Q fever, spotted fever group, and typhus group rickettsioses among hospitalized febrile patients in northern Tanzania.
The importance of Q fever, spotted fever group rickettsiosis (SFGR), and typhus group rickettsiosis (TGR) as causes of febrile illness in sub-Saharan Africa is unknown; the putative role of Q fever as a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection is unclear.We identified febrile inpatients in Moshi, Tanzania, from September 2007 through August 2008 and collected acute- and convalescent-phase serum samples. A ≥4-fold increase in immunoglobulin (Ig) G immunfluorescence assay (IFA) titer to Coxiella burnetii phase II antigen defined acute Q fever. A ≥4-fold increase in IgG IFA titer to Rickettsia conorii or Rickettsia typhi antigen defined SFGR and TGR, respectively.Among 870 patients, 483 (55.5%) were tested for acute Q fever, and 450 (51.7%) were tested for acute SFGR and TGR. Results suggested acute Q fever in 24 (5.0%) patients and SFGR and TGR in 36 (8.0%) and 2 (0.5%) patients, respectively. Acute Q fever was associated with hepato- or splenomegaly (odds ratio [OR], 3.1; P = .028), anemia (OR, 3.0; P = .009), leukopenia (OR, 3.9; P = .013), jaundice (OR, 7.1; P = .007), and onset during the dry season (OR, 2.7; P = .021). HIV infection was not associated with acute Q fever (OR, 1.7; P = .231). Acute SFGR was associated with leukopenia (OR, 4.1; P = .003) and with evidence of other zoonoses (OR, 2.2; P = .045).Despite being common causes of febrile illness in northern Tanzania, Q fever and SFGR are not diagnosed or managed with targeted antimicrobials. C. burnetii does not appear to be an HIV-associated co-infection.
Prabhu, M; Nicholson, WL; Roche, AJ; Kersh, GJ; Fitzpatrick, KA; Oliver, LD; Massung, RF; Morrissey, AB; Bartlett, JA; Onyango, JJ; Maro, VP; Kinabo, GD; Saganda, W; Crump, JA
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