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Evaluation of potential predictor variables for PCR assay diagnosis of Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in equids in Northern California

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  • 1 Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center, 2973 Penryn Rd, Penryn, CA 95663.
  • | 2 Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center, 2973 Penryn Rd, Penryn, CA 95663.
  • | 3 Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center, 2973 Penryn Rd, Penryn, CA 95663.
  • | 4 Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center, 2973 Penryn Rd, Penryn, CA 95663.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To identify clinical or clinicopathologic variables that can be used to predict a positive PCR assay result for Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in equids.

ANIMALS 162 equids.

PROCEDURES Medical records were reviewed to identify equids that underwent testing for evidence of A phagocytophilum infection by PCR assay between June 1, 2007, and December 31, 2015. For each equid that tested positive (case equid), 2 time-matched equids that tested negative for the organism (control equids) were identified. Data collected included age, sex, breed, geographic location (residence at the time of testing), physical examination findings, and CBC and plasma biochemical analysis results. Potential predictor variables were analyzed by stepwise logistic regression followed by classification and regression tree analysis. Generalized additive models were used to evaluate identified predictors of a positive test result for A phagocytophilum.

RESULTS Total lymphocyte count, plasma total bilirubin concentration, plasma sodium concentration, and geographic latitude were linear predictors of a positive PCR assay result for A phagocytophilum. Plasma creatine kinase activity was a nonlinear predictor of a positive result.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Assessment of predictors identified in this study may help veterinarians identify equids that could benefit from early treatment for anaplasmosis while definitive test results are pending. This information may also help to prevent unnecessary administration of oxytetracycline to equids that are unlikely to test positive for the disease.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To identify clinical or clinicopathologic variables that can be used to predict a positive PCR assay result for Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in equids.

ANIMALS 162 equids.

PROCEDURES Medical records were reviewed to identify equids that underwent testing for evidence of A phagocytophilum infection by PCR assay between June 1, 2007, and December 31, 2015. For each equid that tested positive (case equid), 2 time-matched equids that tested negative for the organism (control equids) were identified. Data collected included age, sex, breed, geographic location (residence at the time of testing), physical examination findings, and CBC and plasma biochemical analysis results. Potential predictor variables were analyzed by stepwise logistic regression followed by classification and regression tree analysis. Generalized additive models were used to evaluate identified predictors of a positive test result for A phagocytophilum.

RESULTS Total lymphocyte count, plasma total bilirubin concentration, plasma sodium concentration, and geographic latitude were linear predictors of a positive PCR assay result for A phagocytophilum. Plasma creatine kinase activity was a nonlinear predictor of a positive result.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Assessment of predictors identified in this study may help veterinarians identify equids that could benefit from early treatment for anaplasmosis while definitive test results are pending. This information may also help to prevent unnecessary administration of oxytetracycline to equids that are unlikely to test positive for the disease.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Fielding (langdonfielding@yahoo.com).