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Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2012 Dec;3(5-6):364-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2012.10.017. Epub 2012 Oct 22.

Human rickettsioses in the Batna area, eastern Algeria.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Batna Hospital, Algeria.


In order to investigate the prevalence of rickettsioses in febrile exanthemas in eastern Algeria, we conducted a prospective serological analysis of all patients presenting with this clinical picture at the Infectious Diseases Department in the Batna Hospital from January 2000 to September 2006. One hundred and eight adult patients were included in the study, 46% of whom younger than 25 years, and 72.5% were admitted from May to September. Patients were tested for antibodies to Rickettsia conorii conorii, R. conorii israelensis, R. aeschlimannii, R. felis, R. sibirica mongolitimonae, R. africae, R. massiliae, R. typhi, and R. prowazekii using microimmunofluorescence and Western blot as confirmation procedure. Both methods confirmed the diagnosis of Mediterranean spotted fever in 5 patients (4.6%), flea spotted fever in 2 patients (1.9%), and R. aeschlimannii infection in 2 patients (1.9%). In addition, 4 patients were diagnosed as having murine typhus (3.7%) and one with epidemic typhus (0.9%). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of R. felis infection and R. aeschlimannii infection in Algeria. In conclusion, at least 5 different kinds of rickettsiosis coexist in eastern Algeria and, being responsible for 13% of cases of febrile exanthemas, should be considered among major causes of this clinical picture in this area. In addition, we emphasize the high incidence of typhus group rickettioses, including epidemic typhus, in this area.

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