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Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Aug;31(2):554-60. Epub 2000 Sep 14.

Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis.

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Section of Infectious Diseases, St. Mary's-Duluth Clinic Health System, Duluth, MN 55805, USA.


Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis is a recently recognized tick-borne infectious disease, and to date >600 patients have been identified in the United States and Europe. Most patients have presented with a non-specific febrile illness occurring within 4 weeks after tick exposure or tick bite. The risk for serious illness or death increases with advancing age and delayed onset of therapy. Routine laboratory testing may reveal reduced white blood cell and platelet concentrations and mildly elevated hepatic transaminase activity in peripheral blood. A high index of suspicion is necessary to arrive at a timely clinical diagnosis. Patients suspected of having human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) should be treated with a tetracycline-class antibiotic while awaiting the outcome of confirmatory laboratory testing.

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