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PLoS One. 2015 Sep 28;10(9):e0139386. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139386. eCollection 2015.

Comparative Evaluation of the Vector Competence of Four South American Populations of the Rhipicephalus sanguineus Group for the Bacterium Ehrlichia canis, the Agent of Canine Monocytic Ehrlichiosis.

Author information

1
Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine and Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
2
Universidade de Cruz Alta - UNICRUZ, Cruz Alta, RS, Brazil.

Abstract

This study compared the vector competence of four populations of Rhipicephalus sanguineus group ticks for the bacterium Ehrlichia canis, the agent of canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (CME). Ticks (larvae and nymphs) from the four populations-one from São Paulo state, southeastern Brazil (BSP), one from Rio Grande do Sul state, southern Brazil (BRS), one from Argentina (ARG), and one from Uruguay (URU)-were exposed to E. canis infection by feeding on dogs that were experimentally infected with E. canis. Engorged ticks (larvae and nymphs) were allowed to molt to nymphs and adults, respectively, which were tested by molecular analysis (E. canis-specific PCR assay) and used to infest naïve dogs. Through infestation of adult ticks on naïve dogs, after nymphal acquisition feeding on E. canis-infected dogs, only the BSP population was shown to be competent vectors of E. canis, i.e., only the dogs infested with BSP adult ticks developed clinical illness, seroconverted to E. canis, and yielded E. canis DNA by PCR. This result, demonstrated by two independent replications, is congruent with epidemiological data, since BSP ticks were derived from São Paulo state, Brazil, where CME is highly endemic. On the other hand, BRS, ARG, and URU ticks were derived from a geographical region (South America southern cone) where CME has never been properly documented. Molecular analysis of unfed adults at 30 days post molting support these transmission results, since none of the BRS, ARG, and URU ticks were PCR positive, whereas 1% of the BSP nymphs and 31.8% of the BSP adults contained E. canis DNA. We conclude that the absence or scarcity of cases of CME due to E. canis in the South America southern cone is a result of vector incompetence of the R. sanguineus group ticks that prevail on dogs in this part of South America.

PMID:
26414283
PMCID:
PMC4587558
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0139386
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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