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Larval Gulf Coast ticks (Amblyomma maculatum) [Acari: Ixodidae] as host forHepatozoon americanum[Apicomplexa: Adeleorina]

Authors
Journal
Veterinary Parasitology
0304-4017
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
103
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0304-4017(01)00572-6
Keywords
  • Hepatozoon Americanum
  • Amblyomma Maculatum
  • Gulf Coast Tick
  • American Canine Hepatozoonosis
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Laboratory-reared larval Gulf Coast ticks (GCTs) ( Amblyomma maculatum) were exposed experimentally and found to acquire Hepatozoon americanum infection while feeding on parasitemic dogs. These ticks supported gamogonic and sporogonic development of the apicomplexan, and oocysts from newly molted nymphs were infectious for a dog. Other nymphs from this cohort that were allowed to feed on a blood-parasite naive sheep molted normally; the resulting adult ticks contained oocysts that were infectious for another dog. Merogonic development of H. americanum in the dogs and the resulting lesions/disease appeared similar, irrespective of whether infectious oocysts were derived from nymphal or adult ticks that acquired infection as larvae. In the system previously known, nymphal ticks acquire infection and adults harbor infective oocysts, which vertebrate hosts ingest. Given that larval A. maculatum can acquire infection and nymphs can harbor viable oocysts as demonstrated by this study, the potential variety of vertebrate hosts that can alternate with GCTs in maintaining an endemic cycle is considerably expanded.

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