A newly discovered Anaplasma phagocytophilum variant in rodents from southeastern China
Anaplasma phagocytophilum was detected by polymerase chain reaction in 13 (14.1%) of 92 rodents captured from a mountainous area of Zhejiang Province in southeastern China. The nucleotide sequences of 1442-bp, nearly entire 16S rRNA gene amplified from these rodents, had 100% identity, but varied from all known corresponding sequences of A. phagocytophilum deposited in GenBank. To further identify and classify the variant, fragments of 357-bp partial citrate synthase gene (gltA), 849-bp major surface protein 4 gene (msp4), and 443-bp groESL heat-shock operon gene, were amplified and analyzed. The nucleotide sequences of the partial gltA gene amplified from the rodents were identical to each other, but distinct from previously reported A. phagocytophilum sequences, as were msp4 and groESL. These findings indicate that the newly discovered agent represents a novel A. phagocytophilum variant.