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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2014 May;14(5):368-70. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2013.1488. Epub 2014 Apr 18.

Molecular diagnosis and species identification of Ehrlichia and Anaplasma infections in dogs from Panama, Central America.

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1 Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas de Estudios de la Salud, ICGES , Panama City, Panamá.


The prevalence and distribution of Anaplasma and Ehrlichia were estimated in 201 symptomatic dogs from Panama by nested PCR and DNA sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. In total, 163 dogs (70.6%; 163/201) were infected with either Anaplasma or Ehrlichia. On the basis of PCR results, the majority of cases were infected with E. canis (64.2%; 129/201) followed by 21.4% (43/201) with A. platys, whereas 7.5% (15/201) had Anaplasma/Ehrlichia co-infections. Further analyses of 16S rDNA partial sequences show sequence homology with E. canis and A. platys from other countries. Hematology findings from 79 E. canis PCR-positive dogs included anemia (74.7%), thrombocytopenia (81.9%), macroplatelets (29.1%), and leukopenia (6.3%). Among 16 A. platys PCR-positive dogs with available hematology, 62.5% were anemic, 75% had thrombocytopenia, and 100% had macroplatelets. On the basis of E.canis serology (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA]) (n=92 dogs), 30 dogs that were seropositive for E. canis were also PCR-positive, whereas among seronegatives (n=62), 10 were PCR-positive for E. canis. This study provides the first characterization of canine anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis infections in Panama and is important to veterinary public health and comparative studies of these pathogens in the Americas.

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