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Molecular Investigation of the Status of Ticks on Infected Cattle for Coxiella burnetii in India



In Indian subcontinent, the epidemiological studies on the status of ticks in the transmission of Coxiella burnetii have not been explored comprehensively. The objective of the present study was to investigate the status of ticks for C. burnetii among coxiellosis positive cattle.


The present study was carried out in three locations of the northern states of India. A total of 1648 tick samples were collected from the tick infested cattle (n = 146) that were tested positive for coxiellosis by indirect serum-ELISA assay and/or the trans-PCR assay. The tick samples were screened using the trans-PCR assay targeting species-specific IS1111 transposase gene of C. burnetii. The sequencing of PCR products was planned to differentiate C. burnetii and Coxiella-like bacteria (CLB).


The collected ticks were identified as Rhipicephalus microplus (n = 1049), Hyalomma anatolicum (n = 416), and Hyalomma spp. (n = 183). On molecular investigation, none of the collected tick samples were found to be positive for the IS1111 gene.


The findings of the present study ruled out the involvement of ticks in circulation of the pathogen within the cattle population that were screened. However, extensive epidemiological studies are needed to conclusively rule out or establish the role of ticks as a competent vector for C. burnetii transmission in cattle and other hosts.

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The authors thank Director, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar for providing necessary facilities to undertake the research. We are grateful to Dr. Eric Ghigo, URMITE-IRD, Faculté de Médecine, France for providing the DNA of standard C. burnetii Nine Mile phase 1 (strain RSA 493).

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Correspondence to Deepak B. Rawool.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines were followed while using cattle for collecting samples in the study.

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Dhaka, P., Malik, S.V.S., Yadav, J.P. et al. Molecular Investigation of the Status of Ticks on Infected Cattle for Coxiella burnetii in India. Acta Parasit. 65, 779–782 (2020).

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  • Cattle
  • Coxiella burnetii
  • India
  • IS1111 gene
  • Ticks
  • Trans-PCR