[Detection of anti-Ehrlichia antibodies and direct demonstration of Ehrlichia nucleic acid using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in patients in the Czech Republic].

Klinicka mikrobiologie a infekcni lekarstvi

PubMedID: 15100980

Lásiková S, Moravcová L, Pícha D, Holecková D, Zdárský E. [Detection of anti-Ehrlichia antibodies and direct demonstration of Ehrlichia nucleic acid using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in patients in the Czech Republic]. Klin Mikrobiol Infekc Lek. 2004;10(1):25-9.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
In patients presenting symptoms with a suspicion of ehrlichiosis we determined antiehrlichia antibodies and investigated the presence of Ehrlichia nucleic acid in the plasma.

MATERIAL AND METHODS
In our group were 46 patients with tick sucks in their case history, who presented symptoms compatible with ehrlichiosis. Anti-Ehrlichia antibodies were determined by an indirect immunofluorescent test with a commercial kit from MRL Diagnostics. Ehrlichia DNA was detected using a nested PCR - the target sequence was a part of the antigen Anaplasma phagocytophilum.

RESULTS
Antibodies against HGE agents were demonstrated in 28 % of the patients; 10.5 % of the patients had in their serum antibodies reacting to the Ehrlichia chaffeensis antigen. The nucleic acid of A. phagocytophilum was detected in 11 % of the patients.

CONCLUSIONS
The Czech population is relatively often exposed to Ehrlichia infections. Although most cases are asymptomatic, we should bear in mind this diagnosis, especially in immunodeficient patients, where early treatment may prevent a complicated course of the disease.