Establishment of a laboratory colony of taiga tick Ixodes persulcatus for tick-borne pathogen transmission studies

Satoru Konnai, Yoichi Saito, Hideto Nishikado, Shinji Yamada, Saiki Imamura, Akina Mori, Takuya Ito, Misao Onuma, Kazuhiko Ohashi

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Ixodes persulcatus Schulze (I. persulcatus) is distributed in Russia and Far East Asia including Japan, and has been implicated as the vector of several human pathogens. In particular, I. persulcatus acts as the only tick vector for human lyme borreliosis in Japan. In order to elucidate the mechanism of transmission of I. persulcatus-borne pathogens, we developed a laboratory colony of I. persulcatus, Ticks were fed on Syrian hamster and engorged ticks that had dropped off the animals were collected and maintained to allow them to molt. Tick rearing was performed in incubator at 20°C with 95% relative humidity and 12-hour light/dark photo-period regimen. We found out that adult females fed for 8±2 days and had a pre-oviposition period lasting for 7±2 days. The minimum egg incubation period was 1 month with the hatched larvae feeding for 3±1 days and molting to nymphs 3-4 months thereafter. Meanwhile, the nymphs fed for 4±1 days and molted to adult 2-3 months thereafter. For future analysis of gene expression profiles in I. persulcatus, we cloned and sequenced the actin gene (a housekeeping gene), and found that it is 92.7% to 98.6% homologous to the published sequences of related ixodid ticks. This laboratory colony of I. persulcatus will facilitate investigations on the role of tick-derived molecules on the transmission of I. persulcatus-borne pathogens and will be important for identification of potential anti-tick vaccine and acaricide target molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalJapanese Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Actin gene
  • I. persulcatus
  • Ixodid tick
  • Laboratory colony
  • Life cycle
  • Vector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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