Determining the Prevalence of Tick Borne Pathogens in Small Mammal Species in Mongolia
2016-05-15 - 2016-08-15
Over the last three decades, tick borne pathogens (TBP) have exemplified notable increases in emergence throughout the world. While extensive studies have been conducted in developing nations on TBP, less research has been conducted on TBP burdens in developing nations. Mongolia, a country built upon nomadic culture and pastoralism, is an ideal place to study TBP. Recent discoveries of TBP in Mongolia including Babesia sp., Anaplasma sp, Borrelia sp., and tick-borne encephalitis virus. While research has focused on TBP in humans and ticks, little research has assessed animal reservoirs, specifically small mammal species, as reservoirs for TBP. Small mammals are known to be natural reservoirs of many TBP worldwide. Pathogens including lyme disease, spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsioses and granulocytic anaplasmosis are found in Mongolia, zoonotic in nature and are known to amplify in animal reservoirs. The primary goal of this project is to investigate the role of small mammal species in the ecology of TBP in Mongolia, specifically Rickettsia sp., Anaplasma, and Borrelia spp.