College of Sciences
Amblyomma maculatum, the Gulf Coast tick, is a species of increasing public health concern. Adult A. maculatum is a known vector of several pathogens including Rickettsia parkeri, the causative agent of Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis. Amblyomma maculatum has expanded northward from its historic range along the Gulf Coast, with populations reportedly establishing in southeastern Virginia in 2010. Recently established populations of A. maculatum tend to have higher R. parkeri infection prevalence compared to longer established populations. This pattern holds for all populations found so far in southeastern Virginia, with a prevalence of R. parkeri in about 60% of A. maculatum compared to a prevalence of around 10-40% in these ticks in most regions of the United States. While the predominant hosts of all life stages of A. maculatum in Virginia are unknown, preliminary work has found native rodent species acting as hosts to immature A. maculatum, with two species likely playing a role in the enzootic cycle of R. parkeri.
Ticks, Hosts, Rodents, Rickettsia parkeri
Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Parasitology
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Espada, Christina and Gaff, Holly, "Understanding the Natural History of Juvenile Amblyomma maculatum in Southeastern Virginia" (2022). College of Sciences Posters. 13.