Molecular detection and characterization of Anaplasma platys and Ehrlichia canis in dogs from northern Colombia

Risa Pesapane, Janet E Foley, Richard Thomas, Lyda R. Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ehrlichia canis and Anaplasma platys are intracellular tick-transmitted bacteria that infect dogs; there is evidence for limited zoonotic potential as well. The prevalence of E. canis in Colombia has been evaluated in different regions; however little is known about the prevalence or distribution of A. platys. Neither pathogen has been studied in the Magdalena region, thus the purpose of our study was to assess the prevalence of these pathogens in dogs attending veterinary clinics from the cities of Santa Marta and Ciénaga, and to assess possible associated risk factors for infection. A. platys and E. canis infections in blood were evaluated by Taqman PCR assays. E. canis was detected in 26/170 (15.3%, 95% CI 10.4%–21.8%)and A. platys in 34/168 (20.2%, 95% CI 14.6%–27.3%)of all dogs tested. Eleven dogs (6.5%, 95% CI 3.4–11.7%)were coinfected with both pathogens. Sequencing results showed low diversity within E. canis and within A. platys strains, however a strain of E. canis detected in our study area is genetically distinct from strains reported in another city of Colombia. Our results suggest that for A. platys, Santa Marta dogs were at greater risk than Ciénaga dogs, and that purebred dogs were at slightly lower risk in both areas. The confirmation of these pathogens in northern Colombia should cause concern for the possible co-transmission of these agents to humans or animals in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-189
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Anaplasmosis
  • Domestic dogs
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • South America
  • Tick-borne disease
  • Zoonosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)


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