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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 313867, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/313867
Research Article

Rural Residents in China Are at Increased Risk of Exposure to Tick-Borne Pathogens Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Ehrlichia chaffeensis

1Department of Rickettsiology, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, China CDC, Changping, Beijing 102206, China
2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Anhui Province, Hefei 650022, China
3Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Henan Province, Zhengzhou 450016, China
4Tianjin Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 300011, China
5Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Hainan Province, Haikou 570203, China
6Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Jilin Province, Changchun 130062, China
7Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou 310051, China
8Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing 210009, China
9Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Yunnan Province, Kunming 650022, China
10Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 100013, China
11YiLi Prefecture Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Yili 835000, China
12Shihezi University, Shihezi 832000, China

Received 5 February 2014; Accepted 7 March 2014; Published 30 April 2014

Academic Editor: Veeranoot Nissapatorn

Copyright © 2014 Lijuan Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

As emerging tick born rickettsial diseases caused by A. phagocytophilum and E. chaffeensis, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis have become a serious threat to human and animal health throughout the world. In particular, in China, an unusual transmission of nosocomial cases of human granulocytic anaplasmosis occurred in Anhui Province in 2006 and more recent coinfection case of A. phagocytophilum and E. chaffeensis was documented in Shandong Province. Although the seroprevalence of human granulocytic anaplasmosis (former human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, HGE) has been documented in several studies, these data existed on local investigations, and also little data was reported on the seroprevalence of human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) in China. In this cross-sectional epidemiological study, indirect immunofluorescence antibody assay (IFA) proposed by WHO was used to detect A. phagocytophilum and E. chaffeensis IgG antibodies for 7,322 serum samples from agrarian residents from 9 provinces/cities and 819 urban residents from 2 provinces. Our data showed that farmers were at substantially increased risk of exposure. However, even among urban residents, risk was considerable. Seroprevalence of HGA and HME occurred in diverse regions of the country and tended to be the highest in young adults. Many species of ticks were confirmed carrying A. phagocytophilum organisms in China while several kinds of domestic animals including dog, goats, sheep, cattle, horse, wild rabbit, and some small wild rodents were proposed to be the reservoir hosts of A. phagocytophilum. The broad distribution of vector and hosts of the A. phagocytophilum and E. chaffeensis, especially the relationship between the generalized susceptibility of vectors and reservoirs and the severity of the disease’s clinical manifestations and the genetic variation of Chinese HGA isolates in China, is urgently needed to be further investigated.