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Anaplasma centrale infecting the red blood cells of a cow: The arrow points to typical infected cell.
Classification and external resources
MeSH D000712

Anaplasmosis is a disease caused by a rickettsial parasite of ruminants, Anaplasma spp. The microorganisms are Gram-negative, [1] and infect red blood cells. [2] They are transmitted by natural means through a number of haematophagous species of ticks. The Ixodes tick that commonly transmits Lyme disease also spreads anaplasmosis. Anaplasmosis can also be transmitted by the use of surgical, dehorning, castration, and tattoo instruments and hypodermic needles that are not disinfected between uses.

<i>Rickettsia</i> type of bacteria that causes typhus, among other diseases

Rickettsia is a genus of nonmotile, Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, highly pleomorphic bacteria that may occur in the forms of cocci 0.1 μm in diameter, rods 1–4 μm long, or threads of up to about 10 μm long. The term "rickettsia" has nothing to do with rickets, which is a deficiency disease resulting from lack of vitamin D; the bacterial genus Rickettsia was named after Howard Taylor Ricketts, in honour of his pioneering work on tick-borne spotted fever.

Ruminant kind of mammals, by digestive process

Ruminants are mammals that are able to acquire nutrients from plant-based food by fermenting it in a specialized stomach prior to digestion, principally through microbial actions. The process, which takes place in the front part of the digestive system and therefore is called foregut fermentation, typically requires the fermented ingesta to be regurgitated and chewed again. The process of rechewing the cud to further break down plant matter and stimulate digestion is called rumination. The word "ruminant" comes from the Latin ruminare, which means "to chew over again".

Anaplasma is a genus of bacteria of the alphaproteobacterial Order Rickettsiales, Family Anaplasmataceae.


Signs and symptoms

Classic signs and symptoms of anaplasmosis include fever, a decreased number of white blood cells, platelets in the bloodstream, and abnormally elevated levels of liver enzymes. The erythema chronicum migrans rash may be seen with anaplasmosis as it is co-transmitted in 10% of Lyme disease cases.

Fever common medical sign characterized by elevated body temperature

Fever, also known as pyrexia and febrile response, is defined as having a temperature above the normal range due to an increase in the body's temperature set point. There is not a single agreed-upon upper limit for normal temperature with sources using values between 37.5 and 38.3 °C. The increase in set point triggers increased muscle contractions and causes a feeling of cold. This results in greater heat production and efforts to conserve heat. When the set point temperature returns to normal, a person feels hot, becomes flushed, and may begin to sweat. Rarely a fever may trigger a febrile seizure. This is more common in young children. Fevers do not typically go higher than 41 to 42 °C.

Leukopenia is a decrease in the number of white blood cells (leukocytes) found in the blood, which places individuals at increased risk of infection.

Thrombocytopenia A blood platelet disease characterized by a low platelet count in the blood.

Thrombocytopenia is a condition characterized by abnormally low levels of thrombocytes, also known as platelets, in the blood.

Anemia may be severe and result in cardiovascular changes such as an increase in heart rate. Blood in the urine may occur due to the lysis of red blood cells. General systemic signs such as diarrhea, anorexia, and weight loss may also be present.

Anemia Decrease in the total number of red blood cells or amount of hemoglobin in the blood, or lowered ability of the blood to carry oxygen

Anemia is a decrease in the total amount of red blood cells (RBCs) or hemoglobin in the blood, or a lowered ability of the blood to carry oxygen. When anemia comes on slowly, the symptoms are often vague and may include feeling tired, weakness, shortness of breath or a poor ability to exercise. Anemia that comes on quickly often has greater symptoms, which may include confusion, feeling like one is going to pass out, loss of consciousness, or increased thirst. Anemia must be significant before a person becomes noticeably pale. Additional symptoms may occur depending on the underlying cause.

Tachycardia heart rate that exceeds the normal resting rate

Tachycardia, also called tachyarrhythmia, is a heart rate that exceeds the normal resting rate. In general, a resting heart rate over 100 beats per minute is accepted as tachycardia in adults. Heart rates above the resting rate may be normal or abnormal.

Diarrhea Loose or liquid bowel movements

Diarrhea is the condition of having at least three loose, liquid, or watery bowel movements each day. It often lasts for a few days and can result in dehydration due to fluid loss. Signs of dehydration often begin with loss of the normal stretchiness of the skin and irritable behaviour. This can progress to decreased urination, loss of skin color, a fast heart rate, and a decrease in responsiveness as it becomes more severe. Loose but non-watery stools in babies who are exclusively breastfed, however, are normal.


Several species of rickettsial bacteria cause anaplasmosis in ruminants:

South America A continent in the Western Hemisphere, and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere

South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may also be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, which is how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas. The reference to South America instead of other regions has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics.

Middle East region that encompasses Western Asia and Egypt

The Middle East is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia, Turkey, and Egypt. Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest Middle Eastern nation while Bahrain is the smallest. The corresponding adjective is Middle Eastern and the derived noun is Middle Easterner. The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East beginning in the early 20th century.


Vaccines against anaplasmosis are available. Carrier animals should be eliminated from flocks. Tick control may also be useful, although it can be difficult to implement. [4]


Treatment usually involves a prescription of doxycycline (a normal dose would be 100 mg every 12 hours for adults) or a similar class of antibiotics. Oxytetracycline and imidocarb have also been shown to be effective. Supportive therapy such as blood products and fluids may be necessary. [4]


In the United States, anaplasmosis is notably present in the south and west, where the tick hosts Ixodes spp. are found. It is also a seemingly increasing antibody in humans in Europe. [1] Although vaccines have been developed, none are currently available in the United States. Early in the 20th century, this disease was considered one of major economic consequence in the western United States. In the 1980s and 1990s, control of ticks through new acaricides and practical treatment with prolonged-action antibiotics, notably tetracycline, has led to the point where the disease is no longer considered a major problem.

In 2005, A. ovis was found in reindeer populations in Mongolia. [5] This pathogen and its associated syndrome (characterized by lethargy, fever, and pale mucous membranes) was previously observed in only wild sheep and goats in the region, and is the first observed event of A. ovis in reindeer.

In Australia, bovine anaplasmosis, caused by A. marginale, is found in only the northern and eastern parts of Australia where the cattle tick is present. It was probably introduced as early as 1829 by cattle from Indonesia infested with the cattle tick Boophilus microplus . [6]

The veterinarian George P. Broussard of New Iberia, Louisiana, conducted important research anaplasmosis and brucellosis. [7]

Related Research Articles

Rocky Mountain spotted fever human disease

Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a bacterial disease spread by ticks. It typically begins with a fever and headache, which is followed a few days later with the development of a rash. The rash is generally made up of small spots of bleeding and starts on the wrists and ankles. Other symptoms may include muscle pains and vomiting. Long-term complications following recovery may include hearing loss or loss of part of an arm or leg.

Lyme disease infectious disease caused by Borrelia bacteria, spread by ticks

Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium named Borrelia spread by ticks. The most common sign of infection is an expanding area of redness on the skin, known as erythema migrans, that appears at the site of the tick bite about a week after it occurred. The rash is typically neither itchy nor painful. Approximately 70–80% of infected people develop a rash. Other early symptoms may include fever, headache and tiredness. If untreated, symptoms may include loss of the ability to move one or both sides of the face, joint pains, severe headaches with neck stiffness, or heart palpitations, among others. Months to years later, repeated episodes of joint pain and swelling may occur. Occasionally, people develop shooting pains or tingling in their arms and legs. Despite appropriate treatment, about 10 to 20% of people develop joint pains, memory problems, and tiredness for at least six months.

Babesiosis malaria-like parasitic disease caused by infection with Babesia, a genus of Apicomplexa

Babesiosis is a malaria-like parasitic disease caused by infection with Babesia, a type of Apicomplexa. Human babesiosis transmission via tick bite is most common in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and parts of Europe, and sporadic throughout the rest of the world. It occurs in warm weather. People can get infected with Babesia parasites by the bite of an infected tick, by getting a blood transfusion from an infected donor of blood products, or by congenital transmission. Ticks transmit the human strain of babesiosis, so it often presents with other tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease. After trypanosomes, Babesia is thought to be the second-most common blood parasite of mammals, and they can have a major impact on health of domestic animals in areas without severe winters. In cattle the disease is known as Texas cattle fever, redwater, or piroplasmosis.

<i>Rickettsia rickettsii</i> species of bacterium

Rickettsia rickettsii is a gram-negative, intracellular, coccobacillus bacterium that is around 0.8 to 2.0 micrometers long. R. rickettsi is the causative agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. R. rickettsii is one of the most pathogenic Rickettsia strains. It affects a large majority of the Western Hemisphere and small portions of the Eastern Hemisphere.

Tick-borne diseases, which afflict humans and other animals, are caused by infectious agents transmitted by tick bites. Tick-borne illnesses are caused by infection with a variety of pathogens, including rickettsia and other types of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Because individual ticks can harbor more than one disease-causing agent, patients can be infected with more than one pathogen at the same time, compounding the difficulty in diagnosis and treatment. As of 2016, 16 tick-borne diseases of humans are known.

<i>Dermacentor variabilis</i> species of arachnid

Dermacentor variabilis, also known as the American dog tick or wood tick, is a species of tick that is known to carry bacteria responsible for several diseases in humans, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. It is one of the most well-known hard ticks. Diseases are spread when it sucks blood from the host, which could take several days for the host to experience some symptoms.

<i>Babesia</i> genus of protozoan parasites

Babesia, also called Nuttallia, is an Apicomplexan parasite that infects red blood cells, transmitted by ticks. Originally discovered by the Romanian bacteriologist Victor Babeș, over 100 species of Babesia have since been identified.

A canine vector-borne disease (CVBD) is one of "a group of globally distributed and rapidly spreading illnesses that are caused by a range of pathogens transmitted by arthropods including ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and phlebotomine sandflies." CVBDs are important in the fields of veterinary medicine, animal welfare, and public health. Some CVBDs are of zoonotic concern.

<i>Anaplasma phagocytophilum</i> species of bacterium

Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a Gram-negative bacterium that is unusual in its tropism to neutrophils. It causes anaplasmosis in sheep and cattle, also known as tick-borne fever and pasture fever, and also causes the zoonotic disease human granulocytic anaplasmosis.

Ehrlichiosis is a tickborne bacterial infection, caused by bacteria of the family Anaplasmataceae, genera Ehrlichia and Anaplasma. These obligate intracellular bacteria infect and kill white blood cells.

<i>Ixodes scapularis</i> parasit ixodes scapularis

Ixodes scapularis is commonly known as the deer tick or black-legged tick, and in some parts of the US as the bear tick. It is a hard-bodied tick of the eastern and northern Midwestern United States and southeastern Canada. It is a vector for several diseases of animals, including humans and is known as the deer tick owing to its habit of parasitizing the white-tailed deer. It is also known to parasitize mice, lizards, migratory birds, etc. especially while the tick is in the larval or nymphal stage.

<i>Ixodes ricinus</i> species of hard-bodied tick

Ixodes ricinus, the castor bean tick, is a chiefly European species of hard-bodied tick. It may reach a length of 11 mm (0.43 in) when engorged with a blood meal, and can transmit both bacterial and viral pathogens such as the causative agents of Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis.

<i>Theileria microti</i> species of protist

Theileria microti is a parasitic blood-borne piroplasm transmitted by deer ticks. T. microti is responsible for the disease human theileriosis, similar to babesiosis, a malaria-like disease which also causes fever and hemolysis.

Heartwater is a tick-borne rickettsial disease of domestic and wild ruminants. It is caused by Ehrlichia ruminantium - an intracellular gram-negative coccal bacterium. The disease is spread by bont ticks, which are members of the genus Amblyomma. Affected mammals include cattle, sheep, goats, antelope, and buffalo, but the disease has the biggest economic impact on cattle production in affected areas. The disease's name is derived from the fact that fluid can collect around the heart or in the lungs of infected animals.

Human granulocytic anaplasmosis human disease

Human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA) is a tick-borne, infectious disease caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilum, an obligate intracellular bacterium that is typically transmitted to humans by ticks of the Ixodes ricinus species complex, including Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus in North America. These ticks also transmit Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.

Tick fever may refer to:

African tick bite fever spotted fever that has material basis in Rickettsia africae, which is transmitted by ticks

African tick bite fever (ATBF) is a bacterial infection spread by the bite of a tick. Symptoms may include fever, headache, muscles pains, and a rash. At the site of the bite there is typically a red skin sore with a dark center. Onset usually occur 4–10 days after the bite. Complications are rare, however may include joint inflammation. Some people do not develop symptoms.

Rickettsia helvetica, previously known as the Swiss Agent, is a bacterium found in Dermacentor reticulatus and other ticks which has been implicated as a suspected but unconfirmed human pathogen. First recognized in 1979 in Ixodes ricinus ticks in Switzerland as a new member of the spotted fever group of Rickettsia, the Rickettsia helvetica bacterium was eventually isolated in 1993. Although R. helvetica was initially thought to be harmless in humans and many animal species, some individual case reports suggest that it may be capable of causing a non-specific fever in humans. In 1997 a man living in eastern France seroconverted to Rickettsia 4 weeks after onset of an unexplained febrile illness. In 2010, a case report indicated that tick-borne R. helvetica can also cause meningitis in humans.

Ticks of domestic animals

Ticks of domestic animals directly cause poor health and loss of production to their hosts by many parasitic mechanisms. Ticks also transmit numerous kinds of viruses, bacteria, and protozoa between domestic animals. These microbes cause diseases which can be severely debilitating or fatal to domestic animals, and may also affect humans. Ticks are especially important to domestic animals in tropical and subtropical countries, where the warm climate enables many species of ticks to flourish. Also, the large populations of wild animals in warm countries provide a reservoir of ticks and infective microbes that spread to domestic animals. Farmers of livestock animals use many methods to control ticks, and related treatments are used to reduce infestation of companion animals.


  1. 1 2 Hartelt, Kathrin; Oehme, Rainer; Frank, Henning; Brockmann, Stefan O.; Hassler, Dieter; Kimmig, Peter (2004-04-01). "Pathogens and symbionts in ticks: prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Ehrlichia sp.), Wolbachia sp., Rickettsia sp., and Babesia sp. in Southern Germany". International Journal of Medical Microbiology Supplements. Proceedings of the VII International Potsdam Symposium on Tick-Borne Diseases. 293, Supplement 37: 86–92. doi:10.1016/S1433-1128(04)80013-5.
  2. Capucille, DJ (2011). "Anaplasmosis". In Haskell, SRR. Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult Ruminant. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 50–51. ISBN   9780470961186.
  3. 1 2 3 Boes, KM; Durham, AC (2017). "Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Heartwater and Tick-Borne Fever". In Zachary, JF. Pathologic Basis of Veterinary Disease (6th ed.). Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 749–50. ISBN   9780323357975.
  4. 1 2 Anaplasmosis reviewed and published by WikiVet, accessed 10 October 2011.
  5. Haigh, Jerry C.; Gerwing, Victoria; Erdenebaatar, Janchivdorj; Hill, Janet E. (July 2008). "A novel clinical syndrome and detection of A. ovis in Mongolian reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)". Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 44 (3): 569–577. doi:10.7589/0090-3558-44.3.569. PMID   18689641. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  6. "Bovine anaplasmosis". Tick fever. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Queensland Government . Retrieved 14 June 2012.[ permanent dead link ]
  7. "George Patout Broussard", A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 1 (1988), Louisiana Historical Association publication, p. 114.