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Parasitic organisms in the blood of arvicoline rodents in Alaska

By Francis H. Fay, Robert L. Rausch

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A Grahamella-like organism (Schizomycetes: Bartonellaceae) was found in erythrocytes of laboratory-reared northern voles, Microtus oeconomus Pallas, which had been inoculated intraperitoneally with a saline suspension of ground fleas, Megabothris abantis (Roths.), from wild northern voles captured at Lower Ugashik Lake, Alaska Peninsula. A live-trapped northern vole from the same locality harbored trypanosomes referable to T. microti (Mastigasida: Trypanosomatidae). Two morphologically similar but biologically different strains of piroplasms (Piroplasmasida: Theileriidae) of uncertain generic status were isolated from northern voles of Ugashik Lake origin and from northern red-backed voles, Clethrionomys rutilus Pallas, from the vicinity of Anchorage, Alaska. In the natural host, these piroplasms seemed to reproduce principally by schizogony in the spleen and bone marrow, but inexperimentally infected hosts from populations occurring outside the enzootic area, intraerythrocytic fission was a common method of reproduction. The vector of these piroplasms is evidently a tick, Ixodes angustus Neumann, whose geographic distribution in Alaska coincides with that of piroplasm-induced splenomegaly in arvicoline rodents. The piroplasms have been successfully transmitted from host to host in the laboratory via ticks of this species.


Megan Kendall

Purdue University

Date 1969
Publication Title The Journal of Parasitology
Volume 55
Issue 6
Pages 1258-1265
Publisher Faculty Publications from the Harold W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology
Language English
Notes This article was found at Digital Commons @ the University of Nebraska-Lincoln:
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Alaska
  2. Animal parasitic diseases
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Blood
  5. Health
  6. Parasitic diseases
  7. Parasitology
  8. Physical environment
  9. Public health
  10. Ticks