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Anaplasmosis, cat-scratch disease, and Lyme disease are emerging vector-borne infectious diseases in Korea. Although the prevalence of vector-borne pathogens (VBPs) in domestic animals and vector arthropods has been documented, there is limited information on the presence of VBPs in wild animals. The raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), a wild canid found in East Asia and Europe, represents a potential wildlife reservoir for zoonotic diseases. To investigate the prevalence of VBPs in raccoon dogs, 142 carcasses and 51 blood samples from captured raccoon dogs were collected from 2003 to 2010 and from 2008 to 2009, respectively, in Korea. In addition, 105 Haemaphysalis flava (14 larvae, 43 nymphs, 32 males, and 16 females) and nine Haemaphysalis longicornis (all female) were collected from three raccoon dogs. Samples of the spleen and blood were tested for the presence of VBPs by using nested polymerase chain reaction. Among the samples collected from 193 raccoon dogs and 114 ticks, two samples were positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, four for Anaplasma bovis, two for Borrelia theileri, and two for Bartonella henselae. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the largest survey of raccoon dogs aimed at the analysis of VBPs in this species. Moreover, the present study represents the first identification of A. phagocytophilum, B. henselae, and B. theileri in raccoon dogs in their native habitat (East Asia).
Financial support: This work was supported by the “Cooperative Research Program for Agriculture Science & Technology Development (project number PJ010092),” Rural Development Administration, the Republic of Korea, and a National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2014R1A1A2056207).
Authors’ addresses: Jun-Gu Kang, Veterinary Internal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, E-mail: email@example.com. Jeong-Byoung Chae, Yoon-Kyoung Cho, Young-Sun Jo, and Joon-Seok Chae, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, E-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com. Nam-Shik Shin, Laboratory of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, Research Institute and BK21 Program for Veterinary Science and College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hang Lee, Conservation Genome Resource Bank for Korean Wildlife and Research Institute for Veterinary Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea, E-mail: email@example.com. Kyoung-Seong Choi, College of Ecology and Environmental Science, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Do-Hyeon Yu, Institute of Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Gyeongsangnam-do, E-mail: email@example.com. Jinho Park, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonbuk National University, Iksan, Jeollabuk-do, Korea, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Bae-Keun Park, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea, E-mail: email@example.com.