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Molecular detection of bacteria in the families Rickettsiaceae and Anaplasmataceae in northern crested caracaras (Caracara cheriway)

June 1, 2016

Bacterial pathogens of the families Anaplasmataceae and Rickettsiaceae are often spread to humans or other animals from bites from infected arthropod hosts. Recently, an increasing number of studies have implicated migratory birds in the circulation of these pathogens through the spread of arthropod vectors. However, few studies have examined the potential for resident bird populations to serve as reservoirs for these zoonoses. In this study, we used nested PCRs of the GroESL and 17 kDa genes to screen for Anaplasmataceae and Rickettsiaceae, respectively, in a resident population of the northern crested caracara (Caracara cheriway) from Florida (n = 55). Additionally, a small number (n = 6) of captive individuals from Texas were included. We identified one individual (1.64%) positive for Rickettsia felis and one (1.64%) positive for Ehrlichia chaffeensis; both these individuals were from Florida. Presence of these pathogens demonstrates that these birds are potential hosts; however, the low prevalence of infections suggests that these populations likely do not function as an ecological reservoir.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Molecular detection of bacteria in the families <i>Rickettsiaceae</i> and <i>Anaplasmataceae</i> in northern crested caracaras (<i>Caracara cheriway</i>)
DOI 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2016.01.015
Authors John A. Erwin, Robert R. Fitak, James F. Dwyer, Joan L. Morrison, Melanie Culver
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Series Number
Index ID 70171546
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle

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