Project Manager: Ben J. Mans

Focus areas include fundamental research into Tick Biology, Tick Taxonomy and Systematics, and Tick Ecology. Research integrate with the Diagnostics: Parasitic Diseases and Epidemiology, Vaccines and Diagnostic development themes to assist in applied research that focus on tick control. For these purposes we maintain the Gertrud Theiler National Tick Museum as well as various tick colonies maintained under quarantine conditions in the East Coast fever quarantine stables.

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  • Tick Biology

    This focus on a basic understanding of tick biochemistry and physiology as related to tick-host interactions and blood-feeding behaviour. Main areas of research concerns tick transcriptomics, genomics, salivary gland protein function, tick paralysis and toxicoses. Outcomes of this research focus on construction of accurate annotated tick sequence databases and development of anti-tick vaccines.

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  • Taxonomy and Systematics

Classification, identification and an understanding of the correct systematic relationships between different tick species are fundamental to understand tick evolution, but also as supporting structure to all other research activities that focus on tick biology, tick-pathogen interactions and ecology. Research focus on classic morphological descriptions, morphometrics, molecular systematics, genomics and transcriptomics.

EPV host the Gertrud Theiler National Tick Museum, where fundamental systematic and taxonomic research is conducted and representatives of tick species are archived for research. Tick identification services is offered for the public and for researchers.

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  • Tick Ecology

An understanding of tick ecology is fundamental to disease control and an understanding of disease epidemiology. Research focus on tick distribution mapping and modelling in southern Africa and its relationship to tick-borne pathogens. Diseases of specific importance are Babesiosis and Theileriosis of bovines, canines, equines and wild life. This theme integrate with the Diagnostics: Parasitic Diseases  and Epidemiology, Vaccines and Diagnostic Development themes.​

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Key personnel: Ben Mans (mansb@arc.agric.za);  Dr Sikhumbuzo Mbiz​eni (mbizenis@arc.agric.za); Deon Bakkes (bakkesd@arc.agric.za); Heloise Heyne (heyneh@arc.agric.za); Ronel Pienaar (PienaarR@arc.agric.za); Minique de Castro (deCastroM@arc.agric.za)

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