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ID#:10866
Description:This photograph depicts a dorsal view of a female Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni. This tick specie is a known North American vector of Rickettsia rickettsii, which is the etiologic agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Dermacentor andersoni is found in the Rocky Mountain states and in southwestern Canada. The life cycle of this tick may require up to 2 to 3 years for completion. Adult wood ticks feed primarily on large mammals, while the larvae and nymphs feed on small rodents. See PHIL 10869, for a side-by-side comparative view of both a male and female D. andersoni tick.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever, like all rickettsial infections, is classified as a zoonosis. Zoonoses are diseases of animals that can be transmitted to humans. Many zoonotic diseases require a biological vector (e.g., a mosquito, tick, flea, or mite) in order to be transmitted from the animal host to the human host. In the case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ticks are the natural hosts, serving as both reservoirs and vectors of R. rickettsii. Ticks transmit the organism to vertebrates primarily by their bite. Less commonly, infections may occur following exposure to crushed tick tissues, fluids, or tick feces.

High Resolution: Click here for hi-resolution image (25.88 MB)
Content Providers(s):CDC/ Dr. Christopher Paddock
Creation Date:2008
Photo Credit:James Gathany
Links:CDC – Div. of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases; Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
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Copyright Restrictions:None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.

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