Date of Award
Master of Science - Biology
Rickettsia parkeri is an obligate intracellular pathogenic bacterium that is commonly transmitted by the Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum. Rickettsia parkeri is the causative agent of Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis, which is a disease characterized by nonspecific symptomology. Significant effort by numerous research groups focuses on determining the geographic distribution of potential vectors of this pathogen. The purpose of this study was to study A. maculatum populations in Nacogdoches County, Texas, for the presence of Rickettsia parkeri. Over a two-year period, 49 ticks were collected in Nacogdoches county and taxonomically identified. The DNA was extracted using DNeasy Blood and Tissue Kit, and the UltraClean Microbial DNA Isolation Kit. The genomic contents of the tick were subjected to PCR amplification to identify Rickettsia genus bacteria. Any ticks testing positive for Rickettsia spp. were subjected to PCR to test for R. parkeri and R. rickettsii. Ultimately, 26% of ticks collected were positive for a rickettsia bacteria with 6% positive for Rickettsia parkeri.
Blakley, Nathaniel, "SURVEY OF Rickettsia spp. IN TICKS IN NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TEXAS" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 192.
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