Bacterial pathogens not detectable via commercial blood culture assays represent an important challenge for infectious disease physicians, in particular if clinical symptoms of the illness are non-specific. In this report, Anaplasma phagocytophilum was detected directly in a peripheral blood sample from a febrile patient reporting a tick bite. This was done using a commercial system based on PCR followed by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). The diagnosis of a human granulocytic anaplasmosis infection was established using this diagnostic methodology for the first time. Human granulocytic anaplasmosis is a neglected zoonotic disease in Europe. Its seroprevalence is similar in North America and Europe, but in contrast to the USA, it is rarely diagnosed in the old world. PCR followed by ESI-MS is a novel, complex, but highly promising diagnostic methodology for the rapid assessment of rare or exotic pathogens, including intracellular bacteria.
Keywords: Anaplasma phagocytophilum; HGA; IRIDICA; PCR/ESI-MS; Tick-borne disease.
Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.