A retrospective serosurvey for antibodies to Ehrlichia chaffeensis was conducted on eight species of wild rodents (Mus musculus, Oryzomys palustris, Peromysctts leucopns, Rattus norvegicus, Reithrodontomys humulis, Sciurus carolinensis, Sciurus niger, and Sigmodon hispidus) from the southeastern United States. Serum samples (n = 281) collected between 1973 and 1993 were evaluated using an indirect fluorescent antibody test. All samples, screened at a dilution of 1:32, were negative for antibodies to E. chaffeensis. Sixty-three percent of the rodents tested were from areas where E. chaffeensis has been confirmed or is strongly suspected to be endemic. These data suggest limited or no involvement of rodents in the epidemiology of E. chaffeensis.
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Vol. 34 • No. 2