Ticks infesting humans in Italy and associated pathogens

Antonio Cascio, Sergio Aurelio Zanzani, Maria Stefania Latrofa, Fabrizio Montarsi, Alessio Giannelli, Silvia Ravagnan, Stefania Cazzin, Maria Teresa Manfredi, Maria Teresa Manfredi, Domenico Otranto, Antonio Cascio, Gioia Capelli, Filipe Dantas-Torres

Risultato della ricerca: Article

72 Citazioni (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Ticks may transmit a large variety of pathogens, which cause illnesses in animals and humans, commonly referred to as to tick-borne diseases (TBDs). The incidence of human TBDs in Italy is underestimated because of poor surveillance and the scant amount of studies available. Methods. Samples (n = 561) were collected from humans in four main geographical areas of Italy (i.e., northwestern, northeastern, southern Italy, and Sicily), which represent a variety of environments. After being morphologically identified, ticks were molecularly tested with selected protocols for the presence of pathogens of the genera Rickettsia, Babesia, Theileria, Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis, Borrelia and Anaplasma. Results: Ticks belonged to 16 species of the genera Argas, Dermacentor, Haemaphysalis, Hyalomma, Ixodes and Rhipicephalus, with Ixodes ricinus (59.5%) being the species most frequently retrieved, followed by Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (21.4%). Nymphs were the life stage most frequently retrieved (41%), followed by adult females (34.6%). The overall positivity to any pathogen detected was 18%. Detected microorganisms were Rickettsia spp. (17.0%), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (0.8%), Borrelia afzelii (0.5%), Borrelia valaisiana (0.3%), C. N. mikurensis (0.5%) and Babesia venatorum (0.6%). Conclusions: Results indicate that people living in the Italian peninsula are at risk of being bitten by different tick species, which may transmit a plethora of TBD causing pathogens and that co-infections may also occur. © 2014 Otranto et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)328-
Numero di pagine9
RivistaPARASITES & VECTORS
Volume7
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2014

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

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Cascio, A., Zanzani, S. A., Latrofa, M. S., Montarsi, F., Giannelli, A., Ravagnan, S., Cazzin, S., Manfredi, M. T., Manfredi, M. T., Otranto, D., Cascio, A., Capelli, G., & Dantas-Torres, F. (2014). Ticks infesting humans in Italy and associated pathogens. PARASITES & VECTORS, 7, 328-.