, Volume 31, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 79-84
Date: 16 Jul 2007

Anaplasma Phagocytophilum - the Most Widespread Tick-Borne Infection in Animals in Europe

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Stuen, S., 2007. Anaplasma phagocytophilum - the most widespread tick-borne infection in animals in Europe. Veterinary Research Communications, 31(Suppl. 1), 79–84

Abstract

The bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum (formerly Ehrlichia phagocytophila) may cause infection in several animal species including human. The disease in domestic ruminants is also called tick-borne fever (TBF), and has been known for at least 200 years. In Europe, clinical manifestations due to A. phagocytophilum have been recorded in sheep, goat, cattle, horse, dog, cat, roe deer, reindeer and human. However, seropositive and PCR-positive mammalian have been detected in several other species. Investigations indicate that the infection is prevalent in Ixodes ricinus areas in most countries in Europe. A. phagocytophilum infection may cause high fever, cytoplasmatic inclusions in phagocytes and severe neutropenia, but is seldom fatal unless complicated by other infections. Complications may include abortions, and impaired spermatogenesis for several months. However, the most important aspect of the infection at least in sheep is its implication as a predisposing factor for other infections. Factors such as climate, management, other infections, individual conditions etc. are important for the outcome of the infection. A. phagocytophilum may cause persistent infection in several species. Based on the 16S rRNA gene sequences several variants exist. Different variants may exist within the same herd and even simultaneously in the same animal. Variants may behave differently and interact in the mammalian host.