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Open AccessArticle

Isolation and Characterization of a Novel Pathogenic Strain of Ehrlichia minasensis

Veterinary Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Mato Grosso State (UFMT), 78060-900 Cuiabá, Brazil
Biotechnology Institute (IBTEC), São Paulo State University (UNESP), 18607-440 Botucatu, Brazil
EPIA, INRA, VetAgro Sup, 63122 Saint Genès Champanelle, France
Department of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology, University Hospital Basel, 4031 Basel, Switzerland
University Paris-Est, Anses, Animal Health Laboratory, Bacterial Zoonoses Unit, 94706 Maisons-Alfort, France
Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX 77555, USA
UMR BIPAR, INRA, ANSES, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d’Alfort, Université Paris-Est, 94700 Maisons-Alfort, France
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2019, 7(11), 528;
Received: 7 October 2019 / Revised: 31 October 2019 / Accepted: 1 November 2019 / Published: 5 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Microbiology)
The genus Ehrlichia is composed of tick-borne obligate intracellular gram-negative alphaproteobacteria of the family Anaplasmataceae. Ehrlichia includes important pathogens affecting canids (E. canis, E. chaffeensis, and E. ewingii), rodents (E. muris), and ruminants (E. ruminantium). Ehrlichia minasensis, an Ehrlichia closely related to E. canis, was initially reported in Canada and Brazil. This bacterium has now been reported in Pakistan, Malaysia, China, Ethiopia, South Africa, and the Mediterranean island of Corsica, suggesting that E. minasensis has a wide geographical distribution. Previously, E. minasensis was found to cause clinical ehrlichiosis in an experimentally infected calf. The type strain E. minasensis UFMG-EV was successfully isolated from Rhipicephalus microplus ticks and propagated in the tick embryonic cell line of Ixodes scapularis (IDE8). However, the isolation and propagation of E. minasensis strains from cattle has remained elusive. In this study, the E. minasensis strain Cuiabá was isolated from an eight-month-old male calf of Holstein breed that was naturally infected with the bacterium. The calf presented clinical signs and hematological parameters of bovine ehrlichiosis. The in vitro culture of the agent was established in the canine cell line DH82. Ehrlichial morulae were observed using light and electron microscopy within DH82 cells. Total DNA was extracted, and the full genome of the E. minasensis strain Cuiabá was sequenced. A core-genome-based phylogenetic tree of Ehrlichia spp. and Anaplasma spp. confirmed that E. minasensis is a sister taxa of E. canis. A comparison of functional categories among Ehrlichia showed that E. minasensis has significantly less genes in the ‘clustering-based subsystems’ category, which includes functionally coupled genes for which the functional attributes are not well understood. Results strongly suggest that E. minasensis is a novel pathogen infecting cattle. The epidemiology of this Ehrlichia deserves further attention because these bacteria could be an overlooked cause of tick-borne bovine ehrlichiosis, with a wide distribution. View Full-Text
Keywords: anaplasmataceae; Ehrlichia minasensis; bovine ehrlichiosis; DH82; transmission electron microscopy; genome anaplasmataceae; Ehrlichia minasensis; bovine ehrlichiosis; DH82; transmission electron microscopy; genome
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MDPI and ACS Style

Moura de Aguiar, D.; Pessoa Araújo Junior, J.; Nakazato, L.; Bard, E.; Aguilar-Bultet, L.; Vorimore, F.; Leonidovich Popov, V.; Moleta Colodel, E.; Cabezas-Cruz, A. Isolation and Characterization of a Novel Pathogenic Strain of Ehrlichia minasensis. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 528.

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