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The molecular evidence of Babesia microti infection in small mammals collected in Slovenia

  • D. DUH (a1), M. PETROVEC (a1), T. TRILAR (a2) and T. AVSIC-ZUPANC (a1)

Abstract

In Europe, the zoonotic cycle of Babesia microti has not been determined so far. Recently, B. microti was detected in Ixodes ricinus ticks in Slovenia by using molecular methods. In order to investigate the mammalian hosts of B. microti in Slovenia we collected 261 small mammals representing 11 species. They were tested for the presence of babesial parasites with a PCR assay based on the nuclear small subunit rRNA gene (nss-rDNA). The bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) and yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) were infected with B. microti. The prevalence rate was 15·9% for C. glareolus and 11·8% for A. flavicollis. Nucleotide sequences of amplified portions of B. microti nss-rDNA from C. glareolus and A. flavicollis were indistinguishable from each other and identical with those previously described in I. ricinus ticks collected in Slovenia. The results of this study represent molecular evidence of B. microti in small mammals in Europe.

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Corresponding author

Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical Faculty, Zaloska 4, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia. Tel: +386 1 543 7450. Fax: +386 1 543 7401. E-mail: tatjana.avsic@mf.uni-lj.si

Keywords

The molecular evidence of Babesia microti infection in small mammals collected in Slovenia

  • D. DUH (a1), M. PETROVEC (a1), T. TRILAR (a2) and T. AVSIC-ZUPANC (a1)

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