Genotypic Analysis of Piroplasms and Associated Pathogens from Ticks Infesting Cattle in Korea.
ABSTRACT: Tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) impose an important limitation to livestock production worldwide, especially in subtropical and tropical areas. Earlier studies in Korea have examined TBPs residing in ticks and animals; however, information on multiple TBPs in ticks infesting cattle is lacking. This study assessed the prevalence of TBPs in ticks parasitizing cattle. A total of 576 ticks, including 340 adults and 236 nymphs, were collected from cattle in Korea between 2014 and 2018. All ticks collected were identified as Haemaphysalis longicornis based on their morphological and molecular characteristics. Among piroplasms and other tick-associated pathogens, seven TBP genes, namely Theileria orientalis (5.0%), Anaplasma bovis (2.3%), Anaplasma capra (4.7%), Anaplasma phagocytophilum-like Anaplasma spp. (APL) clades A (1.9%) and B (0.5%), Ehrlichia canis (1.6%), and Candidatus Rickettsia longicornii (17.5%), were detected. Bartonella spp. and severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus were not found. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report the presence of the pathogens T. orientalis major piroplasm surface protein genotypes 3 and 7, A. capra, and APL in ticks from Korea. Cattle ticks may be maintenance hosts for many TBPs, and veterinary and medical clinicians should be aware of their high probability of infection and clinical complexity in humans.
Project description:Tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) are considered zoonotic re-emerging pathogens, with ticks playing important roles in their transmission and ecology. Previous studies in South Korea have examined TBPs residing in ticks; however, there is no phylogenetic information on TBPs in ticks parasitizing native Korean goat (NKG; Capra hircus coreanae). The present study assessed the prevalence, risk factors, and co-infectivity of TBPs in ticks parasitizing NKGs. In total, 107 hard ticks, including Haemaphysalis longicornis, Ixodes nipponensis, and Haemaphysalis flava, were obtained from NKGs in South Korea between 2016 and 2019. In 40 tested tick pools, genes for four TBPs, namely Coxiella-like endosymbiont (CLE, 5.0%), Candidatus Rickettsia longicornii (45.0%), Anaplasma bovis (2.5%), and Theileria luwenshuni (5.0%) were detected. Ehrlichia, Bartonella spp., and severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus were not detected. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report CLE and T. luwenshuni in H. flava ticks in South Korea. Considering the high prevalence of Candidatus R. longicornii in ticks parasitizing NKGs, there is a possibility of its transmission from ticks to animals and humans. NKG ticks might be maintenance hosts for TBPs, and we recommend evaluation of the potential public health threat posed by TBP-infected ticks.
Project description:Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) cause significant losses among livestock and impact the livelihoods of resource-poor farming communities worldwide. In Ethiopia, detailed studies on the epidemiology of tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) in cattle using sensitive molecular detection methods are scarce. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and species composition of bovine TBPs of veterinary significance in local cattle populations. A comprehensive cross-sectional epidemiological study was conducted in cattle populations of Illubabor zone in Southwestern Ethiopia from June to August 2013. For this purpose, blood samples were collected from 392 cattle. A combination of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a Reverse Line Blot (RLB) hybridization assay was employed for the detection of TBPs in these samples. The PCR/RLB results of the 392 blood samples indicated a high overall prevalence of 96.9% for TBPs, including Theileria mutans (66.1%), Theileria orientalis (51.8%), Anaplasma sp. Omatjenne (25.5%), Anaplasma marginale (14.5%), Babesia bigemina (14.0%) and Theileria velifera (13.0%) and minor occurrences of Ehrlichia ruminantium (0.5%) and Ehrlichia minasensis (0.26%). Moreover, three novel Anaplasma genotypes were detected in bovine blood samples. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that they most likely represent three, but at least two, new species. The prevalence of the three novel Anaplasma species, preliminary designated as Anaplasma sp. Hadesa, Anaplasma sp. Saso and Anaplasma sp. Dedessa, was 12.5%, 14.3% and 5.6%, respectively. Overall, a total of 227 cattle (57.9%) were found to be co-infected with two or more TBPs simultaneously and 86 different species combinations were observed. The findings show a very high burden of infection of cattle with TBPs in Ethiopia. The high frequency of co-infections suggests that clinical manifestations might be complex. Further research is required to determine the pathogenicity, host cell types and vector of the three novel Anaplasma species identified in this study.
Project description:Tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) seriously affect cattle production and can be economically damaging. The epidemiology of these organisms in the Chongqing municipality of China is not well described. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of TBPs including Anaplasma spp., Babesia spp. and Theileria spp. in cattle in Chongqing municipality. The results showed that 43.48% (150/345) of cattle were infected with at least one TBP, of which single infections were detected in 104 (30.14%), double infections in 34 cattle (9.86%) and triple infections in 12 (3.48%) of the cattle. The overall prevalence of Anaplasma spp., Theileria spp. and B. bigemina were 22.32%, 23.19% and 7.24%, respectively. Among these, the prevalence of A. bovis, A. central, A. phagocytophilum, A. platys, A. marginale, T. sinensisi and T. orientalis were 8.41%, 7.83%, 4.93%, 4.35%, 2.61%, 22.32% and 2.60%, respectively. We could not detect B. bovis, T. annulata, T. luwenshuni or T. uilenbergi in cattle. Cattle ?1-year-old were more likely to be infected with Theileria spp. [adjusted odd ratio (AOR) = 2.70, 95% CI = 1.12-6.56)] compared with younger cattle, while cattle ?1-year-old had reduced susceptibility to B. bigemina (AOR = 0.14, 95% CI = 0.03-0.60). Cattle living at higher altitude (?500 m) were more susceptible to B. bigemina (AOR = 6.97, 95% CI = 2.08-23.35) and Theileria spp. infection (AOR = 1.87, 95% CI = 1.06-3.32). The prevalence of Theileria spp. on farms with cats was significantly higher than that without cats (AOR = 2.56, 95% CI = 1.12-5.88). Infection with A. bovis and A. central were significantly associated with A. phagocytophilum infection. Furthermore, there were significant associations between A. bovis and A. central infection, T. sinensisi and A. marginale infection, and B. bigemina and T. orientalis infection. This study provides new data on the prevalence of Anaplasma spp., Babesia spp. and Theileria spp. in cattle in Chongqing, and for the first time we reveal a possible relationship between the afore-mentioned pathogens, which will help in formulating appropriate control strategies for these pathogens in this area.
Project description:Tick-borne pathogens (TBPs), especially Anaplasma phagocytophilum, cause disease in grazing livestock. Tick prophylaxis is, therefore, a routine practice in sheep flocks in Sweden, especially in central, southern, and coastal areas of the country where ixodid ticks (Ixodes ricinus and Haemaphysalis punctata) are present. In the present study, the status of infection by A. phagocytophilum and other TBPs in lambs treated with tick prophylaxis has been assessed serologically and with polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Blood samples (n = 78) from lambs (n = 20) subjected to regular tick prophylactic treatment (flumethrin, Bayticol®) at two sites in different regions in Sweden (Östergötland, Gotland) were collected on four occasions from May until July 2013. The severity of clinical signs in Anaplasma-infected animals is known to differ between these two regions. In total, 20% of blood samples were PCR-positive for A. phagocytophilum. Serological analyses showed that 33% of all collected samples were positive for A. phagocytophilum, while 2.5% were positive for Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. and 13% for tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). Percentages of lambs positive were 75 and 45% for A. phagocytophilum antibodies and DNA, respectively, while 10 and 45% were serologically positive for B. burgdorferi s.l. and TBEV, respectively. Sequencing of partial 16S rRNA genes from Anaplasma PCR positive samples revealed presence of A. phagocytophilum in all animals in Östergötland, while sequences consistent with A. phagocytophilum as well as A. capra and A. bovis were found on the island of Gotland. This is the first report of the occurrence of the latter two species in Sweden.
Project description: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.
Project description:Ticks are globally distributed arthropods and a public health concern due to the many human pathogens they carry and transmit, including the causative agent of Lyme disease, <i>Borrelia burgdorferi</i>. As tick species' ranges increase, so do the number of reported tick related illnesses. The microbiome is a critical part of understanding arthropod biology, and the microbiome of pathogen vectors may provide critical insight into disease transmission and management. Yet we lack a comprehensive understanding of the microbiome of wild ticks, including what effect the presence of multiple tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) has on the microbiome. In this study we chose samples based on life stage (adult or nymph) and which TBPs were present. We used DNA from previously extracted <i>Ixodes scapularis</i> ticks that tested positive for zero, one, two or three common TBPs (<i>B. burgdorferi, B. miyamotoi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti</i>). We produced 16S rRNA amplicon data for the whole tick microbiome and compared samples across TBPs status, single vs multiple coinfections, and life stages. Focusing on samples with a single TBP, we found no significant differences in microbiome diversity in ticks that were infected with <i>B. burgdorferi</i> and ticks with no TBPs. When comparing multiple TBPs, we found no significant difference in both alpha and beta diversity between ticks with a single TBP and ticks with multiple TBPs. Removal of TBPs from the microbiome did not alter alpha or beta diversity results. Life stage significantly correlated to variation in beta diversity and nymphs had higher alpha diversity than adult ticks. <i>Rickettsia</i>, a common tick endosymbiont, was the most abundant genus. This study confirms that the wild tick microbiome is highly influenced by life stage and much less by the presence of human pathogenic bacteria.
Project description:Tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) are major constraints to livestock production and a threat to public health in Africa. This cross-sectional study investigated the risk of infection with TBPs in cattle of Lambwe Valley, Kenya. Blood samples of 680 zebu cattle from 95 herds in six geospatial clusters within 5 km of Ruma National Park were screened for bacterial and protozoan TBPs by high-resolution melting analysis and sequencing of PCR products. We detected <i>Anaplasma bovis</i> (17.4%), <i>Anaplasma platys</i> (16.9%)<i>, Anaplasma marginale</i> (0.6%), <i>Theileria velifera</i> (40%), and <i>Theileria mutans</i> (25.7%), as well as an <i>Anaplasma</i> sp. (11.6%) that matched recently reported <i>Anaplasma</i> sp. sequences from Ethiopia. <i>Babesia</i>, <i>Rickettsia,</i> and <i>Ehrlichia</i> spp. were not detected. The animal and herd-level prevalences for TBPs were 78.5% (95% confidence intervals (CI): 75.3, 81.5) and 95.8% (95% CI: 91.8, 99.8), respectively. About 31.6% of cattle were co-infected with 13 combinations of TBPs. The prevalence of TBPs differed between clusters and age, but the risk of infection was not associated with sex, herd size, or the distance of homesteads from Ruma. This study adds insight into the epidemiology of TBPs around Ruma and highlights the need for proactive surveillance of TBPs in livestock-wildlife interfaces.
Project description:Although diverse tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) are endemic to East Africa, with recognized impact on human and livestock health, their diversity and specific interactions with tick and vertebrate host species remain poorly understood in the region. In particular, the role of reptiles in TBP epidemiology remains unknown, despite having been implicated with TBPs of livestock among exported tortoises and lizards. Understanding TBP ecologies, and the potential role of common reptiles, is critical for the development of targeted transmission control strategies for these neglected tropical disease agents. During the wet months (April-May; October-December) of 2012-2013, we surveyed TBP diversity among 4,126 ticks parasitizing livestock and reptiles at homesteads along the shores and islands of Lake Baringo and Lake Victoria in Kenya, regions endemic to diverse neglected tick-borne diseases. After morphological identification of 13 distinct Rhipicephalus, Amblyomma, and Hyalomma tick species, ticks were pooled (?8 individuals) by species, host, sampling site, and collection date into 585 tick pools. By supplementing previously established molecular assays for TBP detection with high-resolution melting analysis of PCR products before sequencing, we identified high frequencies of potential disease agents of ehrlichiosis (12.48% Ehrlichia ruminantium, 9.06% Ehrlichia canis), anaplasmosis (6.32% Anaplasma ovis, 14.36% Anaplasma platys, and 3.08% Anaplasma bovis,), and rickettsiosis (6.15% Rickettsia africae, 2.22% Rickettsia aeschlimannii, 4.27% Rickettsia rhipicephali, and 4.95% Rickettsia spp.), as well as Paracoccus sp. and apicomplexan hemoparasites (0.51% Theileria sp., 2.56% Hepatozoon fitzsimonsi, and 1.37% Babesia caballi) among tick pools. Notably, we identified E. ruminantium in both Amblyomma and Rhipicephalus pools of ticks sampled from livestock in both study areas as well as in Amblyomma falsomarmoreum (66.7%) and Amblyomma nuttalli (100%) sampled from tortoises and Amblyomma sparsum (63.6%) sampled in both cattle and tortoises at Lake Baringo. Similarly, we identified E. canis in rhipicephaline ticks sampled from livestock and dogs in both regions and Amblyomma latum (75%) sampled from monitor lizards at Lake Victoria. These novel tick-host-pathogen interactions have implications on the risk of disease transmission to humans and domestic animals and highlight the complexity of TBP ecologies, which may include reptiles as reservoir species, in sub-Saharan Africa.
Project description:Anaplasma species are tick-transmitted obligate intracellular bacteria that infect many wild and domestic animals and humans. The prevalence of Anaplasma spp. in ixodid ticks of Qinghai Province is poorly understood. In this study, a total of 1104 questing adult ticks were investigated for the infection of Anaplasma species. As a result, we demonstrated the total infection rates of 3.1, 11.1, 5.6, and 4.5% for A. phagocytophilum, A. bovis, A. ovis and A. capra, respectively. All of the tick samples were negative for A. marginale. The positive rates of A. phagocytophilum, A. ovis and A. capra in different tick species were significantly different. The positive rates of A. capra and A. bovis in the male ticks were significantly higher than that in the female ticks. Sequence analysis of A. ovis showed 99.5-100% identity to the previous reported isolates. The sequences of A. phagocytophilum had 100% identity to strains Ap-SHX21, JC3-3 and ZAM dog-181 from sheep, Mongolian gazelles, and dogs. Two genotypes of A. capra were found based on 16S rRNA, citrate synthase (gltA) gene and heat shock protein (groEL) gene analysis. In conclusion, A. bovis, A. ovis, A. phagocytophilum, and A. capra were present in the ticks in Qinghai Province. Anaplasma infection is associated with tick species, gender and distribution. These data will be helpful for understanding prevalence status of Anaplasma infections in ticks in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Project description:Cervids are known to be reservoirs of zoonotic bacteria transmitted by ticks. This study aimed to identify the Anaplasma species carried by captive red deer and swamp deer in a wild fauna reserve in France. Blood from 59 red deer and 7 swamp deer was collected and analyzed over a period of two years. A semi-nested PCR targeting the 23S rRNA was performed to detect and characterize Anaplasma spp. and determine the presence of zoonotic species. Anaplasma phagocytophilum was identified in 14/59 red deer (23.7%) but it was not identified in any of the swamp deer (7 animals). Three sequences could not be assigned to any particular species based on the 23S rRNA sequences. Complementary nested PCR targeting 16S rRNA, gltA and groEL genes and sequencing analysis then identified these sequences as a recently reported zoonotic species, Anaplasma capra; this species was found in 2 red deer (Cervus elaphus) and 1 swamp deer (Rucervus duvaucelii). This is the first report of the tick-borne zoonotic bacterium A. capra in France, a species otherwise described only in China, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea in goats, sheep, deer, cattle and Japanese serows (Capricornis crispus). While this bacterium may have been introduced into the reserve by infected imported animals, its local epidemiological cycle via tick transmission seems possible as locally born deer were found infected. Diagnostic methods, especially molecular ones, should take into account the potential infection of animals and humans with this species.