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J Infect Dis. 1995 Oct;172(4):1141-4.

Transmission and passage in horses of the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis.

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Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis 95616-8737, USA.


The human granulocytotropic ehrlichia and Ehrlichia equi produce similar diseases in their respective host species (humans, horses). Currently, the phylogenetic and biologic relationships of these 2 uncultured pathogens remain unclear. Previous studies have revealed nucleotide sequence similarity approaching identity at the level of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. To investigate the biologic similarities of these 2 ehrlichiae, the susceptibility of horses to the human agent was tested by intravenous inoculation of infected human blood. The results demonstrate that the human granulocytotropic ehrlichia produces a disease in the horse indistinguishable from that caused by E. equi, providing biologic evidence that these 2 organisms are highly related and potentially conspecific. It is possible that cases of human illness now attributed to human granulocytotropic ehrlichia may in fact be caused by 1 or more strains of an ehrlichia known chiefly as an equine pathogen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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