Two novel Ehrlichia (Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae) strains detected in ticks (Ixodida, Ixodidae) and opossums (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae) in Argentina
TARRAGONA, EVELINA L.; FLORES, FERNANDO S.; LAMATTINA, DANIELA; TORRENTS, JORGELINA; SEBASTIAN, PATRICK S.; NAVA, SANTIAGO
Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Año: 2022 vol. 13
The aim of this study is to determine if there is circulation of microorganisms of the genus Ehrlichia in opossums Didelphis albiventris and their ticks from the Humid Chaco in Argentina. Blood samples of 15 specimens of the opossum D. albiventris were analysed. Immature stages of the ticks Amblyomma ovale (Larvae=26; Nymphs=10), Amblyomma sculptum (Larvae=86; Nymphs=6) and Ornithodoros sp. cf. O. mimon (Larvae=90) were also analyzed. DNA was extracted individually from blood samples and ticks. Molecular detection of Ehrlichia agents was performed targeting two different loci: 16S rRNA and dsb gen. The phylogenetic analyses showed that the Ehrlichia sp. detected in D. albiventris in this study is identical to Ehrlichia sp. strain Natal previously detected in two marsupials from Brazil. Furthermore, a new Ehrlichia strain was amplified from an A. ovale nymph (named as Ehrlichia sp. strain El Bagual) which is phylogenetically closely related to a strain of Ehrlichia sp. detected in Bradypus tridactylus in Brazil. The findings of the current study represent the first report of these two strains of Ehrlichia for Argentina, showing that the diversity of Ehrlichia spp. is greater than previously assumed. Further studies should determine the epidemiological relevance of these findings.