01894-A: Documentation of Disease-Causing Ticks in a Field Trial Environment for the Purpose of Developing Practical and Cost-Effective Strategies for Tick Control

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $12,909
Dr. Rebecca T Trout Fryxell,; University of Tennessee
February 1, 2013 - January 31, 2014
Sponsor(s): American Chesapeake Club, Inc., English Setter Association of America, Inc., Flat-Coated Retriever Foundation, Great Dane Club of America, Great Pyrenees Club of America, Irish Setter Club of America Foundation, Irish Wolfhound Club of America, Inc., Leonberger Health Foundation, Newfoundland Club of America Charitable Trust, Old English Sheepdog Club of America, Rottweiler Health Foundation, Samoyed Club of America Education & Research Foundation
Breed(s): Pointer
Research Program Area: Immunology and Infectious Disease

Project Summary

Many species of Ehrlichia exist, but the most detrimental of these affect canines. Unfortunately, Ehrlichia incidence is increasing in the southeastern United States. The primary approach to Ehrlichiosis prevention is through tick control, which includes application of acaricides to hosts and the habitat. We identified three Ehrlichia species in two species of ticks (A. americanum and I. scapularis) and two Anaplasma species in two tick species (A. americanum and I. scapularis). The most frequently collected ticks on canines, D. variabilis (American dog tick), did not have any Ehrlichia. We then screened all of the collected ticks for Rickettsia and did not identify any pathogenic Rickettsia within those ticks. There was no spatial clustering of Ehrlichia or Rickettsia positive ticks. The identification of pathogenic Ehrlichia and non-pathogenic Rickettsia within two different tick species warrants further investigations to understand the etiological agents and interactions of the vectors responsible for the high incidence of Ehrlichiosis and Rickettsiosis in the region. Such research will improve surveillance and diagnostic protocols, provide insights into improving management practices, and inform the public on how to protect their dogs from ticks and their associated pathogens.


Trout Fryxell, R. T., Moore, J. E., Collins, M. D., Kwon, Y., Jean-Philippe, S. R., Schaeffer, S. M., … Houston, A. E. (2015). Habitat and Vegetation Variables Are Not Enough When Predicting Tick Populations in the Southeastern United States. Plos One, 10(12), e0144092.

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