Volume 25, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



In order to identify potential vectors of human babesiosis () in southern Massachusetts, I attempted to transmit the infection via nymphal ticks of that species found to be most abundant on reservoir hosts () in nature. Mice were collected at frequent intervals throughout a year in a known enzootic focus on Nantucket Island, and ticks were removed by hand. Ticks of only two species were present; larvae and nymphs of were about 10 times as numerous as were those of . Accordingly, were used in attempts to transmit a strain of derived from a human infection recently acquired near the study site. Larvae were permitted to feed on an infected hamster and nymphs derived from these larvae were placed on each of 11 non-infected hamsters. All but one hamster became infected. Nymphs reared from larvae that had attached to a non-infected hamster did not transmit babesiosis to other hamsters. These results suggest that serves as a vector of babesiosis on Nantucket Island.


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