Biotechnology

Biology classic tick gets a new look in a new annotated edition

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Annapolis, MD; April 20, 2023—At a time when tick-borne diseases are experiencing a global renaissance, the need to understand tick biology may be greater than ever. And, for the researchers who toiled in that endeavor, a book first published in the Soviet Union more than 50 years ago remains one of the foundational resources explaining what makes ticks such successful disease vectors.

Annapolis, MD; April 20, 2023—At a time when tick-borne diseases are experiencing a global renaissance, the need to understand tick biology may be greater than ever. And, for the researchers who toiled in that endeavor, a book first published in the Soviet Union more than 50 years ago remains one of the foundational resources explaining what makes ticks such successful disease vectors.

belongs to Yuri Balashov Blood-sucking ticks (Ixodoidea)—Vectors of Human and Animal Diseases is a timeless classic in entomology and acarology (the study of ticks and mites). First published in 1967 in the Balashov native Russian, it was translated and published in English in 1972 by the Entomological Society of America. In 2023, the English volume has been republished, with detailed annotations updating the base text for the current generation of researchers.

“This classic monograph was published more than 50 years ago, but for the most part it is still very informative and well worth reading, even for young tick researchers,” says Olaf Kahl, Ph.D., tick biologist and co-founder of Tick Radar in Germany and co-editor of the new edition. “Extensive annotations in this reprint point out typographical errors and mistranslations in the first edition, and also indicate wherever new knowledge has become available. Additionally, taxonomy changes over the last few decades are taken care of so that readers won’t pick up outdated knowledge. It is hoped that these additions will maximize the book’s value to readers, allowing older works to shine with a new luster without changing the original text.

Yuri Sergeevich Balashov, Ph.D. (1931 – 2012), is a world-renowned authority on acarology, general parasitology, and the association of arthropod vectors with vertebrate hosts and vector-borne disease agents. He received his Ph.D. in 1957 from the Zoological Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and is the author of more than 200 scientific publications and monographs.

The new edition of Balashov’s first work was co-edited by Kahl with Michael L. Levin, Ph.D., and C. Ben Beard, Ph.D., of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Together, Kahl, Levin, and Beard provide 30 pages of annotations offering technical commentary, taxonomy updates, enhanced retranslations, and accompanying references.

Supported by these modern updates and annotations, readers will gain in-depth insight into the morphology, biology and physiology of hard and soft ticks. Balashov organized the book into eight main categories: Morphology, Life Cycle, Feeding, Feeding Mechanisms, Excretion, Molting, Reproduction, and Lice and Infectious Agents of Infectious Vertebrates.

Daniel Sonenshine, Ph.D., emeritus professor and distinguished scholar of biological sciences at Old Dominion University, wrote the foreword to the new edition. “It is timely and especially useful that at this time, when tick-borne diseases are experiencing a global resurgence due to complex anthropogenic and ecological factors, annotated reprints of this classic work are available,” he wrote. “This volume should be a great resource for public health entomologists around the world working to control ticks and prevent the diseases they are responsible for.”

Annotated Reprint of Yu. Bloodsucking Fleas (Ixodoidea) S. Balashov’s 1972 book—Vectors of Human and Animal Diseases, published by Thomas Say Books of the Entomological Society of America, is available in print for $48 USD for ESA members, $60 USD for non-members. The digital edition will be coming in mid-2023.

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CONTACT: Joe Rominiecki, (email protected), 301-731-4535 x3009

ABOUT: The ESA is the world’s largest organization serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has nearly 7,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, healthcare institutions, private industry and government. Headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, the Institute exists as a non-partisan scientific and educational resource for all insect-related topics. For more information, visit www.entsoc.org.


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