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
UV light robot to clean hospital rooms could help stop spread of 'superbugs'
15.04.2015 | Texas A&M University
Heart cells regenerated in mice
14.04.2015 | Weizmann Institute of Science
Astronomers from Chalmers University of Technology have used the giant telescope Alma to reveal an extremely powerful magnetic field very close to a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy
Astronomers from Chalmers University of Technology have used the giant telescope Alma to reveal an extremely powerful magnetic field very close to a...
A team of physicists from MPQ, Caltech, and ICFO proposes the combination of nano-photonics with ultracold atoms for simulating quantum many-body systems and creating new states of matter.
Ultracold atoms in the so-called optical lattices, that are generated by crosswise superposition of laser beams, have been proven to be one of the most...
According to new research out of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, that is indeed the case. Chetan Jinadatha, M.D., M.P.H., assistant...
Researchers from ICFO, MIT and UC Riverside have been able to develop a graphene-based photodetector capable of converting absorbed light into an electrical voltage at ultrafast timescales
The efficient conversion of light into electricity plays a crucial role in many technologies, ranging from cameras to solar cells.
Electrical charges not only move through wires, they also travel along lengths of DNA, the molecule of life. The property is known as charge transport.
In a new study appearing in the journal Nature Chemistry, authors, Limin Xiang, Julio Palma, Christopher Bruot and others at Arizona State University's...
13.04.2015 | Event News
25.03.2015 | Event News
19.03.2015 | Event News
17.04.2015 | Power and Electrical Engineering
17.04.2015 | Earth Sciences
17.04.2015 | Physics and Astronomy