Regional Impact of Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases

A topical collection in Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817). This collection belongs to the section "Ticks".

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Editors


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Collection Editor
Medical Entomology Department, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Research, Panama City, Panama
Interests: ticks ecology and systematics; tick-borne pathogens

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Collection Editor
Laboratorio de Parasitología, Escuela de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional, Heredia, Costa Rica
Interests: vector-borne diseases; zoonosis; ticks; parasites

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Collection Editor
Instituto de Pesquisas Veterinarias Desiderio Finamor (IPVDF), Eldorado do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil
Interests: ticks; tick-borne diseases; Rickettsia; protozoan parasites; wildlife; zoonosis

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Collection Editor
Melbourne Veterinary School, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Interests: ticks; tick-borne diseases; diagnostics; resistance; microbiome; tick-borne zoonoses
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ticks are hematophagous arthropods that parasitize terrestrial vertebrates and cause significant damage due to blood loss, irritation or allergy, and transmission of pathogens to their hosts that include wildlife, farm animals, pets, and humans. Ticks are considered the most important group of ectoparasitic arthropods in veterinary medicine, and the second group of interest, after mosquitoes, in public health. The distribution of ticks covers a wide variety of ecosystems in temperate, subtropical, and tropical regions. Ticks occur in different natural habitats including forests, meadows, deserts, caves, and coastal areas, but also in anthropogenic landscapes. The presence, distribution, and medical and veterinary importance of ticks vary in different ecozones, but current knowledge on the impact of ticks on animal health and production and human health does not cover all countries. Differences in research capacities between countries may be reflected in the disparity of the information available for individual sites, regions, or continents. In this Topical Collection, we aim to publish a collection of papers on advances in the knowledge on tick bionomics, and the ecoepidemiology and control of tick-borne diseases at different scales: locality, country, ecozone, and continent.

MSc. Sergio E. Bermúdez
Dr. Victor Montenegro H.
Dr. José Reck
Dr. Abdul Ghafar
Collection Editor

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Keywords

  • ticks ecology
  • biodiversity
  • ranging distribution
  • emerging vector-borne pathogens
  • tick-borne zoonoses
  • tick-microbiome
  • control and resistance

Published Papers (17 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2021

18 pages, 3236 KiB  
Article
Tick Activity, Host Range, and Tick-Borne Pathogen Prevalence in Mountain Habitats of the Western Carpathians, Poland
by Zbigniew Zając, Joanna Kulisz, Aneta Woźniak, Katarzyna Bartosik, Angélique Foucault-Simonin, Sara Moutailler and Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz
Pathogens 2023, 12(9), 1186; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12091186 - 21 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1154
Abstract
In mountainous regions, diverse ecosystems provide a habitat for numerous species of organisms. In this study, we focused on ixodid ticks and their presence in the Western Carpathians, Poland. Our objectives were to investigate the impact of environmental factors on tick occurrence and [...] Read more.
In mountainous regions, diverse ecosystems provide a habitat for numerous species of organisms. In this study, we focused on ixodid ticks and their presence in the Western Carpathians, Poland. Our objectives were to investigate the impact of environmental factors on tick occurrence and activity, the prevalence of vectored pathogens, and tick hosts, and their role as reservoir organisms for tick-borne pathogens (TBPs). To this end, we collected ticks from the vegetation and from animals (Apodemus agrarius, A. flavicollis, Capreolus capreolus, Microtus spp., Myodes glareolus, Ovis aries). In addition, we collected blood samples from rodents. The collected material underwent molecular analysis, utilizing the high-throughput microfluidic real-time PCR technique, to detect the presence of TBPs. Our findings confirmed the occurrence of only two species of ixodid ticks in the study area: the dominant Ixodes ricinus, and Dermacentor reticulatus with very limited abundance. Temperature significantly influenced tick activity, and the number of I. ricinus nymphs varied with altitude. We also observed a circadian pattern of questing activity in I. ricinus ticks. The main hosts for juvenile tick stages were M. glareolus and A. agrarius, while adult stages were frequently found on C. capreolus. I. ricinus ticks collected from the vegetation were often infected with Rickettsia helvetica (up to 35.71%), Borrelia afzelii (up to 28.57%), and Ehrlichia spp. (up to 9.52%). In contrast, juvenile stages frequently carried Bartonella spp. (up to 10.00%), Mycoplasma spp. (up to 16.67%) and R. helvetica (up to 16.67%). Moreover, we detected genetic material of Mycoplasma spp. (up to 100.00%), Ehrlichia spp. (up to 35.71%), Bartonella spp. (up to 25.00%), and Borrelia spp. (up to 6.25%) in rodent blood samples. The obtained results indicate A. agrarius and M. glareolus as reservoir animals for TBPs in the studied region. Full article
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14 pages, 4025 KiB  
Article
Molecular Detection of Tick-Borne Bacterial and Protozoan Pathogens in Haemaphysalis longicornis (Acari: Ixodidae) Ticks from Free-Ranging Domestic Sheep in Hebei Province, China
by Zhongqiu Teng, Yan Shi, Na Zhao, Xue Zhang, Xiaojing Jin, Jia He, Baohong Xu and Tian Qin
Pathogens 2023, 12(6), 763; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12060763 - 26 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1151
Abstract
Ticks and tick-borne pathogens significantly threaten human and animal health worldwide. Haemaphysalis longicornis is one of the dominant tick species in East Asia, including China. In the present study, 646 Ha. longicornis ticks were collected from free-ranging domestic sheep in the southern region [...] Read more.
Ticks and tick-borne pathogens significantly threaten human and animal health worldwide. Haemaphysalis longicornis is one of the dominant tick species in East Asia, including China. In the present study, 646 Ha. longicornis ticks were collected from free-ranging domestic sheep in the southern region of Hebei Province, China. Tick-borne pathogens of zoonotic and veterinary importance (i.e., Rickettsia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Borrelia, Theileria, and Hepatozoon spp.) were detected in the ticks using PCR assays and sequence analysis. The prevalence rates of these pathogens were 5.1% (33/646), 15.9% (103/646), 1.2% (8/646), 17.0% (110/646), 0.15% (1/646), and 0.15% (1/646), respectively. For Rickettsia spp., R. japonica (n = 13), R. raoultii (n = 6), and Candidatus R. jingxinensis (n = 14) were detected for the first time in the province, while several Anaplasma spp. were also detected in the ticks, including A. bovis (n = 52), A. ovis (n = 31), A. phagocytophilum (n = 10), and A. capra (n = 10). A putative novel Ehrlichia spp. was also found with a prevalence of 1.2% in the area. The present study provides important data for effectively controlling ticks and tick-borne diseases in the Hebei Province region of China. Full article
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16 pages, 2027 KiB  
Article
Unravelling the Diversity of Microorganisms in Ticks from Australian Wildlife
by Abdul Ghafar, Nick Davies, Mythili Tadepalli, Amanda Breidahl, Clare Death, Philip Haros, Yuting Li, Peter Dann, Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz, Sara Moutailler, Angélique Foucault-Simonin, Charles G. Gauci, John Stenos, Jasmin Hufschmid and Abdul Jabbar
Pathogens 2023, 12(2), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12020153 - 17 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2163
Abstract
Ticks and tick-borne pathogens pose a significant threat to the health and welfare of humans and animals. Our knowledge about pathogens carried by ticks of Australian wildlife is limited. This study aimed to characterise ticks and tick-borne microorganisms from a range of wildlife [...] Read more.
Ticks and tick-borne pathogens pose a significant threat to the health and welfare of humans and animals. Our knowledge about pathogens carried by ticks of Australian wildlife is limited. This study aimed to characterise ticks and tick-borne microorganisms from a range of wildlife species across six sites in Victoria, Australia. Following morphological and molecular characterisation (targeting 16S rRNA and cytochrome c oxidase I), tick DNA extracts (n = 140) were subjected to microfluidic real-time PCR-based screening for the detection of microorganisms and Rickettsia-specific real-time qPCRs. Five species of ixodid ticks were identified, including Aponomma auruginans, Ixodes (I.) antechini, I. kohlsi, I. tasmani and I. trichosuri. Phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA sequences of I. tasmani revealed two subclades, indicating a potential cryptic species. The microfluidic real-time PCR detected seven different microorganisms as a single (in 13/45 ticks) or multiple infections (27/45). The most common microorganisms detected were Apicomplexa (84.4%, 38/45) followed by Rickettsia sp. (55.6%, 25/45), Theileria sp. (22.2% 10/45), Bartonella sp. (17.8%, 8/45), Coxiella-like sp. (6.7%, 3/45), Hepatozoon sp. (2.2%, 1/45), and Ehrlichia sp. (2.2%, 1/45). Phylogenetic analyses of four Rickettsia loci showed that the Rickettsia isolates detected herein potentially belonged to a novel species of Rickettsia. This study demonstrated that ticks of Australian wildlife carry a diverse array of microorganisms. Given the direct and indirect human–wildlife–livestock interactions, there is a need to adopt a One Health approach for continuous surveillance of tick-associated pathogens/microorganisms to minimise the associated threats to animal and human health. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2023, 2021

10 pages, 844 KiB  
Article
Unexpected TBEV Seropositivity in Serbian Patients Who Recovered from Viral Meningitis and Encephalitis
by Pavle Banović, Adrian Alberto Díaz-Sánchez, Selena Đurić, Siniša Sević, Vesna Turkulov, Dajana Lendak, Sandra Stefan Mikić, Verica Simin, Dragana Mijatović, Ivana Bogdan, Aleksandar Potkonjak, Sara Savić, Dasiel Obregón and Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz
Pathogens 2022, 11(3), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11030371 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2634
Abstract
The tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) causes a life-threatening disease named Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). The clinical symptoms associated with TBE range from non-specific to severe inflammation of the central nervous system and are very similar to the clinical presentation of other viral meningitis/encephalitis. In [...] Read more.
The tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) causes a life-threatening disease named Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). The clinical symptoms associated with TBE range from non-specific to severe inflammation of the central nervous system and are very similar to the clinical presentation of other viral meningitis/encephalitis. In consequence, TBE is often misclassified by clinical physicians, mainly in the non-identified high-risk areas where none or only a few TBE cases have been reported. Considering this situation, we hypothesized that among persons from northern Serbia who recovered from viral meningitis or encephalitis, there would be evidence of TBEV infection. To test this hypothesis, in this observational study, we evaluated the seroreactivity against TBEV antigens in patients from northern Serbia who were hospitalized due to viral meningitis and/or viral encephalitis of unknown etiology. Three cases of seroreactivity to TBEV antigens were discovered among convalescent patients who recovered from viral meningitis and/or encephalitis and accepted to participate in the study (n = 15). The clinical and laboratory findings of these patients overlap with that of seronegative convalescent patients. Although TBE has been a notifiable disease in Serbia since 2004, there is no active TBE surveillance program for the serologic or molecular screening of TBEV infection in humans in the country. This study highlights the necessity to increase the awareness of TBE among physicians and perform active and systematic screening of TBEV antibodies among patients with viral meningitis and/or encephalitis. Full article
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21 pages, 2116 KiB  
Review
Babesiosis and Theileriosis in North America
by Consuelo Almazán, Ruth C. Scimeca, Mason V. Reichard and Juan Mosqueda
Pathogens 2022, 11(2), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11020168 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 8845
Abstract
Babesia and Theileria are apicomplexan parasites that cause established and emerging diseases in humans, domestic and wild animals. These protozoans are transmitted by Ixodid ticks causing babesiosis or theileriosis, both characterized by fever, hemolytic anemia, jaundice, and splenomegaly. In North America (NA), the [...] Read more.
Babesia and Theileria are apicomplexan parasites that cause established and emerging diseases in humans, domestic and wild animals. These protozoans are transmitted by Ixodid ticks causing babesiosis or theileriosis, both characterized by fever, hemolytic anemia, jaundice, and splenomegaly. In North America (NA), the most common species affecting humans is B. microti, which is distributed in the Northeastern and Upper Midwestern United States (US), where the tick vector Ixodes scapularis is established. In livestock, B. bovis and B. bigemina are the most important pathogens causing bovine babesiosis in tropical regions of Mexico. Despite efforts toward eradication of their tick vector, Rhipicephalus microplus, B. bovis and B. bigemina present a constant threat of being reintroduced into the southern US and represent a continuous concern for the US cattle industry. Occasional outbreaks of T. equi, and T. orientalis have occurred in horses and cattle, respectively, in the US, with significant economic implications for livestock including quarantine, production loss, and euthanasia of infected animals. In addition, a new species, T. haneyi, has been recently discovered in horses from the Mexico-US border. Domestic dogs are hosts to at least four species of Babesia in NA that may result in clinical disease that ranges from subclinical to acute, severe anemia. Herein we review the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and epidemiology of the most important diseases caused by Babesia and Theileria to humans, domestic and wild animals in Canada, the US, and Mexico. Full article
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14 pages, 2540 KiB  
Article
Molecular Survey and Spatial Distribution of Rickettsia spp. in Ticks Infesting Free-Ranging Wild Animals in Pakistan (2017–2021)
by Abid Ali, Shehla Shehla, Hafsa Zahid, Farman Ullah, Ismail Zeb, Haroon Ahmed, Itabajara da Silva Vaz, Jr. and Tetsuya Tanaka
Pathogens 2022, 11(2), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11020162 - 26 Jan 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 4120
Abstract
Rickettsia spp. associated with ticks infesting wild animals have been mostly neglected in several countries, including Pakistan. To address this knowledge gap, ticks were collected during 2017 to 2021 from wild animals including cats (Felis chaus), Indian hedgehogs (Paraechinus micropus [...] Read more.
Rickettsia spp. associated with ticks infesting wild animals have been mostly neglected in several countries, including Pakistan. To address this knowledge gap, ticks were collected during 2017 to 2021 from wild animals including cats (Felis chaus), Indian hedgehogs (Paraechinus micropus), and wild boars (Sus scrofa). The collected ticks were morpho-molecularly identified and screened for the detection of Rickettsia spp. Morphologically identified ticks were categorized into four species of the genus Rhipicephalus: Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides, Rh. turanicus, Rh. sanguineus sensu lato (s.l), and Rh. microplus. Among 53 wild animals examined, 31 were infested by 531 ticks, an overall prevalence of 58.4%. Adult female ticks were predominant (242 out of 513 ticks collected, corresponding to 46%) in comparison with males (172, 32%), nymphs (80, 15%) and larvae (37, 7%). The most prevalent tick species was Rh. turanicus (266, 50%), followed by Rh. microplus (123, 23%), Rh. sanguineus (106, 20%), and Rh. haemaphysaloides (36, 7%). Among the screened wild animals, wild boars were the most highly infested, with 268 ticks being collected from these animals (50.4%), followed by cats (145, 27.3%) and hedgehogs (118, 22.3%). Tick species Rh. haemaphysaloides, Rh. turanicus, and Rh. sanguineus were found on wild boars, Rh. haemaphysaloides, and Rh. microplus on cats, and Rh. turanicus on hedgehogs. In a phylogenetic analysis, mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase 1 (cox1) sequences obtained from a subsample (120) of the collected ticks clustered with sequences from Bangladesh, China, India, Iran, Myanmar, and Pakistan, while 16S ribosomal DNA (16S rDNA) sequences clustered with sequences reported from Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Romania, Serbia, and Taiwan. Among Rickettsia infected ticks (10/120, 8.3%), Rh. turanicus (7/10, 70%), and Rh. haemaphysaloides (3/10, 30%) were found infesting wild boars in the districts Mardan and Charsadda. The obtained rickettsial gltA gene sequences showed 99% and ompA gene sequences showed 100% identity with Rickettsia massiliae, and the phylogenetic tree shows ompA clustered with the same species reported from France, Greece, Spain, and USA. This study emphasizes the need for effective surveillance and control programs in the region to prevent health risks due to tick-borne pathogens, and that healthy infested wild animals may play a role in the spread of these parasites. Full article
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23 pages, 4084 KiB  
Article
Sequence Diversity of Tp1 and Tp2 Antigens and Population Genetic Analysis of Theileria parva in Unvaccinated Cattle in Zambia’s Chongwe and Chisamba Districts
by Walter Muleya, David Kalenzi Atuhaire, Zachariah Mupila, Victor Mbao, Purity Mayembe, Sydney Kalenga, Paul Fandamu, Boniface Namangala, Jeremy Salt and Antony Jim Musoke
Pathogens 2022, 11(2), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11020114 - 19 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1974
Abstract
East Coast Fever (ECF), caused by Theileria parva, is a major constraint to improved livestock keeping in east and central Africa, including Zambia. To understand the dynamics and determine the candidates for immunization in Zambia’s Chongwe and Chisamba districts, a combination of [...] Read more.
East Coast Fever (ECF), caused by Theileria parva, is a major constraint to improved livestock keeping in east and central Africa, including Zambia. To understand the dynamics and determine the candidates for immunization in Zambia’s Chongwe and Chisamba districts, a combination of Tp1 and Tp2 gene sequencing and microsatellite analysis using nine markers was conducted from which an abundance of Muguga, Kiambu, Serengeti and Katete epitopes in the field samples was obtained. Phylogenetic analysis showed six (Tp1) and three (Tp2) clusters with an absence of geographical origin clustering. The majority of haplotypes were related to Muguga, Kiambu, Serengeti and Katete, and only a few were related to Chitongo. Both antigens showed purifying selection with an absence of positive selection sites. Furthermore, low to moderate genetic differentiation was observed among and within the populations, and when vaccine stocks were compared with field samples, Chongwe samples showed more similarity to Katete and less to Chitongo, while Chisamba samples showed similarity to both Katete and Chitongo and not to Muguga, Kiambu or Serengeti. We conclude that the use of Katete stock for immunization trials in both Chongwe and Chisamba districts might produce desirable protection against ECF. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2023, 2022

22 pages, 971 KiB  
Review
Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in Central America and the Caribbean: A One Health Perspective
by Roxanne A. Charles, Sergio Bermúdez, Pavle Banović, Dasiel Obregón Alvarez, Adrian Alberto Díaz-Sánchez, Belkis Corona-González, Eric Marcel Charles Etter, Islay Rodríguez González, Abdul Ghafar, Abdul Jabbar, Sara Moutailler and Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1273; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101273 - 02 Oct 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 6945
Abstract
Ticks have complex life cycles which involve blood-feeding stages found on wild and domestic animals, with humans as accidental hosts. At each blood-feeding stage, ticks can transmit and/or acquire pathogens from their hosts. Therefore, the circulation of tick-borne pathogens (TBPs), especially the zoonotic [...] Read more.
Ticks have complex life cycles which involve blood-feeding stages found on wild and domestic animals, with humans as accidental hosts. At each blood-feeding stage, ticks can transmit and/or acquire pathogens from their hosts. Therefore, the circulation of tick-borne pathogens (TBPs), especially the zoonotic ones, should be studied in a multi-layered manner, including all components of the chain of infections, following the ‘One Health’ tenets. The implementation of such an approach requires coordination among major stakeholders (such as veterinarians, physicians, acarologists, and researchers) for the identification of exposure and infection risks and application of effective prevention measures. In this review, we summarize our current knowledge on the epidemiology of tick-borne diseases in Central America and the Caribbean and the challenges associated with the implementation of ‘One Health’ surveillance and control programs in the region. Full article
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15 pages, 2155 KiB  
Article
Rhipicephalus sanguineus Complex in the Americas: Systematic, Genetic Diversity, and Geographic Insights
by Sokani Sánchez-Montes, Beatriz Salceda-Sánchez, Sergio E. Bermúdez, Gabriela Aguilar-Tipacamú, Gerardo G. Ballados-González, Herón Huerta, Mariel Aguilar-Domínguez, Jesús Delgado-de la Mora, Jesús D. Licona-Enríquez, David Delgado-de la Mora, Andrés M. López-Pérez, Marco A. Torres-Castro, Virginia Alcántara-Rodríguez, Ingeborg Becker and Pablo Colunga-Salas
Pathogens 2021, 10(9), 1118; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10091118 - 01 Sep 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4123
Abstract
The Rhipicephalus sanguineus group encompasses at least 12 validated species of Palearctic and Afrotropical hard ticks, which are relevant in veterinary medicine and public health. The taxonomy of R. sanguineus s.s., has been particularly intensely debated, due to its wide geographic distribution, morphological [...] Read more.
The Rhipicephalus sanguineus group encompasses at least 12 validated species of Palearctic and Afrotropical hard ticks, which are relevant in veterinary medicine and public health. The taxonomy of R. sanguineus s.s., has been particularly intensely debated, due to its wide geographic distribution, morphological variants, parasite-host associations, and its capacity and vectorial competence for the transmission of several pathogens. By sequencing mitochondrial markers, it was possible to identify the existence of multiple lineages, among which the Tropical and the Temperate lineages stand out, particularly in America. However, the northern limit between these lineages is not clear due to the lack of extensive sampling across Mexico. For this reason, the aim of the present study was to determine the genetic diversity and structure of the R. sanguineus group in Mexico and to compare it with the populations reported in the Americas, in order to propose the northern limit of the R. sanguineus Tropical lineage and the potential regions of sympatry with R. sanguineus s.s. The findings of this study now confirm the presence of R. sanguineus s.s. in Mexico, showing a subtle genetic structure and high genetic diversity throughout its distribution in the Americas. In contrast, the Tropical lineage seems to be genetically less diverse in its overall distribution in the Americas. The genetic diversity of these two independent lineages could have important epidemiological implications in the transmission of tick pathogens. Full article
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13 pages, 2726 KiB  
Article
Four Tick-Borne Microorganisms and Their Prevalence in Hyalomma Ticks Collected from Livestock in United Arab Emirates
by Nighat Perveen, Sabir Bin Muzaffar and Mohammad Ali Al-Deeb
Pathogens 2021, 10(8), 1005; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10081005 - 09 Aug 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3140
Abstract
Ticks and associated tick-borne diseases in livestock remain a major threat to the health of animals and people worldwide. However, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), very few studies have been conducted on tick-borne microorganisms thus far. The purpose of this cross-sectional DNA-based [...] Read more.
Ticks and associated tick-borne diseases in livestock remain a major threat to the health of animals and people worldwide. However, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), very few studies have been conducted on tick-borne microorganisms thus far. The purpose of this cross-sectional DNA-based study was to assess the presence and prevalence of tick-borne Francisella sp., Rickettsia sp., and piroplasmids in ticks infesting livestock, and to estimate their infection rates. A total of 562 tick samples were collected from camels, cows, sheep, and goats in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah from 24 locations. DNA was extracted from ticks and PCR was conducted. We found that Hyalomma dromedarii ticks collected from camels had Francisella sp. (5.81%) and SFG Rickettsia (1.36%), which was 99% similar to Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae and uncultured Rickettsia sp. In addition, Hyalomma anatolicum ticks collected from cows were found to be positive for Theileria annulata (4.55%), whereas H. anatolicum collected from goats were positive for Theileria ovis (10%). The widespread abundance of Francisella of unknown pathogenicity and the presence of Rickettsia are a matter of concern. The discovery of T. ovis from relatively few samples from goats indicates the overall need for more surveillance. Increasing sampling efforts over a wider geographical range within the UAE could reveal the true extent of tick-borne diseases in livestock. Moreover, achieving successful tick-borne disease control requires more research and targeted studies evaluating the pathogenicity and infection rates of many microbial species. Full article
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20 pages, 1154 KiB  
Review
Rhipicephalus Tick: A Contextual Review for Southeast Asia
by Li Peng Tan, Ruhil Hayati Hamdan, Basripuzi Nurul Hayyan Hassan, Mohd Farhan Hanif Reduan, Ibrahim Abdul-Azeez Okene, Shih Keng Loong, Jing Jing Khoo, Ahmad Syazwan Samsuddin and Seng Hua Lee
Pathogens 2021, 10(7), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10070821 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 5575
Abstract
Rhipicephalus species are distributed globally with a notifiable presence in Southeast Asia (SEA) within animal and human populations. The Rhipicephalus species are highly adaptive and have established successful coexistence within human dwellings and are known to be active all year round, predominantly in [...] Read more.
Rhipicephalus species are distributed globally with a notifiable presence in Southeast Asia (SEA) within animal and human populations. The Rhipicephalus species are highly adaptive and have established successful coexistence within human dwellings and are known to be active all year round, predominantly in tropical and subtropical climates existing in SEA. In this review, the morphological characteristics, epidemiology, and epizootiology of Rhipicephalus tick species found in SEA are reviewed. There are six commonly reported Rhipicephalus ticks in the SEA region. Their interactions with their host species that range from cattle, sheep, and goats, through cats and dogs, to rodents and man are discussed in this article. Rhipicephalus-borne pathogens, including Anaplasma species, Ehrlichia species, Babesia species, and Theileria species, have been highlighted as are relevant to the region in review. Pathogens transmitted from Rhipicepahalus ticks to host animals are usually presented clinically with signs of anemia, jaundice, and other signs of hemolytic changes. Rhipicephalus ticks infestation also account for ectoparasitic nuisance in man and animals. These issues are discussed with specific interest to the SEA countries highlighting peculiarities of the region in the epidemiology of Rhipicephalus species and attendant pathogens therein. This paper also discusses the current general control strategies for ticks in SEA proffering measures required for increased documentation. The potential risks associated with rampant and improper acaricide use are highlighted. Furthermore, such practices lead to acaricide resistance among Rhipicephalus species are highlighted. Full article
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9 pages, 284 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ixodes ricinus in a Peri-Urban Park in Lombardy (Italy) Reveals the Presence of Emerging Pathogens
by Alessandra Cafiso, Emanuela Olivieri, Anna Maria Floriano, Giulia Chiappa, Valentina Serra, Davide Sassera and Chiara Bazzocchi
Pathogens 2021, 10(6), 732; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10060732 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2166
Abstract
Ticks are important vectors of a great range of pathogens of medical and veterinary importance. Lately, the spread of known tick-borne pathogens has been expanding, and novel ones have been identified as (re)emerging health threats. Updating the current knowledge on tick-borne pathogens in [...] Read more.
Ticks are important vectors of a great range of pathogens of medical and veterinary importance. Lately, the spread of known tick-borne pathogens has been expanding, and novel ones have been identified as (re)emerging health threats. Updating the current knowledge on tick-borne pathogens in areas where humans and animals can be easily exposed to ticks represents a starting point for epidemiological studies and public awareness. A PCR screening for tick-borne pathogens was carried out in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected in a peri-urban recreational park in Ticino Valley, Italy. The presence of Rickettsia spp., Borrelia burgdorferi senso latu complex, Anaplasma spp. and Babesia spp. was evaluated in a total of 415 I. ricinus specimens. Rickettsia spp. (R monacensis and R. helvetica) were detected in 22.96% of the samples, while B. burgdorferi s.l. complex (B. afzelii and B. lusitaniae) were present in 10.94%. Neoehrlichia mikurensis (1.99%) and Babesia venatorum (0.73%) were reported in the area of study for the first time. This study confirmed the presence of endemic tick-borne pathogens and highlighted the presence of emerging pathogens that should be monitored especially in relation to fragile patients, the difficult diagnosis of tick-borne associated diseases and possible interactions with other tick-borne pathogens. Full article
14 pages, 648 KiB  
Article
High-Throughput Microfluidic Real-Time PCR for the Detection of Multiple Microorganisms in Ixodid Cattle Ticks in Northeast Algeria
by Ghania Boularias, Naouelle Azzag, Clemence Galon, Ladislav Šimo, Henri-Jean Boulouis and Sara Moutailler
Pathogens 2021, 10(3), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10030362 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2376
Abstract
Ixodid ticks are hematophagous arthropods considered to be prominent ectoparasite vectors that have a negative impact on cattle, either through direct injury or via the transmission of several pathogens. In this study, we investigated the molecular infection rates of numerous tick-borne pathogens in [...] Read more.
Ixodid ticks are hematophagous arthropods considered to be prominent ectoparasite vectors that have a negative impact on cattle, either through direct injury or via the transmission of several pathogens. In this study, we investigated the molecular infection rates of numerous tick-borne pathogens in ticks sampled on cattle from the Kabylia region, northeastern Algeria, using a high-throughput microfluidic real-time PCR system. A total of 235 ticks belonging to seven species of the genera Rhipicephalus, Hyalomma, and Ixodes were sampled on cattle and then screened for the presence of 36 different species of bacteria and protozoans. The most prevalent tick-borne microorganisms were Rickettsia spp. at 79.1%, followed by Francisella-like endosymbionts (62.9%), Theileria spp. (17.8%), Anaplasma spp. (14.4%), Bartonella spp. (6.8%), Borrelia spp. (6.8%), and Babesia spp. (2.5%). Among the 80.4% of ticks bearing microorganisms, 20%, 36.6%, 21.7%, and 2.1% were positive for one, two, three, and four different microorganisms, respectively. Rickettsia aeschlimannii was detected in Hyalomma marginatum, Hyalomma detritum, and Rhipicephalus bursa ticks. Rickettsia massiliae was found in Rhipicephalus sanguineus, and Rickettsiamonacensis and Rickettsia helvetica were detected in Ixodesricinus. Anaplasma marginale was found in all identified tick genera, but Anaplasma centrale was detected exclusively in Rhipicephalus spp. ticks. The DNA of Borrelia spp. and Bartonella spp. was identified in several tick species. Theileria orientalis was found in R. bursa, R. sanguineus, H. detritum, H. marginatum, and I. ricinus and Babesia bigemina was found in Rhipicephalus annulatus and R. sanguineus. Our study highlights the importance of tick-borne pathogens in cattle in Algeria. Full article
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16 pages, 5126 KiB  
Article
Exploring Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Microbiomes Helps in Detecting Tick-Borne Infectious Agents in the Blood of Camels
by Wessam Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed, Alsagher O. Ali, Hassan Y. A. H. Mahmoud, Mosaab A. Omar, Elisha Chatanga, Bashir Salim, Doaa Naguib, Jason L. Anders, Nariaki Nonaka, Mohamed Abdallah Mohamed Moustafa and Ryo Nakao
Pathogens 2021, 10(3), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10030351 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3455
Abstract
Dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) are widely distributed in Africa, the Middle East and northern India. In this study, we aimed to detect tick-borne pathogens through investigating prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms in camel blood based on a metagenomic approach and then to [...] Read more.
Dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) are widely distributed in Africa, the Middle East and northern India. In this study, we aimed to detect tick-borne pathogens through investigating prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms in camel blood based on a metagenomic approach and then to characterize potentially pathogenic organisms using traditional molecular techniques. We showed that the bacteria circulating in the blood of camels is dominated by Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. At the genus level, Sediminibacterium, Hydrotalea, Bradyrhizobium and Anaplasma were the most abundant taxa. Eukaryotic profile was dominated by Fungi, Charophyta and Apicomplexa. At the genus level, Theileria was detected in 10 out of 18 samples, while Sarcocystis, Hoplorhynchus and Stylocephalus were detected in one sample each. Our metagenomic approach was successful in the detection of several pathogens or potential pathogens including Anaplasma sp., Theileria ovis, Th. separata, Th. annulate, Th. mutans-like and uncharacterized Theileria sp. For further characterization, we provided the partial sequences of citrate synthase (gltA) and heat-shock protein (groEL) genes of Candidatus Anaplasma camelii. We also detected Trypanosoma evansi type A using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) region. This combined metagenomic and traditional approach will contribute to a better understanding of the epidemiology of pathogens including tick-borne bacteria and protozoa in animals. Full article
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12 pages, 1019 KiB  
Article
Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus Seropositivity among Tick Infested Individuals in Serbia
by Pavle Banović, Dasiel Obregón, Dragana Mijatović, Verica Simin, Srdjan Stankov, Zorana Budakov-Obradović, Nevenka Bujandrić, Jasmina Grujić, Siniša Sević, Vesna Turkulov, Adrian Alberto Díaz-Sánchez and Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz
Pathogens 2021, 10(3), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10030301 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2591
Abstract
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), caused by the TBE virus (TBEV), is a life-threatening disease with clinical symptoms ranging from non-specific to severe inflammation of the central nervous system. Despite TBE is a notifiable disease in Serbia since 2004, there is no active TBE surveillance [...] Read more.
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), caused by the TBE virus (TBEV), is a life-threatening disease with clinical symptoms ranging from non-specific to severe inflammation of the central nervous system. Despite TBE is a notifiable disease in Serbia since 2004, there is no active TBE surveillance program for the serologic or molecular screening of TBEV infection in humans in the country. This prospective cohort study aimed to assess the TBEV exposure among tick-infested individuals in Serbia during the year 2020. A total of 113 individuals exposed to tick bites were recruited for the study and screened for anti-TBEV antibodies using a commercial indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFA) test. Blood samples from 50 healthy donors not exposed to tick bites were included as a control group. Most of the enrolled patients reported infestations with one tick, being I. ricinus the most frequent tick found in the participants. The TBEV seroprevalence was higher (13.27%, 15 total 113) in tick-infested individuals than in healthy donors (4%, 2 total 50), although the difference was not significant. Notably, male individuals exposed to tick bites showed five times higher relative risk (RR) of being TBEV-seropositive than healthy donors of the same gender (RR= 5.1, CI = 1.6–19; p = 0.007). None of the seropositive individuals developed clinical manifestations of TBE, but the first clinical-stage of Lyme borreliosis (i.e., erythema migrans) was detected in seven of them. Potential TBEV foci were identified in rural areas, mostly in proximity or within the Fruška Gora mountain. We conclude that the Serbian population is at high risk of TBEV exposure. Further epidemiological studies should focus on potential TBEV foci identified in this study. The implementation of active surveillance for TBEV might contribute to evaluating the potential negative impact of TBE in Serbia. Full article
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11 pages, 323 KiB  
Article
First Evidence of Ehrlichia minasensis Infection in Horses from Brazil
by Lívia S. Muraro, Aneliza de O. Souza, Tamyres N. S. Leite, Stefhano L. Cândido, Andréia L. T. Melo, Hugo S. Toma, Mariana B. Carvalho, Valéria Dutra, Luciano Nakazato, Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz and Daniel M. de Aguiar
Pathogens 2021, 10(3), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10030265 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2178
Abstract
The genus Ehrlichia includes tick-borne bacterial pathogens affecting humans, domestic and wild mammals. Ehrlichia minasensis has been identified in different animal species and geographical locations, suggesting that this is a widely distributed and generalist Ehrlichia. In the present study, we evaluated Ehrlichial [...] Read more.
The genus Ehrlichia includes tick-borne bacterial pathogens affecting humans, domestic and wild mammals. Ehrlichia minasensis has been identified in different animal species and geographical locations, suggesting that this is a widely distributed and generalist Ehrlichia. In the present study, we evaluated Ehrlichial infection in 148 Equidae presented to the Medical Clinic Department of a Veterinary Hospital from a midwestern region of Brazil. Blood samples and ticks collected from the animals were tested by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for the presence of Ehrlichia spp. A multigenic approach including Anaplasmataceae-specific (i.e., 16S rRNA, groEL, gltA) and Ehrlichia-specific (i.e., dsb and trp36) genes was used for accurate bacteria identification. Sera samples were also collected and evaluated for the detection of anti-Ehrlichia antibodies by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFA). Possible associations between molecular and serological diagnostics and clinical and hematological manifestations were tested using chi-squared or Fisher’s exact tests. Sequence analysis of the dsb fragment revealed that three horses (2.03%) were exposed to E. minasensis. Sixty-one (41.2%) Equidae (58 equines and three mules), were seropositive for Ehrlichia spp., with antibody titers ranging between 40 and 2560. Seropositivity to ehrlichial antigens was statistically associated with tick infestation, rural origin, hypoalbuminemia and hyperproteinemia (p ≤ 0.05). The present study reports the first evidence of natural infection by E. minasensis in horses from Brazil. Full article
16 pages, 3845 KiB  
Article
Co-Infection with Anaplasma Species and Novel Genetic Variants Detected in Cattle and Goats in the Republic of Korea
by Evelyn Alejandra Miranda, Sun-Woo Han, Yoon-Kyong Cho, Kyoung-Seong Choi and Joon-Seok Chae
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10010028 - 01 Jan 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3813
Abstract
Anaplasmosis, a tick-borne disease with multiple reservoirs, has been evolving in its pathogenesis, increasing domestic ruminants susceptibility to simultaneous infections with multiple pathogens. However, there is limited information regarding anaplasmosis in domestic ruminants in the Republic of Korea (ROK). We aimed to evaluate [...] Read more.
Anaplasmosis, a tick-borne disease with multiple reservoirs, has been evolving in its pathogenesis, increasing domestic ruminants susceptibility to simultaneous infections with multiple pathogens. However, there is limited information regarding anaplasmosis in domestic ruminants in the Republic of Korea (ROK). We aimed to evaluate the role of Korean cattle and goats in Anaplasma infection maintenance. Polymerase chain reaction was performed to investigate the prevalence and genetic diversity of Anaplasma spp. from 686 whole blood samples collected from different ROK provinces. Anaplasma infection was mostly caused by A. phagocytophilum (21.1%) in cattle, and A. bovis (7.3%) in goats. Co-infection cases were found in cattle: A. bovis and A. phagocytophilum (16.7%), and in goats: A. bovis and A. capra (1.0%). Notably, a triple co-infection with A. bovis, A. phagocytophilum, and A. capra was found in one cow. Phylogenetic analysis revealed novel variants of the A. phagocytophilum 16S rRNA and A. capragltA genes. This research contributes to the ratification of cattle as a potential reservoir of A. capra and demonstrates Anaplasma co-infection types in Korean domestic ruminants. As anaplasmosis is a zoonotic disease, our study could be crucial in making important decisions for public health. Full article
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