Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in Animals

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Parasitology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2023) | Viewed by 14822

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Animal Health, Veterinary Faculty of UCM, Madrid, Spain
Interests: ticks; tick-borne pathogens; ecology; control
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Animal Reproduction, INIA-CSIC, Madrid, Spain
Interests: ticks; tick-borne pathogens; ecology; control
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Tick-borne pathogens comprise a large and varied group of microorganisms belonging to widely separated taxa, from the smallest viruses to large nematodes. The common fact about them is that the main route of infection passes through a tick, in which they may remain in the same stage or may evolve and multiply enormously. Another common fact is that most of them do not produce a quick death or immediate severe consequences to the animals. Therefore, it is very common that some of them are underestimated in the medicine of domestic or wild animals.

The consequences of tick-borne pathogens are very varied given the differences between the type of microorganism, the competence or vectorial capacity of the tick species and the environment in which they develop. In fact, there are enormous differences in the tick-host-pathogen relationship depending on the ecosystem that allows or does not allow an adequate relationship between them, ensuring or not that the pathogen remains and survives in the tick and that the tick is capable of finding a host in a reasonable period of time to transmit it.

The control of tick-borne pathogens is mainly based on the administration of acaricides, whose efficacy is decreasing in many areas due to the development of resistance to them. Other interesting tools can be applied in tick control, such as host and ecosystem management, the study of new drugs, especially those based on natural products, vaccines, and many others. This Special Issue welcomes all these topics, including ecological studies which are the main step to design a reasonable tick and tick-borne diseases control strategy anywhere.

Dr. Ángeles Sonia Olmeda
Dr. Félix Valcárcel
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Microorganisms is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

tick ecology;

identification;

tick-borne pathogen;

vectorial role and capacity;

laboratory and field control;

new acaricides

Published Papers (9 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

14 pages, 2559 KiB  
Article
Comparative Evaluation of the Efficacy of Two Ectoparasiticides in Preventing the Acquisition of Borrelia burgdorferi by Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes ricinus: A Canine Ex Vivo Model
by Djamel Tahir, Virginie Geolier, Sophie Dupuis, Nouha Lekouch, Elisabeth Ferquel, Valérie Choumet and Marie Varloud
Microorganisms 2024, 12(1), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms12010202 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1087
Abstract
In dogs, tick infestation can cause damage ranging from a simple skin irritation to severe diseases and/or paralysis leading to animal death. For example, Ixodes ricinus and I. scapularis are among the tick species incriminated the most in the transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi [...] Read more.
In dogs, tick infestation can cause damage ranging from a simple skin irritation to severe diseases and/or paralysis leading to animal death. For example, Ixodes ricinus and I. scapularis are among the tick species incriminated the most in the transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of human and canine Lyme borreliosis (LB). In this study, we aimed to compare the efficacy of two products designed for dogs—an oral systemic ectoparasiticide and a topical repellent ectoparasiticide—against the acquisition of B. burgdorferi by adult I. scapularis and I. ricinus using an ex vivo model. Thirty-two beagle dogs were included in a parallel-group-designed, randomized, single-center, negative-controlled efficacy study. The dogs were allocated to three groups based on gender and body weight: a fluralaner (F, Bravecto®) treatment group (n = 8), administered a single oral treatment on day 0 at the recommended dose; a dinotefuran–permethrin–pyriproxyfen (DPP, Vectra® 3D) treatment group (n = 8), topically treated on day 56 at the recommended dose; and an untreated control group (n = 16). Blood and hair were collected from each dog on days 58, 63, 70, 77, and 84. Hair was added to the silicone-based membrane separating two glass chambers forming the feeding unit (FU). Chamber 1 was filled with blood spiked with B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, strain B31 (105 cells/mL). Chamber 2, glued below chamber 1, was seeded with 20 adult I. scapularis or I. ricinus. The FUs (n = 240) were incubated at 37 °C with a humidity >90%. Tick survival, attachment, and feces presence were observed from 1 h up to 72 h after tick seeding. The uptake of B. burgdorferi was determined in ticks using nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR). The acaricidal efficacy of DPP-treated hair was 100% within 1 h of tick release on every study day for both I. ricinus and I. scapularis. The speed of kill associated with DPP was sufficiently fast to prevent tick attachment and engorgement, and, consequently, to prevent the acquisition of B. burgdorferi. In the F-treated group, the acaricidal efficacy observed at 12 h, throughout the study, was <20% and <28% for I. scapularis and I. ricinus, respectively. Furthermore, tick feces were observed in the FUs, and several female ticks (I. scapularis (n = 55) and I. ricinus (n = 94)) tested positive for B. burgdorferi. The results provide proof of concept for the use of an ex vivo model based on an artificial feeding system to compare two ectoparasiticides against the acquisition of B. burgdorferi by I. ricinus and I. scapularis. In addition, our results demonstrate the superiority of DPP compared to F in the speed of acaricidal activity against ticks, as well as in preventing the acquisition of B. burgdorferi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1119 KiB  
Article
Molecular Detection and Genotyping of Theileria spp. in Deer (Cervidae) in Korea
by Chang Uk Chung, Haeseung Lee, Min-Goo Seo, Seung-Hun Lee, Kyoo-Tae Kim, Kaifa Nazim, Jung-Sun Song, Dong Hwa Bae, Man Hee Rhee, Oh-Deog Kwon and Dongmi Kwak
Microorganisms 2023, 11(11), 2740; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11112740 - 9 Nov 2023
Viewed by 902
Abstract
Major clinical symptoms of Theileria infection include fever, anemia, anorexia, jaundice, and decreased milk production. Although several studies have been conducted on tick-borne pathogens, including Theileria in Korea, only a few have focused on Theileria infection in deer, including the Korean water deer. [...] Read more.
Major clinical symptoms of Theileria infection include fever, anemia, anorexia, jaundice, and decreased milk production. Although several studies have been conducted on tick-borne pathogens, including Theileria in Korea, only a few have focused on Theileria infection in deer, including the Korean water deer. Blood samples from 160 deer were collected and subjected to DNA extraction and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Next, PCR-positive samples were sequenced and analyzed by constructing a phylogenetic tree. The results showed that the overall infection rate of Theileria was 8.1% (13/160). Infection rates of 100% were observed in the northern and southern regions. However, the study’s limitation was its small sample size, wherein five and one samples were analyzed from the northern and southern regions, respectively. The central region exhibited the lowest infection rate of 2.9% (4/140). Infection rates also differed based on seasons, with the highest (18.4%, 9/49) being observed in spring, followed by that in summer (8.9%, 4/45). However, no infection was observed during autumn and winter. A phylogenetic analysis indicated that the PCR-positive samples contained Theileria luwenshuni, which usually infects small ruminants, such as goats and sheep. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 1730 KiB  
Article
Molecular Epidemiology, Seasonality and Phylogenetic Investigations of Anaplasma ovis in Small Ruminants from Diverse Agro-Climatic Regions of Punjab, Pakistan
by Farhan Ahmad Atif, Sami Ullah, Raquel Cossío-Bayúgar, Muhammad Kashif, Aman Ullah Khan and Wen-Feng Wu
Microorganisms 2023, 11(10), 2430; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11102430 - 28 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1621
Abstract
Anaplasma (A.) ovis is the most important cause of anaplasmosis in small ruminants. The current study was planned to estimate the molecular prevalence, risk factors, and phylogenetic analysis of A. ovis infection in sheep and goats from different agro-climatic regions of Central and [...] Read more.
Anaplasma (A.) ovis is the most important cause of anaplasmosis in small ruminants. The current study was planned to estimate the molecular prevalence, risk factors, and phylogenetic analysis of A. ovis infection in sheep and goats from different agro-climatic regions of Central and Southern Punjab, Pakistan. A total of 400 jugular blood samples were collected from asymptomatic goats (n = 200) and sheep (n = 200) from the Jhang and Dera Ghazi Khan districts from January 2021 to February, 2023. Two hundred blood samples were collected from each district. Ten union councils (UC) were randomly chosen from each district, and 20 samples were collected from each UC based on the multistage cluster sampling technique. The samples were analyzed with PCR targeting the major surface protein (msp4) gene of A. ovis. The overall molecular prevalence of anaplasmosis was 57.5%. The disease occurrence was higher in Dera Ghazi Khan (61.5%) than in the Jhang district (53.5%). Infection positivity was greater in goats (65.5%) than in sheep (49.5%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that host species [sheep; Odds Ratio (OR) = 3.212; p = 0.000, Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.968–5.242], age (adult; OR = 2.606; p = 0.003, CI = 1.398–4.858), and acaricide use (never; OR = 13.671; p = 0.000, CI = 6.414–26.283) were significantly higher risk for A. ovis in small ruminants (p< 0.05; OR > 1). The sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of four representative isolates in the current study (Genbank numbers; Goats: OQ302202, OQ302203; Sheep: OQ319592, OQ319593) revealed novel strains of A. ovis with 97–100% similarity from different countries. The msp4-based goat isolates showed greater genetic diversity, while sheep genotypes showed homology with isolates from Italy, Spain, Hungary, Cyprus, Spain, Iran, and China. The current surveillance study will help in devising prevention and control strategies regarding anaplasmosis in small ruminants. However, there is a need for further study on the clinicopathological and vector competence aspects of these genotypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 6321 KiB  
Article
Acaricidal Biominerals and Mode-of-Action Studies against Adult Blacklegged Ticks, Ixodes scapularis
by Grayson L. Cave, Elise A. Richardson, Kaiying Chen, David W. Watson and R. Michael Roe
Microorganisms 2023, 11(8), 1906; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11081906 - 27 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1220
Abstract
Ticks in the USA are the most important arthropod vector of microbes that cause human and animal disease. The blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, the focus of this study, is able to transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease in humans in the [...] Read more.
Ticks in the USA are the most important arthropod vector of microbes that cause human and animal disease. The blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, the focus of this study, is able to transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease in humans in the USA. The main approach to tick control is the use of chemical acaricides and repellents, but known and potential tick resistance to these chemicals requires the discovery of new methods of control. Volcanic glass, Imergard, was recently developed to mimic the insecticide mode of action of the minerals from diatoms (diatomaceous earth, DE) for the control of malaria mosquitoes in Africa. However, studies on the use of these minerals for tick control are minimal. In a dipping assay, which was put into DE (Celite), the times of 50 and 90% death of adult female I. scapularis were 7.3 and 10.5 h, respectively. Our mimic of DE, Imergard, killed ticks in 6.7 and 11.2 h, respectively. In a choice-mortality assay, ticks moved onto a treated surface of Imergard and died at 11.2 and 15.8 h, respectively. Ticks had greater locomotor activity before death when treated by dipping for both Imergard and Celite versus the no-mineral control. The ticks after making contact with Imergard had the mineral covering most of their body surface shown by scanning electron microscopy with evidence of Imergard inside their respiratory system. Although the assumed mode of action of Imergard and Celite is dehydration, the minerals are not hygroscopic, there was no evidence of cuticle damage, and death occurred in as little as 2 h, suggesting minimal abrasive action of the cuticle. Semi-field and field studies are needed in the future to examine the practical use of Imergard and Celite for tick control, and studies need to examine their effect on tick breathing and respiratory retention of water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

9 pages, 282 KiB  
Article
Antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato in Clinically Healthy and Sick Horses: First Report from the Czech Republic
by Nikola Kašpárková, Eva Bártová, Alena Žákovská, Marie Budíková and Kamil Sedlák
Microorganisms 2023, 11(7), 1706; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11071706 - 29 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1176
Abstract
Lyme disease, caused by some strains of bacterial spirochetes Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl), affects humans but also domestic animals including horses. The primary pathogens in horses in Europe are B. afzelii, B. garinii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. To our knowledge, [...] Read more.
Lyme disease, caused by some strains of bacterial spirochetes Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl), affects humans but also domestic animals including horses. The primary pathogens in horses in Europe are B. afzelii, B. garinii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. To our knowledge, there are no data available on the seropositivity of B. burgdorferi s.l. in horses from the Czech Republic. In this country, horses are mainly used for sport, breeding, and recreational riding in areas where vectors of B. burgdorferi s.l. are present, which is why they are frequently at risk of infection. The aim of the study was to detect anti-borrelia IgM and IgG antibodies in clinically healthy and sick horses from the Czech Republic and to evaluate the risk factors of infection. In total, sera of 262 horses (247 clinically healthy horses and 15 horses hospitalized due to symptoms of encephalitis/meningoencephalitis) were examined by an indirect sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Positivity of B. burgdorferi was 27% (66/247) in clinically healthy horses (21% IgM, 7% IgG and 3% IgM + IgG antibodies) and 20% (3/15) in horses with clinical signs (20% IgM, 7% IgG and 7% IgM + IgG). In the clinically healthy horses, positivity statistically differed (p ≤ 0.05) only in Pony and Warmblood breeds, being the most affected at 32% and 30%, respectively, while other characteristics (sex, age, usage and localities) had no effect on positivity. This is the first survey of antibodies to B. burgdorferi s.l. in Czech horses showing that horses are exposed to ticks infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. This should be taken into account when making differential diagnoses in patients with non-specific symptoms to start with adequate therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in Animals)
14 pages, 948 KiB  
Article
Features of Engorgement of Ixodes ricinus Ticks Infesting the Northern White-Breasted Hedgehog in an Urban Park
by László Egyed, Dávidné Nagy and Zsolt Lang
Microorganisms 2023, 11(4), 881; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11040881 - 29 Mar 2023
Viewed by 824
Abstract
In this work we exploited the parallel dense tick and hedgehog populations of an urban park in Budapest, Hungary as a good host–parasite model to obtain detailed data about this physiological relationship. Over a 27-week period from April to October, 57 hedgehogs were [...] Read more.
In this work we exploited the parallel dense tick and hedgehog populations of an urban park in Budapest, Hungary as a good host–parasite model to obtain detailed data about this physiological relationship. Over a 27-week period from April to October, 57 hedgehogs were captured in an urban park and kept for 10–14 days in animal house. All dropped off ticks were sampled, which allowed us to draw more a detailed picture of Ixodes ricinus–hedgehog relationships. The results indicated that the hedgehog is an effective host for ticks (prevalence: 100%) and the mean intensity of infestation was 83.25. Of the male ticks, 68.42% dropped off dead; 1.56% of the dropped off nymphs and 11.4% of the larvae finished their bloodmeal with red cuticles, while 5.79% of the females could not finish their blood meal, and dropped off dried, dead, or shrunken. We applied novel statistical methods of survival analysis of prevalent cohorts to estimate the whole attachment times of ticks from the observed attachment times, having no information about when the ticks attached to their hosts. Mean attachment times were 4 days for larvae, 5 days for nymphs, 10 days for females, and 8 days for males. On the first day after capture of the hosts, fewer females, nymphs, and larvae detached engorged than had been predicted, but this was not true for males. Mean intensity of infestation per host was 1.4 for males, 6.7 for females, 45.0 for nymphs, and 29.3 for larvae. As regards seasonality, the activity of all stages of ticks consisted of several smaller peaks and considerably differed by season. Studies of the dense tick–host populations of this natural habitat could provide further valuable data about tick–host relations, the data of which cannot be drawn from most other hedgehog habitats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 1493 KiB  
Article
Ticks and Tick-Borne Pathogens in Recreational Greenspaces in North Central Florida, USA
by Chanakya R. Bhosale, Kristen N. Wilson, Kimberly J. Ledger, Zoe S. White, Rayann Dorleans, Carrie E. De Jesus and Samantha M. Wisely
Microorganisms 2023, 11(3), 756; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11030756 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3486
Abstract
Tick-borne infections are an increasing medical and veterinary concern in the southeastern United States, but there is limited understanding of how recreational greenspaces influence the hazard of pathogen transmission. This study aimed to estimate the potential human and companion animal encounter risk with [...] Read more.
Tick-borne infections are an increasing medical and veterinary concern in the southeastern United States, but there is limited understanding of how recreational greenspaces influence the hazard of pathogen transmission. This study aimed to estimate the potential human and companion animal encounter risk with different questing tick species, and the bacterial or protozoal agents they carry in recreational greenspaces. We collected ticks bimonthly along trails and designated recreational areas in 17 publicly accessible greenspaces, in and around Gainesville, Florida, USA. We collected Amblyomma americanum, Ixodes scapularis, Amblyomma maculatum, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes affinis, and Haemaphysalis leporispalustris. Across the six tick species collected, we detected 18 species of bacteria or protozoa within the Babesia, Borrelia, Cytauxzoon, Cryptoplasma (Allocryptoplasma), Ehrlichia, Hepatozoon, Rickettsia, and Theileria genera, including pathogens of medical or veterinary importance. While tick abundance and associated microorganism prevalence and richness were the greatest in natural habitats surrounded by forests, we found both ticks and pathogenic microorganisms in manicured groundcover. This relationship is important for public health and awareness, because it suggests that the probability of encountering an infected tick is measurable and substantial even on closely manicured turf or gravel, if the surrounding landcover is undeveloped. The presence of medically important ticks and pathogenic microorganisms in recreational greenspaces indicates that public education efforts regarding ticks and tick-borne diseases are warranted in this region of the United States. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1418 KiB  
Article
Pathogen Detection in Ornithodoros sonrai Ticks and Invasive House Mice Mus musculus domesticus in Senegal
by Basma Ouarti, Moussa Sall, El Hadji Ibrahima Ndiaye, Georges Diatta, Adama Zan Diarra, Jean Michel Berenger, Cheikh Sokhna, Laurent Granjon, Jean Le Fur and Philippe Parola
Microorganisms 2022, 10(12), 2367; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10122367 - 30 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1478
Abstract
Ornithodoros sonrai (O. sonrai) ticks are the only known vectors of Borrelia crocidurae, an agent of tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) borreliosis. Rodents serve as principal natural reservoirs for Borrelia. Our research objective was to detect TBRF Borrelia and other [...] Read more.
Ornithodoros sonrai (O. sonrai) ticks are the only known vectors of Borrelia crocidurae, an agent of tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) borreliosis. Rodents serve as principal natural reservoirs for Borrelia. Our research objective was to detect TBRF Borrelia and other zoonotic bacterial infections in ticks and in house mice Mus musculus domesticus, an invasive species currently expanding in rural northern Senegal. Real-time and conventional PCR were utilized for detecting Borrelia and other bacterial taxa. The analyses were performed on 253 specimens of O. sonrai and 150 samples of brain and spleen tissue from rodents. Borrelia crocidurae was found in one O. sonrai tick and 18 Mus musculus domesticus samples, with prevalences of 0.39 percent and 12 percent, respectively, as well as Ehrlichia sp. in one Mus musculus domesticus. Further, we were able to detect the presence of a potentially infectious novel species belonging to the Anaplasmataceae family for the first time in O. sonrai ticks. More attention should be paid to the house mouse and O. sonrai ticks, as they can be potential hosts for novel species of pathogenic bacteria in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

25 pages, 451 KiB  
Review
The Biological and Ecological Features of Northbound Migratory Birds, Ticks, and Tick-Borne Microorganisms in the African–Western Palearctic
by Tove Hoffman, Björn Olsen and Åke Lundkvist
Microorganisms 2023, 11(1), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11010158 - 7 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2222
Abstract
Identifying the species that act as hosts, vectors, and vehicles of vector-borne pathogens is vital for revealing the transmission cycles, dispersal mechanisms, and establishment of vector-borne pathogens in nature. Ticks are common vectors for pathogens causing human and animal diseases, and they transmit [...] Read more.
Identifying the species that act as hosts, vectors, and vehicles of vector-borne pathogens is vital for revealing the transmission cycles, dispersal mechanisms, and establishment of vector-borne pathogens in nature. Ticks are common vectors for pathogens causing human and animal diseases, and they transmit a greater variety of pathogenic agents than any other arthropod vector group. Ticks depend on the movements by their vertebrate hosts for their dispersal, and tick species with long feeding periods are more likely to be transported over long distances. Wild birds are commonly parasitized by ticks, and their migration patterns enable the long-distance range expansion of ticks. The African–Palearctic migration system is one of the world’s largest migrations systems. African–Western Palearctic birds create natural links between the African, European, and Asian continents when they migrate biannually between breeding grounds in the Palearctic and wintering grounds in Africa and thereby connect different biomes. Climate is an important geographical determinant of ticks, and with global warming, the distribution range and abundance of ticks in the Western Palearctic may increase. The introduction of exotic ticks and their microorganisms into the Western Palearctic via avian vehicles might therefore pose a greater risk for the public and animal health in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in Animals)
Back to TopTop