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Vet Parasitol. 2008 Aug 1;155(1-2):104-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2008.04.017. Epub 2008 May 10.

Amblyomma triste Koch, 1844 (Acari: Ixodidae): hosts and seasonality of the vector of Rickettsia parkeri in Uruguay.

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Departamento de Parasitología Veterinaria, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de la República, Av. Alberto Lasplaces 1620, CP 11600 Montevideo, Uruguay.


Amblyomma triste Koch, 1844, the tick species most frequently involved in human bites in Uruguay, has been implicated as a vector of human rickettsiosis. Seasonal abundance of adult A. triste was examined by standard flagging at three sites where human tick bites and cases of the disease have been reported. Adult tick activity occurred from August to February (end of winter to mid summer in the southern hemisphere) with a peak in spring. Activity declined in step with decreasing temperatures and photoperiod during winter. This period of activity coincides with seasonal outbreaks of human rickettsiosis in the region. In a small mammal survey, the Sigmodontinae rodents Scapteromys tumidus (Waterhouse, 1837) and Oxymycterus nasutus (Waterhouse, 1837) and the small marsupial Monodelphis dimidiata (Wagner, 1847) were the main hosts for immature A. triste. Immature ticks were observed on hosts in November, well within the period of peak adult abundance. In stored collections, immature ticks were most often collected from January to March. These data suggest that one generation might be completed in 1 year. The main animal host for adult A. triste at our study sites was the domestic dog. Humans were afflicted by the tick in rural and suburban settlements where other host animals are scarce or extinct and where dogs are common.

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