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1.  New Ehrlichia Species Closely Related to Ehrlichia chaffeensis Isolated from Ixodes ovatus Ticks in Japan 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2000;38(4):1331-1338.
Seven Ehrlichia strains (six HF strains and one Anan strain) that were obtained from laboratory mice by intraperitoneally inoculating homogenates of adult Ixodes ovatus collected in Japan were characterized. 16S rRNA sequences of all six HF strains were identical, and the sequences were 99.7, 98.2, and 97.7% identical to those of Anan strain, Ehrlichia chaffeensis (human monocytic ehrlichiosis agent), and E. muris, respectively. Partial GroEL amino acid sequencing also revealed that the six HF strains had identical sequences, which were 99.0, 98.5, and 97.3% identical to those of E. chaffeensis, the Anan strain, and E. canis, respectively. All HF strains were lethal to mice at higher dosages and intraperitoneal inoculation, whereas the Anan or E. muris strain induced only mild clinical signs. Light and electron microscopy of moribund mice inoculated with one of the HF strains revealed severe liver necrosis and the presence of numerous ehrlichial inclusions (morulae) in various organs. The study revealed that members of E. canis genogroup are naturally present in Ixodes ticks. HF strains that can cause severe illness in immunocompetent laboratory mice would be valuable in studying the pathogenesis and the roles of both cellular and humoral immune responses in ehrlichiosis caused by E. canis genogroup.
PMCID: PMC86441  PMID: 10747103
2.  Comparison of Ehrlichia muris Strains Isolated from Wild Mice and Ticks and Serologic Survey of Humans and Animals with E. muris as Antigen 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1999;37(4):1123-1129.
In metropolitan Tokyo, the Ehrlichia muris seropositivity rate of 24 wild mice was 63% in Hinohara Village, but in the surrounding areas, it was 0 to 5%. This finding suggests that the reservoir of E. muris is focal. Among the 15 seropositive mice, ehrlichiae were isolated from 9 Apodemus speciosus mice and 1 A. argenteus mouse, respectively. Five ehrlichial isolates were obtained from 10 ticks (Haemaphysalis flava) collected in Asuke Town, Aichi Prefecture, where the E. muris type strain had been isolated. These new isolates were compared with the E. muris type strain. The mouse virulence and ultrastructure of the new isolates were similar to those of the type strain, and all of them were cross-reactive with each other, as well as with the type strain, by indirect immunofluorescent-antibody test. The levels of similarity of the base sequences of the 16S rRNA gene of one of the A. speciosus isolates and one of the tick isolates to that of the E. muris type strain were 99.79 and 99.93%, respectively. We suggest that all of these isolates are E. muris; that E. muris is not limited to Eothenomys kageus but infects other species of mice; and that E. muris is present at locations other than Aichi Prefecture. It appears that H. flava is a potential vector of E. muris. Twenty (1%) of 1803 humans from metropolitan Tokyo were found to be seropositive for E. muris antibodies. A serological survey revealed that exposure to E. muris or organisms antigenically cross-reactive to E. muris occurred among dogs, wild mice, monkeys, bears, deer, and wild boars in Gifu Prefecture, nearby prefectures, and Nagoya City, central Japan. However, human beings and Rattus norvegicus rats in this area were seronegative. These results indicate broader geographic distribution of and human and animal species exposure to E. muris or related Ehrlichia spp. in Japan.
PMCID: PMC88659  PMID: 10074536

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