Absence of Borrelia spp., Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in questing adult Dermacentor reticulatus ticks
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To determine whether Dermacentor reticulatus ticks are infected by Borrelia spp., Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis, or Anaplasma phagocytophilum, we collected questing adults in the outskirts of Berlin, Germany, examined them for the presence of DNA of these pathogens, and compared the infection rates to those of sympatric Ixodes ricinus ticks. Questing D. reticulatus adults appeared not to harbor the bacterial pathogens that are prevalent in I. ricinus ticks. Based on our sample size, the estimated prevalence of each of these pathogens in D. reticulatus ticks would be well below three tenth of a percent (<0.3 %). For pathogens which so rarely infect D. reticulatus ticks, this tick likely plays no epidemiologic vector role for either their enzootic transmission cycle in nature or their transmission to people.
KeywordsAnaplasma Phagocytophilum Ricinus Tick Outer Surface Protein Dermacentor Reticulatus Candidatus Neoehrlichia Mikurensis
We thank Udo Bischoff, Nicole Held, Mandy Marbler-Pötter, and Tanja Meier-Schünemann for expert technical assistance.
No competing financial interests exist.
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