Coexistence of antibodies to tick-borne pathogens of babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and Lyme borreliosis in human sera

L. A. Magnarelli, J. S. Dumler, J. F. Anderson, R. C. Johnson, E. Fikrig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Serum specimens from persons with or without Lyme borreliosis were analyzed by indirect fluorescent antibody staining methods for total immunoglobulins to Babesia microti, Ehrlichia chaffeensis (Arkansas strain), and Ehrlichia equi (MRK strain). There was serologic evidence of human exposure to multiple tick-borne agents in 15 (6.6%) of 227 serum samples obtained in Connecticut and Minnesota. Of these, 10 serum samples were from Connecticut patients who had erythema migrans and antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi (range, 1:160 to 1:40,960). A maximal antibody titer of 1:640 was noted for a B. microti infection, whereas titration end points of 1:640 and 1:1,280 were recorded for E. chaffeensis and E. equi seropositives, respectively. In specificity tests, there was no cross-reactivity among the antisera and antigens tested for the four tick-borne pathogens. On the basis of serologic testing, a small group of persons who had Lyme borreliosis had been exposed to one or more other tick-borne agents, but there was no clinical diagnosis of babesiosis or ehrlichiosis. Therefore, if the clinical picture is unclear or multiple tick-associated illnesses are suspected, more extensive laboratory testing is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3054-3057
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Volume33
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

Cite this

Magnarelli, L. A., Dumler, J. S., Anderson, J. F., Johnson, R. C., & Fikrig, E. (1995). Coexistence of antibodies to tick-borne pathogens of babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and Lyme borreliosis in human sera. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 33(11), 3054-3057.