Molecular detection of vector-borne agents in wild boars (Sus scrofa) and associated ticks from Brazil, with evidence of putative new genotypes of Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and haemoplasmas


The present study aimed to investigate, by molecular techniques, the occurrence of Anaplasmataceae, Bartonellaceae, Rickettsiaceae, Mycoplasmataceae, Coxiellaceae, and Babesiidae/Theileriidae agents in blood samples of free-living wild boars (Sus scrofa) and associated ticks in south-eastern Brazil. For this purpose, 67 blood samples and 265 ticks (264 Amblyomma sculptum and one Amblyomma ovale) were analysed. In the screening for Anaplasmataceae agents by a PCR assay based on the 16S rRNA gene, 5.97% blood samples and 50.54% ticks were positive. In the PCR assay for Ehrlichia spp. based on the dsb gene, 9.24% of ticks were positive. Despite the low occurrence, a possible new 16S rRNA genotype of Anaplasma sp. was detected in a wild boar's blood sample. According to phylogenetic analyses based on the 16S rRNA, gltA, and sodB genes and ITS (23S-5S rRNA) intergenic region, it was found that A. sculptum and A. ovale ticks collected from wild boars carry Ehrlichia genotypes phylogenetically associated with Ehrlichia ewingii, Ehrlichia ruminantium, and new Ehrlichia genotypes previously detected in horses, peccaries, and ticks collected from jaguars. In the screening for haemoplasmas by a qPCR based on the 16S rRNA gene, 88.06% of blood samples and 8.69% of ticks were positive. Mycoplasma suis, Mycoplasma parvum, and a possible new haemoplasma genotype were detected in wild boars in south-eastern Brazil. In the screening for Bartonella spp. using a nuoG-based qPCR assay, 3.8% of tick samples were positive. Phylogenetic inferences positioned four nuoG and one r gltA Bartonella sequences into the same clade as Bartonella machadoae. No blood or tick samples from wild boars showed to be positive in the qPCR for Coxiella burnetii based on the IS1111 gene. On the other hand, only 1.6% of ticks were positive in the nested PCR assay for piroplasmids based on the 18S rRNA gene. A 18S rRNA sequence detected in a pool of A. sculptum nymphs was phylogenetically close to Cytauxzoon felis sequences previously detected in cats from the United States. Rickettsia sp. closely related to Rickettsia bellii was detected in a pool of A. sculptum nymphs. This is the first report of haemoplasmas, B. machadoae, and Cytauxzoon spp. in A. sculptum. Wild boars and associated ticks do not seem to participate in the epidemiological cycle of C. burnetii in the region studied. This invasive mammal species may act as a potential disperser of ticks infected with Ehrlichia spp., Bartonella spp., haemotropic mycoplasmas, and Cytauxzoon, and may bring important epidemiological implications in the transmission of bartonelosis, ehrlichiosis, haemoplasmosis, and cytauxzoonosis to humans and animals, more specifically to horses, rodents, pigs, and cats.



Amblyomma spp, Anaplasmataceae, Bartonella sp, Coxiella burnetii, Cytauxzoon sp, haemoplasmas, Rickettsia sp

Como citar

Transboundary and Emerging Diseases.