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Ehrlichiosis: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Classification and external resources
ICD-9 082.4
eMedicine article/235839
MeSH D016873

Ehrlichiosis is a tickborne[1] bacterial infection, caused by bacteria of the family Anaplasmataceae, genera Ehrlichia and Anaplasma. These obligate intracellular bacteria infect and kill white blood cells.

The average reported annual incidence is 0.7 cases per million population. [2]



Five species have been shown to cause human infection: [3]

The latter two infections are not well studied.

Recently, human infection by the newly discovered Panola Mountain Ehrlichia species has been reported.[4]


The most common symptoms include headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. A rash occurs but is uncommon. Ehrlichiosis can also blunt the immune system, which may lead to opportunistic infections such as candidiasis. If treatment is delayed, ehrlichiosis can prove fatal. The mortality rate is less than 3%. [2]


Doxycycline is the drug of choice. For people allergic to drugs of the tetracycline class, rifampicin is an alternative.[2]. Early clinical experience suggested that chloramphenicol may also be effective, however in vitro susceptibility testing revealed resistance.



Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiversity

Ehrlichiosis (pronounced air-LICK-ee-oh-sis) is a disease carried and transmitted by the Lone Star tick. The bacteria that causes ehrlichiosis are Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii. Missouri, Tennessee, and Oklahoma are the three states with the highest incidences of ehrlichiosis.


  • Sudden fever
  • Chills
  • Severe headache
  • Other flu-like symptoms

Once diagnosed, ehrlichiosis is easily treated with antibiotics. [1]

In 2007, Missouri saw 222 cases of ehrlichiosis, a drastic increase from 2005/2006. Most of the cases were people over 40, and more men than women were infected. People with suppressed immune systems are especially at risk, comprising over half of 2007's ehrlichiosis cases. [2]

In Tennessee, researchers noticed that one community was experiencing many more cases of ehrlichiosis than others. It was a golf-oriented retirement community, where the golfers often chased their balls into tall grasses. The golfer's skill correlated inversely with the chance of infection, meaning that if a golfer is bad, he's chasing his ball more often, and he's more likely to attract a tick. [3]

To avoid ticks, wear light-colored clothing, tuck your pants into your socks, and use an insect repellent that contains 20-30% DEET. [4]

  1. Centers for Disease Control. Tickborne rickettsial diseases. Jauuary 13, 2009
  2. Bureau of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention. Ehrlichiosis. 2007.
  3. Standaert, et al. Ehrlichiosis in a golf-oriented retirement community. New England Journal of Medicine: August 17, 1995 7(330) pp 420-425.
  4. Centers for Disease Control. Prevention and control. October 17,2008.


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