Recently, a novel ehrlichial organism was isolated from a raccoon () and the isolate (RAC413) was infectious to two naïve raccoons but not laboratory mice, rats or rabbits. In this study, amplification and sequencing of four gene targets (16S rRNA gene, , and ) confirmed that the novel ehrlichial organism was a member of the family and was most closely related to, but distinct from, ‘ Neoehrlichia mikurensis’ TK4456 and IS58. RAC413 shared the highest sequence similarity with members of the genus (94.2–95.1, 80.9–83.1, 67.9–71.9 and 39.9–40.7 % similarity for the 16S rRNA gene, , and , respectively). No sequence variation in three sequences (16S rRNA gene, and ) was observed between the RAC413 isolate and five additional sequences amplified from blood of naturally infected raccoons from several geographically isolated populations in the south-eastern USA. Serum samples from four experimentally infected raccoons did not react to , , or antigens in an immunofluorescence assay or an peptide in an ELISA format. On the basis of the distinctive molecular and serological characteristics and apparent host specificity of this ehrlichial organism, it is proposed that this organism be designated ‘ Neoehrlichia lotoris’ (reference strain RAC413).


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vol. , part 12, pp. 2794 - 2798

GenBank accession numbers used in similarity matrices and phylogenetic analyses.

Similarity matrices for 16S rRNA gene (Table S2), (Table S3) and (Table S4) sequences of ' Neoehrlichia lotoris' and selected organisms.

[PDF file of Supplementary Tables](23 KB)

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