Artificial feeding of partially engorged Amblyomma sculptum females through capillaries*
ABSTRACT. Abel I., Cunha N.C., Rangel C.P., Corrêa F.N. & Fonseca A.H. Artificial feeding of partially engorged Amblyomma sculptum females through capillaries. [Alimentação artificial de fêmeas parcialmente ingurgitadas de Amblyomma sculptum, por meio de tubos capilares]. Revista Brasileira de Medicina Veterinária, 38(supl. 3): 211-217, 2016. Departamento de Epidemiologia e Saúde Pública, Instituto de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, BR 465, km 7, Campus Seropédica 23897-970, Seropédica, RJ, Brazil. E-mail: email@example.com This study presents the standardization of an artificial feeding technique using capillaries and discusses its effects on biological parameters of partially engorged Amblyomma sculptum females. Partially engorged females were sorted for mean baseline weight (71.94 mg, group I; 167.58 mg, group II). Females were detached from rabbits after 7 days of feeding and then exposed to capillary tubes containing citrated bovine blood for 6, 12, and 24 h. Biological parameters were analyzed for each weight group, after each period. All ticks fed on this system took blood meal. Weights before and after artificial feeding were compared, and significant difference was observed. Mean weight gain for group I females artificially fed for 6, 12, and 24 h was 56.05, 86.75 and 192.89 mg, respectively. Weight gain in group II females fed for 6, 12 and 24 h was 133.73, 182.09 and 368.77 mg. Results indicate that capillary feeding may be used routinely in studies on pathogen transmission by A. sculptum females. The ideal initial weight range is discussed in terms of the kind of study design.