Ehrlichia Ewingii : The Tick Borne Disease You Need To Know About

Ehrlichia Ewingii : The Tick Borne Disease You Need To Know About

The brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), which carries the bacterium .The brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), which carries the bacterium Ehrlichia ewingii, infects dogs and other animals.

The brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), which carries the bacterium .The brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), which carries the bacterium Ehrlichia ewingii, infects dogs and other animals. It is most prevalent in the southern and eastern parts of the country and is the cause of canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (CME), which affects dogs.

Ehrlichia ewingii is carried by ticks that bite dogs, which allows the bacterium to enter the circulation and infect the white blood cells. Numerous symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, appetite loss, weight loss, and enlarged lymph nodes, may result from this. In extreme circumstances, CME can also result in neurological symptoms, musculoskeletal discomfort, and breathing difficulties.

It infects dogs and other animals. It is most prevalent in the southern and eastern parts of the country and is the cause of canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (CME), which affects dogs.

Ehrlichia ewingii infection can be avoided by wearing protective clothing, applying insect repellent, and avoiding tick-infested regions to reduce tick exposure. The bacterium can also be prevented from spreading by doing routine tick inspections and promptly removing any adhering ticks.

A journey through time: Tracing the history of Ehrlichia ewingii

In the southeastern United States, a tick-borne illness affecting dogs was initially linked to Ehrlichia ewingii in 1999. The disease's clinical symptoms and pathology were initially described by veterinary parasitologist Dr. Edward B. Ewing, who was also one of the bacterium's namesakes.

Ehrlichia ewingii infection in humans was first documented in 2002 when a patient in Missouri who had a Peripheral Blood Smear febrile illness was also discovered to have antibodies to the bacteria. Since that time, several further cases of Ehrlichia ewingii infection in humans have been documented in the United States, primarily in the southeastern and midwestern areas.

Ehrlichia ewingii is a member of a broader bacterial family known as the Ehrlichia and Anaplasma species, which infects ticks and spreads to people and other animals through tick bites. Numerous diseases transmitted by ticks can be brought on by these bacteria, such as human monocytic ehrlichiosis, MRI Brain which is brought on by Ehrlichia chaffeensis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, which is brought on by Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which is brought on by Rickettsia rickettsii.

Ehrlichia ewingii's discovery has brought attention to the significance of tick-borne illnesses as a public health issue and has stimulated greater research and prevention efforts for these infections in both people and animals.

Ehrlichia ewingii: Small in size, big in impact

Some salient features of Ehrlichia ewingii morphology

  • Small, gram-negative bacterium
  • Coccoid or oval-shaped
  • Approximately 0.5 to 1.5 micrometers in diameter
  • Dense, irregularly shaped organism
  • Surrounded by a thick cell wall
  • Has a cytoplasmic membrane and central nucleoid containing genetic material
  • The obligate intracellular bacterium that can only survive and replicate inside host cells
  • Enters host cells by phagocytosis
  • Infects a variety of host cells, including monocytes, macrophages, and granulocytes

These morphological features are important for understanding the biology of Ehrlichia ewingii and its ability to cause disease in humans and animals.

From tick to host: Tracing the life cycle of Ehrlichia ewingii

The life cycle of Ehrlichia ewingii is intricate and includes several phases, including transmission, entrance into host cells, intracellular replication, and escape from host cells. The life cycle of Ehrlichia ewingii has the following notable characteristics:


An infected tick, typically of the Amblyomma americanum species, bites a dog or person and passes on Ehrlichia ewingii.

Entry into host cells

After the tick bite, the bacteria enter the circulation of the host and are then ingested by white blood cells known as monocytes, macrophages, and granulocytes. The bacteria attach to and enter these cells through specialized surface proteins.

Intracellular Replication

Ehrlichia ewingii exploits the machinery of the host cell to reproduce and proliferate once it has entered the host cells (intracellular replication). Under a microscope, morulae, which are bacterial clusters, may be observed.

Exit from host cells

After replicating, the bacteria force the host cell to rupture, allowing the germs to escape into circulation. The replication and infection cycle can then be continued by these liberated bacteria by infecting more cells.


Ehrlichia ewingii can continue to cause chronic infections in the host for months to years. Other tissues that the bacteria can infect include the bone marrow and lymph nodes, where they can continue to reproduce and harm those tissues.

The life cycle of Ehrlichia ewingii, which includes several phases of infection and multiplication within Giemsa Stain host cells, is intricate overall. To create ways to identify, treat, and prevent infection with this tick-borne disease, it is crucial to comprehend its life cycle.

When ticks bite: The pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of Ehrlichia ewingii infection

There are several clinical signs associated with Ehrlichia ewingii infection, ranging in severity from moderate to severe. Here are some key characteristics of an infection brought on by Ehrlichia ewingii:

Incubation Period 

Ehrlichia ewingii infection normally takes 1-3 weeks following a tick bite to become contagious.

Acute symptoms

Fever, lethargic behavior, anorexia, joint discomfort, and muscular soreness are all possible during the acute stage of infection.

Chronic Symptoms

prolonged symptoms can develop from Ehrlichia ewingii infection if it is not treated. These symptoms include prolonged fever, weight loss, anemia, and neurologic signs like ataxia or convulsions.


Ehrlichia ewingii infection has a usually positive outcome with quick diagnosis and treatment. In rare instances, nevertheless, untreated infections might result in fatal consequences and severe problems.

In general, Ehrlichia ewingii infection can produce a variety of symptoms and can be challenging to identify. Antibiotic therapy should start right away to reduce problems and enhance results.

The diagnosis dilemma: Challenges and advances in detecting Ehrlichia ewingii in clinical settings

Clinical assessment, laboratory tests, and imaging techniques are frequently used to make the diagnosis of Ehrlichia ewingii infection. The following are some typical techniques for diagnosing Ehrlichia ewingii infection:

Blood testing

Blood tests can find Ehrlichia ewingii antibodies in the body. In general, these tests are carried out utilizing indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing. The DNA of the bacteria in the blood can also be found using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) assays.

Complete blood count (CBC)

A CBC can be used to detect Ehrlichia ewingii infection-related symptoms such as increased liver enzymes, low platelet count, and low white blood cell count, which are all typical results.

Imaging tests

Imaging tests, such X-rays or ultrasounds, can be performed to look for signs of inflammation in the joints or other organs as well as to rule out other possible explanations of symptoms.

Clinical assessment

To detect any possible risk factors for Ehrlichia ewingii infection, such as recent tick bites or exposure to tick habitats, a complete clinical evaluation is essential. This evaluation should include a physical exam and a review of medical history.

Serological Testing 

Ehrlichia ewingii is the target of serologic testing, which looks for antibodies to the pathogen. To check for antibodies against the bacterium, blood samples are collected and examined in a lab.

Differential diagnosis is essential to separate Ehrlichia ewingii infection from other illnesses, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or other tick-borne diseases, that may present with comparable symptoms.

The diagnosis of Ehrlichia ewingii infection may be supported by a combination of several diagnostic techniques. To avoid problems and enhance results, early diagnosis, and treatment are crucial.

Fighting back against tick-borne diseases: Treatment options for Ehrlichia ewingii infection 

Ehrlichia ewingii infection is normally treated with a course of antibiotics, such as doxycycline, for several weeks. Rifampin or azithromycin are two other antibiotics that could be utilized. The following are some essential ideas to bear in mind when treating an infection with Ehrlichia ewingii:

Early diagnosis : Prompt treatment is essential to preventing problems and improving results. Early diagnosis is also crucial. Delays in treatment may cause the disease to progress more severely.

Antibiotics : Doxycycline, which is administered for a duration of two to four weeks, is the first-line antibiotic therapy for Ehrlichia ewingii infection. Patients who are allergic to or cannot tolerate doxycycline may take other antibiotics.

Hospitalization: Patients with severe diseases or problems, as well as those who are unable to take oral drugs, may need to be admitted.

Supportive treatment: Patients with severe dehydration or electrolyte abnormalities may require supportive care, such as fluid and electrolyte management.


It's crucial to schedule follow-up appointments with a medical professional to check on how the therapy is working and to make sure the infection has completely disappeared.

Avoiding tick bites by donning protective clothes, applying insect repellent, and avoiding tick habitats is essential for preventing Ehrlichia ewingii infection. Tick removal as soon as possible can help lower the danger of infection.

Antibiotics are often a successful method of treating Ehrlichia ewingii infections, particularly when detected and handled quickly. To ensure that the infection completely resolves, treatment should be given by a healthcare professional, and regular follow-up is crucial.

Don't let Ehrlichia ewingii take a bite out of you: Protect yourself from tick-borne disease.