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Ehrlichiosis in Brazil

DOI: 10.1590/S1984-29612011000100002

Keywords: ehrlichia sp., domestic animals, wild animals, humans.

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ehrlichiosis is a disease caused by rickettsial organisms belonging to the genus ehrlichia. in brazil, molecular and serological studies have evaluated the occurrence of ehrlichia species in dogs, cats, wild animals and humans. ehrlichia canis is the main species found in dogs in brazil, although e. ewingii infection has been recently suspected in five dogs. ehrlichia chaffeensis dna has been detected and characterized in mash deer, whereas e. muris and e. ruminantium have not yet been identified in brazil. canine monocytic ehrlichiosis caused by e. canis appears to be highly endemic in several regions of brazil, however prevalence data are not available for several regions. ehrlichia canis dna also has been detected and molecularly characterized in three domestic cats, and antibodies against e. canis were detected in free-ranging neotropical felids. there is serological evidence suggesting the occurrence of human ehrlichiosis in brazil but its etiologic agent has not yet been established. improved molecular diagnostic resources for laboratory testing will allow better identification and characterization of ehrlichial organisms associated with human ehrlichiosis in brazil.


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