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Molecular and Phylogenetic Analysis of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ticks Parasitizing Native Korean Goats (Capra hircus coreanae) in South Korea

1
Veterinary Drugs and Biologics Division, Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, 177 Hyeoksin 8-ro, Gimcheon, Gyeongbuk 39660, Korea
2
College of Veterinary Medicine, Kyungpook National University, 80 Daehak-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu 41566, Korea
3
Cardiovascular Research Institute, Kyungpook National University, 680 Gukchaebosang-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu 41944, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(2), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9020071
Received: 19 December 2019 / Revised: 16 January 2020 / Accepted: 19 January 2020 / Published: 21 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Pathogens)
Tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) are considered zoonotic re-emerging pathogens, with ticks playing important roles in their transmission and ecology. Previous studies in South Korea have examined TBPs residing in ticks; however, there is no phylogenetic information on TBPs in ticks parasitizing native Korean goat (NKG; Capra hircus coreanae). The present study assessed the prevalence, risk factors, and co-infectivity of TBPs in ticks parasitizing NKGs. In total, 107 hard ticks, including Haemaphysalis longicornis, Ixodes nipponensis, and Haemaphysalis flava, were obtained from NKGs in South Korea between 2016 and 2019. In 40 tested tick pools, genes for four TBPs, namely Coxiella-like endosymbiont (CLE, 5.0%), Candidatus Rickettsia longicornii (45.0%), Anaplasma bovis (2.5%), and Theileria luwenshuni (5.0%) were detected. Ehrlichia, Bartonella spp., and severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus were not detected. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report CLE and T. luwenshuni in H. flava ticks in South Korea. Considering the high prevalence of Candidatus R. longicornii in ticks parasitizing NKGs, there is a possibility of its transmission from ticks to animals and humans. NKG ticks might be maintenance hosts for TBPs, and we recommend evaluation of the potential public health threat posed by TBP-infected ticks. View Full-Text
Keywords: tick-borne pathogens; phylogeny; Rickettsia; Theileria; Anaplasma; Coxiella; tick tick-borne pathogens; phylogeny; Rickettsia; Theileria; Anaplasma; Coxiella; tick
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Seo, M.-G.; Kwon, O.-D.; Kwak, D. Molecular and Phylogenetic Analysis of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ticks Parasitizing Native Korean Goats (Capra hircus coreanae) in South Korea. Pathogens 2020, 9, 71.

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