Centro de Bioinvestigaciones -CeBio, Centro de Investigaciones y Transferencia del Noroeste de la Provincia de Buenos Aires- CIT NOBA (CONICET-UNNOBA), Ruta Provincial 32 Km 3.5, 2700, Pergamino, Argentina; Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina. Electronic address: [Email]
Porcine haemoplasmosis caused by Mycoplasma suis affects the global pig industry with significant economic losses. The main transmission route of M. suis is through the blood and some haematophagous arthropods, like flies and mosquitoes, could be the vectors to this pathogen. However, the presence of M. suis in pig haematophagous ectoparasites in natural conditions has not yet been studied. The most frequent ectoparasite in pigs is the blood-sucking louse Haematopinus suis, an obligate and permanent parasite. Therefore, this work aims to study the occurrence of M. suis in H. suis samples from both domestic and wild pig populations from Argentina; using the 16S rRNA gene. A total of 98 sucking lice, collected from domestic and wild pigs from Buenos Aires Province in central Argentina, were examined. We found M. suis DNA in 15 H. suis samples (15.30%). Positive lice were detected from all studied populations. This is the first report of M. suis presence in H. suis, being also the first detection in a pig ectoparasite species. We conclude that H. suis could serve as a mechanical vector for M. suis. This information not only extends the knowledge about the pathogen spectrum potentially transmitted by H. suis, but may be also useful in epidemiological studies about Mycoplasma.