Diversity and phylogeny of the tick-borne bacterial genus Candidatus Allocryptoplasma (Anaplasmataceae)

Ouass et al. (2023). Parasite 30
Names (2)
Animal Science and Zoology Infectious Diseases Insect Science Parasitology Veterinary (miscellaneous)
The family Anaplasmataceae includes tick-borne bacteria of major public and veterinary health interest, as best illustrated by members of the genera Anaplasma and Ehrlichia. Recent epidemiological surveys have also reported on the presence of a novel putative genus in the Anaplasmataceae, Candidatus Allocryptoplasma, previously described as Candidatus Cryptoplasma in the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus. However, the genetic diversity of Ca. Allocryptoplasma and its phylogenetic relationship with other Anaplasmataceae remain unclear. In this study, we developed a multi-locus sequence typing approach, examining the DNA sequence variation at five genes of Ca. Allocryptoplasma found in ticks. Combining this multi-locus sequence typing and genetic data available on public databases, we found that substantial genetic diversity of Ca. Allocryptoplasma is present in Ixodes, Amblyomma and Haemaphysalis spp. ticks on most continents. Further analyses confirmed that the Ca. Allocryptoplasma of ticks, the Ca. Allocryptoplasma of lizards and some Anaplasma-like bacteria of wild mice cluster into a monophyletic genus, divergent from all other genera of the family Anaplasmataceae. Candidatus Allocryptoplasma appears as a sister genus of Anaplasma and, with the genera Ehrlichia and Neoehrlichia, they form a monophyletic subgroup of Anaplasmataceae associated with tick-borne diseases. The detection of genetically distinct Ca. Allocryptoplasma in ticks of significant medical or veterinary interest supports the hypothesis that it is an emergent genus of tick-borne pathogens of general concern.
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