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Ticks and associated pathogens in camels (Camelus dromedarius) from Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Camel production in Saudi Arabia is severely affected by various diseases and by inadequate veterinary services. Ticks and tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) affect the health and wellbeing of camels consequently diminishing their productivity and performances. In addition, camels may act as hosts for TBPs (e.g. Anaplasma phagocytophilum) causing diseases in humans. The current study aimed to determine the prevalence of ixodid ticks and molecularly investigate the associated pathogens in camels from Saudi Arabia. METHODS:Blood and tick samples were collected from camels (n?=?170) in Riyad Province of Saudi Arabia. Ticks were morphologically identified, and blood of camels were molecularly screened for apicomplexan (i.e. Babesia spp., Theileria spp., Hepatozoon spp.) and rickettsial parasites (i.e. Ehrlichia spp. and Anaplasma spp.). RESULTS:Of the 170 camels examined, 116 (68.2%; 95% CI: 60.9-75.1%) were infested by ticks with a mean intensity of 2.53 (95% CI: 2.4-2.6). In total of 296 ticks collected, Hyalomma dromedarii was the most prevalent (76.4%), followed by Hyalomma impeltatum (23.3%) and Hyalomma excavatum (0.3%). Of the tested animals, 13 (7.6%; 95% CI: 4.3-12.8%) scored positive to at least one TBP, with Anaplasma platys (5.3%; 95% CI: 2.7-9.9%) being the most prevalent species, followed by Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Anaplasma sp., Ehrlichia canis and Hepatozoon canis (0.6% each; 95% CI: 0.04-3.4%). None of the camels were found to be co-infected with more than one pathogen. All samples tested negative for Babesia spp. and Theileria spp. CONCLUSIONS:The present study reveals the occurrence of different tick species and TBPs in camels from Saudi Arabia. Importantly, these camels may carry A. phagocytophilum and A. platys, representing a potential risk to humans.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7048137 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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