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Mayo Clinic Identifies New Ehrlichia Species - For Laboratory Professionals

August 2011

Mayo Medical Laboratories has detected a new pathogenic Ehrlichia species. The new species was first detected in four patients from Minnesota and Wisconsin in 2009. More than twenty-five patients with the same infection have been identified since then. Analysis at Mayo Clinic and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown this new species to be closely related to Ehrlichia muris, a species not previously reported in North America. In addition to the reported human cases, evidence of the bacterium has been found in deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis) and white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) collected from Minnesota and Wisconsin. Detection of this new Ehrlichia species is the subject of an article just published in the New England Journal of Medicine.