Transmission and passage in horses of the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis

John E Madigan, P. J. Richter, R. B. Kimsey, J. E. Barlough, J. S. Bakken, J. S. Dumler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

95 Scopus citations

Abstract

The human granulocytotropic ehrlichia and Ehrlichia equi produce similar diseases in their respective host species (humans, horses). Currently, the phylogenetic and biologic relationships of these 2 uncultured pathogens remain unclear. Previous studies have revealed nucleotide sequence similarity approaching identity at the level of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. To investigate the biologic similarities of these 2 ehrlichiae, the susceptibility of horses to the human agent was tested by intravenous inoculation of infected human blood. The results demonstrate that the human granulocytotropic ehrlichia produces a disease in the horse indistinguishable from that caused by E. equi, providing biologic evidence that these 2 organisms are highly related and potentially conspecific. It is possible that cases of human illness now attributed to human granulocytotropic ehrlichia may in fact be caused by 1 or more strains of an ehrlichia known chiefly as an equine pathogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1141-1144
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume172
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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    Madigan, J. E., Richter, P. J., Kimsey, R. B., Barlough, J. E., Bakken, J. S., & Dumler, J. S. (1995). Transmission and passage in horses of the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 172(4), 1141-1144.