Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 24598111
Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2014 Apr;5(3):323-8
Artificial membrane feeding systems are effective tools for both tick rearing and studying tick-borne pathogen transmission. In order to compare the effects of the type of feeding system on tick engorgement, Ixodes ricinus ticks were either fed on an artificial membrane feeding system or on live mice. Sheep and chicken blood were used with the membrane system to assess the effects of blood origin on tick engorgement. To investigate the effects of blood meal infection on tick engorgement, ticks were either fed with Bartonella-infected or uninfected blood, both via membrane feeding and on mice. The proportion of engorged ticks, the duration of tick feeding, and the weight of engorged ticks were assessed. Feeding on the artificial system led to a longer duration of tick feeding and a lower proportion of engorged ticks than when fed on mice, however, the weight of engorged ticks was unaffected. The proportion and weight of engorged ticks, as well as the duration of feeding were not affected by blood origin. Feeding on an infected blood meal or on infected mice decreased the proportion and the weight of engorged ticks, but did not affect tick feeding duration.