Persistent infection with Ehrlichia chaffeensis

J. Stephen Dumler, William L. Sutker, David Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although persistent infection of animals by members of the genus Ehrlichia is well known and may be associated with subsequent severe or fatal illness, persistent infection of humans with Ehrlichia chaffeensis has not been reported. Herein we report a typical case of serologically documented acute ehrlichiosis; despite therapy with tetracycline and chloramphenicol, the patient's condition progressively worsened and he suffered multiple secondary infections and gastrointestinal hemorrhage. He died 68 days after his initial hospitalization. Retrospective immunohistologic examination of both acute-phase bone marrow specimens (obtained day 12 of illness) and postmortem liver tissue specimens (obtained day 68 after onset of disease) revealed E. chaffeensis morulae in mononuclear cells, presumably macrophages and monocytes. Findings of this case provide the first definitive evidence that E. chaffeensis is capable of establishing persistent human infection and suggest a role for this obligate intracellular bacterium in the induction of immune compromise associated with a fatal outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)903-905
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume17
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1993

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Ehrlichia chaffeensis
Infection
Ehrlichia
Ehrlichiosis
Morula
Sick Leave
Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage
Fatal Outcome
Chloramphenicol
Tetracycline
Coinfection
Monocytes
Hospitalization
Bone Marrow
Macrophages
Bacteria
Liver
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

Persistent infection with Ehrlichia chaffeensis. / Dumler, J. Stephen; Sutker, William L.; Walker, David.

In: Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol. 17, No. 5, 11.1993, p. 903-905.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dumler, JS, Sutker, WL & Walker, D 1993, 'Persistent infection with Ehrlichia chaffeensis', Clinical Infectious Diseases, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 903-905.
Dumler, J. Stephen ; Sutker, William L. ; Walker, David. / Persistent infection with Ehrlichia chaffeensis. In: Clinical Infectious Diseases. 1993 ; Vol. 17, No. 5. pp. 903-905.
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