ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0170.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: dromedary camels, ticks, heartwater, zoonosis, tick-borne pathogens, Anaplasma, Coxiella, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia
Online: 7 June 2021 (12:39:26 CEST)
Ticks and tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) are major constraints to camel health and production, yet epidemiological data on their diversity and impact on dromedary camels are limited. We sur-veyed the diversity of ticks and TBPs associated with camels and co-grazing sheep at 12 sites in Marsabit County, northern Kenya. We screened blood and ticks (858 pools) collected from 296 camels and 77 sheep for bacterial and protozoan TBPs by high-resolution melting analysis and sequencing of PCR products. Hyalomma (75.7%), Amblyomma (17.6%) and Rhipicephalus (6.7%) spp. ticks were morphologically identified and confirmed by molecular analyses. We detected TBP DNA in 80.1% of blood samples from 296 healthy camels. “Candidatus Anaplasma camelii”, “Candidatus Ehrlichia regneryi” and Coxiella burnetii were detected in both camels and associ-ated ticks, and Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Rickettsia africae, Rickettsia aeschlimannii and Coxiella endo-symbionts were detected in camel ticks. We also detected Ehrlichia ruminantium, responsible for heartwater disease in ruminants, in Amblyomma ticks infesting camels and sheep and in sheep blood, indicating its endemicity in Marsabit. Our findings also suggest that camels and/or the ticks infesting them are reservoirs of zoonotic Q fever (C. burnetii), ehrlichiosis (E. chaffeensis), and rickettsiosis (R. africae), which pose a public health threat to pastoralist communities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0141.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Wolbachia; tick cell line; Ctenocephalides; flea; Malaysia; in vitro culture; phylogeny
Online: 12 June 2020 (04:51:00 CEST)
Wolbachia are intracellular endosymbionts of several invertebrate taxa, including insects and nematodes. Although Wolbachia DNA has been detected in ticks, its presence is generally associated with parasitism by insects. To determine whether or not Wolbachia can infect and grow in tick cells, cell lines from three tick species, Ixodes scapularis, Ixodes ricinus and Rhipicephalus microplus, were inoculated with Wolbachia strains wStri and wAlbB isolated from mosquito cell lines. Homogenates prepared from fleas collected from cats in Malaysia were inoculated into an I. scapularis cell line. Bacterial growth and identity were monitored by microscopy and PCR amplification and sequencing of fragments of Wolbachia genes. The wStri strain infected Ixodes spp. cells and was maintained through 29 passages. The wAlbB strain successfully infected Ixodes spp. and R. microplus cells and was maintained through 2-5 passages. A novel strain of Wolbachia belonging to the supergroup F, designated wCfeF, was isolated in I. scapularis cells from a pool of Ctenocephalides sp. cat fleas and maintained in vitro through two passages over nine months. This is the first confirmed isolation of a Wolbachia strain from a flea and the first isolation of any Wolbachia strain outside the “pandemic” A and B supergroups. The study demonstrates that tick cells can host multiple Wolbachia strains, and can be added to panels of insect cell lines to improve success rates in isolation of field strains of Wolbachia.