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Heartwater – Ehrlichia ruminantium infection
|Author(s) :||B.A. Allsopp|
Heartwater is a notifiable disease that is listed by the World Organisation for Animal Health. It is caused by Ehrlichia ruminantium, an obligately intracellular Gramnegative bacterium in the order Rickettsiales and the family Anaplasmataceae. The disease is borne by ticks in the genus Amblyomma and causes heartwater, or cowdriosis, in wild and domestic ruminants, primarily in Africa, but also in parts of the Caribbean. The disease was recognised in South Africa in the 19th Century and determined to be tick borne in 1900, while the organism was identified in 1925 and first cultured in vitro in 1985. This latter achievement boosted research into the disease at a time when biology was moving into the molecular genetic age. Over the last 20 years, there have been significant improvements in our understanding of E. ruminantium, yielding major advances in diagnosis, epidemiology, genetic characterisation, phylogeny, immunology, and vaccine development.
Amblyomma hebraeum – Amblyomma variegatum – Attenuated vaccine – Control – Cowdriosis – Diagnosis – Economic importance – Ehrlichia ruminantium – Heartwater – Inactivated vaccine – Occurrence – Recombinant vaccine – Tick-borne disease.