Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis in a renal allograft recipient: review of the clinical spectrum of disease in solid organ transplant patients
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BACKGROUND: Ehrlichiosis is a recently described zoonotic infection with two major expressions: human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) and human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME). The organisms associated with HGE and HME have been detected in a tick vector in several regions of United States and cases of ehrlichiosis have been reported in the general population. METHODS: We report a case of HGE in a renal allograft recipient and review the clinical spectrum of disease in solid organ transplant recipients and the epidemiological basis for risk. RESULTS: Our patient demonstrated the typical epidemiological, clinical and laboratory features of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis and responded to treatment with doxycycline. CONCLUSIONS: Human ehrlichiosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with solid organ transplants, who present with fever and thrombocytopenia. The incidence of ehrlichiosis in the solid organ transplant population is similar to that in the United States general population. As reported in immunocompetent patients, prompt diagnosis and treatment results in the rapid resolution of symptoms in transplanted individuals.
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