by A. Trevor Willis, M.D., B.S. (Melb.), Ph.D. (Leeds), M.C.Path., M.C.P.A., Reader in Microbiology, Monash University, formerly Lecturer in Bacteriology, University of Leeds. xiv + 234 pages, illustrated, second edition. Butterworth Inc., Washington. 1965. $8.50
In order to identify potential vectors of human babesiosis (Babesia microti) in southern Massachusetts, I attempted to transmit the infection via nymphal ticks of that species found to be most abundant on reservoir hosts (Peromyscus leucopus) 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 Ixodes scapularis were about 10 times as numerous as were those of Dermacentor variabilis. Accordingly, I. scapularis were used in attempts to transmit a strain of Babesia 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 I. scapularis serves as a vector of babesiosis on Nantucket Island.