Reservoir competence of the redwood chipmunk (Tamias ochrogenys) for Anaplasma phagocytophilum

Nathan C. Nieto, Janet E. Foley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Granulocytic anaplasmosis (GA) is an emerging tick-transmitted disease that persists in rodent- Ixodes ricinus-complex tick cycles across the Holarctic. Although the putative reservoir for anaplasmosis in the western United States is the dusky-footed woodrat (Neotoma fuscipes), this rodent was not shown reservoir-competent because of failure of infection from woodrats to other animals via ticks. Redwood chipmunks are common in habitats where Anaplasma phagocytophilum is common, have high PCR- and seroprevalence, and are infested with a diversity of Ixodes spp. ticks. Experimental infection of seven wild-caught A. phagocytophilum-negative redwood chipmunks induced persistent periods of recurrent rickettsemia during the persistent phase of infection. Of three animals for which xenodiagnosis was attempted, all successfully infected pools of I. pacificus larvae during the primary rickettsemia. We show that chipmunks are reservoir-competent for GA and may be important for maintaining infection in nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-577
Number of pages5
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


  • Disease ecology
  • Ixodes
  • Sciurid
  • Tick-borne disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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