Babesia odocoilei and zoonotic pathogens identified from Ixodes scapularis ticks in southern Ontario, Canada

Publication date: Available online 27 February 2019Source: Ticks and Tick-borne DiseasesAuthor(s): Ellie L. Milnes, Grace Thornton, Alexandre N. Léveillé, Pauline Delnatte, John R. Barta, Dale A. Smith, Nicole NemethAbstractCervid babesiosis, caused by the protozoan hemoparasite Babesia odocoilei and transmitted by the blacklegged tick Ixodes scapularis, is an emerging disease of Canadian cervids. This pathogen has not yet been described in humans. Data are lacking on the role of migratory birds in the adventitious spread of Ba. odocoilei-infected ticks, as well as on the infection status of I. scapularis in environments used by susceptible wildlife hosts. Following a high-mortality outbreak of cervid babesiosis at the Toronto Zoo [TZ], the present study was initiated to investigate Ba. odocoilei and other tick-borne pathogens of veterinary and public health importance (Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia miyamotoi, and Babesia microti) in I. scapularis at three sites in southern Ontario, Canada. Blanket dragging for questing ticks yielded I. scapularis from the three sites evaluated: TZ, Point Pelee National Park, and LPBO. Babesia odocoilei was identified in I. scapularis collected by dragging at the TZ and at Long Point Bird Observatory [LPBO]. Borrelia burgdorferi s.s. was identified in I. scapularis at all three sites. Anaplasma phagocytophilum was identified in I. scapularis collected from the TZ. During the sprin...
Source: Ticks and Tick borne Diseases - Category: Zoology Source Type: research

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