Description ehrlichiosis

Human ehrlichiosis is caused by a very small bacterium that lives inside cells and is called Anaplasma phagocytophila. It causes a disease known as human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (LGE). Its older name is Ehrlichia and it also comes from the name of the disease.

Anaplasma (Ehrlichia) phagocytophila is obligately intracellular bacteria, it means that only live inside cells. In this case, the white blood cells, mostly called. Granulocytes, which are responsible for the immune defenses of the organism. Bacteria such attacks white blood cells, multiply them, destroy them and thereby weakens the body immunity. Decrease in white blood cells is detected by blood and blood elements.

The disease is transmitted by ticks, specifically the species Ixodes Ricinus and Ixodes persulcatus, which are also carriers of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease.

Until recently, ehrlichiosis regarded solely as an American problem lately has been the incidence of the disease is confirmed in Europe, but not yet to the public of its existence too familiar.

Strictly speaking, there are two kinds of human ehrlichiosis, a disease is the second human monocytic ehrlichiosis (LME) and is due to Anaplasma (Ehrlichia) Chafeensis. It is transmitted by ticks Amblyomma americanum, infects another type of white blood cells (monocytes) and manifests itself, like her colleagues. Published cases LME from Europe were confirmed only detection of antibodies against this bacterium, which means that the person has ever had a disease. For both of these types is the general name used ehrlichiosis.

The disease is most commonly investigated in the United States, which were already reported hundreds of cases, but it is assumed that there is much more, because the majority of cases is likely to remain undetected or unreported unveiled yet.

Interestingly, the disease, ehrlichiosis is four times more common in men than in women. It affects all ages.

It was found that three of about three percent of ticks are infected and thereby transmits ehrlichiosis. More often it’s just Lyme disease, which infects 17% of ticks. Recent research also shows the importance of testing ticks for determining the risk of infection. If it should find that tick, which latch on, it was infected ehrlichiosis, the probability of developing the disease than in the case 33násobná nevyšetřeného tick.

Risk factors for ehrlichiosis

The risk is insufficient protection against ticks especially in areas where ehrlichiosis occurs. This applies mainly to the United States, specifically California, Texas and the Great Lakes region to the north of the country.

symptoms of ehrlichiosis

It is believed that most infections are latent or just below the image of light of a viral disease.

If the manifestation of the disease, most often begins a few days after the tick bite. Patient a headache and not feeling well. That should arouse suspicion of a disease transmitted by ticks. Most often they are tick-borne encephalitis, but sometimes reveal other disease, ehrlichiosis testify for a reduced number of white blood cells, which is determined by blood tests.

The severe headaches and adding muscle pain, temperature rises and there is a fever and fever with chills. It is sometimes present as nausea and vomiting. In the cases of the skin rash will also appear, but this is not required.

Sometimes there may be swelling of the lymph (lymph) nodes can be easily enlarged liver.

That leads to loss of white blood cells and thereby weakened immunity, the patient isthreatened and infections that healthy individuals no threat and cause no disease in them. We call them so. “Opportunistic infections” and one of the most common are fungal diseases (candidiasis).

It is important to detect and ehrlichiosis soon begin to treat it with antibiotics. When early intervention is in fact very well treated. It is also important to distinguish from Lyme disease (which is not always easy), because Lyme disease is treated with penicillin and macrolide antibiotics, which are ineffective ehrlichiosis.

Suspected disease, ehrlichiosis should always arouse a patient, which indicates recent exposure to ticks, suffering from febrile states, and in which suddenly appear atypical symptoms of Lyme disease. Indeed ehrlichiosis can be easily mistaken for Lyme disease. This disease is often mistaken as well as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which causes similar very small bacterium Rickettsia behalf. This disease can be performed very similarly, differentiation is particularly important because choosing the right treatment. It happens especially in the case of patients with weakened immune systems, when progress is serious and may be fatal.

Ehrlichiosis is a very serious disease for immunocompromised patients who were spleen removed and who are transplant. In these cases, the disease is very difficult and the patient may endanger the life.

prevention ehrlichiosis

It is important especially compliance with preventive measures to the maximum to reduce the risk tick bites. It is recommended to wear light clothing to put on it ticks better recognize, protect your hands and feet with long sleeves and legs, tuck your pants into your socks. Furthermore, userepellents (before using repellents on pregnant women and children should consult a doctor or pharmacist). Importantly, after returning always viewed and remove ticks promptly permanently carefully pulling using forceps or tweezers. Further disinfect the affected area, and if in the near future will change in health status such as headache and fever, it is necessary to see a doctor immediately.

The treatment of ehrlichiosis

Patients with more severe manifestations of the disease may be hospitalized and treated in hospital and should be consulted with a specialist in infectious diseases if they develop bleeding manifestations as a hematologist.

Served with antibiotics, usually doxycycline and rifampin. Diet is not no restriction and limitation of activity and bed rest depends on the severity of the disease.

How do I help myself

You can reduce fever by applying cold compresses to the groin and armpits, important is adequate fluid intake.

It is also necessary to observe exactly intervals antibiotics, gross non-compliance with the dosage may prolong treatment.

complications ehrlichiosis

Complicated course of disease seen mostly in patients with compromised or weakened immune systems.

Sometimes there is a significant decrease in blood platelets, which is called thrombocytopenia.This may result in less bleeding, such as skin, blood manifesting bruises, bruises or red spots.

A serious complication is the formation of so-called. “Disseminated intravascular coagulation” (DIC), which is a serious disorder of blood coagulation, in which the blood begins to clot inside the blood vessel and thereby disrupts blood circulation and supply to organs. It may develop shock-like state and condition of the patient is seriously threatened.

Other names: granulomatous Human ehrlichiosis, human monocytic ehrlichiosis

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