US Army Med Dep J. 2016 Oct-Dec;(3-16):22-8.
Four species of ticks known to parasitize humans (Amblyomma americanum (lone star tick), Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick), Amblyomma maculatum (Gulf Coast tick), and Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick)) were collected at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Fort Eustis, Virginia during 2009.
These ticks were tested individually (adults and nymphs) and in pools of 15 (larvae) for pathogens of public health importance within the genera: Rickettsia, Borrelia, and Ehrlichia, by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays and, where appropriate, multilocus sequence typing (MLST).
Of the 340 A americanum ticks tested, a minimum of 65 (19%), 4 (1%), 4 (1%), and one (<1%) were positive for Rickettsia amblyommii, B lonestari, E ewingii and E chaffeensis, respectively.
One of 2 (50%) A maculatum ticks collected was found to be positive for R parkeri by MLST and qPCR analyses.
All 33 D variabilis ticks were negative for evidence of rickettsial infections.
Likewise, no pathogenic organisms were detected from the single Ixodes scapularis tick collected.
Pathogenic rickettsiae and ehrlichiae are likely emerging and cause under-recognized diseases, which threaten people who live, work, train, or otherwise engage in outdoor activities at, or in the vicinity of, Fort Eustis, Virginia.
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