Publication details

Prevalence and genetic variability of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in wild rodents from the Italian alps



Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source PARASITES & VECTORS
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Anaplasma phagocytophilum; Ear biopsy; msp4; groEL; Myodes glareolus; Apodemus flavicollis; Phylogenetic analysis
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Description Background: Human granulocytic anaplasmosis is a zoonotic bacterial disease with increasing relevance for public health in Europe. The understanding of its sylvatic cycle and identification of competent reservoir hosts are essential for improving disease risk models and planning preventative measures. Results: In 2012 we collected single ear biopsy punches from 964 live-trapped rodents in the Province of Trento, Italy. Genetic screening for Anaplasma phagocytophilum (AP) was carried out by PCR amplification of a fragment of the 16S rRNA gene. Fifty-two (5.4%) samples tested positive: 49/245 (20%) from the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) and 3/685 (0.4%) samples collected from the yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis). From these 52 positive samples, we generated 38 groEL and 39 msp4 sequences. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed the existence of a distinct rodent strain of AP. Conclusions: Our results confirm the circulation of a specific strain of AP in rodents in our study area; moreover, they provide further evidence of the marginal role of A. flavicollis compared to M. glareolus as a reservoir host for this pathogen.

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