STOCKHOLM, April 29 — A new study led by Gothenburg University in Sweden has shown that neoehrlichiosis, the newly discovered tick-borne bacterium, is primarily a risk for immune suppressed persons, said the university in a statement on Monday.
The study, which is carried out by researchers from Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, shows that the risky group are those who are already sick or are receiving immunosuppressive drugs, said the statement.
"Those who run the greatest risk are generally over the age of 50 years, suffer either from a haematological disease or a rheumatic disease, and are currently undergoing immunosuppressive treatment with, for example, chemotherapy or cortisone," said Christine Wenneras, scientist at the Sahlgrenska Academy of Gothenburg University.
The tick-borne bacterium, which is spread by rodents and ticks mainly in Asia and Europe, has been found in 19 cases worldwide, with six cases in Sweden.
The bacterium is usually known as "candidatus neoehrlichia mikurensis", which has a short name "neoehrlichia" in the medical world and was discovered and described for the first time in a scientific article in 2010.
However, no figures are available for how common the tick-borne infection neoehrlichiosis is in humans, which is mainly due to the infection being difficult to detect.
Once neoehrlichiosis has been diagnosed, the patients recover completely after treatment with antibiotics. (PNA/Xinhua)