2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Comparison of Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis Seasonality & Incidence in Two Missouri Ecoregions


Katherine Andrews* and Kimberlyn Eversman
Dr. Stephanie Fore and Dr. Hyun-Joo Kim, Faculty Mentors

Human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) is a zoonotic illness caused by the bacterial pathogen Ehrlichia chaffeensis. This pathogen may be transmitted from an infected host to a human through the bite of Amblyomma americanum, the lone star tick. Data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MO DHSS) were used to compare the seasonality and incidence of HME from 1999-2015 in two Missouri ecoregions, Eastern Temperate Forest and Great Plains. The start, peak, and end of the HME season was determined using calculus-based methods. Though the data suggest greater increase in incidence of HME in the Eastern Temperate Forest, there is no statistical difference in the seasonality of HME between the ecoregions studied. Understanding disease seasonality and changes in disease incidence will allow for the effective implementation of public health campaigns regarding treatment and prevention of HME, as well as other infectious diseases vectored by the lone star tick.

Keywords: human monocytic ehrlichiosis, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, disease prevention

Topic(s):Biology
Statistics

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 3-9
Location: GEO - SUB
Time: 3:30

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