Rickettsial infections in ticks from wild birds in Paraguay

Maria Ogrzewalska, Ivan Literak, Thiago F Martins, Marcelo B Labruna
Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 2014, 5 (2): 83-9
Ticks were collected from wild birds at 3 locations in Paraguay during the South American winter in August and September 2012. In total, 480 birds belonging to 106 species were examined. Overall, 31 (6.5%) birds representing 21 species were found parasitized by ticks which were identified as Amblyomma calcaratum Neumann (2 larvae, 20 nymphs), Amblyomma longirostre (Koch) (17 larvae, 3 nymphs), Amblyomma parvum Aragão (7 nymphs), Amblyomma aureolatum (Pallas) (1 nymph), Amblyomma ovale Koch (1 nymph), Amblyomma tigrinum Koch (1 larva), and Amblyomma spp. (4 larvae). Ticks collected accidentally on humans at the study locations during field work included 1 nymph of Amblyomma coelebs Neumann and 54 nymphs of Amblyomma cajennense (Fabricius). Most ticks were individually tested for the presence of Rickettsia species by polymerase chain reaction targeting rickettsial genes gltA and ompA and by amplicon sequencing. Two (12%) out of 17 A. longirostre larvae were found infected with Candidatus 'Rickettsia amblyommii', and 2 (33%) out of 6 A. parvum nymphs were infected with Candidatus 'Rickettsia andeanae'. This study provides the first report of rickettsial infections in Paraguayan ticks.

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