An emerging tick-borne disease of humans is caused by a subset of strains with conserved genome structure

Anthony F. Barbet, Basima Al-Khedery, Snorre Stuen, Erik G. Granquist, Roderick F. Felsheim, Ulrike G Munderloh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

The prevalence of tick-borne diseases is increasing worldwide. One such emerging disease is human anaplasmosis. The causative organism, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, is known to infect multiple animal species and cause human fatalities in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Although long known to infect ruminants, it is unclear why there are increasing numbers of human infections. We analyzed the genome sequences of strains infecting humans, animals and ticks from diverse geographic locations. Despite extensive variability amongst these strains, those infecting humans had conserved genome structure including the pfam01617 superfamily that encodes the major, neutralization-sensitive, surface antigen. These data provide potential targets to identify human-infective strains and have significance for understanding the selective pressures that lead to emergence of disease in new species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)544-555
Number of pages12
JournalPathogens
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 10 2013

Keywords

  • Anaplasmosis
  • Comparative genomics
  • High-throughput sequencing
  • Msp2/p44
  • Pfam01617
  • Tick-borne diseases

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