Amblyomma spp

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Amblyomma spp adult tick

Amblyomma spp are a parasitic Ixodidae tick found throughout tropical countries worldwide[1].

Known as the 'lone star tick' in the United States, this tick has a three-host life cycle, with dogs only accidentally infected.

Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:

  • Amblyomma variegatum (Africa and the Caribbean)[2]
  • Amblyomma aureolatum (North America)[3]
  • Amblyomma cajennense (North America)[4]
  • Amblyomma triste (North America)[5]
  • Amblyomma dubitatum (South America)[6].
  • Amblyomma americanum[7]
  • Amblyomma maculatum[8]

Clinical signs of infection are usually mild, but transmission of hemoplasmas such as Ehrlichia spp, Borrelia spp[9], Anaplasma spp and Rickettsia spp[10] are common and result in variable clinical signs depending on the species of symbiont.

Treatment requires mechanical removal of embedded adult ticks or application of organophosphate dips or fipronil.


  1. Bowman, DD et al (2003) Feline clinical parasitology. Iowa University Press, Iowa, pp:364
  2. Ogo NI et al (2012) Molecular identification of tick-borne pathogens in Nigerian ticks. Vet Parasitol 187(3-4):572-577
  3. Ogrzewalska M et al (2012) Epidemiology of Brazilian spotted fever in the Atlantic Forest, state of São Paulo, Brazil. Parasitology 139(10):1283-1300
  4. Melo AL et al (2011) Seroprevalence and risk factors to Ehrlichia spp. and Rickettsia spp. in dogs from the Pantanal Region of Mato Grosso State, Brazil. Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2(4):213-218
  5. Venzal JM et al(2012) Rickettsia parkeri: a Rickettsial pathogen transmitted by ticks in endemic areas for spotted fever rickettsiosis in southern Uruguay. Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo 54(3)':131-134
  6. Horta MC et al (2007) Rickettsia infection in five areas of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 102(7):793-801
  7. Baker CF et al (2011) Efficacy of a novel topical combination of fipronil, amitraz and (S)-methoprene for treatment and control of induced infestations with four North American tick species (Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes scapularis, Amblyomma americanum and Amblyomma maculatum) on dogs. Vet Parasitol 179(4):324-329
  8. Abarca K et al (2012) A third Amblyomma species and the first tick-borne rickettsia in Chile. J Med Entomol 49(1):219-222
  9. Oliver JH et al (1999) Ticks and antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi from mammals at Cape Hatteras, NC and Assateague Island, MD and VA. J Med Entomol 36(5):578-587
  10. Burgdorfer W et al (1975) Rocky Mountain spotted fever (tick-borne typhus) in South Carolina: an educational program and tick/rickettsial survey in 1973 and 1974. Am J Trop Med Hyg 24(5):866-872