• Ehrlichiae;
  • ticks;
  • 16S rRNA;
  • China

Abstract: The various ticks collected from different areas of China were examined for the existence of ehrlichial agents by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with genus- or species-specific primers designed on the basis of ehrlichial 16S rRNA genes and sequence analyses. In southern China, E. chaffeensis was detected in Amblyomma testudinarium ticks from infested cattle, Haemaphysalis yeni ticks from hare, and Ixodes ovatus ticks from Muntiacus reevesi. E. canis was identified in Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks from dogs and Boophilus microplus ticks from goats. A new species of the genus Ehrlichia, closely related to E. chaffeensis, and Anaplasma marginale were found in B. microplus ticks from cattle in Tibet. In northern China, E. chaffeensis was detected in Dermacentor silvarum and I. persulcatus ticks; the granulocytic ehrlichial agents were detected in I. persulcatus ticks from an area where Lyme disease is endemic. Canine ehrlichiosis was found in southern China and E. canis and E. platys were identified in dogs; human ehrlichioses were demonstrated by amplifying the 16S rRNA genes of E. chaffeensis and granulocytic ehrlichial agents from patients' blood specimens. In comparison of 16S rRNA gene sequences, the sequences of E. chaffeensis, E. canis, and E. platys in China were found to be different from that in other countries at certain nucleotide positions. These results reveal that a variety of tick-borne ehrlichial agents and diseases exist in China, and the ehrlichial agents and their tick-vectors are same as or different from that in other countries at species or strain levels.