Rhipicephalus turanicus, a new vector of Hepatozoon canis

Alessio Giannelli, Riccardo Paolo Lia, Giada Annoscia, Canio Buonavoglia, Eleonora Lorusso, Filipe Dantas-Torres, Gad Baneth, Domenico Otranto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The distribution of Hepatozoon canis mainly encompasses areas where its main tick vector, Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato, is present. However, the detection of this pathogen in dogs, foxes and golden jackals well outside the areas inhabited by this tick species reinforced the hypothesis that additional ixodids are involved in the life cycle and transmission of this protozoon. The present study provides, for the first time, data supporting the sporogonic development of H. canis in specimens of Rhipicephalus turanicus collected from a naturally infected fox from southern Italy. The epidemiological role of R. turanicus as a vector of H. canis is discussed, along with information on the potential use of cell cultures for the experimental infection with H. canis sporozoites. The in vitro infection of canine leucocytes by sporozoites from ticks is proposed as a potential tool for future in-depth studies on the biology of H. canis.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)730-737
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 May 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Cambridge University Press.


  • Hepatozoon canis
  • Rhipicephalus turanicus
  • cells
  • development
  • fox
  • sporogony
  • tick
  • tick-borne pathogen


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