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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2010 May;8(5):328-39. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2318. Epub 2010 Apr 7.

Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Ehrlichia chaffeensis: subversive manipulators of host cells.

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Department of Veterinary Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, 1925 Coffey Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


Anaplasma spp. and Ehrlichia spp. cause several emerging human infectious diseases. Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Ehrlichia chaffeensis are transmitted between mammals by blood-sucking ticks and replicate inside mammalian white blood cells and tick salivary-gland and midgut cells. Adaptation to a life in eukaryotic cells and transmission between hosts has been assisted by the deletion of many genes that are present in the genomes of free-living bacteria (including genes required for the biosynthesis of lipopolysaccharide and peptidoglycan), by the acquisition of a cholesterol uptake pathway and by the expansion of the repertoire of genes encoding the outer-membrane porins and type IV secretion system. Here, I review the specialized properties and other adaptations of these intracellular bacteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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