Molecular detection of Anaplasma bovis in Holstein cattle in the Republic of Korea.
ABSTRACT: Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne infectious disease that affects both human and animal health. This study was performed to characterize and investigate the prevalence of infection with Anaplasma bovis in Holstein cattle originating from two regions in the Republic of Korea (ROK). Blood samples (n?=?151; 80 from Namwon and 71 from Jeju Island) were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction, and the prevalence of A. bovis infection was compared before and after grazing. In Namwon, A. bovis infection was not detected, while in the Jeju Island, A. bovis infection was detected in three of 13 animals after grazing. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the A. bovis isolates had homology (97.1-99.7%) with a Korean spotted deer (Cervus nippon) isolate and Haemaphysalis longicornis tick isolates identified in the ROK. A. bovis infection has not previously been diagnosed in cattle in the ROK. This study shows that A. bovis infection in the Jeju Island is closely related to grazing.
Project description: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 <i>Anaplasma</i> infection maintenance. Polymerase chain reaction was performed to investigate the prevalence and genetic diversity of <i>Anaplasma</i> spp. from 686 whole blood samples collected from different ROK provinces. <i>Anaplasma</i> infection was mostly caused by <i>A. phagocytophilum</i> (21.1%) in cattle, and <i>A. bovis</i> (7.3%) in goats. Co-infection cases were found in cattle: <i>A. bovis</i> and <i>A. phagocytophilum</i> (16.7%), and in goats: <i>A. bovis</i> and <i>A. capra</i> (1.0%). Notably, a triple co-infection with <i>A. bovis</i>, <i>A. phagocytophilum</i>, and <i>A. capra</i> was found in one cow. Phylogenetic analysis revealed novel variants of the <i>A. phagocytophilum 16S rRNA</i> and <i>A. capra</i><i>gltA</i> genes. This research contributes to the ratification of cattle as a potential reservoir of <i>A. capra</i> and demonstrates <i>Anaplasma</i> 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.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>Scrub typhus is the most common febrile disease in Korea during the autumn. Jeju Island is the largest island in South Korea and has a distinctive oceanic climate. This study aimed to identify epidemiologic characteristics of scrub typhus on Jeju Island.<h4>Methods</h4>From January 2011 to December 2016, 446 patients were diagnosed with scrub typhus on Jeju Island. The patients' personal data and the environmental factors that might be related to scrub typhus were investigated and retrospectively analyzed.<h4>Results</h4>The median age of the patients was 58-years-old (range, 8 to 91) and 43% of them worked in the agricultural, forestry or livestock industry. Regardless of their job, 87% of the patients had a history of either working outdoors or of other activities before developing scrub typhus. The south and southeast regions of Jeju Island, especially Namwon-eup, showed the highest incidence of scrub typhus. Workers in mandarin orange orchards seemed to be the highest risk group for scrub typhus infection.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Scrub typhus on Jeju Island showed unique characteristics. To efficiently prevent scrub typhus, each year individual regional approaches should be developed based on the epidemiologic characteristics of the disease.
Project description:Tick-borne pathogens can cause serious problems in grazing cattle. However, little information is available on tick-mediated diseases in cattle grazing on mountains. Thus, this study aimed to understand the potential problems related to tick-borne diseases in grazing cattle through the investigation of prevalent tick-transmitted infections, and their associated hematological changes, in terms of season and grazing type in Korean indigenous cattle (=Hanwoo). Hanwoo cattle from 3 regions of the Republic of Korea (=Korea) were either maintained indoors or placed on grassy mountains from spring to fall of 2014 and 2015. Cattle that grazed in mountainous areas showed a greater prevalence of tick-borne infections with an increased Theileria orientalis infection rate (54.7%) compared to that in non-grazing cattle (16.3%) (P<0.001). Accordingly, the red blood cell (RBC) count and hematocrit (HCT) values of grazing cattle were significantly lower than those of non-grazing cattle throughout the season (P<0.05). Moreover, RBC, hemoglobin (Hb), and HCT of T. orientalis-positive group were significantly lower than those of T. orientalis-negative group (P<0.05). T. orientalis is a widespread tick-borne pathogen in Korea. Grazing of cattle in mountainous areas is closely associated with an increase in T. orientalis infection (RR=3.4, P<0.001), and with consequent decreases in RBC count and HCT. Thus, these findings suggest that the Hanwoo cattle in mountainous areas of Korea are at a high risk of infection by T. orientalis, which can lead to hematological alterations. This study highlights the necessity of preventive strategies that target T. orientalis infection.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:In this study, we demonstrated that TBEV-infected ticks have been distributed in the ROK, combined with our previous results. These results suggest that TBEV may exist in the ROK, and H. longicornis, H. flava, and I. nipponensis may be potential vectors of TBEV. In addition, these results emphasize the need for further epidemiological research of TBEV. METHODS:We examined for the presence of RNA of TBEV by reverse transcriptase-nested polymerase chain reaction (RT-nested PCR) using ixodid ticks captured in 25 localities of 10 provinces. Ticks were collected by the flagging and dragging method or using sentinel BG traps at forests, grass thickets, and grassland. A total of 13,053 ticks belonging to two genera and four species were collected and pooled (1292 pools), according to collection site, species of tick, and developmental stage. RESULTS:Among 1292 pools, the envelope (E) protein gene of TBEV was detected using RT-nested PCR in 10 pools (3 pools of the 1,331 adult ticks and 7 pools of the 11,169 nymph ticks) collected from Gangwon-do province, Jeonrabuk-do province, and Jeju Island. The minimum infection rates for TBEV of Haemaphysalis longicornis, Haemaphysalis flava, and Ixodes nipponensis were 0.06%, 0.17%, and 2.38%, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis based on the partial E protein gene was performed to identify relationships between the TBEV strains. This showed that 10 Korean strains clustered with the Western subtype. CONCLUSION:In this study, we investigated the prevalence of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) in ixodid ticks from various regions of the Republic of Korea (ROK) during 2011-2012 to identify whether TBEV is circulating and to determine the endemic regions of TBEV.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus is an economically important tick of cattle involved in the transmission of Babesia bovis, the etiological agent of bovine babesiosis. Commercial anti-tick vaccines based on the R. microplus Bm86 glycoprotein have shown some effect in controlling tick infestation; however their efficacy as a stand-alone solution for tick control has been questioned. Understanding the role of the Bm86 gene product in tick biology is critical to identifying additional methods to utilize Bm86 to reduce R. microplus infestation and babesia transmission. Additionally, the role played by Bm86 in R. microplus fitness during B. bovis infection is unknown. RESULTS: Here we describe in two independent experiments that RNA interference-mediated silencing of Bm86 decreased the fitness of R. microplus females fed on cattle during acute B. bovis infection. Notably, Bm86 silencing decreased the number and survival of engorged females, and decreased the weight of egg masses. However, gene silencing had no significant effect on the efficiency of transovarial transmission of B. bovis from surviving female ticks to their larval offspring. The results also show that Bm86 is expressed, in addition to gut cells, in larvae, nymphs, adult males and ovaries of partially engorged adult R. microplus females, and its expression was significantly down-regulated in ovaries of ticks fed on B. bovis-infected cattle. CONCLUSION: The R. microplus Bm86 gene plays a critical role during tick feeding and after repletion during blood digestion in ticks fed on cattle during acute B. bovis infection. Therefore, the data indirectly support the rationale for using Bm86-based vaccines, perhaps in combination with acaricides, to control tick infestation particularly in B. bovis endemic areas.
Project description:Piroplasms are tick-transmitted, intracellular, hemoprotozoan parasites that cause anorexia, fever, anemia, and icterus. Theileriosis is caused by Theileria sergenti and causes major economic losses in grazing cattle in Japan and Korea. In May 2003, we examined the antigenic diversity of the major piroplasm surface protein (MPSP) gene in 35 healthy Jeju black cattle that were born and raised at the National Institute of Subtropical Agriculture. On microscopic examination of Giemsa-stained blood smears, 9 of 35 cattle had intra-erythrocytic piroplasms. Hematological data were within normal range for all 35 cattle. Amplification of DNA from all blood samples using universal MPSP gene primers showed mixed infections with C, I, and B type Theileria spp. Type C was identified in 20 of 35 blood samples, and type B was identified in 17 samples. Allelic variation was seen in type B.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Orthohantaviruses, causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome, pose a significant public health threat worldwide. Despite the significant mortality and morbidity, effective antiviral therapeutics for orthohantavirus infections are currently unavailable. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of HFRS-associated orthohantaviruses and identify the etiological agent of orthohantavirus outbreaks in southern Republic of Korea (ROK).<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>We collected small mammals on Jeju Island during 2018-2020. We detected the Hantaan virus (HTNV)-specific antibodies and RNA using an indirect immunofluorescence assay test and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction on Apodemus agrarius chejuensis (A. chejuensis). The prevalence of anti-HTNV antibodies among rodents was 14.1%. A total of six seropositive mouse harbored HTNV RNA. The amplicon-based next-generation sequencing provided nearly full-length tripartite genomic sequences of six HTNV harbored by A. chejuensis. Phylogenetic and tanglegram analyses were conducted for inferring evolutionary relationships between orthohantaviruses with their reservoir hosts. Phylogenetic analysis showed a novel distinct HTNV genotype. The detected HTNV genomic sequences were phylogenetically related to a viral sequence derived from HFRS patient in southern ROK. Tanglegram analysis demonstrated the segregation of HTNV genotypes corresponding to Apodemus spp. divergence.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>Our results suggest that A. chejuensis-borne HTNV may be a potential etiological agent of HFRS in southern ROK. Ancestral HTNV may infect A. chejuensis prior to geological isolation between the Korean peninsula and Jeju Island, supporting the co-evolution of orthohantaviruses and rodents. This study arises awareness among physicians for HFRS outbreaks in southern ROK.
Project description:Water buffaloes can be infected by tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) in endemic areas where cattle and buffalo coexist. Among TBPs affecting buffaloes is the Apicomplexan hemoparasites Babesia bovis and B. bigemina, transmitted by Rhipicephalus microplus ticks. However, little empirical evidence exists on whether buffalo can support TBPs' infection and transmission. A cohort study was designed to measure the infestation levels of R. microplus in buffaloes as well as the ability of buffalo-fed ticks to transmit B. bovis and B. bigemina to their offspring. Tick infestation of different life stages was quantified in cattle and buffalo kept in field conditions in western Cuba. Engorged adult female ticks were allowed to lay eggs in controlled conditions of humidity and temperature, and reproductive parameters were measured and analyzed. Hosts and tick larvae were tested for the presence of Babesia spp. using species-specific qPCR assays. Tick infestation was not observed in adult buffaloes. However, buffalo and cattle calves were equally infested, although the larval survival rate was higher in cattle calves than in buffalo calves. All larval pools (31) obtained from the adult female ticks were positive for B. bovis, whereas only 68% (21/31) was positive for B. bigemina. Among the 10 larval pools negative for B. bigemina, three proceeded from adult females fed on Babesia-negative buffaloes. The other seven pools were from Babesia-positive animals, three from cattle and four from buffalo calves. Babesia infection levels in tick larvae, quantified by qPCR, were similar in female ticks fed on buffalo and bovine calves. We conclude that water buffalo can sustain tick vector populations and support Babesia infection in levels high enough as to be infective for ticks. Our results also validated the hypothesis that adult female ticks fed on buffalo can transmit the pathogens B. bovis and B. bigemina to their offspring. Nevertheless, further laboratory studies are needed to address the question of whether the transovarial transmission of Babesia occurs in the following settings: (1) When adult females are infected previous to the feeding on the buffalo or/and (2) when the adult females acquire the infection while feeding on the buffalo.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Raising cattle on pastures is known to be beneficial for animal welfare and cost reduction. However, grazing is associated with the risk of contracting tick-borne diseases, such as theileriosis. Here, the efficacy of ivermectin against these diseases and associated clinical symptoms were evaluated.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 68 cattle from a grazing cattle farm were selected and divided into two groups: the control group (17 cattle) with no preventive treatment and the ivermectin-treated group (51 cattle) in which cattle were treated with pour-on ivermectin prior to grazing. The infection rates of Theileria orientalis and the red blood cell (RBC) profile (e.g., RBC count, hematocrit value, and hemoglobin concentration) were compared in the spring (before grazing) and summer (during grazing) between the two groups. Based on PCR amplification of the major piroplasm surface protein (MPSP) gene, 12 cattle were positive for T. orientalis infection. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the isolates identified in this study consisted of three MPSP types (1, 2, and 7). The T. orientalis infection rate in the control group during grazing was 3-fold higher than that in the ivermectin-treated group. Moreover, differences in RBC parameters during grazing were greater in the control group than in the ivermectin-treated group. In particular, the hematocrit value was significantly reduced in the control group.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The results of this study demonstrated that ivermectin had protective effects against T. orientalis infection and RBC hemolysis in grazing cattle.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus is involved in the transmission of the protozoan Babesia bovis, the etiological agent of bovine babesiosis. Interactions between ticks and protozoa are poorly understood and the investigation of tick genes that affect tick fitness and protozoan infection can set the stage for dissecting the molecular interactions between the two species. RESULTS: In this study, RNA interference was used to silence R. microplus genes that had been previously shown to be up-regulated in response to B. bovis infection. The silencing of a putative immunophilin gene (Imnp) in female ticks fed on a calf acutely infected with B. bovis decreased the hatching rate and survival of larval progeny. Interestingly, Imnp was up-regulated significantly in ovaries of R. microplus in response to B. bovis infection and its silencing in female ticks significantly increased the infection rate of the protozoan in larval progeny. The results also showed that the silencing of a putative Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitor (Spi) gene and a putative lipocalin (Lpc) gene decreased the fitness of R. microplus females, but had no significant effect on the infection rate of B. bovis in larval progeny. CONCLUSION: The silencing of the Imnp, Spi or Lpc genes decreased the fitness of R. microplus females fed on a calf during acute B. bovis infection. The Imnp gene data suggest that this putative immunophilin gene is involved in the defense system of R. microplus against B. bovis and may play a role in controlling the protozoan infection in tick ovaries and larval progeny.