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Clin Infect Dis. 1998 Dec;27(6):1491-6.

Seroprevalence of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis among permanent residents of northwestern Wisconsin.

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Section of Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine, and Education and Research, Saint Mary's Duluth Clinic Health System, Minnesota, USA.


Four-hundred seventy-five permanent residents of Wisconsin were tested for antibodies to the agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) by indirect immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) testing with Ehrlichia equi as antigen marker. Each resident completed a standard survey questionnaire about outdoor activities, animal and tick exposure, and any febrile illness during the preceding 12 months. Seventy-one serum samples (14.9%) contained E. equi antibodies. The mean IFA titer for seropositive residents was 250 (range, 80-10,240). Seropositive residents were older than seronegative ones (62 vs. 56 years; P = .019). None of the seropositive residents had a history suggestive of ehrlichiosis. There was no association between the IFA test outcome and specific demographic variables or history of tick bites. HGE appears to be a common subclinical or mild infection among residents in northwestern Wisconsin.

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