This study presents the molecular detection of Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae and Ehrlichia sp. in Amblyomma pseudoconcolor Aragão, 1908 (Acari: Ixodidae) collected on a large hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus villosus (Desmarest, 1804)). On 12 October 2020, a specimen of C. villosus was found dead on the road in Río Negro province, Argentina. Molecular detection of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia agents was performed amplifying the gltA and 16S rRNA gene, respectively. One tick, determined morphologically and genetically as A. pseudoconcolor, was collected on C. villosus. The rickettsial agent detected in A. pseudoconcolor was identified as Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae. The Ehrlichia sp. strain showed high sequence similarity to different uncultured Ehrlichia sp. detected in horses, capybaras and Ixodes ornithorhynchi from Nicaragua, Brazil and Australia, respectively. The results of this study and previous findings suggest that A. pseudoconcolor may be a potential vector of some Rickettsia and Ehrlichia bacteria of unknown pathogenicity.
The aim of this study was to measure the serum proinflammatory (IL-12, GM-CSF & IFN-γ) to anti-inflammatory (IL-10, IL-4) cytokine ratio, oxidant (MDA) level and antioxidant enzyme (SOD; GPx) activities after blood parasite infections. The blood and serum samples were obtained from 130 cattle and screened for identity of the infecting blood parasites by conventional PCR. The following blood parasite species were detected: Candidatus Mycoplasma haemobos (70/130); Theileria orientalis (65/130); Theileria sinensis (32/130); Anaplasma marginale (49/130); Anaplasma platys (7/130); and Trypanosoma evansi (4/130). The GM-CSF/IL-10 ratio showed significantly higher values in all the symptomatic blood parasite infected cattle groups except for symptomatic A. platys infected cattle groups. Anti-inflammatory cytokine immune responses were notable findings in symptomatic and asymptomatic cattle infected with C. M. haemobos and T. orientalis characterized by low serum IL-12:IL-10, IFN-γ:IL-10, IL-12:IL-4 and IFN-γ:IL-4 (p < 0.05). Therefore, high serum GM-CSF:IL:10 in the symptomatic blood parasite infected cattle, low serum IL-12:IL-10, IFN-γ:IL-10, IL-12:IL-4 and IFN-γ:IL-4 ratios in asymptomatic cattle, high MDA level, and increased antioxidant enzyme activities could be useful predictive tools for outcome of natural blood parasite infections in cattle.
Tick-borne agents constitute a growing concern for human and animal health worldwide. Hyalomma aegyptium is a hard tick with a three-host life cycle, whose main hosts for adults are Palearctic tortoises of genus Testudo. Nevertheless, immature ticks can feed on a variety of hosts, representing an important eco-epidemiological issue regarding H. aegyptium pathogens circulation. Hyalomma aegyptium ticks are vectors and/or reservoirs of various pathogenic agents, such as Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Babesia and Hepatozoon/Hemolivia. Ehrlichia and Anaplasma are emergent tick-borne bacteria with a worldwide distribution and zoonotic potential, responsible for diseases that cause clinical manifestations that grade from acute febrile illness to a fulminant disease characterized by multi-organ system failure, depending on the species. Babesia and Hepatozoon/Hemolivia are tick-borne parasites with increasing importance in multiple species. Testudo graeca tortoises acquired in a large animal market in Doha, Qatar, were screened for a panel of tick-borne pathogens by conventional PCR followed by bidirectional sequencing. The most prevalent agent identified in ticks was Hemolivia mauritanica (28.6%), followed by Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii (9.5%) and Ehrlichia spp. (4.7%). All samples were negative for Babesia spp. and Hepatozoon spp. Overall, 43% of the examined adult ticks were infected with at least one agent. Only 4.7% of the ticks appeared to be simultaneously infected with two agents, i.e., Ehrlichia spp. and H. mauritanica. This is the first detection of H. mauritanica, Ehrlichia spp. and Candidatus M. mitochondrii in H. aegyptium ticks collected from pet spur-thighed tortoises, in Qatar, a fact which adds to the geographical extension of these agents. The international trade of Testudo tortoises carrying ticks infected with pathogens of veterinary and medical importance deserves strict control, in order to reduce potential exotic diseases.