The Open Microbiology Journal

ISSN: ― Volume ,

Equine Granulocytic Anaplasmosis, A Neglected Disease: Risk Factors Associated with Prevalence of Antibodies in Equines

Francisco Carlos Rodrigues de Oliveira1, Marcia Farias Rolim1, Samira Salim Mello Gallo1, Célia Rachel Quirino2, Nicole Brand Ederli3, *
1 Laboratório de Sanidade Animal, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil, 28013-602
2 Laboratório de Reprodução e Melhoramento Genético Animal, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil, 28013-602
3 Instituto do Noroeste Fluminense de Educação Superior (INFES), Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Av. João Jasbick, s/n, Aeroporto, Santo Antônio de Pádua, RJ, Brazil, 28.470-000



Anaplasma phagocytophilum, a tick-borne bacterium that causes granulocytic anaplasmosis, is a neglected pathogen in Brazil, and is diagnosed in several species of domestic and wild animals as well as in humans.


This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of anti-A. phagocytophilum antibodies in Equidae from the state of Rio de Janeiro and to identify possible risk factors for infection.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 612 blood samples were collected from horses from 15 municipalities within the state. Moreover, an epidemiological questionnaire was administered to evaluate aspects related to seroreaction, taking into account the spatial distribution (properties, municipalities, and mesoregions), management practices, signs of disease, and the individual state of the animals. For the diagnosis, indirect immunofluorescence was performed.


In the present study, 124 (20.26%), out of a total of 612, animals with anti-A. phagocytophilum IgG antibodies at titers of 1:80 were detected. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the presence of the infection at the property (P <0.0001) and the origin (P = 0.0095) of the horse were the true risk factors for infection in the state of Rio de Janeiro.


This allows to infer that the bacterium is distributed in all mesoregions of the state of Rio de Janeiro and that animals from other states can introduce the infection and make a property a focus of disease; it can also be inferred that these properties are important in the maintenance of the disease and the permanence of bacteria circulating in horses. It is also noteworthy that this was the first identification of mules as hosts of A. phagocytophilum infection.

Keywords: Granulocytic anaplasmosis, Hemobacteria, Horses, Mules, IFAT, Anaplasma phagocytophilum.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2020
Volume: 14
First Page: 218
Last Page: 228
Publisher Id: TOMICROJ-14-218
DOI: 10.2174/1874285802014010218

Article History:

Received Date: 04/2/2020
Revision Received Date: 15/7/2020
Acceptance Date: 18/7/2020
Electronic publication date: 10/09/2020
Collection year: 2020

© 2020 de Oliveira et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the 3Instituto do Noroeste Fluminense de Educação Superior (INFES), Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Av. João Jasbick, s/n, Aeroporto, Santo Antônio de Pádua, RJ, Brazil; Tel: +55 (22) 27397359; E- mail:

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