Tests on Ticks from Wild Birds Collected in the Eastern United States for Rickettsiae and Viruses

View More View Less
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratory, Biology Department, Old Dominion College, Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, Migratory Bird Populations Station, Hamilton, Montana 59840

Results of tests for rickettsiae and viruses on 4,266 ticks taken from more than 10,000 birds, comprising 150 species, in the eastern United States indicated the presence of two agents: Rickettsia rickettsii and an agent of the typhus group. Infection with R. rickettsii was indicated in 24 pools of Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, five pools of Ixodes dentatus, one pool of Ixodes brunneus, and two pools that contained both I. dentatus and H. leporispalustris. The pools positive for R. rickettsii were from a variety of locations in the eastern U.S. The typhus-group agent was demonstrated only once, in a single pool of H. leporispalustris taken at Kent Point, Maryland. A strain of R. rickettsii was isolated from a pool of 21 larval H. leporispalustris collected at Ocean City, Maryland. This agent possessed several characteristics of other strains of low virulence isolated previously in this region by various authors.