Molecular survey and genetic characterization of Anaplasma centrale, A. marginale and A. bovis in cattle from Algeria.
Bovine anaplasmosis could be caused by several Anaplasma species. The causative agents are transmitted by ticks and haematophagous arthropods with a high impact on both human and animal health. This study was conducted to estimate the infection rate and to characterize Anaplasma spp. in cattle from Algeria. A molecular survey was performed in Setif district (Northeast Algeria) where a total number of 180 cattle blood samples were collected and tested for the presence of Anaplasma spp. by PCR. Positive samples were genetically characterized based on the 16S rRNA and msp4 genes. PCRs revealed that the infection rates of Anaplasma spp., Anaplasma centrale, Anaplasma marginale and Anaplasma bovis were 42.2%; 39.4%; 11.1% and 4.4%, respectively. All tested animals were negative for A. phagocytophilum. Co-infection occurred in 10% (18/180) of the tested animals, and the most common co-infection pattern was an association between A. centrale and A. marginale (5.5%). Five cattle (2.7%) were co-infected by the three Anaplasma species. Holstein animals (58.1%) were more infected by A. centrale than the other breeds (p=.01). The molecular prevalence of A. centrale was significantly higher in males (54.2%) than in females (34.1%) (p=.001). A. marginale msp4 genetic analysis indicated a high sequence diversity of Algerian strains, suggesting the importation of live cattle from different origins. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene of A. bovis and A. centrale revealed a low degree of genetic diversity. Our study suggests that different species of Anaplasma are simultaneously present in the Algerian cattle. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first molecular study and genetic characterization of Anaplasma spp. in Algerian cattle.