Jump to Main Content
Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Bartonella spp., haemoplasma species and Hepatozoon spp. in ticks infesting cats: a large-scale survey
- Duplan, Florent, Davies, Saran, Filler, Serina, Abdullah, Swaid, Keyte, Sophie, Newbury, Hannah, Helps, Chris R., Wall, Richard, Tasker, Séverine
- Parasites & vectors 2018 v.11 no.1 pp. 201
- Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Bartonella clarridgeiae, Bartonella henselae, Hepatozoon felis, Mycoplasma haemofelis, Mycoplasma haemominutum, cats, pathogens, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, ribosomal DNA, sequence analysis, species identification, surveys, ticks, veterinarians, United Kingdom
- BACKGROUND: Ticks derived from cats have rarely been evaluated for the presence of pathogens. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Bartonella spp., haemoplasma species and Hepatozoon spp. in ticks collected from cats in the UK. METHODS: Five hundred and forty DNA samples extracted from 540 ticks collected from cats presenting to veterinarians in UK practices were used. Samples underwent a conventional generic PCR assay for detection of Hepatozoon spp. and real-time quantitative PCR assays for detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and three feline haemoplasma species and a generic qPCR for detection of Bartonella spp. Feline 28S rDNA served as an endogenous internal PCR control and was assessed within the haemoplasma qPCR assays. Samples positive on the conventional and quantitative generic PCRs were submitted for DNA sequencing for species identification. RESULTS: Feline 28S rDNA was amplified from 475 of the 540 (88.0%) ticks. No evidence of PCR inhibition was found using an internal amplification control. Of 540 ticks, 19 (3.5%) contained DNA from one of the tick-borne pathogens evaluated. Pathogens detected were: A. phagocytophilum (n = 5; 0.9%), Bartonella spp. (n = 7; 1.3%) [including Bartonella henselae (n = 3; 0.6%) and Bartonella clarridgeiae (n = 1; 0.2%)], haemoplasma species (n = 5; 0.9%), “Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum” (n = 3; 0.6%), Mycoplasma haemofelis (n = 1; 0.2%), “Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis” (n = 1; 0.2%), Hepatozoon spp. (n = 2; 0.4%), Hepatozoon felis (n = 1; 0.2%) and Hepatozoon silvestris (n = 1; 0.2%). CONCLUSION: These data provide important information on the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in ticks infesting cats, with the identification of haemoplasma species, A. phagocytophilum, H. felis and Bartonella spp. (including B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae). This study also documents the first report of H. silvestris in ticks collected from domestic cats.