Molecular Evidence for Flea-Borne Rickettsiosis in Febrile Patients from Madagascar.
Rickettsiae may cause febrile infections in humans in tropical and subtropical regions. From Madagascar, no molecular data on the role of rickettsioses in febrile patients are available. Blood samples from patients presenting with fever in the area of the capital Antananarivo were screened for the presence of rickettsial DNA. EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) blood from 1020 patients presenting with pyrexia > 38.5 °C was analyzed by gltA-specific qPCR. Positive samples were confirmed by ompB-specific qPCR. From confirmed samples, the gltA amplicons were sequenced and subjected to phylogenetic analysis. From five gltA-reactive samples, two were confirmed by ompB-specific qPCR. The gltA sequence in the sample taken from a 38-year-old female showed 100% homology with R. typhi. The other sample taken from a 1.5-year-old infant was 100% homologous to R. felis. Tick-borne rickettsiae were not identified. The overall rate of febrile patients with molecular evidence for a rickettsial infection from the Madagascan study site was 0.2% (2/1020 patients). Flea-borne rickettsiosis is a rare but neglected cause of infection in Madagascar. Accurate diagnosis may prompt adequate antimicrobial treatment.
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Bill & (OPPGH5231)