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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Oct;1078:552-6.

Multiplex detection of Ehrlichia and Anaplasma pathogens in vertebrate and tick hosts by real-time RT-PCR.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, 1800 Denison Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.


Tick-borne rickettsial infections are responsible for many emerging diseases in humans and several vertebrates. These include human infections with Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Ehrlichia ewingii and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. As single or co-infections can result from a tick bite, the availability of a rapid, multiplex molecular test will be valuable for timely diagnosis and treatment. We recently described a muliplex-molecular test that can detect single or co-infections with up to five Ehrlichia and Anaplasma species. We reported that the test has the sensitivity to identify single infections in the canine host with E. chaffeensis, E. canis, E. ewingii, A. phagocytophilum, and A. platys and co-infection with E. canis and A. platys. In this study, ticks were collected from different parts of the state of Kansas during summer months of the year 2003 and tested for the presence of infection using the molecular test. The analysis revealed a minimum of 3.66% of the ticks to be positive for either E. chaffeensis or E. ewingii in A. americanum and Dermacenter species. This assay will be valuable in monitoring infections in dogs and ticks, and with minor modifications it can be used for diagnosing infections in people and other vertebrates.

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