Human Ehrlichia equi/phagocytophila (EEP) infection on long Island (LI)

Sunil K. Sood, J. Stephen Dumler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


EEP infection is an emerging tick-borne disease now reported from the northeast, including Westchester County, NY, but the prevalence of human infection in other tick-infested areas of NY is unknown. The main vector appears to be 1. scapularis, which has been proposed to be able to cotransmit the Lyme disease agent B. burgdorferi and the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) agent EEP. To assess prevalence of HGE infection and possible co-transmission with B. burgdorferi, we studied persons who participated in a prospective study of Lyme disease following a tick bite. The incidence of Lyme disease in the cohort was 1.8% of all tick bites (J Infect Dis 1997;175:996). 147 baseline/convalesent sera sets were assayed by IFA to Ehrlichia equi antigen; a positive titer was >1:80. 13 subjects (8.8%) were seropositive: 12 in both sera (stable titer or less than 4-fold titer change; tick bite - 11 LI, I Connecticut), and 1 (J. scapularis bite, Nassau County, LI) with a four-fold seroconversion. Only 1/13 had interval symptoms (child with high fever ascribed to unrelated illness). No subject developed clinical or serologic evidence of B. burgdorferi infection. Thus, positive EEP serology was observed in 8.8% of subjects with tick bites. The majority were past, or recent asymptomatic, infections presumably from other tick bites prior to study entry. One person had asymptomatic EEP infection associated with an J. scapularis bite. Seroprevalence for EEP infection is high on LI. Acute infection can be asymptomatic. Co-infection with B. burgdorferi was not observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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