PCR detection of granulocytic Anaplasma and Babesia in Ixodes ricinus ticks and birds in west-central Poland

Departament of Genetics, Faculty of Biology, Szczecin University, Al. Piastow 40B, 71-065 Szczecin, Poland.
Annals of agricultural and environmental medicine: AAEM (Impact Factor: 1.13). 02/2006; 13(1):21-3.
Source: PubMed


The aim of the study was to establish the role of forest birds as reservoirs of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia spp. in Wielkopolski National Park. A total of 108 birds from 9 species were collected between May-September 2002. Blood samples were taken from 84 specimens and 442 individuals of the common tick, Ixodes ricinus, were collected from the birds. The 73 additional ticks were collected from vegetation. PCR amplification of a fragment of the epank 1 gene and 18S rRNA gene was used for detection of A. phagocytophilum and Babesia spp. DNA, respectively. Pathogen DNA was not detected in any of the blood samples or ticks collected from birds. On the other hand, 3 ticks collected from vegetation (4.1% of all examined specimens) were positive for A. phagocytophilum DNA. In spite of the high level of infestation of birds by I. ricinus, it is clear that they do not constitute a competent reservoir of A. phagocytophilum and Babesia in WNP. Additionally, I. ricinus is not a significant vector in this area.

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Available from: Bogumiła Skotarczak, Feb 27, 2015
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    • "uld be involved in an independent avian epidemiological cycle ( Jahfari et al . , 2014 ) . Studying tick feeding on an animal species can provide indirect clues as to its role in a pathogen ' s epidemiological cycle . Prevalence of A . phagocytophilum infection in bird - fed ticks is low , suggesting that birds are unlikely to be reservoir hosts ( Skotarczak et al . , 2006 ; Hildebrandt et al . , 2010 ; Palomar et al . , 2012 ; Geller et al . , 2013 ; Lommano et al . , 2014 ) . Nevertheless , migrating birds can travel long distances and could be important for the spread of A . phagocytophilum and its vector ( s ) ( Hildebrandt et al . , 2010 ; Palomar et al . , 2012 ; Dingler et al . , 2014 ) ."
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    ABSTRACT: Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a zoonotic obligate intracellular bacterium known to be transmitted by ticks belonging to the Ixodes persulcatus complex. This bacterium can infect several mammalian species, and is known to cause diseases with variable symptoms in many domestic animals. Specifically, it is the causative agent of tick-borne fever (TBF), a disease of important economic impact in European domestic ruminants, and human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA), an emerging zoonotic disease in Asia, USA and Europe. A. phagocytophilum epidemiological cycles are complex and involve different ecotypes, vectors, and mammalian host species. Moreover, the epidemiology of A. phagocytophilum infection differs greatly between Europe and the USA. These different epidemiological contexts are associated with considerable variations in bacterial strains. Until recently, few A. phagocytophilum molecular typing tools were available, generating difficulties in completely elucidating the epidemiological cycles of this bacterium. Over the last few years, many A. phagocytophilum typing techniques have been developed, permitting in-depth epidemiological exploration. Here, we review the current knowledge and future perspectives regarding A. phagocytophilum epidemiology and phylogeny, and then focus on the molecular typing tools available for studying A. phagocytophilum genetic diversity.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
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    • "Whereas the DNA of only one pathogen, A. phagocytophilum, occurred in the isolates obtained from 50 representatives of S. scrofa, in the present study, the DNA of A. phagocytophilum was not detected in any tick. However, that result is not surprising, as the presence of this pathogen is maintained at a relatively low level in north-western Poland (Rymaszewska 2004; Skotarczak et al. 2006, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: DNA analysis of blood meals from unfed nymphal Ixodes ricinus allows for the identification of tick host and tick-borne pathogens in the host species. The recognition of host species for tick larvae and the reservoirs of Borrelia, Rickettsia and Anaplasma species were simultaneously carried out by analysis of the blood meals of 880 questing nymphal I. ricinus ticks collected in forest parks of Szczecin city and rural forests in northwestern Poland that are endemic areas for Lyme borreliosis. The results obtained from the study indicate that I. ricinus larvae feed not only on small or medium animals but also on large animals and they (i.e. roe deer, red deer and wild boars) were the most prevalent in all study areas as the essential hosts for larvae of I. ricinus. The composition of medium and small vertebrates (carnivores, rodents, birds and lizards) provided a more diverse picture depending on study site. The reservoir species that contain the most pathogens are the European roe deer Capreolus capreolus, in which two species of Rickettsia and two species of Borrelia were identified, and Sus scrofa, in which one Rickettsia and three Borrelia species were identified. Rickettsia helvetica was the most common pathogen detected, and other included species were the B. burgdorferi s.l. group and B. miyamotoi related to relapsing fever group. Our results confirmed a general association of B. garinii with birds but also suggested that such associations may be less common in the transmission cycle in natural habitats than what was thought previously.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Experimental and Applied Acarology
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    • "13.6 g PCR a , RLB Alekseev et al., 2001a 2002 80 8.8 nPCR b Masuzawa et al., 2008 2006–2008 82 13.4 qPCR b Katargina et al., 2012 I. persulcatus 2002 84 16.7 qPCR b Eremeeva et al., 2006 2002 119 2.5 nPCR b Masuzawa et al., 2008 Poland I. ricinus 2000 424 19.2 PCR a Stanczak et al., 2002 1999 533 4.5 PCR a Skotarczak et al., 2003 2001 701 14 PCR a Stanczak et al., 2004 n.s. 694 13.1 PCR a Tomasiewicz et al., 2004 2002 174 4.6 PCR a Rymaszewska, 2005 2002 73 4.1 PCR b Skotarczak et al., 2006 2000–2004 1474 14.1 PCR a Grzeszczuk and Stanczak, 2006 2005 684 10.2 2.8 PCR a PCR c Chmielewska-Badora et al., 2007 2004–2006 1620 h 4.9 PCR a Wójcik-Fatla et al., 2009 2007–2008 1123 "
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    ABSTRACT: The bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum has for decades been known to cause the disease tick-borne fever (TBF) in domestic ruminants in Ixodes ricinus-infested areas in northern Europe. In recent years, the bacterium has been found associated with Ixodes-tick species more or less worldwide on the northern hemisphere. A. phagocytophilum has a broad host range and may cause severe disease in several mammalian species, including humans. However, the clinical symptoms vary from subclinical to fatal conditions, and considerable underreporting of clinical incidents is suspected in both human and veterinary medicine. Several variants of A. phagocytophilum have been genetically characterized. Identification and stratification into phylogenetic subfamilies has been based on cell culturing, experimental infections, PCR, and sequencing techniques. However, few genome sequences have been completed so far, thus observations on biological, ecological, and pathological differences between genotypes of the bacterium, have yet to be elucidated by molecular and experimental infection studies. The natural transmission cycles of various A. phagocytophilum variants, the involvement of their respective hosts and vectors involved, in particular the zoonotic potential, have to be unraveled. A. phagocytophilum is able to persist between seasons of tick activity in several mammalian species and movement of hosts and infected ticks on migrating animals or birds may spread the bacterium. In the present review, we focus on the ecology and epidemiology of A. phagocytophilum, especially the role of wildlife in contribution to the spread and sustainability of the infection in domestic livestock and humans.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
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