(tribe , family ) is the agent of salmon poisoning disease, which affects members of the family Canidae. This bacterium is unusual in that it is the only known obligately intracellular bacterium that is transmitted via a helminth vector. The nucleotide sequence of the 16S rRNA gene was determined and compared with the sequences of intracellular bacteria belonging to the alpha subgroup of the . The sequence was most similar to the sequences of two species, and (levels of sequence similarity, >95%). All other members of the tribe , including members of the other species, and the related species and , were only distantly related phylogenetically (levels of sequence similarity, 84 to 86%). Our results corroborate the results of previous ultrastructural and Western blot (immunoblot) comparisons of with other ehrlichial species. The genus is phylogenetically incoherent and can be separated into three identifiable clusters of species. Each cluster is closely associated with a species classified in another non- bacterial genus. The close relationships among , and and the striking differences between these organisms and other members of the tribe suggest that in the future, these organisms should be treated as members of a new bacterial genus separate from the genus .


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