Low rates of ehrlichiosis and Lyme borreliosis in English farmworkers.
To determine the occupational significance of tick-borne zoonoses we sought serological evidence of Lyme borreliosis, human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) in a representative sample of farmworkers. Although around 20% reported ticks on their domestic and companion animals, few (< 2% per year) reported being bitten by ticks. Seroprevalence of Lyme borreliosis (0.2%), HME (0.2%) and HGE (1.5%) was low. Those seropositive for HGE were no more likely to report tick bites nor more likely to report ticks on their animals. This study provides evidence that farmworkers in England are exposed to tick-borne zoonoses but that they are uncommon. Since the severity of these diseases is linked to delays in diagnosis and treatment, clinicians should be aware of these diagnoses in patients from rural communities, with or without a self-reported history of tick bite. (+info)
Comparison of Ehrlichia muris strains isolated from wild mice and ticks and serologic survey of humans and animals with E. muris as antigen.
In metropolitan Tokyo, the Ehrlichia muris seropositivity rate of 24 wild mice was 63% in Hinohara Village, but in the surrounding areas, it was 0 to 5%. This finding suggests that the reservoir of E. muris is focal. Among the 15 seropositive mice, ehrlichiae were isolated from 9 Apodemus speciosus mice and 1 A. argenteus mouse, respectively. Five ehrlichial isolates were obtained from 10 ticks (Haemaphysalis flava) collected in Asuke Town, Aichi Prefecture, where the E. muris type strain had been isolated. These new isolates were compared with the E. muris type strain. The mouse virulence and ultrastructure of the new isolates were similar to those of the type strain, and all of them were cross-reactive with each other, as well as with the type strain, by indirect immunofluorescent-antibody test. The levels of similarity of the base sequences of the 16S rRNA gene of one of the A. speciosus isolates and one of the tick isolates to that of the E. muris type strain were 99.79 and 99.93%, respectively. We suggest that all of these isolates are E. muris; that E. muris is not limited to Eothenomys kageus but infects other species of mice; and that E. muris is present at locations other than Aichi Prefecture. It appears that H. flava is a potential vector of E. muris. Twenty (1%) of 1803 humans from metropolitan Tokyo were found to be seropositive for E. muris antibodies. A serological survey revealed that exposure to E. muris or organisms antigenically cross-reactive to E. muris occurred among dogs, wild mice, monkeys, bears, deer, and wild boars in Gifu Prefecture, nearby prefectures, and Nagoya City, central Japan. However, human beings and Rattus norvegicus rats in this area were seronegative. These results indicate broader geographic distribution of and human and animal species exposure to E. muris or related Ehrlichia spp. in Japan. (+info)
Restriction of major surface protein 2 (MSP2) variants during tick transmission of the ehrlichia Anaplasma marginale.
Anaplasma marginale is an ehrlichial pathogen of cattle that establishes lifelong persistent infection. Persistence is characterized by rickettsemic cycles in which new A. marginale variant types, defined by the sequence of the expressed msp2 transcripts, emerge. The polymorphic msp2 transcripts encode structurally distinct MSP2 proteins and result in an antigenically diverse and continually changing A. marginale population within the blood. In this manuscript, we used sequence analysis of msp2 transcripts to show that a restricted repertoire of variant types, designated SGV1 and SGV2, is expressed within the tick salivary gland. The same SGV1 and SGV2 variant types were expressed in ticks regardless of the variant types expressed in the blood of infected cattle at the time of acquisition feeding by the ticks. Importantly, subsequent tick transmission to susceptible cattle resulted in acute rickettsemia composed of organisms expressing only the same SGV1 and SGV2 variant types. This indicates that the msp2 expressed by organisms within the tick salivary gland predicts the variant type responsible for acute rickettsemia and disease. This restriction of transmitted A. marginale variant types, in contrast to the marked diversity within persistently infected cattle, supports development of MSP2 vaccines to prevent acute rickettsemia in tick-transmitted infections. (+info)
Duration of antibodies against 24 kd protein of Rhipicephalus sanguineus extract in dogs infested with the adult ticks.
A 24 kd protein from Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Rs24p) which was common to larvae, nymphs, male and female whole body and salivary gland extract of males and female was detected specifically in the serum from dogs after repeated infestation with adult R. sanguineus. The duration of antibodies against Rs24p in dogs infested with adults was examined by Western blotting analysis. Anti-Rs24p antibody was detected in two of 4 dogs during the period of 40 days in the first infestation. In the second infestation, all dogs showed positive reaction against Rs24p, but the duration of the antibodies varied greatly among the animals. (+info)
Molecular characterization of a Haemaphysalis longicornis tick salivary gland-associated 29-kilodalton protein and its effect as a vaccine against tick infestation in rabbits.
The use of tick vaccines in mammalian hosts has been shown to be the most promising alternative tick control method to current use of acaricides, which suffers from a number of limitations. However, the success of this method is dependent on the identification, cloning, and in vitro expression of tick molecules involved in the mediation of key physiological roles with respect to the biological success of a tick as a vector and pest. We have sequenced and characterized a Haemaphysalis longicornis tick salivary gland-associated cDNA coding for a 29-kDa extracellular matrix-like protein. This protein is expressed in both unfed and fed immature and mature H. longicornis ticks. The predicted amino acid sequence of p29 shows high homology to sequences of some known extracellular matrix like-proteins with the structural conservation similar to all known collagen proteins. Immunization with the recombinant p29 conferred a significant protective immunity in rabbits, resulting in reduced engorgement weight for adult ticks and up to 40 and 56% mortality in larvae and nymphs that fed on the immunized rabbits. We speculate that this protein is associated with formation of tick cement, a chemical compound that enables the tick to remain attached to the host, and suggest a role for p29 as a candidate tick vaccine molecule for the control of ticks. We have discussed our findings with respect to the search of tick molecules for vaccine candidates. (+info)
Molecular cloning and characterization of the Ehrlichia chaffeensis variable-length PCR target: an antigen-expressing gene that exhibits interstrain variation.
A clone expressing an immunoreactive protein with an apparent molecular mass of 44 kDa was selected from an Ehrlichia chaffeensis Arkansas genomic library by probing with anti-E. chaffeensis hyperimmune mouse ascitic fluid. Nucleotide sequencing revealed an open reading frame (ORF) capable of encoding a 198-amino-acid polypeptide. The ORF contained four imperfect, direct, tandem 90-bp repeats. The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences did not show close homologies to entries in the molecular databases. PCR with primers whose sequences matched the sequences flanking the ORF was performed with DNA samples extracted from cell cultures infected with nine different isolates of E. chaffeensis, blood samples from seven patients with monocytic ehrlichiosis, and Amblyomma americanum ticks collected in four different states. The resulting amplicons varied in length, containing three to six repeat units. This gene, designated the variable-length PCR target, is useful for PCR detection of E. chaffeensis and differentiation of isolates. (+info)
Expression of a major piroplasm surface protein of Theileria sergenti in sporozoite stage.
A 32 kilodalton major piroplasm surface protein (MPSP) is expressed abundantly on the surface of intraerythrocytic piroplasms of Theileria sergenti and is considered to be a candidate antigen for vaccine development against piroplasmosis. In this study, transcripts of MPSP gene were detected in an expression cDNA library prepared from T. sergenti-infected tick salivary glands. Expression of MPSP in the sporozoite stage was also confirmed by immunoblot analysis. Its expression at the sporozoite and intraerythrocytic stages gives scope for possible induction of protective immunity being targeted at both stages by immunization with recombinant MPSP. (+info)
Evaluation of 16S, map1 and pCS20 probes for detection of Cowdria and Ehrlichia species.
A panel of 16S ribosomal RNA gene probes has been developed for the study of the epidemiology of heartwater; five of these detect different cowdria genotypes, one detects five distinct genotypes; one detects any Group III Ehrlichia species other than Cowdria and one detects any Group II Ehrlichia species. These probes have been used on PCR-amplified rickettsial 16S rRNA genes from over 200 Amblyomma hebraeum ticks. Control ticks were laboratory-reared and either uninfected or fed on sheep experimentally infected with different cowdria isolates, field ticks were collected from animals in heartwater-endemic areas. All tick-derived DNA samples were also examined by PCR amplification and probing for two other cowdria genes (map1 and pCS20) which have previously been used for heartwater epidemiology. This paper describes the first direct comparison of all currently available DNA probes for heartwater-associated organisms. (+info)