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J Med Entomol. 2011 May;48(3):687-90.

Distribution of spotted fever group rickettsiae in select tissues of experimentally infected and field-collected Gulf Coast ticks.

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Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA.


Salivary glands, midgut, Malpighian tubules, and ovaries were dissected from infected, colony-derived Amblyomma maculatum (Gulf Coast ticks) injected as nymphs with either Rickettsia parkeri (a spotted fever group rickettsia [SFGR]; treatment) or phosphate-buffered saline (negative control). For comparison, similar tissues were dissected from hemolymph-positive, field-collected ticks. Tissues were analyzed by indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) tests. All phosphate-buffered saline-injected ticks were IFA negative, whereas SFGR were detected by IFA in 100% of the salivary glands and ovaries and 78 and 75% of midgut and Malpighian tubule samples, respectively, of R. parkeri-injected ticks. Nearly 22% (10/46) of the field-collected ticks were hemolymph positive. Of those, SFGR were detected by IFA in 80% of the salivary glands, 67% of the ovaries, and 60% in the midgut and Malpighian tubules. This is the first study to assess the distribution of SFGR in select tissues of A. maculatum ticks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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