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Molecular investigation of the natural transovarial transmission of tick-borne pathogens in Turkey

Orkun, Ömer
Veterinary parasitology 2019 v.273 pp. 97-104
Babesia ovis, Dermacentor marginatus, Hyalomma marginatum, Rhipicephalus bursa, Rhipicephalus turanicus, Rickettsia aeschlimannii, Rickettsia slovaca, Theileria annulata, domestic animals, females, larvae, pathogens, polymerase chain reaction, ticks, transovarial transmission, Turkey (country)
This study aimed to investigate the presence of the natural transovarial transmission of tick-borne pathogens in unfed larvae obtained from engorged female ticks from domestic animals in Turkey. Larvae (n = 4530, 151 pools) obtained from 75 engorged female ticks and female carcasses were screened for the presence of certain tick-borne pathogens by PCR. The presence of transovarial transmission of Babesia occultans was detected in Hyalomma marginatum and Hy. excavatum, while Ba. ovis in Rhipicephalus bursa. Theileria annulata was detected only in Hy. excavatum and Rh. turanicus female carcasses, but not in their examined progenies. Additionally, Rickettsia aeschlimannii and Rickettsia raoultii were detected in Hy. marginatum and Dermacentor marginatus females, respectively, and all their examined larvae. Besides, Ri. slovaca was detected in a De. marginatus female carcass and its one of two examined larvae pools. The presence of mixed Ba. occultans and Ri. aeschlimannii infection was also determined in an Hy. marginatum female and its larvae. This is the first demonstration of transovarial transmission of Ba. occultans in naturally infected Hy. excavatum. These data suggested that Hy. excavatum may act as vector in the natural cycle of Ba. occultans.