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      Rickettsia typhi IN RODENTS AND R. felis IN FLEAS IN YUCATÁN AS A POSSIBLE CAUSAL AGENT OF UNDEFINED FEBRILE CASES

      Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo

      Instituto de Medicina Tropical

      Murine typhus, Rickettsia typhi, Rodents

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          Abstract

          Rickettsia typhi is the causal agent of murine typhus; a worldwide zoonotic and vector-borne infectious disease, commonly associated with the presence of domestic and wild rodents. Human cases of murine typhus in the state of Yucatán are frequent. However, there is no evidence of the presence of Rickettsia typhi in mammals or vectors in Yucatán. The presence of Rickettsia in rodents and their ectoparasites was evaluated in a small municipality of Yucatán using the conventional polymerase chain reaction technique and sequencing. The study only identified the presence of Rickettsia typhi in blood samples obtained from Rattus rattus and it reported, for the first time, the presence of R. felis in the flea Polygenis odiosus collected from Ototylomys phyllotis rodent. Additionally, Rickettsia felis was detected in the ectoparasite Ctenocephalides felis fleas parasitizing the wild rodent Peromyscus yucatanicus. This study’s results contributed to a better knowledge of Rickettsia epidemiology in Yucatán.

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          Most cited references 42

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          Murine typhus: an unrecognized suburban vectorborne disease.

           Van Ngo,  Rachel Civen (2008)
          Murine typhus, an acute febrile illness caused by Rickettsia typhi, is distributed worldwide. Mainly transmitted by the fleas of rodents, it is associated with cities and ports where urban rats (Rattus rattus and Rattus norvegicus) are abundant. In the United States, cases are concentrated in suburban areas of Texas and California. Contrary to the classic rat-flea-rat cycle, the most important reservoirs of infection in these areas are opossums and cats. The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, has been identified as the principal vector. In Texas, murine typhus cases occur in spring and summer, whereas, in California, cases have been documented in summer and fall. Most patients present with fever, and many have rash and headache. Serologic testing with the indirect immunofluorescence assay is the preferred diagnostic method. Doxycycline is the antibiotic of choice and has been shown to shorten the course of illness.
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            Geographic Association of Rickettsia felis-Infected Opossums with Human Murine Typhus, Texas

            Application of molecular diagnostic technology in the past 10 years has resulted in the discovery of several new species of pathogenic rickettsiae, including Rickettsia felis. As more sequence information for rickettsial genes has become available, the data have been used to reclassify rickettsial species and to develop new diagnostic tools for analysis of mixed rickettsial pathogens. R. felis has been associated with opossums and their fleas in Texas and California. Because R. felis can cause human illness, we investigated the distribution dynamics in the murine typhus–endemic areas of these two states. The geographic distribution of R. felis-infected opossum populations in two well-established endemic foci overlaps with that of the reported human cases of murine typhus. Descriptive epidemiologic analysis of 1998 human cases in Corpus Christi, Texas, identified disease patterns consistent with studies done in the 1980s. A close geographic association of seropositive opossums (22% R. felis; 8% R. typhi) with human murine typhus cases was also observed.
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              Natural history of Rickettsia rickettsii.

               J McDade,  V Newhouse (1985)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                S0036-46652015000200129
                10.1590/S0036-46652015000200005

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Infectious disease & Microbiology

                Murine typhus, Rickettsia typhi, Rodents

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