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Coxiella burnetii and Francisella tularensis in wild small mammals from the Czech Republic

Bártová, Eva, Kučerová, Hana Lya, Žákovská, Alena, Budíková, Marie, Nejezchlebová, Helena
Ticks and tick-borne diseases 2020 v.11 no.2 pp. 101350
Apodemus agrarius, Apodemus flavicollis, Apodemus sylvaticus, Clethrionomys glareolus, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, Microtus arvalis, Sorex araneus, Talpa europaea, antibodies, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, heart, mixed infection, pathogens, rodents, seroprevalence, small mammals, tick-borne diseases, ticks, wild animals, Czech Republic
Wild rodents are an important source of the tick-borne pathogens Coxiella burnetii and Francisella tularensis. The aim of our study was to assess the prevalence of antibodies and possible coexistence of these pathogens in wild small mammals from three localities in the Czech Republic. A total of 614 wild small mammals (324 Apodemus flavicollis, 145 Myodes glareolus, 50 Sorex araneus, 48 A. sylvaticus, 40 A. agrarius, six Microtus arvalis and one Talpa europaea) were trapped between 2012 and 2015. Their sera or heart extracts were examined by modified indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, with the detection of antibodies against C. burnetii and F. tularensis in 12 % and 7 % of animals, respectively; coinfection was identified in 4.4 % of animals. The prevalence of C. burnetii and F. tularensis antibodies statistically differed according to animal species and sex (p < 0.05); the seroprevalence of C. burnetii (p < 0.05) also differed in the sampling period. The highest prevalence of antibodies against C. burnetii and F. tularensis was detected in the case of M. glareolus (24 % and 14 %, respectively).