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I know what you ate last summer: Investigating tick-host assemblages using next-generation DNA barcoding for blood-meal analysis in Ixodes scapularis

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Title: I know what you ate last summer: Investigating tick-host assemblages using next-generation DNA barcoding for blood-meal analysis in Ixodes scapularis
Author: Lumsden, Genevieve
Department: Department of Pathobiology
Program: Pathobiology
Advisor: Jardine, Claire
Abstract: Using next-generation DNA barcoding, my objectives were: 1) investigate the temporal window of host DNA detection from the larval blood-meal in Ixodes scapularis nymphs, and 2) apply the technique in wild host-seeking I. scapularis nymphs. Ticks fed on Oryctolagus cuniculus as larvae were reared for up to 150 days post-molt. Subsets of 30 nymphs were frozen at eleven time points after the recorded day of moult. Blood-meal detection decreased as time since moult increased for both universal (UP) and species-specific (SSP) primer sets, ranging from with 96.7% detection at 0 days post-moult to 6.7% at 5 months post-moult with the SSP primers. When applied to wild host-seeking nymphs, one host species was identified as Sciurus carolinensis in 2 samples; however, blood-meal identification was unsuccessful in 99% of 216 specimens. Next-generation DNA barcoding, as applied in this study, showed limited ability to detect remnant host DNA in lab-reared and field-caught ticks.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/17702
Date: 2019-12
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International