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J Med Entomol. 2012 May;49(3):772-6.

Development of a mitochondrial 12S rDNA analysis for distinguishing Sciuridae species with potential to transmit Ehrlichia and Borrelia species to feeding Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae).

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Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, 425 Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Unique oligonucleotide probes were synthesized to distinguish among closely related vertebrate mitochondrial rDNA sequences present in residual bloodmeals in emergent Amblyomma americanum (L.) (Acari: Ixodidae) nymph life-stage ticks. Use of these probes enabled the identification of the Eastern gray squirrel as an important bloodmeal source in nymphs harboring Ehrlichia and Borrelia species. These results were confirmed by identifying these same bacterial genera in Eastern gray squirrel tissues.

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