Ehrlichiosis, also known as “Tropical Canine Pancytopenia” or “Canine Rickettsiosis”, is a tick-borne disease caused by obligate intracellular bacteria of the genus Ehrlichia. Ehrlichiosis is a common co-infection in Lyme disease patients. Ehrlichiosis is parasitic infection and has a variety of symptoms including sudden high fever and kidney failure. Most patients reported symptom onset in Australia without recent overseas travel.
Doxycycline and minocycline are the medications of choice. For people allergic to antibiotics of the tetracycline class, rifampin is an alternative. Australia’s current biosecurity measures for canine ehrlichiosis include serological testing for Ehrlichia canis (E. canis). A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is available and is typically used for detecting the presence of E. canis in the plasma in the early stages of clinical disease.