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VOLUME 25 , ISSUE S2 ( May, 2021 ) > List of Articles

INVITED ARTICLE

Scrub Typhus and Other Rickettsial Infections

Karthik Gunasekaran, Deepti Bal, George M. Varghese

Keywords : Rickettsial diseases, Scrub typhus, Spotted fever

Citation Information :

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23841

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-05-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


Abstract

Scrub typhus and other rickettsial infections contribute to 25 – 50% of acute undifferentiated febrile illnesses in endemic regions. Delayed recognition and therapy increase the morbidity and mortality. The constellation of fever with eschar or rash and multisystem involvement should facilitate the diagnosis and initiation of appropriate therapy. The pathological hallmark of rickettsial infections is endothelial infection and inflammation causing vasculitis. Endothelial inflammation results in microvascular dysfunction and increased vascular permeability. Immune and endothelial activation may worsen microvascular dysfunction, predisposing to multi-organ failure. Serology is the mainstay of diagnosis, although false negatives occur early in the disease. Point-of-care rapid diagnostic tests and molecular techniques, such as quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), can hasten diagnostic processes. Intravenous doxycycline with a loading dose is the most widely used antibiotic in critically ill patients, with azithromycin as a suitable alternative. Early appropriate treatment and organ support can decrease the duration of illness and be life-saving.


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