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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2004 Jan;70(1):98-101.

Imported spotted fever rickettsioses in United States travelers returning from Africa: a summary of cases confirmed by laboratory testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1999-2002.

Author information

  • 1Viral and Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, and Infectious Disease Pathology Activity, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA. fzh7@cdc.gov

Abstract

The increasing popularity of foreign travel and ecotourism places travelers at increased risk for certain tick-borne diseases. From 1999 through 2002, 31 cases of imported spotted fever-group rickettsioses (SFGR) in United States residents reporting travel to Africa were confirmed by laboratory testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nineteen patients (61%) reported visiting South Africa prior to illness onset. Most patients reported fever and one or more eschars; rash was reported for only 26% of the patients. Twelve patients had an initial non-reactive acute-phase serum sample obtained a median of three days after illness onset, and were confirmed by testing a second convalescent-phase serum sample obtained a median of 32 days after illness onset. Five patients were confirmed positive through immunohistochemical staining of skin biopsies, including three patients with acute-phase serum samples that tested negative for SFGR. This study emphasizes the importance of evaluating convalescent-phase serum specimens 28 days or more after illness onset or examining skin biopsies by immunohistochemical staining during early infection to confirm a diagnosis of imported SFGR.

PMID:
14971705
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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