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Tick Species

The family Ixodidae (hard ticks) is by far the largest and economically most important family with 13 genera and approximately 650 species.

The most important species of hard ticks in North America as parasites of companion animals are:
Ixodes pacificus, Ixodes scapularis (dammini) (Black-legged (Deer) tick), Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick), Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Brown dog tick) and Amblyomma americanum (Lone star tick), Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, Boophilus annulatus and Boophilus microplus.

I. ricinus (Castor bean tick, sheep tick) a prostriate tick, is the most common tick in Northern Europe and is an important vector of both animal and human diseases.

The family Argasidae (soft ticks) comprises 5 genera and approximately 170 species.
The 5 genera are: Argasinae (e.g. spp. Argas reflexus, Argas vespertilionis), Ornithodorinae (e.g. spp. Ornithodoros hermsi, Ornithodoros coriaceus, Ornithodoros moubata), Otobinae (e.g. sp. Otobius megnini), Antricolinae, Nothoaspinae.

Morphology of A Castor bean tick Ixodes ricinus; B Black-legged deer tick Ixodes scapularis (dammini); C Brown dog tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus; D American dog tick Dermacentor variabilis

 

Deer Tick

The Black-legged tick (Deer Tick) Ixodes scapularis is found in eastern North America. It has been observed in Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana.
Four diseases are spread by the bite of I. scapularis: Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferii (a type of bacterium); human babesiosis, caused by a protozoan, Babesia microti; human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) (a bacterial infection); and tick-borne encephalitis.

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American Dog Tick

Dermacentor variabilis, the American dog tick, is found throughout the United States. This species is the most common vector of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), which the tick can transmit after only 5-20 hours of feeding. It can also transmit Tularemia (hunter's disease).
Apparently, it plays no significant role in the transmission of Lyme disease and Babesiosis.

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Brown Dog Tick

The Brown dog tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus or kennel tick is one of the most widely distributed tick on the world.
It is generally believed that this species of tick cannot over winter in the more northern United States or northern Europe except within buildings with centralized heating.
The brown dog tick is a putative vector of Ehrlichia canis, a blood protozoan parasite that causes canine Ehrlichiosis. Other pathogens are Rickettsia rickettsia, R. belli, R. rhipicephali, R. montana and Babesia canis, another protozoan parasite that causes canine Babesiosis.

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Lone Star Tick

The Lone Star tick Amblyomma americanum is distributed from central Texas, eastern Oklahoma, north to Missouri, and eastward in broad belt across the southeastern United States. Along the Atlantic coast, its distribution extends northward to coastal areas of New Jersey and New York.
Its role as a vector of disease in dogs is uncertain, but Lone Star ticks infected with the agents of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease occur in nature. It is suspected in transmission of tick paralysis in dogs. Lone Star ticks transmit Tularemia (hunter's disease) to humans.

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Castor Bean Tick

Ixodes ricinus, the Castor bean tick or sheep tick, is the commonest tick in northern Europe.
The Castor bean tick transmits the pathogen Babesia divergens and B. bovis, which causes Redwater fever. It also transmits Anaplasma marginale, which causes anaplasmosis in cattle and sheep.
It acquired a new significance when in 1983 Burgdorfer et al. identified I. ricinus as a vector of Lyme disease.
Another serious threat in some Ixodid ticks is a nerve poison containing in the tick's saliva that causes paralysis to the host. The so called tick paralysis can also arise from the bite of ticks such as I. ricinus.

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The family Argasidae comprises 5 genera and approximately 170 species.
The 5 genera are: Argasinae (e.g. spp. Argas reflexus, Argas vespertilionis), Ornithodorinae (e.g. spp. Ornithodoros hermsi, Ornithodoros coriaceus, Ornithodoros moubata), Otobinae (e.g. sp. Otobius megnini), Antricolinae, Nothoaspinae.


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