Seroepidemiology of Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis in Uttar Pradesh: A Prospective Study DC04-DC09
Dr. Mastan Singh,
Department of Microbiology, King Georges Medical University, Lucknow-226003, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Introduction: Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis (SFR), an acute febrile illness caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, R. conorii and R. akari which is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. SFR is one of the most covert emerging infections of the present time which is prevalent in various parts of India as shown by the increase in the number of clinically diagnosed patients in various states except Uttar Pradesh.
Aim: To diagnose SFR in clinically suspected patients using serological tests and recognition of common epidemiologic situations and clinical manifestations of SFR in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Materials and Methods: Patients of all age groups presented with a diagnosis of Pyrexia of Unknown Origin (PUO) from May 2013 to February 2015 were evaluated. Testing was done using a nonspecific Weil felix test followed by more specific Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and a gold standard Immunofluorescence Assay (IFA) test for specific IgM antibodies against Rickettsia conorii. The data was statistically analysed on Graph Pad Prism (5.0) software by using Chi-square test.
Results: Of the 432 patient samples tested by non specific Weil felix test, 200 (46.29 %) samples showed titre 1:80 or more and were taken as positive. Similarly out of the 432 blood samples tested by both ELISA and IFA based test against Rickettsia conorii IgM antibody, only 115 (26.62%) samples were found to be positive and these samples were also positive by Weil felix. The common symptoms noted were fever, hepatomegaly, thrombocytopenia, lymphadenopathy and rashes, nausea followed by icterus, cyanosis, headache, oedema and abdominal pain. Eschar was found in only four (3.4%) patients. We also found that 31 patients with SFR also had associated co-infections like typhoid, malaria, dengue and hepatitis.
Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated that Weil Felix test can fill in as an underlying yet not sole strategy to perceive and analyse rickettsial ailments, as it needs specificity. So, it may be used to assess the burden in the area and later on other tests like ELISA or IFA can be added, as these are more specific diagnostic tests. Further, our results also showed that if a patient tests positive for the more common endemic infections, we must test for rickettsiosis so that appropriate treatment could be administered.