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Vet Parasitol. 1998 Nov 27;79(4):325-39.

A molecular and serologic survey of Ehrlichia canis, E. chaffeensis, and E. ewingii in dogs and ticks from Oklahoma.

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Department of Anatomy, Pathology, and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078, USA.


Polymerase chain reaction and Southern hybridization were used to survey for the presence of Ehrlichia canis, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, and Ehrlichia ewingii in blood samples of 65 dogs that harbored ticks from northcentral and northeastern Oklahoma. Dog blood samples were also examined for antibodies against E. canis and E. chaffeensis, using an immunofluorescent antibody test. Ten of 65 dogs (15.4%) examined were positive for Ehrlichia spp. by PCR. Four (6.2%) were positive for E. ewingii, 2 (3.1%) for E. canis, and 4 (6.2%) for E. chaffeensis. Seven dogs (10.8%) were seropositive for E. canis or E. chaffeensis. Ticks collected from PCR-positive dogs were examined by PCR for the presence of Ehrlichia DNA. Several groups of ticks were PCR-positive for E. ewingii or E. canis. E. canis was detected in Rhipicephalus sanguineus, which is considered the major vector for that organism. E. ewingii was detected in a larger variety of ticks, including the only known vector Amblyomma americanum, as well as in Dermacentor variabilis and R. sanguineus. Results suggest that Ehrlichia spp. which are canine and human pathogens circulate in dogs in Oklahoma and in several tick species that feed on dogs.

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