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: Open

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


Ehrlichia is a type of bacteria that is spread by tick bites and causes serious canine health problems, including chronic inflammatory disease, bleeding problems, and kidney damage. Unfortunately, Ehrlichia incidence is increasing in the southeastern United States and is of emerging concern to hunting and field trial dogs. To address this health concern, Dr. Fryxell will conduct an in-depth Ehrlichia prevalence study. Focusing on the 18,400 acre Ames Plantation in western Tennessee (site of the National Field Trial Championship for All-age bird dogs), she will complete three main objectives: 1) Collect ticks from different habitats and dogs visiting the Ames Plantation for field trial events, 2) Screen all collected ticks for Ehrlichia prevalence and document the Ehrlichia species present, and 3) Correlate Ehrlichia presence and absence with environmental data (e.g., climate, land use land cover, and soils data) to identify variables associated with pathogen presence and absence. Knowledge of the preferred habitat and environmental variables for Ehrlichia is essential for the implementation of current vector control strategies and for the development of novel management strategies that improve the efficacy of currently available vector control methods.


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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