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Parasitol Res. 2006 Nov;99(6):694-9.

Anaplasma phagocytophilum in central and western Wisconsin: a molecular survey.

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Department of Biology and Microbiology, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Boulevard, Oshkosh, WI 54901, USA.


Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an obligate intracellular bacterium that is transmitted to humans through the bite of Ixodes spp. ticks, and causes a febrile disease known as human granulocytic anaplasmosis. The presence of A. phagocytophilum in Wisconsin white-tailed deer blood and in deer ticks was assessed using PCR and DNA sequencing. Sampling sites in the western part of the state (Buffalo County) and central region (Waushara, Waupaca, and Green Lake counties) were used. In Buffalo County, 5.6% of deer and 8.9% of ticks were infected. At Hartman Creek State Park (Waupaca County), 11.5% of ticks were infected, while the observed prevalence in deer from counties to the south of the park (Waushara and Green Lake) reached 19-26%. Based on 16S rRNA sequences, A. phagocytophilum strains associated and not associated with human infections were identified. Furthermore, two novel A. phagocytophilum variants were found in deer blood samples. Transmission of Lyme disease has been documented in both the Western and Central regions we sampled, and the presence of A. phagocytophilum in naturally occurring tick populations could present an additional risk of disease to humans that enter tick habitats.

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