Analysis of the tick communities associated to domestic mammals in rural areas of the Yungas montane forest from Argentina
COPA, GRISELDA N.; FLORES, FERNANDO S.; TARRAGONA, EVELINA L.; LAMATTINA, DANIELA; SEBASTIAN, PATRICK S.; GIL, JOSÈ F.; MANGOLD, ATILIO J.; VENZAL, JOSÉ M.; NAVA, SANTIAGO
Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports
Año: 2023 vol. 39
The aim of this work was to describe the tick community associated to domestic mammals in rural areas from the Yungas lower montane forest of Argentina. The circulation of tick-borne pathogens was also analyzed. Samples of ticks parasitizing cattle, horses, sheep and dogs were carried out in different seasons, and questing ticks were collected from vegetation and analyzed to detect the presence of Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, Borrelia and Babesia by a battery of different PCRs. The structure of the tick communities was analyzed through the Chao1 species richness estimator, the ShannonWiener index and the Horn index of community similarity. Eight tick species were collected in the study area: Amblyomma sculptum, Rhipicephalus microplus, Amblyomma hadanii, Dermacentor nitens, Amblyomma ovale, Haemaphysalis juxtakochi, Ixodes pararicinus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu stricto. However, A. sculptum was by far the dominant species in the tick assemblages analyzed, and this was reflected in the low diversity values obtained. Dermacentor nitens, A. sculptum and R. microplus were the three species associated to horses. The predominance of A. sculptum was also observed in the tick samples obtained from dogs, evenon two tick species, namely A. ovale and R. sanguineus s.s., which have dogs as the principal domestic host. Rhipicephalus microplus and A. sculptum were the most abundant ticks on cattle, while few specimens of I. pararicinus, A. hadanii and D. nitens were found on bovines. Dermacentor nitens ticks were found to be infected with B. caballi, which indicate the circulation of this pathogen of horses in the Yungas area. The detection of a strain of Borrelia sp. belonging to the B. burgdorferi s.l. complex in I. pararicinus is consistent with previous findings made in Argentina, but the public health relevance of this vector-microorganism association is far from being similar to that occurs in the northern hemisphere because there are practically no records of these tick species parasitizing humans in South America. The tick community of rural areas of the Yungas lower montane forest is composed by species which are potential vectors of pathogenic microorganism with veterinary and public health importance, circulating in a human-wildlife-livestock interface.