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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Eldin C, Melenotte C, Mediannikov O, Ghigo E, Million M, Edouard S, Mege JL, Maurin M, Raoult D (2017) From Q fever to Coxiella burnetii infection: a paradigm change. Clin Microbiol Rev 30:115–190
Marrie TJ (2003) Coxiella burnetii pneumonia. Eur Respir J 21:713–719
Sahu R, Kale SB, Vergis J, Dhaka P, Kumar M, Choudhary M, Jain L, Choudhary BK, Rawool DB, Chaudhari SP, Kurkure NV (2018) Apparent prevalence and risk factors associated with occurrence of Coxiella burnetii infection in goats and humans in Chhattisgarh and Odisha, India. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 60:46–51
Dhaka P, Malik SS, Yadav JP, Kumar M, Baranwal A, Barbuddhe SB, Rawool DB (2019) Seroprevalence and molecular detection of coxiellosis among cattle and their human contacts in an organized dairy farm. J Infect Public Health 12:190–194
Duron O, Noël V, Mccoy KD, Bonazzi M, Sidi-Boumedine K, Morel O, Vavre F, Zenner L, Jourdain E, Durand P, Arnathau C (2015) The recent evolution of a maternally-inherited endosymbiont of ticks led to the emergence of the Q fever pathogen Coxiella burnetii. PLoS Pathog 11:e1004892
Duron O, Sidi-Boumedine K, Rousset E, Moutailler Jourdain E (2015) The importance of ticks in Q fever transmission: what has (and has not) been demonstrated? Trends Parasitol 31:536–552
Stephen S, Chandrashekara I, Rao KNA (1980) Natural occurrence of Coxiella burnetii in the brown dog tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Indian J Med Res 71:865–869
Guglielmone AA, Robbins RG, Apanaskevich DA, Petney TN, Estrada-Peña A, Horak IG (2014) The hard ticks of the world. Springer, Dordrecht, p 738
Lalzar I, Harrus S, Mumcuoglu KY, Gottlieb Y (2012) Composition and seasonal variation of Rhipicephalus turanicus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus bacterial communities. Appl Environ Microbiol 78:4110–4116
Berri M, Laroucau K, Rodolakis A (2000) The detection of Coxiella burnetii from ovine genital swabs, milk and fecal samples by the use of a single touchdown polymerase chain reaction. Vet Microbiol 72:285–293
Varela-Castro L, Zuddas C, Ortega N, Serrano E, Salinas J, Castellà J, Castillo-Contreras R, Carvalho J, Lavín S, Mentaberre G (2018) On the possible role of ticks in the eco-epidemiology of Coxiella burnetii in a Mediterranean ecosystem. Ticks Tick Borne Dis 9:687–694
Knap N, Žele D, Biškup UG, Avšič-Županc T, Vengušt G (2019) The prevalence of Coxiella burnetii in ticks and animals in Slovenia. BMC Vet Res 15:368
Špitalská E, Sparagano O, Stanko M, Schwarzová K, Špitalský Z, Škultéty Ľ, Havlíková SF (2018) Diversity of Coxiella-like and Francisella-like endosymbionts, and Rickettsia spp., Coxiella burnetii as pathogens in the tick populations of Slovakia. Central Europe Ticks Tick Borne Dis 9:1207–1211
Khalili M, Rezaei M, Akhtardanesh B, Abiri Z, Shahheidaripour S (2018) Detection of Coxiella burnetii (Gammaproteobacteria: Coxiellaceae) in ticks collected from infested dogs in Kerman, Southeast of Iran. Persian J Acarol 7:93–100
Schneeberger PM, Hermans MH, van Hannen EJ, Schellekens JJ, Leenders AC, Wever PC (2010) Real-time PCR with serum samples is indispensable for early diagnosis of acute Q fever. Clin Vaccine Immunol 17:286–290
Freick M, Enbergs H, Walraph J, Diller R, Weber J, Konrath A (2017) Coxiella burnetii: serological reactions and bacterial shedding in primiparous dairy cows in an endemically infected herd-impact on milk yield and fertility. Reprod Domest Anim 52:160–169
Barkallah M, Gharbi Y, Hmani M, Mallek Z, Gautier M, Gdoura R, Fendri I (2018) Serological and molecular evidence of coxiellosis and risk factors in sheep flocks in central-eastern Tunisia. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 57:15–21
Astobiza I, Barral M, Ruiz-Fons F, Barandika JF, Gerrikagoitia X, Hurtado A, García-Pérez AL (2011) Molecular investigation of the occurrence of Coxiella burnetii in wildlife and ticks in an endemic area. Vet Microbiol 147:190–194
Gyuranecz M, Dénes B, Hornok S, Kovács P, Horváth G, Jurkovich V, Varga T, Hajtós I, Szabó R, Magyar T, Vass N (2012) Prevalence of Coxiella burnetii in Hungary: screening of dairy cows, sheep, commercial milk samples, and ticks. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 12:650–653
Halajian A, Palomar AM, Portillo A, Heyne H, Luus-Powell WJ, Oteo JA (2016) Investigation of Rickettsia, Coxiella burnetii and Bartonella in ticks from animals in South Africa. Ticks Tick Borne Dis 7:361–366
Angelakis E, Raoult D (2010) Q fever. Vet Microbiol 140:297–309
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).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines were followed while using cattle for collecting samples in the study.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
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). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-020-00192-4
- Coxiella burnetii
- IS1111 gene