Mild Infections with Multiple Spotted Fever Grouped Rickettsia Species among Forest Rangers with Tick Bites

Announcing a new article publication for Zoonoses journal.   Tick-borne rickettsiae are increasingly recognized to cause human infections; however, a complete clinical spectrum is lacking. This surveillance study was conducted among forest rangers with tick bites to describe the clinical manifestations.

One hundred fifty-nine blood samples were obtained from individuals bitten by ticks and 780 tick samples collected in the same endemic region were examined for the presence of Rickettsia. Serum samples were tested for IgM and IgG antibodies against R. heilongjiangensis.

Twenty-five (15.7%) individuals were shown to be infected with 5 Rickettsia species, including 14 Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae (CRT), 8 R. raoultii, 1 R. felis, 1 R. heilongjiangensis, and 1 R. massiliae. Five individuals (1 CRT, 1 R. heilongjiangensis, and 3 R. raoultii) had mild illnesses; the other 20 individuals were asymptomatic. CRT was present in 38.4% (274/713) of I. persulcatus and 6.4% (3/47) of Hae. concinnaR. raoultii was demonstrated in 30.0% (6/20) of D. silvarum and 14.9% (7/17) of Hae. concinnaR. heilongjiangensis was detected in 9.5% (2/21) of D. silvarum and 0.3% (2/713) of I. persulcatus.

The clinical manifestations of these rickettsioses were non-specific and differed from traditional features, thus supporting the necessity of wider investigations involving individuals with tick bites to develop an early differential diagnosis.

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eISSN 2737-7474

ISSN 2737-7466

Yong-Xiang Wu, Wen-Jun Liang and Fang Tang et al. Mild Infections with Multiple Spotted Fever Grouped Rickettsia Species among Forest Rangers with Tick Bites. Zoonoses. 2023. Vol. 3(1). DOI: 10.15212/ZOONOSES-2023-0010