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Molecular detection of Bartonella spp. in deer ked pupae, adult keds and moose blood in Finland

  • E. M. KORHONEN (a1), C. PÉREZ VERA (a1) (a2), A.T. PULLIAINEN (a3) (a4), T. SIRONEN (a1), K. AALTONEN (a1), R. KORTET (a5), L. HÄRKÖNEN (a6), S. HÄRKÖNEN (a7), T. PAAKKONEN (a5) (a8), P. NIEMINEN (a5) (a8), A-M. MUSTONEN (a5) (a8), H. YLÖNEN (a9) and O. VAPALAHTI (a1) (a10) (a11)...

The deer ked (Lipoptena cervi) is a haematophagous ectoparasite of cervids that harbours haemotrophic Bartonella. A prerequisite for the vector competence of the deer ked is the vertical transmission of the pathogen from the mother to its progeny and transstadial transmission from pupa to winged adult. We screened 1154 pupae and 59 pools of winged adult deer keds from different areas in Finland for Bartonella DNA using PCR. Altogether 13 pupa samples and one winged adult deer ked were positive for the presence of Bartonella DNA. The amplified sequences were closely related to either B. schoenbuchensis or B. bovis. The same lineages were identified in eight blood samples collected from free-ranging moose. This is the first demonstration of Bartonella spp. DNA in a winged adult deer ked and, thus, evidence for potential transstadial transmission of Bartonella spp. in the species.

Corresponding author
* Author for correspondence: Mrs C. Pérez Vera, Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Länggassstrasse 120, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland. (Email:
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
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