In many areas of Africa, recent studies highlighted the great impact of ticks on animal and human health throughout the continent. On the other hand, very limited information on the bacterial endosymbionts of the African ticks and their pattern of co-infections with other bacteria are found in literature, notwithstanding their pivotal role in tick survival and vector efficiency. Thus, we investigated the distribution of selected pathogenic and symbiotic bacteria in hard ticks collected from wild, domestic animals and from vegetation in various ecological zones in Africa and their co-occurrence in the same tick host. Overall, 339 hard ticks were morphologically identified as belonging to the genera Amblyomma, Dermacentor, Hyalomma, Haemaphysalis, Ixodes and Rhipicephalus. Molecular screening provided information on pathogens circulation in Africa, detecting spotted fever group rickettsiae, Anaplasma spp., Ehrlichia ruminantium, Borrelia garinii, Babesia spp., Theileria spp. and Coxiella burnetii. Furthermore, our work provides insights on the African scenario of tick-symbiont associations, revealing the presence of Coxiella, Francisella and Midichloria across multiple tick populations. Coxiella endosymbionts were the most prevalent microorganisms, and that with the broadest spectrum of hosts, being detected in 16 tick species. Francisella was highly prevalent among the Hyalomma species tested and correlated negatively with the presence of Coxiella, showing a potential competitive interaction. Interestingly, we detected a positive association of Francisella with Rickettsia in specimens of Hy. rufipes, suggesting a synergistic interaction between them. Finally, Midichloria was the most prevalent symbiont in Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato from Egypt.

Multi‐country investigation of the diversity and associated microorganisms isolated from tick species from domestic animals, wildlife and vegetation in selected african countries

Olivieri E.
;
Kariuki E.;Floriano A. M.;Castelli M.;Tafesse Y. M.;Montagna M.;Sassera D.
2021

Abstract

In many areas of Africa, recent studies highlighted the great impact of ticks on animal and human health throughout the continent. On the other hand, very limited information on the bacterial endosymbionts of the African ticks and their pattern of co-infections with other bacteria are found in literature, notwithstanding their pivotal role in tick survival and vector efficiency. Thus, we investigated the distribution of selected pathogenic and symbiotic bacteria in hard ticks collected from wild, domestic animals and from vegetation in various ecological zones in Africa and their co-occurrence in the same tick host. Overall, 339 hard ticks were morphologically identified as belonging to the genera Amblyomma, Dermacentor, Hyalomma, Haemaphysalis, Ixodes and Rhipicephalus. Molecular screening provided information on pathogens circulation in Africa, detecting spotted fever group rickettsiae, Anaplasma spp., Ehrlichia ruminantium, Borrelia garinii, Babesia spp., Theileria spp. and Coxiella burnetii. Furthermore, our work provides insights on the African scenario of tick-symbiont associations, revealing the presence of Coxiella, Francisella and Midichloria across multiple tick populations. Coxiella endosymbionts were the most prevalent microorganisms, and that with the broadest spectrum of hosts, being detected in 16 tick species. Francisella was highly prevalent among the Hyalomma species tested and correlated negatively with the presence of Coxiella, showing a potential competitive interaction. Interestingly, we detected a positive association of Francisella with Rickettsia in specimens of Hy. rufipes, suggesting a synergistic interaction between them. Finally, Midichloria was the most prevalent symbiont in Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato from Egypt.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/1448778
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