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ABSTRACT: Two forms of tick-borne leukocytotropic rickettsioses have been recognized in California since the mid-1990s: human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) caused by Ehrlichia chaffeensis and human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA) caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Between 1997 and 1999, two cases of HME and four cases of HGA were diagnosed in residents of southern Humboldt County, California. Environmental followup at case-patients' residences revealed dense populations of Ixodes pacificus ticks, particularly in grassy roadside areas. PCR evidence of A. phagocytophilum was detected in approximately 2.0% of I. pacificus; E. chaffeensis was not detected in any of 625 ticks tested. Serologic antibody to A. phagocytophilum was detected in two of 54 participants in a community epidemiologic study; one of these also had antibody to E. chaffeensis. Over 85% of study participants reported finding a tick on themselves in the preceding 12 mo. Residents of southern Humboldt County are at significant risk of tick bites and should take appropriate prevention measures to avoid infection with rickettsia and other tick-transmitted pathogens.
Journal of Vector Ecology 07/2005; 30(1):4-10. · 1.23 Impact Factor