Genetic profiling for Anaplasma and Ehrlichia species in ticks collected in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa

Benson Chucks Iweriebor*, Elia J. Mmbaga, Abiodun Adegborioye, Aboi Igwaran, Larry C. Obi, Anthony I. Okoh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 The Author(s). Background: Anaplasma and Ehrlichia are emerging tick-borne pathogens that cause anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis in humans and other animals worldwide. Infections caused by these pathogens are deadly if left untreated. There has been relatively no systematic survey of these pathogens among ticks in South Africa, thus necessitating this study. The presence of Anaplasma and Ehrlichia species were demonstrated by PCR in ticks collected from domestic ruminants at some selected communities in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The ticks were identified by morphological characteristics and thereafter processed to extract bacterial DNA, which was analyzed for the presence of genetic materials of Anaplasma and Ehrlichia. Results: Three genera of ticks comprising five species were identified. The screening yielded 16 positive genetic materials that were phylogenetically related to Ehrlichia sequences obtained from GenBank, while no positive result was obtained for Anaplasma. The obtained Ehrlichia sequences were closely related to E. chaffeensis, E. canis, E. muris and the incompletely described Ehrlichia sp. UFMG-EV and Ehrlichia sp. UFMT. Conclusion: The findings showed that ticks in the studied areas were infected with Ehrlichia spp. and that the possibility of transmission to humans who might be tick infested is high.
Original languageEnglish
Article number45
JournalBMC Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaplasmosis
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • South Africa
  • Tick-borne


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