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Start Date

8-5-2020 12:00 AM

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Department

Environmental Science and Policy

Advisor

Charles Lubelczyk, MPH

Abstract

The black-legged tick Ixodes scapularis (I.scap) is one of the major vector for several disease-causing pathogens, including Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), and Anaplasma phagocytophilum (human/canine granulocytic anaplasmosis). One area of concern for researchers is the introduction of populations of ticks in areas emergent for tick-borne disease. Birds are recognized as the primary mechanisms of dispersal for these ticks to new areas, with some species of birds even being described as “super spreaders,” which are often found heavily infested with ticks when compared to other avian species. The research conducted here involved identifying and analyzing I.scap larvae collected off of six species of birds (COYE, SOSP, WTSP, GRCA, VEER, NOWA) trapped at Riverpoint conservation area (Falmouth, ME). DNA extraction was run on these larvae and testing was done via Q-PCR for both Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. This research helps to provide insight into the prevalence of these pathogens in these wild bird populations, as well as the relative infestation by ticks of these birds. This will help provide a better understanding of the ability of these birds from this area in spreading, and infecting I.scap larvae with these two pathogens.

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Jake Angelico Presentation Slides

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May 8th, 12:00 AM

Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Ixodes scapularis Larvae Collected from Migratory Birds in Cumberland County, Maine

The black-legged tick Ixodes scapularis (I.scap) is one of the major vector for several disease-causing pathogens, including Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), and Anaplasma phagocytophilum (human/canine granulocytic anaplasmosis). One area of concern for researchers is the introduction of populations of ticks in areas emergent for tick-borne disease. Birds are recognized as the primary mechanisms of dispersal for these ticks to new areas, with some species of birds even being described as “super spreaders,” which are often found heavily infested with ticks when compared to other avian species. The research conducted here involved identifying and analyzing I.scap larvae collected off of six species of birds (COYE, SOSP, WTSP, GRCA, VEER, NOWA) trapped at Riverpoint conservation area (Falmouth, ME). DNA extraction was run on these larvae and testing was done via Q-PCR for both Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. This research helps to provide insight into the prevalence of these pathogens in these wild bird populations, as well as the relative infestation by ticks of these birds. This will help provide a better understanding of the ability of these birds from this area in spreading, and infecting I.scap larvae with these two pathogens.

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