Journal Article

The Serological Response of Patients Infected with the Agent of Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis

Johan S. Bakken, Irina Haller, Debbie Riddell, Jennifer J. Walls and J. Stephen Dumler

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 34, issue 1, pages 22-27
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/323811
The Serological Response of Patients Infected with the Agent of Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis

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To characterize the serological response in humans to human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE), we prospectively observed 152 patients for as long as 42 months. HGE was confirmed by detection of morulae in blood smears, polymerase chain reaction, blood culture, or a combination of these tests for 94 patients (62.3%), and 92 (97.8%) of the patients had specific serum antibodies thereafter. One hundred twenty-six (99.2%) of 127 patients tested at 1 month were seropositive (89 of 127 patients had seroconversion), and 150 (98.7%) of the 152 patients had become seropositive by 6 months. Eleven patients (7.3%) remained seropositive at 42 months. Neither antibiotic therapy initiated during the first week of illness nor preexisting immunosuppressive conditions abrogated a serological response. Indirect fluorescent antibody testing of acute-phase and convalescent-phase serum samples is a sensitive tool for laboratory confirmation of HGE.

Journal Article.  3645 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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