ISSN 2398-2969      

Neotrombicula autumnalis

Clapis

Synonym(s): Trombicula autumnalis


Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Kingdom: Animalia.
  • Phylum: Arthropoda.
  • Class: Arachnida.
  • Order: Acari.
  • Family: Trombiculidae.
  • Subfamily: Trombiculinae.
  • Genus:Neotrombicula.
  • Species:autumnalis.
  • Subspecies:autumnalis.
  • Scientific nameNeotrombicula autumnalis autumnalis.

Etymology

  • Neotrombicula autumnalis autumnalis.

Distribution

  • Western Europe to Eastern Asia.
  • The mite has not been found in the Nearctic region, and only isolated populations have been observed in the Palaearctic region.
  • Not seen in Australia.

Active Forms

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Due to the lack of scientific studies, little is known about the ecology ofN. autumnalisand its distribution, and preferred habitats cannot be predicted.
  • Reported field experiments suggest thatN. autumnalisand particularly its larval stages are extremely euryoecious (meaning tolerating very different environmental conditions).

Lifecycle

  • The adult mite lays her spherical eggs in the soil.
  • Eggs hatch in about 10 days as 6-legged larvae   Neotrombicula autumnalis: larva  .
  • On hatching the larvae move onto low vegetation in search of a suitable host.
  • Larvae feed on the skin surface of the host and then drop to the ground when engorged.
  • Having finished feeding the larva enters the soil and develops into an inactive protonymph.
  • The protonymph hatches to become a predaceous deutonymph.
  • After a phase of inactivity as a tritonymph, sexually mature adults are formed.
  • Adults feed on insect and vegetable matter and may be found on beetles and potato peels.
  • See alsoNeotrombicula autumnalis: lifecycle - diagram   Neotrombicula autumnalis: lifecycle - diagram 

Transmission

  • The 6-legged larvae emerge from the egg and proceed to climb up whatever vegetation is encountered to await a host.
  • Larvae can survive for up to 30 days without a host.
  • Transmission ofN. autumnalisfrom dogs and cats to humans has been reported. This possibility should not be overlooked where owners have close physical contact with their rabbits.

Pathological effects

  • Once on the host's skin, the larva attaches itself using its blade-like chelicerae and proceeds to inject a fluid which digests tissue and allows the larvae to feed on lymph fluid   Neotrombicula autumnalis infestation  .
  • In rabbits, the harvest mite larvae are most commonly found on the ears, anus, feet and the canthi of the eyes.
  • The feeding process induces intense pruritus resulting in a dermatitis, characterized by the formation of discrete macules and papules.
  • If left untreated pruritus can persist for more than a week, and can cause violent scratching and biting.
  • Scratching may    →   secondary infections.
  • In animals, massive infestations may give rise to neurological involvement with paresis of the hindlimbs, asthenia, limping and headshaking.

Other Host Effects

  • Recent studies are starting to proposeN. autumnalisas a vector for some infections.
  • One study foundEhrlichia phagocytophilain a number of larvae before their contact with hosts, suggesting transovarian transmission.
  • N. autumnalishas been reported as a vector ofBorrelia burgdorferi.
  • A role forN. autumnalisas a vector of myxomatosis   Myxomatosis   has also been proposed.

Control

Control via animal

  • The use of effective and well tolerated repellents is recommended.
  • The use of a permethrin based repellent is recommended in human medicine and may be of use in rabbits.
  • Essential oils, eg basil, citronella and cinnamon leaf, may have some value as a mite repellent.

Control via chemotherapies

  • Treatment ofN. autumnalisin dogs and cats typically relies on the use of a 0.25% Fipronil pump spray.

The use of Fipronil in rabbits, however, is not recommended as adverse reactions have been reported.

  • In rabbits, perhaps the most appropriate form of chemotherapy consists of permethrin.

Control via environment

  • Control of vegetation, eg cutting back bracken, has been proposed as a means of reducing the transmission ofN. autumnalisto man. The efficacy of such methods have not been evaluated in small mammals such as the rabbit.
  • Removal of the rabbit from the source of the harvest mites, eg the lawn, prevents further infestations.
  • All clothing and bedding should be washed at a minimum temperature of 55°C.

Other countermeasures

  • The disease is seasonal and self-limiting.

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Parcell B J, Sharpe G, Jones B et al (2013) Conjunctivitis induced by a red bodies mite, Neotrombicula autumnalisParasite 20, 25 PubMed.
  • Schöler A, Maier W & Kampen H (2006) Multiple environmental factor analysis in habitats of the Harvest mite Neotrombicula autumnalis (Acari: Trombiculidae) suggests extraordinarily high euryoecious biology. Exp Appl Acarology 39 (1), 41-62 PubMed.
  • Guarneri F, Pugliese A, Guidice E et al (2005) Trombiculiasis: clinical contribution. Eur J Derm 15 (6), 495-496 PubMed.
  • Kampen H, Schöler A, Metzen M et al (2004) Neotrombicula autumnalis (Acari, Trombiculidae) as a vector for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato? Exp Appl Acarology 33 (1-2), 93-102 PubMed.
  • Fernández-Soto P, Pérez-Sánchez R & Encinas-Grandes A (2001) Molecular detection of Ehrlichia phagocytophila genogroup organisms in larvae of Neotrombicula autumnalis (Acari: Trombiculidae) captured in Spain. J Parasitol 87 (6), 1482-1483 PubMed.
  • Nuttall T J, French A T, Cheetham H C et al (1998) Treatment of Trombicula autumnalis infestation in dogs and cats with a 0.25% fipronil pump spray. J Small Anim Pract 39 (5), 237-239 PubMed.
  • Vater G (1982) The geographical distribution of the harvest mite Neotrombicula autumnalis (Acari: Trombiculidae). Zoologische Jahrbucher, Abteilung fur Systematik, Okologie und Geographie der Tiere 109 (3), 329-356 VetMedResource.
  • Sasa M (1961) Biology of chiggers. Ann Rev Ent 6, 221-244 AnnualReviews.
  • Keay G (1937) The Ecology of the Harvest Mite (Trombicula autumnalis) in the British Isles. J Anim Ecol (1), 22-35 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Varga M (2014) Skin diseases. In:Textbook of Rabbit Medicine.2nd edn. Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford. ISBN: 9780702049798.
  • Shatrov A B & Kudryashova N I (2007) Taxonomy, Lifecycles and the Origin of Parasitism in Trombiculid Mites. In:Micromammals & Macroparasites From Evolutionary Ecology to Management. Eds: Morand S, Krasnov B R & Poulin R. Springer, Japan. pp 119-140.
  • Wilkinson D C (2004) Population Biology, Ectoparasites and Myxomatosis: A Longitudinal Study of a Free-living Population of European Wild RabbitsOryctolagus cuniculus(L.) in East Anglia. PhD thesis, University of East Anglia.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2002) Skin diseases. In:Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, UK. pp 224-248.
  • Hofing G L & Kraus A L (1994) Arthropod and Helminth Parasites. In:The Biology of the Laboratory Rabbit. 2nd edn. Eds: Manning P J, Ringler D H & Newcomer C E. Academic Press. pp 231-258.

Related Images

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!

 
 
 
 

To show you are not a Bot please can you enter the number showing adjacent to this field

 Security code