In vitro feeding of Dermacentor reticulatus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks
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The objective of this research is to make a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for in vitro feeding of Rhipicephalus sanguineus. In order to do so, it is necessary to find out under which conditions R. sanguineus can be fed. It is known, that it is easier to feed Dermacentor reticulatus in vitro. That is why first the D. reticulatus was used for the in vitro feeding. When the in vitro feeding of D. reticulatus was going well, the same setting and conditions were used to try to feed R. sanguineus ticks in vitro. This way, the possibility to make a SOP for feeding the R. sanguineus in vitro will be checked. If it is possible to find the optimal conditions in which R. sanguineus ticks will always feed well, this tick species can also be used to do research for tick-borne diseases. Because the feeding failed, it is not possible to make a Standard Operating Procedure for in vitro feeding of Rhiphicephalus sanguineus. Further investigation is necessary. However, the research showed that using perfume made of ethanol probably does not give good results and might even be toxic for the ticks. Also the quality of the ticks is of great importance, it is better to use them only once for the in vitro feeding instead of week after week. And thirdly, to prevent the units from cracking and leaking, they also should be used once, and not be rinsed with ethanol before placing the units in the blood.