Tick-borne zoonotic bacteria in wild and domestic small mammals in northern Spain.
ABSTRACT The prevalence and diversity of tick-borne zoonotic bacteria (Borrelia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Coxiella burnetii, and spotted fever group rickettsiae) infecting 253 small mammals captured in the Basque Country (Spain) were assessed using PCR and reverse line blot hybridization. Trapping sites were selected around sheep farms (study 1, 2000 to 2002) and recreational parks (study 2, 2003 to 2005). The majority of the studied mammals (162) were wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus), but six other different species were also analyzed: yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis), shrews (Crocidura russula and Sorex coronatus), bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus), domestic mice (Mus domesticus), and moles (Talpa europaea). The results showed an infection rate ranging from 10.7% to 68.8%, depending on the small mammal species. One C. russula shrew and one A. sylvaticus mouse gave positive reactions for A. phagocytophilum, and C. burnetii was detected in two domestic mice and one A. sylvaticus mouse in a farm. The DNA of Borrelia spp. was detected in 67 animals (26.5%), most of them presenting positive hybridization with the probe for Borrelia sp. strain R57, the new Borrelia species previously detected in small mammals in our region. Furthermore, a second PCR and reverse line blot hybridization specific for B. burgdorferi sensu lato revealed the presence of Borrelia afzelii in 6.3% of C. glareolus voles and 14.3% of S. coronatus shrews. All small mammals were negative for spotted fever group rickettsiae. These results highlight the relevance of small mammals as reservoirs of some zoonotic bacteria.
Article: Prevalence of spotted fever group rickettsiae in Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) in southern Germany.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Host-seeking Ixodes ricinus (L.) (Acari: Ixodidae) ticks were collected systematically, from May to September 2006, at selected sites in southern Germany, including a large city park in Munich. Polymerase chain reactions for amplification of genes of the rickettsial citrate synthase (gltA), the outer membrane proteins A and B (ompA and ompB), and the 16S rDNA were used to investigate 2,861 specimens (adults and nymphs). GltA sequences of spotted fever group rickettsiae were detected in 151 of all samples (5.3%; 95% CI = 4.3-6.2%). Sequencing revealed Rickettsia helvetica in 91.4% of the samples and R. monacensis in 8.6%. Amplification of ompA was not possible for R. helvetica, but in all except one of the R. monacensis. The results were analyzed statistically to test the effects of season, location, developmental stage, and gender of the tick on prevalence of Rickettsia spp. Although rickettsial DNA was detected in all investigated sites, sites in natural forest areas had significantly higher prevalences than sites in landscaped city parks. Adult female and male ticks had a similar prevalence and were significantly more often infected than nymphs. Monthly differences were not statistically significant. These results clearly show that R. helvetica is widespread throughout the study region and could result in a threat to public health in areas of high prevalence.Journal of Medical Entomology 10/2008; 45(5):948-55. · 1.76 Impact Factor
Article: Detection and differentiation of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in ticks collected from sheep and cattle in China.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Lyme disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex is an important endemic zoonosis whose distribution is closely related to the main ixodid tick vectors. In China, isolated cases of Lyme disease infection of humans have been reported in 29 provinces. Ticks, especially ixodid ticks are abundant and a wide arrange of Borrelia natural reservoirs are present. In this study, we developed a reverse line blot (RLB) to identify Borrelia spp. in ticks collected from sheep and cattle in 7 Provinces covering the main extensive livestock regions in China. Four species-specific RLB oligonucleotide probes were deduced from the spacer region between the 5S-23S rRNA gene, along with an oligonucleotide probe which was common to all. The species specific probes were shown to discriminate between four genomic groups of B. burgdorferi sensu lato i.e. B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. garinii, B. afzelii, and B. valaisiana, and to bind only to their respective target sequences, with no cross reaction to non target DNA. Furthermore, the RLB could detect between 0.1 pg and 1 pg of Borrelia DNA.A total of 723 tick samples (Haemaphysalis, Boophilus, Rhipicephalus and Dermacentor) from sheep and cattle were examined with RLB, and a subset of 667 corresponding samples were examined with PCR as a comparison. The overall infection rate detected with RLB was higher than that of the PCR test.The infection rate of B. burgdoreri sensu stricto was 40% in south areas; while the B. garinii infection rate was 40% in north areas. The highest detection rates of B. afzelii and B. valaisiana were 28% and 22%, respectively. Mixed infections were also found in 7% of the ticks analyzed, mainly in the North. The proportion of B. garinii genotype in ticks was overall highest at 34% in the whole investigation area. In this study, the RLB assay was used to detect B. burgdorferi sensu lato in ticks collected from sheep and cattle in China. The results showed that B. burdorferi senso stricto and B. afzelii were mainly distributed in the South; while B. garinii and B. valaisiana were dominant in the North. Borrelia spirochaetes were detected in Rhipicephalus spp for the first time. It is suggested that the Rhipicephalus spps might play a role in transmitting Borrelia spirochaetes.BMC Veterinary Research 01/2011; 7:17. · 2.00 Impact Factor
Article: Molecular method for the characterization of Coxiella burnetii from clinical and environmental samples: variability of genotypes in Spain.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Coxiella burnetii is a highly clonal microorganism which is difficult to culture, requiring BSL3 conditions for its propagation. This leads to a scarce availability of isolates worldwide. On the other hand, published methods of characterization have delineated up to 8 different genomic groups and 36 genotypes. However, all these methodologies, with the exception of one that exhibited limited discriminatory power (3 genotypes), rely on performing between 10 and 20 PCR amplifications or sequencing long fragments of DNA, which make their direct application to clinical samples impracticable and leads to a scarce accessibility of data on the circulation of C. burnetii genotypes. To assess the variability of this organism in Spain, we have developed a novel method that consists of a multiplex (8 targets) PCR and hybridization with specific probes that reproduce the previous classification of this organism into 8 genomic groups, and up to 16 genotypes. It allows for a direct characterization from clinical and environmental samples in a single run, which will help in the study of the different genotypes circulating in wild and domestic cycles as well as from sporadic human cases and outbreaks. The method has been validated with reference isolates. A high variability of C. burnetii has been found in Spain among 90 samples tested, detecting 10 different genotypes, being those adaA negative associated with acute Q fever cases presenting as fever of intermediate duration with liver involvement and with chronic cases. Genotypes infecting humans are also found in sheep, goats, rats, wild boar and ticks, and the only genotype found in cattle has never been found among our clinical samples. This newly developed methodology has permitted to demonstrate that C. burnetii is highly variable in Spain. With the data presented here, cattle seem not to participate in the transmission of C. burnetii to humans in the samples studied, while sheep, goats, wild boar, rats and ticks share genotypes with the human population.BMC Microbiology 06/2012; 12:91. · 3.04 Impact Factor