2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

Molecular Bacterial Pathogen Detection in Adult Amblyomma americanum, Dermacentor variabilis, and Ixodes Scapularis of Northeast Missouri
Megan E. Connolly* and Daniel Romine
Dr. Carolina Sempertegui, Faculty Mentor

Amblyomma americanum, Dermacentor variabilis, and Ixodes Scapularis are vectors for pathogens that cause the Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis (HME), Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) and Anaplasmosis.A survey of ticks for bacterial genes elucidated the prevalence of bacterial pathogens in northeast Missouri. Of the ticks randomly selected, 12.3% tested positive for the VLPT gene of E. chaffensis and sequencing revealed high similarities to the Osceola strain. Moreover, of the ticks selected, 9.2% tested positive for the 17-kDa antigen gene and the 190 kDa protein gene of Rickettsia sp. The sequencing of these fragments revealed high similarities to Rickettsia montana. No ticks tested positive for the presence of A. phagocytophilum. The absence of R. rickettsii and the presence of R. montana suggests that R. rickettsii might not be the causative agent of RMSF in Adair County. This poses an important question in regard to the causative agent of RMSF cases in the region.

Keywords: Amblyomma americanum, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes Scapularis


Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 3-12
Location: GEO-SUB
Time: 3:30

Add to Custom Schedule

* Indicates the Student Presenter