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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2010 May;54(5):776-8. doi: 10.1002/pbc.22392.

Severe ehrlichia infection in pediatric oncology and stem cell transplant patients.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA. adam.esbenshade@vanderbilt.edu

Abstract

Ehrlichiosis, a tickborne illness transmitted by tick vectors Amblyomma americanum and Ixodes scapularis, can be acquired in endemic areas. Clinical manifestations range from asymptomatic to fulminant in nature. We report three cases of ehrlichiosis in pediatric oncology patients, one of whom was a stem cell transplant recipient. Early symptoms included fever, malaise, and vague gastrointestinal symptoms. Laboratory abnormalities were initially attributed to chemotherapy toxicity. Illness was severe in all three patients and one patient died even after initiation of doxycycline. These cases emphasize the need for a high index of suspicion for tickborne illness in oncology patients, and the importance of a low threshold for starting empiric treatment before confirming the diagnosis.

PMID:
20052776
DOI:
10.1002/pbc.22392
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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