Title

Analysis of Host-Tick Interactions in Virginia

Presenting Author Name/s

Kelsey Jones

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Holly Gaff

Presentation Type

Poster

Disciplines

Laboratory and Basic Science Research

Description/Abstract

Ticks are arthropods that require blood from a wide range of vertebrates in order to complete development and reproduction. Some species of ticks will only feed on a specific type or even a single species, while others feed on a wide variety of hosts. Understanding tick host dynamics gives us a better understanding of dynamics of tick populations. This study was designed to identify the average tick abundance and typical tick species found on medium and large sized animals in Virginia. For this study, ticks were collected from a wide variety of animals through donations from hunt clubs, wildlife rehabilitators, pest control professionals, veterinarians, and individual animal owners. Additionally, the ODU Tick Research Team collected ticks from all roadkill found serendipitously. All ticks were frozen and then identified morphologically using standard keys. The results show that ticks from dogs were most likely to be collected during the 8-year study, but deer and black bear had the largest number of ticks per animal. Future research will test these ticks for pathogens and assess the potential role these hosts play in tick-borne disease cycles.

Session Title

Poster Session

Location

Learning Commons, Northwest Atrium

Start Date

2-2-2019 8:00 AM

End Date

2-2-2019 12:30 PM

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Feb 2nd, 8:00 AM Feb 2nd, 12:30 PM

Analysis of Host-Tick Interactions in Virginia

Learning Commons, Northwest Atrium

Ticks are arthropods that require blood from a wide range of vertebrates in order to complete development and reproduction. Some species of ticks will only feed on a specific type or even a single species, while others feed on a wide variety of hosts. Understanding tick host dynamics gives us a better understanding of dynamics of tick populations. This study was designed to identify the average tick abundance and typical tick species found on medium and large sized animals in Virginia. For this study, ticks were collected from a wide variety of animals through donations from hunt clubs, wildlife rehabilitators, pest control professionals, veterinarians, and individual animal owners. Additionally, the ODU Tick Research Team collected ticks from all roadkill found serendipitously. All ticks were frozen and then identified morphologically using standard keys. The results show that ticks from dogs were most likely to be collected during the 8-year study, but deer and black bear had the largest number of ticks per animal. Future research will test these ticks for pathogens and assess the potential role these hosts play in tick-borne disease cycles.