Comparison of synthetic membranes in the development of an in vitro feeding system for Dermanyssus gallinae

David Harrington, Jonathan Guy, Karen Robinson, Olivier Sparagano

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12 Citations (Scopus)
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Although artificial feeding models for the poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) most frequently use biological membranes consisting of day-old chick skin, there are ethical considerations associated with the use of skin. The few studies reported in the literature that have investigated the use of synthetic membranes to feed D. gallinae in vitro have reported limited success. The current study describes an investigation into the use of synthetic membranes made from either Nescofilm® or rayon and silicone, used either alone or in combination with different feather or skin extracts, as well as the use of capillary tubes. In all, 12 different treatments were used, and the feeding rate of D. gallinae was compared to that of day-old chick skin. Allowing mites to feed on a membrane consisting of Nescofilm with a skin extract resulted in the highest proportion of mites feeding (32.3%), which was not significantly different to the feeding rate of mites on day-old chick skin (38.8%). This study confirms that synthetic membranes can be used to feed D. gallinae artificially. Further optimization of the membrane and mite storage conditions is still necessary, but the study demonstrates a proof of concept.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-132
JournalBulletin of Entomological Research
Issue number02
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


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