Infection rate of Ehrlichia risticii, the agent of Potomac horse fever, in freshwater stream snails (Juga yrekaensis) from northern California

Nicola Pusterla, Eileen Johnson, Joon Seok Chae, Jeannine Berger Pusterla, Elfriede DeRock, John E Madigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Juga yrekaensis freshwater snails were tested for trematode stages and for Ehrlichia risticii DNA using a nested PCR assay. Snails were collected monthly from two Potomac horse fever (PHF) endemic locations in northern California (Montague and Weed). The trematode infection rate varied between 40 and 93.3% in large snails (shell size > 15 mm) and between 0 and 13.3% in small snails (< 15 mm). The highest trematode infection rate for large and small snails was recorded in September and the lowest infection rate for large snails was recorded in June (Weed) and October (Montague). The E. risticii PCR infection rate among small snails from both sites was similar and varied monthly between 0 and 3.3%. The PCR infection rate for large snails from Weed was high in May (20.0%) and decreased progressively until November (10.0%). The PCR infection rate for large snails from Montague was 5.0% in May, 26.3% in August and 16.7% in October. PCR-positive snails were always related to the microscopic detection of trematode stages (virgulate cercariae). This study provides evidence that J. yrekaensis are infected with trematode cercariae that harbor E. risticii. The number of snails harboring trematode stages and the number of PCR positive snails varied with the size of the snails, the month of collection, and the geographic origin. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-156
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 20 2000



  • California
  • Ehrlichia risticii
  • Freshwater snails
  • Potomac horse fever
  • Seasonal prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)

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