Ticks can transmit various diseases to people and animals. Some well-known diseases spread by ticks include tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and Lyme disease. Researchers at the Vetmeduni Vienna are hot on the trail of pathogens carried by ticks. The parasitologists recently discovered a new form of the bacterium Candidatus Neoehrlichia in a red fox from the Austrian state of Vorarlberg. The pathogen might also be transmittable to humans. The results were published in the journal Parasites & Vectors.
Adnan Hodžić from the Institute of Parasitology at the Vetmeduni Vienna is searching for pathogens transmitted by ticks. He is especially interested in wild carnivores (foxes and wolves) which could be a possible reservoir and source of infection for humans and other animals.
One special pathogen, first discovered in 1999 in Ixodes ricinus ticks, is the bacterium Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis (CNM). The first case of CNM causing illness in a person was identified in the year 2010 in Sweden.
Since then, the bacterium has been found several times in humans as well as in animals such as dogs, hedgehogs, shrews, bears, badgers, chamois and mouflons. In people, an infection with CNM bacteria causes fever, muscle and joint pain, and a higher risk for thrombosis and embolisms. Older and immunocompromised people are especially at risk.
A second, related pathogen is Candidatus Neoehrlichia lotoris (CNL). So far, however, CNL has only been found in raccoons in the USA.
New pathogen discovered in Austria
Now Hodžić and his colleagues have discovered a new strain of Candidatus Neoehrlichia in a red fox from Vorarlberg, Austria. Genetically, the new find is situated somewhere between the two previously recognized forms. “Further study will be required for proper phylogenetic placement of the bacterium.
What is certain, however, is that this could be a potential zoonotic pathogen, meaning that it could be transmittable to humans. But we still do not know the possible route of an infection and consequences on humans or pets,” explains study leader Hans-Peter Führer.
In 2014, the researchers collected 164 spleen samples from red foxes during routine hunting events in Tyrol and Vorarlberg. Genetic analysis revealed a female fox from Feldkirch as carrying the new bacterial strain.
Infection with Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis often remains undiscovered
Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis causes flu-like symptoms in humans and pets such as dogs. “The illness is not yet well-known among physicians, however, and therefore often remains undiagnosed,” says Hodžić. “We want to raise awareness of this pathogen. Given the relevant symptoms, physicians should know what to do. An infection is best treated with the antibiotic Doxycyclin.”
The parasitologist Hodžić plans to conduct further research on wild animals in the future. The distribution of ticks in Europe will also require further study. “The monitoring of tick-borne diseases is becoming increasingly important,” Hodžić points out.
Der Artikel „Candidatus Neoehrlichia sp. in an Austrian fox is distinct from Candidatus Neoehrlichiamikurensis, but closer related to Candidatus Neoehrlichia lotoris“ von Adnan Hodžić, Rita Cézanne, Georg Gerhard Duscher, Josef Harl, Walter Glawischnig and Hans-Peter Fuehrer wurde im Journal Parasites & Vectors veröffentlicht. DOI 10.1186/s13071-015-1163-0
About the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
The University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna in Austria is one of the leading academic and research institutions in the field of Veterinary Sciences in Europe. About 1,300 employees and 2,300 students work on the campus in the north of Vienna which also houses five university clinics and various research sites. Outside of Vienna the university operates Teaching and Research Farms. http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at
Institute of Parasitology
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-2205
Science Communication / Corporate Communications
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-1153
Dr. Susanna Berger | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Two Group A Streptococcus genes linked to 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections
25.09.2017 | University of Maryland
Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy