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Pathogens 2013, 2(3), 544-555; doi:10.3390/pathogens2030544
Article

An Emerging Tick-Borne Disease of Humans Is Caused by a Subset of Strains with Conserved Genome Structure

1,2,†,* , 1,†
,
3
,
4
,
5
 and
5
1 Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA 2 Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA 3 Department of Production Animal Clinical Sciences, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Sandnes N-4325, Norway 4 Department of Production Animal Clinical Sciences, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Oslo N-0033, Norway 5 Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 July 2013 / Revised: 29 August 2013 / Accepted: 2 September 2013 / Published: 10 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacterial Pathogenomics: From Technology to Application)
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Abstract

The prevalence of tick-borne diseases is increasing worldwide. One such emerging disease is human anaplasmosis. The causative organism, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, is known to infect multiple animal species and cause human fatalities in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Although long known to infect ruminants, it is unclear why there are increasing numbers of human infections. We analyzed the genome sequences of strains infecting humans, animals and ticks from diverse geographic locations. Despite extensive variability amongst these strains, those infecting humans had conserved genome structure including the pfam01617 superfamily that encodes the major, neutralization-sensitive, surface antigen. These data provide potential targets to identify human-infective strains and have significance for understanding the selective pressures that lead to emergence of disease in new species.
Keywords: anaplasmosis; tick-borne diseases; high-throughput sequencing; pfam01617; msp2/p44; comparative genomics anaplasmosis; tick-borne diseases; high-throughput sequencing; pfam01617; msp2/p44; comparative genomics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Barbet, A.F.; Al-Khedery, B.; Stuen, S.; Granquist, E.G.; Felsheim, R.F.; Munderloh, U.G. An Emerging Tick-Borne Disease of Humans Is Caused by a Subset of Strains with Conserved Genome Structure. Pathogens 2013, 2, 544-555.

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