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Anaplasmosis Outbreak in Lambs: First Report Causing Carcass Condemnation

Animal Pathology Department, Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón-IA2 (Universidad de Zaragoza-CITA), Veterinary Faculty of Zaragoza, C/Miguel Servet 177, 50013 Zaragoza, Spain
ADS Nuestra Sra, del Pueyo, C/Pilar 21, 50130 Belchite, Spain
Casa de Ganaderos de Zaragoza, C/San Andrés, 8, 50001 Zaragoza, Spain
Gabinete Técnico Veterinario S.L, C/Isla conejera sn, 50013 Zaragoza, Spain
Exopol S.L. Pol. Río Gállego D-8, San Mateo de Gállego, 50840 Zaragoza, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1851;
Received: 11 September 2020 / Revised: 1 October 2020 / Accepted: 2 October 2020 / Published: 12 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminants)
Ovine anaplasmosis has been described in tropical and sub-tropical countries, where it produces a mild syndrome characterised by anaemia, weakness, weight loss and drop in production; however, in recent years, this pathogen has been found in temperate countries, where it causes more severe disease. This is the first description of an outbreak of anaplasmosis in lambs causing icteric carcass condemnation at the abattoir. The authors would like to draw attention to this emerging disease that is causing significant economic losses in sheep farming.
In spring and summer 2020, six outbreaks of condemnation of jaundiced lamb carcasses were diagnosed in different farms in Aragón region, Spain. Anaplasma ovis was identified in all affected farms. Four hundred and ninety-two lambs from two affected farms were more closely examined. Clinical examination, haematologies, biochemistries, histopathology and microbiological and molecular analyses were performed. After slaughter, 34.84% of the lambs showed jaundiced carcasses and 79.64% presented splenomegaly at the abattoir. All tested lambs with icteric carcasses showed positive A. ovis PCR, although 72.72% of the unaffected lambs also tested positive. However, the bacterial load was significantly higher in the animals that showed jaundiced carcasses (Cq: 25.00 vs 26.16; p = 0.004). Moreover, all the tested lambs that showed severe anaemia were PCR positive. On the contrary, the PCR negative lambs did not show anaemia. Lambs that presented icteric carcasses displayed severe regenerative anaemia with significantly lower erythrocyte count (7.18 vs. 11.97), haematocrit (26.89 vs. 34.82) and haemoglobin (8.50 vs. 11.10) than unaffected lambs. Reticulocyte count (18.80 vs. 5.65) was also significantly increased in affected animals. This article describes a new disorder caused by Anaplasma ovis that is producing significant economic losses associated with the carcass condemnation of apparently healthy lamb. View Full-Text
Keywords: anaplasmosis; lambs; Anaplasma ovis; jaundice; carcass condemnation anaplasmosis; lambs; Anaplasma ovis; jaundice; carcass condemnation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lacasta, D.; Ferrer, L.M.; Sanz, S.; Labanda, R.; González, J.M.; Benito, A.Á.; Ruiz, H.; Rodríguez-Largo, A.; Ramos, J.J. Anaplasmosis Outbreak in Lambs: First Report Causing Carcass Condemnation. Animals 2020, 10, 1851.

AMA Style

Lacasta D, Ferrer LM, Sanz S, Labanda R, González JM, Benito AÁ, Ruiz H, Rodríguez-Largo A, Ramos JJ. Anaplasmosis Outbreak in Lambs: First Report Causing Carcass Condemnation. Animals. 2020; 10(10):1851.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lacasta, Delia, Luis M. Ferrer, Santiago Sanz, Raquel Labanda, José M. González, Alfredo Á. Benito, Héctor Ruiz, Ana Rodríguez-Largo, and Juan J. Ramos. 2020. "Anaplasmosis Outbreak in Lambs: First Report Causing Carcass Condemnation" Animals 10, no. 10: 1851.

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