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


Journal Article

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Carpenter, CF; Gandhi, TK; Kong, LK; Corey, GR; Chen, SM; Walker, DH; Dumler, JS; Breitschwerdt, E; Hegarty, B; Sexton, DJ

Published Date

  • September 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 180 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 900 - 903

PubMed ID

  • 10438390

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10438390

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1899

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1086/314954


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States