Tick- and fly-borne bacteria in ungulates: The prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, haemoplasmas and rickettsiae in water buffalo and deer species in Central Europe, Hungary

Sándor Hornok, László Sugár, Isabel G. Fernández de Mera, José de la Fuente, Gábor Horváth, Tibor Kovács, Attila Micsutka, Eniko Gönczi, Barbara Flaisz, Nóra Takács, Róbert Farkas, Marina L. Meli, Regina Hofmann-Lehmann

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Abstract

Background: Hunting constitutes an important industry in Europe. However, data on the prevalence of vector-borne bacteria in large game animal species are lacking from several countries. Blood or spleen samples (239 and 270, respectively) were taken from red, fallow and roe deer, as well as from water buffaloes, mouflons and wild boars in Hungary, followed by DNA extraction and molecular analyses for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, haemoplasmas and rickettsiae. Results: Based on blood samples, the prevalence rate of A. phagocytophilum infection was significantly higher in red deer (97.9%) than in fallow deer (72.7%) and roe deer (60%), and in all these compared to mouflons (6.3%). In addition, 39.2% of the spleen samples from wild boars were PCR positive for A. phagocytophilum, but none of the buffalos. Based on blood samples, the prevalence rates of both Mycoplasma wenyonii (Mw) and 'Candidatus M. haemobos' (CMh) infections were significantly higher in buffaloes (Mw: 91.2%; CMh: 73.3%) than in red deer (Mw: 64.6%; CMh: 45.8%), and in both of them compared to fallow deer (Mw: 30.3%; CMh: 9.1%) and roe deer (Mw: 20%; CMh: 1.5%). The prevalence of Mw and CMh infection significantly correlated with the body sizes of these hosts. Furthermore, Mw was significantly more prevalent than CMh in buffaloes, red and roe deer. Mycoplasma ovis was detected in mouflons, M. suis in wild boars, R. helvetica in one fallow deer and one mouflon, and an unidentified Rickettsia sp. in a fallow deer. Conclusions: Forest-dwelling game animal species were found to be important carriers of A. phagocytophilum. In contrast, animals grazing grassland (i.e. buffaloes) were less likely to get infected with this Ixodes ricinus-borne pathogen. Water buffaloes, deer species, mouflons and wild boars harbored haemoplasmas that may affect domestic ungulates. Evaluated animals with larger body size had significantly higher prevalence of infection with haemoplasmas compared to smaller deer species. The above host species rarely carried rickettsiae.

Original languageEnglish
Article number98
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 20 2018

Keywords

  • 'Candidatus Mycoplasma haemobos'
  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum
  • Mycoplasma suis
  • Mycoplasma wenyonii
  • Rickettsia helvetica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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    Hornok, S., Sugár, L., Fernández de Mera, I. G., de la Fuente, J., Horváth, G., Kovács, T., Micsutka, A., Gönczi, E., Flaisz, B., Takács, N., Farkas, R., Meli, M. L., & Hofmann-Lehmann, R. (2018). Tick- and fly-borne bacteria in ungulates: The prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, haemoplasmas and rickettsiae in water buffalo and deer species in Central Europe, Hungary. BMC Veterinary Research, 14(1), [98]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12917-018-1403-6