Molecular and clinical evidence of Ehrlichia chaffeensis infection in Cameroonian patients with undifferentiated febrile illness

L. M. Ndip, M. Labruna, R. N. Ndip, D. H. Walker, J. W. McBride

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


In the U.S.A., human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis (HME) caused by Ehrlichia chaffeensis is an emerging ticktransmitted zoonosis. In Cameroon, where E. canis, E. chaffeensis and E. ewingii have recently been detected in dogs and/or ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), the potential exists for human infections. Patients from the coastal region of Cameroon who had acute fevers of unknown aetiology were therefore checked for ehrlichial infection, using a realtime PCR that amplifies part of a genus-specific gene (dsb) that codes for a disulphide-bond formation protein. Ehrlichial blood was detected in the peripheral blood from 12 (10%) of the 118 patients investigated by PCR. When the 12 amplicons from the positive cases were sequenced, they were found to be identical to each other and to the corresponding dsb sequence of an Arkansas strain of E. chaffeensis. The 12 patients who were PCR-positive for E. chaffeensis suffered from fever (100%), headache (67%), myalgia (42%), arthralgia (58%), pulmonary involvement (17%) and/or a diffuse rash (17%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-725
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

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