, Volume 45, Issue 3-4, pp 211-217
Date: 20 Jun 2008

The effect of temperature and fasting period on the viability of free-living females of Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Acari: Ixodidae) under laboratory conditions

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Little is known about the effect of temperature on viability of free-living phases of the life cycle of Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille, 1806) despite of its importance as vector of several pathogens. Knowledge of the effect of abiotic factors on the capacity of a given tick species to infest new hosts is important for routine experimental activities under laboratory conditions, and may be relevant to understand the transmission of pathogens. The study evaluates the viability of R. sanguineus females held at 18 ± 1, 27 ± 1 and 32 ± 1°C and 80 ± 5% RH (saturation deficits of 3.0, 5.3 and 7.2 mmHg, respectively) for three fasting periods (3 and 20 days and the day when female mortality reached approximately 50% after ecdysis), under laboratory conditions. In general, the best result on viability was obtained when rabbits were infested with unfed female ticks after three or 20 fasting days at both 27 ± 1 and 32 ± 1°C and 80 ± 5% RH.