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Laboratory Diagnosis of Tick-Borne Infections

Part 2


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Ehrlichia muris-like Organism

Slide 43

July 2010

Subsequent studies of the Ehrlichia muris-like organism have now revealed infections in at least 5 patients to date, and all of them presented with symptoms similar to human ehrlichiosis due to Ehrlichia chaffeensis such as fever, myalgias, and headache. In addition, we did some experimental testing of ticks that were gathered from the area of the presumed exposures to the EML agent. And we detected EML DNA from a single group of Ixodes scapularis nymphs. At this time, it is unknown if this tick is a vector for disease, and the reservoir host is still unknown. So there is clearly much that we can learn about this new agent of ehrlichiosis in humans in North America.  

As far as testing for the EML, some serologic cross-reactivity between the EML and Ehrlichia chaffeensis has been observed at least in one case but the reliability of this cross-reactivity for diagnosis of EML infection is unknown. Therefore, PCR is the test of choice for the newly recognized pathogen at this time.

Ehrlichia muris-like Organism


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