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9 January 2020 Surveillance for Amblyomma maculatum (Acari: Ixodidae) and Rickettsia parkeri (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae) in the State of Delaware, and Their Public Health Implications
Lauren P. Maestas, Sean R. Reeser, Patrick J. McGay, Michael H. Buoni
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Abstract

Amblyomma maculatum Koch is the primary vector of Rickettsia parkeri, the etiologic agent of tidewater spotted fever, and can also carry and transmit a variety of other pathogens. This tick historically has been a costly nuisance to livestock owners in the southeastern United States. Over the past 6 yr, A. maculatum has been collected in numbers sufficient to demonstrate their establishment in Kent County, Delaware, and the presence of R. parkeri has been documented. Our goals were to determine the geographic distribution of A. maculatum and R. parkeri in Delaware, and to equate this to relative risk to the public of encountering R. parkeri-infected ticks. We surveyed for ticks in four locations throughout the state from May to August 2019, and found established A. maculatum populations in all three counties. Laboratory analysis of collected specimens by quantitative polymerase chain reaction detected R. parkeri in A. maculatum populations across the state. These results indicate that A. maculatum could present a health risk to inhabitants of the state, and they also historically have posed a risk to the livestock industry, making them an important consideration in the development and implementation of continued tick surveillance efforts and future policies regarding tick management.

© Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2020. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Lauren P. Maestas, Sean R. Reeser, Patrick J. McGay, and Michael H. Buoni "Surveillance for Amblyomma maculatum (Acari: Ixodidae) and Rickettsia parkeri (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae) in the State of Delaware, and Their Public Health Implications," Journal of Medical Entomology 57(3), 979-983, (9 January 2020). https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjz255
Received: 21 September 2019; Accepted: 13 December 2019; Published: 9 January 2020
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