Sympatric Ixodes trianguliceps and Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on field voles (Microtus agrestis)

Potential for increased risk of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in the United Kingdom?

K. J. Bown, M. Begon, M. Bennett, R. J. Birtles, S. Burthe, Xavier Lambin, S. Telfer, Z. Woldehiwet, N. H. Ogden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The importance of wild rodents as reservoirs of zoonotic tick-borne pathogens is considered low in the United Kingdom because, in studies to date, those parasitized by exophilic Ixodes ricinus ticks carry almost exclusively larvae and thus have a minor role in transmission cycles. In a cross-sectional study, 11 (6.7%) of 163 field voles (Microtus agrestis) captured at field sites in Northern England were PCR-positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum. The voles were found to act as hosts for both larval and nymphal I. ricinus and all stages of the nidicolous tick I. trianguliceps, and eight individuals were infested with ticks of both species at the same time. Two of 158 larval and one of 13 nymphal I. ricinus, as well as one of 14 larval and one of 15 nymphal I. trianguliceps collected from the rodents were PCR-positive. These findings suggest that habitats where field voles are abundant in the United Kingdom may pose a risk of A. phagocytophilum infection because (i) field voles, the most abundant terrestrial mammal in the United Kingdom, may be a competent reservoir; (ii) the field voles are hosts for both nymphal and larval ixodid ticks so they could support endemic cycles of A. phagocytophilum; and (iii) they are hosts for nidicolous I. trianguliceps, which may alone maintain endemic cycles, and exophilic I. ricinus ticks, which could act as a bridge vector and transmit infections to humans and domesticated animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-410
Number of pages7
JournalVector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

Keywords

  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum
  • Ixodes rincinus
  • Ixodes trianguliceps
  • Burgdorferi sensu lato
  • Borrelia-burgdorferi
  • Lyme disease
  • granulocytic ehrlichiae
  • seasonal dynamics
  • Babesia microti
  • transmission
  • ixodidae
  • acari
  • Ireland

Cite this

Sympatric Ixodes trianguliceps and Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on field voles (Microtus agrestis) : Potential for increased risk of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in the United Kingdom? / Bown, K. J.; Begon, M.; Bennett, M.; Birtles, R. J.; Burthe, S.; Lambin, Xavier; Telfer, S.; Woldehiwet, Z.; Ogden, N. H.

In: Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, Vol. 6, No. 4, 12.2006, p. 404-410.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bown, K. J. ; Begon, M. ; Bennett, M. ; Birtles, R. J. ; Burthe, S. ; Lambin, Xavier ; Telfer, S. ; Woldehiwet, Z. ; Ogden, N. H. / Sympatric Ixodes trianguliceps and Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on field voles (Microtus agrestis) : Potential for increased risk of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in the United Kingdom?. In: Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. 2006 ; Vol. 6, No. 4. pp. 404-410.
@article{91bfdc2ede1e425db3b04e5b79fc5e5d,
title = "Sympatric Ixodes trianguliceps and Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on field voles (Microtus agrestis): Potential for increased risk of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in the United Kingdom?",
abstract = "The importance of wild rodents as reservoirs of zoonotic tick-borne pathogens is considered low in the United Kingdom because, in studies to date, those parasitized by exophilic Ixodes ricinus ticks carry almost exclusively larvae and thus have a minor role in transmission cycles. In a cross-sectional study, 11 (6.7{\%}) of 163 field voles (Microtus agrestis) captured at field sites in Northern England were PCR-positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum. The voles were found to act as hosts for both larval and nymphal I. ricinus and all stages of the nidicolous tick I. trianguliceps, and eight individuals were infested with ticks of both species at the same time. Two of 158 larval and one of 13 nymphal I. ricinus, as well as one of 14 larval and one of 15 nymphal I. trianguliceps collected from the rodents were PCR-positive. These findings suggest that habitats where field voles are abundant in the United Kingdom may pose a risk of A. phagocytophilum infection because (i) field voles, the most abundant terrestrial mammal in the United Kingdom, may be a competent reservoir; (ii) the field voles are hosts for both nymphal and larval ixodid ticks so they could support endemic cycles of A. phagocytophilum; and (iii) they are hosts for nidicolous I. trianguliceps, which may alone maintain endemic cycles, and exophilic I. ricinus ticks, which could act as a bridge vector and transmit infections to humans and domesticated animals.",
keywords = "Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ixodes rincinus, Ixodes trianguliceps, Burgdorferi sensu lato, Borrelia-burgdorferi, Lyme disease, granulocytic ehrlichiae, seasonal dynamics, Babesia microti, transmission, ixodidae, acari, Ireland",
author = "Bown, {K. J.} and M. Begon and M. Bennett and Birtles, {R. J.} and S. Burthe and Xavier Lambin and S. Telfer and Z. Woldehiwet and Ogden, {N. H.}",
year = "2006",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1089/vbz.2006.6.404",
language = "English",
volume = "6",
pages = "404--410",
journal = "Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases",
issn = "1530-3667",
publisher = "Mary Ann Liebert Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Sympatric Ixodes trianguliceps and Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on field voles (Microtus agrestis)

T2 - Potential for increased risk of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in the United Kingdom?

AU - Bown, K. J.

AU - Begon, M.

AU - Bennett, M.

AU - Birtles, R. J.

AU - Burthe, S.

AU - Lambin, Xavier

AU - Telfer, S.

AU - Woldehiwet, Z.

AU - Ogden, N. H.

PY - 2006/12

Y1 - 2006/12

N2 - The importance of wild rodents as reservoirs of zoonotic tick-borne pathogens is considered low in the United Kingdom because, in studies to date, those parasitized by exophilic Ixodes ricinus ticks carry almost exclusively larvae and thus have a minor role in transmission cycles. In a cross-sectional study, 11 (6.7%) of 163 field voles (Microtus agrestis) captured at field sites in Northern England were PCR-positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum. The voles were found to act as hosts for both larval and nymphal I. ricinus and all stages of the nidicolous tick I. trianguliceps, and eight individuals were infested with ticks of both species at the same time. Two of 158 larval and one of 13 nymphal I. ricinus, as well as one of 14 larval and one of 15 nymphal I. trianguliceps collected from the rodents were PCR-positive. These findings suggest that habitats where field voles are abundant in the United Kingdom may pose a risk of A. phagocytophilum infection because (i) field voles, the most abundant terrestrial mammal in the United Kingdom, may be a competent reservoir; (ii) the field voles are hosts for both nymphal and larval ixodid ticks so they could support endemic cycles of A. phagocytophilum; and (iii) they are hosts for nidicolous I. trianguliceps, which may alone maintain endemic cycles, and exophilic I. ricinus ticks, which could act as a bridge vector and transmit infections to humans and domesticated animals.

AB - The importance of wild rodents as reservoirs of zoonotic tick-borne pathogens is considered low in the United Kingdom because, in studies to date, those parasitized by exophilic Ixodes ricinus ticks carry almost exclusively larvae and thus have a minor role in transmission cycles. In a cross-sectional study, 11 (6.7%) of 163 field voles (Microtus agrestis) captured at field sites in Northern England were PCR-positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum. The voles were found to act as hosts for both larval and nymphal I. ricinus and all stages of the nidicolous tick I. trianguliceps, and eight individuals were infested with ticks of both species at the same time. Two of 158 larval and one of 13 nymphal I. ricinus, as well as one of 14 larval and one of 15 nymphal I. trianguliceps collected from the rodents were PCR-positive. These findings suggest that habitats where field voles are abundant in the United Kingdom may pose a risk of A. phagocytophilum infection because (i) field voles, the most abundant terrestrial mammal in the United Kingdom, may be a competent reservoir; (ii) the field voles are hosts for both nymphal and larval ixodid ticks so they could support endemic cycles of A. phagocytophilum; and (iii) they are hosts for nidicolous I. trianguliceps, which may alone maintain endemic cycles, and exophilic I. ricinus ticks, which could act as a bridge vector and transmit infections to humans and domesticated animals.

KW - Anaplasma phagocytophilum

KW - Ixodes rincinus

KW - Ixodes trianguliceps

KW - Burgdorferi sensu lato

KW - Borrelia-burgdorferi

KW - Lyme disease

KW - granulocytic ehrlichiae

KW - seasonal dynamics

KW - Babesia microti

KW - transmission

KW - ixodidae

KW - acari

KW - Ireland

U2 - 10.1089/vbz.2006.6.404

DO - 10.1089/vbz.2006.6.404

M3 - Article

VL - 6

SP - 404

EP - 410

JO - Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases

JF - Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases

SN - 1530-3667

IS - 4

ER -