Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 April 2009
An apparatus for artificial feeding of Rhipicephalus appendiculatus nymphae was modified to improve feeding performance. Heparinized blood was supplied above a treated artificial membrane while the ticks attached below on its undersurface. The feeding apparatus was incubated at 37 °C in an atmosphere of 3% CO2 concentration and a relative humidity of 75–80%. Under these conditions, 91% of the engorged nymphae attained a mean weight of 6–11 mg, and an average of 93% of those nymphae moulted into adults. When this system was used to feed nymphal ticks on blood infected with Theileria parva piroplasms, the mean prevalence of infection in the resultant female and male ticks was 86% and 54%, respectively. The feeding performance and T. parva infection levels were comparable to those of nymphal ticks fed on the blood donor cattle. The apparatus used in this study has potential for modification to suit the artificial feeding needs of other species of ixodid ticks and for use in investigations to examine other tick/pathogen relationships.
Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.