Michiel WIJNVELD wins 1st prize in the "best student's presentation" category at the "5th Labuda's days"
At the conference organized by the Slovak Academy of Sciences, dedicated to the eminent biologist Milan Labuda, Ing. Michiel Wijnveld was awarded the first prize in "Best Student's Presentation". The event took place from September 12 to 14, 2018 in Smolenice Castle, Slovakia.
The conference focusses on topics in the fields of virology, microbiology, zoology, ecology, epidemiology, parasitology.
The work presented by Michiel Wijnveld:
In vitro feeding of Ixodes ricinus and Amblyomma variegatum ticks using silicon membranes
Michiel Wijnveld, Maria Kazimirova and Gerold Stanek
Studying ticks under laboratory conditions has always proven to be difficult due to their need of a blood host several times during their lifespan. Over the years, alternatives for the direct use of laboratory animals have been developed. During this study we implemented one of such alternative feeding methods, using silicon-based membranes, to feed ticks. Both Ixodes ricinus larvae and Amblyomma variegatum nymphs were successfully fed.
On average, I. ricinus larvae feed five to seven days and A. variegatum nymphs feed five to ten days on a host. During in vitro feeding assays, we observed an increase in feeding time for both tick species. For I. ricinus larvae the average feeding time was seven to ten days, while A. variegatum nymphs fed for fourteen to seventeen days. This prolonged feeding time is also seen in other studies and signifies the difficulties to optimise artificial feeding of ticks.
Both I. ricinus larvae and A. variegatum nymphs successfully moulted into nymphs and adults respectively. It took I. ricinus larvae ≈ 40 days and A. variegatum ≈ 45 days to moult.
Using artificial feeding systems to rear and study ticks, introduces the possibility to standardise conditions and monitor the feeding proceedings in closer detail. Likewise, transmission dynamics of pathogens transmitted by ticks can be studied without the use of laboratory animals. Namely, while ticks feed, DNA from tick-borne microorganisms can easily be detected in the blood reservoir. Blood samples, taken from the blood used to feed ticks, can then be used for culture attempts of the specific microbes to proof that viable organisms are transmitted by the studied ticks.
back to: Institute for Hygiene and Applied Immunology