Preliminary investigation of ixodid ticks in Jiangxi Province of Eastern China
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In recent years, a large effort has been made for tick surveys for public health importance around China, especially after outbreaks of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) occurred in humans in 2009. In this paper, the preliminary species composition and population distribution of ticks in Jiangxi Province of Eastern China is reported. Ticks were collected in three habitats (grassland, shrubs and woodland) and from nine host groups in 12 sampling sites throughout Jiangxi Province between 2011 and 2018. Six tick species including Haemaphysalis longicornis, Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato, Haemaphysalis yeni, Haemaphysalis kitaoka, Ixodes sinensis and Dermacentor auratus were collected from the vegetation. Haemaphysalis longicornis was most abundant tick species, accounting for 90.6% of the total ticks. Haemaphysalis yeni and H. kitaoka were newly recorded tick species in Jiangxi Province. Tick presence was remarkably greater in grassland (89.4%) than in woodland (9.4%) and shrubs (1.2%), and nymphs (68.2%) and larvae (19.1%) were more frequently found than adult females (6.6%) and males (6.0%). On hosts, a total of 1513 ticks, from 13 species and four genera, were collected. These were H. longicornis, Haemaphysalis campanulata, Haemaphysalis flava, Haemaphysalis phasiana, H. yeni, H. kitaoka, Haemaphysalis hystricis, R. sanguineus (s.l.), Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides, Rhipicephalus microplus, Ixodes granulatus, I. sinensis and Amblyomma testudinarium. Amblyomma testudinarium was a newly recorded tick species in Jiangxi Province. Based on this investigation, H. longicornis was the most frequently collected species (30.5%) and widely distributed tick species of the total collection ticks (in 11 sampling sites). Haemaphysalislongicornis had a broad host range and its presence (hosts with at least one tick) was significantly greater on Lepus sinensis (33.3%) than on Canis familiaris (2.3%) (χ2 = 23.68, p = 0.0013). In addition, the number of H. longicornis collected on L. sinensis (64.0%) was higher than on other host groups. Of all ticks collected on hosts, different developmental stages were obtained, which included 347 larvae (22.9%), 249 nymphs (16.5%), 404 adult males (26.7%) and 513 females (33.9%) and sex distribution was relatively uniform. These data indicate that a broad range of tick species is widely distributed throughout Jiangxi Province in Eastern China.
KeywordsSpecies composition Population distribution Ixodid ticks Jiangxi Eastern China
This study was supported financially by Jiangxi Provincial Department of Science and Technology (Grant Number 2016BBG70005); and funded by Health and Family Planning Commission of Jiangxi Province (Grant Number 20162007). The sponsors have no role in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. Meanwhile, the authors wish to acknowledge the contribution of Yuanping Deng (the director of Anyi Center for Disease Control and Prevention), for technical assistance during the collection of samples. Weiqing Zheng was partially supported by Sasakawa Medical Fellowship through Japan–China Medical Association.
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