A total of 372 adult Ixodes persulcatus ticks were collected from vegetation in a forest area of Heilongjiang Province in northeastern China, where Lyme disease is known to be endemic. The ticks were examined for the presence of granulocytic ehrlichiae by heminested PCR with primers derived from the 16S rRNA gene. Of 310 ticks obtained from the Dahe forestry farm, two pools (each containing 5 ticks) were found positive, with a minimum infection rate of 0.6%. Ehrlichial DNA was also detected in one female (1.6%) of 62 ticks collected from the Yulin forestry farm. The overall minimum infection rate of the 372 I. persulcatus adults was 0.8%. The nucleotide sequences of 919-bp PCR products from the three positive tick specimens were identical to each other and very closely related to the members of the Ehrlichia phagocytophila genogroup. This is the first identification of granulocytic ehrlichiae in ticks in Asia and the first report of infection in I. persulcatus anywhere.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)