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Upscaling the surveillance of tick-borne pathogens in the French Caribbean Islands

Gondard M., Delannoy S., Pinarello V., Aprelon R., Devillers E., Galon C., Pradel J., Vayssier-Taussat M., Albina E., Moutailler S.. 2020. Pathogens, 9 (3) : 33 p..

DOI: 10.3390/pathogens9030176

Despite the high burden of vector-borne disease in (sub)tropical areas, few information are available regarding the diversity of tick and tick-borne pathogens circulating in the Caribbean. Management and control of vector-borne disease require actual epidemiological data to better assess and anticipate the risk of (re)emergence of tick-borne diseases in the region. To simplify and reduce the costs of such large-scale surveys, we implemented a high-throughput microfluidic real-time PCR system suitable for the screening of the main bacterial and parasitic genera involved in tick-borne disease and potentially circulating in the area. We used the new screening tool to perform an exploratory epidemiological study on 132 adult specimens of Amblyomma variegatum and 446 of Rhipicephalus microplus collected in Guadeloupe and Martinique. Not only the system was able to detect the main pathogens of the area¿Ehrlichia ruminantium, Rickettsia africae, Anaplasma marginale, Babesia bigemina and Babesia bovis¿but the system also provided evidence of unsuspected microorganisms in Caribbean ticks, belonging to the Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Borrelia and Leishmania genera. Our study demonstrated how high-throughput microfluidic real-time PCR technology can assist large-scale epidemiological studies, providing a rapid overview of tick-borne pathogen and microorganism diversity, and opening up new research perspectives for the epidemiology of tick-borne pathogens.

Mots-clés : vecteur de maladie; metastigmata; bacteria; transmission des maladies; guadeloupe; antilles françaises; france

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