JOURNAL ARTICLE

Infection prevalences of common tick-borne pathogens in adult lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum) and American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis) in Kentucky

Charissa M Fritzen, Junjun Huang, Kathleen Westby, James D Freye, Brett Dunlap, Michael J Yabsley, Mike Schardein, John R Dunn, Timothy F Jones, Abelardo C Moncayo
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2011, 85 (4): 718-23
21976578
Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and ehrlichiosis are tick-borne diseases that are reported annually in Kentucky. We conducted a survey to describe infection prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in Amblyomma americanum and Dermacentor variabilis ticks collected in Kentucky. During 2007-2008, we collected 287 ticks (179 D. variabilis and 108 A. americanum) from canine, feral hog, horse, raccoon, white-tailed deer, and human hosts in six counties in Kentucky. Ticks were screened for Rickettsia spp., Borrelia spp., and Ehrlichia spp. by using polymerase chain reaction. Forty-one (14.3%) ticks (31 A. americanum and 10 D. variabilis) were polymerase chain reaction-positive for a Rickettsia spp. Fourteen (4.9%) ticks (6 A. americanum and 8 D. variabilis) were positive for E. chaffeensis, and 4 A. americanum (1.4%) were positive for E. ewingii. One (0.4%) A. americanum was positive for Borrelia lonestari. Although Rocky Mountain spotted fever is diagnosed in Kentucky, no R. rickettsii was found in ticks in this study.

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