Ecology and Disease Potential of the Black-Legged Deer Tick, Ixodes Scapularis Say, in Mississippi
CommitteeSchneider, John C.
To assess the seasonality and disease potential of Ixodes scapularis Say in north Mississippi, ixodid ticks were collected by drag cloth method at two sites in north Mississippi weekly from August 1, 2010 through July 31, 2011 and tested for molecular evidence of disease agents via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. In addition, environmental data were observed and recorded for each collection date. I. scapularis nymphs (n=6) were collected in August, September, March, and May, perhaps reflecting a seasonally bimodal distribution, while adults (n=256) were found October through May with a peak in March. No statistically significant relationship between environmental data and number of I. scapularis was found. No I. scapularis were PCR positive for Borrelia burgdorferi or Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and four were positive for Babesia odocoilei, a cervid babesiosis.