2005 Student Research Conference:
18th Annual Student Research Conference


A Study of the Dog Tick’s Ability to Survive in Anoxic and Hypoxic Environments
Christine M. Janson
Dr. Laura Fielden, Faculty Mentor

The american dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis) has the ability to survive in harsh natural conditions while off of a host. These conditions can include periods of hypoxia due to periodic flooding or periods of anoxia while covered by snow and ice during the winter. This study investigates the survivability of ticks at different life stages, temperatures, and oxygen levels. Anaerobic bags were used to simulate anoxic conditions while hypoxia was achieved by submergence underwater. Results have shown that unfed female adult ticks can survive in anoxia at room temperature for up to 6d, while nymphs can survive underwater for up to eight weeks. Since ticks can serve as disease reservoirs by outliving their hosts this research is important for understanding how ticks survive under natural conditions.

Keywords: american dog tick, D. variabilis, anoxia , hypoxia


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 11-4
Location: VH 1412
Time: 9:00

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