Hymenopteran parasitoids of hard ticks in western africa and the Russian far east

Mapenda Gaye, Nadia Amanzougaghene, Younes Laidoudi, El Hadji Amadou Niang, Zuzana Sekeyová, Maureen Laroche, Jean Michel Bérenger, Didier Raoult, Mária Kazimírová, Florence Fenollar, Oleg Mediannikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Some parasitoids of the genus Ixodiphagus (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea: Encyrtidae) are well-known natural enemies of ticks. In this study, we investigate the occurrence of parasitoid wasps in adult hard ticks from Western Africa (Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal) and Far Eastern Europe (Russia) using molecular methods. The morphological identification allowed the classification of 785 collected specimens of six species of ticks: Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (41%), Ixodes persulcatus (33%), Dermacentor silvarum (11%), Haemaphysalis concinna (7%), Amblyomma variegatum (5%), and Haemaphysalis japonica (3%). The newly developed MALDI-TOF MS protocol identified tick species in spite of their different storage (dried or in 70% ethanol) conditions for a long period. Molecular screening of ticks by a new standard PCR system developed in this study revealed the presence of parasitoid wasp DNA in 3% (28/785) of analyzed ticks. Ixodiphagus hookeri was detected in 86% (24/28) of infested ticks, including 13 I. persulcatus, 9 R (B) microplus, and one H. concinna and D. silvarum. While an unidentified parasitoid wasp species from the subfamily Aphidiinae and Braconidae family was detected in the remaining 14% (4/28) infested ticks. These infested ticks were identified as I. persulcatus. Our findings highlight the need for further studies to clarify the species diversity of parasitoid infesting ticks by combining molecular and morphological features. The novel molecular and MALDI-TOF MS protocols could be effective tools for the surveillance and characterization of these potential bio-control agents of ticks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1992
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Parasitoid wasps
  • Russia
  • Ticks
  • Western Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology


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