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Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Volume 12 (4), 2021, 101726

Rediscovery and first genetic description of some poorly known tick species: Haemaphysalis kopetdaghica Kerbabaev, 1962 and Dermacentor raskemensis Pomerantzev, 1946

Ímer Orkuna, Zati Vatanseverb

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey.


This study aimed to provide novel information for some poorly known/rare tick species collected from wild goats (Capra aegagrus) in the mountains of Eastern Anatolia, Turkey and to expand upon the available genetic data. The collected ticks were morphologically identified as Haemaphysalis kopetdaghica (all active stages, n = 140), Dermacentor raskemensis (adults, n = 7), Ixodes gibbosus (adults, n = 15), Rhipicephalus kohlsi (female, n = 1), and R. bursa (nymphs, n = 2). A total of 32 engorged ticks (6 larvae, 6 nymphs, and 20 females) collected were allowed to molt to the next stage or for egg laying and larval hatching, respectively. In addition, one R. kohlsi female (previously confirmed by SEM microscopy) collected from a wild goat in the neighboring province of Erzurum was included in this study for further genetic comparison. The partial mitochondrial 16S rDNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (barcoding regions) genes of each tick species were sequenced. All DNA samples obtained from the ticks were checked by PCR for the presence of Anaplasma spp., Babesia spp., Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, spotted fever group rickettsiae, and Theileria spp., but were found to be negative. Phylogenetic analyses of the 16S rDNA and cox1 genes were performed using the ML method to determine their genetic relationship with related ticks. As a result, this study has: i) rediscovered and provided two new tick records (H. kopetdaghica and D. raskemensis) for Turkey, ii) provided the first genetic data for H. kopetdaghica and D. raskemensis and revealed their phylogenetic relationships, iii) characterized the cox1 region of I. gibbosus for the first time, and iv) revealed significant genetic diversity between R. kohlsi from Anatolia and R. kohlsi from Oman, suggesting that R. kohlsi could include a cryptic species.

Keywords: Tick barcoding, Wild goat, Haemaphysalis kopetdaghica, Dermacentor raskemensis, Rhipicephalus kohlsi, Ixodes gibbosus, Phylogenetic analysis.

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