Human ehrlichioses represent one of the best examples of newly emergent infectious diseases in which the classic triad of host, infectious agent, and environment are intertwined closely. These pathogens have existed for eons on the planet, and some were described as veterinary pathogens decades ago. Because of dramatic increases of deer and small mammal populations in certain areas and the subsequent increased populations of particular blood-feeding ticks, the risk of developing these diseases is higher than before. Increasing human populations in suburban areas and increased immunosuppressed populations (transplant patients, human immunodeficiency virus patients, and cancer survivors) also have increased risk of developing severe forms of these diseases.
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