Serological and molecular investigation of Ehrlichia spp. and Anaplasma spp. in ticks and blood of dogs, in the Thrace Region of Turkey


TICKS AND TICK-BORNE DISEASES, vol.7, no.5, pp.706-714, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2016.02.021
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.706-714
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


In recent years, tick-borne diseases like ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis became widespread worldwide threatening the health of both human and companion animals. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the presence of Anaplasma spp., and Ehrlichia spp. in dogs and ticks in the Thrace Region of Turkey. A total of 400 blood samples and 912 ticks were collected from dogs living in shelters that are located in four cities (Istanbul, Edirne, Tekirdag and Kirklareli) of the Thrace Region. Blood and buffy coat smears were prepared for microscopic examination. Hematologic and serologic analyses were performed using cell counter and commercial Snap3Dx test kit, respectively. Eight hundred fifty of collected ticks were classified as Rhipicephalus sanguineus, 33 as Rhipicephalus turanicus and 29 as Ixodes ricinus. After DNA extraction from blood samples and pooled ticks (127 tick pools, in total), nested PCR was performed to detect the DNA of Anaplasma spp., and Ehrlichia spp. The seroprevalence of Ehrlichia canis was 27.25% (109) by Snap3Dx test and the total molecular positivity was 11.75% (47) in dog blood samples and 21.25% (27) in tick pools by nested PCR. The frequencies of the infected blood samples with E. canis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Anaplasma platys were detected as 6%, 4% and 6%, respectively. E. canis and A. platys were detected in R. sanguineus pools with a ratio of 15.75% and 0.7%, respectively. In addition, A. platys was also detected in R. turanicus pools (0.7%). A. phagocytophilum was found only in I. ricinus pools (3.93%). Morulae of three species were detected in buffy coat and blood smears. While anemia was observed in dogs infected with E. canis and co-infected (with one or more species), thrombocytopenia was observed only in co-infected dogs. This is the first study providing evidence for the presence of Anaplasma spp. and Ehrlichia spp. in dogs and ticks in the Thrace Region of Turkey. Based on the results of the tests used in this study, we recommend the combined use of serologic, molecular, cytologic, hematologic analyses and physical examination of tick exposure for an accurate diagnosis of ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. (C) 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.