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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Biology and Control of Ticks of Veterinary and Human Importance

Location: Tick and Biting Fly Research

Title: Immunological response of tick-naive white-tailed deer to infestation with Dermacentor albipictus, a one host tick

item Olafson, Pia
item Freeman, Jeanne -
item Pruett Jr, John -
item Lohmeyer, Kimberly
item Pound, Joe
item Davey, Ronald
item Knowles, Donald

Submitted to: National Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 11, 2011
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: White-tailed deer are competent alternative hosts for cattle fever ticks, and their abundance throughout south Texas is compromising efforts of the Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program (CFTEP). We artificially infested white-tailed deer with a model one-host tick, Dermacentor albipictus (winter tick), in an effort to understand the tick-host interface. Specifically, we evaluated whether deer can acquire immunological resistance to ticks upon repeated exposure and monitored the localized skin response of deer to tick infestation. Since deer respond to ectoparasites by extensively grooming themselves, we conducted these experiments while preventing the hosts from the grooming behavior. Tick biological parameters were monitored to define the acquired resistance phenotype, while skin-specific expression of cytokines typically involved in host immunological response was evaluated by real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR over the course of a primary and a repeated tick infestation to describe the host cutaneous response. Data and biological relevance will be discussed.

Last Modified: 10/31/2014
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