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J Med Entomol. 1992 Sep;29(5):874-8.

African swine fever virus infection in the Iberian soft tick, Ornithodoros (Pavlovskyella) marocanus (Acari: Argasidae).

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Plum Island Animal Disease Center, USDA-ARS-NAA, Greenport, New York 11944-0848.


One thousand six hundred Ornithodoros (Pavlovskyella) marocanus Velu larvae were fed on a pig infected with African swine fever virus (titer: 10(7.4) HAd50/ml), and 1,600 larvae were fed on an uninfected pig. Ticks in each group were compared for mortality rates, mean time to death for ticks that died, mean time from feeding to either molting or eclosion, percentage of ticks that eclosed or molted, and the number of blood meals per nymph or instar. Cumulative virus-induced mortality for all immature stages (larvae to adult) of O. marocanus that had been fed as larvae on a pig infected with African swine fever was ca. 73% over a 390-d period. In contrast, less than 9% mortality was observed among ticks fed on uninfected pigs. Mean time to death for infected ticks was 15-87 d versus 10-17 d for uninfected ticks. Differences in the premolt period (number of days from blood meal to molt) between infected and control ticks were not observed. Mean premolt periods for larvae and first-, second-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-instar nymphs fed on pigs were 7, 9, 15, 11, 15, and 15 d, respectively. The majority of infected and all uninfected ticks required only one blood meal from pigs to molt. Mean weights for unfed second-, third-, and fourth-instar nymphs and males and females were 0.50, 0.67, 3.07, 3.63, and 5.91 mg, respectively.

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