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Vet Parasitol. 2012 Dec 21;190(3-4):547-55. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2012.06.032. Epub 2012 Jul 3.

Mitochondrial DNA analysis of Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (Acari: Ixodidae) in the Southern Cone of South America.

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  • 1Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Rafaela, CC 22, CP 2300 Rafaela, Santa Fe, Argentina.


A genetic analysis of partial sequences of the mitochondrial 16S and 12S rDNA genes of Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato collected in the Southern Cone of South America was carried out. Also, sequences of ticks belonging to this taxon from Europe, Africa and other South American localities were included. TCS networks constructed with 16S rDNA sequences showed two clusters of haplotypes, namely, Southern lineage (ST) and Northern lineage (NT). Haplotypes representing the specimens coming from localities of Argentina, Uruguay and Chile were included in the ST lineage, while haplotypes from Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, South Africa, Mozambique and from two localities of Northern Argentina were grouped in the NT lineage. The phylogenetic trees obtained with both 16S and 12S sequences showed two distinct clades, one containing R. sanguineus s.l from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile (ST lineage) and Western Europe (Italy and France), and a second clade including R. sanguineus s.l from Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Colombia (NT lineage), South Africa and Mozambique. The results herein reported revealed that the taxon R. sanguineus s.l is represented by two lineages in the Southern Cone of South America. According with the genetic comparative analysis, NT lineage and the ticks from Mozambique and South Africa represent a species that is not R. sanguineus s.s, while R. sanguineus s.l ticks from Western Europe and Southern South America (ST lineage) probably represent true R. sanguineus, because the type locality of R. sanguineus s.s is located in France. The taxonomic issue described for R. sanguineus s.l in the South America has epidemiological implications. Difference in the vectorial competence for Ehrlichia canis between the two lineages of R. sanguineus s.l was found in previous works. Further investigations are needed in order to verify a possible different vectorial competence for the other pathogens transmitted by these ticks.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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