Anaplasma bovis infection in a horse: First clinical report and molecular analysis

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A 23-year-old male Thoroughbred horse at the Korean Military Academy appeared thin with visible rib bones and presented clinical signs of fever, anorexia, lethargy, and severe dehydration. To determine the presence of various febrile disease-causing agents, the 23 cohabiting horses at the academy, including this horse, were subjected to hematology, blood chemistry, and molecular analysis using whole blood samples collected during regular medical check-ups. On the basis of clinical history, physical examination, hematology, blood chemistry, and fecal examination, differential diagnosis using molecular analyses was performed for various febrile disease-causing agents, including Lyme borreliae, Coxiella, piroplasms (Babesia and Theileria), Rickettsiales (Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia), equine herpesvirus, equine infectious anemia virus, and equine arteritis virus. While other pathogens were not detected, PCR and phylogenetic analysis targeting the Anaplasma 16S rRNA gene revealed that the horse was infected with Anaplasma bovis. Although PCR targeting the groEL and gltA genes of A. bovis was not successful, the restriction enzyme fragment length polymorphism assay for differential diagnosis and determination of coinfectivity between Anaplasma phagocytophilum and A. bovis confirmed the pathogen as A. bovis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first clinical report of A. bovis infection in a horse, suggesting a new reservoir host.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-51
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Anaplasma bovis
  • Clinical case
  • Horse
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • Restriction enzyme fragment length polymorphism


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