Serologic and molecular characterization of Anaplasma species infection in farm animals and ticks from Sicily

Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 250 McElory Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA.
Veterinary Parasitology (Impact Factor: 2.46). 12/2005; 133(4):357-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2005.05.063
Source: PubMed


Although Anaplasma marginale was known to be endemic in Italy, the diversity of Anaplasma spp. from this area have not been characterized. In this study, the prevalence of Anaplasma spp. antibodies in randomly selected farm animals collected on the island of Sicily was determined by use of a MSP5 cELISA for Anaplasma spp. and an immunofluorescence test specific for Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Genetic variation among strains of Anaplasma spp. from animals and ticks was characterized using the A. marginale msp1alpha and the Anaplasma spp. msp4 genes. Eight species of ticks were collected and tested by PCR. Seropositivity for Anaplasma spp. and A. phagocytophilum was detected in bovine and ovine samples. All the donkeys were seropositive for A. phagocytophilum but not for Anaplasma spp. Four A. marginale genotypes were identified by msp4 sequences from bovine and tick samples. Two new genotypes of Anaplasma ovis were characterized in sheep. The sequences of A. phagocytophilum from three donkeys proved to be identical to the sequence of the MRK equine isolate from California. Six A. marginale genotypes were found in cattle and one tick using the A. marginale msp1alpha sequences. All genotypes had four repeated sequences in the N-terminal portion of the MSP1a, except for one that had five repeats. The Italian strains of A. marginale contained three repeat sequences that were not reported previously. Definition of the diversity of Anaplasma spp. in Sicily reported, herein is fundamental to development of control strategies for A. marginale, A. ovis and A. phagocytophilum in Sicily.

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    • "Results suggest multiple A. marginale introductions in Tunisia especially from Southern Europe and North American countries. Similar findings have been documented for A. marginale Mexican and Italian isolates as reported by Rodríguez et al. (2000) and de la Fuente et al. (2005a), respectively. "
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    ABSTRACT: Few data are available about the presence and distribution of Anaplasma species in cattle in North African countries. In this study prevalence, co-infections, risk factors and genetic diversity of Anaplasma species were evaluated in bovines from Northern Tunisia. A total of 232 cattle from 36 randomly selected farms in three Tunisian localities were investigated for the presence of Anaplasma species in blood by Real-time PCR and/or nested PCR. Overall infection rates of Anaplasma spp., A. marginale, A. centrale and A. bovis were 34.9, 25.4, 15.1, and 3.9%, respectively. A. phagocytophilum was not detected in cattle. The most common co-infection pattern was an association of A. marginale and A. centrale (11.2%). Five cattle (2.1%) all reared in the sub-humid bioclimatic area, were co-infected by the three Anaplasma species. Molecular prevalence of Anaplasma infection varied significantly according to locality, bioclimatic area, tick infestation and type of breeding. Animals of the Holstein breed were less infected by A. marginale and A. centrale than other breeds. Genetic analysis of A. marginale msp4 gene indicated a high sequence diversity of Tunisian strains, suggesting a multiple introduction of infected cattle from different origins. Phylogenetic studies based on the 16S rRNA gene showed that the most prevalent A. centrale strains were closely related to the A. centrale vaccine strain. Moreover, all A. bovis variants clustered with other A. bovis sequences obtained from domestic and wild ruminant strains. This is the first molecular investigation on Anaplasma species in Tunisian cattle providing pivotal background for designing epidemiological studies and to develop control strategies in the country. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Infection Genetics and Evolution
    • "Molecular surveys on tick-borne pathogens in Italy on small domestic ruminants have been limited to the southernmost areas, i.e. Sicily (de la Fuente et al., 2005a; Torina et al., 2008a, 2010). In order to fill this gap, we (i) used PCR/RLB and sequencing to determine the dynamics of infection with Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, Babesia and Theileria in sheep, and in feeding and questing ticks; (ii) compared the sequence data with published sequences reported from other European countries, including Italy; and (iii) performed phylogenetic analyses to explore the relationships of the isolates characterized. "
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    ABSTRACT: PCR Reverse Line Blot (RLB) hybridization and sequencing were used to determine the dynamics of infection with tick-borne pathogens in one hundred apparently healthy sheep in Italy. Blood samples were tested once prior to the onset of the grazing season (June 2010) and once after the end of the grazing season (August 2010). Ticks collected from sheep and from the vegetation were also tested by PCR/RLB. Before grazing, 56% of the sheep harbored several tick-borne pathogens: Anaplasma ovis was the most prevalent (41%), followed by A. ovis co-infected with Theileria sp. OT3 (14%). After grazing, 87% of sheep were positive for A. ovis alone (41%), co-infected with Theileria sp. OT3 (8%) or co-infected with Babesia motasi (5%). Other sheep were infected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum alone (20%), co-infected with B. motasi (7%) or with Theileria sp. OT3 (5%) (p < 0.001). After grazing, sheep were significantly more infected with tick-borne pathogens than before grazing. Ticks collected were all Haemaphysalis punctata (n-89) and 36% were positive for A. ovis, Ehrlichia ovina and A. ovis combined with A. phagocytophilum. Phylogenetic analysis including isolates from countries in the Mediterranean Basin show circulation of the same variants of Theileria sp. OT3, whereas two different geographical origins for the isolates of A. ovis and A. phagocytophilum were identified. This is the first report from Italy of Theileria sp. OT3 in sheep, whereas the detection of Ehrlichia ovina in ticks is worth noting, and the presence of A. phagocytophilum in sheep and in ticks poses a potential public health risk.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
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    • "In Europe, A. marginale is endemic mainly to the Mediterranean region, but it has also been reported in alpine and eastern areas [17]. Our data provide further evidence of the endemic diffusion of A. marginale in Italy, as reported previously [10, 11, 30, 31]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Tick-borne diseases are widespread in tropical and temperate regions and are responsible for important economic losses in those areas. In order to assess the presence and prevalence of various pathogens in southern Italy, we retrospectively analyzed cattle blood samples collected for a previous study in 2000 using reverse line blot (RLB) hybridization. The study had been carried out in three regions of southern Italy on 1,500 randomly selected and apparently healthy adult cattle. RLB showed that 43.7% of the cattle were positive for nine different species of haemoparasites, with either a single infection or a mixed infection. Theileria buffeli was the most common species found, being present in 27.3% of the animals, followed by Anaplasma marginale in 18.1%, Anaplasma centrale in 13.8%, Babesia bigemina and Anaplasma bovis in 4.2%, Anaplasma phagocytophilum in 1.7%, Babesia bovis in 1.6%, Babesia major in 0.2%, and Babesia divergens in 0.1%. Complete blood counts showed different degrees of anaemia in 363 animals (24.2%) and of these, 169 were RLB-positive for at least one pathogen. Among the ticks that were collected from the cattle, the following species were identified: Rhipicephalus bursa, Ixodes ricinus, Hyalomma marginatum, Boophilus annulatus, Dermacentor marginatus and Haemaphysalis (sulcata, parva, inermis and punctata). The results obtained confirmed the spread of endemic tick-borne pathogens in the regions studied.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of Veterinary Medical Science
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