|Title||Establishment and range expansion of Dermacentor variabilis in the northern Maritimes of Canada: Community participatory science documents establishment of an invasive tick species|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Authors||Kirby AM, Evans EP, Bishop SJ, Lloyd VK|
During the 10-year span covered by this study, an increasing number of locally acquired ticks were recovered in discrete foci, suggesting small established or establishing populations in southern and coastal New Brunswick. The pattern of population establishment follows the climate-driven establishment pattern of Ixodes scapularis to some extent but there is also evidence of successful seeding of disjunct populations in areas identified as sub-optimal for tick populations. Dogs were the most common host from which these ticks were recovered, which raises the possibility of human activity, via movement of companion animals, having a significant role in establishing new populations of this species. Dermacentor variabilis is a vector of several pathogens of medical and agricultural importance but is not considered to be a competent vector for Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiological agent of Lyme disease; our molecular analysis of a subset of D. variabilis for both B. burgdorferi and B. miyamotoi did not confirm any with Borrelia. This study spans the initial establishment of this tick species and documents the pattern of introduction, providing a relatively unique opportunity to examine the first stages of range expansion of a tick species.