Molecular Detection of Vector-Borne Pathogens in Rural Dogs and Associated Ctenocephalides felis Fleas (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) in Easter Island (Chile)

Aitor Cevidanes, Sophia Di Cataldo, Fernanda Vera, Pablo Lillo, Javier Millán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The presence of vector-borne pathogens of veterinary and public health interest have received little attention in Chile. In Easter Island, in particular, a Chilean territory in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, no information is available. To fill this gap, 153 rural dogs were inspected for ectoparasites during a sterilization campaign carried out in 2016. Fleas were observed in 46% of the dogs, and Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché, 1835) was the only species present. Morphological identification of fleas was genetically confirmed using conventional polymerase chain reaction targeting the cox2 gene. No tick was observed in any dog. The presence of DNA of Rickettsia sp. (gltA and ompA fragment genes), Anaplasmataceae (16S rRNA), and Bartonella sp. (16S-23S ribosomal RNA intergenic spacer) was investigated in blood samples of 70 of the dogs and in 126 fleas analyzed in 68 pools that included 1-5 fleas. Rickettsial DNA was detected in 97% (n = 66) of the flea pools. Of these, 57 showed between 99 and 100% identity for both genes with published sequences of Candidatus Rickettsia asemboensis (CRa), six with Rickettsia felis, and one with Candidatus Rickettsia senegalensis. For two pools, gltA amplicons were identical to CRa but ompB amplicions showed 99-100% identity with R. felis. Anaplasmataceae DNA was detected in 16% (n = 11) pools. Sequenced amplicons showed highest identity with the endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis. Bartonella DNA, showing 99% identity to Bartonella clarridgeiae, was detected in one pool (1.4%). No positive reaction was observed for any dog. This is the first detection of members of the 'R. felis-like' group other than R. felis in Chile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1659-1663
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Volume55
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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