Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in a multi-species deer community in the New Forest, England
- 141 Downloads
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.
KeywordsAnaplasmosis Dama dama Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis Ixodes ricinus Tick-borne disease
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.
- Adamska M (2006) Detecting Anaplasma phagocytophilum DNA in blood of roe deer and in ticks. Med Weter 62:201–203 In Polish with English summaryGoogle Scholar
- Amiel C, Abadia G, Choudat D (2004) L’ehrlichiose granulocytique humaine en Europe. (In French with an English summary: human granulocytic ehrlichiosis in Europe.). Med Mal Infect 34:111–122. doi: 10.1016/j.medmal.2003.10.002
- Bakken JS, Kreuth JK, Lund T (1996) Exposure to deer blood may be a cause of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis. J Clin Infect Dis 23:198Google Scholar
- Bown KJ, Begon M, Bennett M, Bennett M, Birtles RJ, Burthe S, Lambin X, Telfer S, Woldehiwet Z, Ogden NH (2006) Sympatric Ixodes trianguliceps and Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on field voles (Microtus agrestis): potential for increased risk of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in the United Kingdom? Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 6:404–410. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2006.6.404 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Casey ANJ, Birtles RJ, Radford AD, Bown KJ, French NP, Woldehiwet Z, Ogden NH (2004) Groupings of highly similar major surface protein (p44)-encoding paralogues: a potential index of genetic diversity amongst isolates of Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Microbiol 150:727–734. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.26648-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Foggie A (1962) Studies on tick pyaemia and tick-borne fever. Symp Zool Soc Lond 6:51–58Google Scholar
- Kenny MJ, Parsons I, Shaw SE, Beugnet F (2003) Anaplasma (Ehrlichia) phagocytophilum infection in a UK fallow deer (Dama dama) herd. Proceedings of the 19th International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology, 233.Google Scholar
- McDiarmid A (1965) Some wildlife diseases in Britain. Br Vet J 121:245–257Google Scholar
- Medlock JM, Pietzsch ME, Rice NVP, Jones L, Kerrod E, Avenell D, Los S, Ratcliffe N, Leach S, Butt T (2008) Investigation of ecological and environmental determinants for the presence of questing Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) on Gower, South Wales. J Med Entomol 45:314–325. doi: 10.1603/0022-2585(2008)45[314:IOEAED]2.0.CO;2 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Randolph SE, Chemini C, Furlanello C, Genchi C, Hails RS, Hudson PJ, Jones LD, Medley G, Norman RA, Rizzoli AP, Smith G, Woolhouse MEJ (2002) The ecology of tick-borne infections in wildlife reservoirs. In: Hudson PJ, Rizzoli AP, Grenfell BT, Heesterbeek JAP, Dobson AP (eds) The ecology of wildlife diseases. Oxford University Press, UK, pp 119–138Google Scholar
- Robinson MT (2008) The mechanisms of zoonotic pathogen transfer during ectoparasite feeding. Ph.D. Thesis, School of Clinical Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol, United Kingdom, 450 pp.Google Scholar