Bovine anaplasmosis

Attention! This is a potentially life-threatening condition for your Cow. Time is of the essence, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Bovine Anaplasmosis


Anaplasmosis is an infectious, non-contagious, tick-borne hemoparasitic disease of domesticated and wild ruminants living in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. Bovine anaplasmosis is caused by Anaplasma marginale, sometimes A. centrale and A. caudatum rickettsia. Anaplasmosis was first described in 1910 in South Africa. It is now found worldwide and is endemic in Africa, South and Central America, southern Europe, the Far and Middle East, India, Russia, and Australia.

The form of the disease including its duration and severity of signs depends on the age and the previous exposure to infection.

Anaplasma spp are transmitted to cattle mechanically or biologically through arthropod vectors, most commonly ticks but also bloodsucking flies. Once infected, even cattle that recover from the disease will remain carriers of A. marginale for many years, and serve as sources of infection to other cattle.

Incubation period
The incubation period ranges between 2 to 5 weeks.


Progressive weakness
Loss of appetite
Difficulty breathing
Increased pulse rate
Loss of coordination
Reduced milk production
Petechial hemorrhages of mucous membranes
Initially pale and later yellowish mucous membranes
Brown-colored urine
Abortion in pregnant cows


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Necropsy
  • complement fixation test
  • card agglutination test
  • IFA
  • PCR
  • dot-ELISA
  • DNA-based detection method


Treatment TypeDetailsReference
Tetracyclines and imidocarb
Blood transfusionmay be indicated in severely affected cattle
OxytetracyclineAdministering IM injection


  • Vaccinate herd: Live attenuated, killed, and living vaccines are available in enzootic areas
  • Minimize flying insect populations and exposure to ticks

Article Reference

Risk Factors

  • High populations of ticks
  • Large populations of flies


  • Anaplasma bovis
  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum

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