Main content area

Vector-borne bacteria in blood of camels in Iran: New data and literature review

Sazmand, Alireza, Harl, Josef, Eigner, Barbara, Hodžić, Adnan, Beck, Relja, Hekmatimoghaddam, Seyedhossein, Mirzaei, Mohammad, Fuehrer, Hans-Peter, Joachim, Anja
Comparative immunology, microbiology, and infectious diseases 2019 v.65 pp. 48-53
Anaplasma, Bartonella, Borrelia, Camelus dromedarius, DNA, bacteria, blood, blood sampling, camels, cattle, deer, fever, humans, light microscopy, pathogens, polymerase chain reaction, serology, zoonoses, Africa, Iran
Despite close association between camels and humans, molecular based studies on vector-borne pathogens infecting camels are scarce compared to other animals in Iran. The current study was carried out to investigate the occurrence of vector-borne bacteria in the blood of dromedaries by molecular tools. A total of 200 peripheral blood samples were collected from apparently healthy animals. Microscopic examination was performed on Giemsa-stained blood smears, and drops of blood were spotted on Whatman FTA® cards for molecular analyses. Genomic DNA was extracted from the cards, and PCR amplification followed by sequencing of positive samples was carried out for the detection of Anaplasmataceae, spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae, Bartonella spp. and Borrelia spp. Intra-cytic forms of any blood pathogens could not be detected by light microscopy. PCR results revealed 30 animals (15%) to be infected with Anaplasmataceae bacteria. Analyses of sequences revealed a strain of Anaplasma sp. identical to Candidatus Anaplasma camelii isolated from camels, cattle and deer in Asia and Africa. Neither SFG rickettsiae, nor Borrelia or Bartonella species were found. Further studies for determining epidemiological role of camels and its zoonotic potential are recommended. This paper reviews the current knowledge on camels’ tickborne bacteria including microscopy, serology and molecular studies.