Experimental and Applied Acarology

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 85–91

Detection of a new Arsenophonus-type bacterium in Canadian populations of the Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni


DOI: 10.1007/s10493-010-9340-5

Cite this article as:
Dergousoff, S.J. & Chilton, N.B. Exp Appl Acarol (2010) 52: 85. doi:10.1007/s10493-010-9340-5


Ticks of the genus Dermacentor are important vectors of human and animal pathogens in North America. They also carry a variety of endosymbiotic (i.e. non-pathogenic) bacteria. The American dog tick, D.variabilis, is known to be infected with gammaproteobacteria of the genus Arsenophonus. However, there have been no previous reports of Arsenophonus-type bacteria in the Rocky Mountain wood tick, D. andersoni, a species that is sympatric with D. variabilis in the western parts of its distributional range. In this study, the presence of Arsenophonus-type bacteria was determined by PCR and DNA sequencing for 338 D. andersoni and 448 D. variabilis adults from western Canada. Fifty-one (15%) of the D. andersoni were found to be infected with Arsenophonus, whereas only a single D. variabilis was infected. The prevalence of Arsenophonus in D. andersoni varied among localities (0–27%). The 16S rDNA sequences of Arsenophonus in Canadian D. andersoni and D. variabilis were identical to one another, but the results of a phylogenetic analysis showed that they were genetically distinct from, and may represent a different species to, the Arsenophonus in D. variabilis and Amblyomma americanum in eastern USA.


Dermacentor andersoni Dermacentor variabilis Arsenophonus Bacterial 16S rDNA Endosymbiont 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada