Faculté des sciences

Assessment of intraspecific mtDNA variability of European Ixodes ricinus sensu stricto (Acari: Ixodidae)

Casati, Simona ; Bernasconi, Marco V. ; Gern, Lise ; Piffaretti, Jean-Claude

In: Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 2008, vol. 8, no. 2, p. 152-158

The Ixodes ricinus complex is composed of 14 species distributed worldwide. Some members of this complex are involved in the transmission of a number of diseases to animals and humans, in particular Lyme borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis, ehrlichiosis and babesiosis. While the phylogenetic relationships between species of the I. ricinus complex have been investigated in the past,... Plus

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    Summary
    The Ixodes ricinus complex is composed of 14 species distributed worldwide. Some members of this complex are involved in the transmission of a number of diseases to animals and humans, in particular Lyme borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis, ehrlichiosis and babesiosis. While the phylogenetic relationships between species of the I. ricinus complex have been investigated in the past, still little is known about the genetic structure within the species I. ricinus sensu stricto. We have investigated the intraspecific variability among 26 I. ricinus s.s. ticks collected in various European countries, including Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland by using five mitochondrial gene fragments corresponding to the control region, 12S rDNA, cytb, COI, and COII. The five genes considered here showed a low genetic variability (1.6–5%). Our results based on both statistical parsimony (applied to the COI + COII + cytb + 12S + CR data set, for a total of 3423 bp) and maximum parsimony (applied to the COI + COII + cytb + 12S data set, for a total of 2980 bp) did not provide any evidence for a correlation between the identified haplotypes and their geographic origin. Thus, the European I. ricinus s.s. ticks do not seem to show any phylogeography structure.