Improved transmission of Ehrlichia canis to dogs by sequential tick infestations using field-representative numbers of naturally infected Rhipicephalus sanguineus
Allen, Kelly Elise
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Experimental transmission of Ehrlichia canis was conducted using laboratory-reared Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks that were naturally fed as nymphs on dogs infected with a low-passage field isolate. After molting, 35-40 naturally infected adult ticks were applied to SPF beagles. Dogs were monitored for infection by PCR, serology, and for clinical signs typical of ehrlichiosis. After 63 days, dogs were challenged with a second set of 12 adult ticks naturally infected with E. canis as nymphs. Ehrlichia canis was successfully transmitted to the dogs in each trial using low numbers of ticks naturally infected with a low-passage E. canis field isolate that was not laboratory-cultured. In addition, we demonstrated improved E. canis transmission through sequential tick challenges as indicated by PCR and serologic results of dogs after the first and second challenge.