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European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 439–442 | Cite as

Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in a multi-species deer community in the New Forest, England

  • Matthew T. Robinson
  • Susan E. Shaw
  • Eric R. Morgan
Short Communication

Abstract

The tick-transmitted Anaplasma phagocytophilum has been recorded in a range of mammal species and causes granulocytic ehrlichiosis in humans, horses, and companion animals as well as tick-borne fever in ruminants. Although deer and other ruminant species are known to be natural hosts, the distribution among sympatric deer populations is unexplored. Blood from 80 deer of four species were screened using an A. phagocytophilum-specific real-time polymerase chain reaction. Overall, 29% (19–40) of deer tested positive. Fallow deer (Dama dama), the most numerous species, had significantly lower prevalence (21%) than roe (Capreolus capreolus), red (Cervus elaphus), or sika (Cervus nippon) deer (average 50%). It is suggested that patterns of habitat use influence infection levels in different deer species. The role of deer as reservoirs of anaplasmosis remains unknown; however, prevalence in deer could be a useful index of local infection pressure and the risk of disease in domestic animals and humans.

Keywords

Anaplasmosis Dama dama Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis Ixodes ricinus Tick-borne disease 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the Forestry Commission, especially the Head Keepers John Gulliver and Andy Page, and the other Keepers who assisted with sample collection. MTR was supported by a BBSRC-Pfizer CASE Studentship.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew T. Robinson
    • 1
  • Susan E. Shaw
    • 1
  • Eric R. Morgan
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Clinical Veterinary ScienceUniversity of BristolLangfordUK
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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