Archive for the ‘Anaplasmosis’ Category

Pathogens From Ticks in UK Cats

Parasit Vectors. 2018 Mar 20;11(1):201. doi: 10.1186/s13071-018-2789-5.

Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Bartonella spp., haemoplasma species and Hepatozoon spp. in ticks infesting cats: a large-scale survey.



Ticks derived from cats have rarely been evaluated for the presence of pathogens. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Bartonella spp., haemoplasma species and Hepatozoon spp. in ticks collected from cats in the UK.


Five hundred and forty DNA samples extracted from 540 ticks collected from cats presenting to veterinarians in UK practices were used. Samples underwent a conventional generic PCR assay for detection of Hepatozoon spp. and real-time quantitative PCR assays for detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and three feline haemoplasma species and a generic qPCR for detection of Bartonella spp. Feline 28S rDNA served as an endogenous internal PCR control and was assessed within the haemoplasma qPCR assays. Samples positive on the conventional and quantitative generic PCRs were submitted for DNA sequencing for species identification.


Feline 28S rDNA was amplified from 475 of the 540 (88.0%) ticks. No evidence of PCR inhibition was found using an internal amplification control. Of 540 ticks, 19 (3.5%) contained DNA from one of the tick-borne pathogens evaluated. Pathogens detected were: A. phagocytophilum (n = 5; 0.9%), Bartonella spp. (n = 7; 1.3%) [including Bartonella henselae (n = 3; 0.6%) and Bartonella clarridgeiae (n = 1; 0.2%)], haemoplasma species (n = 5; 0.9%), “Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum” (n = 3; 0.6%), Mycoplasma haemofelis (n = 1; 0.2%), “Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis” (n = 1; 0.2%), Hepatozoon spp. (n = 2; 0.4%), Hepatozoon felis (n = 1; 0.2%) and Hepatozoon silvestris (n = 1; 0.2%).


These data provide important information on the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in ticks infesting cats, with the identification of haemoplasma species, A. phagocytophilum, H. felis and Bartonella spp. (including B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae). This study also documents the first report of H. silvestris in ticks collected from domestic cats.



More and more is coming out about these same pathogens causing disease in humans.

Bartonella clarridgeiae has caused Cat Scratch Disease in humans:

Haemoplasma species (Mycoplasma) can be chronic in cats and cause anemia:

Humans can be infected with Myco:

As to Hepatozoon spp. (felis & silvestris): health considerations
Hepatozoon infection in humans has not been described except for a single case in which the species was not identified.  So it’s been found in at least one human.  The thing is they aren’t regularly looking for it.

Transmission route:  ingestion of tick vectors (but how’d the ONE human get it?  I doubt they were eating ticks!)

Clinical signs
H.canis infects the hemolymphatic tissues and causes anemia and lethargy. Infection varies from being subclinical to severe with lethargy, fever, cachexia and pale mucous membranes due to anemia.
It’s diagnosed by microscopic detection of intracellular H. canis gamonts in neutrophils and monocytes in stained capillary blood smears. The degree of parasitaemia is directly proportional to the severity of clinical signs. PCR of whole blood for H. canis detection is sensitive and specific.
It is treated with imidocarb dipropionate at 5-6 mg/kg IM or SC every 14 days until gamonts are no longer present in blood smears. The decrease of parasitemia is slow and usually requires several repeated imidocarb treatments.

More in ticks:  (The actual number is 16 and counting)

Wed Nite @ The Lab – Talk on Mosquitoes, Ticks, & Disease

Approx. 1:24:00

Wednesday Nite @ The Lab
Published on Jan 16, 2018

“Susan Paskewitz’s talk will focus on the activities of the newly created Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Disease. The center was established in 2017 as a response to the increasing rate of human illness caused by tick and mosquito-transmitted diseases in the region, including Lyme disease and West Nile encephalitis. In addition to these familiar problems, new ticks, mosquitoes, and pathogens have been discovered. Solving these issues will require a new generation of trained vector biologists, cooperation and collaboration among public-health professionals and scientists, and creative and innovative research to reduce human and insect contact.”

About the Speaker

Paskewitz is the director of the Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Disease and the chair of the Department of Entomology at UW–Madison. Her research focuses on the ecology, epidemiology, and management of ticks and mosquitoes. She teaches classes in global health, medical and veterinary entomology, and the One Health concept, during which she enjoys working with undergraduate and graduate students who seek to gain experience in public health, infectious disease, and vector-biology research. Paskewitz earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Southern Illinois University–Carbondale and her doctorate at the University of Georgia–Athens.



4:45 Believe it or not, Wisconsin used to have cases of Malaria.

Zika, discovered in 1947, wasn’t even in our hemisphere. Very few people infected until 2007 when there were 13-14 cases. 2015 it showed up in Brazil. First time a mosquito spread disease that is also sexually transmitted. A medical entomologist felt he gave it to his wife and then wrote a paper on it.

(I guess we need a medical entomologist to infect his/her wife with Lyme/MSIDS so that a paper can be written to prove sexual transmission…..) Please see: and

UW did a lot of work on Zika. Cases in the U.S. occurred when people traveled abroad, became infected, were bit by mosquitoes here, and then spread from there. Only 63 infected people in 2016, 9 more in 2017.

Do we have the mosquitoes that can pick up the virus and transmit it? The Yellow Fever mosquito is the one transmitting Zika. The mosquito is here in U.S. but NOT in WI.  The Asian Tiger mosquito is a secondary vector that transmits the same viruses but not as well. Has a wider distribution and is a daytime feeder.

She looked in all the records – couldn’t find the Asian Tiger in Wisconsin.  It is found in Illinois and Indiana.  However, since that time they have laid many traps and found the Asian Tiger Mosquito here but she doesn’t feel they are abundant or wide spread.  She also feels they won’t survive our winters but experiments are in progress.  Females bite, lay eggs in wet aquatic spots, as larvae need water to grow.

(The same sort of diligence needs to happen in the world of Lyme.  For instance, borrelia has been found in other insects, but entomologists downplay it and say numbers are small.  This is a great example of how Lyme is treated differently then other diseases that are big money-makers for researchers.)

25:32 The Lone star tick has popped up in a number of places in WI – she doesn’t feel they will survive our winters.

Spent a lot of time talking about mosquito issues happening down South.

She admits the Center was created due to Zika.  

(Don’t be shocked when all the research dollars go to Zika & not tick borne illness despite the much higher prevalence of TBI’s in WI)

Wisconsin has cases of West Nile, La Crosse Virus, and Jamestown Canyon Virus – which has increased human cases – they don’t know why.

They are working on a bacterial based topical repellent.  Also working on using fish and copepods to eat mosquitos at the larval stage.

38:00 TICKS

Ticks transmit Lyme Disease – a lot and it’s not just in the North. Could pick it up anywhere in Wisconsin.

Please see:

Map showing Deer tick population between 1907-1996 and 1907-2015 –

Our entire state is infested.  

Sky rocket of LD in WI CONFIRMED.  She admits the CDC says the cases are hugely underestimated – more like 30,000 cases per year in WI.

WI is a hotspot for newly emerging TBI – Anaplasma, Ehrlichia muris, borrelia miyamotoi (relapsing fever), Babesia divergens (in Michigan but Paskowitz feels it’s probably here too).

Anaplasma seeing 400-600 cases a year in WI.  Again, much underreporting.

44:00 talks about tick distribution maps.

Please see: (go to page 6 and read about Speilman’s maps which are faulty but have ruled like the Iron Curtain, and have been used to keep folks from being diagnosed and treated)

They are working on a way for public to take pictures of ticks, send it to the lab and get answers.

Trying to reduce the risk….they think it’s the nymphs that do most of the transmission because they are tiny and we don’t feel them.

Larvae and nymphs love little rodents
Adults love adults, dogs, and deer

50:00 what we can do to stop LD

52:30 One experiment removed buckthorn – looked like a significant impact after first year but nothing after that.

53:20 tick tubes for micefound a decrease in host-seeking nymphs with this seen it three years running.

Trying to come up with a do it yourself toolkit to implement methods for tick control.

55:55 Working on the tick app – to pool info to show where we are picking up the ticks so education can be more targeted.

ends @ 58:30 then questions

Funding by:  CDC, NIH, USDA, WI Dept HEalth services, WI Dep Natural resources






Italy – 5 year Tick Survey

A five-year survey of tick species and identification of tick-borne bacteria in Sardinia, Italy.


Chisu V1Foxi C2Mannu R3Satta G2Masala G2.

 Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2018.


Sardinia is a hotspot for studying tick-borne diseases in the Mediterranean region, where cases of notifiable tick-borne diseases are increasing. The aim of this study was to determine the presence of tick-borne bacteria of medical and veterinary importance in ixodid ticks collected from domestic and wild animals, humans, and vegetation from different collection sites in Sardinia. Using standard PCR and sequencing techniques, the presence of Rickettsia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Bartonella species, as well as Coxiella burnetii was evaluated. A total of 1619 ticks were morphologically identified as Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato, R. bursa, R. annulatus, Dermacentor marginatus, Haemaphysalis punctata, Ha. sulcata, Hyalomma lusitanicum, H. marginatum, Ixodes festai (sometimes referred to erroneously as I. ventalloi), and Argas reflexus. Results indicated the presence of several circulating pathogens in Sardinian ticks. DNA of Rickettsia species was detected in 58 out of 1619 (4%) belonging to R. sanguineus s.l., D. marginatus, Ha. punctata, H. marginatum, and I. festai species. Ehrlichia canis DNA was detected in 33 out of 1619 ticks (2%) belonging to R. sanguineus s.l., R. bursa, and Ha. punctata species. A total of 61 out of 1619 (4%) ticks (R. sanguineus s. l., R. bursa, Ha. punctata, and I. festai) tested positive for Anaplasma spp. Coxiella burnetii was detected in 21 out of 1619 (1%) ticks belonging to R. sanguineus s.l., R. bursa, R. annulatus, and H. marginatum species. Five R. sanguineus s.l. and one R. bursa ticks were positive for the presence of Bartonella sp. 16S rRNA gene. Our findings expand the knowledge on tick-borne microorganism repertoires and tick distribution in Sardinia. Tick distribution should be monitored for effective control of these arthropods and the infections they transmit.


For More:

Infected Dogs With TBI’s Spreading Infection Across Borders By Joseph Tunney, CBC News 

‘Trojan horse’: Veterinarian sees tick-borne diseases entering N.B. under radar

Dogs brought across the border are infected with bacteria that’s not native to New Brunswick

Dogs coming into New Brunswick from the U.S. are carrying diseases that can infect humans through tick bites, just as Lyme disease does, says a veterinarian who heads the animal welfare committee of New Brunswick vets.

Anaplasmosis, babesiosis and Ehrlichia are not native to New Brunswick, but the province has the conditions needed to make it a breeding ground for the bacteria, said Mary-Ellen Themens, whose committee is part of the New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Association, the group that regulates the profession.

mary-ellen-themensMary-Ellen Themens, chair of the animal welfare committee for the New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Association, says diseases are entering the province under the radar. (Mary-Ellen Themens/submitted)

“Naturally, if we’re importing the disease, it’s going to accelerate the problem,” Themens said.

The three diseases are rampant in parts of the southern United States and Cuba, and now all three have been found on the East Coast in dogs that crossed the border, some brought in illegally and others infected without their owners’ knowledge, she said.

“I have a file in front of me of a dog imported in February 2017 from Cuba,” she wrote in an email. “It tested positive for Ehrlichia.”

Anaplasmosis is spread to humans through the same tick as Lyme disease. In humans, it can cause vague symptoms such as fever, muscle pain and chills.

“It can be a serious illness if not treated properly, and the fatality rate is less than one per cent, but not zero, in people,” Themens said.

Babesiosis, carried by the same blacklegged tick, destroys red blood cells, she said.

And Ehrlichia, which can cause serious illness, is transmitted to humans by a tick not normally found in New Brunswick.

Birds also bring in ticks

The tick recently landed in the province, however, apparently coming in on migratory birds.

“The fatality rate is estimated at 1.8 per cent,” Themens said of Ehrlichia.

Rabies is the only federal reportable disease in domestic dogs that is regulated at the border and in Canada, Rod Lister, media relations for Canadian Food Inspection Agency, wrote in an email.

“Either the province of New Brunswick or municipal governments may regulate the (other) diseases,” he said.

But the risks posed by these tick-borne diseases are not on most people’s radar, said Themens, meaning no additional laws regulating them exist.

What’s also worrying, she said, is that parts of the province can sustain the ticks and the illnesses through the winter.

“And, again, these are not diseases we are currently looking for,” she said. “These are things we don’t normally see.”

“They can be fatal.”

The public health department has not had any reports of people getting anaplasmosis or babesiosis, said spokesperson Paul Bradley.

Public health does tests

According to Dr. Jennifer Russell, acting chief medical officer of Health, blacklegged ticks in the province are tested for Lyme disease, human anaplasmosis and human babesiosis.

No human cases have been recorded in New Brunswick, but all of these diseases are reportable to public health and are being monitored.

“Further, dogs may develop lameness and other clinical signs if infected with (Lyme disease),” Russell said in a statement. “Blacklegged ticks can transmit the bacteria to dogs. Animal owners should consult with their veterinarian about the many tick prevention products that are available.”

In the case of Ehrlichia and unlike the other two illnesses, breeding populations of the lone star tick have not been identified in New Brunswick.

For now, Themens just hopes people start taking the idea of checking any incoming shelter dogs, either before or directly after entering the province, seriously.

Ideally, before it’s too late.

“It’s like a Trojan horse,” she said. “You’re bringing in the problem.”



Researchers and public authorities are not connecting the dots that add up to a very sick and infected population.  This article points out just two dots:  infected dogs coming across boarders and birds.  There’s lots of other vectors & reservoirs crossing boarders as well.

Cumulatively, this could all explain the high infection rates, along with the very real probability much of this can be a STD & spread congenitally: and

And then there’s the added issue that most patients are coinfected with numerous pathogens: and

For more:




Neglected Vector-borne Zoonoses in Europe

Neglected vector-borne zoonoses in Europe: Into the wild.

Tomassone L1Berriatua E2De Sousa R3Duscher GG4Mihalca AD5Silaghi C6Sprong H7Zintl A8. Vet Parasitol. 2018.


Wild vertebrates are involved in the transmission cycles of numerous pathogens. Additionally, they can affect the abundance of arthropod vectors. Urbanization, landscape and climate changes, and the adaptation of vectors and wildlife to human habitats represent complex and evolving scenarios, which affect the interface of vector, wildlife and human populations, frequently with a consequent increase in zoonotic risk. While considerable attention has focused on these interrelations with regard to certain major vector-borne pathogens such as Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. and tick-borne encephalitis virus, information regarding many other zoonotic pathogens is more dispersed. In this review, we discuss the possible role of wildlife in the maintenance and spread of some of these neglected zoonoses in Europe. We present case studies on the role of rodents in the cycles of Bartonella spp., of wild ungulates in the cycle of Babesia spp., and of various wildlife species in the life cycle of Leishmania infantum, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Rickettsia spp.

These examples highlight the usefulness of surveillance strategies focused on neglected zoonotic agents in wildlife as a source of valuable information for health professionals, nature managers and (local) decision-makers. These benefits could be further enhanced by increased collaboration between researchers and stakeholders across Europe and a more harmonised and coordinated approach for data collection.



They are neglected in the U.S. too, but all play a significant role in patient case complexity.

TBD Serochip Will Identify Six Tick Borne Pathogens


First Multiplex Test for Tick-Borne Diseases


A new blood test called the Tick-Borne Disease Serochip (TBD Serochip) promises to revolutionize the diagnosis of tick-borne disease by offering a single test to identify and distinguish between Borrelia burgdorferi, the pathogen responsible for Lyme disease, and seven other tick-borne pathogens. Led by scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, the research team reports details on the new test in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

The researchers—who also include scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Roche Sequencing Solutions, Farmingdale State College, and Stony Brook University—sought to improve on existing tests for tick-borne diseases (TBDs), which have limited diagnostic accuracy and cannot test for more than one infection simultaneously. Currently, diagnosis of Lyme disease, the most common TBD, requires two separate tests. This cumbersome approach also relies on subjective criteria for the interpretation of results, and accurately identifies fewer than 40 percent of patients with early disease and results in false positives 28 percent of the time. The accuracy of the method used to diagnose TBDs Babesia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia varies widely among testing laboratories. And for other tick-borne agents, specific blood tests are not yet available, or in the case of the potentially deadly Powassan virus or Heartland virus, are only performed in specialized laboratories.

“The number of Americans diagnosed with tick-borne disease is steadily increasing as tick populations have expanded geographically,” says Rafal Tokarz, PhD. “Each year, approximately 3 million clinical specimens are tested for TBDs in the U.S. Nonetheless, the true incidence of TBDs is likely greatly underestimated, as patients with presumed TBDs are rarely tested for the full range of tick-borne agents, and only a fraction of positive cases are properly reported,” adds Nischay Mishra, PhD. Co-lead authors Tokarz and Mishra are associate research scientists in the Center for Infection and Immunity.

The TBD Serochip can simultaneously test for the presence of antibodies in blood to more than 170,000 individual protein fragments. Version 1.0 can identify exposure to eight tick-borne pathogens present in the U.S., including Anaplasma phagocytophilum (agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis), Babesia microti (babesiosis), Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), Borrelia miyamotoi, Ehrlichia chaffeensis (human monocytic ehrlichiosis), Rickettsia rickettsii (Rocky Mountain spotted fever), Heartland virus and Powassan virus. The researchers also included Long Island tick rhabdovirus, a novel virus they recently discovered in Amblyomma americanum ticks. As new tick-borne infectious agents are discovered, the TBD-Serochip will be modified to target them—a process the researchers say can be done in less than four weeks.

The TBD Serochip is also able to identify whether an individual is infected with more than one tick-borne pathogen. Individual ticks are frequently infected with more than one agent; Ixodes scapularis ticks alone can transmit at least five human pathogens. Evidence of exposure to other tick-borne pathogens in patients with Lyme disease has been well documented. In the new paper, the researchers report finding antibodies to another agent in 26 percent of blood specimens from patients with TBD.

In addition to its utility as a diagnostic platform, the TBD Serochip also provides a powerful research tool for studies of TBDs. The technology can be employed to discriminate individual antibody responses in patients with TBD and thus examine the interplay of TBD agents on disease manifestation and progression. It can also be used to assess the impact of genetic diversity of tick-borne pathogens on the host immune response.

“Diagnosing tick-borne illness is a difficult journey for patients, delaying effecting treatment,” says senior author W. Ian Lipkin, MD, director of CII and John Snow Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “The TBD Serochip promises to make diagnosis far easier, offering a single, accurate test for eight different TBDs. Early detection of infection enables rapid and appropriate treatment.”

Co-authors include Thomas Briese, Teresa Tagliafierro, Stephen Sameroff, Adrian Caciula, Lokendrasingh Chauhan, of CII; Jigar Patel and Eric Sullivan of Roche Sequencing Solutions, Madison, WI; Azad Gucwa of Farmingdale State College, Farmingdale, NY; Brian Fallon of Columbia University; Marc Golightly of Stony Brook University; Claudia Molins and Martin Schriefer of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Adriana Marques of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

This study was funded through grants from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation and the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (AI109761). The content of study does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government. CII has filed an invention report and provisional patent application for the technology.

Multiflora Rose Invasion Amplifies Prevalence of Lyme Disease Pathogen but Not Necessarily Lyme Disease Risk

Multiflora rose invasion amplifies prevalence of Lyme disease pathogen, but not necessarily Lyme disease risk.

Adalsteinsson SA, et al. Parasit Vectors. 2018.


BACKGROUND: Forests in urban landscapes differ from their rural counterparts in ways that may alter vector-borne disease dynamics. In urban forest fragments, tick-borne pathogen prevalence is not well characterized; mitigating disease risk in densely-populated urban landscapes requires understanding ecological factors that affect pathogen prevalence. We trapped blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) nymphs in urban forest fragments on the East Coast of the United States and used multiplex real-time PCR assays to quantify the prevalence of four zoonotic, tick-borne pathogens. We used Bayesian logistic regression and WAIC model selection to understand how vegetation, habitat, and landscape features of urban forests relate to the prevalence of B. burgdorferi (the causative agent of Lyme disease) among blacklegged ticks.

RESULTS: In the 258 nymphs tested, we detected Borrelia burgdorferi (11.2% of ticks), Borrelia miyamotoi (0.8%) and Anaplasma phagocytophilum (1.9%), but we did not find Babesia microti (0%). Ticks collected from forests invaded by non-native multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) had greater B. burgdorferi infection rates (mean = 15.9%) than ticks collected from uninvaded forests (mean = 7.9%). Overall, B. burgdorferi prevalence among ticks was positively related to habitat features (e.g. coarse woody debris and total understory cover) favorable for competent reservoir host species.

CONCLUSIONS: Understory structure provided by non-native, invasive shrubs appears to aggregate ticks and reservoir hosts, increasing opportunities for pathogen transmission. However, when we consider pathogen prevalence among nymphs in context with relative abundance of questing nymphs, invasive plants do not necessarily increase disease risk. Although pathogen prevalence is greater among ticks in invaded forests, the probability of encountering an infected tick remains greater in uninvaded forests characterized by thick litter layers, sparse understories, and relatively greater questing tick abundance in urban landscapes.


The title makes me chuckle.  It’s like saying, “There’s a bus coming your direction but it may not hit you.”  

What I say, “Move now!”

More on Ticks & vegetation: Work by others has shown invasives such as honeysuckle (lone star), Japanese Barberry (I. scapulars), and unpublished data on Buckthorn (I. scapulars) are related to tick abundance.