Temporal patterns of tick-borne granulocytic anaplasmosis in California

Daniel Rejmanek, Nathan C. Nieto, Nell Barash, Janet E. Foley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Granulocytic anaplasmosis (GA) is a tick-borne emerging infectious disease caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum. From fall 2005 to spring 2007, A. phagocytophilum infection prevalence in small mammals and tick abundance were monitored at 4 study sites in coastal California. The abundance of different life stages of questing Ixodes pacificus ticks fluctuated seasonally with the number of adults peaking December to February, nymphs peaking May to July, and larvae peaking April to June. Numerous Ixodes tick species were found attached to dusky-footed woodrats (Neotoma fuscipes), chimunks (Tamias spp.), and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus); however, attached tick larvae on all 3 rodent species were primarily I. pacificus, attached nymphs were primarily I. angustus, and adults were either I. ochotonae, I. spinipalpis, or I. woodi. A. phagocytophilum DNA was detected by PCR in 2.2% (n. = 275, 95% C.I.= 0.09-4.9) of sampled ticks. The overall A. phagocytophilum seroprevalence among small mammals was 7.4% (n. = 654, 95% C.I.= 5.5-9.7) while 7.2% (n. = 125, 95% C.I.= 3.5-13.4) of the animals were found to be PCR-positive. Seropositive animals included woodrats, chipmunks, and deer mice, although only woodrats and chipmunks had PCR-detectable infections. Seroprevalence varied temporally among species with the majority of exposed deer mice detected in fall 2006 and the majority of exposed woodrats and chipmunks identified in spring 2007. This study highlights the importance of multiple-year monitoring of both vectors and wildlife hosts in order to better understand the complex ecology of A. phagocytophilum and other related tick-borne disease agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalTicks and Tick-borne Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum
  • Disease ecology
  • Disease emergence
  • Ixodes pacificus
  • Neotoma fuscipes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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