Anaplasmosis Associated with Human Fatality in Vermont

In this case report, authors describe a human fatality associated with an acute tick-borne infection, human granulocytic anaplasmosis caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum. This case occurred in a resident of Vermont. The person presented with multiple comorbidities. Authors recommend that clinicians be aware of the risk factors for severe presentations of this infection and to treat expeditiously when the disease is suspected.

Co-author, Natalie A. Kwit, DVM, MPH (State Public Health Veterinarian at the Vermont Department of Health) stated in a response to an inquiry from the LDA, “Anaplasmosis is an acute febrile illness caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum primarily transmitted by the bite of infected Ixodes scapularis ticks. The incidence of anaplasmosis is highest in the northeastern and upper midwestern United States. Reported cases have steadily increased over time, and in Vermont, the number of reported cases of anaplasmosis nearly doubled each year during 2012–2017. A recent anaplasmosis-related fatality case report highlights that clinicians in hyperendemic areas should be aware of this emerging disease and its more severe presentations, and presumptively treat with doxycycline upon suspicionPrompt recognition and early treatment, especially in persons at higher risk for severe outcomes such as advanced age and comorbidities, should help reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with this disease.”

Access to the full case report can be found here

Read more LDA articles on anaplasmosis here