PREVALENCE OF ANAPLASMA PHAGOCYTOPHILA AND BORRELIA BURGDORFERI IN IXODES PERSULCATUS TICKS FROM NORTHEASTERN CHINA

WU-CHUN CAO Deparment of Epidemiology, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; Center for Decision Sciences in Tropical Disease Control, Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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QIU-MIN ZHAO Deparment of Epidemiology, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; Center for Decision Sciences in Tropical Disease Control, Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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PAN-HE ZHANG Deparment of Epidemiology, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; Center for Decision Sciences in Tropical Disease Control, Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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HONG YANG Deparment of Epidemiology, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; Center for Decision Sciences in Tropical Disease Control, Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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XIAO-MING WU Deparment of Epidemiology, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; Center for Decision Sciences in Tropical Disease Control, Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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BO-HAI WEN Deparment of Epidemiology, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; Center for Decision Sciences in Tropical Disease Control, Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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XI-TAN ZHANG Deparment of Epidemiology, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; Center for Decision Sciences in Tropical Disease Control, Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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J. DIK F. HABBEMA Deparment of Epidemiology, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; Center for Decision Sciences in Tropical Disease Control, Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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A total of 1,345 Ixodes persulcatus ticks collected from northeastern China were investigated for the presence of Anaplasma phagocytophila and Borrelia burgdorferi by a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Sixty-two (4.6%) ticks were positive for A. phagocytophila and 454 (33.8%) were positive for B. burgdorferi. Seven (0.5%) were coinfected with both agents. Sequence analysis of 919-basepair PCR amplicons revealed three types of A. phagocytophila. Type 1 was identical to the published sequences of A. phagocytophilas responsible for human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE). The other two variants differed from the HGE agent sequence at one and four positions, respectively. These findings imply that infection with A. phagocytophila poses a potential health threat to both humans and animals in northeastern China, and that ehrlichiosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of febrile patients with a history of tick bite, particularly when clinical manifestations are atypical for Lyme disease.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Dr. Wu-Chun Cao, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, 20 Dong-Da-Jie Street, Fengtai District, Beijing 100071, People’s Republic of China, Telephone/Fax: 86-10-63812060, E-mail: caowc@nic.bmi.ac.cn
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