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Acta Vet Hung. 2013 Mar;61(1):42-50. doi: 10.1556/AVet.2012.050.

Molecular evidence of Ehrlichia canis and Rickettsia massiliae in ixodid ticks of carnivores from South Hungary.

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Szent István University Department of Parasitology and Zoology, Faculty of Veterinary Science István u. 2 H-1078 Budapest Hungary.


To monitor the emergence of thermophilic, Mediterranean ixodid tick species and tick-borne pathogens in southern Hungary, 348 ticks were collected from shepherd dogs, red foxes and golden jackals during the summer of 2011. Golden jackals shared tick species with both the dog and the red fox in the region. Dermacentor nymphs were collected exclusively from dogs, and the sequence identification of these ticks indicated that dogs are preferred hosts of both D. reticulatus and D. marginatus nymphs, unlike previously reported. Subadults of three ixodid species were selected for reverse line blot hybridisation (RLB) analysis to screen their vector potential for 40 pathogens/groups. Results were negative for Anaplasma, Babesia and Theileria spp. Investigation of D. marginatus nymphs revealed the presence of Ehrlichia canis, Rickettsia massiliae and Borrelia afzelii for the first time in this tick species. These findings broaden the range of those tick-borne agents, which are typically transmitted by Rhipicephalus sanguineus, but may also have Dermacentor spp. as potential or alternative vectors. Ehrlichiacanis was also newly detected in Ixodes canisuga larvae from red foxes. In absence of transovarial transmission in ticks this implies that Eurasian red foxes may play a reservoir role in the epidemiology of canine ehrlichiosis.

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