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Rev Med Suisse. 2012 May 9;8(340):978-82, 984-5.

[Rickettsial diseases in Switzerland, update for the general practitioner].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service de médecine internationale et humanitaire, HUG, Genève 14.


Rickettsial diseases are arthropod-borne zoonosis. They are still misdiagnosed in Switzerland. Since development in molecular genetics, number of pathogenic species increased dramatically. In recent years, the incidence rise worldwide. Climatic conditions and development of tropical travels could explain it. In a near future, the Swiss general practitioner may face an increase of cases. Clinical presentation is unspecified. The eschar is the key diagnostic element but can be easily overlooked. Serology, the indirect immunofluorescence assay is the reference method. PCR can give the diagnosis in acute phase. However empirical treatment should be prescribed as soon as diagnosis is suspected. No vaccine is currently available and use of repellent is still the best way of prevention.

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