Faculté des sciences

Feeding electrogram studies on the African cattle brown ear tick Rhipicephalus appendiculatus: evidence for an antifeeding effect of tick resistant serum

Lösel, P. M. ; Guerin, Patrick M. ; Diehl, Peter A.

In: Physiological Entomology, 1992, vol. 17, no. 4, p. 342-350

Feeding behaviour of partially engorged Rhipicephalus appendiculatus (Neumann) (Acari: Ixodidae) on rabbit serum held in capillary tubes and placed over the tick mouthparts was studied using the feeding electrogram technique with simultaneous macro video photography. Correlation of electrical events with fluid movement in the vicinity of the tick's mouthparts and the capillary meniscus,... Plus

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    Summary
    Feeding behaviour of partially engorged Rhipicephalus appendiculatus (Neumann) (Acari: Ixodidae) on rabbit serum held in capillary tubes and placed over the tick mouthparts was studied using the feeding electrogram technique with simultaneous macro video photography. Correlation of electrical events with fluid movement in the vicinity of the tick's mouthparts and the capillary meniscus, permitted the characterization of an orderly sequence of signals, termed the ‘Feeding Complex’, associated with highest weight gains. This complex consisted of a 3–8 Hz fast-sucking waveform typically lasting 4–5 min, a sharp drop in potential at salivation, and rest lasting 1 or 2 min where no waveform or fluid movements occur. Very high impedence recordings from within the tick capitulum indicate that the fast-sucking waveform coincides with bursts of potentials corresponding to contraction of the pharyngeal dilator muscles, whereas during rest a tonic series of spikes signifies that the floor of the salivarium is actively lowered. Feeding electrograms of ticks fed on serum from tick-resistant rabbits showed significantly fewer feeding complexes. The weight gains achieved by these ticks were reduced correspondingly. This suggests that some of the humoral effectors of immunity have an antifeedant effect on this unusual parasite of rabbits.