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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Serologic and Molecular Prevalence of Rickettsia helvetica and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Wild Cervids and Domestic Mammals in the Central Parts of Sweden

Elfving K, Malmsten J, Dalin AM, Nilsson K


Both Rickettsia helvetica and Anaplasma phagocytophilum are common in Ixodes ricinus ticks in Sweden. Knowledge is limited regarding different animal species' competence to act as reservoirs for these organism. For this reason, blood samples were collected from wild cervids (roe deer, moose) and domestic mammals (horse, cat, dog) in central Sweden, and sera were tested using immunofluorescence assay to detect antibodies against spotted fever rickettsiae using Rickettsia helvetica as antigen. Sera with a titer >= 1:64 were considered as positive, and 23.1% (104/450) of the animals scored positive. The prevalence of seropositivity was 21.5% (23/107) in roe deer, 23.3% (21/90) in moose, 36.5% (23/63) in horses, 22.1% (19/90) in cats, and 17.0% (17/100) in dogs. PCR analysis of 113 spleen samples from moose and sheep from the corresponding areas were all negative for rickettsial DNA. In roe deer, 85% (91/107) also tested seropositive for A. phagocytophilum with a titer cutoff of 1:128. The findings indicate that the surveyed animal species are commonly exposed to rickettsiae and roe deer also to A. phagocytophilum.


Anaplasma; Dog; Horse; Cat; Host; Roe deer; Moose; Rickettsia; Serology

Published in

Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
2015, volume: 15, number: 9, pages: 529-534

Authors' information

Elfving, Karin
Uppsala University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
National Veterinary Institute (SVA)
National Veterinary Institute (SVA)
Nilsson, Kenneth
Uppsala University

UKÄ Subject classification

Other Veterinary Science

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