In July 2009 a 77-year-old man from western Sweden was out kayaking when he went down with acute diarrhea, fever and temporary loss of consciousness. He was taken to hospital where it was found that he was also suffering with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Following treatment with antibiotics, he was discharged some days later with an anticoagulant to thin his blood. However, the man – who had an impaired immune system – went down with a fever again.
Brand new infection
Over the following months the 77-year-old was admitted as an emergency case on several occasions, but despite repeated attempts to find a microbe, and repeated doses of antibiotics, the fever returned. Finally the patient’s blood underwent special analysis to look for bacterial DNA – and that produced results. The findings matched a bacterium in an online gene bank and the results were a sensation: the man had contracted a brand new infection in humans which had never been described in the world before.
Never before seen in Sweden
The man’s blood contained DNA that derived with 100% certainty from the bacterium Neoehrlichia mikurensis. This bacterium was identified for the first time in Japan in 2004 in rats and ticks but had never before been seen in Sweden in ticks, rodents or humans.
“Since our discovery the bacterium has been reported in eight cases around the world, three of them in Gothenburg,” says Wennerås.
Causes DVTAll three of the Gothenburg cases involved patients with an impaired immune system, all of whom became ill during the summer months when ticks are most active.
“The nasty thing about this infection is that it causes DVT, at least in people with an impaired immune system,” says Wennerås. “This can be life-threatening. Fortunately, the infection can be treated successfully with antibiotics.
Spreads from mammals“If the newly discovered bacterium is similar to those we already know, it has presumably spread from wild mammals to people via ticks, and it is unlikely that it can be passed on from person to person.”
The mikurensis in the bacterium’s name comes from the Japanese island of Mikura, where it was first discovered.Bibliographic data
Author: Christina Welinder-Olsson, Eva Kjellin, Krista Vaht, Stefan Jacobsson and Christine WenneråsFor more information, please contact: Christine Wennerås, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
Helena Aaberg | idw
Staying in Shape
16.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik
Chips, light and coding moves the front line in beating bacteria
16.08.2018 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
16.08.2018 | Life Sciences
16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.08.2018 | Life Sciences