Laboratory findings in cows after experimental infection with Ehrlichia phagocytophila

Nicola Pusterla, Jon Huder, Celestine Wolfensberger, Ueli Braun, Hans Lutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to assess various hematological variables in 10 cows after experimental infection with Ehrlichia phagocytophila. Blood samples were collected at regular intervals for examination of leukocytes for Erlichia organisms and for determination of hematological and biochemical variables. In addition, PCR amplification was performed throughout the disease period on blood and milk samples for the detection of E. phagocytophila organisms. The time of seroconversion and the duration of serum titers indicating positivity were determined by indirect immunofluorescence. For all cows, E. phagacytophila organisms were first detected microscopically in leukocytes 5 to 8 days postinfection and could be demonstrated for a period of 6 to 14 days. For all cows, the appearance of E. phagocytophila organisms in leukocytes coincided with transient erythropenia, leukopenia, and thrombocytopenia and a decrease in hematocrit and hemoglobin concentration. For five lactating cows. E. phagocytophila organisms were identified in leukocytes of milk samples during the acute phase of the disease, which, we believe, has not previously been reported. E. phagocytophila DNA was detected in blood samples by nested PCR from 1 to 2 days before to 2 to 12 days after the organisms were identified microscopically. In milk samples, E. phagocytophila DNA was detected for an average of 11 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-647
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Immunology


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