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Journal Article (Refereed)
December 2009

Delineating Anaplasma phagocytophilum ecotypes in coexisting, discrete enzootic cycles.

Bown, K & Lambin, X & Ogden, N & Begon, M & Telford, G & Woldehiwet, Z & Birtles, R 2009, 'Delineating Anaplasma phagocytophilum ecotypes in coexisting, discrete enzootic cycles.', Emerging Infectious Diseases, 15(12), pp.1948-1954.


The emerging tick-borne pathogen Anaplasma phagocytophilum is under increasing scrutiny for the existence of subpopulations that are adapted to different natural cycles. Here, we characterized the diversity of A. phagocytophilum genotypes circulating in a natural system that includes multiple hosts and at least 2 tick species, Ixodes ricinus and the small mammal specialist I. trianguliceps. We encountered numerous genotypes, but only 1 in rodents, with the remainder limited to deer and host-seeking I. ricinus ticks. The absence of the rodent-associated genotype from host-seeking I. ricinus ticks was notable because we demonstrated that rodents fed a large proportion of the I. ricinus larval population and that these larvae were abundant when infections caused by the rodent-associated genotype were prevalent. These observations are consistent with the conclusion that genotypically distinct subpopulations of A. phagocytophilum are restricted to coexisting but separate enzootic cycles and suggest that this restriction may result from specific vector compatibility.


SEEK Members

External Authors

Xavier Lambin

Nick Ogden

Kevin Bown

Gill Telford

Mike Begon

Zerai Woldehiwet

Publication Details

Journal Name
Emerging Infectious Diseases