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Identification of Theileria fuliginosa -like species in Ixodes australiensis ticks from western grey kangaroos ( Macropus fuliginosus ) in Western Australia

Loh, S.-M., Paparini, A., Ryan, U., Irwin, P. and Oskam, C. (2018) Identification of Theileria fuliginosa -like species in Ixodes australiensis ticks from western grey kangaroos ( Macropus fuliginosus ) in Western Australia. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, 9 (3). pp. 632-637.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2018.02.001
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Abstract

Piroplasms, including the genera Babesia and Theileria, are intra-erythrocytic protozoa that are generally transmitted by ticks and are the aetiological agents for piroplasmosis in animals, as well as humans, worldwide. In Australia, numerous studies have been conducted on piroplasms in domestic animals; however, less is known about these protozoa in ticks from native wildlife. The present study characterised piroplasms in Ixodes australiensis (n = 119) and Amblyomma triguttatum (n = 35) ticks collected from kangaroos in Western Australia (WA). Approximately 7.6% (9/119) (95% CI 2.8–12.2) of the I. australiensis ticks were positive for piroplasms using nested-PCR at the 18S rRNA locus, whereas no piroplasm 18S rDNA was detected in the A. triguttatum ticks. All sequences from I. australiensis ticks were identical. Using a 852 bp multiple nucleotide alignment at the 18S rRNA variable region, sequences shared 97.6%, 94.3%, 93.5% and 93.4% pairwise identity with Theileria fuliginosa, Theileria brachyuri, Theileria penicillata, and a Theileria sp. (K1), derived from a burrowing bettong or boodie (Bettongia lesueur), respectively. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the Theileria sp. from I. australiensis clustered together in the marsupial-associated Theileria group, with T. fuliginosa as closest sister species. Hence, we conclude that this is the first observation of T. fuliginosa-like species in I. australiensis ticks parasitising kangaroos in WA.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier GmbH
Copyright: © 2018 Elsevier GmbH
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/40471
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