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Res Vet Sci. 1994 Mar;56(2):170-4.

Serological evidence for antigenic relationships between Ehrlichia canis and Cowdria ruminantium.

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Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Zimbabwe, Mount Pleasant, Harare.


The sera from dogs experimentally infected with Ehrlichia canis reacted at very similar titres in indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) tests with E canis and Cowdria ruminantium antigen. In Western blots these sera reacted strongly with the immunodominant antigens of E canis (27 kDa) and C ruminantium (25 and 32 kDa). The dogs experimentally infected with C ruminantium showed no clinical evidence of infection, though the presence of organisms in the blood was demonstrable, for up to two weeks after inoculation, by a polymerase chain reaction. The sera from these dogs were also reactive with both organisms in the IFA tests, but the antibody titres were four- to fivefold higher with C ruminantium than with E canis antigen. In Western blots, these sera reacted strongly with the 25 and 32 kDa antigens of C ruminantium but weakly with the 27 kDa antigen of E canis. These results provide strong evidence that the immunodominant antigens of E canis and C ruminantium contain cross-reacting epitopes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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