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Korean J Parasitol. 2015 Oct;53(5):653-9. doi: 10.3347/kjp.2015.53.5.653. Epub 2015 Oct 29.

Detection of Tick-Borne Pathogens in the Korean Water Deer (Hydropotes inermis argyropus) from Jeonbuk Province, Korea.

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College of Ecology and Environmental Science, Kyungpook National University, Sangju 37224, Korea.
Laboratory of Veterinary Internal Medicine, BK21 PLUS Program for Creative Veterinary Science Research, Research Institute for Veterinary Science and College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Korea.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonbuk National University, Iksan 54596, Korea.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejoen 34134, Korea.
Laboratory of Veterinary Clinics, National Institute of Animal Science Rural Development Administration, Jeonju 54875, Korea.


The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in the Korean water deer (Hydropotes inermis argyropus). Pathogens were identified using PCR which included Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, and Theileria. Rickettsia was not detected, whereas Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Theileria infections were detected in 4, 2, and 8 animals, respectively. The most prevalent pathogen was Theileria. Of the 8 Theileria-positive animals, 2 were mixed-infected with 3 pathogens (Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Theileria) and another 2 animals showed mixed-infection with 2 pathogens (Anaplasma and Theileria). Sequencing analysis was used to verify the PCR results. The pathogens found in this study were identified as Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia canis, and Theileria sp. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report identifying these 3 pathogens in the Korean water deer. Our results suggest that the Korean water deer may serve as a major reservoir for these tick-borne pathogens, leading to spread of tick-borne diseases to domestic animals, livestock, and humans. Further studies are needed to investigate their roles in this respect.


Anaplasma; Ehrlichia; Korean water deer; Theileria; reservoir; tick-borne pathogen

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