Migratory Songbirds Transport Amblyomma longirostre and Amblyomma maculatum Ticks to Canada

TitleMigratory Songbirds Transport Amblyomma longirostre and Amblyomma maculatum Ticks to Canada
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
JournalJournal of Biomedical Research & Environmental Sciences
Start Page150
Date Published02/2023
AuthorsScott JD, McKeown JTA, Scott CM
KeywordsAmblyomma, genomics, infectious diseases, neotropics, parasitology, passerine birds, tick-borne zoonotic pathogens, ticks, zoonosis

Birds transport ticks into Canada during northward spring migration, and some of these ticks are infected with tick-borne zoonotic pathogens. Some Amblyomma species harbour pathogens that cause debilitating diseases that can be fatal to humans, and domestic and wildlife animals. At least 65 Amblyomma spp. are indigenous in the Western Hemisphere, and approximately half bite humans. Amblyomma longirostre carries Rickettsia amblyommatis which causes spotted fever group rickettsiosis, a febrile disease in humans. Additionally, Amblyomma maculatum harbors and transmits Rickettsia parkeri, a spotted fever group rickettsiosis, and this tick bites humans. In the present study, we use two technologies to identify ticks. To confi rm identifi cation, we took microphotographs followed by DNA barcoding of the cytochrome c oxidase I gene. Based on molecular analysis, we confi rmed that the two Amblyomma spp. were Amblyomma longirostre, a neotropical tick and Amblyomma maculatum, the Gulf Coast tick. Based on our tick-bird fi ndings, we confi rm that migratory songbirds transport Amblyomma ticks into Canada, and have the potential, either directly or indirectly, to transmit tick-borne zoonotic pathogens to humans.