Journal of Vector Ecology (J VECTOR ECOL )

Publisher: Society for Vector Ecology


The Society publishes the biannual Journal of Vector Ecology that contains research and oper-ational papers covering many phases of vector biology, ecology, and control. The Society also distributes a periodic newsletter and holds an annual conference.

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    Journal of vector ecology
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Publications in this journal

  • Journal of Vector Ecology 01/2015; in press.
  • Journal of Vector Ecology 01/2015; 40(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Argasid ticks of the Ornithodoros erraticus complex are associated with traditional pig-farming practices on the Iberian Peninsula and are also found elsewhere in North Africa, West Africa, and western Asia. The ticks associated with pig farming on the Iberian Peninsula are the only biological vectors of African swine fever virus (ASFV) known to occur in Europe, and their ecology makes them an extremely effective reservoir of both ASFV and the Borrelia species which cause tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) in humans. The recent reappearance of ASFV in the European Union, coupled with evidence that Portuguese tick populations continue to harbor Borrelia despite a lack of confirmed human infections, suggest that these populations merit closer attention. In Portugal, a series of surveys over the last twenty-five years indicates that the number of farm sites with tick infestations has declined and suggest that populations are sensitive to changes in farm management, particularly the use of modern pig housing. Various technologies have been suggested for the control of farm-associated Ornithodoros ticks and related species but, in our opinion, farm management changes are still the most effective strategy for population control. Furthermore, we suggest that this species could probably be eradicated from Iberian pig farms. © 2014 The Society for Vector Ecology.
    Journal of Vector Ecology 12/2014; 39(2):238-248.
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    ABSTRACT: Tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) is caused by Borrelia spirochetes transmitted to humans by Argasid soft ticks of the genus Ornithodoros. We investigated the presence of Ornithodoros ticks in rodent burrows in nine sites of the Gharb region of northwestern Morocco where we recently documented a high incidence of TBRF in humans. We assessed the Borrelia infection rate by nested PCR and sequencing. All sites investigated were colonized by ticks of the Ornithodoros marocanus complex and a high proportion of burrows (38.4%) were found to be infested. Borrelia infections were observed in 6.8% of the ticks tested. Two Borrelia species were identified by sequencing: B. hispanica and B. crocidurae. The discovery in northwestern Morocco of Ornithodoros ticks infected by B. crocidurae represents a 350 km range extension of this Sahelo-Saharan spirochete in North Africa. The spread of B. crocidurae may be related to the increasing aridity of northwestern Morocco in relation to climate change.
    Journal of Vector Ecology 12/2014; 39(2):316-20.
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    ABSTRACT: Larvae of some species of mosquitoes have been shown to respond to water-borne kairomones from predators by reducing bottom-feeding and replacing it with surface filter-feeding, which uses less movement and is thus less likely to attract a predator. However, if no predator attack takes place, then it would be more efficient to use a risk allocation strategy of habituating their response depending on the predator and the overall risk. The larvae of Culiseta longiareolata Macquart live in temporary rain-filled pools, where they are exposed to a high level of predation. Within one hour, they responded to kairomones from dragonfly or damselfly nymphs, or to the fish Aphanius, by significantly reducing bottom-feeding activity. Continued exposure to the predator kairomones resulted in habituation of their response to damselflies, a slower habituation to fish, but no habituation to dragonflies even after 30 h. In contrast, the larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus Say normally live in highly polluted and thus anaerobic water, where the predation risk will be much lower. They also showed a significant reduction in bottom-feeding after 1 h of exposure to predator kairomones but had completely habituated this response within 6 h of continuous exposure. Some species of mosquito larvae can thus show a very rapid habituation to predator kairomones, while others only habituate slowly depending on the predator and overall predation risk.
    Journal of Vector Ecology 12/2014; 39(2):1-6.
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    ABSTRACT: Although adult Lepidoptera are not often considered medically relevant, some butterflies and moths are notorious for their consumption of mammalian body fluids. These Lepidoptera can be blood-feeding (hematophagous), tear-feeding (lachryphagous), or sweat-feeding (we use the term "sudophagous"). Blood-feeding Lepidoptera have been observed piercing the skin of their hosts during feeding, while tear-feeding Lepidoptera have been observed frequenting the eyes of hosts in order to directly obtain lachrymal fluid. These behaviors have negative human health implications and some potential for disease transmission. In this study, articles concerning feeding behavior of blood, sweat, and tear-feeding Lepidoptera were reviewed, with emphasis on correlations between morphological characters and feeding behaviors. Harmful effects and vector potential of these Lepidoptera are presented and discussed.
    Journal of Vector Ecology 12/2013; 38(2):289-94.
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    ABSTRACT: Ixodid ticks were collected from feral swine in eight Texas ecoregions from 2008-2011. Sixty-two percent of 806 feral swine were infested with one or more of the following species: Amblyomma americanum, A. cajennense, A. maculatum, Dermacentor albipictus, D. halli, D. variabilis, and Ixodes scapularis. Juvenile and adult feral swine of both sexes were found to serve as host to ixodid ticks. Longitudinal surveys of feral swine at four geographic locations show persistent year-round tick infestations of all gender-age classes for tick species common to their respective geographic locations and ecoregions. Amblyomma americanum, A. cajennense, A. maculatum and D. variabilis were collected from 66% of feral swine harvested through an abatement program in seven ecoregions from March to October in 2009. These results indicate westward geographic expansion of D. variabilis. Summary results show feral swine are competent hosts for ixodid species responsible for the transmission of pathogens and diminished well-being in livestock, wildlife, and humans.
    Journal of Vector Ecology 12/2013; 38(2):361-73.