To evaluate the presence of rickettsial agents in hippoboscid flies with molecular methods, 81 sheep keds (Melophagus ovinus) were collected from 23 sheep, 144 deer keds (Lipoptena cervi) were caught in the environment, and a further 463 and 59 individuals of the latter species were obtained from fresh carcasses of 29 red deer and 17 roe deer, respectively. DNA was extracted individually or in pools. Anaplasma ovis was demonstrated in all examined sheep keds, and from one pool of free-living deer keds. Rickettsia helvetica or other, unidentified rickettsiae were also present in one pool of sheep keds, and in four pools of deer keds from both red deer and roe deer. This is the first account of polymerase chain reaction positivity of hippoboscid flies for A. ovis and rickettsiae. These results raise the possibility that-apart from cattle and roe deer as already reported-sheep and red deer might also play a reservoir role in the epidemiology of rickettsioses.