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2.  Distinct Host Species Correlate with Anaplasma phagocytophilum ankA Gene Clusters▿† 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(3):790-796.
Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a Gram-negative, tick-transmitted, obligate intracellular bacterium that elicits acute febrile diseases in humans and domestic animals. In contrast to the United States, human granulocytic anaplasmosis seems to be a rare disease in Europe despite the initial recognition of A. phagocytophilum as the causative agent of tick-borne fever in European sheep and cattle. Considerable strain variation has been suggested to occur within this species, because isolates from humans and animals differed in their pathogenicity for heterologous hosts. In order to explain host preference and epidemiological diversity, molecular characterization of A. phagocytophilum strains has been undertaken. Most often the 16S rRNA gene was used, but it might be not informative enough to delineate distinct genotypes of A. phagocytophilum. Previously, we have shown that A. phagocytophilum strains infecting Ixodes ricinus ticks are highly diverse in their ankA genes. Therefore, we sequenced the 16S rRNA and ankA genes of 194 A. phagocytophilum strains from humans and several animal species. Whereas the phylogenetic analysis using 16S rRNA gene sequences was not meaningful, we showed that distinct host species correlate with A. phagocytophilum ankA gene clusters.
PMCID: PMC3067700  PMID: 21177886
3.  Genetic variants of Anaplasma phagocytophilum from 14 equine granulocytic anaplasmosis cases 
Parasites & Vectors  2011;4:161.
Equine Granulocytic Anaplasmosis (EGA) is caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilum, a tick-transmitted, obligate intracellular bacterium. In Europe, it is transmitted by Ixodes ricinus. A large number of genetic variants of A. phagocytophilum circulate in nature and have been found in ticks and different animals. Attempts have been made to assign certain genetic variants to certain host species or pathologies, but have not been successful so far. The purpose of this study was to investigate the causing agent A. phagocytophilum of 14 cases of EGA in naturally infected horses with molecular methods on the basis of 4 partial genes (16S rRNA, groEL, msp2, and msp4).
All DNA extracts of EDTA-blood samples of the horses gave bands of the correct nucleotide size in all four genotyping PCRs. Sequence analysis revealed 4 different variants in the partial 16S rRNA, groEL gene and msp2 genes, and 3 in the msp4 gene. One 16S rRNA gene variant involved in 11 of the 14 cases was identical to the "prototype" variant causing disease in humans in the amplified part [GenBank: U02521]. Phylogenetic analysis revealed as expected for the groEL gene that sequences from horses clustered separately from roe deer. Sequences of the partial msp2 gene from this study formed a separate cluster from ruminant variants in Europe and from all US variants.
The results show that more than one variant of A. phagocytophilum seems to be involved in EGA in Germany. The comparative genetic analysis of the variants involved points towards different natural cycles in the epidemiology of A. phagocytophilum, possibly involving different reservoir hosts or host adaptation, rather than a strict species separation.
PMCID: PMC3170280  PMID: 21843364
4.  Monitoring of Putative Vectors of Bluetongue Virus Serotype 8, Germany 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2009;15(9):1481-1484.
To identify the vectors of bluetongue virus (BTV) in Germany, we monitored Culicoides spp. biting midges during April 2007–May 2008. Molecular characterization of batches of midges that tested positive for BTV suggests C. obsoletus sensu stricto as a relevant vector of bluetongue disease in central Europe.
PMCID: PMC2819873  PMID: 19788820
Culicoides; bluetongue disease; bluetongue virus; monitoring; epidemiology; RT-PCR; viruses; Germany; dispatch
5.  Detection and Typing of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato in Ixodes ricinus Ticks Attached to Human Skin by PCR 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1998;36(11):3355-3358.
Live Ixodes ricinus ticks attached to humans residing in Germany were examined for borreliae by dark-field microscopy and PCR. Borrelia species were identified by 16S rRNA sequence analysis, which showed the presence of several species, some not yet defined, and a high prevalence of multiply infected ticks.
PMCID: PMC105329  PMID: 9774593

Results 1-5 (5)