PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (1104487)

Clipboard (0)
None

Related Articles

1.  Molecular Survey of Babesia gibsoni Using Haemaphysalis longicornis Collected from Dogs and Cats in Japan 
ABSTRACT
A nationwide survey of Babesia gibsoni using Haemaphysalis longicornis collected from dogs and cats in Japan was conducted using molecular methods. A total of 1,341 H. longicornis, including 305 females, 14 males, 332 nymphs and 690 larvae (153 pools) from 44 prefectures, were examined by B. gibsoni-targeted PCR. Partial sequence analysis revealed that 12 of 13 positive samples sequenced, including samples from Tottori, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Tokushima, Ehime and Oita prefectures (all in western Japan), were identical to B. gibsoni, and 1 sample from Kyoto Prefecture was most closely related to a Babesia species recently detected from feral raccoons in Hokkaido. H. longicornis is a candidate for transmission vector tick of the new Babesia species.
doi:10.1292/jvms.14-0210
PMCID: PMC4197166  PMID: 24920547
Babesia gibsoni; distribution; Haemaphysalis longicornis
2.  Molecular Evidence of Infections with Babesia gibsoni Parasites in Japan and Evaluation of the Diagnostic Potential of a Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Method 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(6):2465-2469.
Detection and analysis of Babesia gibsoni infection were performed with whole-blood samples collected between July 2002 and July 2003 from 945 and 137 dogs from the Aomori and Okinawa Prefectures of Japan, respectively, by PCR and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). On the basis of the criterion for positivity by PCR, 3.9% (37 of 945) and 10.9% (15 of 137) of the dogs had B. gibsoni DNA. All 37 positive animals from Aomori Prefecture were male Tosa dogs (Japanese mastiff). The 15 dogs from Okinawa Prefecture with positive PCR assay results were of various breeds, ages, and sexes. The 18S ribosomal DNA (18S rDNA) sequences from all samples showed 100% homology to each other and to published B. gibsoni sequences. The limits of detection of B. gibsoni parasitemia by the PCR and LAMP methods with an 18S rDNA-based primer set were 0.0005% each. A comparison of the PCR and LAMP methods with microscopic examination for the detection of B. gibsoni infections in blood samples from 945 field dogs in Aomori Prefecture and 137 field dogs in Okinawa Prefecture showed that 37 and 15 dogs, respectively, were positive by the PCR and LAMP methods and that 16 and 12 dogs, respectively, were positive by light microscopic examination. All samples found to be positive by microscopic examination were also positive by the PCR and LAMP methods. The results of the PCR and LAMP methods agreed for samples with positive results by either method. Moreover, nonspecific reactions were not observed by the LAMP method. These results suggest that the LAMP method provides a useful tool for the detection of B. gibsoni infections in dogs.
doi:10.1128/JCM.42.6.2465-2469.2004
PMCID: PMC427837  PMID: 15184421
3.  Babesia spp. in European wild ruminant species: parasite diversity and risk factors for infection 
Veterinary Research  2014;45(1):65.
Babesia are tick-borne parasites that are increasingly considered as a threat to animal and public health. We aimed to assess the role of European free-ranging wild ruminants as maintenance mammalian hosts for Babesia species and to determine risk factors for infection. EDTA blood was collected from 222 roe deer (Capreolus c. capreolus), 231 red deer (Cervus e. elaphus), 267 Alpine chamois (Rupicapra r. rupicapra) and 264 Alpine ibex (Capra i. ibex) from all over Switzerland and analysed by PCR with pan-Babesia primers targeting the 18S rRNA gene, primers specific for B. capreoli and Babesia sp. EU1, and by sequencing. Babesia species, including B. divergens, B. capreoli, Babesia sp. EU1, Babesia sp. CH1 and B. motasi, were detected in 10.7% of all samples. Five individuals were co-infected with two Babesia species. Infection with specific Babesia varied widely between host species. Cervidae were significantly more infected with Babesia spp. than Caprinae. Babesia capreoli and Babesia sp. EU1 were mostly found in roe deer (prevalences 17.1% and 7.7%, respectively) and B. divergens and Babesia sp. CH1 only in red deer. Factors significantly associated with infection were low altitude and young age. Identification of Babesia sp. CH1 in red deer, co-infection with multiple Babesia species and infection of wild Caprinae with B. motasi and Babesia sp. EU1 are novel findings. We propose wild Caprinae as spillover or accidental hosts for Babesia species but wild Cervidae as mammalian reservoir hosts for B. capreoli, possibly Babesia sp. EU1 and Babesia sp. CH1, whereas their role regarding B. divergens is more elusive.
doi:10.1186/1297-9716-45-65
PMCID: PMC4070358  PMID: 24925474
4.  Babesia spp. Identified by PCR in Ticks Collected from Domestic and Wild Ruminants in Southern Switzerland 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2006;72(10):6503-6507.
Concurrent infections with vector-borne pathogens affected a cattle herd in Switzerland, and one of the pathogens was identified as Babesia bigemina, which had never been observed in this country before. Therefore, a survey of the occurrence of ruminant Babesia spp. and their tick vectors in Switzerland was conducted. A total of 2,017 ticks were collected from sheep, goats, cattle, and wild ruminants (deer, roe deer, and chamois) in southern parts of Switzerland and identified morphologically. The vast majority of the ticks (99.2%) were Ixodes ricinus, but 14 ticks from sheep and goats were identified as Dermacentor marginatus and two ticks from wild ruminants were identified as Hemaphysalis punctata. PCR analyses of 700 ticks revealed the presence of Babesia divergens (n = 6), Babesia sp. genotype EU1 (n = 14), and B. major (n = 2), whose suggested occurrence was confirmed in this study by molecular analysis, and the presence of novel Babesia sp. genotype CH1 (n = 4), which is closely related to B. odocoilei and to Babesia sp. genotype RD61 reported from North America. The identification of B. divergens and B. major in ticks collected from wild ruminants cast doubt on the postulated strict host specificity of these bovine Babesia species. Furthermore, the zoonotic Babesia sp. genotype EU1 was detected in ticks collected from domestic animals but was obtained predominantly from ticks collected from wild ruminants. More than one tick containing DNA of different Babesia spp. were collected from two red deer. Hence, the role of these game animals as reservoir hosts of Babesia spp. seems to be important but requires further investigation.
doi:10.1128/AEM.00823-06
PMCID: PMC1610307  PMID: 17021198
5.  Wild Cervids Are Host for Tick Vectors of Babesia Species with Zoonotic Capability in Belgium 
Abstract
Babesiosis is a tick-borne disease caused by different species of intraerythrocytic protozoan parasites within the genus Babesia. Different species of Babesia are described as potentially zoonotic and cause a malaria-like disease mainly in immunocompromised humans. Interest in the zoonotic potential of Babesia is growing and babesiosis has been described by some authors as an emergent zoonotic disease. The role of cervids to maintain tick populations and act as a reservoir host for some Babesia spp. with zoonotic capability is suspected. To investigate the range and infection rate of Babesia species, ticks were collected from wild cervids in southern Belgium during 2008. DNA extraction was performed for individual ticks, and each sample was evaluated for the absence of PCR inhibition using a PCR test. A Babesia spp. genus-specific PCR based on the 18S rRNA gene was applied to validated tick DNA extracts. A total of 1044 Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected and 1023 validated samples were subsequently screened for the presence of Babesia spp. DNA. Twenty-eight tick samples were found to be positive and identified after sequencing as containing DNA representing: Babesia divergens (3), B. divergens-like (5), Babesia sp. EU1 (11), Babesia sp. EU1-like (3), B. capreoli (2), or unknown Babesia sp. (4). This study confirms the presence of potentially zoonotic species and Babesia capreoli in Belgium, with a tick infection rate of 2.7% (95% CI 1.8,3.9%). Knowledge of the most common reservoir source for transmission of zoonotic Babesia spp. will be useful for models assessing the risk potential of this infection to humans.
doi:10.1089/vbz.2011.0722
PMCID: PMC3319931  PMID: 22214270
Babesia species; Belgium; Cervids; Tick; Zoonotic
6.  Prevalence and diversity of Babesia spp. in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks from Norway 
Parasites & Vectors  2012;5:156.
Background
Ixodes ricinus ticks transmit Babesia species to vertebrate hosts. Using molecular tools we were able to detect the presence of this piroplasmid in its vector. The aims of this study were to investigate the prevalence and identity of Babesia species in questing ticks collected in various areas of Norway.
Methods
DNA from questing l. ricinus ticks were examined with a realtime PCR for the presence of Babesia. Positive samples of tick DNA were identified to species using PCR, and sequence analysis.
Results
From a total of 1908 questing l. ricinus ticks, 17 (0.9%) indicated the presence of Babesia spp. after realtime-PCR screening. Ixodes ricinus harbouring Babesia spp. was detected in 9 out of 22 localities. Further molecular analyses of DNA from these positive ticks indicate the presence of Babesia venatorum, B. divergens, B. capreoli and a currently undescribed Babesia in Norwegian ticks. The most prevalent was B. venatorum found in 71% of the positive ticks.
Conclusions
A total of 17 out of 1908 (0.9%) ticks were positive for Babesia. Our data confirm that there are several Babesia species in ticks in Norway. Babesia venatorum was the most prevalent. This species has a zoonotic potential and may cause human babesiosis following a tick bite.
doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-156
PMCID: PMC3439691  PMID: 22862883
Babesia spp; Questing Ixodes ricinus; Zoonosis; Piroplasmosis; Realtime PCR; Prevalence; Sequencing
7.  Occurrence of Babesia spp., Rickettsia spp. and Bartonella spp. in Ixodes ricinus in Bavarian public parks, Germany 
Parasites & Vectors  2011;4:135.
Background
Only limited information is available about the occurrence of ticks and tick-borne pathogens in public parks, which are areas strongly influenced by human beings. For this reason, Ixodes ricinus were collected in public parks of different Bavarian cities in a 2-year survey (2009 and 2010) and screened for DNA of Babesia spp., Rickettsia spp. and Bartonella spp. by PCR. Species identification was performed by sequence analysis and alignment with existing sequences in GenBank. Additionally, coinfections with Anaplasma phagocytophilum were investigated.
Results
The following prevalences were detected: Babesia spp.: 0.4% (n = 17, including one pool of two larvae) in 2009 and 0.5 to 0.7% (n = 11, including one pool of five larvae) in 2010; Rickettsia spp.: 6.4 to 7.7% (n = 285, including 16 pools of 76 larvae) in 2009. DNA of Bartonella spp. in I. ricinus in Bavarian public parks could not be identified. Sequence analysis revealed the following species: Babesia sp. EU1 (n = 25), B. divergens (n = 1), B. divergens/capreoli (n = 1), B. gibsoni-like (n = 1), R. helvetica (n = 272), R. monacensis IrR/Munich (n = 12) and unspecified R. monacensis (n = 1). The majority of coinfections were R. helvetica with A. phagocytophilum (n = 27), but coinfections between Babesia spp. and A. phagocytophilum, or Babesia spp. and R. helvetica were also detected.
Conclusions
I. ricinus ticks in urban areas of Germany harbor several tick-borne pathogens and coinfections were also observed. Public parks are of particularly great interest regarding the epidemiology of tick-borne pathogens, because of differences in both the prevalence of pathogens in ticks as well as a varying species arrangement when compared to woodland areas. The record of DNA of a Babesia gibsoni-like pathogen detected in I. ricinus suggests that I. ricinus may harbor and transmit more Babesia spp. than previously known. Because of their high recreational value for human beings, urban green areas are likely to remain in the research focus on public health issues.
doi:10.1186/1756-3305-4-135
PMCID: PMC3154157  PMID: 21762494
8.  Babesias of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in Ireland 
Veterinary Research  2011;42(1):7.
Blood samples were obtained from 38 wild red deer (Cervus elaphus) at two sites in Ireland and subjected to PCR analysis of the 18S rRNA gene followed by sequencing. Two fragments of the 18S rRNA gene were generated by two different PCR protocols and subsequent sequencing suggested that at least six of the deer were infected by a babesia that, in those loci, is indistinguishable from Babesia divergens, an important tick-borne pathogen of cattle and of zoonotic significance. Additionally, a B. odocoilei-like parasite was detected in three samples and a babesia that did not match any sequences in the GenBank database was found in five samples. Neither B. capreoli nor B. venatorum (EU1) were found. There have been several reports of B. divergens occurring in deer species, including red deer, roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus). However, in view of recent re-sequencing of bovine-origin samples deposited previously in GenBank, it is unlikely that any of these sequences from deer are B. divergens. The present study describes the only deer piroplasm detected so far that shows complete identity with B. divergens, in just over half of the 18S rRNA gene. The entire gene of this deer parasite should be analysed and transmission experiments undertaken before the infectivity of B. divergens for red deer can be confirmed.
doi:10.1186/1297-9716-42-7
PMCID: PMC3037898  PMID: 21314977
9.  Pathogens in ticks collected from dogs in Berlin/Brandenburg, Germany 
Parasites & Vectors  2014;7(1):535.
Background
Tick-borne diseases are a major health risk for humans and dogs. In addition to collection and analysis of questing ticks, analysis of host-associated ticks for the presence of pathogens is a valuable method to gain insight into transmission patterns of tick-borne diseases.
Methods
Ticks were collected from dogs living in the Berlin/Brandenburg area. The three tick species Ixodes ricinus, Ixodes hexagonus and Dermacentor reticulatus were examined for the presence of Babesia spp., Borrelia spp., Rickettsia spp. and Anaplasmataceae. Conventional PCR followed by sequencing was used for pathogen detection and characterization.
Results
Babesia spp. were found in 2.5% and 3% of I. ricinus and I. hexagonus, respectively. Sequencing revealed the presence of Babesia microti, Babesia capreoli and Babesia venatorum. D. reticulatus were free of Babesia canis. Rickettsia spp. were detected in 61% of I. ricinus, 44% of I. hexagonus and 39% of D. reticulatus. Specifically detected were Rickettsia raoulti in D. reticulatus and I. hexagonus, Rickettsia helvetica in I. ricinus and I. hexagonus and Rickettsia monacensis in I. hexagonus. Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis have been reported previously in I. ricinus (6.5% and 4.3%, respectively) and I. hexagonus (3.9% and 5.9%). Borrelia spp. were found in 11.6% of I. ricinus and 11.2% of I. hexagonus. Subsequent genospecies analysis revealed Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Borrelia miyamotoi. Simultanous presence of more than one pathogen was found in 20% of I. ricinus and in 59% of I. hexagonus whereas the total frequency of any pathogen was 65% in I. ricinus, 59% in I. hexagonus and 64% in D. reticulatus. Ticks in which A. phagocytophilum was detected had a significantly increased risk of also containing Rickettsia. Ticks harbouring a pathogen had significantly higher scutal indices than ticks without presence of any pathogen.
Conclusions
Frequencies of potential human or canine pathogens in ticks were considerable and DNA of all four groups of pathogens was detected. Differences in scutal indices might suggest that pathogens are frequently taken up by ticks when feeding on dogs in Berlin/Brandenburg.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13071-014-0535-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13071-014-0535-1
PMCID: PMC4262381  PMID: 25441762
Canine vector-borne diseases; Borrelia; Babesia; Rickettsia; Anaplasma; Candidatus neoehrlichia mikurensis
10.  Canine babesiosis in northern Portugal and molecular characterization of vector-borne co-infections 
Parasites & Vectors  2010;3:27.
Background
Protozoa and bacteria transmitted by arthropods, including ticks and phlebotomine sand flies, may cause a wide range of canine vector-borne diseases. Dogs can be simultaneously or sequentially infected with multiple pathogens. Canine babesiosis caused by Babesia canis canis and Babesia canis vogeli is known to occur in Portugal. This study assessed, by means of blood smear examination, PCR and DNA nucleotide sequencing, the presence of Babesia spp. and co-infecting agents Leishmania, Anaplasma/Ehrlichia and Hepatozoon in 45 dogs from northern Portugal clinically suspected of babesiosis.
Results
Forty-four dogs (98%) had infection with B. canis canis and one with B. canis vogeli. Co-infections were detected in nine animals (20%). Eight dogs were found infected with two vector-borne agents: six with B. canis canis and Leishmania infantum; one with B. canis canis and Ehrlichia canis; and one with B. canis canis and Hepatozoon canis. Another dog was infected with three vector-borne pathogens: B. canis vogeli, E. canis and L. infantum. Overall, L. infantum was found in seven (16%), E. canis in two (4%), and H. canis in one (2%) out of the 45 dogs with babesiosis. Almost 90% of the 45 cases of canine babesiosis were diagnosed in the colder months of October (18%), November (27%), December (20%), February (13%) and March (9%). Co-infections were detected in February, March, April, May, October and November. Twenty-two (50%) out of 44 dogs infected with B. canis were found infested by ticks including Dermacentor spp., Ixodes spp. and Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Mortality (9%) included two co-infected dogs that died spontaneously and two with single infections that were euthanized.
Conclusions
Babesia canis canis is the main etiological agent of canine babesiosis in northern Portugal. A higher sensitivity of Babesia spp. detection was obtained with PCR assays, compared to the observation of blood smears. Twenty percent of the dogs were co-infected with L. infantum, E. canis or H. canis. Furthermore, this is the first molecular identification of H. canis in dogs from northern Portugal.
doi:10.1186/1756-3305-3-27
PMCID: PMC2865458  PMID: 20377861
11.  Molecular Detection and Characterization of Tick-borne Pathogens in Dogs and Ticks from Nigeria 
Background
Only limited information is currently available on the prevalence of vector borne and zoonotic pathogens in dogs and ticks in Nigeria. The aim of this study was to use molecular techniques to detect and characterize vector borne pathogens in dogs and ticks from Nigeria.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Blood samples and ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Rhipicephalus turanicus and Heamaphysalis leachi) collected from 181 dogs from Nigeria were molecularly screened for human and animal vector-borne pathogens by PCR and sequencing. DNA of Hepatozoon canis (41.4%), Ehrlichia canis (12.7%), Rickettsia spp. (8.8%), Babesia rossi (6.6%), Anaplasma platys (6.6%), Babesia vogeli (0.6%) and Theileria sp. (0.6%) was detected in the blood samples. DNA of E. canis (23.7%), H. canis (21.1%), Rickettsia spp. (10.5%), Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis (5.3%) and A. platys (1.9%) was detected in 258 ticks collected from 42 of the 181 dogs. Co- infections with two pathogens were present in 37% of the dogs examined and one dog was co-infected with 3 pathogens. DNA of Rickettsia conorii israelensis was detected in one dog and Rhipicephalus sanguineus tick. DNA of another human pathogen, Candidatus N. mikurensis was detected in Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Heamaphysalis leachi ticks, and is the first description of Candidatus N. mikurensis in Africa. The Theileria sp. DNA detected in a local dog in this study had 98% sequence identity to Theileria ovis from sheep.
Conclusions/Significance
The results of this study indicate that human and animal pathogens are abundant in dogs and their ticks in Nigeria and portray the potential high risk of human exposure to infection with these agents.
Author Summary
In Nigeria, dogs are not only kept as pets, but are also used for hunting as well as a source of animal protein among some ethnic groups. Ticks are known to infest dogs and serve as vectors for some pathogens of zoonotic and veterinary importance. There is limited information on the prevalence and distribution of vector borne pathogens in dogs and ticks in Nigeria. The aim of the study was to detect and characterize vector borne pathogens in dogs and ticks from Nigeria using molecular methods. The results of this study showed a high estimate of vector borne pathogens in Nigerian dogs (77.3%) and ticks (63.3%). DNA of Candidatus N. mikurensis, an emerging pathogen of humans was detected in Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Heamaphysalis leachi ticks. Another human pathogen, Rickettsia conorii israelensis the causative agent of Mediterranean spotted fever was detected in Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks. This is the first description of Candidatus N. mikurensis in Africa and Rickettsia conorii israelensis in Nigeria. These results indicate that the use of molecular techniques for the diagnosis of emerging infections in developing countries is of utmost importance in assisting physicians and veterinarians in making accurate diagnoses and providing the appropriate treatment for their patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002108
PMCID: PMC3591325  PMID: 23505591
12.  Simultaneous Detection of Bovine Theileria and Babesia Species by Reverse Line Blot Hybridization 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1999;37(6):1782-1789.
A reverse line blot (RLB) assay was developed for the identification of cattle carrying different species of Theileria and Babesia simultaneously. We included Theileria annulata, T. parva, T. mutans, T. taurotragi, and T. velifera in the assay, as well as parasites belonging to the T. sergenti-T. buffeli-T. orientalis group. The Babesia species included were Babesia bovis, B. bigemina, and B. divergens. The assay employs one set of primers for specific amplification of the rRNA gene V4 hypervariable regions of all Theileria and Babesia species. PCR products obtained from blood samples were hybridized to a membrane onto which nine species-specific oligonucleotides were covalently linked. Cross-reactions were not observed between any of the tested species. No DNA sequences from Bos taurus or other hemoparasites (Trypanosoma species, Cowdria ruminantium, Anaplasma marginale, and Ehrlichia species) were amplified. The sensitivity of the assay was determined at 0.000001% parasitemia, enabling detection of the carrier state of most parasites. Mixed DNAs from five different parasites were correctly identified. Moreover, blood samples from cattle experimentally infected with two different parasites reacted only with the corresponding species-specific oligonucleotides. Finally, RLB was used to screen blood samples collected from carrier cattle in two regions of Spain. T. annulata, T. orientalis, and B. bigemina were identified in these samples. In conclusion, the RLB is a versatile technique for simultaneous detection of all bovine tick-borne protozoan parasites. We recommend its use for integrated epidemiological monitoring of tick-borne disease, since RLB can also be used for screening ticks and can easily be expanded to include additional hemoparasite species.
PMCID: PMC84950  PMID: 10325324
13.  Diversity of Babesia Infecting European Sheep Ticks (Ixodes ricinus) 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2001;39(9):3395-3397.
Questing Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) adult and nymphal ticks collected in various parts of Slovenia were tested for the presence of babesial parasites with a PCR assay based on the nuclear small subunit rRNA gene (nss-ribosomal DNA [rDNA]). Thirteen of 135 ticks were found to contain babesial DNA. Sequence determination and analysis of amplified portions of nss-rDNA revealed their identity with Babesia microti and a high degree of homology with Babesia odocoilei and Babesia divergens. The results of this study represent the first genetic evidence of B. microti and B. divergens-like parasites in I. ricinus ticks in Europe.
doi:10.1128/JCM.39.9.3395-3397.2001
PMCID: PMC88357  PMID: 11526189
14.  Identification of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ticks Feeding on Humans in Turkey 
Background
The importance of tick-borne diseases is increasing all over the world, including Turkey. The tick-borne disease outbreaks reported in recent years and the abundance of tick species and the existence of suitable habitats increase the importance of studies related to the epidemiology of ticks and tick-borne pathogens in Turkey. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of and to determine the infection rates of some tick-borne pathogens, including Babesia spp., Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and spotted fever group rickettsiae in the ticks removed from humans in different parts of Ankara.
Methodology/Principal Findings
A total of 169 ticks belonging to the genus Haemaphysalis, Hyalomma, Ixodes and Rhipicephalus were collected by removing from humans in different parts of Ankara. Ticks were molecularly screened for Babesia spp., Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and spotted fever group rickettsiae by PCR and sequencing analysis. We detected 4 Babesia spp.; B. crassa, B. major, B. occultans and B. rossi, one Borrelia spp.; B. burgdorferi sensu stricto and 3 spotted fever group rickettsiae; R. aeschlimannii, R. slovaca and R. hoogstraalii in the tick specimens analyzed. This is the report showing the presence of B. rossi in a region that is out of Africa and in the host species Ha. parva. In addition, B. crassa, for which limited information is available on its distribution and vector species, and B. occultans, for which no conclusive information is available on its presence in Turkey, were identified in Ha. parva and H. marginatum, respectively. Two human pathogenic rickettsia species (R. aeschlimannii and R. slovaca) were detected with a high prevalence in ticks. Additionally, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto was detected in unusual tick species (H. marginatum, H. excavatum, Hyalomma spp. (nymph) and Ha. parva).
Conclusions/Significance
This study investigates both the distribution of several tick-borne pathogens affecting humans and animals, and the presence of new tick-borne pathogens in Turkey. More epidemiological studies are warranted for B. rossi, which is very pathogenic for dogs, because the presented results suggest that B. rossi might have a wide distribution in Turkey. Furthermore, we recommend that tick-borne pathogens, especially R. aeschlimannii, R. slovaca, and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, should be taken into consideration in patients who had a tick bite in Turkey.
Author Summary
Ticks are widespread in over all Turkey. Primary tick-borne diseases (TBDs), such as theileriosis, babesiosis, and anaplasmosis, affecting animals have been known for a long time in Turkey. However, TBDs have become a major concern in humans in recent years due to the recent Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Turkey. We know that some TBDs like CCHF, Lyme borreliosis, spotted fever group rickettsiosis, babesiosis and anaplasmosis exist in this geography. However, the other diseases except for CCHF are neglected in patients. In this study, we aimed to investigate Babesia spp., Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and spotted fever group rickettsiae in ticks removed from humans in different parts of Ankara by using PCR and sequencing. The result of this study showed that 4 Babesia species, one B. burgdorferi sensu lato, and 3 spotted fever group rickettsia are detected in ticks. The most striking result of this study is that B. rossi, which is very pathogenic for dogs, was reported for the first time from a region that is out of Africa and in Ha. parva. Therefore, B. rossi should be considered in dogs in Turkey. Furthermore, we propose that R. aeschlimannii, R. slovaca, and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto should be taken into consideration in patients who had a tick bite in Ankara.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003067
PMCID: PMC4125308  PMID: 25101999
15.  Babesia spp. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in questing ticks, ticks parasitizing rodents and the parasitized rodents – Analyzing the host-pathogen-vector interface in a metropolitan area 
Parasites & Vectors  2012;5:191.
Background
The aims of this study were to evaluate the host-tick-pathogen interface of Babesia spp. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in restored areas in both questing and host-attached Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus and their small mammalian hosts.
Methods
Questing ticks were collected from 5 sites within the city of Leipzig, Germany, in 2009. Small mammals were trapped at 3 of the 5 sites during 2010 and 2011. DNA extracts of questing and host-attached I. ricinus and D. reticulatus and of several tissue types of small mammals (the majority bank voles and yellow-necked mice), were investigated by PCR followed by sequencing for the occurrence of DNA of Babesia spp. and by real-time PCR for A. phagocytophilum. A selected number of samples positive for A. phagocytophilum were further investigated for variants of the partial 16S rRNA gene. Co-infection with Rickettsia spp. in the questing ticks was additionally investigated.
Results
4.1% of questing I. ricinus ticks, but no D. reticulatus, were positive for Babesia sp. and 8.7% of I. ricinus for A. phagocytophilum. Sequencing revealed B. microti, B. capreoli and Babesia spp. EU1 in Leipzig and sequence analysis of the partial 16S RNA gene of A. phagocytophilum revealed variants either rarely reported in human cases or associated with cervid hosts. The statistical analysis revealed significantly less ticks infected with A. phagocytophilum in a city park in Leipzig as compared to the other sampling sites. A. phagocytophilum-DNA was detected in 2 bank voles, DNA of B. microti in 1 striped field-mouse and of Babesia sp. EU1 in the skin tissue of a mole. Co-infections were detected.
Conclusion
Our results show the involvement of small mammals in the natural endemic cycles of tick-borne pathogens. A more thorough understanding of the interactions of ticks, pathogens and hosts is the essential basis for effective preventive control measures.
doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-191
PMCID: PMC3480827  PMID: 22950642
Babesia spp; Anaplasma phagocytophilum; Ixodes ricinus; Dermacentor reticulatus; Bank vole; Yellow-necked mouse; Recreational area; Host survey; Vector-host relation
16.  Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis and Hepatozoonosis in Dogs from St. Kitts, West Indies 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e53450.
Background
Although tick-borne diseases are important causes of morbidity and mortality in dogs in tropical areas, there is little information on the agents causing these infections in the Caribbean.
Methodology
We used PCRs to test blood from a cross-section of dogs on St Kitts for Ehrlichia (E.) canis, Babesia (B.) spp., Anaplasma (A.) spp. and Hepatozoon (H.) spp. Antibodies against E. canis and A. phagocytophilum/platys were detected using commercial immunochromatography tests. Records of the dogs were examined retrospectively to obtain clinical and laboratory data.
Principal findings
There was serological and/or PCR evidence of infections of dogs with E. canis (27%; 46/170), Babesia spp. (24%; 90/372) including B. canis vogeli (12%; 43/372) and B. gibsoni (10%; 36/372), A. platys (11%; 17/157) and H. canis (6%; 15/266). We could not identify the Babesia sp. detected in nine dogs. There was evidence of multiple infections with dual infections with E. canis and B. canis vogeli (8%; 14/179) or B. gibsoni (7%; 11/170) being the most common. There was agreement between immunochromatography and PCR test results for E. canis for 87% of dogs. Only 13% of exposed dogs had signs of a tick-borne disease and 38% had laboratory abnormalities. All 10 dogs presenting for a recheck after treatment of E. canis with doxycycline were apparently healthy although all remained seropositive and six still had laboratory abnormalities despite an average of two treatments with the most recent being around 12 months previously. Infections with Babesia spp. were also mainly subclinical with only 6% (4/67) showing clinical signs and 13% (9/67) having laboratory abnormalities. Similarly, animals with evidence of infections with A. platys and H. canis were largely apparently healthy with only occasional laboratory abnormalities.
Conclusions
Dogs are commonly infected with tick-borne pathogens in the Caribbean with most having no clinical signs or laboratory abnormalities.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053450
PMCID: PMC3546050  PMID: 23335965
17.  Natural history of Zoonotic Babesia: Role of wildlife reservoirs 
Graphical abstract
Highlights
► All zoonotic Babesia utilize mammals, primarily wildlife, as reservoirs. ► Reservoirs and/or ticks are unknown for many zoonotic Babesia species. ► Molecular characterization of Babesia from human patients is needed. ► Continued surveillance of potential reservoirs and ticks should be conducted.
Babesiosis is an emerging zoonotic disease on all inhabited continents and various wildlife species are the principal reservoir hosts for zoonotic Babesia species. The primary vectors of Babesia are Ixodid ticks, with the majority of zoonotic species being transmitted by species in the genus Ixodes. Species of Babesia vary in their infectivity, virulence and pathogenicity for people. Various factors (e.g., increased interactions between people and the environment, increased immunosuppression, changes in landscape and climate, and shifts in host and vector species abundance and community structures) have led to an increase in tick-borne diseases in people, including babesiosis. Furthermore, because babesiosis is now a reportable disease in several states in the United States, and it is the most common blood transfusion-associated parasite, recognized infections are expected to increase. Because of the zoonotic nature of these parasites, it is essential that we understand the natural history (especially reservoirs and vectors) so that appropriate control and prevention measures can be implemented. Considerable work has been conducted on the ecology of Babesia microti and Babesia divergens, the two most common causes of babesiosis in the United States and Europe, respectively. However, unfortunately, for many of the zoonotic Babesia species, the reservoir(s) and/or tick vector(s) are unknown. We review the current knowledge regarding the ecology of Babesia among their reservoir and tick hosts with an emphasis of the role on wildlife as reservoirs. We hope to encourage the molecular characterization of Babesia from potential reservoirs and vectors as well from people. These data are necessary so that informed decisions can be made regarding potential vectors and the potential role of wildlife in the ecology of a novel Babesia when it is detected in a human patient.
doi:10.1016/j.ijppaw.2012.11.003
PMCID: PMC3862492  PMID: 24533312
Piroplasms; Tick-borne; Wildlife; Zoonoses
18.  Babesia Species Occurring in Austrian Ixodes ricinus Ticks▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2008;74(15):4841-4846.
Babesiosis is a tick-transmitted disease of veterinary and medical importance. The first Austrian case of human babesiosis was recently recorded. In the current study, ticks at all life cycle stages (instars), including 853 Ixodes ricinus and 11 Haemaphysalis concinna ticks, from sampling sites throughout Austria were examined for the presence of Babesia spp. by using 18S rRNA gene PCR and sequencing, and the overall mean infection rate was 51.04%. The infection rates for sampling sites were highly variable, ranging from 0% to almost 100%. Different instars and different sexes were infected almost equally. Babesia isolates occurring in Austrian ticks were identified as Babesia divergens, Babesia divergens-like, and Babesia sp. strain DD by sequencing a fragment of the heat shock protein 70 gene and internal transcribed spacer regions 1 and 2. To our knowledge, this is the first investigation of Babesia spp. in Austrian ticks.
doi:10.1128/AEM.00035-08
PMCID: PMC2519353  PMID: 18539787
19.  Piroplasmosis in wildlife: Babesia and Theileria affecting free-ranging ungulates and carnivores in the Italian Alps 
Parasites & Vectors  2014;7:70.
Background
Piroplasmosis are among the most relevant diseases of domestic animals. Babesia is emerging as cause of tick-borne zoonosis worldwide and free-living animals are reservoir hosts of several zoonotic Babesia species. We investigated the epidemiology of Babesia spp. and Theileria spp. in wild ungulates and carnivores from Northern Italy to determine which of these apicomplexan species circulate in wildlife and their prevalence of infection.
Methods
PCR amplification of the V4 hyper-variable region of the 18S rDNA of Babesia sp./Theileria sp was carried out on spleen samples of 1036 wild animals: Roe deer Capreolus capreolus (n = 462), Red deer Cervus elaphus (n = 52), Alpine Chamois Rupicapra rupicapra (n = 36), Fallow deer Dama dama (n = 17), Wild boar Sus scrofa (n = 257), Red fox Vulpes vulpes (n = 205) and Wolf Canis lupus (n = 7). Selected positive samples were sequenced to determine the species of amplified Babesia/Theileria DNA.
Results
Babesia/Theileria DNA was found with a mean prevalence of 9.94% (IC95% 8.27-11.91). The only piroplasms found in carnivores was Theileria annae, which was detected in two foxes (0.98%; IC95% 0.27-3.49). Red deer showed the highest prevalence of infection (44.23%; IC95% 31.6-57.66), followed by Alpine chamois (22.22%; IC95% 11.71-38.08), Roe deer (12.55%; IC95% 9.84-15.89), and Wild boar (4.67%; IC95% 2.69-7.98). Genetic analysis identified Babesia capreoli as the most prevalent piroplasmid found in Alpine chamois, Roe deer and Red deer, followed by Babesia bigemina (found in Roe deer, Red deer and Wild boar), and the zoonotic Babesia venatorum (formerly Babesia sp. EU1) isolated from 2 Roe deer. Piroplasmids of the genus Theileria were identified in Wild boar and Red deer.
Conclusions
The present study offers novel insights into the role of wildlife in Babesia/Theileria epidemiology, as well as relevant information on genetic variability of piroplasmids infecting wild ungulates and carnivores.
doi:10.1186/1756-3305-7-70
PMCID: PMC3929754  PMID: 24533742
Piroplasmosis; Babesia; Theileria; PCR; Wildlife; Italy
20.  A survey of canine tick-borne diseases in India 
Parasites & Vectors  2011;4:141.
Background
There are few published reports on canine Babesia, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Hepatozoon and haemotropic Mycoplasma infections in India and most describe clinical disease in individual dogs, diagnosed by morphological observation of the microorganisms in stained blood smears. This study investigated the occurrence and distribution of canine tick-borne disease (TBD) pathogens using a combination of conventional and molecular diagnostic techniques in four cities in India.
Results
On microscopy examination, only Hepatozoon gamonts were observed in twelve out of 525 (2.3%; 95% CI: 1.2, 4) blood smears. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a total of 261 from 525 dogs (49.7%; 95% CI: 45.4, 54.1) in this study were infected with one or more canine tick-borne pathogen. Hepatozoon canis (30%; 95% CI: 26.0, 34.0) was the most common TBD pathogen found infecting dogs in India followed by Ehrlichia canis (20.6%; 95% CI: 17.2, 24.3), Mycoplasma haemocanis (12.2%; 95% CI: 9.5, 15.3), Anaplasma platys (6.5%; 95% CI: 4.5, 8.9), Babesia vogeli (5.5%, 95% CI: 3.7, 7.8) and Babesia gibsoni (0.2%, 95% CI: 0.01, 1.06). Concurrent infection with more than one TBD pathogen occurred in 39% of cases. Potential tick vectors, Rhipicephalus (most commonly) and/or Haemaphysalis ticks were found on 278 (53%) of dogs examined.
Conclusions
At least 6 species of canine tick-borne pathogens are present in India. Hepatozoon canis was the most common pathogen and ticks belonging to the genus Rhipicephalus were encountered most frequently. Polymerase chain reaction was more sensitive in detecting circulating pathogens compared with peripheral blood smear examination. As co-infections with canine TBD pathogens were common, Indian veterinary practitioners should be cognisant that the discovery of one such pathogen raises the potential for multiple infections which may warrant different clinical management strategies.
doi:10.1186/1756-3305-4-141
PMCID: PMC3162925  PMID: 21771313
21.  Quantitative PCR for Detection of Babesia microti in Ixodes scapularis Ticks and in Human Blood 
Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases  2013;13(11):784-790.
Abstract
Babesia microti, the primary cause of human babesiosis in the United States, is transmitted by Ixodes scapularis ticks; transmission may also occur through blood transfusion and transplacentally. Most infected people experience a viral-like illness that resolves without complication, but those who are immunocompromised may develop a serious and prolonged illness that is sometimes fatal. The geographic expansion and increasing incidence of human babesiosis in the northeastern and midwestern United States highlight the need for high-throughput sensitive and specific assays to detect parasites in both ticks and humans with the goals of improving epidemiological surveillance, diagnosis of acute infections, and screening of the blood supply. Accordingly, we developed a B. microti-specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay (named BabMq18) designed to detect B. microti DNA in tick and human blood samples using a primer and probe combination that targets the 18S rRNA gene of B. microti. This qPCR assay was compared with two nonquantitative B. microti PCR assays by testing tick samples and was found to exhibit higher sensitivity for detection of B. microti DNA. The BabMq18 assay has a detection threshold of 10 copies per reaction and does not amplify DNA in I. scapularis ticks infected with Babesia odocoilei, Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia miyamotoi, or Anaplasma phagocytophilum. This highly sensitive and specific qPCR assay can be used for detection of B. microti DNA in both tick and human samples. Finally, we report the prevalence of B. microti infection in field-collected I. scapularis nymphs from three locations in southern New England that present disparate incidences of human babesiosis.
doi:10.1089/vbz.2011.0935
PMCID: PMC3822370  PMID: 24107203
Babesia microti; Ixodes scapularis; Babesiosis; Quantitative PCR; Babesia odocoilei; Ticks
22.  Incidence of Cercopithifilaria bainae in Dogs and Probability of Co-Infection with Other Tick-Borne Pathogens 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88198.
Background
Cercopithifilaria bainae is a filarioid parasite that infects dogs, being transmitted by Rhipicephalus sanguineus group ticks in many countries of the Mediterranean basin. This study assessed the incidence density rate (IDR) of infection by C. bainae in dogs and the probability of co-infection with other tick-borne pathogens (i.e., Anaplasma platys, Babesia vogeli and Hepatozoon canis), in an area of high endemicity in southern Italy.
Methodology/Principal Findings
From March 2011 to October 2012, a field study involving 58 young dogs naturally exposed to tick infestation was conducted. Skin and blood samples obtained from each dog six times during an 18-month period were tested for C. bainae by parasite detection within skin snip sediments, with subsequent confirmation through PCR and DNA sequencing. Dogs examined monthly for ticks and A. platys, B. vogeli and H. canis were microscopically and/or molecularly diagnosed and after the first and the second summer seasons, the IDR for positive animal-month at risk was 3.8% and 1.7% in November 2011 and October 2012, respectively. All 58 C. bainae-infected dogs were simultaneously infected with at least one other tick-borne pathogen. After the first summer season (assessment in November 2011), a C. bainae-infected dog had a 33% probability of being infected with H. canis or A. platys, whereas after the second tick season (assessment in October 2012) the probability of co-infection was 78%, 22% and 11% for H. canis, A. platys and B. vogeli, respectively.
Conclusions
Our data indicate that tick-infested dogs are at risk of acquiring infection by C. bainae. In addition, the detection of C. bainae microfilariae indicates a prior tick exposure and, should stimulate testing for other tick-borne disease causing pathogens.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088198
PMCID: PMC3912174  PMID: 24498437
23.  Detection of Two Zoonotic Babesia microti Lineages, the Hobetsu and U.S. Lineages, in Two Sympatric Tick Species, Ixodes ovatus and Ixodes persulcatus, Respectively, in Japan 
The species Babesia microti, commonly found in rodents, demonstrates a high degree of genetic diversity. Three lineages, U.S., Kobe, and Hobetsu, are known to have zoonotic potential, but their tick vector(s) in Japan remains to be elucidated. We conducted a field investigation at Nemuro on Hokkaido Island and at Sumoto on Awaji Island, where up to two of the three lineages occur with similar frequencies in reservoirs. By flagging vegetation at these spots and surrounding areas, 4,010 ticks, comprising six species, were collected. A nested PCR that detects the 18S rRNA gene of Babesia species revealed that Ixodes ovatus and I. persulcatus alone were positive. Lineage-specific PCR for rRNA-positive samples demonstrated that I. ovatus and I. persulcatus carried, respectively, the Hobetsu and U.S. parasites. No Kobe-specific DNA was detected. Infected I. ovatus ticks were found at multiple sites, including Nemuro and Sumoto, with minimum infection rates (MIR) of ∼12.3%. However, all I. persulcatus ticks collected within the same regions, a total of 535, were negative for the Hobetsu lineage, indicating that I. ovatus, but not I. persulcatus, was the vector for the lineage. At Nemuro, U.S. lineage was detected in 2 of 139 adult I. persulcatus ticks (MIR, 1.4%), for the first time, while 48 of I. ovatus ticks were negative for that lineage. Laboratory experiments confirmed the transmission of Hobetsu and U.S. parasites to hamsters via I. ovatus and I. persulcatus, respectively. Differences in vector capacity shown by MIRs at Nemuro, where the two species were equally likely to acquire either lineage of parasite, may explain the difference in distribution of Hobetsu throughout Japan and U.S. taxa in Nemuro. These findings are of importance in the assessment of the regional risk for babesiosis in humans.
doi:10.1128/AEM.00142-12
PMCID: PMC3346458  PMID: 22389378
24.  Observation of a novel Babesia spp. in Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) in Australia 
Graphical abstract
Highlights
► New Babesia is identified in kangaroo. ► The origin is unknown. ► Caused severe anaemia and death in the infected kangaroos.
The roles and epidemiological features of tick-borne protozoans are not well elicited in wildlife. Babesia spp. are documented in many domestic animals, including cattle, horses, pigs, dogs and cats. Three cases affecting eastern grey kangaroos are described. The kangaroos exhibited neurological signs, depression and marked anaemia, and microscopic examination of blood smears revealed intraerythrocytic piroplasms. One to seven intraerythrocytic spherical, oval, pyriform and irregularly-shaped parasites consistent with Babesia spp. were seen in the blood smears and the percentage of infected erythrocytes was estimated to be approximately 7% in each case. Data suggest that the tick vector for this kangaroo Babesia sp. is a Haemaphysalis species. For Case 2, ultrastructural examination of the erythrocytes of the renal capillaries showed parasites resembling Babesia spp. and 18 of 33 erythrocytes were infected. DNA sequencing of the amplified 18S rDNA confirmed that the observed intraerythrocytic piroplasms belong to the genus Babesia. The phylogenetic position of this new kangaroo Babesia sp. (de novo Babesia macropus), as a sister species to the new Australian woylie Babesia sp., suggests a close affinity to the described Afro–Eurasian species Babesia orientalis and Babesia occultans suggesting perhaps a common ancestor for the Babesia in kangaroos.
doi:10.1016/j.ijppaw.2012.12.001
PMCID: PMC3862514  PMID: 24533316
Babesia; Kangaroo; Apicomplexan; Haematology
25.  Identification of Parasitic Communities within European Ticks Using Next-Generation Sequencing 
Background
Risk assessment of tick-borne and zoonotic disease emergence necessitates sound knowledge of the particular microorganisms circulating within the communities of these major vectors. Assessment of pathogens carried by wild ticks must be performed without a priori, to allow for the detection of new or unexpected agents.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We evaluated the potential of Next-Generation Sequencing techniques (NGS) to produce an inventory of parasites carried by questing ticks. Sequences corresponding to parasites from two distinct genera were recovered in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected in Eastern France: Babesia spp. and Theileria spp. Four Babesia species were identified, three of which were zoonotic: B. divergens, Babesia sp. EU1 and B. microti; and one which infects cattle, B. major. This is the first time that these last two species have been identified in France. This approach also identified new sequences corresponding to as-yet unknown organisms similar to tropical Theileria species.
Conclusions/Significance
Our findings demonstrate the capability of NGS to produce an inventory of live tick-borne parasites, which could potentially be transmitted by the ticks, and uncovers unexpected parasites in Western Europe.
Author Summary
Diseases transmitted by ticks have diverse etiology (viral, bacterial, parasitic) and are responsible for high morbidity and mortality rates around the world, both in humans and animals. The emergence or re-emergence of tick-borne diseases is increasingly becoming a problem as the geographical distribution of several tick species is expanding, as well as the numbers of potential or known tick-borne pathogens are constantly evolving. It is thus necessary to know which microorganisms circulate within communities of this major vector to ensure adequate epidemiological surveillance. In this study, we evaluated the potential of Next-Generation Sequencing techniques (NGS) to produce, without a priori, an inventory of both predicted and non-expected parasites carried by Ixodes ricinus, the most prevalent human biting tick in France. Our findings suggest that NGS strategies could be used to produce an inventory of live parasites residing in ticks from a selected area, thereby expanding our knowledge base of tick-associated parasites.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002753
PMCID: PMC3967966  PMID: 24675738

Results 1-25 (1104487)