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Applications of electron microscopy in ticks: description, detection of pathogens, and control

Abstract

Electron microscopy (EM) is a very good tool in the biological researches. It is mainly used in the morphological description of adult and immature stages of ticks. In this review, different applications of EM in identification of ticks were discussed. In general, the applications of EM have been presented in four topics: morphological descriptions, comparative taxonomy, detection of pathogens in tick organs, and drug efficacy on ticks. EM was used in the description of a new tick or description of a tick which was described before to clarify additional characters that were not observed before by light microscope (LM). It is obvious that the EM provides all the morphological characters clearly in details. However, ticks have ornamented characters on their scutum, so it is necessary to use LM as well as molecular biology to confirm the morphological characters. EM is also used in detection of ultrastructure of pathogenic organisms in the cell lines or tissues of tick vectors that infected experimentally or naturally by pathogen. EM also helps to know the effect of new drugs or its mode of action by photography of the alterations which may occur on the integument or other tick organs such as the digestive system.

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Correspondence to Raafat M. Shaapan.

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Abdel-Shafy, S., Ghazy, A.A. & Shaapan, R.M. Applications of electron microscopy in ticks: description, detection of pathogens, and control. Comp Clin Pathol 28, 585–592 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00580-018-2786-2

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Keywords

  • Ticks
  • Electron microscopy
  • Morphology
  • Taxonomy
  • Drug efficacy
  • Pathogens