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.

Related Articles


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 January 25, 2015 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 January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) Experts estimate Ebola has wiped out one-third of the world&apos;s gorillas and chimpanzees. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) Activists hope the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will label killer whales endangered, allowing lawyers to sue a Miami aquarium to release an orca into the wild after 44 years. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

Buzz60 (Jan. 23, 2015) Some &apos;healthy&apos; foods are actually fattening. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) shines a light on the sneaky foods like nuts, seeds, granola, trail mix, avocados, guacamole, olive oil, peanut butter, fruit juices and salads that are good for you...but not so much for your waistline. Video provided by Buzz60
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