2021 Student Research Conference:
34th Annual Student Research Conference

Determining Cohorts of Nymphal Amblyomma americanum Through Heme Content Analysis


Ann M. Mantia
Dr. Stephanie Fore and Dr. Hyun-Joo Kim, Faculty Mentors

The lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, is a common pathogen vector throughout the eastern United States. The objective of my study was to assess the number of physiological age groups of field caught nymphal A. americanum. Nymphs were collected on the University Farm in the summer of 2018 and heme was extracted and measured with spectrophotometry. As larval ticks take a single blood meal before molting into nymphs and the hemoglobin is digested over time, heme content of individuals was used as a proxy for date of the last blood meal. Using a LOESS model in R, the possible emerging groups of nymphal A. americanum were assessed based on the peaks of heme content throughout the summer. The multiple peaks observed suggest more than two physiological age groups of nymphal ticks were emerging at differing points in the season. 

Keywords: Lone Star Tick, Amblyomma americanum, Nymphal Stage Ticks, Heme Content, Physiological Age, Missouri

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Asynchronous Virtual Oral Presentation

Session: 4-1
Location: https://flipgrid.com/7ba08930
Time: 0:00

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