Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Molecular detection of tick-borne pathogens in Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu stricto collected from dogs in the steppe and high plateau regions of Algeria

Epidemiology and distributions of canine tick-borne diseases as well as their veterinary and zoonotic significance are poorly understood in Algeria. The present study describes a molecular investigation of important tick-borne pathogens in Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu stricto collected from domestic dogs in steppe and high plateau areas of central and eastern Algeria. In total, 1,043 ticks were collected from 147 dogs, including 756 ticks from 124 dogs in the steppe region of Djelfa and 287 ticks from 23 dogs in the high plateau area of Bordj Bou Arreridj. Ticks were divided into 384 pools (309 pools from Djelfa and 75 pools from Bordj Bou Arreridj) and tested for genomic materials of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) as well as DNA for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Anaplasma platys, Ehrlichia canis, Rickettsia spp., Babesia spp., and Hepatozoon spp. using PCR, sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. Hepatozoon spp. was most prevalent, with 160 positive pools (41.7%), and 12 of these were sequenced and identified as Hepatozoon canis. Babesia spp. was detected in 50 samples (13.0%), of which 11 were sequenced and identified as Babesia vogeli. A. platys and E. canis were detected in 92 (24.0%) and 15 (3.9%) of tested samples, respectively. Rickettsia spp. were detected in 24 (6.3%) samples, including 11 samples identified as R. massiliae, 6 samples identified as R. conorii conorii, and 7 samples could not be identified to species level. All 384 pools tested negative for CCHFV and A. phagocytophilum. In addition to detection of R. conorii conorii, R. massiliae, and E. canis, the present study provides the first molecular data for occurrence of A. platys, B. vogeli, and H. canis in Rh. sanguineus s.s. infesting dogs in Algeria. Further large scale studies should be conducted to better understand the epidemiology, distributions, and importance of canine tick-borne pathogens in Algeria.

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