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Open AccessArticle

Vector-Borne Pathogens with Veterinary and Public Health Significance in Melophagus ovinus (Sheep Ked) from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

1
National Research Center for Wildlife-Born Diseases, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2
National Research Center for Wildlife-Born Diseases, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Ningxia University, Yinchuan 750021, China
4
State Key Laboratory of Plateau Ecology and Agriculture, Qinghai University, Xining 810016, China
5
Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center of Yushu, Yushu 815099, China
6
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Station of Xunhua, Xunhua 811100, China
7
Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine, Beijing 100176, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work and should be considered co-first authors.
Academic Editor: Xuenan Xuan
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020249
Received: 16 January 2021 / Revised: 19 February 2021 / Accepted: 19 February 2021 / Published: 22 February 2021
Melophagus ovinus (sheep ked) is a hematophagous ectoparasite that mainly parasitizes sheep. In addition to causing inflammation, wool loss, and skin damage to the animal hosts, M. ovinus also serves as a vector for a variety of pathogens and is highly likely to participate in the life and transmission cycle of pathogenic organisms. Herein, we investigated the presence and molecular characterization of vector-borne pathogens in M. ovinus from Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. A total of 92 M. ovinus pools collected from the Qinghai province of China were screened for the presence of selected vector-borne pathogens. The overall positive rate of A. ovis, A. bovis, A. phagocytophilum, and T. ovis in M. ovinus was 39.1%, 17.4%, 9.8%, and 89.1%, respectively. All of the samples were negative for Border disease virus (BDV), other Anaplasma species, Babesia spp., Rickettsia spp., and Borrelia spp. Co-infection of different Anaplasma species and T. ovis occurred in 51.2% of all samples with T. ovis. The positive rates of A. ovis, A. bovis, and A. phagocytophilum in different regions and altitudes of the sampling sites were significantly different. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis of target genes confirmed their identity with corresponding pathogens. Our results elucidate the occurrence and molecular characterization of Anaplasma spp. and Theileria spp. in M. ovinus, which could act as potential zoonotic reservoirs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the detection of A. bovis and A. phagocytophilum DNA in M. ovinus. This study gives the first extensive molecular survey of vector-borne pathogens with veterinary and public health significance in M. ovinus from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. View Full-Text
Keywords: Melophagus ovinus; vector-borne pathogens; occurrence; reservoir; China Melophagus ovinus; vector-borne pathogens; occurrence; reservoir; China
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, Q.-X.; Wang, Y.; Li, Y.; Han, S.-Y.; Wang, B.; Yuan, G.-H.; Zhang, P.-Y.; Yang, Z.-W.; Wang, S.-L.; Chen, J.-Y.; Zhong, H.-S.; Han, X.-Q.; He, H.-X. Vector-Borne Pathogens with Veterinary and Public Health Significance in Melophagus ovinus (Sheep Ked) from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Pathogens 2021, 10, 249. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020249

AMA Style

Zhang Q-X, Wang Y, Li Y, Han S-Y, Wang B, Yuan G-H, Zhang P-Y, Yang Z-W, Wang S-L, Chen J-Y, Zhong H-S, Han X-Q, He H-X. Vector-Borne Pathogens with Veterinary and Public Health Significance in Melophagus ovinus (Sheep Ked) from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Pathogens. 2021; 10(2):249. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020249

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Qing-Xun; Wang, Ye; Li, Ying; Han, Shu-Yi; Wang, Bo; Yuan, Guo-Hui; Zhang, Pei-Yang; Yang, Zi-Wen; Wang, Shuang-Ling; Chen, Ji-Yong; Zhong, Hai-Shun; Han, Xue-Qing; He, Hong-Xuan. 2021. "Vector-Borne Pathogens with Veterinary and Public Health Significance in Melophagus ovinus (Sheep Ked) from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau" Pathogens 10, no. 2: 249. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020249

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