Ixodes_affinis_NC - 174 Journal of Vector Ecology June 2010...

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174 Journal of Vector Ecology June 2010 Recent discovery of widespread Ixodes affinis (Acari: Ixodidae) distribution in North Carolina with implications for Lyme disease studies Bruce A. Harrison 1 , Walker H. Rayburn Jr. 2 , Marcee Toliver 1 , Eugene E. Powell 1 , Barry R. Engber 1 , Lance A. Durden 3 , Richard G. Robbins 4 , Brian F. Prendergast 5 , and Parker B. Whitt 1 1 Public Health Pest Management, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 1631 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1631, U.S.A. 2 340 Rayburn Lane, Hertford, NC 27944, U.S.A. 3 Department of Biology, Georgia Southern University, 69 Georgia Avenue, Statesboro, GA 30460, U.S.A. 4 DPMIAC/AFPMB, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC 20307-5001, U.S.A. 5 Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, 620 John Paul Jones Circle, Portsmouth, VA 23708, U.S.A. Received 4 November 2009; Accepted 5 March 2010 ABSTRACT: Ixodes affinis , which is similar morphologically to Ixodes scapularis , is widely distributed in North Carolina. Collections have documented this species in 32 of 41 coastal plain counties, but no piedmont or mountain counties. This coastal plain distribution is similar to its distribution in Georgia and South Carolina, where it is considered an enzootic vector of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto . An updated list of hosts for I. affinis in the U.S.A. is included, increasing the number to 15 mammal and one bird species. The presence of questing adults of I. affinis from April to November reinforces the need for confirmed identifications of suspected tick vectors of Borrelia spirochetes collected during warm months. Journal of Vector Ecology 35 (1): 174-179. 2010. Keyword Index: North Carolina, Ixodes affinis , identification, distribution, hosts, Ixodes scapularis , Borrelia species. INTRODUCTION Ixodes affinis Neumann is a Central and South American species belonging to the Ixodes ricinus complex, which contains most of the primary vectors of the agents of Lyme borreliosis and a number of other human pathogens (Keirans et al. 1999). This species extends northward into the southeastern U.S.A. (Kohls and Rogers 1953), and previously has been recorded only from Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina (Clark et al. 1998). Oliver et al. (1987) described the immature stages of I. affinis and provided distribution, phenology, and host records. Ixodes affinis is morphologically very similar to Ixodes scapularis Say, the primary vector of Lyme disease borreliae in the eastern U.S.A. (Keirans et al. 1996), which can cause identification problems (Lavender and Oliver 1996). Also, Oliver et al. (2003) reported that in coastal regions of the southeastern U.S.A., I. affinis and Ixodes minor Neumann are more important than I. scapularis in the maintenance of enzootic cycles of Lyme borreliosis spirochetes, including Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt and Brenner, and Borrelia bissettii Postic, Ras, Lane, Hendson, and Baranton.
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