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Development of a mitochondrial 12S rDNA analysis for distinguishing Sciuridae species with potential to transmit Ehrlichia and Borrelia species to feeding Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae)

J Med Entomol 49(3):772-6

YEAR: 2012 TOPICS: Prevention.

The authors used a new DNA identification technique to observe that Lone Star ticks in Missouri harbor DNA from both pathogenic bacteria (Ehrlichia and Borrelia) as well as from the species of squirrels on which they feed, the Eastern gray squirrel and the generic squirrel. It was not previously known that these squirrels are hosts for disease-carrying ticks.

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