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Emerg Infect Dis. 2007 Apr;13(4):566-73.

Flinders Island spotted fever rickettsioses caused by "marmionii" strain of Rickettsia honei, Eastern Australia.

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  • 1Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory, Geelong, Victoria, Australia.


Australia has 4 rickettsial diseases: murine typhus, Queensland tick typhus, Flinders Island spotted fever, and scrub typhus. We describe 7 cases of a rickettsiosis with an acute onset and symptoms of fever (100%), headache (71%), arthralgia (43%), myalgia (43%), cough (43%), maculopapular/petechial rash (43%), nausea (29%), pharyngitis (29%), lymphadenopathy (29%), and eschar (29%). Cases were most prevalent in autumn and from eastern Australia, including Queensland, Tasmania, and South Australia. One patient had a history of tick bite (Haemaphysalis novaeguineae). An isolate shared 99.2%, 99.8%, 99.8%, 99.9%, and 100% homology with the 17 kDa, ompA, gltA, 16S rRNA, and Sca4 genes, respectively, of Rickettsia honei. This Australian rickettsiosis has similar symptoms to Flinders Island spotted fever, and the strain is genetically related to R. honei. It has been designated the "marmionii" strain of R. honei, in honor of Australian physician and scientist Barrie Marmion.

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