Anaplasma phagocytophilum in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks in southwestern Finland
Anaplasma phagocytophilum is the causative agent of an emerging tick-borne disease, human granulocytic anaplasmosis. While the bacterium has been reported from questing ticks in neighboring Sweden, Norway and Russia, the few surveys regarding questing ticks in Finland have thus far been negative. In the current study, the prevalence of A. phagocytophilum in Ixodes ricinus populations was evaluated in several study localities around southwestern Finland during 2013–2014. Some of these populations were previously screened and found negative for A. phagocytophilum in 2000. A total of 3158 I. ricinus collected by blanket dragging were screened for Anaplasma spp. using qPCR. Anaplasma were detected in 9.2% of adult ticks (n = 87) and 3.1% of nymphs (n = 979). All larval samples were negative for infection. All Anaplasma-positive samples were identified as A. phagocytophilum by sequencing. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first report of the pathogen from questing ticks in Finland. Furthermore, the pathogen was detected from several localities found negative during the previous screening 13 years earlier.
KeywordsAnaplasma phagocytophilum Ixodes ricinus Finland Questing tick DNA qPCR
|Funder Name||Grant Number||Funding Note|
|Maj ja Tor Nesslingin Säätiö|
|Emil Aaltosen Säätiö|
|Jenny ja Antti Wihurin Rahasto|
|Turku University Foundation|