A newly discovered tick-borne bacterium known as "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" has been implicated in six cases of disease in Sweden. A new international study led by the Sahlgrenska Academy has shown that this bacterium is primarily a risk for people who are already sick and who are receiving immunosuppressive drugs.
The Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis bacterium, known in the medical world by its short name Neoehrlichia, was discovered and described for the first time in a scientific article in 2010.
Christine Wennerås, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
The University of Gothenburg
The bacterium, which is spread by rodents and ticks mainly in Asia and Europe, including Sweden, has been found in 19 cases worldwide, six of them in Sweden.
Eleven cases closely examined
Scientists and doctors from Germany, Switzerland, The Czech Republic and Sweden have examined 11 of these cases more closely, in an international research project led by the Sahlgrenska Academy. The study has shown that it is primarily people who are already sick who run the greatest risk of becoming infected by the bacterium.
"Those who run the greatest risk are generally over the age of 50 years, suffer either from a haematological disease or a rheumatic disease, and are currently undergoing immunosuppressive treatment with, for example, chemotherapy or cortisone," says Christine Wennerås, scientist at the Sahlgrenska Academy.
Difficult to detect
No figures are available for how common the tick-borne infection, neoehrlichiosis is in humans. This is mainly due to the infection being difficult to detect.
"The bacterium cannot be grown in culture, and this means that it is not picked up in routine diagnostic procedures. Furthermore, the symptoms are deceptive: several patients, for example, have been affected by blood clots in the leg or the blood vessels in the head, and this has not been coupled to an infectious cause. Other typical symptom such as fever, muscle pain and joint pain can be caused also by the patient's underlying disease," says Christine Wennerås.
"We know very little about how the infection affects otherwise healthy people who are not taking immunosuppressive drugs."
Once neoehrlichiosis has been diagnosed, the patients recover completely after treatment with antibiotics.
The study Infections with the tick-borne bacterium "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" mimic non-infectious conditions in patients with B cell malignancies or autoimmune diseases has been e-published ahead of print on March 18, and will appear in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Link to the article: http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/04/21/cid.ciu189.abstract
University of Gothenburg
+46 31 342 4784
Henrik Axlid | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Laboratory study: Scientists from Cologne explore a new approach to prevent newborn epilepsies
24.11.2015 | Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE)
U of T research sheds new light on mysterious fungus that has major health consequences
23.11.2015 | University of Toronto
The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were...
Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.
In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...
In laser material processing, the simulation of processes has made great strides over the past few years. Today, the software can predict relatively well what will happen on the workpiece. Unfortunately, it is also highly complex and requires a lot of computing time. Thanks to clever simplification, experts from Fraunhofer ILT are now able to offer the first-ever simulation software that calculates processes in real time and also runs on tablet computers and smartphones. The fast software enables users to do without expensive experiments and to find optimum process parameters even more effectively.
Before now, the reliable simulation of laser processes was a job for experts. Armed with sophisticated software packages and after many hours on computer...
Researchers at Heidelberg University have devised a new way to study the phenomenon of magnetism. Using ultracold atoms at near absolute zero, they prepared a...
AWI researchers’ unique 15-year observation series reveals how sensitive marine ecosystems in polar regions are to change
The warming of arctic waters in the wake of climate change is likely to produce radical changes in the marine habitats of the High North. This is indicated by...
25.11.2015 | Event News
17.11.2015 | Event News
21.10.2015 | Event News
25.11.2015 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
25.11.2015 | Earth Sciences
25.11.2015 | Physics and Astronomy