Comparative genomics of emerging human ehrlichiosis agents.

Julie C. Dunning Hotopp, Mingqun Lin, Ramana Madupu, Jonathan Crabtree, Samuel V. Angiuoli, Jonathan A Eisen, Rekha Seshadri, Qinghu Ren, Martin Wu, Teresa R. Utterback, Shannon Smith, Matthew Lewis, Hoda Khouri, Chunbin Zhang, Hua Niu, Quan Lin, Norio Ohashi, Ning Zhi, William Nelson, Lauren M. BrinkacRobert J. Dodson, M. J. Rosovitz, Jaideep Sundaram, Sean C. Daugherty, Tanja Davidsen, Anthony S. Durkin, Michelle Gwinn, Daniel H. Haft, Jeremy D. Selengut, Steven A. Sullivan, Nikhat Zafar, Liwei Zhou, Faiza Benahmed, Heather Forberger, Rebecca Halpin, Stephanie Mulligan, Jeffrey Robinson, Owen White, Yasuko Rikihisa, Hervé Tettelin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

368 Scopus citations


Anaplasma (formerly Ehrlichia) phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, and Neorickettsia (formerly Ehrlichia) sennetsu are intracellular vector-borne pathogens that cause human ehrlichiosis, an emerging infectious disease. We present the complete genome sequences of these organisms along with comparisons to other organisms in the Rickettsiales order. Ehrlichia spp. and Anaplasma spp. display a unique large expansion of immunodominant outer membrane proteins facilitating antigenic variation. All Rickettsiales have a diminished ability to synthesize amino acids compared to their closest free-living relatives. Unlike members of the Rickettsiaceae family, these pathogenic Anaplasmataceae are capable of making all major vitamins, cofactors, and nucleotides, which could confer a beneficial role in the invertebrate vector or the vertebrate host. Further analysis identified proteins potentially involved in vacuole confinement of the Anaplasmataceae, a life cycle involving a hematophagous vector, vertebrate pathogenesis, human pathogenesis, and lack of transovarial transmission. These discoveries provide significant insights into the biology of these obligate intracellular pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPLoS Genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics(clinical)


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