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Parasitol Res. 2020 Jan 3. doi: 10.1007/s00436-019-06458-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Ixodid tick species and two tick-borne pathogens in three areas in the Sudan.

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College of Veterinary Medicine, Sudan University of Science and Technology, Khartoum North, Sudan.
Veterinary Ambulance, Khartoum, Sudan.
Ministry of Animal Resources, Al-Jenainah, West Darfur State, Sudan.
Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, Munich, Germany.
University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany.
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland.
Faculty of Medicine, University Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
Gertrud Theiler Tick Museum, Onderstepoort Veterinary Research, Pretoria, South Africa.
Evolutionary Genomics Group, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, Munich, Germany.
University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany.


Ticks are important parasites from economic and public health points of view because of their ability to reduce farm animals' productivity and transmit zoonotic diseases. We conducted this cross-sectional study between January and March 2016 and between March and April 2017 to identify tick species in West Darfur, Al-Jazeera, and the River Nile states in the Sudan and to investigate whether these ticks carry Rickettsia spp. and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus. In total, 1593 ticks were collected from 207 animals and identified based on morphology or 16S rRNA gene and tested for Rickettsia spp. and CCHF virus either individually or as pools containing 2 to 10 pooled ticks using molecular methods. Overall, 14 tick species belonging to three genera, namely Amblyomma, Hyalomma, and Rhipicephalus, were identified. Hyalomma anatolicum and Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi were the most frequent ticks. A total of 561 tests comprised of individual or pooled ticks were conducted and 13.7% (77/561) were positive for Rickettsia spp. which were mostly Rickettsia aeschlimannii and R. africae. The highest positivity was noticed among H. rufipes collected from cattle and camels in West Darfur. However, none of the screened Hyalomma ticks harbored CCHF viral RNA. These findings suggest that there might be a risk of zoonotic transmission of Rickettsia spp. by ticks but zoonotic transmission of CCHF virus is apparently doubtful. An in-depth and a country-wide epidemiological study is needed to better understand the dynamic of Rickettsia spp. and CCHF virus in the Sudan.


CCHF virus; Rickettsia spp.; Ticks; the Sudan


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