Title : Molecular identification of babesia and borrelia species that are potential cause of babebiosis and lyme disease: A one-health concept study of wild ticks
Ticks are second to mosquitoes in disease transmission yet, significant gaps remain in our knowledge of how ticks transmit pathogens to wild animals and even humans. According to the one-health concept, wild ticks may contribute to the transmission of tick-borne diseases such as Babesiosis and Lyme disease. This project focused on identifying ticks in the genera Ixodes, Haemaphysalis, and Rhipicephalus that are associated with Babesia and Borrelia species sampled from the wild animals. This was to add to the knowledge of transmission as wild ticks could be reservoirs of Babesia and Borrelia species capable of causing Babesiosis and Lyme disease. Conventional and nested PCR was done using general Babesia primers and specific Borrelia primers to detect Babesia and Borrelia species. The data showed that wild ticks in the genera Ixodes, Haemaphysalis, and Rhipicephalus may be reservoirs of disease-causing Babesia species group and Borrelia burgdorferi clade, noticeably for causing Babesiosis and Lyme disease in wild animals and even humans. These pathogens were found in all tick species. This may be due to the life cycle of ticks and their parasitic-feeding relationship with their wide range of mammalian bushmeat, including Civettictis civetta, Thryonomys swinderianus, Tragelaphus scriptus, and Cricetomys gambianus. In future work, there are plans on sequencing and do phylogenetic analysis on the 16S gene of the ticks, the 18S ribosomal DNA gene of the Babesia species, and the gene encoding for Flagellin B of the Borrelia burgdorferi which will be compared to the data of Babesia and Borrelia species found in ticks on domestic mammalian animals.
Audience take away:
- This study will contribute to data on Babesia and Borrelia species transmission from ticks as ticks are second to mosquitoes in disease transmission among humans.
- There is a gap in knowledge about the transmission of Babesia and Borrelia species from wild animals to humans, so this study will give information on the transmission of Babesia and Borrelia species (a one-health concept study). This is the first study to be done in Ghana.
- This study targets bushmeat as it is highly consumed in Ghana. Market women may have contact with ticks that are reservoirs and vectors of disease-causing pathogens including Babesia and Borrelia species.
- This study has addressed the potential transmission of Babesiosis and Lyme disease from wild ticks.