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A msp1α polymerase chain reaction assay for specific detection and differentiation of Anaplasma marginale isolates

Lew, A.E., Bock, R.E., Minchin, C.M. and Masaka, S. (2002) A msp1α polymerase chain reaction assay for specific detection and differentiation of Anaplasma marginale isolates. Veterinary Microbiology, 86 (4). pp. 325-335.

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Anaplasma marginale is the causative agent of bovine anaplasmosis, a disease which can be protected by vaccination with the less pathogenic Anaplasma species, A. centrale. Currently, there is no polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay available which differentiates between different species of Anaplasma or which can differentiate isolates of A. marginale within outbreaks and between different countries. A molecular test specific for A. marginale would be ideal for the identification of Anaplasma species in wild ruminants, as possible reservoirs of anaplasmosis, and to differentiate between A. marginale from A. centrale. A PCR assay was designed to amplify the major surface protein 1α gene of the rickettsial bovine pathogen, A. marginale both as an inter- and intra-specific test. The test did not amplify A. centrale or A. ovis, and discriminated A. marginale by amplifying repeat regions within the msp1α gene which vary in number between many isolates. The nested A. marginale amplicons varied in size from 630 to 1190 bp representing one to eight internal repeats. All 22 Australian isolates tested amplified a 630 bp product (one repeat) in contrast to all 19 non-Australian isolates tested. Eight sequences from Australian isolates from different geographical regions confirmed the conserved nature of the Australian A. marginale msp1α genes. The Australian ‘repeat unit’ MSP1a deduced amino acid sequence has been designated as Australian type 1. The msp1α PCR method developed here enabled the amplification and comparison of A. marginale isolates originating from North and South America, Africa, Israel and Australia. The method is sensitive and specific for A. marginale. Although additional msp1α products were amplified from at least two Australian isolates, the results suggest limited introduction of A. marginale into Australia.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.
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