Date of Award

Spring 4-20-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science - Biology



First Advisor

Sarah Canterberry

Second Advisor

Robert Wiggers

Third Advisor

Kevin Langford

Fourth Advisor

Daniel Bennett


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.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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