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Parasitology Research

, Volume 117, Issue 4, pp 981–987 | Cite as

Molecular evidence of Chlamydiales in ticks from wild and domestic hosts in Sardinia, Italy

  • Valentina Chisu
  • Cipriano Foxi
  • Antonio Tanda
  • Giovanna Masala
Original Paper

Abstract

Ticks are well known to be important vectors for a wide range of bacteria, viruses and protozoa affecting human and animal health. Ixodid ticks are widely distributed in Sardinia, and an increasing number of tick-borne bacteria have been documented in the island. A growing number of evidence are supporting the hypothesis of alternative transmission routes for chlamydial bacteria such as the involvement of vectors. This study was conducted to provide possible molecular detection of members belonging to the Chlamydiales order in Sardinian ticks and to update information concerning the presence of new ectoparasite-borne bacteria in ticks collected from domestic and wild hosts in a typical Mediterranean environment. A total of 378 ticks were individually screened with a pan-Chlamydiales specific primers targeting the 16S rRNA gene. Chlamydiales DNA was detected in 28% of the total ticks analyzed. The analyses of sequences highlighted that Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato, Rhipicephalus bursa, Rhipicephalus annulatus, Haemaphysalis sulcata, Haemaphysalis punctata and Dermacentor marginatus ticks exhibited DNA of Chlamydiaceae and Parachlamydiaceae members. Our results revealed that DNA of zoonotic microorganisms such as C. psittaci, C. abortus and the emerging pathogen Parachlamydia acanthamoebae are present in Sardinian ticks. Since routes of Chlamydia transmission are yet to be fully defined, the role of ticks as possible vectors for Chlamydiales remains the most challenging and interesting question to be addressed in future research. Continued monitoring of these pathogens in tick vectors is needed to provide strategies for controlling of possible chlamydial infections and disease outbreaks in the island.

Keywords

Ticks Chlamydiales Vector-borne diseases Zoonoses 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animal were followed.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valentina Chisu
    • 1
  • Cipriano Foxi
    • 1
  • Antonio Tanda
    • 1
  • Giovanna Masala
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della SardegnaSassariItaly

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