Our study aimed to assess the presence of different pathogens in ticks collected in two regions in Côte d’Ivoire.
Real-time PCR and standard PCR assays coupled to sequencing were used. Three hundred and seventy eight (378) ticks (170 Amblyomma variegatum, 161 Rhipicepalus microplus, 3 Rhipicephalus senegalensis, 27 Hyalomma truncatum, 16 Hyalomma marginatum rufipes, and 1 Hyalomma impressum) were identified and analyzed. We identified as pathogenic bacteria, Rickettsia africae in Am. variegatum (90%), Rh. microplus (10%) and Hyalomma spp. (9%), Rickettsia aeschlimannii in Hyalomma spp. (23%), Rickettsia massiliae in Rh. senegalensis (33%) as well as Coxiella burnetii in 0.2%, Borrelia sp. in 0.2%, Anaplasma centrale in 0.2%, Anaplasma marginale in 0.5%, and Ehrlichia ruminantium in 0.5% of all ticks. Potential new species of Borrelia, Anaplasma, and Wolbachia were detected. Candidatus Borrelia africana and Candidatus Borrelia ivorensis (detected in three ticks) are phylogenetically distant from both the relapsing fever group and Lyme disease group borreliae; both were detected in Am. variegatum. Four new genotypes of bacteria from the Anaplasmataceae family were identified, namely Candidatus Anaplasma ivorensis (detected in three ticks), Candidatus Ehrlichia urmitei (in nine ticks), Candidatus Ehrlichia rustica (in four ticks), and Candidatus Wolbachia ivorensis (in one tick).
For the first time, we demonstrate the presence of different pathogens such as R. aeschlimannii, C. burnetii, Borrelia sp., A. centrale, A. marginale, and E. ruminantium in ticks in Côte d’Ivoire as well as potential new species of unknown pathogenicity.
The management of febrile illnesses represents a veritable challenge in sub Saharan-Africa. Until recently most of them were considered as malaria. However, it was showed that a large part of non-malarial febrile diseases in African rural regions (for instance, in Senegal) may be caused by tick-borne infections. Unfortunately, no data exist about the prevalence and incidence of tick-borne diseases in Côte d'Ivoire and their role in public health. We aimed to search for different pathogenic bacteria in ticks in order to understand if there is the background for tick-borne diseases. We detected pathogenic bacteria responsible for many infectious diseases like Rickettsia (spotted fevers), Borrelia (relapsing fevers), Anaplasma, Ehrlichia (ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis) and Coxiella burnetii (Q fever). These finding suggested that, as in others sub-Saharan African countries, tick-borne disease may be considered as a health care problem in Cote d'Ivoire.