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The Prevalence of Anaplasma Phagocytophilum and Babesia Microti in Ticks in the Thousand Islands Region of Ontario, Canada.

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Prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia microti in Ixodes scapularis from a Newly Established Lyme Disease Endemic Area, the Thousand Islands Region of Ontario, Canada.
 
Abstract
 
Blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) are vectors for several important human diseases, including Lyme disease, human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA), and human babesiosis, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti, respectively. The continued northward range expansion of blacklegged ticks and associated pathogens is an increasing public health concern in Canada.
 
The Thousand Islands region of eastern Ontario has recently been identified as a new endemic area for Lyme disease in Canada, but the occurrence of other pathogens in ticks in this area has not been fully described. Our objectives were to determine the prevalence of A. phagocytophilum and B. microti in small mammals and questing ticks in the Thousand Islands area and identify the strains of A. phagocytophilum circulating in ticks in the area.
 
Serum and larval ticks were collected from trapped small mammals, and questing ticks were collected via drag sampling from up to 12 island and mainland sites in 2006, 2009, and 2010. A. phagocytophilum was identified by PCR in 3.4% (47/1388) ticks from eight of 12 sites; the prevalence ranged from 8.9% in 2006 to 3% in 2009. All 365 ticks tested for B. microti were negative. Antibodies to A. phagocytophilum were detected in 2.8% (17/611) of white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) at two of 11 sites in 2006, 2009, or 2010. All 34 A. phagocytophilum-positive ticks submitted for strain identification using single-nucleotide polymorphism genotyping assays targeting the 16S rRNA gene were identified as a variant strain (Ap variant-1), which is not commonly associated with human disease.
 
Our findings suggest that people are at low risk of contracting HGA or human babesiosis due to locally acquired tick bites in the Thousand Islands area. However, continued surveillance is warranted as these pathogens continue to expand their ranges in North America.
 
Source:  Werden L, Lindsay LR, Barker IK, Bowman J, Gonzales EK, Jardine CM. Prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia microti in Ixodes scapularis from a Newly Established Lyme Disease Endemic Area, the Thousand Islands Region of Ontario, Canada. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. (2015 Sep 22). [Epub ahead of print]

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2 thoughts on “The Prevalence of Anaplasma Phagocytophilum and Babesia Microti in Ticks in the Thousand Islands Region of Ontario, Canada.”

  1. Lymegal says:

    I find it funny how they state that the risk is low or nil when it comes to AP and Babesia. I know many from Ontario, myself included, and all of Canada who have Babesia. Knowing that they don’t know this has me wondering how great their stats are on AP. Couple that with their poor testing methods makes me very suspicious. The Elisa is not worth the paper it is written on and the government knows it has many limitations. Hello? Wake up Canada and start calling a spade a spade. Its not too late to come clean, and save others from the misery that I and many are living! Its not living. Its existing.

  2. tickguy says:

    Why not test across the genus ie. Babesia divergens, duncani for example, both of which have been found in North America and are human pathogens. As with Lyme disease, improper or incomplete testing and surveillance will always yield tainted results. Lyme jumped from estimated 30,000 to 300,000 annual cases in USA because of poor tests, diagnosis, and surveillance.

    B.divergens – http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM200208293470921

    B.duncani – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22168221

    To focus on only known endemic areas when these are transplanted randomly in ticks riding on the backs of our migratory birds moving the far away from endemic areas in the hundreds of millions each season. Lets look beyond the Thousands Islands area, and look across the genus of pathogens?

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