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Srp Arh Celok Lek. 2014 Jan-Feb;142(1-2):79-82.

A case of human monocytic ehrlichiosis in Serbia.



Ehrlichiosis is a bacterial zoonosis transmitted by hematophagous arthropods--ticks. In humans, it occurs as monocytic, granulocytic, and ewingii ehrlichiosis. Pathological process is based on parasitic presence of Ehrlichia organisms within peripheral blood cells--monocytes and granulocytes.


Fifty-two year old patient was admitted to hospital due to high fever of over 40 degrees C that lasted two days, accompanied with chills, muscle aches, malaise, loss of appetite, headache, confusion, breathing difficulties, and mild dry cough. The history suggested tick bite that occurred seven days before the onset of disease. Doxycycline was introduced and administered for 14 days, causing the disease to subside. Indirect immunofluorescence assay was used to analyze three serum samples obtained from this patient for Ehrlichia chaffeensis antibodies, and peripheral blood smear was evaluated for the presence of Ehrlichia and Ehrlichia aggregation into morulae.


Ehrlichiosis should be considered in each case where there is a history of tick bite together with the clinical picture (high fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, generalized weakness and malaise, and possible maculopapular rash). The presence of Ehrlichia chaffeensis antibodies was confirmed in a patient with the history of tick bite, appropriate clinical picture and indirect immunofluorescence assay. This confirmed the presence of human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis, a disease that is uncommonly identified in our country.

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