Genetic diversity of human head lice and molecular detection of associated bacterial pathogens in Democratic Republic of Congo - Aix-Marseille Université Access content directly
Journal Articles Parasites & Vectors Year : 2019

Genetic diversity of human head lice and molecular detection of associated bacterial pathogens in Democratic Republic of Congo

Abstract

Background Head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, is an obligatory blood-sucking ectoparasite, distributed worldwide. Phylogenetically, it occurs in five divergent mitochondrial clades (A–E); each exhibiting a particular geographical distribution. Recent studies suggest that, as in the case of body louse, head louse could be a disease vector. We aimed to study the genetic diversity of head lice collected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) and to screen for louse-borne pathogens in these lice. Methods A total of 181 head lice were collected from 27 individuals at the Monkole Hospital Center located in Kinshasa. All head lice were genotyped and screened for the presence of louse-borne bacteria using molecular methods. We searched for Bartonella quintana, Borrelia recurrentis, Rickettsia prowazekii, Anaplasma spp., Yersinia pestis, Coxiella burnetii and Acinetobacter spp. Results Among these head lice, 67.4% (122/181) belonged to clade A and 24.3% (44/181) belonged to clade D. Additionally, for the first time in this area, we found clade E in 8.3% (15/181) of tested lice, from two infested individuals. Dual infestation with clades A and D was observed for 44.4% individuals. Thirty-three of the 181 head lice were infected only by different bacterial species of the genus Acinetobacter. Overall, 16 out of 27 individuals were infested (59.3%). Six Acinetobacter species were detected including Acinetobacter baumannii (8.3%), Acinetobacter johnsonii (1.7%), Acinetobacter soli (1.7%), Acinetobacter pittii (1.7%), Acinetobacter guillouiae (1.1%), as well as a new potential species named “Candidatus Acinetobacter pediculi”. Conclusions To our knowledge, this study reports for the first time, the presence of clade E head lice in DR Congo. This study is also the first to report the presence of Acinetobacter species DNAs in human head lice in DR Congo.
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hal-02481823 , version 1 (18-10-2023)

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Celia Scherelle Boumbanda Koyo, Nadia Amanzougaghene, Bernard Davoust, Léon Tshilolo, Jean Bernard Lekana-Douki, et al.. Genetic diversity of human head lice and molecular detection of associated bacterial pathogens in Democratic Republic of Congo. Parasites & Vectors, 2019, 12 (1), ⟨10.1186/s13071-019-3540-6⟩. ⟨hal-02481823⟩
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