Serologic and molecular detection of granulocytic ehrlichiosis in Rhode Island

Document Type


Date of Original Version



A new indirect fluorescent-antibody (IFA) assay with antigen produced in vitro in the human promyelocytic leukemia cell line HL60 was used to identify the first recognized case of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis in Rhode Island. This IFA assay was used to detect granulocytic ehrlichiae in white-footed mice and in a dog inhabiting the area surrounding the patient's residence. Host-seeking Ixodes scapularis ticks found in the same habitat also were infected. I. scapularis ticks collected from other locations were fed on dogs and New Zealand White rabbits to assess the competency of these species as hosts of granulocytotropic Ehrlichia. Tick-induced infections of dogs were confirmed by serologic testing, tissue culture isolation, and PCR amplification, whereas several rabbits seroconverted but were PCR and culture negative. PCR amplification of the 16S rRNA gene and DNA sequencing of the PCR products or culture isolation was used to confirm granulocytic Ehrlichia infections in humans, dogs, white-footed mice, and ticks.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Clinical Microbiology