ISSN 2398-2993      

Anaplasma spp





  • Phylum: proteobacteria.
  • Class: alphaproteobacteria.
  • Order: rickettsiales.
  • Family: anaplasmataceae.
  • Genus: anaplasma.


  • Gk.
    • An- without.
    • Plasma- anything formed or molded.
    • Literally: a thing (a bacterium) without form!
      • A phagocytophilum:
        • Phagein- to eat up, devour.
        • Phylum- friend, loving.
        • Literally: attractive to phagocytes.

Active Forms

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to start a free trial to access all Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds and videos, or Login

Clinical Effects



  • Distribution is associated with the bacterial species. Associated with ticks and possibly small rodents and deer.


  • Alternate infection of two distinct hosts, ticks and mammals. 
  • In ticks, the bacteria resides in the salivary glands using upregulation selected tick salivary protein (SALP 16) to establish themselves. The bacteria persists through the nymphal molts but is not passed on transovarially. 


  • Bites from infected Ticks Ticks
  • Bites from diptera (A. marginale) Cattle flies.
    • Mechanical transmission is possible via contaminated equipment.

Pathological effects

  • Anaplasmataceae spp replicate in phagosomes.
  • A. bovis targets monocytes, macrophages and granulocytes.
  • A. marginale targets erythrocytes.
  • A. phagocytophilum targets granulocytes and inhibits lysosomal fusion and delays apoptosis. Infection can result in protection against subsequent infections or in repeated bouts of bacteremia.


Control via animal

  • Appropriate tick control. 
  • Minimize stressful events.

Control via chemotherapies

  • A. phagocytophilum and A. marginale: lactating cows can be given Oxytetracycline Oxytetracycline

Control via environment

  • Appropriate tick control.


  • Vaccines are available for A. marginale.


This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to start a free trial to access all Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds and videos, or Login

Further Reading


Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Brown W C & Barbet A F (2016) Persistent Infections and Immunity in Ruminants to Arthropod-Borne Bacteria in the Family Anaplasmataceae. Annu Rev Anim Biosci 4, 177-197 PubMed.
  • (2016) Tickborne fever associated with abortion outbreak in dairy cows. Vet Rec 179 (8), 189-92.
  • Atif F A (2015) Anaplasma marginale and Anaplasma phagocytophilum: Rickettsiales pathogens of veterinary and public health significance. Parasitol Res 114 (11), 3941-3957 PubMed.
  • Aubry P & Geale D W (2011) A review of bovine anaplasmosis. Transbound Emerg Dis 58 (1), 1-30 PubMed.
  • Woldehiwet Z (2006) Anaplasma phagocytophilum in ruminants in Europe. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1078, 446-60 PubMed.
  • Kocan K M, De La Fuente J, Blouin E F & Garcia-Garcia J C (2002) Adaptations of the tick-borne pathogen, Anaplasma marginale, for survival in cattle and ticks. Exp Appl Acarol 28 (1-4), 9-25 PubMed.
  • Savini G, Conte A, Semproni G & Scaramozzino P (1999) Tick-borne diseases in ruminants of Central and Southern Italy: epidemiology and case reports. Parassitologia 1, 95-100 PubMed.

Related Images

Want more related items, why not
contact us

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!


To show you are not a Bot please can you enter the number showing adjacent to this field