The incidence of ehrlichial and rickettsial infection in patients with unexplained fever and recent history of tick bite in central North Carolina

Christopher F. Carpenter, Tejal K. Gandhi, Li Kuo Kong, G. Ralph Corey, Sheng Min Chen, David H. Walker, J. Stephen Dumler, Edward Breitschwerdt, Barbara Hegarty, Daniel J. Sexton

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46 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the clinical and laboratory findings of a consecutive series of patients from central North Carolina presenting with fever and a history of tick bite within the preceding 14 days. Evidence of a tick-transmitted pathogen was detected in 16 of 35 patients enrolled over a 2-year period. Nine patients were infected with Ehrlichia chaffeensis, and 6 were infected with a spotted fever group rickettsia; 1 patient had evidence of coinfection with E. chaffeensis and a spotted fever group rickettsia. Four patients had detectable antibodies against the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis agent; however, only 2 had a 4-fold antibody titer rise without detectable antibodies against E. chaffeensis. The other 2 were thought to have cross- reacting antibodies to E. chaffeensis. We conclude that ehrlichial infections may be as common as spotted fever group rickettsial infections in febrile patients from central North Carolina with a recent history of tick bite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-903
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume180
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 8 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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    Carpenter, C. F., Gandhi, T. K., Kong, L. K., Corey, G. R., Chen, S. M., Walker, D. H., Dumler, J. S., Breitschwerdt, E., Hegarty, B., & Sexton, D. J. (1999). The incidence of ehrlichial and rickettsial infection in patients with unexplained fever and recent history of tick bite in central North Carolina. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 180(3), 900-903. https://doi.org/10.1086/314954