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1 September 2015 Babesia spp. in Ursus americanus (Black Bear) in New Jersey
Melissa Shaw, Nikolai Kolba, Jane E. Huffman
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Babesia is emerging as a cause of tick-borne zoonoses worldwide, and various wildlife species are the principal reservoir hosts for zoonotic Babesia species. The primary vectors of Babesia are Ixodid ticks, with the majority of zoonotic species transmitted by species in the genus Ixodes. The protozoan infects and lyses red blood cells. In this study, blood was collected from 201 Ursus americanus (American Black Bear) from 5 counties in northwestern New Jersey. Sample collection occurred over 5 research-trapping seasons from March 2010 to August 2011. We screened blood samples for Babesia spp. by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR), amplifying a 448–992-bp portion of the 18S rRNA gene, and detected Babesia in 84 of 201 (41.8%) samples. Sequence analysis confirmed the presence of Babesia spp. in all of the PCR positive samples. This study represents the first report of molecular evidence of Babesia spp. in the American Black Bear.

Melissa Shaw, Nikolai Kolba, and Jane E. Huffman "Babesia spp. in Ursus americanus (Black Bear) in New Jersey," Northeastern Naturalist 22(3), 451-458, (1 September 2015).
Published: 1 September 2015

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