Survey of Tickborne Infections in Denmark
Published Date:Jul 2005
Source:Emerg Infect Dis. 11(7):1055-1061.
Tickborne Encephalitis Viruses
Description:We conducted a study of the distribution and prevalence of tickborne infections in Denmark by using roe deer as sentinels. Blood samples from 237 roe deer were collected during the 2002-2003 hunting season. Overall, 36.6% of deer were Borrelia seropositive, while 95.6% were Anaplasma phagocytophilum positive; all animals were negative for Bartonella quintana and B. henselae by indirect immunofluorescence assay. When a hemagglutination-inhibition test was used, 8.7% of deer were found positive for tickborne encephalitis (TBE)-complex virus. A total of 42.6% were found positive by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for A. phagocytophilum with significant seasonal variation. All were PCR negative for Rickettsia helvetica. PCR and sequencing also showed a novel bacterium in roe deer previously only found in ticks. The study showed that the emerging pathogen A. phagocytophilum is widely distributed and that a marked shift has occurred in the distribution of TBE-complex virus in Denmark. This finding supports studies that predict alterations in distribution due to climatic changes.
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