PCR-based survey of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Portuguese ticks (Acari: Ixodidae)

Ana S. Santos, M. Margarida Santos-Silva, Rita De Sousa, Fatima Bacellar, J. Stephen Dumler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A total of two-thousand and six ticks, collected from 2002 to 2006 in areas belonging to seven districts of Mainland Portugal and also in Madeira Island, were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Active infections were detected exclusively in Ixodes species, including six questing I. ricinus nymphs from Madeira Island, one questing I. ventalloi nymph from Setúbal District, and two I. ventalloi adults found parasitizing domestic cats in both Setúbal and Santarém District. These findings confirm prior observations and suggest the persistence of A. phagocytophilum on Madeira Island. Moreover, it adds I. ventalloi and domestic cats to the list of potential elements of the agent's enzootic cycles in Portugal. Molecular analysis of PCR amplicons suggests the existence of two A. phagocytophilum genotypes in Portugal, one of which is identical or very similar to North American strains implicated in human disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • Portugal
  • Tick-borne agent
  • Ticks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'PCR-based survey of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Portuguese ticks (Acari: Ixodidae)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this