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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Molecular Diversity of Hard Tick Species from Selected Areas of a Wildlife-Livestock Interface Ecosystem at Mikumi National Park, Morogoro Region, Tanzania

Damian, Donath; Damas, Modester; Wensman, Jonas Johansson; Berg, Mikael


Ticks are one of the most important arthropod vectors and reservoirs as they harbor a wide variety of viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes, which can cause diseases in human and livestock. Due to their impact on human, livestock, and wild animal health, increased knowledge of ticks is needed. So far, the published data on the molecular diversity between hard ticks species collected in Tanzania is scarce. The objective of this study was to determine the genetic diversity between hard tick species collected in the wildlife-livestock interface ecosystem at Mikumi National Park, Tanzania using the mitochondrion 16S rRNA gene sequences. Adult ticks were collected from cattle (632 ticks), goats (187 ticks), and environment (28 ticks) in the wards which lie at the border of Mikumi National Park. Morphological identification of ticks was performed to genus level. To identify ticks to species level, molecular analysis based on mitochondrion 16S rRNA gene was performed. Ticks representing the two genera (Hyalomma and Rhipicephalus) were identified using morphological characters. Six species were confirmed based on mitochondrion 16S rRNA gene, including Rhipicephalus microplus, Rhipicephalus evertsi, Hyalomma rufipes, Hyalomma truncatum, Hyalomma marginatum, and Hhyalomma turanicum. The presence of different clusters of tick species reflects the possible biological diversity of the hard ticks present in the study region. Further studies are however required to quantify species of hard ticks present in the study region and the country in general over a larger scale.


hard ticks; 16S rRNA gene; Hyalomma; Rhipicephalus; wildlife-livestock interface; Mikumi National Park

Published in

Veterinary Sciences
2021, Volume: 8, number: 3, article number: 36
Publisher: MDPI