INTRODUCTION. As haematophagous ectoparasites, hard ticks (Acari:Ixodidae) are vectors of numerous disease-causing bacterial pathogens worldwide. In Africa, the most important tick-borne bacteria are considered those belonging to the genera Rickettsia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Babesia, and Theileria (Jongejan & Uilenberg, 2004, Parasitology, 129:S3-S14). On the other hand, very few data on bacterial symbionts of African ticks are found in the literature. Considering that symbiotic bacteria can play a key role in the host biology, and that they may also compete with or be beneficial towards pathogens transmission and biology, we investigated the co-presence of pathogenic and symbiotic bacteria in ticks collected in Africa. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Taxonomic identification of ticks was performed by means of both morphological (light microscopy) and molecular (PCR) techniques. The ticks were then screened for the presence of bacterial species through ad-hoc molecular approaches (PCR). RESULTS AND CONCLUSION. 250 ticks collected from Kenya, Nigeria, Madagascar, Egypt, and South Africa were taxonomically identified as belonging to Ixodes, Amblyomma, Hyalomma, Rhipicephalus, Dermacentor, and Haemaphysalis genera. Pathogen screening provides additional information on pathogens circulation in Africa, confirming the presence of Rickettsia spp., Anaplasma spp., Borrelia spp., Babesia spp. and Theileria spp. Furthermore, our work provides insights on the African scenario of tick-symbiont associations, laying the foundation for functional studies aimed at interaction analyses with possible implications on pest control.
|Titolo:||Molecular screening of pathogenic and symbiotic bacterial species in African ticks|
|Parole Chiave:||bacterial pathogens; Symbiosis; Midichloria mitochondrii; Ixodes ricinus|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore VET/06 - Parassitologia e Malattie Parassitarie degli Animali|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Tipologia:||Book Part (author)|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03 - Contributo in volume|