Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Piedmont Liguria and Aosta Valley IZSPLV

Imperia, Italy

Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Piedmont Liguria and Aosta Valley IZSPLV

Imperia, Italy
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Selmi M.,Observatory for Vector Borne Diseases | Ballardini M.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Piedmont Liguria and Aosta Valley IZSPLV | Salvato L.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Lazio and Tuscany IZSLT | Ricci E.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Lazio and Tuscany IZSLT
Experimental and Applied Acarology | Year: 2017

In this work, we have analyzed the key features of Rickettsia spp. maintenance in Dermacentor marginatus ticks in four regions of the northern Mediterranean area, where extensive investigations are currently lacking. For this purpose, 380 adult D. marginatus ticks were collected from vegetation and wild ungulates during a 3-year study. A host-vector-pathogen interaction approach was applied to investigate the key components of the disease systems and evaluate their respective weight in the intensity of infection in natural foci. A high variability in the R. slovaca infection rate among sampling sites was observed, whereas R. raoultii was sporadically present and at low infection rates. Dermacentor marginatus presence was confirmed in all the investigated regions. The local wild boar population showed a strong association with adult D. marginatus ticks. The results of this investigation suggest that wild boars not only maintain D. marginatus populations by feeding adult ticks, but may also have a potential role in the eco-epidemiology of rickettsioses, as carriers of rickettsiae-infected ticks. The public health implications of these results are discussed. © 2017 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

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