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Amblyomma maculatum

icanis
Contributor(s):

Ian Wright

Synonym(s): Gulf coast tick


Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Class: Arachnida; subclass:Acari
  • Order: Metastigmata or Ixodida
  • Family: Ixodidae
  • Genus: Amblyomma
  • Species: Amblyomma maculatum

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Adults feed on deer, horses, cattle, sheep and carnivores.
  • Nymphs and larvae usually parasitize small rodents, lagamorphs and ground nesting birds.
  • Preferred habitats are woodland or pasture bordering woodland.

Lifecycle

  • Three host tick, ie each stage falls off the host into the environment after feeding, molts and finds another host for the next stage.
  • Life cycle usually taks 3 years with one generation per year but stages may overwinter.

Pathological effects

  • Pruritus, local hypersensitivity with tick-bite site ulceration and secondary pyoderma Skin: deep pyoderma.
  • Adults can engorge with 0.5-2 ml blood so potential for anemia if present in large numbers.
  • Vector of Hepatozoon americanum, cause of American canine hepatozoonosis.
  • Vector of Rickettsia parkeri, cause of a form of spotted fever in humans.
  • Very painful bite.

Control

Control via chemotherapies

  • Amitraz Amitraz , Fipronil Fipronil , pyrethroids, pyriprole and isoxazolines are approved for treatment and prophylaxis in dogs.

Control via environment

  • Avoidance of woodland and pasture bordering woodland.
  • If walking through woodlands, keep to the center of paths rather than walking close to trees and shrubs at edge of path.
  • Management of garden habitat, avoiding significant garden plant cover in rural areas.

Vaccination

  • None available for tick control. See control of tick-borne diseases Tick control.

Other countermeasures

  • Checking for ticks every 24 hours and removal with a tick hook using a 'twist and pull' action.
  • Important to remove tick as soon as it is found to reduce risk of disease transmission.
  • If the tick is removed but the mouthparts remain this will increase the risk of local soft tissue reaction and disease transmission.

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Florin D, Jiang J, Robbins R G et al (2013) Infection of the Gulf Coast tick, Ambylomma maculatum (Acari: Ixodidae), with Rickettsia parkeri: first report from the State of Delaware. Systematic & Applied Acarology 18 (1), 27-29 ResearchGate.

Other sources of information

  • Wall R & Shearer D S (Editors) (2008) Veterinary Ectoparasites: Biology, Pathology and Control, 2nd edn, Blackwell Science Ltd, London, pp 71-74.
  • Baker A S (1990) Mite and ticks of domestic animals: An identification and information source. The Natural History Museum, The Stationery Office, London, pp 176-179.

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