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Applied and Environmental Microbiology (1)
Parasites & Vectors (1)
Hornok, Sándor (2)
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First report of adult Hyalomma marginatum rufipes (vector of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus) on cattle under a continental climate in Hungary
Parasites & Vectors
South Hungary is being monitored for the northward spreading of thermophilic ixodid species, therefore ticks were collected from cattle and wild ruminants (red, fallow and roe deer) in the autumn of 2011.
Besides indigenous species (1185 Dermacentor reticulatus and 976 Ixodes ricinus), two Hyalomma marginatum rufipes males were found on two cows, in September eight days apart.
This is the northernmost autochthonous infestation of the type host (cattle) with H. m. rufipes, vector of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus. The present findings are suggestive of the moulting success of this Afro-Mediterranean tick species in a continental climate in Central Europe.
Hyalomma marginatum rufipes; Cattle; Continental climate; Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
Molecular Investigations of Rickettsia helvetica Infection in Dogs, Foxes, Humans, and Ixodes Ticks▿
Boretti, Felicitas S.
Meli, Marina L.
Reusch, Claudia E.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Rickettsia helvetica, a tick-borne member of the spotted-fever-group rickettsiae, is a suspected pathogen in humans; however, its role in animals is unknown. The aims of this study were to establish a R. helvetica-specific real-time TaqMan PCR assay and apply it to the analysis of tick vectors (to determine potential exposure risk) and blood samples from Canidae and humans (to determine prevalence of infection). The newly designed 23S rRNA gene assay for R. helvetica was more sensitive than a published citrate synthase gene (gltA) assay for several rickettsiae. Blood samples from 884 dogs, 58 foxes, and 214 human patients and 2,073 ticks (Ixodes spp.) collected from either vegetation or animals were analyzed. Although the maximal likelihood estimate of prevalence was 12% in unfed ticks and 36% in ticks collected from animals, none of the 1,156 blood samples tested PCR positive. Ticks from cats were more frequently PCR positive than ticks from dogs. Sequencing of the 23S rRNA and/or the gltA gene of 17 tick pools confirmed the presence of R. helvetica. Additionally, Rickettsia monacensis, which has not been previously found in Switzerland, was identified. In conclusion, R. helvetica was frequently detected in the tick population but not in blood samples. Nevertheless, due to the broad host range of Ixodes ticks and the high rate of infestation with this agent (i.e., R. helvetica was 13 times more frequent in unfed ticks than the tick-borne encephalitis virus), many mammals may be exposed to R. helvetica. The PCR assay described here represents an important tool for studying this topic.
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