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Microbes Infect. 2015 Nov-Dec;17(11-12):823-8. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2015.09.013. Epub 2015 Sep 30.

Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in moose (Alces alces) in Norway.

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Vytautas Magnus University, Vileikos 8, LT-44404 Kaunas, Lithuania.
Vytautas Magnus University, Vileikos 8, LT-44404 Kaunas, Lithuania; Rosef Field Research Station, Frolandsveien 2667, 4828 Mjåvatn, Norway.
Vytautas Magnus University, Vileikos 8, LT-44404 Kaunas, Lithuania. Electronic address:


Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a tick-borne bacterium that infects a wide range of animal species. The aim of our study was to investigate the prevalence of A. phagocytophilum in Norwegian moose Alces alces and to characterize the bacteria by sequencing of partial msp4 and 16S rRNA genes. Hunters collected spleen samples from 99 moose of different ages during 2013 and 2014 in two areas: Aust-Agder County (n = 70) where Ixodes ricinus ticks are abundant and Oppland County (n = 29) where ticks were either absent, or abundance very low. A. phagocytophilum was detected only in moose from the I. ricinus - abundant area. The overall prevalence of infection according to 16S rRNA and msp4 gene-based PCR was 41.4% and 31.4% respectively. Sequence analysis of the partial 16S rRNA and msp4 gene revealed two and eight different sequence types respectively. Four of eight msp4 sequence types determined in this study were unique, while others were identical to sequences derived from other ruminants and ticks. The present study indicates that moose could be a potential wildlife reservoir of A. phagocytophilum in Norway.


16S rRNA; Alces alces; Anaplasma phagocytophilum; Moose; Norway; msp4

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