Dermacentor reticulatus is one of the most important vectors of tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) in Europe causing diseases in animals and humans. A longitudinal study was planned, aimed to detect the molecular prevalence of tick-borne pathogens, i.e., Babesia spp. and the spotted fever group Rickettsiae, and its seasonal variation in D. reticulatus questing ticks to define the temporal infection risk. Ticks were collected monthly over a period of 15 months in a peri-urban park in Lombardy, Italy. DNA extraction and molecular analyses were performed. Statistical analysis was carried out. Out of 488, 53 (P = 10.9%) adult questing ticks were positive for Babesia DNA. A higher prevalence was revealed in male (32/241, P = 13.3%) than in female (21/247, P = 8.5%) ticks. Positive ticks were mostly collected in winter months (P = 13.3%) compared to early (P = 7.9) and late (P = 12.8) spring months. A similar percentage of positive ticks was evidenced in transects 1 and 3 (5.8% and 6.5%, respectively); instead, a significant higher prevalence was recorded in transect 2 (P = 16.0%). Obtained sequences confirmed a homology of 100% with B. canis sequences deposited in GenBank. No ticks tested positive for Rickettsia spp. DNA (0/488, P = 0%). The conspicuous circulation of B. canis infection in D. reticulatus adult questing ticks confirms their role in the epidemiology of canine babesiosis and requires preventive measures for dogs in this recreational area. Even if no tick was positive for the spotted fever group Rickettsia, its capacity as a vector of zoonotic pathogens should not be neglected.

Molecular Prevalence of Selected Tick-Borne Pathogens in Dermacentor reticulatus Collected in a Natural Park in Italy / L. Villa, S.A.G. Zanzani, M. Mortarino, A.L. Gazzonis, E. Olivieri, M.T. Manfredi. - In: PATHOGENS. - ISSN 2076-0817. - 11:8(2022), pp. 887.1-887.11. [10.3390/pathogens11080887]

Molecular Prevalence of Selected Tick-Borne Pathogens in Dermacentor reticulatus Collected in a Natural Park in Italy

L. Villa
Primo
;
S.A.G. Zanzani
Secondo
;
M. Mortarino;A.L. Gazzonis;M.T. Manfredi
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Dermacentor reticulatus is one of the most important vectors of tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) in Europe causing diseases in animals and humans. A longitudinal study was planned, aimed to detect the molecular prevalence of tick-borne pathogens, i.e., Babesia spp. and the spotted fever group Rickettsiae, and its seasonal variation in D. reticulatus questing ticks to define the temporal infection risk. Ticks were collected monthly over a period of 15 months in a peri-urban park in Lombardy, Italy. DNA extraction and molecular analyses were performed. Statistical analysis was carried out. Out of 488, 53 (P = 10.9%) adult questing ticks were positive for Babesia DNA. A higher prevalence was revealed in male (32/241, P = 13.3%) than in female (21/247, P = 8.5%) ticks. Positive ticks were mostly collected in winter months (P = 13.3%) compared to early (P = 7.9) and late (P = 12.8) spring months. A similar percentage of positive ticks was evidenced in transects 1 and 3 (5.8% and 6.5%, respectively); instead, a significant higher prevalence was recorded in transect 2 (P = 16.0%). Obtained sequences confirmed a homology of 100% with B. canis sequences deposited in GenBank. No ticks tested positive for Rickettsia spp. DNA (0/488, P = 0%). The conspicuous circulation of B. canis infection in D. reticulatus adult questing ticks confirms their role in the epidemiology of canine babesiosis and requires preventive measures for dogs in this recreational area. Even if no tick was positive for the spotted fever group Rickettsia, its capacity as a vector of zoonotic pathogens should not be neglected.
Babesia canis; Dermacentor reticulatus; Rickettsia; TIBOLA; babesiosis; dog; piroplasmida; questing ticks; spotted fever group; vector-borne diseases
Settore VET/06 - Parassitologia e Malattie Parassitarie degli Animali
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/943357
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