THE DETECTION OF Anaplasma phagocytophilum AND Babesia vulpes IN SPLEEN SAMPLES OF RED FOX (Vulpes vulpes) IN SLOVENIA

Katja Strašek Smrdel, Tatjana Avšič

Abstract


The entrance of wild animals into human settings serves as the access of vector-borne pathogens to susceptible hosts. A red fox (Vulpes vulpes) frequently enters and is quite adapted to living in urban and periurban environments. Due to its living habits, it could be a possible source of tick-borne pathogens, but it could also transfer pathogens through bites. One hundred and ten spleen samples from red foxes were screened for the presence of the Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia vulpes genomes with real-time and conventional PCR. Positive PCR products were further sequenced. A genotype of A. phagocytophilum was determined and species of Babesia spp. if possible.
Five (4.5%) spleen samples from red fox were positive for A. phagocytophilum DNA. With nucleotide comparison, three genotypes from cluster I were detected. The detected prevalence of B.vulpes in red fox in Slovenia was 76.3%. The parasite was detected in all tested regions of the country. Data from our study suggest that the red fox may have only limited impact on the circulation of the zoonotic genotype of A. phagocytophilum, but it represents a risk of transmission of B. vulpes near human settings and consequently poses a threat to domestic animals.

Key words: red fox, Vulpes vulpes, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia spp., Babesia vulpes, tick-borne pathogens, dogs


UGOTAVLJANJE ANAPLAZME (Anaplasma phagocytophilum) IN BABEZIJE (Babesia vulpes) V VZORCIH VRANIC PRI RDEČIH LISICAH (Vulpes vulpes) V SLOVENIJI 

Izvleček: Prehajanje divjih živali v urbana okolja omogoča prenos klopno prenosljivih patogenih mikroorganizmov do dovzetnih oseb in živali. Navadna rdeča lisica (Vulpes vulpes) pogosto prehaja v okolico bivališč ljudi, prav tako se je že dobro privadila življenju v bližini ljudi. Zaradi svojih življenjskih navad predstavlja možen vir klopno prenosljivih patogenov preko okuženih klopov, lahko tudi preko ugriza živali. Stodeset vzorcev vranic navadne rdeče lisice smo pregledali na prisotnost genoma bakterije Anaplasma phagocytophilum in parazita Babesia spp. Pozitivnim vzorce smo nato določili zaporedje DNK in določili genotip A. phagocytophilum oz. vrsto babezije, kadar je bilo to mogoče. Pet vzorcev vranic (4.5 %) navadne rdeče lisice je bilo pozitivnih na prisotnost genoma A. phagocytophilum. Z določitvijo zaporedja DNK smo določili tri genotipe. Prevalenca okužbe z B. vulpes pri slovenskih lisicah je 76.3 %, določili pa smo jo v vseh statističnih regijah Slovenije. Navadna rdeča lisica ima zelo omejen vpliv na kroženje zoonotskega genotipa A. phagocytophilum. Kljub temu pa predstavlja verjeten vir prenosa parazita B. vulpes v urbana področja in posledično nevarnost za domače živali. 

Ključne besede: navadna rdeča lisica; Vulpes vulpes; Anaplasma phagocytophilum; Babesia spp.; Babesia vulpes; klopno prenosljivi patogeni mikroorganizmi; psi

 


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26873/SVR-1206-2020

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