This is the dark saga of Anaplasma phagocytophilum
That lurks inside white-footed mice and white-tailed deer.
Ferried by blood-thirsty ticks in the sticks,
This Anaplasma soul is passed on to its bodily incarnations—
Larva to nymph to tick.
A new generation of infected vampires is born.
Our love for the outdoors encroaches on tick territory.
A tick bite injects Anaplasma storming defender neutrophils,
Using MSP2 hooks to scale the walls.
Zombie neutrophils forget to defend—the aliens multiply into a morula.
Natural killer cells spew IFN-γ to inflame the fire
That reaches a feverish frenzy of cell death.
Now whether the man lives or dies, it is the end of the road for Anaplasma.
It has reached Moksha liberation from the cycles of death and rebirth.
Dr. Vora is a physician at Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Norwich, Connecticut. His research interests are adult medicine, lung diseases, intensive care, and sleep disorders.