The lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (L.), has increased in abundance in several regions of the northeastern United States, including areas of Long Island, NY. Adult and nymphal stage A. americanum collected from several sites on Long Island were evaluated for infection with Ehrlichia chaffeensis, the causative agent of human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME), by using a nested polymerase chain reaction assay. Fifty-nine (12.5%) of ,17.3 adults and eight of 11.3 pools of five nymphs each (estimated minimum prevalence of infection 1.4%) contained DNA of E. chaffeensis. These data, coupled with the documented expansion of lone star tick populations in the northeastern United States, confirm that E. chaffeensis is endemic to many areas of Long Island and that HME should be considered among the differential diagnoses of the many distinct tick-borne diseases that occur in this region.
Additional publication details
Detection of Ehrlichia chaffeensis in adult and nymphal stage lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum) from Long Island, New York