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Prosper Obolo-Mvoulouga, Ana Oleaga, Raúl Manzano-Román, Ricardo Pérez-Sánchez
The African argasid tick Ornithodoros moubata transmits two important pathogens, the African swine fever virus and the spirochete Borrelia duttoni, the cause of human relapsing fever. To date, only conventional control measures such as widespread application of acaricides, strict control measures, and animal movement restrictions have been implemented to confine these diseases. Vaccines against tick infestations have the potential to be among the most efficacious interventions for the management of these diseases...
April 30, 2018: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Agustín Estrada-Peña, José de la Fuente
The fossil record of ticks has been classically used to discern the probable vicariance events of these arthropods, and to date the split moments of the different lineages. Although new techniques based on molecular clock methods are already available, tick fossil record still stands as a valuable source of information if correctly interpreted. Here we report about a male specimen of Ornithodoros (Alectorobius) sp. found in Dominican amber of about 25 millions years, illustrating its main morphological features...
May 2, 2018: Experimental & Applied Acarology
I Lafri, W Benredjem, F Neffah-Baaziz, R Lalout, K Abdelouahed, B Gassen, S Bakhouch, M Chergui, M Karakellah, H Adjmi-Hamoudi, I Bitam
Argasid ticks include vectors of relapsing fevers caused by Borrelia spp. in humans, and they can transmit arboviruses and other bacterial pathogens. Knowledge about soft ticks ( Ixodida: Argasidae ) in Algeria is incomplete, and distribution data need to be updated. Here we report a series of entomologic investigations that we conducted in five different areas in Algeria between 2012 and 2015. Ticks were identified by entomologic keys and molecular tools (16S rRNA gene). Six distinct species belonging to two genera were identified, including Ornithodoros capensis s...
May 2018: New Microbes and New Infections
Emilie Talagrand-Reboul, Pierre H Boyer, Sven Bergström, Laurence Vial, Nathalie Boulanger
Relapsing fever still remains a neglected disease and little is known on its reservoir, tick vector and physiopathology in the vertebrate host. The disease occurs in temperate as well as tropical countries. Relapsing fever borreliae are spirochaetes, members of the Borreliaceae family which also contain Lyme disease spirochaetes. They are mainly transmitted by Ornithodoros soft ticks, but some species are vectored by ixodid ticks. Traditionally a Borrelia species is associated with a specific vector in a particular geographical area...
2018: Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Deon K Bakkes, Daniel De Klerk, Abdalla A Latif, Ben J Mans
Afrotropical Ornithodoros (Ornithodoros) ticks are revised based on qualitative morphology of females and nymphs, as well as tarsus I shape outlines of females measured in a geometric morphometric framework. These lines of evidence corroborate lineages based on 16S rRNA nucleotide sequence data. Four previously unrecognized species are described, along with a revived nomen nudum that was previously considered a synonym. Afrotropical Ornithodoros (Ornithodoros) now comprise ten species. Ornithodoros moubata and Ornithodoros porcinus are separated from three other species in southern Africa (Ornithodoros compactus, Ornithodoros phacochoerusn...
March 27, 2018: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Christian D Sadik, Yoshishige Miyabe, Tanya Sezin, Andrew D Luster
The deposition of IgG autoantibodies in peripheral tissues and the subsequent activation of the complement system, which leads to the accumulation of the anaphylatoxin C5a in these tissues, is a common hallmark of diverse autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and pemphigoid diseases (PDs). C5a is a potent chemoattractant for granulocytes and mice deficient in its precursor C5 or its receptor C5aR1 are resistant to granulocyte recruitment and, consequently, to tissue inflammation in several models of autoimmune diseases...
March 27, 2018: Seminars in Immunology
Sebastián Muñoz-Leal, Álvaro A Faccini-Martínez, Francisco B Costa, Arlei Marcili, Eric T K C Mesquita, Edwaldo P Marques, Marcelo B Labruna
In South America, early reports from more than 50 years ago incriminated Ornithodoros rudis as vector of Borrelia venezuelensis, an agent of tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF). Herein we report the rediscovery of O. rudis by means of morphological, biological and molecular analyses, which also comprise the first report of this tick species in Brazil. Phylogenetic analysis using partial fragments of mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene suggested that O. rudis forms a monophyletic group with Ornithodoros erraticus. By using laboratory rodents as hosts, we isolated a relapsing fever Borrelia from an infected O...
March 9, 2018: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Covadonga Alonso, Manuel Borca, Linda Dixon, Yolanda Revilla, Fernando Rodriguez, Jose M Escribano, Ictv Report Consortium
The family Asfarviridae includes the single species African swine fever virus, isolates of which have linear dsDNA genomes of 170-194 kbp. Virions have an internal core, an internal lipid membrane, an icosahedral capsid and an outer lipid envelope. Infection of domestic pigs and wild boar results in an acute haemorrhagic fever with transmission by contact or ingestion, or by ticks of the genus Ornithodoros. Indigenous pigs act as reservoirs in Africa, where infection is endemic, and from where introductions occur periodically to Europe...
March 22, 2018: Journal of General Virology
Vienna R Brown, Sarah N Bevins
African swine fever (ASF) is caused by African swine fever virus (ASFV), which can cause substantial morbidity and mortality events in swine. The virus can be transmitted via direct and indirect contacts with infected swine, their products, or competent vector species, especially Ornithodoros ticks. Africa and much of Eastern Europe are endemic for ASF; a viral introduction to countries that are currently ASF free could have severe economic consequences due to the loss of production from infected animals and the trade restrictions that would likely be imposed as a result of an outbreak...
2018: Frontiers in Veterinary Science
Jonathan G Gerhart, H Auguste Dutcher, Amanda E Brenner, Abraham S Moses, Libor Grubhoffer, Rahul Raghavan
Bacterial endosymbionts of ticks are of interest due to their close evolutionary relationships with tick-vectored pathogens. For instance, whereas many ticks contain Francisella-like endosymbionts (FLEs), others transmit the mammalian pathogen Francisella tularensis. We recently sequenced the genome of an FLE present in the hard tick Amblyomma maculatum (FLE-Am) and showed that it likely evolved from a pathogenic ancestor. In order to expand our understanding of FLEs, in the current study we sequenced the genome of an FLE in the soft tick Ornithodoros moubata and compared it to the genomes of FLE-Am, Francisella persica-an FLE in the soft tick Argus (Persicargas) arboreus, Francisella sp...
February 1, 2018: Genome Biology and Evolution
Melissa Judith Chalada, John Stenos, Gemma Vincent, Dayana Barker, Richard Stewart Bradbury
Central Queensland (CQ) is a large and isolated, low population density, remote tropical region of Australia with a varied environment. The region has a diverse fauna and several species of ticks that feed upon that fauna. This study examined 518 individual ticks: 177 Rhipicephalus sanguineus (brown dog tick), 123 Haemaphysalis bancrofti (wallaby tick), 102 Rhipicephalus australis (Australian cattle tick), 47 Amblyomma triguttatum (ornate kangaroo tick), 57 Ixodes holocyclus (paralysis tick), 9 Bothriocroton tachyglossi (CQ short-beaked echidna tick), and 3 Ornithodoros capensis (seabird soft tick)...
March 2018: Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Gabriela Kleinerman, Roni King, Yaarit Nachum-Biala, Gad Baneth
Tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) is an acute infectious disease caused by arthropod-borne spirochetes of the genus Borrelia and characterized by recurrent episodes of fever. Borrelia persica, the causative agent of this disease in Israel, is transmitted by the argasid tick Ornithodoros tholozani. There is little information about the maintenance and possible vertebrate reservoirs of B. persica in nature, but the tick O. tholozani is known to feed on animals that enter its habitat in caves, rock crevices and shady environments...
February 2018: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
L Vial, E Ducheyne, S Filatov, A Gerilovych, D S McVey, I Sindryakova, S Morgunov, A A Pérez de León, D Kolbasov, E M De Clercq
Ticks are economically and medically important ectoparasites due to the injuries inflicted through their bite, and their ability to transmit pathogens to humans, livestock, and wildlife. Whereas hard ticks have been intensively studied, little is known about soft ticks, even though they can also transmit pathogens, including African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) affecting domestic and wild suids or Borrelia bacteria causing tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) in humans. We thus developed a regional model to identify suitable spatial areas for a community of nine Ornithodoros tick species (O...
January 15, 2018: Veterinary Parasitology
Brandi N Williamson, Tom G Schwan
Ixodid and argasid ticks may hyperparasitize other individuals of their own species to acquire a blood meal, however most accounts are based on single observations and the behavior has rarely been studied. While maintaining laboratory colonies of Ornithodoros species, we noticed that unfed ticks occasionally fed on other ticks that were feeding on mice, and unfed ticks parasitized engorged ticks when confined together in tubes. Therefore, we investigated hyperparasitism by Ornithodoros hermsi and the ability of these ticks to acquire and transmit the relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia hermsii when feeding on other ticks...
February 2018: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Sandra J Raffel, Brandi N Williamson, Tom G Schwan, Frank C Gherardini
Relapsing fever (RF) in North America is caused primarily by the spirochete Borrelia hermsii and is associated with the bite of its tick vector Ornithodoros hermsi. Although this spirochete was known long before the discovery of the Lyme disease (LD) spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, basic methods to facilitate the study of B. hermsii have lagged behind. One important technique to expedite the study of the molecular biology and pathogenesis of B. hermsii would be a reliable method to grow and clone these bacteria in solid medium, which we now describe...
February 2018: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
G Neelakanta, H Sultana, D E Sonenshine, J F Andersen
Lipocalins are low molecular weight membrane transporters that are abundantly expressed in the salivary glands and other tissues of ticks. In this study, we identified a lipocalin-like molecule, designated as otlip, from the soft ticks Ornithodoros turicata, the vector for the relapsing fever causing spirochete Borrelia turicatae. We noted that the expression of otlip was developmentally regulated, with adult ticks expressing significantly higher levels in comparison to the larvae or nymphal ticks. Expression of otlip was evident in both fed and unfed O...
April 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Ismail Lafri, Basma El Hamzaoui, Idir Bitam, Hamza Leulmi, Reda Lalout, Oleg Mediannikov, Mohamed Chergui, Mohamed Karakellah, Didier Raoult, Philippe Parola
BACKGROUND: Argasid ticks (soft ticks) are blood-feeding arthropods that can parasitize rodents, birds, humans, livestock and companion animals. Ticks of the Ornithodoros genus are known to be vectors of relapsing fever borreliosis in humans. In Algeria, little is known about relapsing fever borreliosis and other bacterial pathogens transmitted by argasid ticks. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Between May 2013 and October 2015, we investigated the presence of soft ticks in 20 rodent burrows, 10 yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) nests and animal shelters in six locations in two different bioclimatic zones in Algeria...
November 2017: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Neelu Sharma, Veer Singh, K P Shyma, H R Parsani
Ticks have massive capacity of acting as vectors of numerous pathogens that affect human, livestock and pets, which owes to their medical and veterinary importance. In animals, tick infestations are much more severe than in humans. Animals can be parasitized by hundreds or even thousands of ticks, which then proliferates the effect on the host. In almost all tropical and subtropical countries like India not only the hard ticks (Ixodidae) but also the soft ticks (Agrasidae) are responsible for economic losses either by direct injuries or disease transmission...
December 2017: Journal of Parasitic Diseases: Official Organ of the Indian Society for Parasitology
Kylie M Sage, Tammi L Johnson, Michael B Teglas, Nathan C Nieto, Tom G Schwan
Tick-borne relapsing fever in western North America is a zoonosis caused by the spirochete bacterium, Borrelia hermsii, which is transmitted by the bite of infected Ornithodoros hermsi ticks. The pathogen is maintained in natural cycles involving small rodent hosts such as chipmunks and tree squirrels, as well as the tick vector. In order for these ticks to establish sustained and viable populations, a narrow set of environmental parameters must exist, primarily moderate temperatures and moderate to high amounts of precipitation...
October 2017: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
May Hokan, Christina Strube, Ute Radespiel, Elke Zimmermann
BACKGROUND: A central question in evolutionary parasitology is to what extent ecology impacts patterns of parasitism in wild host populations. In this study, we aim to disentangle factors influencing the risk of parasite exposure by exploring the impact of sleeping site ecology on infection with ectoparasites and vector-borne hemoparasites in two sympatric primates endemic to Madagascar. Both species live in the same dry deciduous forest of northwestern Madagascar and cope with the same climatic constraints, they are arboreal, nocturnal, cat-sized and pair-living but differ prominently in sleeping site ecology...
2017: Frontiers in Zoology
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