Experimental evidence against transmission of Hepatozoon canis by Ixodes ricinus.

Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Bari, 70010 Valenzano, Bari, Italy.
Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases (Impact Factor: 2.35). 04/2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2013.03.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hepatozoon canis is among the most widespread tick-borne protozoa infecting domestic and wild carnivores. Its distribution is related to the occurrence of its major vector, the brown dog tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus. However, the role of Ixodes ricinus as a vector of H. canis has been hypothesized. In the present study, the development of H. canis was investigated in I. ricinus and R. sanguineus nymphs collected from a naturally infested dog. All I. ricinus ticks examined (n=133) were negative by cytological examination at days 20, 30, and 90 post collection, although H. canis DNA was detected in one nymph at day 20 and in 2 nymphs at day 30 post collection. On the other hand, H. canis sporogony was documented by cytology, and H. canis DNA was detected by PCR in R. sanguineus at day 30 post collection. These results indicate that H. canis sporogony does not occur in I. ricinus, but in R. sanguineus, suggesting that I. ricinus does not act as a vector of H. canis.

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May 28, 2014