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Serological evidence of rickettsial infections in and around Davangere

Raghu Kumar KG, Tejashree P, Basavarajappa KG.

Background: Fever of unknown origin (FUO) is one of the main causes of rickettsial infections. They are underestimated public health problems because of the difficulties with the clinical diagnosis and lack of laboratory methods in many geographical areas. The treatment is simple with doxycycline being the drug of choice.

Objective: To know the serological evidence of rickettsial infections in and around Davangere.

Materials and Methods: A prospective study was carried out for a period of 6 months in a tertiary-care center, Karnataka, India. The serum samples from 60 FUO cases were analyzed for rickettsial antibodies by Weil–Felix test.

Result: Rickettsial antibodies were detected in 14 (23.33%) samples, of which 7 (50%) were positive for scrub typhus, 1 (7.14%) each for spotted fever group and typhus fever group, and 5 (35.71%) for more than one rickettsial illnesses. Seropositivity was higher among male subjects (57.14%) when compared with female subjects (42.86%). The maximum positivity (38.46%) was in the 46–60 years age group. The cases were more from August to October.

Conclusion: Rickettsial infections, particularly, scrub typhus, should be included in the differential diagnosis of FUO in and around Davangere region. This is, especially, after rainy season and during early cooler months.

Key words: Fever of unknown origin, Weil–Felix test, rickettsial infections, Davangere

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