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Tammi L Johnson, Robert J Fischer, Sandra J Raffel, Tom G Schwan
BACKGROUND: An unrecognized focus of tick-borne relapsing fever caused by Borrelia hermsii was identified in 2002 when five people became infected on Wild Horse Island in Flathead Lake, Montana. The terrestrial small mammal community on the island is composed primarily of pine squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), neither of which was known as a natural host for the spirochete. Thus a 3-year study was performed to identify small mammals as hosts for B...
November 10, 2016: Parasites & Vectors
Marlène Dupraz, Céline Toty, Valérie Noël, Agustin Estrada-Peňa, Jacob González-Solís, Thierry Boulinier, Jean-Pierre Dujardin, Karen D McCoy
Host specific adaptations in parasites can lead to the divergence of conspecific populations. However, this divergence can be difficult to measure because morphological changes may not be expressed or because obvious changes may simply reflect phenotypic plasticity. Combining both genetic and phenotypic information can enable a better understanding of the divergence process and help identify the underlying selective forces, particularly in closely-related species groups. Here, we link genetic and morphometric data to understand divergence patterns within the Ornithodoros (Carios) capensis complex, a group of soft ticks (Argasidae) exploiting colonial seabirds across the globe...
December 2016: Infection, Genetics and Evolution
Sokani Sánchez-Montes, Carmen Guzmán-Cornejo, Yecenia Martínez-Nájera, Ingeborg Becker, José M Venzal, Marcelo B Labruna
The genus Rickettsia includes obligate intracellular bacteria transmitted by several hematophagous arthropods such as ticks, fleas and sucking lice. In particular hard ticks (Ixodidae) have been cited as the main vectors of pathogenic rickettsiae in Mexico. However, there have been only two records of a single Rickettsia species associated with Mexican soft ticks (Argasidae). In this study, we searched for rickettsial DNA in argasid ticks (13 adults and eight nymphs of Ornithodoros yumatensis) from two bat caves in the state of Yucatan, Mexico...
October 2016: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Djamel Tahir, Cristina Socolovschi, Jean-Lou Marié, Gautier Ganay, Jean-Michel Berenger, Jean-Michel Bompar, Denis Blanchet, Marie Cheuret, Oleg Mediannikov, Didier Raoult, Bernard Davoust, Philippe Parola
In French Guiana, located on the northeastern coast of South America, bats of different species are very numerous. The infection of bats and their ticks with zoonotic bacteria, especially Rickettsia species, is so far unknown. In order to improve knowledge of these zoonotic pathogens in this French overseas department, the presence and diversity of tick-borne bacteria was investigated with molecular tools in bat ticks. In the beginning of 2013, 32 bats were caught in Saint-Jean-du-Maroni, an area close to the coast of French Guiana, and the ticks of these animals were collected...
October 2016: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Gabriel Cerqueira Alves Costa, Adriana Coelho Soares, Marcos Horácio Pereira, Nelder Figueiredo Gontijo, Maurício Roberto Viana Sant'Anna, Ricardo Nascimento Araujo
Ornithodoros rostratus is an argasid tick and its importance is based on its hematophagy and the resulting transmission of pathogens such as Rickettsia rickettsii and Coxiella burnetii to its vertebrate hosts. In the face of a lack of physiological studies related to hematophagy in argasid ticks, this paper aims to identify and characterize the events that occur throughout the feeding by O. rostratus on live hosts. Electrical signals and alterations on the feeding site were monitored using intravital microscopy and electromyography...
November 15, 2016: Journal of Experimental Biology
Nadine Kuhn, Christoph Q Schmidt, Martin Schlapschy, Arne Skerra
The Ornithodoros moubata Complement Inhibitor (OmCI) binds complement component 5 (C5) with high affinity and, thus, selectively prevents proteolytic activation of the terminal lytic complement pathway. A recombinant version of OmCI (also known as Coversin and rEV576) has proven efficacious in several animal models of complement-mediated diseases and successfully completed a phase Ia clinical trial. Coversin is a small 17 kDa lipocalin protein which has a very short plasma half-life if not bound to C5; therefore, the drug requires frequent dosing...
October 19, 2016: Bioconjugate Chemistry
R Manzano-Román, V Díaz-Martín, A Oleaga, P Obolo-Mvoulouga, R Pérez-Sánchez
Recently obtained evidence indicated that an orthologue of the O. savignyi TSGP4 salivary lipocalin was present in the saliva of O. moubata. TSGP4 is known to act as a cysteinyl leukotrienes scavenger helping in the prevention of inflammation and oedema at the tick bite site. Since this function seems to be crucial for successful tick feeding, the novel O. moubata TSGP4 turned into a potential vaccine target. The purposes of the current work were: (i) to clone and characterize the O. moubata TSGP4 and, (ii) to produce it as recombinant to evaluate its protective efficacy as vaccine antigen...
August 30, 2016: Veterinary Parasitology
Alessandra Cafiso, Chiara Bazzocchi, Leone De Marco, Maxwell N Opara, Davide Sassera, Olivier Plantard
Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii, symbiont of the sheep tick Ixodes ricinus, was the first described member of the family Candidatus Midichloriaceae, order Rickettsiales. Recent reports are expanding our view of this family, now including numerous bacteria of great biological and medical interest, indicating a widespread distribution with an increasing range of hosts, with ticks being strongly represented. Here we present a molecular screening of 17 tick species, detecting and quantifying bacteria of the family Midichloriaceae in seven of them, including the first report of a representative of this family in a soft tick species (Argasidae), Ornithodoros maritimus...
October 2016: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Jefferson M Jones, Carter R Hranac, Mare Schumacher, Kim Horn, Darlene M Lee, Joel Terriquez, David M Engelthaler, Marie Peoples, Jennifer Corrigan, Adam Replogle, Nina Souders, Kenneth K Komatsu, Nathan C Nieto
During August 2014, five high school students who had attended an outdoor education camp were hospitalized with a febrile illness, prompting further investigation. Ten total cases of tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) were identified-six cases confirmed by culture or visualization of spirochetes on blood smear and four probable cases with compatible symptoms (attack rate: 23%). All patients had slept in the campsite's only cabin. Before the camp, a professional pest control company had rodent proofed the cabin, but no acaricides had been applied...
September 7, 2016: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
J Piccione, G J Levine, C A Duff, G M Kuhlman, K D Scott, M D Esteve-Gassent
BACKGROUND: In the United States, Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever (TBRF) in dogs is caused by the spirochete bacteria Borrelia turicatae and Borrelia hermsii, transmitted by Ornithodoros spp. ticks. The hallmark diagnostic feature of this infection is the visualization of numerous spirochetes during standard blood smear examination. Although the course of spirochetemia has not been fully characterized in dogs, in humans infected with TBRF the episodes of spirochetemia and fever are intermittent...
July 2016: Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Bernard Davoust, Jean-Lou Marié, Mustapha Dahmani, Jean-Michel Berenger, Jean-Michel Bompar, Denis Blanchet, Marie Cheuret, Didier Raoult, Oleg Mediannikov
We screened blood from 59 bats from French Guiana for Bartonella spp. PCRs were positive for 13.6% and culture was positive in one Noctilio albiventris and one Pteronotus parnellii, as well as in Ornithodoros hasei ticks collected from bats. Two isolated strains represent possible two new species.
August 2016: Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Noluvuyo R Magadla, Wilna Vosloo, Livio Heath, Bruce Gummow
African swine fever (ASF) has been reported in South Africa since the early 20th century. The disease has been controlled and confined to northern South Africa over the past 80 years by means of a well-defined boundary line, with strict control measures and movement restrictions north of this line. In 2012, the first outbreak of ASF outside the ASF control zone since 1996 occurred. The objective of this study was to evaluate the current relevance of the ASF control line as a demarcation line between endemic ASF (north) areas and ASF-free (south) area and to determine whether there was a need to realign its trajectory, given the recent outbreaks of ASF, global climate changes and urban development since the line's inception...
2016: Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research
Heung-Chul Kim, Chang-Yong Choi, Young-Soo Kwon, Seok-Min Yun, Won-Ja Lee, Sung-Tae Chong, Richard G Robbins, Terry A Klein
The 65th Medical Brigade and Public Health Command District-Korea, in collaboration with the Migratory Bird Research Center, National Park Research Institute, conducted migratory bird tick surveillance at Sogugul and Gaerin Islands (small rocky bird nesting sites), Jeollanam-do (Province), Republic of Korea (ROK), on 30 July and 1 August 2009. Breeding seabirds captured by hands in their nesting burrows were banded, identified to species, and carefully examined for ticks during the nesting season. A total of 9 Ornithodoros sawaii larvae were removed from 4 adult Hydrobates monorhis (Swinhoe's storm petrel)...
April 2016: Korean Journal of Parasitology
Gad Baneth, Yaarit Nachum-Biala, Tamar Halperin, Yizhak Hershko, Gabriela Kleinerman, Yigal Anug, Ziad Abdeen, Eran Lavy, Itamar Aroch, Reinhard K Straubinger
BACKGROUND: Relapsing fever (RF) is an acute infectious disease caused by arthropod-borne spirochetes of the genus Borrelia. The disease is characterized by recurrent episodes of fever that concur with spirochetemia. The RF borrelioses include louse-borne RF caused by Borrelia recurrentis and tick-borne endemic RF transmitted by argasid soft ticks and caused by several Borrelia spp. such as B. crocidurae, B. coriaceae, B. duttoni, B. hermsii, B. hispanica and B. persica. Human infection with B...
2016: Parasites & Vectors
Sebastián Muñoz-Leal, José M Venzal, Daniel González-Acuña, Santiago Nava, Marcos G Lopes, Thiago F Martins, Cecilia Figueroa, Nicolás Fernández, Marcelo B Labruna
Ornithodoros atacamensis n. sp. is described from larvae collected on the lizard Liolaemus bisignatus and from free-living adults collected in desert areas from the Pan de Azúcar and Llanos de Challe National Parks, in Northern Chile. Additionally, unengorged larvae were obtained from fertilized females, which laid eggs in the laboratory. Morphological and mitochondrial 16S rDNA sequence analyses were performed in order to compare this new soft tick species with other congeneric Neotropical representatives...
July 2016: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Sobhy Abdel-Shafy, Hanan S M Gabr, Hend H A M Abdullah, Mona S Mahmoud
This study was designed to provide more details about larva, first nymph, and second nymph of Ornithodoros savignyi using a combination of light microscopy (LM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and partial sequence of mitochondrial 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA). The main characteristics of larva are wrinkled integument with many grooves, gnathosoma without camerostome cheeks, hypostome with a pair of large teeth apically, and tarsus without humps. The comparisons between the first and the second nymphs are different shape and distribution of dorsal grooves; a few spots without mammilla on the dorsal surface of the second nymph; 27 and 63-65 pairs of setae on the dorsal surface of the first and second nymphs, respectively; small holes on mammillae that are more dense in the second nymph; basis capitulum with two pairs of small setae in the second nymph; and one pair of sate in the first nymph, hypostome with dental formula 2/2 in the first nymph, and 3/3 in the second nymph...
August 2016: Parasitology Research
Carmen Guzmán-Cornejo, Luis García-Prieto, Santiago Nava, José M Venzal, Sokani Sánchez-Montes, Griselda Montiel-Parra
Larvae, nymphs and adults of the cave dwelling tick Ornithodoros dyeri, collected in 3 Mexican states, were studied using morphological and molecular methods. The adults and nymphs were characterized by an elongated body in proportion to the width and a dorsum bounded by two contiguous ridges and one third ridge (inner) that was incomplete on each side. The larvae of this species have 14 pairs of dorsal setae, a venter body with nine pairs of setae plus a posteromedian; a moderately large, dorsal plate and piriform, a hypostome arising from a relatively short, subtriangular median extension of the basis capituli, and a capsule of Halleŕs organ with reticulations...
July 2016: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
João Coelho, Fernando Ferreira, Carlos Martins, Alexandre Leitão
DNA topoisomerases are essential for DNA metabolism and while their role is well studied in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, it is less known for virally-encoded topoisomerases. African swine fever virus (ASFV) is a nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA virus that infects Ornithodoros ticks and all members of the family Suidae, representing a global threat for pig husbandry with no effective vaccine nor treatment. It was recently demonstrated that ASFV codes for a type II topoisomerase, highlighting a possible target for control of the virus...
June 2016: Virology
Diego Garcia Ramirez, Gabriel Alves Landulfo, Valeria Castilho Onofrio, Simone Michaela Simons, José Reck, João Ricardo Martins, Marcelo Bahia Labruna, Darci Moraes Barros-Battesti
Aragão is an endemic tick restricted to the highlands of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. This species is very aggressive toward humans, causing fever, great pain and intense inflammatory response at the bite site. It is also very aggressive toward dogs, and tick toxicosis syndrome has been reported in this host. In order to elucidate the biology of this tick, the present study describes its life cycle under laboratory conditions, using guinea pigs as hosts for two generations. In the nonparasitic phase, the ticks were maintained in sand, in an incubator under controlled conditions...
July 2016: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Tom L McTier, Nathan Chubb, Michael P Curtis, Laura Hedges, Gregory A Inskeep, Christopher S Knauer, Sanjay Menon, Brian Mills, Aleah Pullins, Erich Zinser, Debra J Woods, Patrick Meeus
The novel isoxazoline ectoparasiticide, sarolaner, was identified during a lead optimization program for an orally-active compound with efficacy against fleas and ticks on dogs. The aim of the discovery program was to identify a novel isoxazoline specifically for use in companion animals, beginning with de novo synthesis in the Zoetis research laboratories. The sarolaner molecule has unique structural features important for its potency and pharmacokinetic (PK) properties, including spiroazetidine and sulfone moieties...
May 30, 2016: Veterinary Parasitology
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