Leishmaniosis, caused by Leishmania infantum, is an endemic zoonosis in the Mediterranean basin. To date, phlebotomine sand flies are the only accepted biological vectors of Leishmania parasites to dogs and humans. The absence of the primary vector in autochthonous Leishmania outbreaks suggests a possible role of fleas or ticks as alternative vectors. In this study, 119 ticks were collected between August 2007-June 2008 and between March 2010-October 2010 from various animal species and humans living in Italian areas where canine leishmaniosis is endemic (i.e. rural areas of the North) and were tested for the presence of L. infantum DNA. Nine (7.5%) out of 119 ticks resulted PCR positive. All ticks were morphologically identified as Ixodes ricinus ticks, 3 from 1 cat, 6 from 4 dogs. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of L. infantum DNA in ticks from cat, suggesting that the debate about the epidemiological role of ticks in canine leishmaniosis might be extended to feline leishmaniosis.

Molecular evidence of Leishmania infantum in Ixodes ricinus ticks from dogs and cats, in Italy.

SALVATORE, DANIELA;BALDELLI, RAFFAELLA;DI FRANCESCO, ANTONIETTA;TAMPIERI, MARIA PAOLA;GALUPPI, ROBERTA
2014

Abstract

Leishmaniosis, caused by Leishmania infantum, is an endemic zoonosis in the Mediterranean basin. To date, phlebotomine sand flies are the only accepted biological vectors of Leishmania parasites to dogs and humans. The absence of the primary vector in autochthonous Leishmania outbreaks suggests a possible role of fleas or ticks as alternative vectors. In this study, 119 ticks were collected between August 2007-June 2008 and between March 2010-October 2010 from various animal species and humans living in Italian areas where canine leishmaniosis is endemic (i.e. rural areas of the North) and were tested for the presence of L. infantum DNA. Nine (7.5%) out of 119 ticks resulted PCR positive. All ticks were morphologically identified as Ixodes ricinus ticks, 3 from 1 cat, 6 from 4 dogs. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of L. infantum DNA in ticks from cat, suggesting that the debate about the epidemiological role of ticks in canine leishmaniosis might be extended to feline leishmaniosis.
Salvatore D.; Aureli S.; Baldelli R.; Di Francesco A.; Tampieri M.P.; Galuppi R.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/408783
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