Date: 19 Sep 2006

Anaplasmataceae in wild rodents and roe deer from Trento Province (northern Italy)

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In recent decades, a number of intracellular bacterial strains within the family Anaplasmataceae have been identified around the globe. These bacteria include Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the causative agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis and Anaplasma marginale, which causes disease in ruminants. Bacteria from this family often have a wide range of hosts, infecting both vertebrates and invertebrates. A. phagocytophilum is an obligate intracellular pathogen that parasitises the granulocytes of humans and animals, such as domesticated dogs, sheep, cows and horses, as well as wildlife species, such as deer and rodents [1]. Various strains of A. phagocytophilum have been identified, but only some are considered human pathogens [2].

Different studies have demonstrated the role of the tick Ixodes ricinus as a potential vector for the transmission of A. phagocytophilum [1, 3, 4]. Since transovarial transmission of Anaplasma species appears to be inefficient in ticks, mammalian hosts are pre ...