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Am J Vet Res. 1989 Aug;50(8):1381-5.

Detection of colonies of Anaplasma marginale in salivary glands of three Dermacentor spp infected as nymphs or adults.

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USDA, Agricultural Research Service, University of Idaho, Moscow 83843.


Salivary glands from males of 3 Dermacentor species (D andersoni, D variabilis and D occidentalis) that were infected with either the Virginia or Idaho isolate of Anaplasma marginale as nymphs or adults were examined for colonies of A marginale by use of light and electron microscopy. Prior to dissection of salivary glands, exposed ticks were held at 25 C for 15 to 18 days, followed by a 3-day incubation at 37 C. Ticks of 2 species transmitted A marginale to calves; the third tick species was confirmed infected by demonstration of typical colonies in tick gut cells, but transmission was not attempted; Colonies of A marginale were seen with light microscopy in salivary glands of all 3 species of ticks; they were located in acinar cells that contained simple granules. Colonies varied morphologically from small, compact ones to larger structures that contained distinct organisms and often were adjacent to the host cell nucleus. Electron microscopy confirmed that the colonies were rickettsial organisms. Morphologic features of A marginale varied and included reticulated forms, forms with electron-dense centers, and small particles; these various forms were similar to those described previously in midgut epithelial cells of ticks. We believe that the organism seen within tick salivary glands may replicate in the glands before its transmission to the vertebrate host.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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