Attempted transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi (Spirochaetales: Spirochaetaceae) (JDI strain) by Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae), Dermacentor variabilis, and Amblyomma americanum

J Med Entomol. 1992 Jul;29(4):673-7. doi: 10.1093/jmedent/29.4.673.


Laboratory-reared Ixodes scapularis Say, Amblyomma americanum (L.), and Dermacentor variabilis (Say) were fed on New Zealand white rabbits experimentally infected with Borrelia burgdorferi (JDI strain). At repletion, spirochetes could be detected by dark-field microscopy only in I. scapularis. Acquisition rates were 18 and 21%. When previously exposed nymphs of each species were fed on susceptible rabbits, I. scapularis was the only tick of the three species that transmitted B. burgdorferi. When a single rabbit was experimentally infected with B. burgdorferi and infested at 7-d intervals with I. scapularis, A. americanum, D. variabilis, and a second time with I. scapularis, B. burgdorferi was detected again only in cultures from the two groups of I. scapularis. When molted nymphs from each tick species were allowed to feed on susceptible rabbits, spirochetes again were isolated only at necropsy from the rabbits on which the two groups of I. scapularis fed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachnid Vectors / microbiology*
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / isolation & purification*
  • Dermacentor / microbiology
  • Lyme Disease / transmission*
  • Male
  • Nymph / microbiology
  • Rabbits
  • Ticks / microbiology*