest. We conclude that regional variation in immature I. scapularis phenology results in different temporal patterns of parasitism on birds, potentially resulting in differential importance of birds to B. burgdorferi transmission dynamics among regions.
Keyword Acari
Lyme disease
Parasitism
Pathogen transmission
Zoonotic disease
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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