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Exotic ticks removed from German travelers

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Abstract

We report the finding of five nymphs and three adult ticks attached to German tourists while traveling the American continents. All eight specimens were morphologically identified and confirmed genetically using the 16S rRNA gene and screened for Rickettsia spp. infections. Five tick species were identified: one Amblyomma mixtum nymph from Ecuador, one Amblyomma varium nymph from Colombia, three Amblyomma coelebs nymphs from Costa Rica, one Amblyomma americanum male from the USA, one Dermacentor andersoni female and one D. andersoni male from Canada. Tick-borne microorganisms screening using the pan-Rickettsia-PCR resulted in two positive and six negative ticks. The A. mixtum nymph was positive for Rickettsia amblyommatis, while the D. andersoni female was positive for Rickettsia peacockii.

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Availability of data and materials

Sequences of ticks and Rickettsia were submitted in GenBank where they can be freely accessed according the accession number mentioned in the manuscript.

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Funding

The researcher T.F.M. is supported by “Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo” (FAPESP Process n 2019/03167–0, 2020/05987–1). No funding was received for the other authors.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

LCD identified the ticks, took the photos, organize the lab work, coordinated the analysis, and wrote the manuscript; KF, AL, UM, CS, AS, and TE collected or received the ticks and made the initial identification; SS conducted the PCR tests; SN analysed the sequences and submitted them in GenBank; GD analysed the Rickettsia results; TFM contributed to the tick identification and writing of the manuscript. All authors read and proofed the final version of manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lidia Chitimia-Dobler.

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Ethical approval

All the ticks were sent for diagnostic investigation by the infested humans and they gave consent to participate and publish. Therefore, an ethical approval was not necessary and all ticks can be included in the study and be published.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

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Chitimia-Dobler, L., Fachet, K., Lindau, A. et al. Exotic ticks removed from German travelers. Parasitol Res 123, 120 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-024-08144-x

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