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New Bacterium Found Causing Tick-Borne Illness Ehrlichiosis in Wisconsin and Minnesota

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A new tick-borne bacterium infecting humans with ehrlichiosis has been discovered in Wisconsin and Minnesota. It was identified as a new strain of bacteria through DNA testing conducted at Mayo Clinic. The findings appear in the Aug. 4 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Doctors at Mayo Clinic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin, and state and local health departments say the new species from the Ehrlichia genus can cause a feverish illness in humans. The new bacterium, not yet named, has been identified in more than 25 people and found in black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis), in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Researchers used culture and genetic analyses.

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