Molecular Detection

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Reference Details


Molecular detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in clinical specimens.

Test Category:
Molecular Detection
Anaplasma phagocytophilum
Illnesses and Diseases:
  • Human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA)

Whole blood and / or buffy coat.  Minimum volume of blood required is 5.0 mL whole blood or 250 µl buffy coat.

Collection Method:

Collect blood in EDTA tubes. AVOID HEPARIN.

Specimen Processing, Storage and Shipping:

Store specimens refrigerated up to 5 days and ship with freezer packs.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods:

Shipping of specimens shall be done by a TDG certified individual in accordance with TDG regulations. For additional information regarding classification of specimens for the purposes of shipping, consult either Part 2 Appendix 3 of the TDG Regulations or section 3.6.2 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations as applicable.

For additional guidance on the transport of infectious substances in other languages, please click on the link below.


Patient Criteria:

Appropriate clinical symptoms with potential exposure to blacklegged ticks within the previous 5-21 days prior to symptom onset . Clinical evidence of Anaplasmosis is characterized by an acute onset of fever with one or more of the following non-specific symptoms: chills, malaise, headache, myalgia, arthralgia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia or elevated hepatic transaminases.

Accompanying Documentation:

Completed Requisition for Molecular Testing for Selected Zoonotic Agents. If possible, include the clinical history and lab results performed at local or provincial laboratories.


Specimens may be subject to rejection if they are not the appropriate sample type, have insufficient volume, or are not accompanied by relevant patient information.


Methods and Interpretation of Results:

Extracted DNA is screened by in-house real-time PCR assay specific for A. phagocytophilum.  If positive by real-time PCR, samples are tested by conventional PCR and sequencing for confirmation and strain determination.

Initiation of antibiotic treatment prior to testing may result in decreased bacterial genome which will affect the outcome of PCR testing.        

Turnaround Time:

21 calendar days.

Phone: (204) 789-7434 or (204) 789-7662
Fax: (204) 789-2082
  1. Massung, R.F., Owens, J.H., Ross, D., et al. 2000. Sequence analysis of the ank gene of granulocytic ehrlichiae. J. Clin. Microbiol. 38(8):2917-2922.
  2. Courtney, J.W., Kostelnik, L.M., Zeidner, N.S., Massung, R.F. 2004. Multiplex real-time PCR for detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi. J. Clin. Micro. 42(7):3164-3168.
  3. Krakowetz CN, Dibernardo A, Lindsay LR, Chilton NB. 2014. Two Anaplasma phagocytophilum Strains in Ixodes      scapularis Ticks, Canada. Emerg. Inf. Dis. 20(12):2064-2067.
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