RESEARCH PAPER
Detection of protozoans Babesia microti and Toxoplasma gondii and their co-existence in ticks (Acari: Ixodida) collected in Tarnogórski district (Upper Silesia, Poland)
 
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Department of Parasitology, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Sosnowiec, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Marek Asman   

Department of Parasitology, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Sosnowiec, Poland
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2015;22(1):80–83
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
Ticks (Acari: Ixodida) are vectors of many pathogens i. a: Babesia microti [Bm] and Toxoplasma gondii [Tg]. In Poland, Ixodes ricinus [Ir] is the main vector of both pathogens. This tick species and pathogens transmitted by them are a significant threat to human and animal health.

Objectives of the study:
Detection of the protozoans Bm and Tg in ticks collected in the Tarnogórski district area.

Material and Methods:
The ticks were collected from vegetation and pets in the spring period of their activity on the territory of the Tarnogórski district. The parasites were preserved in 70% ethanol. DNA was isolated by ammonia method. Bm was detected by nested-PCR using specific primers for the 18S rRNA sequence. To detect the Tg a commercial kit was used. The PCR products were separated on 2% ethidium bromide stained agarose gels and visualised under UV light.

Results:
It was showed that all collected ticks belonged to the species Ir. Bm was detected in 50.87% and Tg in 64.91% of all examined ticks. Co-existence of these both protozoans in 36.84% of total examined ticks was noted.

Conclusions:
The study showed a high risk of exposure to Bm and Tg in the studied area. Ticks Ir play an important role in the transmission of Bm in this region. Demonstrating a high percentage of ticks collected from animals infected with Tg may indicate their important role in the transmission of this pathogen, but it requires a further studies.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The studies received support from Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway through the EEA Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism (Grant No. PL0343). This work was also supported by the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice through Grant No. KNW-1- 136/K/3/0. The authors are grateful for the successful cooperation with the veterinarians from the ‘Vetmedicor’ Animal Clinic in Tarnowskie Góry, Poland, who kindly provided the ticks collected from pets, and performed the survey among pet owners.
 
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