During the investigations on ticks and tick-borne pathogens (TBP) range expansion in the Northern Apennines, we captured 107 Podarcis muralis lizards. Sixty-eight animals were infested by immature Ixodes ricinus, Haemaphysalis sulcata and H.punctata. Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. was detected in 3.7% of I.ricinus larvae and 8.0% of nymphs. Together with the species-specific B.lusitaniae, we identified B.garinii, B.afzelii and B.valaisiana. Rickettsia spp. (18.1% larvae, 12.0% nymphs), namely R.monacensis, R.helvetica and R.hoogstraalii, were also found in I.ricinus. R.hoogstraalii was detected in H.sulcata nymphs as well, while the two H.punctata did not harbour any bacteria. One out of 16 lizard tail tissues was positive to R.helvetica. Our results support the hypothesis that lizards are involved in the epidemiological cycles of TBP. The heterogeneity of B.burgdorferi genospecies mirrors previous findings in questing ticks in the area, and their finding in attached I.ricinus larvae suggests that lizards may contribute to the maintenance of different genospecies. The rickettsiae are new findings in the study area, and R.helvetica infection in a tail tissue indicates a systemic infection. R.hoogstraalii is reported for the first time in I.ricinus ticks. Lizards seem to favour the bacterial exchange among different tick species, with possible public health consequences.

Importance of Common Wall Lizards in the Transmission Dynamics of Tick-Borne Pathogens in the Northern Apennine Mountains, Italy

TOMASSONE, Laura;CEBALLOS IGLESIAS, Leonardo Adrian;MARTELLO, ELISA;STELLA, Maria Cristina;MANNELLI, Alessandro
2017

Abstract

During the investigations on ticks and tick-borne pathogens (TBP) range expansion in the Northern Apennines, we captured 107 Podarcis muralis lizards. Sixty-eight animals were infested by immature Ixodes ricinus, Haemaphysalis sulcata and H.punctata. Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. was detected in 3.7% of I.ricinus larvae and 8.0% of nymphs. Together with the species-specific B.lusitaniae, we identified B.garinii, B.afzelii and B.valaisiana. Rickettsia spp. (18.1% larvae, 12.0% nymphs), namely R.monacensis, R.helvetica and R.hoogstraalii, were also found in I.ricinus. R.hoogstraalii was detected in H.sulcata nymphs as well, while the two H.punctata did not harbour any bacteria. One out of 16 lizard tail tissues was positive to R.helvetica. Our results support the hypothesis that lizards are involved in the epidemiological cycles of TBP. The heterogeneity of B.burgdorferi genospecies mirrors previous findings in questing ticks in the area, and their finding in attached I.ricinus larvae suggests that lizards may contribute to the maintenance of different genospecies. The rickettsiae are new findings in the study area, and R.helvetica infection in a tail tissue indicates a systemic infection. R.hoogstraalii is reported for the first time in I.ricinus ticks. Lizards seem to favour the bacterial exchange among different tick species, with possible public health consequences.
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link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00248/index.htm
Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.; Ixodid ticks; Northern Apennines; Podarcis muralis; SFG Rickettsiae; Zoonoses; Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics; Ecology; Soil Science
Tomassone, Laura; Ceballos, L.A.; Ragagli, C.; Martello, E.; de Sousa, R.; Stella, M.C.; Mannelli, A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1642741
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