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  • 1.
    Andersson, Martin O.
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Sweden; Lund University, Sweden.
    Bergvall, Ulrika A.
    Stockholm University, Sweden; Swedish University of Agriculture Science, Sweden.
    Chirico, Jan
    National Vet Institute SVA, Sweden.
    Christensson, Madeleine
    Swedish University of Agriculture Science, Sweden.
    Lindgren, Per-Eric
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för klinisk och experimentell medicin, Avdelningen för mikrobiologi och molekylär medicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. County Hospital Ryhov, Sweden.
    Nordstrom, Jonas
    Swedish University of Agriculture Science, Sweden; Dalarna County Adm Board, Sweden.
    Kjellander, Petter
    Swedish University of Agriculture Science, Sweden.
    Molecular detection of Babesia capreoli and Babesia venatorum in wild Swedish roe deer, Capreolus capreolus2016Ingår i: Parasites & Vectors, ISSN 1756-3305, E-ISSN 1756-3305, Vol. 9, nr 221Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The epidemiology of the zoonotic tick-transmitted parasite Babesia spp. and its occurrence in wild reservoir hosts in Sweden is unclear. In European deer, several parasite species, including Babesia capreoli and the zoonotic B. venatorum and B. divergens has been reported previously. The European roe deer, Capreolus capreolus, is an important and common part of the indigenous fauna in Europe, as well as an important host for Ixodes ricinus ticks, the vector of several Babesia spp. in Europe. Here, we aimed to investigate the occurrence of Babesia spp. in roe deer in Sweden. Findings: Roe deer (n = 77) were caught and sampled for blood. Babesia spp. was detected with a PCR assay targeting the 18S rRNA gene. The prevalence of Babesia spp. was 52 %, and two species were detected; B. capreoli and B. venatorum in 44 and 7.8 % of the individuals, respectively. Infection occurred both in summer and winter. Conclusions: We showed that roe deer in Sweden, close to the edge of their northern inland distributional range, are infected with Babesia spp. The occurrence of B. venatorum in roe deer imply that it is established in Sweden and the zoonotic implication of this finding should be regarded to a greater extent in future.

  • 2.
    Larsson, Clarinda
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten.
    Hvidsten, Dag
    Univ Hosp North Norway, Norway; Nordland Hosp, Norway.
    Stuen, Snorre
    Norwegian Univ Life Sci, Norway.
    Jonsson Henningsson, Anna
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för klinisk och experimentell medicin, Avdelningen för neuro- och inflammationsvetenskap. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Cty Hosp Ryhov, Sweden.
    Wilhelmsson, Peter
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för klinisk och experimentell medicin, Avdelningen för mikrobiologi och molekylär medicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Cty Hosp Ryhov, Sweden.
    Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis” in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected near the Arctic Circle in Norway2018Ingår i: Parasites & Vectors, ISSN 1756-3305, E-ISSN 1756-3305, Vol. 11, artikel-id 620Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" is a gram-negative bacterium belonging to the family Anaplasmataceae that, in Europe, is transmitted by Ixodes ricinus ticks. Candidatus N. mikurensis can cause a severe systemic inflammatory syndrome, neoehrlichiosis, mostly in persons with other underlying diseases. To date, "Ca. N. mikurensis "has been found in ticks in different countries in Asia and Europe, but never as far north as at the Arctic Circle. Methods: A total of 1104 I. ricinus ticks collected from vegetation and from animals in northern Norway (64-68 degrees N) were analysed for the prevalence of "Ca. N. mikurensis". Of them, 495 ticks were collected from vegetation by flagging and 609 ticks were collected from dogs and cats. Total nucleic acid extracted from the ticks were converted to cDNA and analyzed with real-time PCR targeting the 16S rRNA gene of "Ca. N. mikurensis". Positive samples were further analysed by nested PCR and sequencing. Results: "Candidatus N. mikurensis" was detected in 11.2% of all collected I. ricinus ticks in northern Norway. The prevalence differed between ticks collected from vegetation (18.2%; 90/495) compared to ticks collected from dogs and cats (5.6%; 34/609). The ticks from dogs and cats were collected in Bronnoy area and seven additional districts further north. The prevalence of "Ca. N. mikurensis" in these ticks differed between geographical localities, with the highest prevalence in the Bronnoy area. Conclusions: The detection of "Ca. N. mikurensis" in I. ricinus ticks from the Arctic Circle in northern Norway indicates potential risk for tick-bitten humans at this latitude to be infected with "Ca. N. mikurensis".

  • 3.
    Möhlmann, Tim
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Teoretisk Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten. Wageningen University of and Research Centre, Netherlands.
    Wennergren, Uno
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Teoretisk Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Tälle, Malin
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Teoretisk Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Favia, Guido
    University of Camerino, Italy.
    Damiani, Claudia
    University of Camerino, Italy.
    Bracchetti, Luca
    University of Camerino, Italy.
    Koenraadt, Constantianus J. M.
    Wageningen University of and Research Centre, Netherlands.
    Community analysis of the abundance and diversity of mosquito species (Diptera: Culicidae) in three European countries at different latitudes2017Ingår i: Parasites & Vectors, ISSN 1756-3305, E-ISSN 1756-3305, Vol. 10, artikel-id 510Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Studies on mosquito species diversity in Europe often focus on a specific habitat, region or country. Moreover, different trap types are used for these sampling studies, making it difficult to compare and validate results across Europe. To facilitate comparisons of trapping sites and community analysis, the present study used two trap types for monitoring mosquito species diversity in three habitat types for three different countries in Europe. Methods: Mosquitoes were trapped using Biogents Sentinel (BGS), and Mosquito Magnet Liberty Plus (MMLP) traps at a total of 27 locations in Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy, comprising farm, peri-urban and wetland habitats. From July 2014 to June 2015 all locations were sampled monthly, except for the winter months. Indices of species richness, evenness and diversity were calculated, and community analyses were carried out with non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) techniques. Results: A total of 11,745 female mosquitoes were trapped during 887 collections. More than 90% of the mosquitoes belonged to the genera Culex and Aedes, with Culex pipiens being the most abundant species. The highest mosquito diversity was found in Sweden. Within Sweden, species diversity was highest in wetland habitats, whereas in the Netherlands and Italy this was highest at farms. The NMDS analyses showed clear differences in mosquito communities among countries, but not among habitat types. The MMLP trapped a higher diversity of mosquito species than the BGS traps. Also, MMLP traps trapped higher numbers of mosquitoes, except for the genera Culex and Culiseta in Italy. Conclusions: A core mosquito community could be identified for the three countries, with Culex pipiens as the most abundant species. Differences in mosquito species communities were more defined by the three countries included in the study than by the three habitat types. Differences in mosquito community composition across countries may have implications for disease emergence and further spread throughout Europe. Future research should, therefore, focus on how field data of vector communities can be incorporated into models, to better assess the risk of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks.

  • 4.
    Möhlmann, Tim
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Teoretisk Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten. Wageningen Univ and Res, Netherlands.
    Wennergren, Uno
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Teoretisk Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Tälle, Malin
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Teoretisk Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Favia, Guido
    Univ Camerino, Italy.
    Damiani, Claudia
    Univ Camerino, Italy.
    Bracchetti, Luca
    Univ Camerino, Italy.
    Takken, Willem
    Wageningen Univ and Res, Netherlands.
    Koenraadt, Constantianus J. M.
    Wageningen Univ and Res, Netherlands.
    Community analysis of the abundance and diversity of biting midge species (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in three European countries at different latitudes2018Ingår i: Parasites & Vectors, ISSN 1756-3305, E-ISSN 1756-3305, Vol. 11, artikel-id 217Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The outbreaks of bluetongue and Schmallenberg disease in Europe have increased efforts to understand the ecology of Culicoides biting midges and their role in pathogen transmission. However, most studies have focused on a specific habitat, region, or country. To facilitate wider comparisons, and to obtain a better understanding of the spread of disease through Europe, the present study focused on monitoring biting midge species diversity in three different habitat types and three countries across Europe. Methods: Biting midges were trapped using Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute light traps at a total of 27 locations in Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy, comprising farm, peri-urban and wetland habitats. From July 2014 to June 2015 all locations were sampled monthly, except for during the winter months. Trapped midges were counted and identified morphologically. Indices on species richness, evenness and diversity were calculated. Community compositions were analysed using non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) techniques. Results: A total of 50,085 female midges were trapped during 442 collection nights. More than 88% of these belonged to the Obsoletus group. The highest midge diversity was found in Sweden, while species richness was highest in the Netherlands, and most specimens were trapped in Italy. For habitats within countries, diversity of the trapped midges was lowest for farms in all countries. Differences in biting midge species communities were more distinct across the three countries than the three habitat types. Conclusions: A core midge community could be identified, in which the Obsoletus group was the most abundant. Variations in vector communities across countries imply different patterns of disease spread throughout Europe. How specific species and their associated communities affect disease risk is still unclear. Our results emphasize the importance of midge diversity data at community level, how this differs across large geographic range within Europe, and its implications on assessing risks of midge-borne disease outbreaks.

  • 5.
    Wallmenius, Katarina
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Sweden .
    Barboutis, Christos
    Hellen Ornithol Soc, Greece University of Crete, Greece .
    Fransson, Thord
    Swedish Museum Nat Hist, Sweden .
    Jaenson, Thomas G. T.
    Uppsala University, Sweden .
    Lindgren, Per-Eric
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för klinisk och experimentell medicin, Avdelningen för mikrobiologi och molekylär medicin. Linköpings universitet, Hälsouniversitetet.
    Nyström, Fredrik
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för kardiovaskulär medicin. Linköpings universitet, Hälsouniversitetet.
    Olsen, Bjorn
    Uppsala University, Sweden .
    Salaneck, Erik
    Uppsala University, Sweden .
    Nilsson, Kenneth
    Uppsala University, Sweden Uppsala University, Sweden Uppsala University, Sweden .
    Spotted fever Rickettsia species in Hyalomma and Ixodes ticks infesting migratory birds in the European Mediterranean area2014Ingår i: Parasites & Vectors, ISSN 1756-3305, E-ISSN 1756-3305, Vol. 7, nr 318Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: A few billion birds migrate annually between their breeding grounds in Europe and their wintering grounds in Africa. Many bird species are tick-infested, and as a result of their innate migratory behavior, they contribute significantly to the geographic distribution of pathogens, including spotted fever rickettsiae. The aim of the present study was to characterize, in samples from two consecutive years, the potential role of migrant birds captured in Europe as disseminators of Rickettsia-infected ticks. Methods: Ticks were collected from a total of 14,789 birds during their seasonal migration northwards in spring 2009 and 2010 at bird observatories on two Mediterranean islands: Capri and Antikythira. All ticks were subjected to RNA extraction followed by cDNA synthesis and individually assayed with a real-time PCR targeting the citrate synthase (gltA) gene. For species identification of Rickettsia, multiple genes were sequenced. Results: Three hundred and ninety-eight (2.7%) of all captured birds were tick-infested; some birds carried more than one tick. A total number of 734 ticks were analysed of which 353 +/- 1 (48%) were Rickettsia-positive; 96% were infected with Rickettsia aeschlimannii and 4% with Rickettsia africae or unidentified Rickettsia species. The predominant tick taxon, Hyalomma marginatum sensu lato constituted 90% (n = 658) of the ticks collected. The remaining ticks were Ixodes frontalis, Amblyomma sp., Haemaphysalis sp., Rhipicephalus sp. and unidentified ixodids. Most ticks were nymphs (66%) followed by larvae (27%) and adult female ticks (0.5%). The majority (65%) of ticks was engorged and nearly all ticks contained visible blood. Conclusions: Migratory birds appear to have a great impact on the dissemination of Rickettsia-infected ticks, some of which may originate from distant locations. The potential ecological, medical and veterinary implications of such Rickettsia infections need further examination.

  • 6.
    Wilhelmsson, Peter
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för klinisk och experimentell medicin, Avdelningen för mikrobiologi och molekylär medicin. Linköpings universitet, Hälsouniversitetet.
    Lindblom, Pontus
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för klinisk och experimentell medicin, Avdelningen för mikrobiologi och molekylär medicin. Linköpings universitet, Hälsouniversitetet.
    Fryland, Linda
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för klinisk och experimentell medicin, Infektionsmedicin. Linköpings universitet, Hälsouniversitetet.
    Nyman, Dag
    Jaenson, Thomas GT
    Uppsala University, Sweden .
    Forsberg, Pia
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för klinisk och experimentell medicin, Infektionsmedicin. Linköpings universitet, Hälsouniversitetet. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Hjärt- och Medicincentrum, Infektionskliniken i Östergötland.
    Lindgren, Per-Eric
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för klinisk och experimentell medicin, Avdelningen för mikrobiologi och molekylär medicin. Linköpings universitet, Hälsouniversitetet. Ryhov County Hospital, Jönköping, Sweden .
    Ixodes ricinus ticks removed from humans in Northern Europe: seasonal pattern of infestation, attachment sites and duration of feeding2013Ingår i: Parasites & Vectors, ISSN 1756-3305, E-ISSN 1756-3305, Vol. 6, nr 362Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND:

    The common tick Ixodes ricinus is the main vector in Europe of the tick-borne encephalitis virus and of several species of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, which are the etiological agents of Lyme borreliosis. The risk to contract bites of I. ricinus is dependent on many factors including the behaviour of both ticks and people. The tick's site of attachment on the human body and the duration of tick attachment may be of clinical importance. Data on I. ricinus ticks, which were found attached to the skin of people, were analysed regarding potentially stage-specific differences in location of attachment sites, duration of tick attachment (= feeding duration), seasonal and geographical distribution of tick infestation in relation to age and gender of the tick-infested hosts.

    METHODS:

    During 2008-2009, 1770 tick-bitten persons from Sweden and the Åland Islands removed 2110 I. ricinus ticks. Participants provided information about the date of tick detection and location on their body of each attached tick. Ticks were identified to species and developmental stage. The feeding duration of each nymph and adult female tick was microscopically estimated based on the scutal and the coxal index.

    RESULTS:

    In 2008, participants were tick-bitten from mid-May to mid-October and in 2009 from early April to early November. The infestation pattern of the nymphs was bimodal whereas that of the adult female ticks was unimodal with a peak in late summer. Tick attachment site on the human body was associated with stage of the tick and gender of the human host. Site of attachment seemed to influence the duration of tick feeding. Overall, 63% of nymphs and adult female ticks were detected and removed more than 24 hours after attachment. Older persons, compared to younger ones, and men, compared to women, removed "their" ticks after a longer period of tick attachment.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    The infestation behaviour of the different tick stages concerning where on the host's body the ticks generally will attach and when such ticks generally will be detected and removed in relation to host age and gender, should be of value for the development of prophylactic methods against tick infestation and to provide relevant advice to people on how to avoid or reduce the risk of tick infestation.

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