Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2011 Mar 21. [Epub ahead of print]
Pathogens of Emerging Tick-Borne Diseases, Anaplasma phagocytophilum,
Rickettsia spp., and Babesia spp., in Ixodes Ticks Collected from
Rodents at Four Sites in Switzerland (Canton of Bern).
Burri C, Dupasquier C, Bastic V, Gern L.
Laboratory of Eco-Epidemiology of Parasites, Institute of Biology,
University of Neuchâtel , Neuchâtel, Switzerland .
Abstract This study is part of a project that aimed to better understand
the role of small mammals in the maintenance of the tick-borne
encephalitis virus at four different sites in Switzerland. Here we
focused on the detection of three intracellular pathogens, Anaplasma
phagocytophilum, Rickettsia spp., and Babesia spp., in field-derived
ticks that detached from 79 small mammals. We analyzed 465 Ixodes
ricinus larvae after their molt and 14 semiengorged I. trianguliceps
that were feeding on rodents. No pathogen was detected in I.
trianguliceps. In I. ricinus, the most frequently detected pathogen was
Rickettsia spp. (7.3%). All Rickettsia spp. identified DNA belonged to
R. helvetica except one DNA sample that was identified as R. monacensis.
The prevalence of Babesia spp. reached 2.4% and identification at the
species level revealed B. venatorum (1.7%) and B. microti (0.4%). A.
phagocytophilum was not detected in I. ricinus that detached from
rodents. To verify the absence of A. phagocytophilum at the four sites,
additional questing nymphs collected at these sites were analyzed for A.
phagocytophilum. This pathogen was detected at one site only, where 2%
(2/100) of questing ticks were infected. Some of these emerging
pathogens are described for the first time in molted larvae that fed on
rodents. The presence of medically relevant pathogens, with a global
prevalence of 9.9%, highlights the importance to inform the medical
corporation on the risk for human health in these areas.
PMID: 21417929 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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