Incompetence of the Asian Longhorned Tick (Acari: Ixodidae) in Transmitting the Agent of Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis in the United States
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Incompetence of the Asian Longhorned Tick (Acari: Ixodidae) in Transmitting the Agent of Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis in the United States

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  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      J Med Entomol
    • Description:
      The Asian longhorned tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis Neumann (Acari: Ixodidae), was recently introduced into the United States and is now established in at least 15 states. Considering its ability for parthenogenetic propagation and propensity for creating high-density populations, there is concern that this tick may become involved in transmission cycles of endemic tick-borne human pathogens. Human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA) caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilum is one of the more common tick-borne diseases in the United States, especially in the northeastern and midwestern states. There is considerable geographical overlap between HGA cases and the currently known distribution of H. longicornis, which creates a potential for this tick to encounter A. phagocytophilum while feeding on naturally infected vertebrate hosts. Therefore, we evaluated the ability of H. longicornis to acquire and transmit the agent of HGA under laboratory conditions and compared it to the vector competence of I. scapularis. Haemaphysalis longicornis nymphs acquired the pathogen with the bloodmeal while feeding on infected domestic goats, but transstadial transmission was inefficient and PCR-positive adult ticks were unable to transmit the pathogen to naïve goats. Results of this study indicate that the Asian longhorned tick is not likely to play a significant role in the epidemiology of HGA in the United States.
    • Source:
      J Med Entomol. 58(3):1419-1423
    • Pubmed ID:
      33590859
    • Pubmed Central ID:
      PMC8383286
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