Hepatozoon spp. are protozoan parasites that infect a wide range of domestic and wild animals. The infection occurs by ingestion of an infected tick. This study was carried out to detect and characterize Hepatozoon spp. in ticks collected from captive lions (Panthera leo) in Thailand based on the partial 18S rRNA gene sequence. A total of 30 ticks were collected and identified as Rhipicephalus sanguineus. The collected ticks were separated into 10 tick pools by sex and life stages. Of the 10 tick pools examined, only one (10%) was found to be infected with the Hepatozoon species. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis showed a clustering of the partial 18S rRNA gene sequence like that of H. felis from the GenBank database. This is the first report of H. felis in R. sanguineus ticks collected from captive lions in Thailand. Our results indicated that R. sanguineus may be a possible vector of feline Hepatozoon in Thailand.
Journal of Parasitic Diseases – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 4, 2017
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