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Congenital infection with Anaplasma phagocytophilum in a calf in northern Germany

Thomas Henniger1, Pauline Henniger1, Thekla Grossmann2, Ottmar Distl1, Martin Ganter2 and Friederike D von Loewenich3*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Animal Breeding and Genetics, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Bünteweg 17p, Hannover, D-30559, Germany

2 Clinic for Swine and Small Ruminants, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Bischofsholer Damm 15, Hannover, D-30173, Germany

3 Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University of Freiburg, Hermann-Herder-Strasse 11, Freiburg, D-79104, Germany

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Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2013, 55:38  doi:10.1186/1751-0147-55-38

Published: 1 May 2013


Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a Gram-negative, obligate intracellular tick-transmitted bacterium that replicates in neutrophils. It causes tick-borne fever (TBF) in sheep and cattle, but also elicits febrile disease in humans as well as in other domestic animals such as dogs, horses, and cats. Although increasingly recognized in Europe, the first laboratory-confirmed case of TBF in cattle from Germany has been published only recently. We here present the unusual case of an intrauterine transmission of A. phagocytophilum in a calf from northern Germany. To our knowledge, this is the first report of such an event occurring under field conditions in cattle.

Anaplasma phagocytophilum; Intrauterine infection; Tick-borne fever; Cattle; Germany