Molecular characterization of Babesia and Theileria species in ticks collected in the outskirt of Monte Romano, Lazio Region, Central Italy

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Abstract

In 2012-2013, an investigation was carried out in the Viterbo province, Lazio region, on ticks and tick-borne Apicomplexan protozoa of the Babesia and Theileria genera. This followed the reporting of high density of ticks by soldiers operating in a military shooting range, and the signaling by owners and local veterinary authorities of several cases of babesiosis among cattle. A total of 422 ticks were collected from 35 heads, whereas 96 ticks were collected by dragging. Ticks were identified as Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus Say (n=373), Rhipicephalus bursa Canestrini & Fanzago (n=63), Rhipicephalus sanguineus/turanicus (n=32), Hyalomma marginatum Koch (n=49) and Dermacentor marginatus Sulzer, 1776 (n=1). A randomly selected sample of ticks (235 from animals and 36 by dragging) was analyzed using molecular methods to detect species of Babesia and Theileria. In total, 11 ticks collected from animals (4.7%) and two ticks (5.5%) collected by dragging were positive. Sequencing of PCR products of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene revealed Babesia caballi (n=2), Babesia bigemina (n=3), Theileria sergenti/buffeli/orientalis (n=7) and Theileria equi (n=1). None of the detected species has been associated with human infection.

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Luciano Toma - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Marco Di Luca - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Fabiola Mancini - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Francesco Severini - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Carmela Mariano - Dipartimento di Prevenzione, Azienda Sanitaria Locale di Viterbo

Giancarlo Nicolai - Dipartimento di Prevenzione, Azienda Sanitaria Locale di Viterbo

Valentina Laghezza Masci - Dipartimento per l’Innovazione nei sistemi Biologici, Agroalimentari e Forestali, Università della Tuscia di Viterbo

Alessandra Ciervo - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Anna Maria Fausto - Dipartimento per l’Innovazione nei sistemi Biologici, Agroalimentari e Forestali, Università della Tuscia di Viterbo

Simone Mario Cacciò - Istituto Superiore di Sanità

How to Cite
Toma, L., Di Luca, M., Mancini, F., Severini, F., Mariano, C., Nicolai, G., Laghezza Masci, V., Ciervo, A., Fausto, A. M., & Cacciò, S. M. (2017). Molecular characterization of Babesia and Theileria species in ticks collected in the outskirt of Monte Romano, Lazio Region, Central Italy. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 53(1), 30-34. Retrieved from https://annali.iss.it/index.php/anna/article/view/430
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