Molecular detection of pathogens in ticks infesting cattle in Nampula province, Mozambique

Ana Marcília Matsimbe, Vlademiro Magaia, Gustavo Seron Sanches, Luís Neves, Emília Noormahomed, Sandra Antunes, Ana Domingos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Ticks are ectoparasites that can act as vectors of a large number of pathogens in wild and domestic animals, pets, and occasionally humans. The global threat of emerging or re-emerging tick-borne diseases supports the need for research focused in the zoonotic transmission, especially in countries like Mozambique where rural populations are in close contact with domestic animals. The present study aims to: (1) identify tick species infesting cattle from Monapo and Nacala Porto, districts of Nampula province, Mozambique; and (2) investigate the presence of pathogens in the collected ticks. A total of 646 ticks were collected from cattle and morphologically identified as Amblyomma variegatum, Rhipicephalus microplus, and R. evertsi evertsi. For convenience, 72 A. variegatum and 15 R. microplus from Monapo, and 30 A. variegatum from Nacala Porto were screened for the presence of the selected pathogens: Rickettsia spp. (A. variegatum), and Babesia/Theileria spp. and Anaplasma/Ehrlichia spp. (R. microplus). Rickettsia africae was detected in four of the 72 A. variegatum collected in Monapo (5.6%). Additionally, one R.microplus tick (6.7%) was positive for Theileria velifera, one positive for Colpodella spp., one positive for Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii, and another one positive for Anaplasma ovis. Using the present approach, no microorganisms were detected in tick samples from Nacala Porto. These findings expand our knowledge about the repertoire of tick-borne microorganisms in ticks in Nampula province, Mozambique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-102
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental and Applied Acarology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Cattle ticks
  • Mozambique
  • PCR
  • Zoonotic pathogens


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