Modeling the argasid tick (Ornithodoros moubata) life cycle

Sara M. Clifton, Courtney L. Davis, Samantha Erwin, Gabriela Hamerlinck, Amy Veprauskas, Yangyang Wang, Wenjing Zhang, Armanda Bastos, Holly Gaff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The first mathematical models for an argasid tick are developed to explore the dynamics and identify knowledge gaps of these poorly studied ticks. These models focus on Ornithodoros moubata, an important tick species throughout Africa and Europe. O. moubata is a known vector for African swine fever (ASF), a catastrophically fatal disease for domesticated pigs in Africa and Europe. In the absence of any previous models for soft-bodied ticks, we propose two mathematical models of the life cycle of O. moubata. One is a continuous differential equation model that represents the tick life cycle with two stages, and the second is a discrete difference equation model that uses four tick stages. Both models use two host types: small hosts and large hosts, and both models find that either host type alone could support the tick population and that the final tick density is a function of host density. While both models predict similar tick equilibrium values, we observe significant differences
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationModeling the argasid tick (Ornithodoros moubata) life cycle
PublisherSpringer Book Chapter, Understanding Complex Biological Systems with Mathematics.
StatePublished - 2018


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