Indian Journal of Medical Research

: 2012  |  Volume : 135  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 435--436

Dermacentor auratus Supino, 1897 (Acarina, Ixodidae) reported from Wayanad, Kerala

KG Ajithkumar1, Reghu Ravindran2, S Ghosh2,  
1 Department of Veterinary Parasitology, College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Pookode, Wayanad 673 576; Division of Parasitology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar 243 122, India
2 Department of Veterinary Parasitology, College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Pookode, Wayanad 673 576, India

Correspondence Address:
K G Ajithkumar
Department of Veterinary Parasitology, College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Pookode, Wayanad 673 576; Division of Parasitology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar 243 122

How to cite this article:
Ajithkumar K G, Ravindran R, Ghosh S. Dermacentor auratus Supino, 1897 (Acarina, Ixodidae) reported from Wayanad, Kerala.Indian J Med Res 2012;135:435-436

How to cite this URL:
Ajithkumar K G, Ravindran R, Ghosh S. Dermacentor auratus Supino, 1897 (Acarina, Ixodidae) reported from Wayanad, Kerala. Indian J Med Res [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 Sep 27 ];135:435-436
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The species of ixodid ticks reported from Kerala include, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus, R. (B.) microplus, R. (B.) decoloratus, R. sanguineus, R. haemaphysaloides, R. turanicus, Haemaphysalis bispinosa, H. intermedia, H. aculeata, H. cuspidata, H. knobigera, H. turturis, H. spinigera, Hyalomma anatolicum, H. marginatum isaaci, H. hussaini, Amblyomma integrum, Nosomma monstrosum, N. keralensis[1],[2]. The available literature does not show the report of any species of Dermacentor from Kerala. Various species of Dermacentor are recognized as vectors and reservoirs of bacilli, piroplasms, theilerias, viruses and reckettsiae [3] . This communication focuses on the identification of an adult male Dermacentor auratus from a man native of Wayanad district of Kerala, India.

A male labourer working at College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Pookot, Wayanad, Kerala, reported on February 20, 2009 about an attachment of tick on his leg while he was returning from his home through the college campus, which shares its boundary with the reserve forest. Bite had occurred only a few minutes back so the tick could be removed gently without damaging the mouth parts. The specimen was observed under a stereozoom microscope (Labomed, India) for species identification [3],[4],[5] and photographed.

The removed single tick was identified as male D. auratus Supino, 1897 (Acarina, Ixodidae). Size of the tick was 7mm (length from capitulum to middle festoon) x 5mm (maximum breadth at its mid length). Scutum, capitulum and legs were highly ornate. Hypostome was short, spatulate, with a dentition of 3/3. A pair of eyes was present at the level of second coxae. More or less raised brown base colour markings characteristic of D. auratus were present on the dorsal scutum [Figure 1]a. Large punctuation interspersed by minute ones was noticed on the dorsal aspect of scutum while these were not observed on the brown raised areas. Festoons contained 11 bulges. On the ventral side, coxae increased in size from I to IV [Figure 1]b, which is also a typical characteristic of Dermacentor spp. Palps were longer than basis capitulum, spiracular plates were ovate with a short narrow tail; external and internal spurs of coxa I were well separated. {Figure 1}

There are 30 species of Dermacentor reported from all over the world, of which only three viz., D. atrosignatus, D. auratus, D. raskemensis occur in India. D. auratus has been recorded from hosts like man, cattle, deer, buffalo, wild boar and small mammals in different States of the country like Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Orissa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal [6],[7],[8] [Figure 2]. The present report is perhaps the first record of bite of a human being by an adult male D. auratus from Kerala. {Figure 2}

D. auratus has already been reported to carry many recketsiae and viruses. Anaplasma sp. strain AnDa465, a genotype of Anaplasma platys and Rickettsia sp. strain RDla420 were detected from these ticks collected from dogs and bear respectively [9] . D. auratus was also identified to carry Kyasanur forest disease (KFD) virus [10] which causes a fatal zoonotic viral disease reported from KFD region of Karnataka.

Wild pigs, deer, and possibly the python are reported to be the host for adults [11] . Bite of a nymphal stage of D. auratus on the upper eyelid of a man has been previously reported from Kolkata [12] . Man is frequently infected by nymphs of these ticks. But in the present case, the bite was due to an adult tick on man. Spread of this tick might have occurred from D. auratus prevalent Kyasanur forest and surrounding area of Karnataka State to the neighboring district Wayanad of Kerala due to migration of wildlife or transportation of livestock.


Authors acknowledge the financial support received from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research through World Bank funded National Agricultural Innovation Project No. C2066.


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