Anaplasmosis: Review of Neurological Symptoms

Brain MRIInfectious Disease Reports (Cosiquien, R.J.S., et al.) 06.26.2023 published “Anaplasma phagocytophilum Encephalitis: A Case Report and Literature Review of Neurologic Manifestations of Anaplasmosis.” In this case report, authors describe the serious neurologic manifestation of anaplasmosis in a 62 year old man from Wisconsin, and present a review of rare and rarely reported yet serious neurological manifestations of this infection. 

The Wisconsin man developed encephalitis due to an Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection after a known tick-bite. He had no symptoms typical of infection at the time of the tick-bite, but presented to the emergency room 4 weeks later with fever, headache, confusion and difficulty with speech. Notable was that this patient did not have changes observable on the MRI that are suggestive of encephalitis; and that the sensitivity of an MRI for the diagnosis of encephalitis is about 80%, therefore a negative MRI can not rule out disease. The patient responded well to treatment with intravenous doxycycline without ongoing neurological issues.

Authors suggest that clinicians in tick endemic areas should be considering tick-borne diseases in patients presenting with neurological symptoms and note that early and accurate diagnosis and treatment is favorable to patient outcome.

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