Microorganisms associated with the North African hedgehog Atelerix algirus and its parasitizing arthropods in Algeria

Nawal Aouadi, Linda Benkacimi, Adama Zan Diarra, Maureen Laroche, Jean Michel Bérenger, Idir Bitam, Philippe Parola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hedgehogs are small mammals. They are potential reservoirs of various zoonotic agents. This study was conducted in Bouira, a north-central region of Algeria. A total of 21 Atelerix algirus corpses were picked up on roadsides and gardens. Hedgehog kidneys, spleens and ectoparasites were collected. Twelve hedgehogs were infested with ectoparasites, including Archaeopsylla erinacei, Rhipicephalus sanguineus s.l. and Haemaphysalis erinacei. Hedgehog organs and randomly selected arthropods were screened for microorganisms using molecular methods. Coxiella burnetii was detected in kidneys, spleens, A. erinacei, Hae. erinacei and Rh. sanguineus s.l. Leptospira interrogans was detected in kidneys. Rickettsia felis and Rickettsia massiliae were detected respectively in A. erinacei and in Rh. sanguineus s.l. DNA of an uncultivated Rickettsia spp. was found in Hae. erinacei. Wolbachia spp. DNA was detected in fleas. The DNA of potential new Bartonella and Ehrlichia species were found respectively in fleas and ticks. This study highlights the presence of DNA from a broad range of microorganisms in hedgehogs and their ectoparasites that may be responsible for zoonoses in Algeria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101726
JournalComparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Volume80
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Algeria
  • Fleas
  • Hedgehogs
  • Microorganisms
  • Ticks
  • Zoonoses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Infectious Diseases

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