1887

Abstract

Introduction:

is an emerging zoonotic tick‐borne rickettsial pathogen that has been detected in a wide range of vertebrate hosts, including ruminants, canids and primates. Although white‐tailed deer () are considered the primary reservoir of , this pathogen was also reported in other naturally infected cervids, including Korean spotted or sika deer () and Brazilian marsh deer ().

Case presentation:

A captive adult bull elk () from east‐central Missouri was submitted for post‐mortem analysis. The elk was in poor body condition with easily palpable ribs and vertebral spinal processes. Excoriations were noted on the occipital region of the head and on the left scapula, which had moderate amounts of maggots within the lesions. Large numbers of ticks were scattered over the body. Novel and established PCR assays were used to detect in blood and spleen samples from this elk, but the pathogen was not detected in ticks collected at necropsy. Portions of several gene sequences were analysed from the infecting agent.

Conclusion

To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of infection in an elk. It was not determined whether the pathogen contributed to cause of death. Notably, the pathogen was not detected in ticks collected from the elk.

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2015-02-01
2019-11-14
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