Bauer et al.
Co-exposure to Anaplasma spp., Coxiella burnetii and tick-borne encephalitis virus in sheep in southern Germany
Acta Vet Scand. 2023;65(1):6. doi:10.1186/s13028-022-00659-6

The intracellular bacteria Coxiella burnetii, Anaplasma phagocytophilium and Anaplasma ovis, and TBE virus are tick-transmitted pathogens and circulate in sheep flocks in the southern German federal states, Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg.

An antibody prevalence study has been conducted in these two federal states in 36 sheep flocks with a total of 1406 serum samples in 2017/18. Most sheep had antibodies against Anaplasma spp. (42.7%), followed by TBE (4.7% – TBE positive sera were confirmed by neutralization assay) and C. burnetii (3.7%). Seropositivity against at least two pathogens was detected in 66 sheep (4.7%) and in 20 flocks (55.6%).

These findings contribute to the complex issue of tick-borne pathogens in sheep in Germany. Sheep flocks can be implemented as sentinels to identify potential new risk areas of emerging zoonotic pathogens such as TBE virus (in this context see also Snapshot week 31/2022 about the seroprevalence of TBE antibodies in sheep in CZ, Snapshot week 17/2021 and Snapshot week 13/2018).

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