Researchers have found a new species, but it is no cause for celebration. The new, still unnamed species, is a germ transmitted by tick bites. In humans, it causes fever, headache, fatigue and muscle aches. It appears very similar to the tick-borne disease called ehrlichiosis, but DNA testing shows that the pathogen is a related but different species. The disease is showing up in both ticks and humans in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Fortunately, it responds to doxycycline, the same antibiotic that is used to treat ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
[New England Journal of Medicine, Aug. 4, 2011]