Authors: YONGSHUAI PENG, MENG QI, FUCHUN JIAN, JINHONG WANG, YALI LV, JIUJIAN WEI, RONGJUN WANG, LONGXIAN ZHANG, CHANGSHEN NING
Abstract: Tick-borne diseases are one of the most important classes of disease in animal husbandry and cause severe economic losses. In this study, 660 adult female ticks were collected from sheep in nine localities in Henan Province, China. All were identified as Haemaphysalis longicornis, confirmed with light microscopy and PCR amplification. The pathogens identified in these ticks included bacteria of the genus Anaplasma (Anaplasma ovis, A. bovis, A. phagocytophilum) and piroplasmal protozoans (Theileria luwenshuni, Babesia motasi). Our results show the high prevalence of A. bovis (20.4%, 135/660) and T. luwenshuni (14.4%, 95/660) in the ticks from sheep, whereas A. ovis, A. phagocytophilum, and B. motasi occurred in 2.3% (15/660), 1.5% (10/660), and 0.75% (5/660) of ticks, respectively. This is the first report of B. motasi in H. longicornis in China. In contrast, no T. uilenbergi infection was found in this study. These results confirm that H. longicornis is the most common tick species in sheep in Henan Province and can transmit A. phagocytophilum, a well-known zoonotic pathogen of public-health and veterinary significance. Importantly, these results suggest that A. bovis, transmitted by H. longicornis, is a predominant pathogen of sheep in this region.
Keywords: Haemaphysalis longicornis, tick-borne pathogens, sheep, China
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