Ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis subcommittee report to the Tick-borne Disease Working Group.
Ehrlichioses and anaplasmosis have undergone dramatic increases in incidence, and the geographic ranges of their occurrence and vectors have also expanded. There is marked underreporting of these diseases owing to deficient physician awareness and knowledge of the illnesses as well as limited access to appropriate diagnostic tests. Human monocytic ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis are life threatening diseases with estimated case fatality rates of 2.7 and 0.3%, respectively. However, knowledge of their full range of signs and symptoms is incomplete, and the incidence of subclinical infections is unknown. Currently available laboratory diagnostic methods are poorly utilized, and with the exception of nucleic acid amplification tests are not useful for diagnosis during the acute stage of illness when timely treatment is needed. The Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis Subcommittee of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group recommended active clinical surveillance to determine the true incidence, full clinical spectrum, and risk factors for severe illness, as well as standardized surveillance of ticks for these pathogens, and enhanced education of primary medical caregivers and the public regarding these diseases. The subcommittee identified the needs to develop sensitive, specific acute stage diagnostic tests for local clinical laboratories and point-of-care testing, to develop approaches for utilizing electronic medical records, data mining, and artificial intelligence for assisting early diagnosis and treatment, and to develop adjunctive therapies for severe disease.
Dixon, DM; Branda, JA; Clark, SH; Dumler, JS; Horowitz, HW; Perdue, SS; Pritt, BS; Sexton, DJ; Storch, GA; Walker, DH
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