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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/29204

Title: Host identification in unfed ticks from stable isotope compositions (delta C-13 and delta N-15)
Authors: Heylen, Dieter
Schmidt, O.
Dautel, H.
Gern, L.
Kampen, H.
Newton, J.
Gray, J.
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: WILEY
Citation: MEDICAL AND VETERINARY ENTOMOLOGY, 33(3), p. 360-366
Abstract: Determination of the ratios of natural stable isotopes (C-13/C-12 and N-15/N-14) in unfed Ixodes ricinus nymphs and adults, which, in their previous stage, fed on captive wild rodents (Apodemus sylvaticus and Myodes glareolus), wild birds (Parus major and Cyanistes caeruleus) or domestic ruminants (Ovis aries and Bos taurus), demonstrated that it is possible to identify each host category with confidence. First, the tick-blood spacing, which is the difference between values obtained from ticks and the blood of hosts that they had fed on in the previous stage, was consistent (152 spacings investigated from 15 host individuals in total). Second, potential confounding factors (tick age and sex) did not affect the discriminatory power of the isotope patterns, nor did different rearing conditions (room temperature vs. 4 degrees C) or the duration of development (maximum of 430 days). The findings that the tick-blood isotope spacings, across a diverse range of hosts, were similar and predictable, and that confounders had little or no effect on this, strongly support the usage of the isotope approach. Because each of the host categories has a different role in the population dynamics of I. ricinus and in tick-borne pathogen ecology, the method described here has great potential for the clarification of tick and tick-borne pathogen ecology in the field.
Notes: [Heylen, D.] Princeton Univ, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol, Princeton, NJ 08544 USA. [Heylen, D.] Hasselt Univ, Interuniv Inst Biostat & Stat Bioinformat, Diepenbeek, Belgium. [Heylen, D.] Univ Antwerp, Dept Biol, Antwerp, Belgium. [Schmidt, O.] Univ Coll Dublin, UCD Sch Agr & Food Sci, Dublin, Ireland. [Dautel, H.] IS Insect Serv GmbH, Berlin, Germany. [Gern, L.] Univ Neuchatel, Inst Biol, Neuchatel, Switzerland. [Kampen, H.] Friedrich Loeffler Inst, Greifswald, Germany. [Newton, J.] Scottish Univ Environm Res Ctr, E Kilbride, Lanark, Scotland. [Gray, J.] Univ Coll Dublin, UCD Sch Biol & Environm Sci, Dublin, Ireland.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/29204
DOI: 10.1111/mve.12372
ISI #: 000478636800005
ISSN: 0269-283X
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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