New data regarding distribution of cattle ticks in the south-western Indian Ocean islands

Abstract : Recent studies have produced new insight into the origin and distribution of some cattle ticks in the south-western Indian Ocean islands. Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, introduced from Tanzania in 2002, is now well established on Grande Comore but has not yet reached the other islands of the archipelago (Moheli, Anjouan and Mayotte). Only one of the two clades identified in Africa has settled so far. Amblyomma variegatum, which was not supposed to be able to persist in the Antananarivo region (1300 m) nor in other Malagasy regions of high altitude without regular introductions of ticks by infested cattle, is now endemic as a general rule up to 1600 m although other regions of lower altitude (1400 m) are still free of the tick. This species remains confined in a small area of the west coast on La Reunion Island. On the contrary, Hyalomma dromedarii could not settle on Madagascar where it was introduced in 2008 and Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi is not yet present in Grande Comore despite regular introductions by infested cattle from Tanzania. A phylogeographic approach has been carried out at an intra-specific level for A. variegatum. This study has led to the identification of two main lineages, one covering all species distribution and one restricted to East Africa and the Indian Ocean area. These two lineages are in sympatry in Madagascar where a high genetic diversity has been described, whereas a lower genetic diversity is observed on other islands. These results seem to agree with the historical data concerning the introduction of the tick in the Indian Ocean area.
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Frédéric Stachurski, Pablo Tortosa, Patrick Rahajarison, Stephanie Jacquet, Amina Yssouf, et al.. New data regarding distribution of cattle ticks in the south-western Indian Ocean islands. Veterinary Research, BioMed Central, 2013, 44, pp.79. ⟨10.1186/1297-9716-44-79⟩. ⟨hal-01285441⟩

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