Auto‐dissemination of commercially available fungal pathogens in a laboratory assay for management of the brown dog tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus
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Rhipicephalus sanguineus is a canine tick that infests dogs throughout the world and is frequently found in homes and dog kennels. Management of this tick species is complicated by the presence of resistance to commonly utilized acaricides. Fungal formulations could provide a valuable alternative tool for management and are especially relevant indoors where detrimental environmental effects on fungal spores are of less concern. Two commercially available fungal formulations, one containing Metarhizium anisopliae and the other containing Beauveria bassiana, were compared for time to death and sporulation in nymphal ticks exposed for 60 min in treated filter paper packets. Beauveria bassiana exposure killed ticks faster than M. anisopliae exposure and B. bassiana was more likely to sporulate on tick cadavers than M. anisopliae. To determine whether infected ticks could disseminate fungus to their conspecifics, ticks were marked and treated with fungus before being placed with untreated ticks. Fungus was successfully transmitted from treated to untreated ticks. Mortality of ticks exposed to B. bassiana-exposed conspecifics occurred sooner than for those exposed to M. anisopliae-exposed conspecifics, indicating faster dissemination in the former. Therefore, although both formulations resulted in decreased longevity of ticks compared with the controls, the B. bassiana formulation holds the most promise for direct or indirect application with respect to brown dog tick management.
author list (cited authors)
Weeks, E., Allan, S. A., Gezan, S. A., & Kaufman, P. E.