Molecular identification of Hepatozoon and Cercopithifilaria in ticks infesting dogs of different regions of Iran
Paper ID : 1136-IPCA4
Zahra Bahiraei *1, Alireza Sazmand1, Alireza Nourian2, Domenico Otranto3
1Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Bu-Ali Sina University 6517658978 Hamedan, IRAN
2Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Bu-Ali Sina University, 6517658978 Hamedan, Iran
3Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
Population of free-ranging dogs has increased significantly in recent years in Iran. Although previous studies showed that stray and sheltered Iranian dogs are infected with different tick-borne pathogens there is shortage of data about tick species transmitting these pathogens. The aim of this study was to identify Ixodidae ticks infesting dogs of different regions of Iran and examine them for the protozoan parasite Hepatozoon spp. and the nematode parasite Cercopithifilaria spp. by conventional PCR.
Between October 2018 to September 2021, totally 781 stray and sheltered dogs in different regions of Hamedan (n=300), Kermanshah (n= 150), Yazd (n=80), Mazandaran (n=80) and Khouzestan (n=71) provinces were examined for tick infestation. These provinces are located in different geographical areas and have different climates. Collected tick specimens were identified morphologically and genomic DNA was extracted from individual or tick pools i.e. 1–5 ticks depending on the intensity of infestation. DNAs were then tested with Hepatozoon spp. and Cercopithifilaria spp. specific primers.
A total of 2702 ticks were collected from 106 / 781 (13.6%) dogs. Tick infestation was observed in 29.0% of examined dogs in Hamedan, 68.1% in Kermanshah, 2.9% in Yazd. No ticks were observed on the body of sheltered dogs in Mazandaran and Khouzestan. Majority of ticks (96.6%) were Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato but Rhipicephalus turanicus (3.4%) was also present in Kermanshah province. PCR results revealed DNA of Hepatozoon spp. and Cercopithifilaria spp. in both species in Hamedan and Kermanshah provinces.
This is the first study on the identification of Cercopithifilaria and Hepatozoon parasites in R. sanguineus sensu lato and R. turanicus in Iran. Our study highlights the importance of these two hard tick species in the epidemiology of canine parasites in different regions of the country.
Cercopithifilaria, Hepatozoon, Iran, Rhipicephalus, vector-borne pathogens
Status : Abstract Accepted (Oral Presentation)