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Article

Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ticks Collected from Wild Ungulates in North-Eastern Poland

1
Department of Parasitology and Invasive Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, 10–719 Olsztyn, Poland
2
Department of Medical Biology, Collegium Medicum, School of Public Health, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, 10–561 Olsztyn, Poland
3
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, 10–719 Olsztyn, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Consuelo Almazán
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 587; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050587
Received: 21 March 2021 / Revised: 5 May 2021 / Accepted: 7 May 2021 / Published: 11 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ticks and Tick-Borne Pathogens at the Wildlife–Domestic Interface)
This study was carried out in north-eastern Poland during two hunting seasons between 2018 and 2020. Ticks (Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus) were removed from wild cervids and boars and examined for the presence of Borrelia spirochetes and Rickettsiales members: Rickettsia spp. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. The present study contributes to the knowledge of even-toed ungulates, which are an important reservoir of the above-mentioned pathogens and a potential source of infections for humans through ticks as vectors. Almost 40% of the collected ticks (191 out of 484) were infected with the following pathogens: 3.3% with Borrelia spp., 19.2% with A. phagocytophilum and 26.9% with Rickettsia spp. Only the ticks collected from cervids carried Borrelia. Typing of the species DNA confirmed the presence of B. afzelii, B. garinii, B. lusitaniae and B. miyamotoi. An analysis of Rickettsia spp. sequences using the GenBank data revealed the presence of R. helvetica, R. raoultii and R. monacensis. Monoinfections (79.1%) dominated over co-infections (20.9%). Among co-infections, the most frequent was A. phagocytophilum/Rickettsia spp. (70%), however co-infections, including B. afzelii/A. phagocytophilum, B. afzelii/Rickettsia spp., B. miyamotoi/A. phagocytophilum and B. afzelii/B. garinii/B. lusitaniae, were also noted. Significant differences were observed in the affinity of some pathogens to their vectors. Thus, Borrelia spp. and A. phagocytophilum were more frequently detected in I. ricinus (5.3% and 23.1%) than in D. reticulatus (1.2% and 15.3%). Infection frequency with Rickettsia spp. was similar (approximately 25–29%) in both tick species. The prevalence of A. phagocytophilum and Rickettsia spp. in ticks removed from cervids was 19.8% and 27.1%, and in ticks from wild boars it was 13.3% and 24.4%, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato; Borrelia miyamotoi; Anaplasma phagocytophilum; Rickettsia spp.; tick-borne pathogens; Ixodes ricinus; Dermacentor reticulatus; wild mammals Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato; Borrelia miyamotoi; Anaplasma phagocytophilum; Rickettsia spp.; tick-borne pathogens; Ixodes ricinus; Dermacentor reticulatus; wild mammals
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MDPI and ACS Style

Michalski, M.M.; Kubiak, K.; Szczotko, M.; Dmitryjuk, M. Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ticks Collected from Wild Ungulates in North-Eastern Poland. Pathogens 2021, 10, 587. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050587

AMA Style

Michalski MM, Kubiak K, Szczotko M, Dmitryjuk M. Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ticks Collected from Wild Ungulates in North-Eastern Poland. Pathogens. 2021; 10(5):587. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050587

Chicago/Turabian Style

Michalski, Mirosław M., Katarzyna Kubiak, Magdalena Szczotko, and Małgorzata Dmitryjuk. 2021. "Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ticks Collected from Wild Ungulates in North-Eastern Poland" Pathogens 10, no. 5: 587. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050587

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