Ticks, tick-borne rickettsiae, and Coxiella burnetii in the Greek Island of Cephalonia

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Oct;1078:389-99. doi: 10.1196/annals.1374.077.


Domestic animals are the hosts of several tick species and the reservoirs of some tick-borne pathogens; hence, they play an important role in the circulation of these arthropods and their pathogens in nature. They may act as vectors, but, also, as reservoirs of spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae, which are the causative agents of SFG rickettsioses. Q fever is a worldwide zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii (C. burnetii), which can be isolated from ticks. A total of 1,848 ticks (954 female, 853 male, and 41 nymph) were collected from dogs, goats, sheep, cattle, and horses in 32 different localities of the Greek island of Cephalonia. Rhipicephalus (Rh.) bursa, Rh. turanicus, Rh. sanguineus, Dermacentor marginatus (D. marginatus), Ixodes gibbosus (I. gibbosus), Haemaphysalis (Ha.) punctata, Ha. sulcata, Hyalomma (Hy.) anatolicum excavatum and Hy. marginatum marginatum were the species identified. C. burnetii and four different SFG rickettsiae, including Rickettsia (R.) conorii, R. massiliae, R. rhipicephali, and R. aeschlimannii were detected using molecular methods. Double infection with R. massiliae and C. burnetii was found in one of the positive ticks.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic / parasitology
  • Coxiella burnetii / isolation & purification*
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Q Fever / epidemiology
  • Rickettsia Infections / epidemiology*
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / epidemiology
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / microbiology*
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / veterinary
  • Ticks / classification
  • Ticks / microbiology*