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Tick-Borne Illnesses of Alabama: Relationships Among Hosts, Habitats, and Ticks Throughout the State

Metadata FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributorEmily Merritt, em23merr@gmail.comen_US
dc.coverage.temporalJune 2015 to September 2017en_US
dc.creatorMerritt, Emily
dc.creatorLockaby, Graeme
dc.creatorMathias, Derrick
dc.description.abstractTicks are the foremost parasites of wildlife and humans in the United States, and may transmit pathogens associated with Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, spotted fever Rickettsiosis, and others. Despite the high occurrence of several species of ticks throughout Alabama, little is known about their distribution or the degree to which they carry pathogens. Consequently, the probability of encountering infected ticks in the state is unknown. For this project, we identified land use and climatic factors that affect tick and pathogen distribution and risk, and determined relationships among habitats, ticks, pathogens, and hosts. Ticks were trapped for one year (5/16-5/17) on 105 sites in deciduous, coniferous, pasture, early successional, and residential areas throughout Alabama. Hourly forest floor temperature and relative humidity were recorded on the same sites. Additionally, during the summers of 2015 and 2016, 478 ticks were collected from 89 white-tailed deer in 12 counties, and 3,302 ticks were collected from 809 deer on 12 Wildlife Management Areas during two successive winters from 2015-2017. Preliminary analyses show that across all locations and land uses, minimums and ranges of humidity and temperature are the primary drivers of overall tick abundance, particularly for nymphs. Conversely, within each land use, forest floor characteristics are the primary drivers. Additionally, while only 11% (n=61) of ticks captured on traps are black-legged ticks, 88% (n=2,894) were collected from deer between November to February, elucidating a deer’s critical role in their survival and movement, and suggesting traditional sampling methods for this species are ineffective in the Southeast.en_US
dc.relation.ispartofSoutheastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agenciesen_US
dc.rights(CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format. You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. You may not use the material for commercial purposes. If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
dc.subjecttick-borne diseaseen_US
dc.subjectTick-borne illnessen_US
dc.subjecttick-borne pathogenen_US
dc.subjectAmblyomma americanumen_US
dc.subjectAmblyomma maculatumen_US
dc.subjectIxodes scapularisen_US
dc.subjectDermicentor variabilisen_US
dc.subjectcarbon dioxide trapen_US
dc.subjectEhrlichia chaffeensisen_US
dc.subjectEhrlichia ewingiien_US
dc.subjectRickettsia amblyommiien_US
dc.subjectRickettsia parkerien_US
dc.subjectwhite-tailed deeren_US
dc.subjectferal hog/swineen_US
dc.subjectGulf coast ticken_US
dc.subjectLone star ticken_US
dc.subjectBlack legged ticken_US
dc.subjectAmerican dog ticken_US
dc.titleTick-Borne Illnesses of Alabama: Relationships Among Hosts, Habitats, and Ticks Throughout the Stateen_US
dc.type.genrePresentation, Paper Presentationen_US
dc.description.statusAnalyses in progressen_US
dc.locationLouisville, Kentucky, USAen_US

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