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Presence of Chlamydiales DNA in ticks and fleas suggests that ticks are carriers of Chlamydiae.
Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
The Chlamydiales order includes the Chlamydiaceae, Parachlamydiaceae, Waddliaceae, Simkaniaceae, Criblamydiaceae, Rhabdochlamydiaceae, Clavichlamydiaceae, and Piscichlamydiaceae families. Members of the Chlamydiales order are obligate intracellular bacteria that replicate within eukaryotic cells of different origins including humans, animals, and amoebae. Many of these bacteria are pathogens or emerging pathogens of both humans and animals, but their true diversity is largely underestimated, and their ecology remains to be investigated. Considering their potential threat on human health, it is important to expand our knowledge on the diversity of Chlamydiae, but also to define the host range colonized by these bacteria. Thus, using a new pan-Chlamydiales PCR, we analyzed the prevalence of Chlamydiales DNA in ticks and fleas, which are important vectors of several viral and bacterial infectious diseases. To conduct this study, 1340 Ixodes ricinus ticks prepared in 192 pools were collected in Switzerland and 55 other ticks belonging to different tick species and 97 fleas belonging to different flea species were harvested in Algeria. In Switzerland, the prevalence of Chlamydiales DNA in the 192 pools was equal to 28.1% (54/192) which represents an estimated prevalence in the 1340 individual ticks of between 4.0% and 28.4%. The pan-Chlamydiales qPCR was positive for 45% (25/55) of tick samples collected in Algeria. The sequencing of the positive qPCR amplicons revealed a high diversity of Chlamydiales species. Most of them belonged to the Rhabdochlamydiaceae and Parachlamydiaceae families. Thus, ticks may carry Chlamydiales and should thus be considered as possible vectors for Chlamydiales propagation to both humans and animals.
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