Term of Award

Summer 2006

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Biology

Committee Chair

Quentin Q. Fang

Committee Member 1

Lance A. Durden

Committee Member 2

William S. Irby

Abstract

Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an obligate intracellular bacterium that can infect and cause disease in horses, Equine Granuloctic Anaplasmosis. The bacterium is present in the western and northeastern United States, Europe, and Asia. In this investigation, samples of Ixodes scapularis were collected from selected barrier islands and mainland sites where feral and domestic equine populations are present, respectively. Each sample was individually screened using nested PCR to amplify a fragment of the ank and 16S rRNA genes. The prevalence of A. phagocytophilum in I. scapularis ticks was 20% (n=808). The highest infection rate was seen at a barrier island site (22%, n=774). The remaining five sites had prevalence ranging from 0% (n=9) to 19% (n=51). Randomly chosen positive PCR samples from each site were sequenced, and a BLAST search verified the isolates as A. phagocytophilum, which shared sequence homology with isolates from the northeastern United States.

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