“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” ― Carl Sagan Current Biology

14th November 2013

Photo with 103 notes

Fungus Kills Ticks
Ticks may be facing a dangerous fate. In the TICLESS project, Bioforsk, the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, is hoping to determine whether fungus can kill ticks in sheep pastures. This would also benefit future hikers.
Tick ​​bites in sheep can lead to the disease tick-borne fever (TBF), which causes high fever and weakens the immune system. As a result of TBF, animals may become seriously ill from diseases they usually cope with. Bioforsk is therefore conducting field trials where the aim is to reduce tick populations in sheep grazing areas by using a tick pathogenic fungus called Metarhizium. Metarhizium occurs naturally in Norwegian soil and in the soils of many other countries worldwide where it has the potential to infect and kill ticks. When living organisms or “natural enemies” of a pest are utilized in order to reduce pest population levels, this is known as biological control.
Image: Infected female tick of the species, Ixodes ricinus. The fungus continues to grow inside the tick until it fills the whole body. Thereafter it extrudes out of the tick again and forms new spores on the outside of the body, which can spread to new ticks. (Credit: Karin Westrum, Bioforsk Plant Health)

Fungus Kills Ticks

Ticks may be facing a dangerous fate. In the TICLESS project, Bioforsk, the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, is hoping to determine whether fungus can kill ticks in sheep pastures. This would also benefit future hikers.

Tick ​​bites in sheep can lead to the disease tick-borne fever (TBF), which causes high fever and weakens the immune system. As a result of TBF, animals may become seriously ill from diseases they usually cope with. Bioforsk is therefore conducting field trials where the aim is to reduce tick populations in sheep grazing areas by using a tick pathogenic fungus called Metarhizium. Metarhizium occurs naturally in Norwegian soil and in the soils of many other countries worldwide where it has the potential to infect and kill ticks. When living organisms or “natural enemies” of a pest are utilized in order to reduce pest population levels, this is known as biological control.

Image: Infected female tick of the species, Ixodes ricinus. The fungus continues to grow inside the tick until it fills the whole body. Thereafter it extrudes out of the tick again and forms new spores on the outside of the body, which can spread to new ticks. (Credit: Karin Westrum, Bioforsk Plant Health)

Tagged: TickFungusSheepBiologyScience

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  1. fetalpile reblogged this from bugcthulhu
  2. btlbkmn reblogged this from currentsinbiology
  3. etela-savon-kauppakamari-isbe-oy reblogged this from currentsinbiology
  4. jacks-cold-sweat reblogged this from godshideouscreation
  5. godshideouscreation reblogged this from currentsinbiology
  6. quietbuddha108 reblogged this from drsohm and added:
    I think this could be an interesting field of inquiry within microbiology. I’ve read of projects involving the use of...
  7. nandowo reblogged this from drsohm
  8. witchmaiden reblogged this from drsohm
  9. drsohm reblogged this from currentsinbiology and added:
    Interesting idea. I know people hate ticks and they carry disease, but I am also wary of biocontrol - do the ticks have...
  10. faolinnfaustulusfaun reblogged this from currentsinbiology and added:
    Inb4 another biological disaster because the fungus was taken out of its natural biome and put in a place where there...
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  15. georgerf666 reblogged this from currentsinbiology and added:
    I hope that’s true because i’d just love to throw a tick on the soil and watch it be eaten by some bacteria
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