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Tick-borne illnesses are caused by infection with a variety of disease-causing pathogens, including rickettsia and other types of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Because ticks can harbor more than one disease-causing agent, persons can be infected with more than one pathogen at the same time.

While there are several different ticks that carry disease, the one many people are familiar with is Ixodes scapularis, more commonly known as the deer or bear tick in North America. This is the one that causes Lyme disease. Other ticks that transmit B. burgdorferi are the Ixodes dammini and the Ixodes pacificus. Ticks that transmit other diseases include the lone star tick
(A. americanum), the dog tick, wood tick, and the Western Black-legged tick.

Ehrlichiosis is a recently recognized bacterial (rickettsiae) disease that is spread by infected ticks. Two types of human ehrlichiosis have been identified in the U.S.: human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE). The disease attacks different types of white blood cells (either monocytes or granulocytes). Evidence suggests that the lone star tick transmits HME and the deer tick transmits HGE.

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The Medifocus Guide on Ehrlichiosis provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:

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