Wildlife Disease and Zoonotics


Date of this Version



Published in Clinical Infectious Diseases 2001;33:1586-94


The clinical course and laboratory valuation of 21 patients coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Ehrlichia chaffeensis or Ehrlichia ewingii are reviewed and summarized, including 13 cases of ehrlichiosis caused by E. chaffeensis, 4 caused by E. ewingii, and 4 caused by either E. chaffeensis or E. ewingii. Twenty patients were male, and the median CD4+ T lymphocyte count was 137 cells/μL. Exposures to infecting ticks were linked to recreational pursuits, occupations, and peridomestic activities. For 8 patients, a diagnosis of ehrlichiosis was not considered until ≥4 days after presentation. Severe manifestations occurred more frequently among patients infected with E. chaffeensis than they did among patients infected with E. ewingii, and all 6 deaths were caused by E. chaffeensis. Ehrlichiosis may be a life-threatening illness in HIV-infected persons, and the influence of multiple factors, including recent changes in the epidemiology and medical management of HIV infection, may increase the frequency with which ehrlichioses occur in this patient cohort.