Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/5/2012
Publication Date: 2/1/2014
Citation: Allan, S.A. 1993. Tick rearing and in vitro feeding. In: Sonenshine, D.E., Roe, M., editors. Biology of Ticks. 2nd edition. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 445-473
Interpretive Summary: n/a
Technical Abstract: The production of high quality laboratory-reared ticks is essential to many studies on tick biology, control and interactions with pathogenic agents. Tick rearing is complicated by the requirement of blood feeding multiple times throughout the life cycle and time- intensive rearing procedures (Gregson 1966; Sonenshine 1993; Bouchard and Wikel 2005). The requirement for maintaining live vertebrate hosts becomes difficult due to the expense and housing of animals, ethical concerns and administrative requirements. Despite the wide variety of natural hosts for ticks, most species are reared on several common laboratory vertebrate host species (e.g., rabbits, rats and mice). Advances with in vitro feeding methods such as capillary tube feeding or use of membrane-based feeders, provide promise, in some circumstances, of alternatives to vertebrate hosts. However, it is unlikely that rearing using an artificial feeding system will ever be able to replicate natural tick feeding, because of the complex interactions that occur between the tick and its host.