Blood feeding of Ornithodoros turicata larvae using an artificial membrane system
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An artificial membrane system was adapted to feed Ornithodoros turicata (Ixodida: Argasidae) larvae from a laboratory colony using defibrinated swine blood. Aspects related to larval feeding and moulting to the first nymphal instar were evaluated. A total of 55.6% of all larvae exposed to the artificial membrane in two experimental groups fed to repletion and 98.0% of all fed larvae moulted. Mortality rates of first instar nymphs differed significantly depending on the sorting tools used to handle engorged larvae (χ2 = 35.578, P < 0.0001): engorged larvae handled with featherweight forceps showed significantly higher mortality (odds ratio = 4.441) than those handled with a camel-hair brush. Differences in the physical properties of the forceps and camel-hair brush may affect the viability of fragile soft tick larvae even when care and the same technique are used to sort them during experimental manipulations. The current results represent those of the first study to quantify successful feeding to repletion, moulting and post-moulting mortality rates in O. turicata larvae using an artificial membrane feeding system. Applications of the artificial membrane feeding system to fill gaps in current knowledge of soft tick biology and the study of soft tick-pathogen interactions are discussed.
author list (cited authors)
KIM, H. J., FILATOV, S., LOPEZ, J. E., DE LEÓN, A., & TEEL, P. D.