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Revista Brasileira de Parasitologia Veterinária
On-line version ISSN 1984-2961
BRAGA, Maria do Socorro Costa de Oliveira et al. Molecular and serological detection of Ehrlichia spp. in cats on São Luís Island, Maranhão, Brazil. Rev. Bras. Parasitol. Vet. [online]. 2012, vol.21, n.1, pp. 37-41. ISSN 1984-2961. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-29612012000100008.
Ehrlichiosis is a tick-borne disease that affects both humans and animals. The few existing reports on ehrlichiosis in Brazilian cats have been based on observation of morulae in leukocytes and, more recently, on molecular detection of Ehrlichia sp. In this study, we assessed occurrences of Ehrlichia sp. in the blood of 200 domestic cats in São Luís, Maranhão. Of the 200 animals tested, 11 (5.5%) were seropositive for Ehrlichia sp. and two (1%) were positive for Ehrlichia sp. in PCR. We also performed DNA sequence alignment to establish the identity of the parasite species infecting these animals, using the gene 16S rRNA. One cat presented infection with Ehrlichia sp. with 98% identity with E. canis, and another cat infected with Ehrlichia sp. showed 97% identity with E. chaffeensis. This is the first study on molecular detection of Ehrlichia sp. among domestic cats in São Luís, Maranhão.
Keywords : Cats; Ehrlichia sp.; serology; PCR; Brazil.