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Tyrophagus putrescentiae mites grown in dog food cultures and the effect mould growth has on mite survival and reproduction

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The purposes of this study were to determine whether the storage mite, Tyrophagus putrescentiae, could survive and thrive on dog food and if mould growth was important to their survival. All of the chambers (n = 42) were started with 10 female mites and evaluated every other day for mite survival and for the spontaneous development of mould. Ten chambers tested the effect of low moisture on mite survival. Eight chambers were used as positive and negative controls (n = 4 each); positive control mites were fed Fleischmann’s® yeast and negative controls had no food source. Three dog foods were evaluated in the same manner. Four chambers had food but mould development was limited by replacing the food kernel every 48 h and four chambers were allowed to grow mould. Mites grown in chambers without moisture died from desiccation within 5 days. The termination point was day 34 when all mites in the negative control group (moisture but no food) died. Although T. putrescentiae survived and grew on all three commercial dog foods, there was no statistically significant difference in mites counts among the dog foods (P < 0.10). Mite counts in the ‘no’ mould and mould groups ranged from 8 to 11 and 144 to 245, respectively, and differences were significant (P < 0.0001). This study found that T. putrescentiae is a fungivorous storage mite that can grow and flourish on dog food. The study demonstrated that the presence of mould positively influences mite viability, while low relative humidity can result in detrimental consequences for T. putrescentiae.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Animal Dermatology Clinic, 2965 Edinger Avenue, Tustin, CA 92780, USA 2: Orange County Vector Control District, 13001 Garden Grove Boulevard, Garden Grove, CA 92813, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2010

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