Journal article

Bacterial Pathogens and Symbionts Harboured by Ixodes ricinus Ticks Parasitising Red Squirrels in the United Kingdom

Lisa Luu, Ana M Palomar, Gemma Farrington, Anna-Katarina Schilling, Shonnette Premchand-Branker, John McGarry, Benjamin L Makepeace, Anna Meredith, Lesley Bell-Sakyi

PATHOGENS | MDPI | Published : 2021

Abstract

Red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) are native to most of Eurasia; in much of the United Kingdom, they have been supplanted by the non-native grey squirrel, and are considered an endangered species. Very little is known about the range of tick-borne pathogens to which UK red squirrels are exposed. As part of trap-and-release surveys examining prevalence of Mycobacterium spp. in red squirrel populations on two UK islands, Ixodes ricinus ticks were removed from squirrels and PCR screened for Borrelia spp., intracellular arthropod-borne bacteria and the parasitic wasp Ixodiphagus hookeri. At both sites, the most commonly encountered tick-transmitted bacterium was Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (o..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

Grants

Awarded by United Kingdom Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)


Awarded by BBSRC


Funding Acknowledgements

This work was partially supported by the Principal's Career Development PhD Scholarship to AS and by the University of Edinburgh and the Scottish Government Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division. LL was partially supported by the United Kingdom Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) grant number BB/N023889/2 and LBS by BBSRC grant numbers BBS/E/1/00001741 and BB/P024270/1. GF carried out part of the work in partial fulfilment of a MRes degree at the University of Liverpool. SPB carried out part of the work in partial fulfilment of a BSc degree from the University of York. AMP was partially supported by the Sociedad Espanola de Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiologia Clinica (grant: "Becas de estancia en el extranjero") and The Tick Cell Biobank.