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Detection and molecular characterization of Ehrlichia spp. and Anaplasma spp. in domiciled and stray cats in Minas Gerais

Grant number: 19/26109-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2020
Effective date (End): May 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Principal researcher:Marcos Rogério André
Grantee:Lara Cristina de Melo Lopes
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil


Ehrlichia spp. and Anaplasma spp. are obligate intracellular Gram-negative ±-proteobacteria belonging to the Anaplasmaceae family and Order Rickettsiales. Such agents are responsible for have been extensively studied, little is known about its occurrence in cats, as they are less infested by ticks. Both diseases are characterized by nonspecific clinical signs, such as anemia, thrombocytopenia, cachexia, fever, among others. The present study aims to investigate the molecular occurrence of Ehrlichia spp. and Anaplasma spp. in blood samples from domestic and stray cats sampled in the state of Minas Gerais, more specifically in the regions of Uberlândia and Araguari, southeastern Brazil. To this end, 155 feline blood samples (67 from Araguari and 88 from Uberlândia) will be submitted to DNA extraction and conventional PCR screening for Anaplasma spp. and Ehrlichia spp. based on the 16S rRNA and dsb genes, respectively. Subsequently, the positive samples will be submitted to additional cPCR assays based on the sodB, omp-1, gltA genes and ITS intergenic region for molecular characterization. Positive samples will be purified and sequenced by Sanger's method. The obtained sequences will be submitted to phylogenetic inferences for their positioning within an evolutionary relationship with species of Ehrlichia sp. and Anaplasma sp. previously detected in domestic and wild animals in Brazil and other parts of the world. The present study will contribute to the understanding of the occurrence and genetic diversity of Ehrlichia spp. and Anaplasma spp. circulating in domestic cats from Brazil. (AU)

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