Ernieenor Faraliana Che Lah, Mariana Ahamad, Mohd Subail Haron and Ho Tze Ming (2013). Blood meal identification of field collected on-host ticks surrounding two human settlements in Malaysia. The Experiment 17(2): 1177-1183
The objective of this study is to apply a rapid method for molecular blood meal identification of on- host field-collected ticks. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) using universal primers complementary to the conserved region of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cytochrome b (cytb) gene fragment was performed on DNA samples of on-host ticks surrounding two human settlements i.e in Janda Baik, Pahang and Labu, Negeri Sembilan. DNA was amplified using PCR and the products were visualized on gel electrophoresis prior to DNA sequencing. The obtained sequences were compared with those in the GenBank database using BLAST program to identify the host species. A total of thirty individuals comprising 4 species of animals were examined. The species were Rattus tiomanicus, Maxomys rajah, Sundamys muelleri and Tupaia glis. From these animals, thirty five on-host ticks from 4 genera namely Ixodes, Dermacentor, Haemaphysalis and Amblyomma were extracted. After PCR amplification and DNA sequencing, only 19 ticks (54.2%) showed amplicons of the expected size with the similarity range of 88 – 99% with those in the GenBank. This study indicates that the PCR direct sequencing system using universal primers for vertebrate cytb gene was a potential convenient alternative rapid screening tool for tick’s blood meal identification.