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anaplasmosis (ănˌəplăzmōˈsĭs), infectious blood disease in cattle, sheep, and goats, caused by a rickettsia of the genus Anaplasma. The organism parasitizes red blood cells, causing their destruction and producing emaciation, anemia, jaundice, and, occasionally, death. The disease is present in the warmer regions of the world and is most prevalent in the United States in the Gulf states, lower Plains, and California. Wild ruminants such as deer and antelope may be asymptomatic carriers. Transmission of the disease occurs mainly by the spread of infected blood through insect vectors, especially ticks and biting flies. It can also be transmitted in herds as they undergo any sort of large-scale procedure, such as dehorning.

The incubation period varies from three to four weeks. Infected animals first show a fever, which may rise to 107℉ (62℃) in severe cases, and then jaundice and anemia set in. Pregnant cows will frequently abort. Treatment of anaplasmosis consists of antibiotic therapy and blood transfusions, administration of fluids, and rest. Protecting well animals through the routine use of insecticides or insect repellents (to control insects that carry the rickettsia) or by vaccination limits the incidence of the disease.

Human granulocytic anaplasmosis, which was called human granulocytic ehrlichiosis when it was first identified (the causative agent, A. phagocytophilum, was classified at the time in Ehrlichia, another rickettsia genus), continues to be generically considered an ehrlichiosis.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a disease of domesticated and wild animals caused by blood parasites of the genus Anaplasma. The pathogen is transmitted from a sick animal to a healthy one by bites, chiefly of ixodoid ticks, as well as other insects (horseflies, stable flies, and mosquitoes). Anaplasmosis is found everywhere in the world, most often in the spring, summer, and autumn. The incubation (latent) period is from three to six weeks, more rarely three months. The clinical course of the disease involves a brief elevation of temperature by 1–1.5°C, jaundice and paleness of the mucous membranes, edemas, weakness, emaciation, and a reduction in milk productivity. Prevention includes combating the carriers, testing the animals for the presence of parasites, and bathing the animals in solutions of insecticides. For treatment, terramycin, biomycin, biovitin, and tetracycline are used.


Anaplazmozy zhivotnykh. Edited by A. A. Markov. Moscow, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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