Susceptibility of dogs to infection with Ehrlichia chaffeensis, causative agent of human ehrlichiosis

Jacqueline E. Dawson From the Viral and Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Disease, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333 (Dawson) and the Department of Parasitology, Microbiology and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078 (Ewing).

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S. A. Ewing From the Viral and Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Disease, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333 (Dawson) and the Department of Parasitology, Microbiology and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078 (Ewing).

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Summary

Ehrlichia chaffeensis, the newly recognized agent of human ehrlichiosis, is closely related to E canis, the causative agent of canine ehrlichiosis. Eight pups were inoculated iv with E chaffeensis-, or with E canis-infected DH82 cells, or organisms released from these host cells. Two additional pups served as nonexposed controls. Marked thrombocytopenia was observed in the E canis-infected pups, but not in those infected with E chaffeensis. Homologous serologic response was observed in the E chaffeensis-exposed pups by postinoculation day (pid) 14 and in the E canis-exposed pups by pid 21. Ehrlichia chaffeensis and E canis were reisolated from the respective inoculated pups on each of 8 attempts from pid 7 to 26. One E chaffeensis-exposed pup that was challenge exposed with E canis via blood transfusion, developed fever, anorexia, and thrombocytopenia, suggesting lack of cross protection against E canis.

Summary

Ehrlichia chaffeensis, the newly recognized agent of human ehrlichiosis, is closely related to E canis, the causative agent of canine ehrlichiosis. Eight pups were inoculated iv with E chaffeensis-, or with E canis-infected DH82 cells, or organisms released from these host cells. Two additional pups served as nonexposed controls. Marked thrombocytopenia was observed in the E canis-infected pups, but not in those infected with E chaffeensis. Homologous serologic response was observed in the E chaffeensis-exposed pups by postinoculation day (pid) 14 and in the E canis-exposed pups by pid 21. Ehrlichia chaffeensis and E canis were reisolated from the respective inoculated pups on each of 8 attempts from pid 7 to 26. One E chaffeensis-exposed pup that was challenge exposed with E canis via blood transfusion, developed fever, anorexia, and thrombocytopenia, suggesting lack of cross protection against E canis.

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