Serological reactivity to Anaplasma phagocytophilum in neoehrlichiosis patients

Linda Wass, Anna Grankvist, Mattias Mattsson, Helena Gustafsson, Karen Krogfelt, Björn Olsen, Kenneth Nilsson, Andreas Mårtensson, Hanne Quarsten, Anna J Henningsson, Christine Wennerås

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


The tick-borne bacterium Candidatus (Ca.) Neoehrlichia (N.) mikurensis is a cause of “fever of unknown origin” because this strict intracellular pathogen escapes detection by routine blood cultures. Case reports suggest that neoehrlichiosis patients may display serological reactivity to Anaplasma (A.) phagocytophilum. Since Anaplasma serology is part of the diagnostic work-up of undetermined fever in European tick-exposed patients, we wanted to investigate (1) the prevalence of A. phagocytophilum seropositivity among neoehrlichiosis patients, (2) the frequency of misdiagnosed neoehrlichiosis patients among A. phagocytophilum seropositive patients, and (3) the frequency of A. phagocytophilum and Ca. N. mikurensis co-infections. Neoehrlichiosis patients (n = 18) were analyzed for A. phagocytophilum IgM and IgG serum antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence assay. Serum samples from suspected anaplasmosis patients (n = 101) were analyzed for bacterial DNA contents by singleplex PCR specific for A. phagocytophilum and Ca. N. mikurensis, respectively. One fifth of the neoehrlichiosis patients (4/18) were seropositive for IgM and/or IgG to A. phagocytophilum at the time of diagnosis. Among the patients with suspected anaplasmosis, 2% (2/101) were positive for Ca. N. mikurensis by PCR whereas none (0/101) had detectable A. phagocytophilum DNA in the serum. To conclude, patients with suspected anaplasmosis may in fact have neoehrlichiosis. We found no evidence of A. phagocytophilum and Ca. N. mikurensis co-infections in humans with suspected anaplasmosis or confirmed neoehrlichiosis.
TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
Udgave nummer9
Sider (fra-til)1673-1678
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - 2018
Udgivet eksterntJa

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