What is ehrlichia?

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Ehrlichia is a type of bacteria that belongs to the genus rickettsiales.  This particular bacterium is named after Paul Ehrlich, the German microbiologist who discovered it.  Ehrlichia is said to infect mostly animals, especially mammals, and so may also spread to humans.  This type of bacteria is said to attack the white blood cells of a particular animal and can be spread through insect bites, especially those from ticks of different species.  Since ticks contribute to the spread of ehrlichia, infection is common among dogs.  The condition called ehrlichiosis in dogs refers to an infection caused by the ehrlichia bacteria.

Ehrlichia is known to cause ruptures in the cell membranes during the final stages of infection.  Initially, though, this bacteria will try to penetrate the cell filopodia but eventually spread to the cell membranes and cause it to rupture.  When this happens, it will trigger the start of deep inflammation in the host’s body and will cause sickness.

Infection from ehrlichia can be classified or grouped depending on the type of white blood cells that are attacked or infected.  In the case of granulocytes, the infection is called Ehrlichia equi.  For monocytes, it is called Ehrlichia canis, and it is called Ehrlichia platys when the cells being attacked are the platelets.

As for infections in dogs, various ticks, including Brown ticks and Lone Star ticks, can result in different types of ehrlichia infections.  In the early stages of infection, which could last up to three weeks, the platelet count in dogs usually drops, and this will lead to obvious signs of sickness in dogs.  Some dogs will have enlarged lymph nodes, and others will have fever.  As the infection progresses, some dogs may suffer from abnormal bleeding that is due to inflammation from deep within the blood cells.  For any suspicion of ehrlichia infection, early consultation with medical experts is highly encouraged.

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