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  • 1.
    Andersson, Martin O.
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Lund University.
    Bergvall, Ulrika A.
    Stockholm University;Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
    Chirico, Jan
    National Veterinary Institute.
    Christensson, Madeleine
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
    Lindgren, Per-Eric
    Linköping University;County Hospital Ryhov.
    Nordström, Jonas
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences;Dalarna County Administration Board.
    Kjellander, Petter
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
    Molecular detection of Babesia capreoli and Babesia venatorum in wild Swedish roe deer, Capreolus capreolus2016In: Parasites & Vectors, ISSN 1756-3305, E-ISSN 1756-3305, Vol. 9, article id 221Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The epidemiology of the zoonotic tick-transmitted parasite Babesia spp. and its occurrence in wild reservoir hosts in Sweden is unclear. In European deer, several parasite species, including Babesia capreoli and the zoonotic B. venatorum and B. divergens has been reported previously. The European roe deer, Capreolus capreolus, is an important and common part of the indigenous fauna in Europe, as well as an important host for Ixodes ricinus ticks, the vector of several Babesia spp. in Europe. Here, we aimed to investigate the occurrence of Babesia spp. in roe deer in Sweden. Findings: Roe deer (n = 77) were caught and sampled for blood. Babesia spp. was detected with a PCR assay targeting the 18S rRNA gene. The prevalence of Babesia spp. was 52 %, and two species were detected; B. capreoli and B. venatorum in 44 and 7.8 % of the individuals, respectively. Infection occurred both in summer and winter. Conclusions: We showed that roe deer in Sweden, close to the edge of their northern inland distributional range, are infected with Babesia spp. The occurrence of B. venatorum in roe deer imply that it is established in Sweden and the zoonotic implication of this finding should be regarded to a greater extent in future.

  • 2.
    Andersson, Martin O.
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Tolf, Conny
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Tamba, Paula
    Inst Diag & Anim Hlth, Romania.
    Stefanache, Mircea
    PAUMI VET Private Vet Clin, Romania.
    Radbea, Gabriel
    Sal Vet Private Vet Clin, Romania.
    Frangoulidis, Dimitrios
    Bundeswehr Inst Microbiol, Germany.
    Tomaso, Herbert
    Friedrich Loeffler Inst, Germany.
    Waldenström, Jonas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Dobler, Gerhard
    Bundeswehr Inst Microbiol, Germany;German Ctr Infect Res DZIF Partner Munich, Germany.
    Chitimia-Dobler, Lidia
    Inst Diag & Anim Hlth, Romania;Bundeswehr Inst Microbiol, Germany;German Ctr Infect Res DZIF Partner Munich, Germany.
    Molecular survey of neglected bacterial pathogens reveals an abundant diversity of species and genotypes in ticks collected from animal hosts across Romania2018In: Parasites & Vectors, ISSN 1756-3305, E-ISSN 1756-3305, Vol. 11, article id 144Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Ticks are transmitting a wide range of bacterial pathogens that cause substantial morbidity and mortality in domestic animals. The full pathogen burden transmitted by tick vectors is incompletely studied in many geographical areas, and extensive studies are required to fully understand the diversity and distribution of pathogens transmitted by ticks. Results: We sampled 824 ticks of 11 species collected in 19 counties in Romania. Ticks were collected mainly from dogs, but also from other domestic and wild animals, and were subjected to molecular screening for pathogens. Rickettsia spp. was the most commonly detected pathogen, occurring in 10.6% (87/824) of ticks. Several species were detected: Rickettsia helvetica, R. raoultii, R. massiliae, R. monacensis, R. slovaca and R. aeschlimannii. A single occurrence of the zoonotic bacterium Bartonella vinsonii berkhoffii was detected in a tick collected from a dog. Anaplasma phagocytophilum occurred in four samples, and sequences similar to Anaplasma marginale/ovis were abundant in ticks from ruminants. In addition, molecular screening showed that ticks from dogs were carrying an Ehrlichia species identical to the HF strain as well as the enigmatic zoonotic pathogen "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis". An organism similar to E. chaffeensis or E. muris was detected in an Ixodes ricinus collected from a fox. Conclusions: We describe an abundant diversity of bacterial tick-borne pathogens in ticks collected from animal hosts in Romania, both on the level of species and genotypes/strains within these species. Several findings were novel for Romania, including Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii that causes bacteremia and endocarditis in dogs. "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" was detected in a tick collected from a dog. Previously, a single case of infection in a dog was diagnosed in Germany. The results warrant further studies on the consequences of tick-borne pathogens in domestic animals in Romania.

  • 3.
    Andersson, Martin O.
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Tolf, Conny
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Tamba, Paula
    Institute for Diagnosis and Animal Health, Romania.
    Stefanache, Mircea
    PAUMI-VET Private Veterinary Clinics, Romania.
    Waldenström, Jonas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Dobler, Gerhard
    German Center for Infection Research, Germany.
    Chitimia-Dobler, Lidia
    German Center for Infection Research, Germany.
    Canine tick-borne diseases in pet dogs from Romania2017In: Parasites & Vectors, ISSN 1756-3305, E-ISSN 1756-3305, Vol. 10, article id 2092Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Tick-borne diseases are of substantial concern worldwide for animals as well as humans. Dogs have been a human companion for millennia, and their significant impact on human life renders disease in dogs to be of great concern. Tick-borne diseases in dogs represent a substantial diagnostic challenge for veterinarians in that clinical signs are often diffuse and overlapping. In addition, co-infections with two or more pathogens enhance this problem further. Molecular methods are useful to disentangle co-infections and to accurately describe prevalence and geographical distribution of tick-borne diseases. At this point, this information is lacking in many areas worldwide. Romania is one such area, where prevalence and distribution of several important pathogens need to be further investigated. To address this, we screened blood samples from 96 sick dogs with molecular methods for eight different pathogens including Babesia spp., Theileria spp., Hepatozoon spp., Anaplasma spp., Ehrlichia spp., "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis", Mycoplasma spp., and Borrelia spp. Results: As many as 45% (43/ 96) of the dogs in the study were infected with protozoan parasites. Babesia canis was the most frequent of these (28 infected dogs), whereas Hepatozoon canis was detected in 15% (14/ 96) and Babesia gibsoni was found in a single sample. Bacterial infection with Mycoplasma spp. occurred in 18% (17/ 96) of the sampled dogs. Obtained bacterial sequences revealed the occurrence of two species: Mycoplasma canis and "Candidatus Mycoplasma haematoparvum". In several cases co-infection with protozoan parasites and Mycoplasma sp. were detected. All dogs were negative for Anaplasma spp., Ehrlichia spp., "Ca. Neoehrlichia mikurensis", and for Borrelia spp. Conclusions: The results from the present study reinforce the notion that Babesia canis is an important pathogen in the Romanian dog population. However, more surprisingly, another protozoan species, H. canis, seems to be infecting dogs to a larger extent than previously recognized in Romania. Well-known tick-borne bacterial disease agents such as Anaplasma spp. and Borrelia spp. were not detected. In contrast, less wellstudied bacteria such as hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. were detected frequently. Moreover, co-infection might aggravate disease and complicate diagnosis and should be further studied in dogs.

  • 4.
    Bohman, Björn
    et al.
    Univ Western Australia, Australia.
    Weinstein, Alyssa M.
    Australian Natl Univ, Australia.
    Unelius, C. Rikard
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
    Lorenzo, Marcelo G.
    Fiocruz MS, Brazil.
    Attraction of Rhodnius prolixus males to a synthetic female-pheromone blend2018In: Parasites & Vectors, ISSN 1756-3305, E-ISSN 1756-3305, Vol. 11, article id 418Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The triatomine bug Rhodnius prolixus Stal, 1859 (Heteroptera: Reduviidae) is the primary vector of Chagas disease in Colombia and Venezuela. An important step in controlling Chagas disease is monitoring the growth and spread of bug populations to inform effective management. Such monitoring could be carried out using pheromone traps. To develop effective pheromone traps, it is vital to understand the pheromone chemistry of R. prolixus. Previous studies have found that female R. prolixus metasternal gland secretions induce males to: leave shelters, take off, orientate during walking, aggregate around mating pairs, and mate. This study aims to identify a synthetic blend of female metasternal gland compounds that could be used to attract R. prolixus. Results: We investigated the electrophysiological activity of the ten most abundant compounds in female R. prolixus metasternal glands using single sensillum recordings. In total we obtained 60 recordings from basiconic sensilla in male R. prolixus. In 31 of these recordings, responses to individual compounds were observed. Each of the ten tested compounds elicited neuron responses in a minimum of eight recordings. Having confirmed their electrophysiological activity, we tested these ten compounds by presenting them to male Rhodnius prolixus in a 7 olfactometer. Male bugs showed a significant preference for the blend of metasternal gland compounds compared to the clean air control. Conclusions: A simple blend of ten compounds found in female R. prolixus metasternal glands is attractive to conspecific males. All compounds in the blend are either commercially available at low cost, or easily synthetically prepared from simple precursors. We hope that this blend will be evaluated as a lure for pheromone traps in field bioassays.

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