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Identification of tick-borne pathogens in ticks feeding on humans in Turkey.

Orkun Ö, Karaer Z, Çakmak A, Nalbantoğlu S - PLoS Negl Trop Dis (2014)

Bottom Line: 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.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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey.

ABSTRACT

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.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Phylogenetic tree based on aligned sequences of 5S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer region of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and constructed by using the UPGMA method in MEGA5.1 software.The Borrelia sequences obtained in this study are shown in a bold font. GenBank accession numbers of sequences and names of lineages are given before species names.
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pntd-0003067-g003: Phylogenetic tree based on aligned sequences of 5S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer region of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and constructed by using the UPGMA method in MEGA5.1 software.The Borrelia sequences obtained in this study are shown in a bold font. GenBank accession numbers of sequences and names of lineages are given before species names.

Mentions: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, which is the primary pathogenic genospecies of Lyme disease [43], was detected in one H. marginatum, 2 Hyalomma spp. (nymph), 2 Ha. parva and one H. excavatum. According to 5S-23S rDNA IGS sequence analysis, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto sequences obtained in this study are 100% similar to the reference strains (B. burgdorferi N40, accession no. CP002228, isolate TN19, accession no. DQ860271 and genotype I-181, accession no. AF497980). More detailed data and a phylogenetic tree are given in Table 2 and Fig. 3, respectively. Lyme borreliosis, transmitted mainly by ticks belonging to Ixodes genus, is the most common tick-borne zoonosis in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere [44]. In Turkey, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto was hitherto isolated from only one unfed I. ricinus collected from Istanbul in 2003 [31]. However, non-Ixodes spp. ticks were to be infected with B. burgdorferi sensu stricto in this study. This indicated that either the ticks ingested infected body fluids or may be capable to transmit this bacterium (potential vectors). Yet, we cannot clearly say that these tick species are the vector for B. burgdorferi sensu stricto with the current data. It is possible that the humans had bacteremia of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto and this pathogen passed to the ticks during the feeding process or the ticks might have been infected in previous life stages, as well. As noted by Kahl et al. (2002): “to be considered a vector, a tick species must: (1) feed on infectious vertebrates; (2) be able to acquire the pathogen during the blood meal; (3) maintain it through one ore more life stages (transstadial passage); and (4) pass it on to other host when feeding again. Otherwise it is a non-vector tick” [45]. Therefore, more detailed experimental studies are required to determine the vector competence of these tick species. Nevertheless, it is already evident that B. burgdorferi sensu stricto is circulating in Ankara, because we did not record any history of a tick bite outside of Ankara from the patients. Hence, Lyme disease should be taken into consideration in patients who had a tick bite in Ankara.


Identification of tick-borne pathogens in ticks feeding on humans in Turkey.

Orkun Ö, Karaer Z, Çakmak A, Nalbantoğlu S - PLoS Negl Trop Dis (2014)

Phylogenetic tree based on aligned sequences of 5S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer region of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and constructed by using the UPGMA method in MEGA5.1 software.The Borrelia sequences obtained in this study are shown in a bold font. GenBank accession numbers of sequences and names of lineages are given before species names.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4125308&req=5

pntd-0003067-g003: Phylogenetic tree based on aligned sequences of 5S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer region of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and constructed by using the UPGMA method in MEGA5.1 software.The Borrelia sequences obtained in this study are shown in a bold font. GenBank accession numbers of sequences and names of lineages are given before species names.
Mentions: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, which is the primary pathogenic genospecies of Lyme disease [43], was detected in one H. marginatum, 2 Hyalomma spp. (nymph), 2 Ha. parva and one H. excavatum. According to 5S-23S rDNA IGS sequence analysis, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto sequences obtained in this study are 100% similar to the reference strains (B. burgdorferi N40, accession no. CP002228, isolate TN19, accession no. DQ860271 and genotype I-181, accession no. AF497980). More detailed data and a phylogenetic tree are given in Table 2 and Fig. 3, respectively. Lyme borreliosis, transmitted mainly by ticks belonging to Ixodes genus, is the most common tick-borne zoonosis in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere [44]. In Turkey, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto was hitherto isolated from only one unfed I. ricinus collected from Istanbul in 2003 [31]. However, non-Ixodes spp. ticks were to be infected with B. burgdorferi sensu stricto in this study. This indicated that either the ticks ingested infected body fluids or may be capable to transmit this bacterium (potential vectors). Yet, we cannot clearly say that these tick species are the vector for B. burgdorferi sensu stricto with the current data. It is possible that the humans had bacteremia of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto and this pathogen passed to the ticks during the feeding process or the ticks might have been infected in previous life stages, as well. As noted by Kahl et al. (2002): “to be considered a vector, a tick species must: (1) feed on infectious vertebrates; (2) be able to acquire the pathogen during the blood meal; (3) maintain it through one ore more life stages (transstadial passage); and (4) pass it on to other host when feeding again. Otherwise it is a non-vector tick” [45]. Therefore, more detailed experimental studies are required to determine the vector competence of these tick species. Nevertheless, it is already evident that B. burgdorferi sensu stricto is circulating in Ankara, because we did not record any history of a tick bite outside of Ankara from the patients. Hence, Lyme disease should be taken into consideration in patients who had a tick bite in Ankara.

Bottom Line: 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.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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey.

ABSTRACT

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.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus