Arthropod-borne infections in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia

Alharbi, B 2018, Arthropod-borne infections in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

PDF - Submitted Version
Download (2MB) | Preview


Arthropod vectors can transmit different diseases that are both a significant and widespread cause of mortality and morbidity in both human and wildlife species. However, further studies are required to identify the role of wildlife species as reservoir hosts for such infections. In some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, few studies have taken place whist in other regions individual species may have been neglected, such as red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in the United Kingdom (UK).To address this paucity of knowledge, samples from different host species from the UK and Ireland (small rodents, red foxes, shrew and ticks species) and from Saudi Arabia Libyan jirds (Meriones libycus) and desert hedgehogs (Paraechinus aethiopicus) were collected and screened for different haemoparasites including Trypanosoma spp., Babesia/Theileria spp., and Bartonella spp.
The data within this study describe different haemoparasite prevalences from these different hosts using PCR- based molecular typing tools. Trypanosoma infections were found in mall rodents from the UK and Ireland, however the presence of the invading bank vole (Myodes glareolus) in Ireland appears to have disrupted the host-parasite relationship between wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) and trypansomes. Babesia vulpes was identified in 134/392 (34%) of red foxes in the UK, suggesting that this potentially important parasite may be common in the UK. From Saudi Arabia, the data within this study showed that 49/121 (40%) of jirds were infected with Theileria spp. whereas 74/112 (66%) of hedgehogs harboured this parasite. Furthermore, Bartonella spp. infections were found in both jirds and hedgehogs from Saudi Arabia, where 73(60% of jirds and 15(13%) of hedgehogs were found to be infected with Bartonella.
To compare the methods of PCR, real- time PCR and the newest technique, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), a number of Ixodes ricinus tick samples were screened by NGS by analysing 16S rRNA gene and the resultant data were confirmed by either PCR or real-time PCR. Different bacterial infections were found in the samples including Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia graini, Candidatus Midichloria, and Rickettsia Helvetica. The comparison between these techniques revealed that NGS offers the potential to be a useful tool in screening hosts and vectors for infections, particularly in identifying novel infections.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Biomedical Research Centre
Funders: Saudi Embassy
Depositing User: B Alharbi
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2018 08:30
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:07

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year