1998 - Study Shows Tick-Borne Disease Creates Telling Pattern On X-Rays 
Author Message
 1998 - Study Shows Tick-Borne Disease Creates Telling Pattern On X-Rays

Source: University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill
Posted?8/19/98 ScienceDaily

Study Shows Tick-Borne Disease Creates Telling Pattern On X-Rays

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Many Americans know ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain
spotted fever and Lyme disease, but relatively few realize that the
{*filter*}-sucking pests can trigger other dangerous illnesses such as tick
paralysis, relapsing fever, Q fever, tularemia and certain forms of

Now, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill medical scientist says both
doctors and the public also should be aware of a tick-borne infection called
ehrlichiosis, the cause of which in the United States was not recognized until

In studies on three North Carolina children who contracted ehrlichiosis,
including one who died in 1996, Dr. Lynn A. Fordham has discovered the illness
shows up on chest X-rays as increased fluid in the lungs. That finding may help
doctors diagnose the condition earlier and, as a result, possibly treat it more

"Ehrlichiosis is usually mild with flu-like symptoms but can be rapidly fatal,"
said Fordham, assistant professor of radiology at the UNC-CH School of
Medicine. "The infection should be considered when diagnosing acutely ill
children with possible tick exposure and X-rays showing increased lung fluids
not caused by a heart problem."

A report on the research will appear in the November issue of the American
Journal of Roentgenology. Besides Fordham, UNC-CH authors are Drs. Charles J.
Chung and Barbara B. Specter, assistant professors of radiology; David F.
Merten, clinical professor of radiology; and David L. Ingram, professor of

"Ehrlichiosis is treatable, but needs to be diagnosed as rapidly as possible,"
Fordham said. "Doxycycline, an antibiotic, is effective, but doctors don't like
to use it unless they have to because it can permanently discolor children's

X-raying patients transferred to intensive care units may give a quicker
indication of the infection than detailed microscopic studies can, she said.
Unfortunately, what is seen on X-rays is not unique to ehrlichiosis, but also
occurs in other serious conditions such as organ failure, severe burns and drug
reactions. Still, a few hours head start might mean the difference between life
and death for a gravely ill child in an intensive care unit.

"The chance of getting any of these diseases can be reduced by decreasing
exposure to ticks," Fordham said. "During tick season, people should wear light
clothing, use insect repellents and check themselves and their children for
ticks after being outdoors. If someone is bitten, record that information on a
calendar and be sure to tell medical personnel about it if he or she develops a
fever and flu-like symptoms within a few weeks."

Ehrlichiosis was first described in Algerian dogs in 1935, and Japanese
scientists found that a bacterium caused a human form of the illness in 1956.
Thirty years later, U.S. investigators discovered the first case of a different
variety, human monocytic ehrlichiosis, at Fort Chafee, Ark. That infection
chiefly occurs in the central and southeastern United States, while still
another form, human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, chiefly is found in north
central states.

Dog, deer and Lone Star ticks can carry ehrlichiosis bacteria, which infect and
kill white {*filter*} cells, Forham said. Keeping leaves raked and bushes trimmed
around homes can minimize shelter for mice and other small mammals to help keep
down the tick population.

Wed, 09 Jul 2003 07:21:38 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. Study Shows Tick-Borne Disease Creates Telling Pattern On X-Rays

2. RePosted Article:Study shows tick-borne disease babesiosis has long shelf life

3. RePost: Study shows tick-borne disease babesiosis has long shelf life

4. 1998:[The epidemic situation of tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease in the city of Tomsk]

5. TBE 1998: [The morphological characteristics of cell death in different forms of acute tick-borne encephalitis]

6. 1998: Concomitant infection with tick-borne encephalitis virus and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lat

7. 1998: [Otoneurologic state estimation 2 years after tick-borne encephalitis]

8. Short Fuse-Need Info on Study/Studies Showing Tick Attachment Time

9. Scientists show that tick-borne flaviviruses use a novel mechanism to evade host defenses

10. Tick Borne Diseases other than Lyme Disease

11. 2002: Tick-Borne Disease: Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD) (!!)

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software