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Transbound Emerg Dis. 2013 Nov;60 Suppl 2:105-12. doi: 10.1111/tbed.12149.

Can Anaplasma ovis in small ruminants be neglected any longer?

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Division of Veterinary Infection Biology and Immunology, Research Center Borstel, Borstel, Germany.


Anaplasma species are obligate intracellular rickettsial pathogens transmitted by ticks with an impact on human and animal health. Anaplasma ovis infects sheep and goats in many regions of the world, and it can be diagnosed by different methods like Giemsa staining, PCR or competitive ELISA. In this study, a PCR based on the gene coding for major surface protein 4 (MSP-4) was used to examine field samples collected from sheep in different countries. Altogether, 1161 blood samples from Turkey (n = 830), Iraq (n = 195), Sudan (n = 96) and Portugal (n = 40) were examined, of which 31.4%, 66.6% 41.6% and 82.5%, respectively, were positive. This indicates high prevalence of A. ovis in the countries under investigation, and it can be assumed that the situation in other areas of the world might be similar. Thus, A. ovis should be considered as an important constraint of livestock production, and further efforts are needed to better understand the epidemiology and to implement suitable control measures.


Anaplasma ovis; PCR-based diagnostics; small ruminants

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