Analysing the Genetic Diversity of Ixodes ricinus ticks using Multilocus Sequence Typing

  • Ruth Dinnis

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Ixodes ricinus is the most important human-biting tick in Europe and the principal vector of Lyme borreliosis. In addition, this hard tick species transmits a large number of microbial pathogens that are of importance to animal and human health. Little is known about the diversity and genetic population structure of I. ricinus across Europe. Genetic diversity of these tick populations may have implications on disease transmission. I. ricinus primers were designed for a number of mitochondrial genes and a Multilocus Sequence Typing-like Scheme (MLST) was devised. This was termed mitochondrial MLST (mtMLST). MLST has so far mainly been used for typing microbes, and the development of a MLST scheme for an arthropod vector is novel. Understanding the geographic structure of I. ricinus populations, in combination with studies regarding the migration of tick-borne microbial infections, e.g. Lyme borreliosis, is likely to illuminate important processes in the evolution and spread of tick-borne diseases.
Date of Award1 Sept 2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorEdward Feil (Supervisor)


  • sequence typing
  • ticks
  • phylogenetics
  • ixodes ricinus

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