Vector of Trypanosoma copemani identified as Ixodes sp.
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A total of 41 ticks were collected from 15 quokkas on Bald Island and 2 ticks from a Gilbert's potoroo from Two Peoples Bay. Three species of Ixodid ticks Ixodes australiensis, Ixodes hirsti and Ixodes myrmecobii were identified on the quokkas known to have a high prevalence of Trypanosoma copemani. Tick faeces from ticks isolated from 8 individual quokkas and a Gilbert's potoroo were examined with one identified as positive for trypanosomes. Faecal examination revealed trypanosomes similar to in vitro life-cycle stages of T. copemani. In total 12 ticks were dissected and trypanosomes found in sections of their midgut and haemolymph, 49 and 117 days after collection. Tick faeces, salivary glands and midguts from I. australiensis were screened using an 18S rRNA PCR with amplification seen only from the midguts. Sequencing showed 100% homology to T. copemani (genotype A) and 99.9% homology to the wombat (AII) isolate of T. copemani. Trypanosomes were only detected in I. australiensis as neither I. hirsti nor I. myrmecobii survived the initial 30-day storage conditions. We therefore identify a vector for T. copemani as I. australiensis and, given the detection of trypanosomes in the faeces, suggest that transmission is via the faecal-oral route.
|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences|
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Copyright:||© Cambridge University Press 2011|
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