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Absence of blood parasites and other vector-borne pathogens in Alpine marmots ( Marmota marmota ) in Western Austria

Authors
  • Fuehrer, Hans-Peter1
  • Soukup, Ilona1
  • Shahi-Barogh, Bita1
  • Glawischnig, Walter2
  • 1 University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna,
  • 2 Institute for Veterinary Disease Control Innsbruck, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety Ltd. (AGES),
Type
Published Article
Journal
Parasitology Research
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jan 16, 2021
Volume
120
Issue
3
Pages
1125–1129
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00436-020-07006-6
PMID: 33452588
PMCID: PMC7889533
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Protozoology - Short Communication
License
Unknown

Abstract

The importance of vectors and vector-borne diseases (VBDs) is increasing on a global scale. Many vectors and pathogens benefit from global warming and can spread to novel habitats where they were formerly not present, including higher altitudes. Various vector-borne pathogens (VBPs), such as Anaplasma phagocytophilum , have been reported in, for instance, red foxes and wild ungulates in the Western Austrian Alps. However, these animals are known to migrate to lower regions in the winter season, and therefore, it is of interest to investigate if VBPs are also present in mammals faithful to their higher altitude alpine habitat all year round. Blood parasites and other VBPs, namely. Trypanosomatidae, piroplasms, Hepatozoon spp., filarioid helminths, Anaplasmataceae, and Rickettisa spp., were thus analysed with PCR in 148 alpine marmots ( Marmota marmota ). None of the marmots’ blood samples was positive for these VBPs, indicating a low abundance or absence of competent vectors in the alpine region. Alpine marmots seem to be naïve for VBPs (at least in our study area). An overview of VBD agents in other marmot species is given.

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