Journal Article

Seroprevalence of Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis Among Permanent Residents of Northwestern Wisconsin

Johan S. Bakken, Paul Goellner, Mark Van Etten, Denise Z. Boyle, Oscar L. Swonger, Sandy Mattson, Jenny Krueth, Robert L. Tilden, Kristin Asanovich, Jennifer Walls and J. Stephen Dumler

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 27, issue 6, pages 1491-1496
Published in print December 1998 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 1998 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/515048
Seroprevalence of Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis Among Permanent Residents of Northwestern Wisconsin

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Four-hundred seventy-five permanent residents of Wisconsin were tested for antibodies to the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) by indirect immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) testing with Ehrlichia equi as antigen marker. Each resident completed a standard survey questionnaire about outdoor activities, animal and tick exposure, and any febrile illness during the preceding 12 months. Seventy-one serum samples (14.9%) contained E. equi antibodies. The mean IFA titer for seropositive residents was 250 (range, 80–10,240). Seropositive residents were older than seronegative ones (62 vs. 56 years; P = .019). None of the seropositive residents had a history suggestive of ehrlichiosis. There was no association between the IFA test outcome and specific demographic variables or history of tick bites. HGE appears to be a common subclinical or mild infection among residents in northwestern Wisconsin.

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

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