Received: December 30, 2015; Revised: April 9, 2016; Accepted: June 8, 2016; Published online: December 30, 2016.
Members of the genus Anaplasma are important emerging tick-borne pathogens in both humans and animals in tropical and subtropical areas. Here, we investigated the presence of Anaplasma spp. in 621 sheep and 710 goats from six provinces of China. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing were conducted to determine the prevalence of Anaplasma (A.) phagocytophilum, A. ovis and A. bovis targeting the 16S ribosomal RNA or the major surface protein 4 gene. PCR revealed Anaplasma in 39.0% (240/621) of sheep and 45.5% (323/710) of goats. The most frequently detected species was A. ovis (88/621, 14.2% for sheep; 129/710, 18.2% for goats), followed by A. bovis (60/621, 9.7% for sheep; 74/710, 10.4% for goats) and A. phagocytophilum (33/621, 5.3% for sheep; 15/710, 2.1% for goats). Additionally, eight sheep and 20 goats were found to be infected with three pathogens simultaneously. DNA sequencing confirmed the presence of these three Anaplasma species in the investigated areas, and phylogenetic analysis indicated that there was geographic segregation to a certain extent, as well as a relationship between the host and cluster of A. ovis. The results of the present study provide valuable data that helps understand the epidemiology of anaplasmosis in ruminants from China.