A novel zoonotic Anaplasma species is prevalent in small ruminants: potential public health implications.Parasit Vectors. 2017 May 30; 10(1):264.PV
Tick-borne diseases currently represent an important issue for global health. A number of emerging tick-transmitted microbes continue to be discovered, and some of these are already identified as the cause of human infections. Over the past two decades, Anaplasma phagocytophilum is considered to be mainly responsible for human anaplasmosis. However, a novel zoonotic pathogen provisionally named "Anaplasma capra" has recently been identified in China. In this study, we did an active surveillance of A. capra in goats and sheep in different geographical regions of China.
The presence of A. capra was determined by nested PCR in 547 blood samples collected from goats and sheep from 24 counties distributed in 12 provinces in China. The molecular characterization of A. capra isolates in sheep and goats was achieved based on four conventional genetic markers (16S rRNA, gltA, groEL and msp4 genes).
Anaplasma capra was identified in 75 of 547 animals, with an overall prevalence of 13.7%. The infection rates in the survey sites ranged from 0 to 78.6%, and were significantly different (P < 0.01). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the isolates obtained from goats, sheep, Ixodes persulcatus ticks and humans create a separate clade within the genus Anaplasma and distinct from other recognized Anaplasma species. These findings indicated that these A. capra isolates possess the same molecular characteristics, suggesting that this organism could be a substantial health threat to both animals and humans.
Anaplasma capra is an emerging tick-transmitted zoonotic pathogen. This novel Anaplasna species is widespread across China with an overall prevalence of 13.7% in goats and sheep with isolates indistinguishable from those found in humans. These findings warrant increased public health awareness for human anaplasmosis.