📰 Sparouine anaplasmosis, a new zoonosis transmitted by ticks discovered in Guyana

Ticks are responsible for the transmission of many zoonoses, which are infectious diseases transmitted from animals to humans. A study published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases August 8, 2022 just highlighted a new zoonosis (A zoonosis (from the Greek zôon, “animal” and nosos,…) transmitted by ticks in a remote region of Guyana. This sickness (Disease is an alteration of the functions or health of a living organism, animal…)Sparouine’s anaplasmosis, was discovered following the infection of a gold miner living in the heart of the tropical rainforest (The humid tropical forest, also called rain forest, is a biome of the intertropical zones,…). The infection of his red blood cells by a bacterium (Bacteria (Bacteria) are prokaryotic unicellular living organisms, characterized…) unknown until then led to a severe deterioration in his state of health (Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and is not…) and required hospitalization. This work also shows that genetically similar bacteria circulate among ticks and mammals ofAmerica (America is a separate continent, to the west, from Asia and…) from Sud (South is a cardinal point, opposite to north.) which could constitute the natural reservoirs of infection.

Representation of the diversity of tick species present in Guyana. Credits: Florian Binetruy and Olivier Duron.

Major vectors of pathogenic agents, ticks are particularly well known in Europe (Europe is a land region that can be considered a…) for their role in the spread of zoonoses such as Lyme disease (Lyme disease is a bacterial disease. It is multivisceral (can affect…). By feeding on wildlife, ticks can then transmit zoonotic pathogens to humans. In Guyana, the exploitation of remote natural areas has led to the emergence of a new tick-borne zoonosis, unknown until then, the anaplasmosis of Sparouine.

Sparouine’s anaplasmosis is at this jour (The day or the day is the interval which separates the sunrise from the sunset; it is the…) a rare sickness (Rare diseases or orphan diseases are diseases whose prevalence is low,…) with only one known case. However, the conditions under which this disease was discovered are illustrative of the risks associated with the exploitation of remote natural areas. The Sparouine anaplasmosis appeared on an illegal gold panning site in the heart of the forest (A forest or a forest massif is a wooded expanse, relatively dense,…) tropical rainforest of Guyana. For the populations living on the gold panning sites, the fear of the authorities hinders access to health centers and epidemics of malaria (Malaria (from the Latin paludis, “swamp”), also called malaria (from…) appear there regularly. It is precisely a country (The countryside, also called rural environment, designates all the cultivated areas…) study of malaria, with the examination of more than 360 blood samples, which revealed the presence of a new bacterium pathogenic (The term pathogen (from the Greek παθογ?νεια!…), Anaplasma sparouinenseand thus the fortuitous discovery of the anaplasmosis of Sparouine.

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During the first blood sample (The blood sample is a treatment that can be performed by a nurse, a technician…) in 2019, the patient (In the field of medicine, the term patient commonly refers to a person receiving…) showed no symptom (A symptom represents one of the subjective manifestations of a disease or a process…) particular, although many red blood cells then presented cytoplasmic inclusions indicating a amount (The quantity is a generic term of metrology (account, amount); a scalar,…) important of bacteria. Eighteen month (The month (From lat. mensis “month”, and formerly in plural “menses”) is a period of time…) later, the patient was admitted to the Center Hospitalier de Cayenne for fever (Fever is the elevation of body temperature in a being with…)myalgia, headache, epistaxis and anemia (Anemia (from the privative an- and from the ancient Greek haimos, “blood”) is a…) strict. A large microbiological investigation had then made it possible to exclude the presence of common infectious agents, and only a DNA examination, carried out in the aftermathled to the discovery ofAnaplasma sparouinense. The patient presented with a comorbidity factor, having undergone in the passé (The past is first of all a concept linked to time: it is made up of the whole…) splenectomy (surgical removal of the rate (The spleen (in ancient Greek σπλήν (splēn), in Latin link, hence…) following a wound (A wound is a lesion, physical or psychic, done involuntarily or with the intention…) traumatic) which may have aggravated the effects of the infection. A treatment antibiotic (An antibiotic (from the Greek anti: “against”, and bios: “the…) over three weeks fortunately led to the recovery of the patient who was then able to leave thehospital (A hospital is a place intended to take care of people with …).

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This new pathogen belongs to the bacterial genus Anaplasmathe best-known bacterium of which is Anaplasma phagocytophilum, responsible for human granulocytic anaplasmosis. This emerging zoonosis is responsible every year (A year is a unit of time expressing the duration between two occurrences of a related event…) several hundred cases, sometimes fatal. Genetic studies have revealed that Anaplasma sparouinense is a new infectious agent, different from all known species ofAnaplasma. Phylogenetic analyzes have also established that related bacterial strains are naturally present in lazy (The term Sloth or Ai (Folivora) is the vernacular name given to some…) and ticks collected from coatis in Brazil.

These analyzes show that there is in fact everything (The whole understood as the whole of what exists is often interpreted as the world or…) a South American group ofAnaplasma emerging, including Anaplasma sparouinense is the first member described as infectious for humans. The vie (Life is the name given 🙂 on the gold panning site, in direct contact with wildlife, was undoubtedly a determining factor for the passage of the infectious agent to humans.

It is still too early to say the importance that the anaplasmosis of Sparouine will have in the future, and what health risk the disease could then present for South American populations. Its mere existence reminds us, however, that our knowledge of the diversity of pathogens circulating in remote natural areas is still very partial. The expansion of human activities in these regions will inevitably lead populations to be exposed to the risk of the emergence of similar zoonoses.

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– Infectious diseases and vectors: ecology, genetic (Genetics (from the Greek genno γεννώ = to give birth) is…)evolution and control (The word control can have several meanings. It can be used as a synonym of examination, of…) (MIVEGEC – CNRS (The National Center for Scientific Research, better known by its acronym CNRS, is the largest…) / IRD / Université (A university is an institution of higher education whose objective is the…) of Montpellier)
– Lille Infection and Immunity Center (CIIL – CNRS / Lille University Hospital / Inserm / Pasteur Institute of Lille (The Institut Pasteur de Lille (Pasteur-Lille) is one of the research centers of the Network…) / University of Lille)

Duron O, Koual R, Musset L, Buysse M, Lambert Y, Jaulhac B, Blanchet D, Drak Alsibai K, Lazrek Y, Epelboin L, Deshuillers P, Michaud C & Douine M. A case of novel chronic anaplasmosis in splenectomized patient in Amazon rainforest.Emerging Infectious Diseases (in press)

– Olivier Duron – Infectious diseases and vectors: ecology, genetics, evolution and control (MIVEGEC – CNRS / IRD / University of Montpellier) – olivier.duron at
– Katia Grucker – Correspondent communication (Communication concerns both man (intra-psychic, interpersonal communication, etc.) – Infectious Diseases and Vectors: Ecology, Genetics, Evolution and Control ( MIVEGEC – CNRS / IRD / Montpellier University (The University of Montpellier was an educational institution…) ) – katia.grucker at

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