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Research article2014Peer reviewedOpen access

Temporal and spatial variation in Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in Swedish moose (Alces alces)

Malmsten, Jonas; Gavier-Widen, Dolores; Rydevik, G.; Yon, L; Hutchings, M R; Thulin, Carl-Gustaf; Söderquist, Lennart; Aspán, Anna; Stuen, S.; Dalin, Anne-Marie


The occurrence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum was investigated in spleen and serum samples from Swedish moose (Alces alces) in southern Sweden (island and mainland). Samples were analysed for presence of A. phagocytophilum DNA by real-time PCR (n=263), and for Anaplasma antibodies with ELISA serology (n=234). All serum samples had antibodies against A. phagocytophilum. The mean DNA-based prevalence was 26 center dot 3%, and significant (P<0 center dot 01) temporal, and spatial variation was found. Island moose had significantly (P<0 center dot 001) higher prevalence of A. phagocytophilum DNA than moose from the mainland areas. Two samples were sequenced to determine genetic variation in the 16S rRNA and groESL genes. Genetic sequence similarity with the human granulocytic anaplasmosis agent, equine granulocytic ehrlichiosis agent, and different wildlife-associated A. phagocytophilum variants were observed in the 16S rRNA and groESL genes. Our study shows that moose are exposed to A. phagocytophilum in Sweden, and represent a potential wildlife reservoir of the pathogen.


Ehrlichia; epidemiology; PCR; moose; HGA; serology; tick-borne fever

Published in

Epidemiology and Infection
2014, Volume: 142, number: 6, pages: 1205-1213