Natural tularemia foci of the meadow and steppe type are extremely stable and become active in those years when the most favourable living conditions for rodents appear. For the first time during the last 30 years a great increase in the number of common voles, accompanied by widely spread epizooty covering the whole territory of the Tula region, was observed. House mice, common field mice, harvest mice and black rats were also involved in this epizooty and 235 tularemia patients with all clinical forms of the disease were registered, the pulmonary form of the disease being prevalent. The cases of the disease were observed among both urban and rural population. In spite of a high morbidity rate, no cases of group infection were registered in domestic conditions and among agricultural workers due to the existence of the numerous immune layer among the population. The formation of this layer resulted from planned vaccinal prophylaxis covering, on the average, 86.3% of the rural population of the region.
Effective containment of arthropod vectors of infectious diseases is necessary to prevent transmission of pathogens by released, infected vectors and to prevent vectors that escape from establishing populations that subsequently contribute to increased disease. Although rare, past releases illustrate what can go wrong and justify the need for guidelines that minimize risks. An overview of recommendations for insectary facilities, practices, and equipment is provided, and features of four recently published and increasingly rigorous arthropod containment levels (ACLs 1-4) are summarized. ACL-1 is appropriate for research that constitutes the lowest risk level, including uninfected arthropods or vectors that are infected with micro-organisms that do not cause disease in humans, domestic animals, or wildlife. ACL-2 is appropriate for indigenous and exotic arthropods that represent a moderate risk, including vectors infected or suspected of being infected with biosafety level (BSL)-2 infectious agents and arthropods that have been genetically modified in ways that do not significantly affect their fecundity, survival, host preference, or vector competence. ACL-3 is recommended for arthropods that are or may be infected with BSL-3 infectious agents. ACL-3 places greater emphasis on pathogen containment and more restricted access to the insectary than ACL-2. ACL-4 is intended for arthropods that are infected with the most dangerous BSL-4 infectious agents, which can cause life-threatening illness by aerosol or arthropod bite. Adherence to these guidelines will result in laboratory-based arthropod vector research that minimizes risks and results in important new contributions to applied and basic science.
The Ixodes pavlovskyi tick species, a member of the I. persulcatus/I. ricinus group, was discovered in the middle of the 20th century in the Russian Far East. Limited data have been reported on the detection of infectious agents in this tick species. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and genetic variability of a wide range of infectious agents in I. pavlovskyi ticks collected in their traditional and recently invaded habitats, the Altai Mountains and Novosibirsk Province, respectively, which are both located within the Western Siberian part of the I. pavlovskyi distribution area.
This study reports the novel discovery of Borrelia bavariensis, Rickettsia helvetica, R. heilongjiangensis, R. raoultii, "Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae", Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia muris, "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" and Babesia microti in I. pavlovskyi ticks. In addition, we confirmed the previous identification of B. afzelii, B. garinii and B. miyamotoi, as well as tick-borne encephalitis and Kemerovo viruses in this tick species. The prevalence and some genetic characteristics of all of the tested agents were compared with those found in I. persulcatus ticks that were collected at the same time in the same locations, where these tick species occur in sympatry. It was shown that the prevalence and genotypes of many of the identified pathogens did not significantly differ between I. pavlovskyi and I. persulcatus ticks. However, I. pavlovskyi ticks were significantly more often infected by B. garinii and less often by B. bavariensis, B. afzelii, "Ca. R. tarasevichiae", and E. muris than I. persulcatus ticks in both studied regions. Moreover, new genetic variants of B. burgdorferi (sensu lato) and Rickettsia spp. as well as tick-borne encephalitis and Kemerovo viruses were found in both I. pavlovskyi and I. persulcatus ticks.
Almost all pathogens that were previously detected in I. persulcatus ticks were identified in I. pavlovskyi ticks; however, the distribution of species belonging to the B. burgdorferi (sensu lato) complex, the genus Rickettsia, and the family Anaplasmataceae was different between the two tick species. Several new genetic variants of viral and bacterial agents were identified in I. pavlovskyi and I. persulcatus ticks.
Cites: Nat Commun. 2016 Feb 09;7:10507 PMID 26856261