Faculté des sciences

An in vitro feeding assay to test acaricides for control of hard ticks

Kröber, Thomas ; Guerin, Patrick M.

In: Pest Management Science, 2006, vol. 63, no. 1, p. 17-22

Animal husbandry could not be practised over large areas of the planet without acaricides. The prevention of tick bite and the transmission of diseases requires the use of pesticides, but this contributes to the development of tick resistance against acaricides. This drives the quest for new molecules that target physiological processes crucial to tick survival. In vivo trials involve... Plus

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    Summary
    Animal husbandry could not be practised over large areas of the planet without acaricides. The prevention of tick bite and the transmission of diseases requires the use of pesticides, but this contributes to the development of tick resistance against acaricides. This drives the quest for new molecules that target physiological processes crucial to tick survival. In vivo trials involve multiple repetitions because of inherent variations between host animals, requiring large amounts of test products and ticks. An in vitro alternative should permit the testing of the ability of a product to restrict attachment and feeding by ticks at precise doses. In this paper an in vitro feeding system is described where the European tick Ixodes ricinus L. feeds on blood through a cellulose rayon-reinforced silicone membrane. The membrane Shore hardness is modified to imitate the elastic retraction forces of skin that ensure the closing of tick penetration sites on the membrane to prevent bleeding. Tick attachment (75-100%) is achieved by adding chemical and mechanical stimuli to the membrane. Survival curves for different doses of fipronil and ivermectin tested with the method showed highly reproducible acaricide effects within 5-7 days. Significant effects are recorded down to ppb levels in blood. Standardised tests can be made with blood from the same donor animal or culture medium under the membrane.