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The Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni, has long been known to transmit human pathogens. Within the Bitterroot Valley, Ravalli County, Montana, these agents include Rickettsia rickettsii, Francisella tularensis, and Colorado tick fever virus (CTFV). Found in the western United States where wood ticks occur, CTFV causes a biphasic, febrile illness in humans and persists in enzootic cycles involving the ticks and small mammals. CTFV belongs to the genus Coltivirus, family Reoviridae, whose genome consists of 12 double-stranded RNA segments. Previous studies revealed the presence of CTFV-infected ticks and rodents in select locations within the valley in the 1960s and 1970s, using animal and cell culture methods for detection. We aimed to determine the range and prevalence of the virus in adult questing ticks throughout the valley using molecular tools and to examine the genomic variation between virus strains. Adult D. andersoni ticks were collected during 2002-2003 and 2009-2013. RNA extractions and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction were performed on 921 ticks, of which 61 ticks were positive for CTFV, resulting in a 6.6% prevalence of infection. Four genetic loci, one from each of the segments 9, 10, 11, and 12, within the viral genome were sequenced. Reassortment was detected between CTFV sequence strains within the valley. This study confirmed the prevalence of CTFV in D. andersoni ticks within the Bitterroot Valley, which has remained at levels found in the 1950s and 60s. Additional CTFV sequences were obtained and evidence of reassortment was observed between strains within the valley.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.)
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A widely distributed genus of TICKS, in the family IXODIDAE, including a number that infest humans and other mammals. Several are vectors of diseases such as TULAREMIA; ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER; COLORADO TICK FEVER; and ANAPLASMOSIS.
A febrile illness characterized by chills, aches, vomiting, leukopenia, and sometimes encephalitis. It is caused by the COLORADO TICK FEVER VIRUS, a reovirus transmitted by the tick Dermacentor andersoni.
A species of COLTIVIRUS transmitted by the tick DERMACENTOR andersonii and causing fever, chills, aching head and limbs, and often vomiting. It occurs in the northwestern United States, except the Pacific Coast.
Blood-sucking acarid parasites of the order Ixodida comprising two families: the softbacked ticks (ARGASIDAE) and hardbacked ticks (IXODIDAE). Ticks are larger than their relatives, the MITES. They penetrate the skin of their host by means of highly specialized, hooked mouth parts and feed on its blood. Ticks attack all groups of terrestrial vertebrates. In humans they are responsible for many TICK-BORNE DISEASES, including the transmission of ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER; TULAREMIA; BABESIOSIS; AFRICAN SWINE FEVER; and RELAPSING FEVER. (From Barnes, Invertebrate Zoology, 5th ed, pp543-44)
A genus of REOVIRIDAE infecting Ixodidae ticks and transmitted by them to humans, deer, and small animals. The type species is COLORADO TICK FEVER VIRUS.
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