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Open Access Research article

Experimental transmission of Anaplasma marginale by male Dermacentor reticulatus

Zorica Zivkovic1*, Ard M Nijhof1, José de la Fuente23, Katherine M Kocan3 and Frans Jongejan14

Author Affiliations

1 Utrecht Centre for Tick-borne Diseases (UCTD), Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 1, 3584CL, Utrecht, The Netherlands

2 Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain

3 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA

4 Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, 0110, Onderstepoort, South Africa

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BMC Veterinary Research 2007, 3:32  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-3-32

Published: 30 November 2007

Abstract

Background

Bovine anaplasmosis has been reported in several European countries, but the vector competency of tick species for Anaplasma marginale from these localities has not been determined. Because of the wide distributional range of Dermacentor reticulatus within Europe and the major role of Dermacentor spp. as a vector of A. marginale in the United States, we tested the vector competency of D. reticulatus for A. marginale.

Results

Male D. reticulatus were allowed to feed for 7 days on a calf persistently infected with a Zaria isolate of A. marginale, after which they were removed and held off-host for 7 days. The ticks were then allowed to feed a second time for 7 days on a susceptible tick-naïve calf. Infection of calf No. 4291 was detected 20 days post exposure (p.i.) and confirmed by msp4 PCR. Thirty percent of the dissected acquisition fed ticks was infected. In addition, A. marginale colonies were detected by light microscopy in the salivary glands of the acquisition fed ticks. Transmission of A. marginale to calf No. 9191 was confirmed by examination of Giemsa-stained blood smears and msp4 PCR. Ticks were dissected after transmission feeding and presence of A. marginale was confirmed in 18.5% of the dissected ticks.

Conclusion

This study demonstrates that D. reticulatus males are competent vectors of A. marginale. Further studies are needed to confirm the vector competency of D. reticulatus for other A. marginale strains from geographic areas in Europe.