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This is the first report of the presence of Ixodes ricinus on beef cattle in Israel. Up to now, in the Middle East this tick was considered to be confined to Turkey and northern Iran. In the present study, tick samples collected from field-grazing beef cattle in western Galilee (northern Israel) were first examined morphologically for species-specific taxonomical features and then by molecular characterization. Ticks identified morphologically as I. ricinus were then examined by PCR with four different molecular markers: 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, COX1 and cytochrome B. The PCR products were sequenced and compared with annotated I. ricinus sequences in GenBank™ and the analyzed sequences from the collected samples shared 98-99% identity with reported I. ricinus sequences. In contrast, sequences from the collected ticks shared identity of 91% or less with annotated sequences from other Ixodes species. Multiple alignments and neighbor-joining analyses performed for each of the four markers reinforced the results obtained from pairwise alignments. These findings demonstrated for the first time the presence in Israel of the tick species I. ricinus - with results confirmed by a combination of morphological examination and molecular analyses. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


O Erster, A Roth, Y Hadani, V Shkap. First detection of Ixodes ricinus on beef cattle in Israel. Veterinary parasitology. 2013 Jan 31;191(3-4):394-9

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PMID: 23044249

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