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This is the first identification of ‘Candidatus Mycoplasma haemobos’ from cattle in England some of which were co-infected with Mycoplasma wenyonii and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Haemotropic mycoplasmas (haemoplasmas) were formerly classified within the order Rickettsiales as Haemobartonella and Eperythrozoon species. Based on their 16S ribosomal gene sequences, lack of cell wall and resistance to penicillin, these red blood cell parasites have been reclassified within the genus Mycoplasma (Neimark and others 2001).
A number of different haemoplasma species have been described in cattle: Eperythrozoon wenyonii (Adler and Ellenbogen 1934), ‘Eperythrozoon teganodes’ (Hoyte 1962) and ‘Eperythrozoon tuomii’ (Uilenberg 1967), although only E wenyonii was included in the 1980 approved list of bacterial names (Hoelzle and others 2010). More recently, molecular detection of a new bovine haemoplasma species has been reported in a number of countries (Tagawa and others 2008, Hornok and others 2010, Meli and others 2010, Su and others 2010, Hoelzle and others 2011) and the provisional name ‘Candidatus Mycoplasma haemobos’ (synonym: ‘Candidatus M haemobovis’) has been proposed for this organism.
Anaplasma phagocytophilum is the recently designated name replacing three species of granulocytic bacteria, Ehrlichia phagocytophila, Ehrlichia equi and the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (Ismail and others 2010, Woldehiwet 2010). Tick-borne fever (TBF), which is caused by the prototype of A phagocytophilum has been recognised as a disease of cattle …