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J S Afr Vet Assoc. 1996 Sep;67(3):148-50.

The possible role of two common three-host ticks, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus and Amblyomma hebraeum, in the transmission of bovine leukosis virus.

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Department of Herd Health and Reproduction, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Medical University of Southern Africa, Medunsa, South Africa.


The possible role of Rhipicephalus appendiculatus and Amblyomma hebraeum in the mechanical and transstadial transmission of bovine leukosis virus (BLV) was investigated. BLV-free laboratory strains of R. appendiculatus and A. hebraeum nymphal ticks (n = 400) were fed on a BLV-infected and a negative control bovine. At various intervals after engorgement the ticks were homogenised and injected subcutaneously into BLV-negative sheep. Adult R. appendiculatus and A. hebraeum, which had fed as nymphs on the BLV-infected bovine, were then allowed to feed on BLV-negative sheep. A control sheep was also injected intravenously with blood from the infected bovine. Only the control sheep that received blood from the BLV-positive bovine seroconverted 9 months later. All the other surviving sheep remained serologically negative during the 13 months observation period. It is suggested that the nymphal stages of these ticks probably do not play a role in the transstadial transmission of BLV in southern Africa. The significance of these results is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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