Distribution and molecular characterization of rickettsiae in ticks in Harbin area of Northeastern China.
ABSTRACT: Tick-borne rickettsioses are world-spreading infectious zoonoses. Ticks serve as reservoirs and vectors for Rickettsia and play a key role in transmission of rickettsioses. Most of the Chinese rickettsiosis patients are reported from Northeastern China but the distribution of tick and tick-borne Rickettsia species in Northeastern China remain poorly studied. In this study, a total of 1,286 ticks were captured from the seven counties of Harbin, an area in Northeastern China, and the tick-borne Rickettsia species were identified by PCR and sequencing of rrs, gltA, groEL, ompA and 17-kDa antigen-encoding genes. Of the 5 identified tick species, Haemaphysalis longicornis and Ixodes persulcatus were the predominant tick species in the livestock and vegetation, respectively. Rickettsia raoultii and "Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae" were the two detectable Rickettsia species in the ticks with a 28.8% positive rate but no rickettsiae were found in ticks of Haemaphysalis concinna. R. raoultii detected in 37.6% of the Dermacentor nuttalli, Dermacentor silvarum and H. longicornis ticks while "Ca. R. tarasevichiae" was only present in 22.8% of the I. persulcatus ticks. In particular, the positive rate of both R. raoultii and "Ca. R. tarasevichiae" in ticks from the livestock (40.7%) was significantly higher than that from the vegetation (19.5%). The results indicate that the tick and tick-borne Rickettsia species are diverse in different regions of Harbin due to geographic difference and the ticks from livestock may play a more important role in transmission of rickettsioses to human.
Project description:Tick-borne rickettsioses are considered important emerging zoonoses worldwide, but their etiological agents, rickettsiae, remain poorly characterized in northeastern China, where many human cases have been reported during the past several years. Here, we determined the characteristics of Rickettsia spp. infections in ticks in this area.Ticks were collected by flagging vegetation from Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces of northeastern China followed by morphological identification. The presence of Rickettsia spp. in ticks was detected by PCR targeting the 23S-5S ribosomal RNA intergenic spacer, citrate synthase (gltA) gene, and 190-kDa outer membrane protein gene (ompA). The newly-generated sequences were subjected to phylogenetic analysis using the software MEGA 6.0.The overall infection rate of Rickettsia spp. was 6.12 %. Phylogenetic analyses based on the partial gltA and ompA genes demonstrated that rickettsiae detected in the ticks belong to four species, including "Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae", Rickettsia heilongjiangensis, Rickettsia raoultii, and a potential new species isolate. The associated tick species were also identified, i.e. Dermacentor nuttalli and Dermacentor silvarum for R. raoultii, Haemaphysalis concinna and Haemaphysalis longicornis for R. heilongjiangensis, and Ixodes persulcatus for "Ca. R. tarasevichiae". All Rickettsia spp. showed significantly high infection rates in ticks from Heilongjiang when compared to Jilin Province.Rickettsia heilongjiangensis, R. raoultii and "Ca. R. tarasevichiae" are widely present in the associated ticks in northeastern China, but more prevalent in Heilongjiang Province. The data of this study increase the information on the distribution of Rickettsia spp. in northeastern China, which have important public health implications in consideration of their recent association with human diseases.
Project description:<label>BACKGROUND</label>Little is known regarding tick-borne diseases in Mongolia, despite having 26% of the population still living nomadic pastoral lifestyles. A total of 1497 adult unfed ticks: 261 Ixodes persulcatus, 795 Dermacentor nuttalli, and 441 Hyalomma asiaticum, were collected from three ecologically distinct regions in Central Mongolia. Tick pools (n?=?299) containing ~5 ticks each, were tested for Rickettsia and Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) using nested polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcription-PCR, and quantitative real-time RT-PCR.<label>RESULTS</label>Assays yielded pooled prevalence of 92.5% (49/53) and 1.9% (1/53) for pooled I. persulcatus testing positive for "Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae" and TBEV, respectively, while Rickettsia raoultii was found in 72.8% (115/158) of pooled D. nuttalli samples. When calculating a maximum likelihood estimation, an estimated 46.6% (95% CI: 35.2-63.6%) of I. persulcatus ticks in the pooled sample were infected with "Candidatus R. tarasevichiae".<label>CONCLUSIONS</label>Both "Candidatus R. tarasevichiae" and R. raoultii are recognized as emerging tick-borne pathogens, with this being one of the first reports of "Candidatus R. tarasevichiae" in Mongolia. Given that "Candidatus R. tarasevichiae" shares the same vector (I. persulcatus) as TBEV, and infections may present with similar symptoms, Mongolian physicians treating suspected cases of TBEV should include "Candidatus R. tarasevichiae" infection in their differential diagnosis and consider prescribing antimicrobial therapy.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The Ixodes pavlovskyi tick species, a member of the I. persulcatus/I. ricinus group, was discovered in the middle of the 20<sup>th</sup> century in the Russian Far East. Limited data have been reported on the detection of infectious agents in this tick species. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and genetic variability of a wide range of infectious agents in I. pavlovskyi ticks collected in their traditional and recently invaded habitats, the Altai Mountains and Novosibirsk Province, respectively, which are both located within the Western Siberian part of the I. pavlovskyi distribution area.<h4>Results</h4>This study reports the novel discovery of Borrelia bavariensis, Rickettsia helvetica, R. heilongjiangensis, R. raoultii, "Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae", Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia muris, "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" and Babesia microti in I. pavlovskyi ticks. In addition, we confirmed the previous identification of B. afzelii, B. garinii and B. miyamotoi, as well as tick-borne encephalitis and Kemerovo viruses in this tick species. The prevalence and some genetic characteristics of all of the tested agents were compared with those found in I. persulcatus ticks that were collected at the same time in the same locations, where these tick species occur in sympatry. It was shown that the prevalence and genotypes of many of the identified pathogens did not significantly differ between I. pavlovskyi and I. persulcatus ticks. However, I. pavlovskyi ticks were significantly more often infected by B. garinii and less often by B. bavariensis, B. afzelii, "Ca. R. tarasevichiae", and E. muris than I. persulcatus ticks in both studied regions. Moreover, new genetic variants of B. burgdorferi (sensu lato) and Rickettsia spp. as well as tick-borne encephalitis and Kemerovo viruses were found in both I. pavlovskyi and I. persulcatus ticks.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Almost all pathogens that were previously detected in I. persulcatus ticks were identified in I. pavlovskyi ticks; however, the distribution of species belonging to the B. burgdorferi (sensu lato) complex, the genus Rickettsia, and the family Anaplasmataceae was different between the two tick species. Several new genetic variants of viral and bacterial agents were identified in I. pavlovskyi and I. persulcatus ticks.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Over 60 years ago clinical patterns resembling tick-borne rickettsioses have been described for the first time in Kazakhstan. Since 1995 the incidence of clinical cases of tick-borne rickettsioses in humans seems to be rising but studies on epidemiological data regarding the occurring etiological agents, tick vector species, prevalence and distribution throughout Kazakhstan are still scarce to date. The aim of the study was molecular investigation of ticks for spotted-fever group rickettsiae in the endemic Kyzylorda region and the so far considered as non-endemic Almaty region. A total of 2341 ticks was collected in the two regions in Kazakhstan and sorted in 501 pools: Ixodes persulcatus (243); Dermacentor marginatus (129); Haemaphysalis punctata (104); Hyalomma asiaticum (17); Dermacentor reticulatus (3); and Rhipicephalus turanicus (5). Pools were tested for Rickettsia spp. using real-time PCR. For positive samples multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was performed.<h4>Results</h4>The calculated minimum infection rate (MIR) for rickettsiae in the investigated ticks in Almaty region varied between 0.4-15.1% and 12.6-22.7% in the Kyzylorda region. At least four different Rickettsia species were identified in the two selected regions of Kazakhstan. Two of these are already known to science: Rickettsia raoultii and R. slovaca, the latter being reported for the first time in Almaty region One new form, "Candidatus R. yenbekshikazakhensis", was described by MLST of six gene fragments in Almaty region and one new genotype, "genotype R. talgarensis" was detected using three gene fragments.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Kazakh physicians should be aware of rickettsioses after tick bites in both regions studied. Both, R. raoultii and R. slovaca should be included in the diagnostics. The role for human diseases has further to be investigated for the newly described rickettsiae, "Candidatus R. yenbekshikazakhensis" and "Genotype R. talgarensis".
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Hard ticks act as arthropod vectors in the transmission of human and animal pathogens and are widely distributed in northern China. The aim of this study is to screen the important tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) carried by hard ticks in Inner Mongolia using metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) and to estimate the risk of human infection imposed by tick bites.<h4>Methods</h4>The adult Dermacentor nuttalli (n = 203) and Ixodes persulcatus (n = 36) ticks feeding on cattle were collected. The pooled DNA samples prepared from these ticks were sequenced as the templates for mNGS to survey the presence of TBPs at the genus level. Individual tick DNA samples were detected by genus--specific or group-specific nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of these TBPs and combined with DNA sequencing assay to confirm the results of mNGS.<h4>Results</h4>R. raoultii (45.32%, 92/203), Candidatus R. tarasevichiae (5.42%, 11/203), Anaplasma sp. Mongolia (26.60%, 54/203), Coxiella-like endosymbiont (CLE) (53.69%, 109/203), and Babesia venatorum (7.88%, 16/203) were detected in D. nuttalli, while R. raoultii (30.56%, 11/36), Anaplasma sp. Mongolia (27.80%, 10/36), and CLE (27.80%, 10/36) were detected in I. persulcatus. The double- and triple-pathogen/endosymbiont co-infections were detected in 40.39% of D. nuttalli and 13.89% of I. persulcatus, respectively. The dual co-infection with R. raoultii and CLE (14.29%, 29/203) and triple co-infection with R. raoultii, Anaplasma sp. Mongolia, and CLE (13.79%, 28/203) were most frequent in D. nuttalli.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study provides insight into the microbial diversity of D. nuttalli and I. persulcatus in Inner Mongolia, China, reporting for the first time that Candidatus R. tarasevichiae had been found in D. nuttalli in China, and for the first time in the world that Anaplasma sp. Mongolia has been detected in I. persulcatus. This study proves that various vertically transmitted pathogens co-inhabit D. nuttalli and I. persulcatus, and indicates that cattle in Inner Mongolia are exposed to several TBPs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Almost 3500 tick samples, originally collected via a nationwide citizen science campaign in 2015, were screened to reveal the prevalence and distribution of a wide spectrum of established and putative tick-borne pathogens vectored by Ixodes ricinus and I. persulcatus in Finland. The unique geographical distribution of these two tick species in Finland allowed us to compare pathogen occurrence between an I. ricinus-dominated area (southern Finland), an I. persulcatus-dominated area (northern Finland), and a sympatric area (central Finland). RESULTS:Of the analysed ticks, almost 30% carried at least one pathogen and 2% carried more than one pathogen. A higher overall prevalence of tick-borne pathogens was observed in I. ricinus than in I. persulcatus: 30.0% (604/2014) versus 24.0% (348/1451), respectively. In addition, I. ricinus were more frequently co-infected than I. persulcatus: 2.4% (49/2014) versus 0.8% (12/1451), respectively. Causative agents of Lyme borreliosis, i.e. bacterial genospecies in Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato) group, were the most prevalent pathogens (overall 17%). "Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae" was found for the first time in I. ricinus ticks and in Finnish ticks in general. Moreover, Babesia divergens, B. venatorum and "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" were reported for the first time from the Finnish mainland. CONCLUSIONS:The present study provides valuable information on the prevalence and geographical distribution of various tick-borne pathogens in I. ricinus and I. persulcatus ticks in Finland. Moreover, this comprehensive subset of ticks revealed the presence of rare and potentially dangerous pathogens. The highest prevalence of infected ticks was in the I. ricinus-dominated area in southern Finland, while the prevalence was essentially equal in sympatric and I. persulcatus-dominated areas. However, the highest infection rates for both species were in areas of their dominance, either in south or north Finland.
Project description:A total of 167 ticks collected from humans in Istanbul (Turkey) in 2006 were screened for Rickettsia species, and nested PCRs targeting gltA and ompA rickettsial fragment genes were carried out. Rickettsia monacensis (51), R. aeschlimannii (8), R. conorii subsp. conorii (3), R. helvetica (2), R. raoultii (1), R. africae (1), R. felis (1), and other Rickettsia spp. (2), were detected. To our knowledge, these Rickettsia species (except R. conorii) had never been reported in ticks removed from humans in Turkey. The presence of R. africae also had not been previously described, either in Hyalomma ticks or in any European tick species. In addition, R. aeschlimannii and R. felis had not been found associated with Rhipicephalus bursa specimens. The presence of human pathogenic Rickettsia in ticks removed from humans provides information about the risk of tick-borne rickettsioses in Turkey.
Project description:Ixodidae ticks are vectors and reservoirs of several species of rickettsiae, and tick-borne rickettsioses are reported worldwide. This study was aimed to verify the distribution of spotted fever group rickettsiae associated with ticks in a wild environment, the National Park of Gargano, where there is proximity between wild and domestic animals, and which is within an endemic area for rickettsiosis. Ticks were collected from animals or vegetation, morphologically identified and tested by a PCR targeting the 17kDa gene, and by a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) targeting ompB gene. Out of 34 tested tick pools, 2 from Dermacentor marginatus, 1 from Ixodes ricinus, and 1 from Rhipicephalus turanicus resulted positive. Nucleotide sequences of amplicons showed high similarity with sequences from Rickettsia slovaca, Rickettsia raoultii, Rickettsia helvetica, and Rickettsia felis. The overall calculated infection rate was 26.19 per 1,000, while it rose up to 107.77 when only D. marginatus was considered. The results highlight the association among Ri. slovaca, Ri. raoultii, D. marginatus and wild boars from which infected ticks were collected. Finally, the study shows the low efficacy of the previously described LAMP method for the detection of Rickettsia spp., when compared to PCR, making urgent the development of most effective LAMP protocols.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Different tick species are able to transmit different pathogens, and tick-borne diseases are of substantial concern worldwide for both humans and animals. Environmental changes and changes in the range of tick species, including Dermacentor reticulatus in Europe, can affect the spread of zoonotic pathogens. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of the tick-borne pathogens in ticks removed from dogs in Latvia, and to explore possible changes between years 2011 and 2016. RESULTS:In 2011, only Ixodes ticks (221 Ixodes ricinus and 22 Ixodes persulcatus) were collected from dogs, while in 2016 tick samples belonged to Ixodes ricinus (360), Ixodes persulcatus (2) and Dermacentor reticulatus (27) species. In total, 35.8 and 40.0% of adult ticks were pathogen-positive in 2011 and 2016, respectively; the difference was not statistically significant (P?>?0.05). The molecular analysis indicated the presence of 13 tick-borne microorganisms; the most prevalent pathogen was Rickettsia, followed by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato group spirochetes, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia species. Borrelia miyamotoi was also present. A co-infection with two and three tick-borne pathogens was detected in 7.9 and 7.4% of Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus, respectively. The results of this study confirmed that the spread of novel vectors could bring additional risk of exposure to novel emerging pathogens to pets and their owners, as both Babesia canis and Rickettsia raoultii were shown to be highly associated with Dermacentor reticulatus ticks in Latvia. CONCLUSIONS:This study demonstrates the potential danger from the inadvertent introduction of novel disease pathogens and vectors. Awareness of co-infections and Dermacentor reticulatus-related pathogens needs to be increased.
Project description:Rickettsia raoultii is a tick-borne pathogen that infects humans; however, the vertebrate hosts of this pathogen have not been clearly defined. Our molecular examination of Rickettsia spp. infecting mammals and ticks in China, identified the gltA, ompA, and 17KD gene sequences of R. raoultii in horses and their ticks. This indicates a role of horses in R. raoultii epidemiology.