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Authors: Sándor Hornok, Nóra Takács, Krisztina Szőke and Bernd Kunz

A long-legged tick was collected from a hibernating greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis) in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Based on morphological characteristics as well as on partial COI and 16S rDNA gene sequences the tick was identified as an engorged female of Ixodes ariadnae. The greater mouseeared bat is a new host record for this tick species. Taking into account the geographical position of the collection site and the known migration distance of the greater mouse-eared bat, the present data suggest the autochthonous occurrence of I. ariadnae in Germany. This is the first record of I. ariadnae in Germany, and in any country other than Hungary, where this species has been recently discovered.

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During clinical trials, samples from Hungarian patients of different age groups were tested for antibodies against all 3 serotypes of poliovirus, a member of Picornaviridae family. During the virus neutralization serological test, blood samples were titrated using permanent virus concentration. Based on the cythopathic effect observed under a light microscope, the antibody level of the patient was assessed. The 100 people examined were classified into 5 groups based on age and type of original vaccine: I. Newborns, no vaccination given; II. Immunosuppressed patients; III. Born before 1986, received only OPV vaccine; IV. Born between 1992–2005, received a combination of OPV and IPV vaccines; V. Born after 2006, received only IPV vaccine. Results show that vaccination coverage meets all the criteria. None of the immunized persons was seronegative to all three polioviruses. Both IPV and OPV vaccines are effective against poliovirus. Blood samples from newborn babies with no immunization were also examined. Results show that most newborns have maternal antibodies in their blood. Results of group II show that immunosuppression does not have a negative influence on blood antibody levels against polioviruses. In spite of the low number of samples, our results show that seroconversion after immunization in the Hungarian population is adequate. For more accurate results about vaccination coverage in the population, further trials would be necessary.

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Authors: Sándor Szekeres, Alexandra Juhász, Milán Kondor, Nóra Takács, László Sugár and Sándor Hornok

Reports of Sarcocystis rileyi-like protozoa (‘rice breast disease’) from anseriform birds had been rare in Europe until the last two decades, when S. rileyi was identified in northern Europe and the UK. However, despite the economic losses resulting from S. rileyi infection, no recent accounts are available on its presence (which can be suspected) in most parts of central, western, southern and eastern Europe. Between 2014 and 2019, twelve mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were observed to have rice breast disease in Hungary, and the last one of these 12 cases allowed molecular identification of S. rileyi, as reported here. In addition, S. rileyi was molecularly identified in the faeces of one red fox (Vulpes vulpes). The hunting season for mallards in Hungary lasts from mid-August to January, which in Europe coincides with the wintering migration of anseriform birds towards the south. Based on this, as well as bird ringing data, it is reasonable to suppose that the first S. rileyi-infected mallards arrived in Hungary from the north. on the other hand, red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), which are final hosts of S. rileyi, are ubiquitous in Hungary, and our molecular finding confirms an already established autochthonous life cycle of S. rileyi in the region. Taken together, this is the first evidence for the occurrence of S. rileyi in Hungary and its region.

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Authors: Sándor Hornok, Attila D. Sándor, Gábor FÖldvári, Angela M. IonicĂ, Cornelia Silaghi, Nóra Takács, Anna-margarita SchÖtta and Michiel Wijnveld


Recently, the occurrence of Ixodes (Pholeoixodes) kaiseri has been reported for the first time in several European countries, but data on the molecular analysis of this hard tick species are still lacking. Therefore, in this study DNA extracts of 28 I. kaiseri (collected from dogs and red foxes in Germany, Hungary and Romania) were screened with reverse line blot hybridisation (RLB), PCR and sequencing for the presence of 43 tick-borne pathogens or other members of their families from the categories of Anaplasmataceae, piroplasms, rickettsiae and borreliae. Rickettsia helvetica DNA was detected in one I. kaiseri female (from a red fox, Romania), for the first time in this tick species. Six ticks (from red foxes, Romania) contained the DNA of Babesia vulpes, also for the first time in the case of I. kaiseri. Molecular evidence of R. helvetica and B. vulpes in engorged I. kaiseri does not prove that this tick species is a vector of the above two pathogens, because they might have been taken up by the ticks from the blood of foxes. In addition, one I. kaiseri female (from a dog, Hungary) harboured Babesia sp. badger type-B, identified for the first time in Hungary and Central Europe (i.e. it has been reported previously from Western Europe and China). The latter finding can be explained by either the susceptibility of dogs to Babesia sp. badger type-B, or by transstadial survival of this piroplasm in I. kaiseri.

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Authors: Sándor Hornok, Getachew Abichu, Nóra Takács, Miklós Gyuranecz, Róbert Farkas, Isabel G. Fernández De Mera and José De La Fuente

Hard ticks and tsetse flies are regarded as the most important vectors of disease agents in Sub-Saharan Africa. With the aim of screening these blood-sucking arthropods for vector-borne pathogens belonging to the family Anaplasmataceae in South-Western Ethiopia, four species of tsetse flies (collected by traps) and seven species of ixodid ticks (removed from cattle) were molecularly analysed. DNA was extracted from 296 individual ticks and from 162 individuals or pools of tsetse flies. Besides known vector–pathogen associations, in Amblyomma cohaerens ticks sequences of Anaplasma marginale and A. phagocytophilum were detected, the latter for the first time in any ticks from cattle in Africa. In addition, part of the gltA gene of Ehrlichia ruminantium was successfully amplified from tsetse flies (Glossina pallidipes). First-time identification of sequences of the above pathogens in certain tick or tsetse fly species may serve as the basis of further epidemiological and transmission studies.

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Authors: Krisztin Szőke, Attila D. Sándor, Sándor A. Boldogh, Tamás Görföl, Jan Votýpka, Nóra Takács, Péter Estók, Dávid Kováts, Alexandra Corduneanu, Viktor Molnár, Jenő Kontschán and Sándor Hornok

Kinetoplastids are flagellated protozoa, including principally free-living bodonids and exclusively parasitic trypanosomatids. In the most species-rich genus, Trypanosoma, more than thirty species were found to infect bats worldwide. Bat trypanosomes are also known to have played a significant role in the evolution of T. cruzi, a species with high veterinary medical significance. Although preliminary data attested the occurrence of bat trypanosomes in Hungary, these were never sought for with molecular methods. Therefore, amplification of an approx. 900-bp fragment of the 18S rRNA gene of kinetoplastids was attempted from 307 ixodid and 299 argasid ticks collected from bats, and from 207 cimicid bugs collected from or near bats in Hungary and Romania. Three samples, one per each bat ectoparasite group, were PCR positive. Sequencing revealed the presence of DNA from free-living bodonids (Bodo saltans and neobodonids), but no trypanosomes were detected. The most likely source of bodonid DNA detected here in engorged bat ectoparasites is the blood of their bat hosts. However, how bodonids were acquired by bats, can only be speculated. Bats are known to drink from freshwater bodies, i.e. the natural habitats of B. saltans and related species, allowing bats to ingest bodonids. Consequently, these results suggest that at least the DNA of bodonids might pass through the alimentary mucosa of bats into their circulation. The above findings highlight the importance of studying bats and other mammals for the occurrence of bodonids in their blood and excreta, with potential relevance to the evolution of free-living kinetoplastids towards parasitism.

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Authors: István Takács, Ilona Benkő, Erzsébet Toldy, Norbert Wikonkál, László Szekeres, Edit Bodolay, Emese Kiss, Zoltán Jambrik, Boglárka Szabó, Béla Merkely, Zsuzsa Valkusz, Tibor Kovács, András Szabó, Orsolya Grigoreff, Zsolt Nagy, Judit Demeter, Henrik Csaba Horváth, Nóra Bittner, Szabolcs Várbíró and Péter Lakatos

A D-vitamin anyagcseréje egyedülálló az emberi szervezetben. Hatása szerteágazó, szinte minden szervrendszerben érvényesül. Hiánya az egyik legnagyobb egészségügyi probléma a civilizált világban. A probléma megoldása széles körű összefogást sürget. Ezt felismerve, a D-vitamin-hiány következményeivel küzdő legnagyobb magyarországi orvostársaságok közös konszenzust dolgoztak ki a D-vitamin-hiány jelentőségéről, felismerési lehetőségeiről, a prevenció és a kezelés javasolt módjairól. A társaságok szakmai irányelvei mellett ennek a konszenzusnak az eredménye iránymutatást ad a gyakorló orvosoknak a D-vitamin-hiány megelőzéséhez és kezeléséhez. Emellett szeretné ráirányítani a szakmai döntéshozók és a laikus közönség figyelmét a probléma fontosságára.

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