Title

Range Expansion of Ixodes affinis on the Coastal Plain of Virginia

Presenting Author Name/s

Michelle Bershers and Hannah Cummins

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Holly Gaff

Presentation Type

Poster

Disciplines

Entomology | Parasitology

Description/Abstract

State Sweep, a collaborative study between the University of Richmond and Old Dominion University, tracked an invading tick species, Ixodes affinis. While I. affinis is a vector of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, it does not bite humans. Cities and counties were sampled annually from 2012 to 2017 throughout Virginia, and bordering counties in Maryland and North Carolina. In early summer of each year, ticks were collected by flagging at each location in targeted habitat types. Ixodes affinis have expanded north and west across Virginia. Though westward progression has stopped at the Fall Line, the separation of Coastal Plain and Piedmont areas, I. affinis is now considered established throughout the Coastal Plain of Virginia. No such limit was found with the northward movement with I. affinis, which were collected in Maryland in 2017. The I. affinis movement northward and coexistence with the known human-biting tick Ixodes scapularis, will result in the amplification of B. burgdorferi in shared reservoir hosts and increase the chances of human infection by way of I. scapularis.

Session Title

Poster Session

Location

Learning Commons @ Perry Library, Northwest Atrium

Start Date

3-2-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

3-2-2018 12:30 PM

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Feb 3rd, 8:00 AM Feb 3rd, 12:30 PM

Range Expansion of Ixodes affinis on the Coastal Plain of Virginia

Learning Commons @ Perry Library, Northwest Atrium

State Sweep, a collaborative study between the University of Richmond and Old Dominion University, tracked an invading tick species, Ixodes affinis. While I. affinis is a vector of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, it does not bite humans. Cities and counties were sampled annually from 2012 to 2017 throughout Virginia, and bordering counties in Maryland and North Carolina. In early summer of each year, ticks were collected by flagging at each location in targeted habitat types. Ixodes affinis have expanded north and west across Virginia. Though westward progression has stopped at the Fall Line, the separation of Coastal Plain and Piedmont areas, I. affinis is now considered established throughout the Coastal Plain of Virginia. No such limit was found with the northward movement with I. affinis, which were collected in Maryland in 2017. The I. affinis movement northward and coexistence with the known human-biting tick Ixodes scapularis, will result in the amplification of B. burgdorferi in shared reservoir hosts and increase the chances of human infection by way of I. scapularis.