Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Treating Ticks With Antibiotics Inhibits Their Reproduction

Date:
May 8, 2007
Source:
University of California - Irvine
Summary:
Bacteria that may provide ticks with essential nutrients they can't get from their meals of blood could be a key to controlling ticks and the diseases they carry, such as Lyme Disease.

Adult female Amblyomma americanum tick. Note the characteristic “lone star.”
Credit: CDC

Bacteria that may provide ticks with essential nutrients they can’t get from their meals of blood could be a key to controlling ticks and the diseases they carry, a new study published in PLoS ONE shows.

UC Irvine professor Dr. Alan G. Barbour and researchers Jianmin Zhong and Algimantas Jasinskas found that certain antibiotics reduced the number of bacteria in ticks, and this was associated with retarded growth in immature ticks and reduce reproduction by adult females.

“The significance is that control of ticks as vectors of disease and as pests for humans, pets and agricultural animals might be achieved by targeting inborn bacteria that the ticks depend on for achieving full growth and reproduction,” Barbour said.

The yearlong study focused on the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, which is common in the southern and eastern United States and transmits erhlichiosis and other infections to humans and other animals. All of the ticks of this species have bacteria that appear to live symbiotically with the arthropod and are passed from one generation to the next.

The bacteria are found at highest concentrations in nymphs that have not quite reached adulthood and in engorged females. Ticks were divided into three groups and injected either with the antibiotics rifampin or tetracycline, or with a buffer that contained no antibiotics. In the groups that got antibiotics, the nymphs gained less weight than control ticks, and the females took longer to lay eggs, hatched fewer eggs and produced fewer viable larvae.

Because the bacteria are only distantly related to humans and other vertebrates, compounds that selectively inhibit or kill the bacteria could be identified and taken as a supplement by at-risk animals as part of an integrated pest management program. The compounds would then be passed through the blood to feeding ticks. This may provide an improvement over current use of pesticides that target ticks directly but also may be toxic to vertebrates and beneficial insects.

Barbour, Zhong and Jasinskas conducted the research under the auspices of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Department of Medicine and the Pacific-Southwest Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infections at UCI. Zhong also is affiliated with the Department of Biological Sciences at California State University Humboldt.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Irvine. "Treating Ticks With Antibiotics Inhibits Their Reproduction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070502143649.htm>.
University of California - Irvine. (2007, May 8). Treating Ticks With Antibiotics Inhibits Their Reproduction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070502143649.htm
University of California - Irvine. "Treating Ticks With Antibiotics Inhibits Their Reproduction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070502143649.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) The Johnson family lost their battle with the Chesterfield County, Virginia Planning Commission to allow Tucker, their pet pig, to stay in their home, but refuse to let the board keep Tucker away. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins