Standardization of the diagnostic criteria for canine ehrlichiosis: Towards a universal case definition

Ibulaimu Kakoma, Angel Sainz, Miguel Tesouro, Inmaculada Amusategui, K. I.M. Chang-Hyun, Jane Biggerstaff, John McPeak, M. G. Levy, Nashville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Canine ehrlichiosis is a highly variable syndrome presenting a significant differential diagnostic difficulty. It imitates many metabolic and infectious diseases and lacks standardized diagnostic criteria, common reagents, and database resources. A clinical diagnosis of canine ehrlichiosis may be based on the manifestation of fever, thrombocytopenia, anorexia, nasolacrimal discharge, epistaxis, and exclusion of autoimmune and common canine vector borne diseases. These parameters are not invariably observed especially in the atypical form of the disease often caused by species other than Ehrlichia canis. A definitive diagnosis is based on the presence of specific antibodies to ehrlichial agent(s), the demonstration of the etiologic agent(s) itself, or specific amplicons by a strigently quality controlled PCR protocol. The relationship of the various clinical and laboratory parameters, the status of the currently available tests, and their real or presumed predictive value are discussed in the context of stimulating an effort to formulate an international standard for the diagnosis of this and related diseases of man and animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-403
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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