Human ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis

Clin Lab Med. 2010 Mar;30(1):261-92. doi: 10.1016/j.cll.2009.10.004.


Human ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis are acute febrile tick-borne diseases caused by various members of the genera Ehrlichia and Anaplasma (Anaplasmataceae). Human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis has become one of the most prevalent life-threatening tick-borne disease in the United States. Ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis are becoming more frequently diagnosed as the cause of human infections, as animal reservoirs and tick vectors have increased in number and humans have inhabited areas where reservoir and tick populations are high. Ehrlichia chaffeensis, the etiologic agent of human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis (HME), is an emerging zoonosis that causes clinical manifestations ranging from a mild febrile illness to a fulminant disease characterized by multiorgan system failure. Anaplasma phagocytophilum causes human granulocytotropic anaplasmosis (HGA), previously known as human granulocytotropic ehrlichiosis. This article reviews recent advances in the understanding of ehrlichial diseases related to microbiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, pathogenesis, immunity, and treatment of the 2 prevalent tick-borne diseases found in the United States, HME and HGA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anaplasma / classification
  • Anaplasma / genetics
  • Anaplasma / ultrastructure
  • Anaplasmosis / diagnosis*
  • Anaplasmosis / epidemiology
  • Anaplasmosis / etiology
  • Anaplasmosis / therapy
  • Animals
  • Ehrlichia / classification
  • Ehrlichia / genetics
  • Ehrlichia / ultrastructure
  • Ehrlichiosis / diagnosis*
  • Ehrlichiosis / epidemiology
  • Ehrlichiosis / etiology
  • Ehrlichiosis / therapy
  • Humans
  • Ixodes / microbiology