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Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis

Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis Causes

Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis is brought about by a bacterium of the Ehrlichiosis family that has not yet been named. The Ehrlichial bacterium is carried and passed on by certain ticks (vectors), such as the deer tick (Ixodes dammini) and the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis).

Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis Definition

Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis (HGE) is a rare infectious disease that is part of a group of diseases known as the Human Ehrlichioses. The Ehrlichioses are infectious diseases caused by bacteria in the "Ehrlichia" group. Several forms of Human Ehrlichial infection have been described including Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis (HGE), Sennetsu Fever, and Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis (HME). Though caused by different strains of Ehrlichia bacteria, the disorders are all marked by similar symptoms.

Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis Diagnosis

Routine laboratory testing may show reduced white blood cell and platelet concentrations and mildly elevated hepatic transaminase activity in peripheral blood. A high index of suspicion is required to arrive at a timely clinical diagnosis.

Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms of Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis (HGE) may include a sudden high fever, chills, headache, muscle aches (myalgia), and a general feeling of weakness and fatigue (malaise) within a week or so after initial infection. In majority of the cases, abnormal laboratory findings may occur including an abnormally low number of circulating blood platelets (thrombocytopenia), a decrease in white blood cells (leukopenia), and an abnormal increase in the level of certain liver enzymes (hepatic transaminases). In some cases, symptoms may develop to include nausea, vomiting, cough, diarrhea, loss of appetite (anorexia), and/or confusion.

Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis Treatment

Patients suspected of having human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) should be treated with a tetracycline-class antibiotic while awaiting the results of confirmatory laboratory testing.

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