Molecular screening of Anaplasmataceae in ticks collected from cattle in Corsica, France

Abstract

Bacteria belonging to the family Anaplasmataceae cause infections in humans and domestic animals. The consequences of infection can be significant economic losses for farmers. To better understand the epidemiology of tick-borne Anaplasmataceae in Corsica, we used molecular methods to detect and characterize Anaplasmataceae in ixodid ticks collected from cattle. Anaplasmataceae were detected by using a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the 23S rRNA gene. Partial sequencing of rpoB and groEL allowed identifying species and conducting phylogenetic analyses. Infection rates were calculated using maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). In total, 597 Rhipicephalus bursa, 216 Hyalomma marginatum, and seven Ixodes ricinus were collected from cattle during July–August 2017 and July–December 2018. Overall, Anaplasmataceae DNA was detected in 15 of 255 tick pools (MLE = 1.7%; 95% CI 0.9–2.7%). The molecular analysis revealed two species within the genus Anaplasma: A. marginale and A. phagocytophilum. We also detected bacteria within the genus Ehrlichia: we confirmed the detection of E. minasensis DNA in H. marginatum and R. bursa tick pools collected from cattle in Corsica and detected, for the first time to our knowledge, Candidatus E. urmitei in Corsican R. bursa ticks and a potential new species, Candidatus E. corsicanum. Further studies are needed to ascertain the pathogenesis and zoonotic potential of the strains and their importance for animals and public health.

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Data availability

The GenBank accession Nos. obtained in this study were MT075488 and MT018472-81 for rpoB (n = 11) and MT035968-70 and MT075489 for groEL (n = 4), MT065823 and MT012311-13 for the 23S rRNA gene (n = 4), and MT065824 (n = 1) for the 16S rRNA gene. All other relevant data are included in the article.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the staff of the slaughterhouse at Ponte-Leccia for their help in collecting ticks from cattle.

Funding

This work was supported by the Corsican Territorial Collectivity and the University of Corsica.

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Correspondence to Alessandra Falchi.

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The cattle inspected were slaughtered for human consumption.

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Cicculli, V., DeCarreaux, D., Ayhan, N. et al. Molecular screening of Anaplasmataceae in ticks collected from cattle in Corsica, France. Exp Appl Acarol 81, 561–574 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10493-020-00527-w

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Keywords

  • Anaplasmataceae
  • Cattle
  • Ticks
  • Corsica
  • Ehrlichia
  • Anaplasma