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Lancet Infect Dis. 2003 Sep;3(9):557-64.

African tick bite fever.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Aker University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.


African tick bite fever is an acute febrile illness that is frequently accompanied by headache, prominent neck muscle myalgia, inoculation eschars, and regional lymphadenitis. The disease is caused by Rickettsia africae, a recently identified spotted fever group rickettsia, which is transmitted by ungulate ticks of the Amblyomma genus in rural sub-Saharan Africa and the French West Indies. Whereas reports on African tick bite fever in indigenous populations are scarce, the number of reported cases in travellers from Europe and elsewhere has recently increased significantly. Treatment with doxycycline is associated with rapid recovery in most patients. An immunofluorescence assay is recommended for the diagnosis but seroconversion is commonly delayed and this limits the usefulness of the test. Travellers to endemic areas should be informed of the risk of contracting African tick bite fever and be encouraged to take personal protective measures against tick bites.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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