Parasitic Arthropods of Vertebrates

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 9094

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Parasitology, Faculty of Biology, University of Gdańsk, Wita Stwosza 59, Gdańsk, Poland
Interests: acarology; parasitology; taxonomy; host–parasite interactions; communities of vertebrate parasites; parasitic mites; skin mites; ectoparasites; medical and veterinary parasitology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Parasitology, Faculty of Biology, University of Gdańsk, Wita Stwosza 59, Gdańsk, Poland
Interests: animal parasitology; taxonomy; diversity and ecology of parasites; alien and invasive parasites; applied parasitology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Parasitic arthropods are a typical vertebrate parasite fauna associated with a variety of terrestrial and aquatic environments. At the same time, they show a diverse range of host specificity and various relationships with the hosts as temporary or stationary parasites. Within the host, they can show high biodiversity, colonizing various microhabitats in the host's body due to the creation of various adaptations to parasitism. Parasites may be asymptomatic, but they can also cause parasitosis, which is dangerous to health and life, or transmit dangerous pathogens. However, many aspects of their systematics/taxonomy, phylogenetic relationships, biology and life cycles, ecology, and mechanisms of parasitism remain poorly studied. Collecting information about their species diversity, occurrence, and relationships with hosts will allow us to fully understand the mechanisms of parasite circulation in ecosystems and understand the complex relationships in the parasite–host system as well as the causes of the development of parasitoses. This, in turn, will allow the development of methods of diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.

Dr. Joanna N. Izdebska
Dr. Leszek Rolbiecki
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • parasitic arthropods
  • host–parasite relationship
  • biology and ecology
  • taxonomy and evolution
  • parasitic arthropods of medical and veterinary importance
  • arthropods as vectors of diseases

Published Papers (6 papers)

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18 pages, 5005 KiB  
Article
Parasitic Characteristics of Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) Collected from Water Deer (Hydropotes inermis argyropus) and Spatiotemporal Distribution Prediction within Host-Influenced Cultivated Areas
by Kiyoon Kim, Kyungmin Kim, Kwangbae Yoon and Yungchul Park
Animals 2024, 14(8), 1153; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14081153 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 369
Abstract
Tick-borne diseases result from human–ixodid tick encounters, making it crucial to understand host–ixodid tick interactions and host-dependent distribution for epidemiology and prevention. This study examines water deer patterns and ixodid tick interactions in designated croplands of South Korea over two years, finding that [...] Read more.
Tick-borne diseases result from human–ixodid tick encounters, making it crucial to understand host–ixodid tick interactions and host-dependent distribution for epidemiology and prevention. This study examines water deer patterns and ixodid tick interactions in designated croplands of South Korea over two years, finding that the highest deer presence occurred in July and the lowest in May, during crop harvesting. Four tick species were identified, with Haemaphysalis longicornis being predominant (92.2%). Tick life stage analysis revealed peak nymphs and adults in July and larvae in October. Nymph abundance correlated positively with nearby water deer. MaxEnt biodiversity prediction results indicated wider water deer distribution in summer, reflecting their tendency to use multiple croplands. Areas with nymphs and adults aligned with predicted deer presence in summer, while larval areas aligned in autumn. Increased agroforestry expanded water deer habitats, enhancing tick dispersion. Prevention involved minimizing human–deer encounters by strategic land use in tick-prone areas. This comprehensive study provides insights into preventing severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome in agricultural workers, emphasizing the need for targeted interventions based on host behavior and tick life stages in different seasons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Arthropods of Vertebrates)
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14 pages, 309 KiB  
Article
Parasitic Arthropods of Soricinae Shrews in North-Eastern Poland
by Grzegorz Karbowiak, Michal Stanko, Katerina Smahol, Joanna Werszko and Leszek Rychlik
Animals 2023, 13(18), 2960; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13182960 - 19 Sep 2023
Viewed by 963
Abstract
The study of the ectoparasite fauna of the insectivores—Sorex araneus, Sorex minutus, Neomys fodiens, and Neomys anomalus (subfamily Soricinae)—was carried out in three locations in Poland: Białowieża National Park, Kosewo Górne in the Masurian Lake District, and in vicinity [...] Read more.
The study of the ectoparasite fauna of the insectivores—Sorex araneus, Sorex minutus, Neomys fodiens, and Neomys anomalus (subfamily Soricinae)—was carried out in three locations in Poland: Białowieża National Park, Kosewo Górne in the Masurian Lake District, and in vicinity of Warsaw. Three species of Ixodidae ticks, eleven species of fleas, and four species of mites from the order Mesostigmata were noted. The most numerous ectoparasites are ticks Ixodes ricinus (larvae), Dermacentor reticulatus (nymphs), and fleas Palaeopsylla soricis, Megabothris walkeri, and Hystrichopsylla orientalis. These species show the highest prevalence and show the highest dominance index. The parasitofauna of S. araneus is much richer in species than other shrew species. The structure and dominance of parasite assemblages differ between locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Arthropods of Vertebrates)
16 pages, 3021 KiB  
Article
Mitochondrial Genome Fragmentation Occurred Multiple Times Independently in Bird Lice of the Families Menoponidae and Laemobothriidae
by Yalun Dong, Martina Jelocnik, Amber Gillett, Ludovica Valenza, Gabriel Conroy, Dominique Potvin and Renfu Shao
Animals 2023, 13(12), 2046; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13122046 - 20 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1073
Abstract
Mitochondrial (mt) genome fragmentation has been discovered in all five parvorders of parasitic lice (Phthiraptera). To explore whether minichromosomal characters derived from mt genome fragmentation are informative for phylogenetic studies, we sequenced the mt genomes of 17 species of bird lice in Menoponidae [...] Read more.
Mitochondrial (mt) genome fragmentation has been discovered in all five parvorders of parasitic lice (Phthiraptera). To explore whether minichromosomal characters derived from mt genome fragmentation are informative for phylogenetic studies, we sequenced the mt genomes of 17 species of bird lice in Menoponidae and Laemobothriidae (Amblycera). Four species of Menoponidae (Actornithophilus sp. 1 ex [pied oystercatcher], Act. sp. 2 ex [masked lapwing], Austromenopon sp. 2 ex [sooty tern and crested tern], Myr. sp. 1 ex [satin bowerbird]) have fragmented mt genomes, whereas the other 13 species retain the single-chromosome mt genomes. The two Actornithophilus species have five and six mt minichromosomes, respectively. Aus. sp. 2 ex [sooty tern and crested tern] has two mt minichromosomes, in contrast to Aus. sp. 1 ex [sooty shearwater], which has a single mt chromosome. Myr. sp. 1 ex [satin bowerbird] has four mt minichromosomes. When mapped on the phylogeny of Menoponidae and Laemobothriidae, it is evident that mt genome fragmentation has occurred multiple times independently among Menoponidae and Laemobothriidae species. We found derived mt minichromosomal characters shared between Myrsidea species, between Actornithophilus species, and between and among different ischnoceran genera, respectively. We conclude that while mt genome fragmentation as a general feature does not unite all the parasitic lice that have this feature, each independent mt genome fragmentation event does produce minichromosomal characters that can be informative for phylogenetic studies of parasitic lice at different taxonomic levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Arthropods of Vertebrates)
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12 pages, 2627 KiB  
Article
First Records of Picobiine Mites Associated with Birds-of-Paradise: Can Interspecific Sexual Behaviour of Hosts Play a Role in the Distribution of Quill Mite Parasites?
by Bozena Sikora, Markus Unsoeld, Roland R. Melzer, Stefan Friedrich and Maciej Skoracki
Animals 2023, 13(9), 1509; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13091509 - 29 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1143
Abstract
While birds-of-paradise (Passeriformes: Paradisaeidae) are a well-known group of birds, our understanding of their parasites is still limited. This study reports on parasitic quill mites of the subfamily Picobiinae (Acariformes: Syringophilidae), which have never before been recorded on this group of birds. The [...] Read more.
While birds-of-paradise (Passeriformes: Paradisaeidae) are a well-known group of birds, our understanding of their parasites is still limited. This study reports on parasitic quill mites of the subfamily Picobiinae (Acariformes: Syringophilidae), which have never before been recorded on this group of birds. The mite specimens presented in this paper were collected from birds-of-paradise that had been captured in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia in the years 1910–1911 and are now deposited in the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology, Munich, Germany. Two syringophilid species are described as new to science: (i) Picobia frankei sp. n. from the magnificent riflebird Lophorina magnifica, the glossy-mantled manucode Manucodia ater, and the crinkle-collared manucode Manucodia chalybatus, and (ii) Gunabopicobia garylarsoni sp. n. from the twelve-wired bird-of-paradise Seleucidis melanoleucus and the lesser bird-of-paradise Paradisaea minor. We hypothesise that the presence of both picobiine species on phylogenetically unrelated paradisaeids may be caused by the sexual behaviour of these birds, where interspecific copulations may play a role in the switching of parasites between non-closely related host species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Arthropods of Vertebrates)
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15 pages, 4517 KiB  
Article
Species Discrimination of Stomoxys Flies S. bengalensis, S. calcitrans, and S. sitiens (Diptera: Muscidae) Using Wing Geometric Morphometrics
by Tanasak Changbunjong, Tanawat Chaiphongpachara and Thekhawet Weluwanarak
Animals 2023, 13(4), 647; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13040647 - 13 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1759
Abstract
The flies of the genus Stomoxys Geoffroy, 1762 (Diptera: Muscidae), are regarded as pests of veterinary and medical importance. In Thailand, Stomoxys calcitrans (Linnaeus, 1758) is the most abundant species and is widely distributed throughout the country. This Stomoxys species can coexist with [...] Read more.
The flies of the genus Stomoxys Geoffroy, 1762 (Diptera: Muscidae), are regarded as pests of veterinary and medical importance. In Thailand, Stomoxys calcitrans (Linnaeus, 1758) is the most abundant species and is widely distributed throughout the country. This Stomoxys species can coexist with two other morphologically similar species: Stomoxys bengalensis Picard, 1908, and Stomoxys sitiens Rondani, 1873. Hence, discriminating using morphological characteristics is difficult, especially if the specimen is damaged or loses its diagnostic characteristics. In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of the landmark-based geometric morphometric (GM) approach to discriminate among the three Stomoxys spp.: S. bengalensis, S. calcitrans, and S. sitiens. Left-wing images of S. bengalensis (n = 120), S. calcitrans (n = 150), and S. sitiens (n = 155) were used for the GM analyses. The results of the wing shape analyses revealed that the GM approach was highly effective for discriminating three Stomoxys, with high accuracy scores ranging from 93.75% to 100%. This study adds to the evidence that landmark-based GM is an excellent alternative approach for discriminating Stomoxys species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Arthropods of Vertebrates)
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8 pages, 1511 KiB  
Brief Report
Detection of an Undescribed Babesia sp. in Capybaras and Amblyomma Ticks in Central-Western Brazil
by Lucianne Cardoso Neves, Lucas Christian de Sousa-Paula, Sarah Alves Dias, Bianca Barbara Fonseca da Silva, Warley Vieira de Freitas Paula, Luiza Gabriella Ferreira de Paula, Brenda Gomes Pereira, Gracielle Teles Pádua, Ana Carolina Borsanelli, Ennya Rafaella Neves Cardoso, Felipe da Silva Krawczak and Filipe Dantas-Torres
Animals 2023, 13(1), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010094 - 27 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2416
Abstract
Capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) are the largest rodents on Earth. While capybaras are hosts for various tick species, there is limited information regarding the tick-borne pathogens they can carry. We investigated the presence of piroplasmids and Ehrlichia spp. in capybaras and their [...] Read more.
Capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) are the largest rodents on Earth. While capybaras are hosts for various tick species, there is limited information regarding the tick-borne pathogens they can carry. We investigated the presence of piroplasmids and Ehrlichia spp. in capybaras and their associated ticks in two peri-urban areas in Goiás state, central-western Brazil. Blood samples collected from 23 capybaras were used to investigate the presence of piroplasmids and Ehrlichia spp. in stained-blood smears and by PCR. Ticks collected from the capybaras were identified morphologically and also tested using PCR for the same pathogens. A total of 955 ticks were collected, including 822 (86.1%) Amblyomma sculptum, 132 (13.8%) Amblyomma dubitatum, and one (0.1%) unidentified larva of Amblyomma sp. Neither the capybaras nor ticks were positive for Ehrlichia spp. However, a stained-blood smear examination revealed the presence of ring-stage and pyriform-shaped merozoites in the erythrocytes of one (4.4%) capybara. In the same way, 47.8% (11/23) and 19.9% (36/181) of blood samples and ticks, respectively, were positive for piroplasmids in the PCR. We successfully sequenced a partial 18S rRNA gene fragment of four samples (two capybaras, one A. sculptum, and one A. dubitatum), and the phylogenetic reconstruction disclosed that the organism reported in the present study clusters within the genus Babesia. Further research is required for a formal delineation of this species (designated as Babesia sp. strain Capybara) and to investigate the hypothesis of A. dubitatum and A. sculptum ticks being vectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Arthropods of Vertebrates)
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