Disease Name

Anaplasmosis

Vector Information

Anaplasmosis is a disease caused by the bacterium Annaplasma phagocytophilium and is normally transmitted through the bite of the blacklegged tick and the western blacklegged tick. It was previously known as human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) and has more recently been called human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA). Anaplasmosis is preventable, if simple steps are taken to reduce exposure to ticks.

There have been instances of anaplasmosis being transmitted through blood transfusions and organ transplantation. The nymphal and adult ticks are the most commonly associated stages to transmit this bacteria to humans. Typical symptoms of anaplasmosis include fever, headache, chills, malaise, nausea, confusion, and muscle aches. Symptom onset occurs within 1-2 weeks of the tick bite. Diagnosis is made by a healthcare professional and is based on symptoms and clinical presentation and is later confirmed by laboratory tests. Treatment of anaplasmosis is antibiotics. If antibiotics are started within the first 5 days of the disease, then symptoms generally subside within 24-72 hours. Treatment normally lasts 7 to 14 days.  If left untreated, anaplasmosis can be fatal. Severe symptoms include difficulty breathing, hemorrhage, renal failure, or neurological problems. Immune-compromised individuals may develop more severe symptoms than normally healthy individuals.