Wild game as a reservoir of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in north-western Poland

Małgorzata Adamska, Bogumiła Skotarczak
Wiadomości Parazytologiczne 2007, 53 (2): 103-7

BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to determine the role of game animals as reservoirs of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, a bacteria species transmitted by Ixodes ricinus ticks, from north-western Poland (Zachodniopomorskie vovoidship). The area under question is endemic for A. phagocytophilum.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Blood and spleen samples were taken from 72 roe deer between April and December 2003. Animals culled during winter did not harbour ticks, on the other hand 155 individuals of Ixodes ricinus were collected from 35 of 43 animals taken during spring. We tested all samples for A. phagocytophilum by PCR amplification of the msp2 gene. An individual was considered infected if pathogens were detected in at least one isolate (blood or a tissue sample).

RESULTS: DNA from A. phagocytophilum was not found in isolates from ticks collected from the animals. The general level of infection for the roe deer was 31.94% (23/72). DNA of A. phagocytophilum was most commonly detected in blood samples; only in three cases was anaplasma DNA detected in spleen and not in blood. Ruminants seem to be the most competent reservoir for A. phagocytophilum in north-western Poland.

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