Argas vespertilionis is a geographically widespread haematophagous ectoparasite species of bats in the Old World, with a suspected role in the transmission of Babesia vesperuginis. The aims of the present study were (1) to molecularly screen A. vespertilionis larvae (collected in Europe, Africa and Asia) for the presence of piroplasms, and (2) to analyze mitochondrial markers of A. vespertilionis larvae from Central Asia (Xinjiang Province, Northwestern China) in a phylogeographical context. Out of the 193 DNA extracts from 321 A. vespertilionis larvae, 12 contained piroplasm DNA (10 from Hungary, two from China). Sequencing showed the exclusive presence of B. vesperuginis, with 100% sequence identity between samples from Hungary and China. In addition, A. vespertilionis cytochrome oxidase c subunit 1 (cox1) and 16S rRNA gene sequences had 99.1–99.2 and 99.5–100% similarities, respectively, between Hungary and China. Accordingly, in the phylogenetic analyses A. vespertilionis from China clustered with haplotypes from Europe, and (with high support) outside the group formed by haplotypes from Southeast Asia. This is the first molecular evidence on the occurrence of B. vesperuginis in Asia. Bat ticks from hosts in Vespertilionidae contained only the DNA of B. vesperuginis (in contrast with what was reported on bat ticks from Rhinolophidae and Miniopteridae). Molecular taxonomic analyses of A. vespertilionis and B. vesperuginis suggest a genetic link of bat parasites between Central Europe and Central Asia, which is epidemiologically relevant in the context of any pathogens associated with bats.
|Titolo:||Molecular investigations of the bat tick Argas vespertilionis (Ixodida: Argasidae) and Babesia vesperuginis (Apicomplexa: Piroplasmida) reflect “bat connection” between Central Europe and Central Asia|
|Parole Chiave:||Argas; Babesia; Chiroptera; Phylogeography; Soft tick; Ecology; Insect Science|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore VET/06 - Parassitologia e Malattie Parassitarie degli Animali|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1007/s10493-017-0140-z|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|