The “Asian Longhorned Tick”, Haemaphysalis longicornis, is invasive in the United States, first identified in New Jersey in 2017, and is rapidly spreading. While human pathogens have not yet been identified within H. longicornis found within the United States, the vector is known to be competent for transmission of a number of zoonotic tick-borne disease pathogens, including Borrelia, Rickettsia, Erlichia and Anaplasma species, Powassan virus and several Babesia parasites.1-4 In China, H. longicornis is a vector of the severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) virus, an emerging phlebovirus with high mortality rates.5
H. longicornis is especially of agricultural concern with cattle and sheep, transmitting tropical theileriosis, a potentially fatal parasitic infection in cattle in southern Europe, Africa and Asia. In sheep, H. longicornis infestation impacts both the quality and quantity of wool. This disease host is known to be difficult to control and is unique among ticks in the ability of the females to reproduce by parthenogenesis (full development of unfertilized eggs), as well as by sexual reproduction.
As of August 1, 2019, Asian longhorned ticks have spread to nearly one quarter of the United States, affecting Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.6
The newly available H. longicornis colony established from a wild-type, parthenogenic strain deposited by Dr. Michael Levin, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is confirmed specific-pathogen-free (SPF) by molecular screening and is available to qualified insectaries in the larval, nymph and adult life stages:
|BEI Resources No.
||Haemaphysalis longicornis Adult - live, wild-type adult tick
||Haemaphysalis longicornis Larvae - live, wild-type larval batch
||Haemaphysalis longicornis Nymph - live, wild-type nymph
- Lee, M.-J. and Joon-Seok Chae. “Molecular Detection of Erhlichia chaffeensis and Anaplasma bovis in the Salivary Glands from Haemaphysalis longicornis Ticks.” Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 10 (2010): 411-413. PubMed: 19874189.
- Meng, Z., et al. “[Detection of Co-Infection with Lyme Spirochetes and Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiae in a Group of Haemaphysalis longicornis].” Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi [Chinese Journal of Epidemiology] 29 (2008): 1217-1220. PubMed: 19173967.
- Hoogstraal, H. “Changing Patterns of Tickborne Diseases in Modern Society.” Annu. Rev. Entomol. 26 (1981): 75-99. PubMed: 7023373.
- Heath, A. C. G. “Vector Competence of Haemaphysalis longicornis with Particular Reference to Blood Parasites.” Surveillance 29 (2002): 12-14. http://www.sciquest.org.nz/node/47255.
- Yu, X. J., et al. “Fever with Thrombocytopenia Associated with a Novel Bunyavirus in China.” N. Engl. J. Med. 364 (2011): 1523-1532. PubMed: 21410387.
- “What You Need to Know About Asian Longhorned Ticks - A New Tick in the United States.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, //www.cdc.gov/ticks/longhorned-tick/index.html.
Image: Adult female Haemaphysalis longicornis tick (CDC/James Gathany)