The infection prevalence, seasonality, supercooling point, and overwintering survival of Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae) in Manitoba, Canada.

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Polk, Zach
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The blacklegged tick Ixodes scapularis is an ectoparasite capable of transmitting many different human pathogens. In Manitoba, blacklegged ticks have been expanding their range north and west since the discovery of an endemic population in 2006. Although well studied in Eastern Canada, studies in Manitoba are lacking. To address existing knowledge gaps, I determined the seasonality, pathogen prevalence, overwintering success and cold hardiness of blacklegged ticks in Manitoba. My results indicate immature blacklegged ticks feed synchronously, and Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum are quite prevalent at two provincial parks in the province. I also found adult blacklegged ticks have a low degree of cold hardiness, but are still capable of successfully overwintering in Manitoba. This work is the first of its kind within the province, and will add to the growing body of literature on blacklegged ticks which can be applied to risk modelling by public health researcher.
Entomology, Ticks, Mammals, Manitoba, Ixodes scapularis, Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, Super cooling point, Cold hardiness