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Optimization of the in vitro feeding of Rhipicephalus appendiculatus nymphae for the transmission of Theileria parva

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 April 2009

S. M. Waladde
Affiliation:
The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, P.O. Box 30772, Nairobi, Kenya
A. S. Young
Affiliation:
The International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases, P.O. Box 30709, Nairobi, Kenya
S. N. Mwaura
Affiliation:
The International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases, P.O. Box 30709, Nairobi, Kenya
G. N. Njihia
Affiliation:
The International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases, P.O. Box 30709, Nairobi, Kenya
F. N. Mwakima
Affiliation:
The International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases, P.O. Box 30709, Nairobi, Kenya

Summary

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.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995

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References

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Optimization of the in vitro feeding of Rhipicephalus appendiculatus nymphae for the transmission of Theileria parva
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