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  • 1 University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, Komenského 73, 041 81, Košice, Slovak Republic
  • | 2 University of Prešov in Prešov, Prešov, Slovak Republic
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Abstract

Anaplasma phagocytophilum is the causative agent of granulocytic anaplasmosis. It affects humans and several wild and domesticated mammals, including horses. The aim of our study was a preliminary survey of the occurrence of these re-emerging pathogens in horses in Slovakia. The sera from 200 animals of different ages and both sexes were tested for the presence of A. phagocytophilum antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence assay. Subsequently, detection of the 16S rRNA gene fragment of A. phagocytophilum was attempted by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in each blood sample. Our results confirmed the presence of specific antibodies in 85 out of 200 individuals (42.5%), but no significant changes were found between the animals of different ages and sexes. However, the PCR analysis did not detect any positive animals. Our data represent one of the highest values of seropositivity to A. phagocytophilum in horses in Central Europe. These results may contribute to a better understanding of the circulation of A. phagocytophilum in this region, thus indicating a potential risk to other susceptible species.

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