Novel genetic variants of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Anaplasma bovis, Anaplasma centrale, and a novel Ehrlichia sp. in wild deer and ticks on two major islands in Japan

Makoto Kawahara, Yasuko Rikihisa, Quan Lin, Emiko Isogai, Kenji Tahara, Asao Itagaki, Yoshimichi Hiramitsu, Tomoko Tajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Wild deer are one of the important natural reservoir hosts of several species of Ehrlichia and Anaplasma that cause human ehrlichiosis or anaplasmosis in the United States and Europe. The primary aim of the present study was to determine whether and what species of Ehrlichia and Anaplasma naturally infect deer in Japan. Blood samples obtained from wild deer on two major Japanese islands, Hokkaido and Honshu, were tested for the presence of Ehrlichia and Anaplasma by PCR assays and sequencing of the 16S rRNA genes, major outer membrane protein p44 genes, and groESL. DNA representing four species and two genera of Ehrlichia and Anaplasma was identified in 33 of 126 wild deer (26%). DNA sequence analysis revealed novel strains of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, a novel Ehrlichia sp., Anaplasma centrale, and Anaplasma bovis in the blood samples from deer. None of these have been found previously in deer. The new Ehrlichia sp., A. bovis, and A. centrale were also detected in Hemaphysalis longicornis ticks from Honshu Island. These results suggest that enzootic cycles of Ehrlichia and Anaplasma species distinct from those found in the United States or Europe have been established in wild deer and ticks in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1102-1109
Number of pages8
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Volume72
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Feb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology

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