Identification of a non-host semiochemical from miniature pinscher, Canis lupus familiaris, that repels Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (Acari: Ixodidae)

Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2021 Jan;12(1):101582. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2020.101582. Epub 2020 Oct 3.


It is already known that the beagle breed of domestic dogs produces semiochemicals capable of repelling the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (s.l.). With a view to discovering new non-host semiochemicals as tick repellents, we compared the semiochemicals produced by a putative tick-resistant breed of dog, miniature pinscher, with known tick-resistant (beagle) and tick-susceptible (English cocker spaniel) breeds. Two non-host compounds produced by beagles, i.e. 2-hexanone and benzaldehyde, were shown to be present in samples collected from all three breeds. Furthermore, two compounds, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one and 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene, were found in higher amounts in samples collected from miniature pinscher dogs. The mean amounts of benzaldehyde, 2-hexanone and 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene were similar for beagles and miniature pinschers (P > 0.05) and higher than the means observed for cocker spaniels (P < 0.05), whereas the mean amount of 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one produced by miniature pinschers was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than for the other breeds of dogs. In Petri-dish assays with adult R. sanguineus s.l., 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one was repellent for all observation periods evaluated for the two highest concentrations (0.100 and 0.200, P < 0.01). The obtained results support our hypothesis that miniature pinschers are a tick-resistant dog breed and agree with previous observations of miniature pinschers being the breed least parasitized by ticks. Furthermore, the non-host semiochemical 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one has potential to be developed for use as a repellent for the protection of susceptible dogs from R. sanguineus s.l. ticks.

Keywords: 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one; Allomone; Brown dog tick; Miniature pinscher.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acaricides / analysis
  • Acaricides / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Benzaldehydes / analysis
  • Benzaldehydes / pharmacology
  • Benzene Derivatives / analysis
  • Benzene Derivatives / pharmacology
  • Dog Diseases / parasitology
  • Dog Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Dogs
  • Methyl n-Butyl Ketone / analysis
  • Methyl n-Butyl Ketone / pharmacology
  • Pheromones / analysis
  • Pheromones / pharmacology*
  • Rhipicephalus sanguineus / drug effects*
  • Tick Control / instrumentation*
  • Tick Infestations / parasitology
  • Tick Infestations / prevention & control
  • Tick Infestations / veterinary*


  • Acaricides
  • Benzaldehydes
  • Benzene Derivatives
  • Pheromones
  • pseudocumene
  • Methyl n-Butyl Ketone
  • benzaldehyde