Distinct host species correlate with Anaplasma phagocytophilum ankA gene clusters

Wiebke Scharf, Sonja Schauer, Felix Freyburger, Miroslav Petrovec, Daniel Schaarschmidt-Kiener, Gabriele Liebisch, Martin Runge, Martin Ganter, Alexandra Kehl, J. Stephen Dumler, Ana L. Garcia-Perez, Jennifer Jensen, Volker Fingerle, Marina L. Meli, Armin Ensser, Snorre Stuen, Friederike D. Von Loewenich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a Gram-negative, tick-transmitted, obligate intracellular bacterium that elicits acute febrile diseases in humans and domestic animals. In contrast to the United States, human granulocytic anaplasmosis seems to be a rare disease in Europe despite the initial recognition of A. phagocytophilum as the causative agent of tick-borne fever in European sheep and cattle. Considerable strain variation has been suggested to occur within this species, because isolates from humans and animals differed in their pathogenicity for heterologous hosts. In order to explain host preference and epidemiological diversity, molecular characterization of A. phagocytophilum strains has been undertaken. Most often the 16S rRNA gene was used, but it might be not informative enough to delineate distinct genotypes of A. phagocytophilum. Previously, we have shown that A. phagocytophilum strains infecting Ixodes ricinus ticks are highly diverse in their ankA genes. Therefore, we sequenced the 16S rRNA and ankA genes of 194 A. phagocytophilum strains from humans and several animal species. Whereas the phylogenetic analysis using 16S rRNA gene sequences was not meaningful, we showed that distinct host species correlate with A. phagocytophilum ankA gene clusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-796
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Distinct host species correlate with Anaplasma phagocytophilum ankA gene clusters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this