2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Factors Influencing Immature Tick Load (Dermacentor variabilis) on the White-footed Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus)
Tad A. Dallas
Dr. Hyun-Joo Kim and Dr. Stephanie Fore, Faculty Mentors

The host-parasite relationship is one of the most important and complex ecological interactions. Immature Dermacentor variabilis are found to parasitize Peromyscus leucopus nearly exclusively in Northeastern Missouri (Adair County, Mo). Parasite load is one of the most important factors in disease transfer, and the number of parasites on a host can affect host fitness drastically. Several factors influencing number of immature D. variabilis were examined including gender, body size, and habitat. Through the use of negative binomial regression, we found that gender and body size both had significant effects (P =0.012 and P =0.029 respectively). It was also determined that body size and gender did not have a significant correlation with one another (P = 0.234). These data support a gender bias in the amount of immature D. variabilis found on a given host.

Keywords: Parasite load, Host-Parasite Relationship, Host Specificity

Topic(s):Biology
Mathematical Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 45-2
Location: VH 1328
Time: 1:30

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