Molecular detection and identification of Rickettsiales pathogens in dog ticks from Costa Rica

Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2016 Oct;7(6):1198-1202. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2016.07.015. Epub 2016 Jul 25.


Although vector-borne diseases are globally widespread with considerable impact on animal production and on public health, few reports document their presence in Central America. This study focuses on the detection and molecular identification of species belonging to selected bacterial genera (Ehrlichia, Anaplasma and Rickettsia) in ticks sampled from dogs in Costa Rica by targeting several genes: 16S rRNA/dsb genes for Ehrlichia; 16S rRNA/groEL genes for Anaplasma, and ompA/gltA/groEL genes for Rickettsia. PCR and sequence analyses provides evidences of Ehrlichia canis, Anaplasma platys, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in Rhipicephalus sanguineus s.l ticks, and allow establishing the presence of Rickettsia monacensis in Ixodes boliviensis. Furthermore, the presence of recently discovered Mediterranean A. platys-like strains is reported for the first time in Central America. Results provide new background on geographical distribution of selected tick-transmitted bacterial pathogens in Costa Rica and on their molecular epidemiology, and are pivotal to the development of effective and reliable diagnostic tools in Central America.

Keywords: Rhipicephalus sanguineus s.l..

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alphaproteobacteria / genetics*
  • Alphaproteobacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Animals
  • Costa Rica / epidemiology
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology
  • Dog Diseases / microbiology
  • Dog Diseases / parasitology*
  • Dogs
  • Ixodidae / microbiology*