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Chapter 146 : Arthropods of Medical Importance

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Abstract:

Arthropods comprise a diverse group of invertebrate animals, united in a common body theme (bauplan) of a jointed, chitinous exoskeleton. Medically important arthropods have long been considered to mainly comprise ectoparasites, parasites that limit their activities to the skin. Parasitism, however, is only one of several associations that comprise the interaction of arthropods of medical importance with humans. Arthropods may also be medically important due to indirect effects: fear of insects, delusional parasitosis, or allergy due to dust mites. The various modes by which arthropods may affect human health thus reflect the diversity of these animals, but there are very few instances in which it may be argued that natural selection favored the offspring of those that focused on causing misery. Arthropods are thought of by many in clinical settings with respect to their role as vectors, transmitters of infectious agents including viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and helminths. There are five major groups of vectors: the diptera (flies and mosquitoes), hemiptera (kissing bugs), siphonaptera (fleas), anoplura (lice), and acarines (ticks and mites). The general life history strategies for each group provide the basis for understanding vectorial capacity, which is the sum of physiological and ecological attributes that allow transmission. Vectors impart directionality to a pathogen. In contrast, there are arthropod-pathogen relationships that are not characterized by directionality, and analogous to mathematical terminology, arthropods that inadvertently serve as a source of infection are called scalars.

Citation: Telford S. 2011. Arthropods of Medical Importance , p 2255-2274. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch146

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1
FIGURE 1

Phylogeny of arthropods. (Reprinted from reference with permission of Elsevier Publishing.)

Citation: Telford S. 2011. Arthropods of Medical Importance , p 2255-2274. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch146
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FIGURE 2

Bedbugs. (Left) (bedbug). Scale bar = 0.5 mm. (Department of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health.) (Right) Immediate-type hypersensitivity reaction to bedbug bites acquired in a four-star hotel in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC, December 2005.

Citation: Telford S. 2011. Arthropods of Medical Importance , p 2255-2274. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch146
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FIGURE 3

Tungiasis. (A) Low-power section of dermal lesion showing flea uterus filled with developing eggs; (B and C) progressive edema and secondary bacterial infection of lesion. (Reprinted from reference with permission.)

Citation: Telford S. 2011. Arthropods of Medical Importance , p 2255-2274. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch146
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FIGURE 4

Lice. (A) Head louse nits; (B) body louse; (C) pubic louse; (D) vagabond's disease. (Department of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health.)

Citation: Telford S. 2011. Arthropods of Medical Importance , p 2255-2274. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch146
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Image of FIGURE 5
FIGURE 5

Tick hypostome, showing recurved denticles.

Citation: Telford S. 2011. Arthropods of Medical Importance , p 2255-2274. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch146
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FIGURE 6

Key to major tick genera in the United States. (Reprinted with permission from reference .)

Citation: Telford S. 2011. Arthropods of Medical Importance , p 2255-2274. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch146
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Image of FIGURE 7
FIGURE 7

Scabies. (Left) Diagram of feeding lesion and adult female mite. A, dorsal view of female mite; B, ventral view; C, feeding lesion within the epidermis. (Right) Chronic scabies affecting the hands. (Reprinted with permission from reference .)

Citation: Telford S. 2011. Arthropods of Medical Importance , p 2255-2274. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch146
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FIGURE 8

Key characters of some myiasis-producing fly larvae. Row 1, mature larva of a muscoid fly (from reference ). Row 2, larva of , the rat-tailed maggot; , the human botfly (with an enlarged view of a posterior spiracle); and , the latrine fly. Rows 3 and 4, appearance of posterior spiracles of some species that produce accidental, facultative, or obligatory myiasis. (Source: CDC, Atlanta, GA.)

Citation: Telford S. 2011. Arthropods of Medical Importance , p 2255-2274. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch146
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FIGURE 9

Gradual engorgement of feeding ixodid ticks. (Left) Four-day feeding sequence of nymphal . (Reprinted from reference with permission from Elsevier.) (Right) Scutal index of engorgement for . (Reprinted from reference with permission of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.)

Citation: Telford S. 2011. Arthropods of Medical Importance , p 2255-2274. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch146
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Tables

Generic image for table
TABLE 1

Summary of the major arthropod genera involved in biological transmission of infectious diseases

Citation: Telford S. 2011. Arthropods of Medical Importance , p 2255-2274. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch146
Generic image for table
TABLE 2

Likely human-biting ticks and possible tick-borne infections by global region

HGE, human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (); HME, human monocytic ehrlichiosis (due to either or ); RMSF, Rocky Mountain spotted fever; STARI, southern tick-associated rash illness (etiology unknown, possibly Borrelia); CTF, Colorado tick fever; TIBOLA, tickborne lymphadenopathy (); JSF, Japanese spotted fever (); TBE, tick-borne encephalitis; CCHF, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever; KFD, Kyasanur Forest disease; ATBF, African tickbite fever ().

Citation: Telford S. 2011. Arthropods of Medical Importance , p 2255-2274. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch146
Generic image for table
TABLE 3

Key to the common arthropod classes, subclasses, and orders of medical importance, adult stages

Data from references and .

Citation: Telford S. 2011. Arthropods of Medical Importance , p 2255-2274. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch146

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