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First Evidence of Ehrlichia minasensis Infection in Horses from Brazil

Abstract : The genus Ehrlichia includes tick-borne bacterial pathogens affecting humans, domestic and wild mammals. Ehrlichia minasensis has been identified in different animal species and geographical locations, suggesting that this is a widely distributed and generalist Ehrlichia. In the present study, we evaluated Ehrlichial infection in 148 Equidae presented to the Medical Clinic Department of a Veterinary Hospital from a midwestern region of Brazil. Blood samples and ticks collected from the animals were tested by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for the presence of Ehrlichia spp. A multigenic approach including Anaplasmataceae-specific (i.e., 16S rRNA, groEL, gltA) and Ehrlichia-specific (i.e., dsb and trp36) genes was used for accurate bacteria identification. Sera samples were also collected and evaluated for the detection of anti-Ehrlichia antibodies by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFA). Possible associations between molecular and serological diagnostics and clinical and hematological manifestations were tested using chi-squared or Fisher's exact tests. Sequence analysis of the dsb fragment revealed that three horses (2.03%) were exposed to E. minasensis. Sixty-one (41.2%) Equidae (58 equines and three mules), were seropositive for Ehrlichia spp., with antibody titers ranging between 40 and 2560. Seropositivity to ehrlichial antigens was statistically associated with tick infestation, rural origin, hypoalbuminemia and hyperproteinemia (p ≤ 0.05). The present study reports the first evidence of natural infection by E. minasensis in horses from Brazil.
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Submitted on : Friday, August 6, 2021 - 10:05:30 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, August 10, 2021 - 1:54:10 PM


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Lívia Muraro, Aneliza Souza, Tamyres Leite, Stefhano Cândido, Andréia Melo, et al.. First Evidence of Ehrlichia minasensis Infection in Horses from Brazil. Pathogens, MDPI, 2021, 10 (3), pp.1-11. ⟨10.3390/pathogens10030265⟩. ⟨hal-03315932⟩



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