Ticks serve as vectors for many disease-causing pathogens, particularly bacterial and rickettsial pathogens. Diseases such as Lyme, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Rickettsiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Tularemia can result after bitten by ticks. These tick-borne diseases are more common in the Great Plains region than is recognized. The present study aimed to conduct a three-year long surveillance on various tick species in the mined land area in Cherokee County (KS) using dry ice bait as well as flag-drag technique. Over several visits (June 2020 – November 2021) to the collection site, ticks were collected using both trapping methods. Detailed environmental data was also collected during each visit on-site. The collected ticks were brought to the lab in vials kept in ice-cooler and differentiated by species, sex, and life stage in the laboratory using a dissectoscope. A total of 727 adults and nymphs as well as 112 larvae were collected from both woodland and grassland areas. The majority of which were identified as Amblyomma americanum (93.5%; Males-145, Females-169, Nymphs-366) followed by Dermacentor variabilis (6.5%; Males-25, Females-22). Pathogen testing on these ticks will be carried out by our collaborator at Oklahoma State University. This long-term ecological study will help better understand the variations in tick-pathogen prevalence influenced by various environmental parameters and thus appropriate management programs can be implemented to reduce the risk for human/animal diseases.
Nippoldt, Sydney; Belgium, Hallee; Utley, Cassady; Dasgupta, Ayushee; and Ghosh, Anuradha, "Prevalence of ticks and tick-borne pathogens in mined land areas of southeast Kansas" (2022). Posters. 13.