The Causative Agent Of Human Monocytotrophic Ehrlichiosis
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Members of the genus Ehrlichia, the causative agent of human monocytotrophic ehrlichiosis (HME), are important emerging tick-borne pathogens globally. Ehrlichia spp. is naturally transmitted by Ixodidae family ticks and maintained between the ticks and the wild or domestic animal reservoir hosts.
E. canis can cause illness in dogs and other canids, and these animals are thought to be the reservoir hosts. Evidence of infection with this or a similar organism has also been reported in cats and captive wild felids. Human infections with E.canis have been reported but the incidence is quite few. In Venezuela, chronic, asymptomatic infections with E. canis in human patients have been reported as well as six clinical cases with ehrlichiosis. All patients with clinical cases had a fever, and most had a headache and/or myalgia. Also, malaise, arthralgia, nausea, vomiting, rash, bone pain, diarrhea or abdominal pain occurred in some patients. Leukopenia was seen in one patient and anemia in another. All of the six patients were young and otherwise healthy, and the E. canis strains were identical to those seen in dogs. E. canis nucleic acids have also been detected in a small number of stored human serum samples in the U.S. Although E. canis occur worldwide, its presence and density in an area varies with the distribution of its tick vectors. The presence of novel Ehrlichia genotype suspected to be E.canis detected in dogs in South Africa has been reported by Allsopp and Allsopp