Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Ehrlichiosis Evaluation

Evaluation of ehrlichiosis begins with a history and physical examination.

Physical findings in someone with ehrlichiosis may include:

  • Rash:
    • Can have small raised areas or appear like broken blood vessels.
  • Fever

Testing is required to confirm the diagnosis of ehrlichiosis.

Tests that may be used to evaluate ehrlichiosis include:
  • Blood tests are used to detect this infection, as well as assess its severity. Diagnostic tests include antibody titers to the organism. Ehrlichiosis bacteria are most often detected by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays are increasingly being used.
  • Serum fluorescent antibody titers
  • Indirect immunofluorescence assay:
    • Antibodies in the serum bind to the organisms on a slide and are detected by a fluorescein-labeled conjugate
  • Kidney profile
  • Blood culture
  • Complete blood count
  • Serum febrile agglutinin levels
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Skin biopsy

For more information:

Continue to Ehrlichiosis Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Ehrlichiosis References
  1. Dumler JS. Is human granulocytic ehrlichiosis a new Lyme disease? Review and comparison of clinical, laboratory, epidemiological, and some biological features. Clin Infect Dis. 1997 Jul;25 Suppl 1:S43-7. [9233663]
  2. Nutt AK, Raufman J. Gastrointestinal and hepatic manifestations of human ehrlichiosis: 8 cases and a review of the literature. Dig Dis. 1999;17(1):37-43. [10436355]
  3. Stone JH, Dierberg K, Aram G, Dumler JS. Human monocytic ehrlichiosis. JAMA. 2004 Nov 10;292(18):2263-70. [15536115]
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