In order to investigate haemotropic Mycoplasma (formerly Eperythrozoon) infection of goats, blood samples and blood-sucking lice (Linognathus stenopsis) were collected in two goat herds. DNA was extracted from 20 blood samples and from 49 lice allocated to six pools according to host individuals. Haemoplasma infection was detected in four goats by real-time PCR. From the sample with the highest bacterial load the simultaneous presence of M. ovis and 'Candidatus M. haemoovis' was demonstrated by cloning and sequencing. Louse pools were haemoplasma negative, including those from bacteraemic animals. However, not only were Anaplasma inclusion bodies seen in blood smears from goats, but relevant PCR-positivity was also detected among lice. This is the first report of a molecular investigation on caprine haemoplasmas, including analysis of their bloodsucking lice. In summary, goats are susceptible to both molecularly characterised ovine haemoplasmas. On the other hand, goat sucking lice (L. stenopsis) do not appear to be potential vectors of these agents.
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