Publications by authors named "Sándor Hornok"

107 Publications

Rickettsiae in red fox (Vulpes vulpes), marbled polecat (Vormela peregusna) and their ticks in northwestern China.

Parasit Vectors 2021 Apr 19;14(1):204. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Department of Basic Medicine, School of Medicine, Shihezi University, Shihezi, 832003, Xinjiang, Uygur Autonomous Region, China.

Background: Previously, twelve Rickettsia species were identified in ticks, fleas, sheep keds (Melophagus ovinus), bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) and a tick-bitten patient in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwestern China. Here we aimed to molecularly detect rickettsial agents in red fox (Vulpes vulpes), marbled polecat (Vormela peregusna) and their ticks.

Methods: During 2018-2019, 12 red foxes, one marbled polecat and their ticks were sampled in two counties and a city of the XUAR. The heart, liver, spleen, lung and kidney of these 13 carnivores were dissected, followed by DNA extraction. Hard ticks were identified both morphologically and molecularly. All samples were examined for the presence of rickettsiae by amplifying four genetic markers (17-kDa, gltA, ompA, sca1).

Results: A total of 26 adult ticks and 28 nymphs (38 Ixodes canisuga, nine Ixodes kaiseri, six Haemaphysalis erinacei and one Dermacentor marginatus) were collected from red foxes, and four Ha. erinacei ticks were removed from the marbled polecat. Analysis of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequences indicated that 2-32 nucleotides differed between I. canisuga, I. kaiseri and Ha. erinacei from northwestern China and Europe. Rickettsia raoultii was detected in three red foxes, Candidatus Rickettsia barbariae in a red fox, Rickettsia sibirica in a red fox and a marbled polecat, and R. raoultii in two tick species (I. canisuga and D. marginatus).

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, I. canisuga and I. kaiseri have not been previously reported from red foxes in China. The DNA of R. sibirica and R. raoultii was detected for the first time in the organs of red foxes, and R. sibirica in the organs of a marbled polecat. This is also the first molecular evidence for the presence of R. raoultii in I. canisuga. Our findings expand the range of tick-borne pathogens in wildlife species and associated ticks in China.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-021-04718-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8054388PMC
April 2021

First record of Ixodes simplex found on a human host, with a review of cases of human infestation by bat tick species occurring in Europe.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2021 Apr 6;12(4):101722. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases, Romania; Department of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary. Electronic address:

Ixodes simplex is a bat tick species, a common parasite of the Schreibers' bent-winged bat, Miniopterus schreibersii. Its distribution is linked to the range of its host, free stages occurring exclusively inside the underground bat shelters. Here we present the first case of human infestation with I. simplex. An adult female tick was found attached to the upper limb after a visit to the underground shelter of a large bat colony. This unusual host selection is a likely consequence of the reduction of suitable hosts, as the number of bats was much lower at the time of the visit than in previous years. Bat ticks rarely feed on humans, with soft ticks (Argasidae) being more commonly involved. In the light of the potential vectorial capacity of I. simplex, the incidence and potential future risks are discussed.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2021.101722DOI Listing
April 2021

Molecular survey of Babesia spp. in red foxes (Vulpes Vulpes), Asian badgers (Meles leucurus) and their ticks in China.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2021 Mar 17;12(4):101710. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

School of Animal Science and Technology, Shihezi University, Shihezi City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, 832000, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Babesia species (Apicomplexa: Piroplasmorida) are tick-borne protozoan hemoparasites, which pose a significant threat to domestic animals, wildlife and humans. This study aimed to determine and characterize Babesia species in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), Asian badgers (Meles leucurus) and their ticks. Blood, heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, large intestine and small intestine were collected from 19 wild carnivores (12 red foxes and 7 Asian badgers). All ticks were removed from these animals and identified according to morphological and molecular characteristics. The samples were tested for the presence of Babesia species using the 18S rRNA gene. Molecular analyses showed that the DNA of Babesia vogeli and Babesia vulpes was present in red fox organs/tissues and blood samples. A total of 54 hard ticks (38 Ixodes canisuga, 6 Haemaphysalis erinacei, 9 Ixodes kaiseri and 1 Dermacentor marginatus) were collected from red foxes and 12 (I. kaiseri) from Asian badgers. All ticks were adults. Among them, one I. kaiseri parasiting a red fox contained the DNA of B. vulpes while one I. canisuga was positive for Babesia sp. belonging to the clade "Babesia sensu stricto". Molecular and phylogenetic analyses indicated the presence of a novel genotype, Babesia sp. "badger China". Babesia sp. badger type A and type B from Asian badgers were different from those in European badgers. Co-infection with three Babesia genotypes was found in one Asian badger. This study provides the first data on Babesia infection in red foxes, Asian badgers and their ticks in China. Babesia vogeli was detected for the first time in red foxes in Asia. Co-infection and genetic diversity of Babesia genotypes in Asian badgers were also demonstrated.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2021.101710DOI Listing
March 2021

Morphology of Pholeoixodes species associated with carnivores in the western Palearctic: Pictorial key based on molecularly identified Ixodes (Ph.) canisuga, I. (Ph.) hexagonus and I. (Ph.) kaiseri males, nymphs and larvae.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2021 Mar 23;12(4):101715. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary; Department of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Three Palearctic members of the subgenus Pholeoixodes, i.e., Ixodes canisuga, Ixodes hexagonus and Ixodes kaiseri are frequently collected from dogs, cats, red foxes, badgers and other carnivorous/insectivorous hosts in Europe. While a pictorial identification key has been reported for female Pholeoixodes ticks, a similar work has not been done on their male, nymphal and larval specimens. This study was initiated in order to clarify and re-examine those morphological characters of these three tick species, which can be used relatively easily to identify/distinguish them. In the case of larvae the aims included finding alternatives to chaetotaxy, which is difficult to observe and its usefulness is also affected by uncertainties in literature data. For this, 609 Pholeoixodes ticks (males, nymphs and larvae) were collected from carnivores, hedgehogs and their environment in six European countries (representing Western, Central and Southeastern Europe), followed by detailed morphological examination and/or molecular analyses to confirm the identity of their species. Based on the morphology of 84 molecularly analyzed specimens and a new identification key compiled accordingly, altogether 116 I. canisuga, 277 I. hexagonus and 216 I. kaiseri males, nymphs and larvae were identified. Ixodes kaiseri was not found in Western Europe, where I. canisuga predominated. In Central Europe, all three Pholeoixodes species were collected, the largest number of specimens represented by I. hexagonus. On the other hand, in Southeastern Europe I. kaiseri had the highest abundance. In conclusion, the morphology of internal spur on the first coxae (as the traditionally used character to distinguish I. hexagonus from other Pholeoixodes species) is trustworthy to recognize males but is less informative in the case of nymphs and larvae. The latter can be identified more properly by observing the morphology of basis capituli. In particular, nymphs and larvae of I. canisuga have anteriorly flattened basis capituli, forming a plateau that surrounds the base of the hypostome. On the other hand, nymphs and larvae of I. hexagonus and I. kaiseri lack a similar plateau, but (unlike I. canisuga) have cornuae, which are either posterolaterally or caudally directed, respectively.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2021.101715DOI Listing
March 2021

Urban emergence of Dermanyssus gallinae lineage L1 and Ornithonyssus sylviarum in Hungary: phylogenetic differentiation between the roles of migrating vs transported synanthropic birds.

Parasit Vectors 2021 Mar 8;14(1):147. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Plant Protection Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research, ELKH, Budapest, Hungary.

Background: Among Dermanyssoidea, the chicken red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) and the northern fowl mite (Ornithonyssus sylviarum) are considered to be the cause of high economic losses endured by the poultry industry in the Holarctic region, with O. sylviarum predominating in North America and D. gallinae in Europe. Both species have a short life-cycle (thereby allowing a rapid build-up of massive infestations), a wide range of hosts, synanthropic presence and the ability to bite humans. The aim of this study was to analyze dermanyssoid mite specimens, collected in two human dwellings and two racing pigeon premises in different urban areas in Hungary, with molecular-phylogenetic methods.

Methods: Mite species were identified morphologically. This was followed by DNA extraction and molecular-phylogenetic analyses of selected mites, based on the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1) and 28S rRNA (28S) genes.

Results: Mites that had invaded a home from a pigeon nest and were linked to human dermatitis were morphologically and molecularly identified as D. gallinae special lineage L1. Specimens collected at all other sampling sites were identified as O. sylviarum, including mites that had invaded a home from a house martin (Delichon urbicum) nest, as well as those which were collected from racing pigeons. House martin- or pigeon-associated O. sylviarum specimens showed the highest sequence identity and closest phylogenetic relationship with conspecific mites reported in GenBank from Israel or Canada, respectively.

Conclusions: Detailed morphological and molecular-phylogenetic analyses of D. gallinae lineage L1 confirmed its status as a cryptic species within D. gallinae (s.l.). Taking into account the well-documented latitudinal migratory routes of house martins between Hungary and Africa, O. sylviarum associated with this bird species most likely arrived on its host from the eastern Mediterranean region. On the other hand, mites collected from pigeons in Hungary showed cox1 genetic homogeneity with North American O. sylviarum, which can only be explained by a long-distance (west-to-east intercontinental) connection of birds and their mites as part of human activity (e.g. transportation to exhibitions or trading). In summary, this is the first molecularly confirmed and phylogenetically analyzed case of O. sylviarum infestation of birds in Hungary, implicating urban environment and involving distant parts of the country. This is also the first report of D. gallinae lineage L1 in central Europe.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-021-04643-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7938540PMC
March 2021

Genetic Diversity of Hard Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) in the South and East Regions of Kazakhstan and Northwestern China.

Korean J Parasitol 2021 Feb 19;59(1):103-108. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Basic Medicine, School of Medicine, Shihezi University, Shihezi City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region 832002, People's Republic of China.

To date, there is no report on the genetic diversity of ticks in these regions. A total of 370 representative ticks from the south and east regions of Kazakhstan (SERK) and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) were selected for molecular comparison. A fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1) gene, ranging from 631 bp to 889 bp, was used to analyze genetic diversity among these ticks. Phylogenetic analyses indicated 7 tick species including Hyalomma asiaticum, Hyalomma detritum, Hyalomma anatolicum, Dermacentor marginatus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Rhipicephalus turanicus and Haemaphysalis erinacei from the SERK clustered together with conspecific ticks from the XUAR. The network diagram of haplotypes showed that i) Hy. asiaticum from Almaty and Kyzylorda Oblasts together with that from Yuli County of XUAR constituted haplogroup H-2, and the lineage from Chimkent City of South Kazakhstan was newly evolved; and ii) the R. turanicus ticks sampled in Israel, Almaty, South Kazakhstan, Usu City, Ulugqat and Baicheng Counties of XUAR were derivated from an old lineage in Alataw City of XUAR. These findings indicate that: i) Hy. asiaticum, R. turanicus and Ha. erinacei shared genetic similarities between the SERK and XUAR; and ii) Hy. marginatum and D. reticulatus show differences in their evolution.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.2021.59.1.103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7939963PMC
February 2021

Wide Distribution and Diversity of Malaria-Related Haemosporidian Parasites ( spp.) in Bats and Their Ectoparasites in Eastern Europe.

Microorganisms 2021 Jan 22;9(2). Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Department of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca, RO-400036 Cluj Napoca, Romania.

Malaria is responsible for major diseases of humans, while associated haemosporidians are important factors in regulating wildlife populations. , a haemosporidian parasite of bats, is phylogenetically close to human-pathogenic species, and their study may provide further clues for understanding the evolutionary relationships between vertebrates and malarial parasites. Our aim was to investigate the distribution of spp. in Eastern Europe and test the importance of host ecology and roost site on haemosporidian parasite infection of bats. We sampled bats and their ectoparasites at eight locations in Romania and Bulgaria. DNA was extracted from blood samples and ectoparasites and tested individually for the presence of DNA of spp. using a nested PCR targeting a 705 bp fragment of B. Two species of were identified: in and associated ectoparasites and in rhinolophid and vespertilionid bats (6 species) and their ticks and nycteribiid flies. Only cave-dwelling bat species (and their ectoparasites) showed infections, and we found a strong correlation between infections with parasites and Nycteribiidae prevalence. We report the high genetic diversity of spp. in Eastern Europe, suggesting that the simultaneous presence of varied host and vector assemblages enhances bat haemosporidian parasite diversity.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020230DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7911978PMC
January 2021

The heart microbiome of insectivorous bats from Central and South Eastern Europe.

Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 2021 Apr 7;75:101605. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

SLU Global Bioinformatics Centre, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7023, 750 07, Uppsala, Sweden.

Host associated microbiome not only may affect the individual health-status or provide insights into the species- or group specific bacterial communities but may act as early warning signs in the assessment of zoonotic reservoirs, offering clues to predict, prevent and control possible episodes of emerging zoonoses. Bats may be carriers and reservoirs of multiple pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and parasites, showing in the same time robust immunity against many of them. The microbiota plays a fundamental role on the induction, training and function of the host immune system and the immune system has largely evolved in order to maintain the symbiotic relationship of the host with these diverse microbes. Thus, expanding our knowledge on bat-associated microbiome it can be usefully in understanding bats' outstanding immune capacities. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of different bacterial communities in heart tissue of insectivorous bats, Nyctalus noctula, Pipistrellus pipistrellus and Rhinoplophus hipposideros, from Central and Eastern Europe using high-throughput sequencing of variable regions of the 16S rRNA. In addition, species-specific PCRs were used to validate the presence of the vector-borne pathogens Bartonella spp. and Rickettsia spp. In this study we identified a wide variety of bacterial groups, with the most abundant phyla being Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. The results showed that at individual level, the year or location had no effect on the diversity and composition of the microbiome, however host species determined both structure and abundance of the bacterial community. We report the presence of vector-borne bacteria Bartonella spp. in samples of N. noctula and indications of Rickettsia spp. in R. hipposideros. Our results provide a first insight into the bacterial community found in heart tissue of bats from Central and South Eastern Europe.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cimid.2020.101605DOI Listing
April 2021

Broad Range Screening of Vector-Borne Pathogens in Arctic Foxes () in Iceland.

Animals (Basel) 2020 Nov 4;10(11). Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Wildlife Diseases, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, 10315 Berlin, Germany.

The arctic fox () is the only native terrestrial mammal in Iceland. While red foxes () are known to be epidemiologically important carriers of several vector-borne pathogens in Europe, arctic foxes have never been evaluated in a similar context on this continent. This has become especially relevant in the last decade, considering the establishing populations of the tick species in Iceland. In this study, liver DNA extracts of 60 arctic foxes, hunted between 2011-2012, were molecularly screened for vector-borne protozoan parasites (, , , ) and bacteria (, , , , hemotropic ). One sample was real-time qPCR positive for , though this positivity could not be confirmed with sequencing. Samples were negative for all other tested vector-borne pathogens. Results of this study indicate that, except for , Icelandic arctic foxes were apparently "not yet infected" with vector-borne pathogens in 2011-2012, or their infections were "below the detection limit" of applied methods. Taking into account the broad range of target microorganisms analyzed here, as well as the warming climate and increasing presence of the vector in Iceland, our results will be very useful as baseline data for comparison in future monitoring of the emergence of ticks and tick-borne diseases in this country.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10112031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7694187PMC
November 2020

Phylogenies from mitochondrial genomes of 120 species of ticks: Insights into the evolution of the families of ticks and of the genus Amblyomma.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2021 01 5;12(1):101577. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Department of Disease Control, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Hokkaido, 060-0818, Japan.

The evolution and phylogenetic relationships of the ticks at both the family and genus levels are contested. The genus Amblyomma and its subgenera are in a state of flux; moreover, the relationships among the three tick families are controversial due to conflicting phylogenetic support for different arrangements of the three families of living ticks. With 18 newly sequenced mitochondrial (mt) genomes of ticks included, we executed the largest mt genome phylogenetic study of ticks so far. Phylogenetic trees were inferred from one sea spider mt genome, one horseshoe crab, five mite mt genomes and 146 tick mt genomes from 120 species: 153 mt genomes in total. Sixteen phylogenetic trees were inferred from 10 datasets using both maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference methods. We describe the first novel mt gene-arrangement for the metastriate Ixodidae in Amblyomma (Africaniella) transversale. Also, three unusual partial 16S rRNA gene inserts were found in the mt genome of Haemaphysalis (Alloceraea) kitaokai: we consider the possible role of past genome translocation events in the formation of these inserts. Our phylogenies revealed evidence that: (i) the genus Amblyomma is polyphyletic with respect to Amblyomma (Africaniella) transversale; (ii) the subgenus Aponomma is apparently embedded in the genus Amblyomma; (iii) Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva and Haemaphysalis (Alloceraea) kitaokai form a clade to the exclusion of other Haemaphysalis species; and (iv) the phylogenetic position of the family Nuttalliellidae is unstable among phylogenies from different datasets.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2020.101577DOI Listing
January 2021

Molecular phylogeny of Amblyomma exornatum and Amblyomma transversale, with reinstatement of the genus Africaniella (Acari: Ixodidae) for the latter.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2020 11 21;11(6):101494. Epub 2020 Jun 21.

INRAE, Oniris, BIOEPAR, Nantes, France.

The phylogeny of the hard tick genus Amblyomma Koch, 1844 deserves special attention, because several poorly studied tick species associated with reptiles still bear the name of this genus, although they may not belong to it. This study focuses on the phylogeny of two such species with uncertain taxonomic status, i.e., Amblyomma transversale (Lucas, 1845) and Amblyomma exornatum Koch, 1844, analyzing two mitochondrial (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 and 16S rRNA) and two nuclear (18S and 28S rRNA) genes. In the cox1 phylogenetic analysis, both Am. transversale and Am. exornatum were part of a sister group to all other Metastriata, whereas in the 16S rRNA gene analysis, Am. transversale belonged to a sister group to three subfamilies (Amblyomminae Neumann, 1911; Haemaphysalinae Hoogstraal and Aeschlimann, 1982; Bothriocrotoninae Klompen, Dobson and Baker, 2002), and Am. exornatum formed a sister group to other Amblyomminae. However, based on the 18S and 28S rRNA genes, Am. transversale belonged to a sister group of either Bothriocrotoninae alone or of both Bothriocrotoninae and Haemaphysalinae, respectively. In the latter two phylogenetic analyses Am. exornatum always clustered within Amblyomminae. Morphological comparisons revealed that Am. transversale has at least four unique characters and shares a high number of traits with the genera Robertsicus Barker and Burger, 2018 and Archaeocroton Barker and Burger, 2018, as well as with the subgenus Alloceraea Schulze, 1918 (represented by Haemaphysalis inermis Birula, 1895). These results justify that the genus Africaniella Travassos Dias, 1974 should be reinstated, and the species name of Am. transversale should be used as Africaniella transversale (Lucas, 1845).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2020.101494DOI Listing
November 2020

First broad-range molecular screening of tick-borne pathogens in Ixodes (Pholeoixodes) kaiseri, with special emphasis on piroplasms.

Acta Vet Hung 2020 03 8;68(1):30-33. Epub 2020 May 8.

5Institute for Hygiene and Applied Immunology, Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Kinderspitalgasse 15, A-1090, Vienna, Austria.

Recently, the occurrence of Ixodes (Pholeoixodes) kaiseri has been reported for the first time in several European countries, but data on the molecular analysis of this hard tick species are still lacking. Therefore, in this study DNA extracts of 28 I. kaiseri (collected from dogs and red foxes in Germany, Hungary and Romania) were screened with reverse line blot hybridisation (RLB), PCR and sequencing for the presence of 43 tick-borne pathogens or other members of their families from the categories of Anaplasmataceae, piroplasms, rickettsiae and borreliae. Rickettsia helvetica DNA was detected in one I. kaiseri female (from a red fox, Romania), for the first time in this tick species. Six ticks (from red foxes, Romania) contained the DNA of Babesia vulpes, also for the first time in the case of I. kaiseri. Molecular evidence of R. helvetica and B. vulpes in engorged I. kaiseri does not prove that this tick species is a vector of the above two pathogens, because they might have been taken up by the ticks from the blood of foxes. In addition, one I. kaiseri female (from a dog, Hungary) harboured Babesia sp. badger type-B, identified for the first time in Hungary and Central Europe (i.e. it has been reported previously from Western Europe and China). The latter finding can be explained by either the susceptibility of dogs to Babesia sp. badger type-B, or by transstadial survival of this piroplasm in I. kaiseri.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/004.2020.00003DOI Listing
March 2020

Anaplasmataceae closely related to Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Neorickettsia helminthoeca from birds in Central Europe, Hungary.

Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 2020 Jul 21;113(7):1067-1073. Epub 2020 Apr 21.

Department of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, 1078, Hungary.

Increasing amount of data attest that (in the context of vector-borne infections) birds are not only important as hosts of blood-sucking arthropod vectors, but also as reservoirs of vector-borne pathogens. From 2015 to 2019 cadavers of 100 birds (from 45 species, nine orders) were collected in Hungary, and their organs were screened for DNA from a broad range of vector-borne bacteria with PCR and sequencing. Molecular analyses revealed the presence of Anaplasmataceae, and sequencing identified bacteria closely related to Neorickettsia helminthoeca and Ehrlichia chaffeensis in a Eurasian teal (Anas crecca) and a song thrush (Turdus philomelos), respectively. All samples were PCR negative for rickettsiae, borreliae, Francisella and Coxiella spp., as well as for piroplasms. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a Neorickettsia and an Ehrlichia sp., which belong to the phylogenetic groups of N. helminthoeca and E. chaffeensis, respectively, from Europe. The potential presence of these two vector-borne bacteria needs to be taken into account during future studies on the eco-epidemiology of Anaplasmataceae in Europe.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10482-020-01415-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7272389PMC
July 2020

DNA of Theileria orientalis, T. equi and T. capreoli in stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans).

Parasit Vectors 2020 Apr 9;13(1):186. Epub 2020 Apr 9.

Department of Game Management and Ethology, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Kaposvár, Kaposvár, Hungary.

Background: From a veterinary-medical point of view, the stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans, is perhaps the economically most important blood-sucking muscoid fly species (Diptera: Muscidae), owing to its worldwide occurrence, frequently high local abundance, direct harm caused to livestock, pet animals and humans, as well as its vector role. Considering the latter in the context of protozoan parasites, the stable fly is a mechanical vector of trypanosomes and Besnoitia besnoiti. However, its role as a vector of piroplasms appears to be seldom studied, despite old data suggesting mechanical transmission of babesiae by dipteran flies.

Methods: In this study 395 stable flies (and one Haematobia stimulans) were collected at a cattle farm with known history of bovine theileriosis, and at further nine, randomly chosen locations in Hungary. These flies were separated according to sex (30 of them also cut into two parts: the head with mouthparts and the thorax-abdomen), followed by individual DNA extraction, then screening for piroplasms by PCR and sequencing.

Results: In stable flies, Theileria orientalis and T. capreoli were identified at the cattle farm and T. equi was identified in three other locations. At the cattle farm, significantly more male stable flies carried piroplasm DNA than females. There was no significant difference between the ratio of PCR-positive flies between the stable (void of cattle for at least two hours) and the pen on the pasture with cattle at the time of sampling. Among dissected flies (29 S. calcitrans and 1 H. stimulans), exclusively the thoracic-abdominal parts were PCR-positive, whereas the head and mouthparts remained negative.

Conclusions: Theileria DNA is detectable in stable flies, in the case of T. orientalis at least for two hours after blood-feeding, and in the case of T. capreoli also in the absence of infected hosts (i.e. roe deer). Male flies rather than females, and thoracic-abdominal (most likely crop) contents rather than mouthparts may pose a risk of mechanical transmission. These data suggest that it is worth to study further the vector role of stable flies in the epidemiology of theilerioses, in which not the immediate, but rather the delayed type transmission seems possible.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04041-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7144340PMC
April 2020

in Himalayan Marmots ().

J Wildl Dis 2020 07 20;56(3):730-732. Epub 2020 Mar 20.

State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 102200, People's Republic of China.

biovar 1 and atypical rough were isolated from Himalayan marmot (). Multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis-16 typing indicated that the isolates both for smooth and atypical rough phenotypes had a common novel multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis-16 type (Panel 1: 3-2-7-5-3-4-12-3; Panel 2A: 6-40-8; Panel 2B: 5-2-3-3-3).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2019-09-237DOI Listing
July 2020

Brucella melitensis in Asian Badgers, Northwestern China.

Emerg Infect Dis 2020 04;26(4):804-806

We isolated Brucella melitensis biovar 3 from the spleen of an Asian badger (Meles leucurus) in Nilka County, northwestern China. Our investigation showed that this isolate had a common multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis 16 genotype, similar to bacterial isolates from local aborted sheep fetuses.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2604.190833DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7101117PMC
April 2020

Checklist of the hard tick (Acari: Ixodidae) fauna of Hungary with emphasis on host-associations and the emergence of Rhipicephalus sanguineus.

Exp Appl Acarol 2020 Mar 6;80(3):311-328. Epub 2020 Feb 6.

Department of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary.

Hungary is situated in the southern part of Central Europe, next to the northern boundary of the Mediterranean region. This geographical position may allow the northward expansion of Mediterranean ixodid tick species into Hungary, particularly in the era of warming climate. During the past 14 years numerous surveys have been published on the species and activity of hard ticks occurring in the country. However, it was 60 years ago that the last comprehensive review of ixodid ticks of Hungary was published, and only in Hungarian language. The purpose of the present checklist is to provide a comprehensive and complete overview of the ixodid fauna of Hungary, based on tick reports published so far in Hungarian or English, also including hitherto unpublished data. Altogether 27 hard tick species were identified in Hungary, of which 21 can be regarded as indigenous. Most importantly, the autochthonous occurrence of Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato was not known prior to 2005, but during the last 14 years increasing numbers of cases have been reported, attesting the emergence of this tick species in Hungary. Whereas R. sanguineus sensu lato was always associated with dogs and cats in Hungary, other tick species show differences in host associations according to habitat type, seasonal activity and questing height. Changes in the distribution, abundance and seasonality of a few tick species were also noted.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10493-019-00461-6DOI Listing
March 2020

First records and molecular-phylogenetic analyses of three tick species (Ixodes kaiseri, Hyalomma lusitanicum and Ornithodoros coniceps) from Malta.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2020 05 21;11(3):101379. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Plant Protection Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary.

The Maltese islands are situated south of mainland Europe and north of Africa, therefore are expected to share tick species and tick-borne pathogens with both continents. This situation highlights the importance of studying ticks in this country. Nevertheless, the tick fauna of Malta appears to be a seldom investigated issue, with hitherto only five tick species reported in the country. Here, as part of a tick collection campaign continuing since 2016 in Malta, three tick species new to the country are reported and analyzed in comparison with GenBank data. Ixodes kaiseri (collected from North African hedgehog in Malta) had unique cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1) and 16S rRNA gene haplotypes (with 98.1-99.3 % sequence identity to I. kaiseri from Europe and China). Phylogenetically, these haplotypes from Malta clustered separately from other, mainland-associated haplotypes, with high support. On the other hand, Ornithodoros coniceps (collected from domestic chicken in Malta) had identical or nearly identical cox1 and 16S rRNA gene haplotypes with soft ticks reported from France, northern Africa and western African islands, similarly to Hyalomma lusitanicum (collected from rabbit and cat in Malta) in comparison with conspecific ticks in Spain and Portugal. These results are most likely related to differences in host associations and corresponding translocality of these three tick species. Taken together, results of the present study add three new tick species to those five already known to be present in Malta.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2020.101379DOI Listing
May 2020

Rickettsiae in the common pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) and the bat soft tick Argas vespertilionis (Ixodida: Argasidae).

Parasit Vectors 2020 Jan 9;13(1):10. Epub 2020 Jan 9.

School of Medicine, Shihezi University, Shihezi, 832002, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China.

Background: Increasing molecular evidence supports that bats and/or their ectoparasites may harbor vector-borne bacteria, such as bartonellae and borreliae. However, the simultaneous occurrence of rickettsiae in bats and bat ticks has been poorly studied.

Methods: In this study, 54 bat carcasses and their infesting soft ticks (n = 67) were collected in Shihezi City, northwestern China. The heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, small intestine and large intestine of bats were dissected, followed by DNA extraction. Soft ticks were identified both morphologically and molecularly. All samples were examined for the presence of rickettsiae by amplifying four genetic markers (17-kDa, gltA, ompA and ompB).

Results: All bats were identified as Pipistrellus pipistrellus, and their ticks as Argas vespertilionis. Molecular analyses showed that DNA of Rickettsia parkeri, R. lusitaniae, R. slovaca and R. raoultii was present in bat organs/tissues. In addition, nine of the 67 bat soft ticks (13.43%) were positive for R. raoultii (n = 5) and R. rickettsii (n = 4). In the phylogenetic analysis, these bat-associated rickettsiae clustered together with conspecific sequences reported from other host and tick species, confirming the above results.

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, DNA of R. parkeri, R. slovaca and R. raoultii was detected for the first time in bat organs/tissues. This is also the first molecular evidence for the presence of R. raoultii and R. rickettsii in bat ticks. To our knowledge, R. parkeri was not known to occur in Asia. Our results highlight the need to assess rickettsial agents in a broader range of bat species and associated tick species.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-3885-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6953312PMC
January 2020

Bats and ticks: host selection and seasonality of bat-specialist ticks in eastern Europe.

Parasit Vectors 2019 Dec 27;12(1):605. Epub 2019 Dec 27.

Department of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary.

Background: Parasites may actively seek for hosts and may use a number of adaptive strategies to promote their reproductive success and host colonization. These strategies will necessarily influence their host specificity and seasonality. Ticks are important ectoparasites of vertebrates, which (in addition to directly affecting their hosts) may transmit a number of pathogens. In Europe, three hard tick species (Ixodidae: Ixodes ariadnae, I. simplex and I. vespertilionis) and at least two soft tick species (Argasidae: Argas transgariepinus and A. vespertilionis) are specialized for bats.

Methods: Here we report data on the host range of these ticks and the seasonality of tick infestation on wild caught bats in south-east Europe. We collected 1803 ticks from 30 species of bats living in underground shelters (caves and mines) from Romania and Bulgaria. On the basis of tick-host associations, we tested several hypotheses on host-parasite evolutionary adaptations regulating host specificity, seasonality and sympatric speciation.

Results: We observed significant differences in host specificity and seasonality of abundance between the morphologically different bat specialist ticks (I. simplex and I. vespertilionis) likely caused by their host choice and their respective host-seeking behavior. The two highly generalist, but morphologically similar tick species (I. ariadnae and I. vespertilionis) showed temporal differences in occurrence and activity, thus exploiting significantly different host communities while occurring in geographical sympatry.

Conclusions: We conclude that bat-specialist ticks show a wide range of adaptations to their hosts, with differences in specificity, seasonality of occurrence, the prevalence and intensity of infestation and all these contribute to a successful division of temporal niches of ticks sharing morphologically similar hosts occurring in geographical sympatry.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-019-3861-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6935181PMC
December 2019

Host dispersal shapes the population structure of a tick-borne bacterial pathogen.

Mol Ecol 2020 02 9;29(3):485-501. Epub 2020 Jan 9.

CNRS - Department of Biometry and Evolutionary Biology (LBBE) - University Lyon 1, University of Lyon, Villeurbanne, France.

Birds are hosts for several zoonotic pathogens. Because of their high mobility, especially of longdistance migrants, birds can disperse these pathogens, affecting their distribution and phylogeography. We focused on Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, which includes the causative agents of Lyme borreliosis, as an example for tick-borne pathogens, to address the role of birds as propagation hosts of zoonotic agents at a large geographical scale. We collected ticks from passerine birds in 11 European countries. B. burgdorferi s.l. prevalence in Ixodes spp. was 37% and increased with latitude. The fieldfare Turdus pilaris and the blackbird T. merula carried ticks with the highest Borrelia prevalence (92 and 58%, respectively), whereas robin Erithacus rubecula ticks were the least infected (3.8%). Borrelia garinii was the most prevalent genospecies (61%), followed by B. valaisiana (24%), B. afzelii (9%), B. turdi (5%) and B. lusitaniae (0.5%). A novel Borrelia genospecies "Candidatus Borrelia aligera" was also detected. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis of B. garinii isolates together with the global collection of B. garinii genotypes obtained from the Borrelia MLST public database revealed that: (a) there was little overlap among genotypes from different continents, (b) there was no geographical structuring within Europe, and (c) there was no evident association pattern detectable among B. garinii genotypes from ticks feeding on birds, questing ticks or human isolates. These findings strengthen the hypothesis that the population structure and evolutionary biology of tick-borne pathogens are shaped by their host associations and the movement patterns of these hosts.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15336DOI Listing
February 2020

Ecdysteroids are present in the blood of wild passerine birds.

Sci Rep 2019 11 18;9(1):17002. Epub 2019 Nov 18.

Institute of Pharmacognosy, Interdisciplinary Excellence Centre, University of Szeged, 6720, Szeged, Hungary.

Ecdysteroids (arthropod molting hormones) play an important role in the development and sexual maturation of arthropods, and they have been shown to have anabolic and "energizing" effect in higher vertebrates. The aim of this study was to assess ecdysteroid diversity, levels according to bird species and months, as well as to observe the molting status of hard ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) infesting the birds. Therefore, blood samples and ticks were collected from 245 birds (244 songbirds and a quail). Mass spectrometric analyses showed that 15 ecdysteroids were regularly present in the blood samples. Molting hormones biologically most active in insects (including 20-hydroxyecdysone [20E], 2deoxy-20E, ajugasterone C and dacryhainansterone) reached different levels of concentration according to bird species and season. Similarly to ecdysteroids, the seasonal presence of affected, apolytic ticks peaked in July and August. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the presence of a broad range and high concentrations of ecdysteroids in the blood stream of wild-living passerine birds. These biologically active, anabolic compounds might possibly contribute to the known high metabolic rate of songbirds.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-53090-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6861316PMC
November 2019

Genetic diversity, piroplasms and trypanosomes in Rhipicephalus microplus and Hyalomma anatolicum collected from cattle in northern Pakistan.

Exp Appl Acarol 2019 Oct 1;79(2):233-243. Epub 2019 Oct 1.

Department of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary.

The two most important tick species in Pakistan are Rhipicephalus microplus and Hyalomma anatolicum. When associated with cattle, these have one or three host life cycles, respectively, with potential implications for their population genetics and for their vector role in the transmission of pathogens. To compare the two tick species in this context with molecular-phylogenetic methods, during the present study 123 ticks were collected from cattle in northern Pakistan. Two mitochondrial markers of 36 ticks were molecularly analyzed. All 11 R. microplus specimens had identical cox1 haplotypes, whereas the 25 H. anatolicum specimens had nine cox1 haplotypes. The latter belonged to two distinct phylogenetic lineages with high support. However, in the 16S rRNA gene these differences were less evident. Among the 113 ticks molecularly analyzed for tick-borne protozoa, the sequence of Babesia occultans was successfully amplified from two specimens of H. anatolicum. Theileria annulata was present in both R. microplus (10.4%) and H. anatolicum (27.3%), with significantly higher prevalence rate in the latter species. Only one tick, a H. anatolicum female, was positive in the PCR detecting Trypanosoma spp. Sequencing revealed the presence of a new genotype, with the closest phylogenetic relationship to stercorarian trypanosomes (in particular, to a tick-associated Trypanosoma sp. from Japan). In conclusion, the above differences between R. microplus and H. anatolicum may be partly related to their life cycles involving one host or three hosts, respectively. Among the others, host switching (reducing chances of inbreeding) and shorter periods spent on-host (reducing gene flow between cattle herds) are supposed to be important drivers of cox1 gene diversification in case of H. anatolicum as a three host tick species. These results highlight the importance of studying differences in intraspecific genetic diversity and piroplasm burdens between one host and three host ticks in the local scale. In addition, a Trypanosoma sp. molecularly identified in H. anatolicum is reported here for the first time from South Asia, deserving further evaluation concerning its host and vector species.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10493-019-00418-9DOI Listing
October 2019

emerging in Hungary: is rice breast disease underreported in the region?

Acta Vet Hung 2019 09;67(3):401-406

Department of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, István u. 2, H-1078 Budapest, Hungary.

Reports of -like protozoa ('rice breast disease') from anseriform birds had been rare in Europe until the last two decades, when was identified in northern Europe and the UK. However, despite the economic losses resulting from infection, no recent accounts are available on its presence (which can be suspected) in most parts of central, western, southern and eastern Europe. Between 2014 and 2019, twelve mallards () were observed to have rice breast disease in Hungary, and the last one of these 12 cases allowed molecular identification of , as reported here. In addition, was molecularly identified in the faeces of one red fox (). The hunting season for mallards in Hungary lasts from mid-August to January, which in Europe coincides with the wintering migration of anseriform birds towards the south. Based on this, as well as bird ringing data, it is reasonable to suppose that the first -infected mallards arrived in Hungary from the north. on the other hand, red foxes (), which are final hosts of , are ubiquitous in Hungary, and our molecular finding confirms an already established autochthonous life cycle of in the region. Taken together, this is the first evidence for the occurrence of in Hungary and its region.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/004.2019.040DOI Listing
September 2019

Description of the male and the larva of Ixodes collaris Hornok, 2016 with drawings of all stages.

Parasit Vectors 2019 Mar 26;12(1):144. Epub 2019 Mar 26.

Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Background: Ixodes collaris Hornok, 2016 is a recently discovered tick species associated with bats in Asia. This study provides the description of the male and the larva, as well as high quality drawings of all stages.

Methods: Ticks were collected from cave walls and bats in Phia Oac (Vietnam). DNA was extracted from one individual of each stage/sex, while another was morphometrically analysed. Based on two genetic markers, all ticks were identified as I. collaris.

Results: The male of I. collaris has long legs (i.e. the length of Haller's organ exceeds the maximum diameter of tarsus I), unlike the male of I. simplex Neumann, 1906, but similarly to males of I. vespertilionis Koch, 1844 and I. ariadnae Hornok, 2014. The lateral and medial edges of the palpi of male I. collaris are both convexly curved, unlike in I. ariadnae and I. simplex, but similarly to I. vespertilionis. The male of I. collaris has long palpal setae (up to 210 µm), unlike the males of I. ariadnae (30-100 µm) and I. simplex (20-80 µm), but similarly to I. vespertilionis (100-200 µm). Males of I. collaris have sparse distribution of long palpal setae (vs dense in I. vespertilionis) and posteriorly diverging, sclerotized trapezoid ridge dorsally on the basis capituli (posteriorly convergent, U-shaped and less evident in I. vespertilionis). The larva of I. collaris has long legs (unlike the larva of I. simplex, but similarly to I. vespertilionis and I. ariadnae), elongated club-shaped palpi (240 × 70 vs 200 × 90 µm in I. ariadnae, 200 × 70 µm in I. vespertilionis; and 140 × 60 µm in I. simplex:), pentagonal scutum, which is longer than broad (different from I. ariadnae and I. simplex, but similar to that of I. vespertilionis). The larva of I. collaris has strongly concave caudolateral margin of ventral basis with perpendicular angle (vs slightly concave, with obtuse angle in I. vespertilionis) and a prominent, dark sclerotized edge, "collar" (absent in I. vespertilionis).

Conclusion: Several features allow to distinguish the male and the larva of I. collaris morphologically from those of other bat-associated ixodid tick species.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-019-3365-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6434778PMC
March 2019

Rickettsia raoultii and Rickettsia sibirica in ticks from the long-tailed ground squirrel near the China-Kazakhstan border.

Exp Appl Acarol 2019 Mar 25;77(3):425-433. Epub 2019 Feb 25.

Department of Basic Medicine, School of Medicine, Shihezi University, Shihezi, Xinjiang, China.

Spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae cause infection in humans, domestic animals and wildlife. To date, no rickettsial agents have been reported in hard ticks from the long-tailed ground squirrel (Spermophilus undulatus). A total of 50 adult ticks and 48 nymphs were collected from S. undulatus in the border region of northwestern China. Tick species (identified according to morphological and molecular characteristics) included Dermacentor nuttalli, Dermacentor silvarum and Ixodes kaiseri. Based on the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) haplotype analysis, I. kaiseri from S. undulatus belongs to an ancestral. In addition, all tick samples were analyzed for the presence of rickettsiae by PCR amplification and sequencing of six genetic markers. Rickettsia raoultii and Rickettsia sibirica subsp. sibirica were shown to occur in adults and nymphs of D. nuttalli and D. silvarum. Rickettsia sibirica subsp. sibirica was also detected in an I. kaiseri adult. Dermacentor silvarum and I. kaiseri were found for the first time on S. undulatus. Rickettsia raoultii and R. sibirica subsp. sibirica were detected in two Dermacentor and one Ixodes species, respectively, suggesting that these rickettsiae circulate in the region of the China-Kazakhstan border by hard ticks infesting S. undulatus.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10493-019-00349-5DOI Listing
March 2019

Molecular detection of vector-borne bacteria in bat ticks (Acari: Ixodidae, Argasidae) from eight countries of the Old and New Worlds.

Parasit Vectors 2019 Jan 22;12(1):50. Epub 2019 Jan 22.

Clinical Laboratory, Department of Clinical Diagnostics and Services, and Center for Clinical Studies, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: Despite the increasingly recognized eco-epidemiological significance of bats, data from molecular analyses of vector-borne bacteria in bat ectoparasites are lacking from several regions of the Old and New Worlds.

Methods: During this study, six species of ticks (630 specimens) were collected from bats in Hungary, Romania, Italy, Kenya, South Africa, China, Vietnam and Mexico. DNA was extracted from these ticks and analyzed for vector-borne bacteria with real-time PCRs (screening), as well as conventional PCRs and sequencing (for pathogen identification), based on the amplification of various genetic markers.

Results: In the screening assays, Rickettsia DNA was only detected in bat soft ticks, whereas Anaplasma phagocytophilum and haemoplasma DNA were present exclusively in hard ticks. Bartonella DNA was significantly more frequently amplified from hard ticks than from soft ticks of bats. In addition to Rickettsia helvetica detected by a species-specific PCR, sequencing identified four Rickettsia species in soft ticks, including a Rickettsia africae-like genotype (in association with a bat species, which is not known to migrate to Africa), three haemotropic Mycoplasma genotypes in Ixodes simplex, and Bartonella genotypes in I. ariadnae and I. vespertilionis.

Conclusions: Rickettsiae (from both the spotted fever and the R. felis groups) appear to be associated with soft rather than hard ticks of bats, as opposed to bartonellae. Two tick-borne zoonotic pathogens (R. helvetica and A. phagocytophilum) have been detected for the first time in bat ticks. The present findings add Asia (China) to the geographical range of R. lusitaniae, as well as indicate the occurrence of R. hoogstraalii in South Africa. This is also the first molecular evidence for the autochthonous occurrence of a R. africae-like genotype in Europe. Bat haemoplasmas, which are closely related to haemoplasmas previously identified in bats in Spain and to "Candidatus Mycoplasma haemohominis", are reported here for the first time from Central Europe and from any bat tick.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-019-3303-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6343265PMC
January 2019

Description of a new bat-associated bug species of the Cimex lectularius group from Vietnam.

Acta Vet Hung 2018 12;66(4):607-612

3 Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology , Hanoi , Vietnam.

Cimex lectularius, the common bedbug is an important, emerging pest of both veterinary and medical importance. Here a recently discovered, genetically distinct new species of the C. lectularius group is described morphologically, as Cimex pulveratus Hornok sp. nov.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/004.2018.053DOI Listing
December 2018

Diversity of Rickettsia species in border regions of northwestern China.

Parasit Vectors 2018 Dec 13;11(1):634. Epub 2018 Dec 13.

Department of Basic Medicine, School of Medicine, Shihezi University, Shihezi, Xinjiang, Uygur Autonomous Region, China.

Background: Rickettsia species belonging to the spotted fever group (SFG) cause infections in humans, domestic animals and wildlife. At least ten SFG Rickettsia species are known to occur in China. However, the distribution of rickettsiae in ticks and fleas in the border region of northwestern China have not been systematically studied to date.

Results: A total of 982 ticks (Rhipicephalus turanicus, Dermacentor marginatus, D. nuttalli and Haemaphysalis punctata) and 5052 fleas (18 flea species from 14 species of wild mammals) were collected in ten and five counties, respectively, of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (northwestern China). Tick and flea species were identified according to morphological and molecular characteristics. Seven sets of primers for amplifying the 17-kDa antigen gene (17-kDa), citrate synthase gene (gltA), 16S rRNA gene (rrs), outer membrane protein A and B genes (ompA, ompB), surface cell antigen 1 gene (sca1) and PS120-protein encoding gene (gene D) were used to identify the species of rickettsiae. Nine Rickettsia species have been detected, seven of them in ticks: R. aeschlimannii, R. conorii, R. raoultii, Rickettsia sibirica, R. slovaca, R. massiliae and "Candidatus R. barbariae". In addition, R. bellii and two genotypes of a rickettsia endosymbiont (phylogenetically in an ancestral position to R. bellii) have been detected from flea pools.

Conclusions: This study provides molecular evidence for the occurrence of several SFG rickettsiae in Rhipicephalus turanicus, Dermacentor nuttalli and D. marginatus. Furthermore, R. bellii and two ancestral rickettsia endosymbionts are present in fleas infesting wild rodents in the border regions of northwestern China. These data extend our knowledge on the diversity of rickettsiae in Central Asia.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-018-3233-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6293579PMC
December 2018

Bartonella DNA in heart tissues of bats in central and eastern Europe and a review of phylogenetic relations of bat-associated bartonellae.

Parasit Vectors 2018 Aug 29;11(1):489. Epub 2018 Aug 29.

Department of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca, Cluj Napoca, Romania.

Background: Bats are among the most widely distributed mammals worldwide and can represent hosts or reservoirs for a number of different pathogens. Bartonella spp. are opportunistic bacterial pathogens, which are transmitted by a large variety of arthropods. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence and host-associations of these Gram-negative bacteria in heart tissues of bats collected in four different countries from eastern and central Europe and to analyze their phylogenetic relationship with other bat-associated bartonellae.

Results: The results of this study show for the first time the presence of Bartonella spp. DNA in heart tissues of bats from central and eastern Europe. The overall prevalence of the infection was 1.38%. Phylogenetic analysis identified four new Bartonella spp. sequences, which were closely related with other Bartonella previously isolated from bats in Europe and North America.

Conclusions: The gltA sequences of Bartonella spp. showed considerable heterogeneity in the phylogenetic analysis resulting in six different clades. Our study demonstrated the presence of Bartonella spp. only in heart tissues of bats from Romania, with two new bat species recorded as hosts (Myotis cf. alcathoe and Pipistrellus pipistrellus).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-018-3070-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6116555PMC
August 2018