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
Rebecca T Trout Fryxell, MS, PhD; 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, Tick-Borne Disease Initiative
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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.


Mays, S. E., Houston, A. E., & Trout Fryxell, R. T. (2016a). Comparison of novel and conventional methods of trapping ixodid ticks in the southeastern U.S.A. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 30(2), 123–134. https://doi.org/10.1111/mve.12160
Mays, S. E., Houston, A. E., & Trout Fryxell, R. T. (2016b). Specifying Pathogen Associations of Amblyomma maculatum (Acari: Ixodidae) in Western Tennessee. Journal of Medical Entomology, 53(2), 435–440. https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjv238
Mays, Sarah E, Hendricks, B. M., Paulsen, D. J., Houston, A. E., & Fryxell, R. T. T. (2014). Prevalence of five tick-borne bacterial genera in adult Ixodes scapularis removed from white-tailed deer in western Tennessee. Parasites and Vectors, 7, 473.
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. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0144092
Trout Fryxell, Rebecca T., Hendricks, B. M., Pompo, K., Mays, S. E., Paulsen, D. J., Operario, D. J., & Houston, A. E. (2017). Investigating the Adult Ixodid Tick Populations and Their Associated Anaplasma , Ehrlichia , and Rickettsia Bacteria at a Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Hotspot in Western Tennessee. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 17(8), 527–538. https://doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2016.2091

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