Spotted fever in Brazil: a seroepidemiological study and description of clinical cases in an endemic area in the state of São Paulo

E R de Lemos, F B Alvarenga, M L Cintra, M C Ramos, C D Paddock, T L Ferebee, S R Zaki, F C Ferreira, R C Ravagnani, R D Machado, M A Guimarães, J R Coura
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2001, 65 (4): 329-34
During 1985-1995, illnesses clinically and epidemiologically compatible with Brazilian spotted fever were identified in 17 patients in the county of Pedreira, in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Spotted-fever group rickettsial infection was confirmed by serology and/or immunostaining of tissues in 10 of these patients. Immunostaining confirmed infection in a 37-year-old pregnant patient, although rickettsial antigens were not demonstrable in the tissues of the fetus. A serosurvey was conducted in four localities in the county to determine the prevalence of subclinical or asymptomatic infections with spotted fever group rickettsiae. Five hundred and twenty-five blood samples were tested by an indirect immunofluorescence assay for antibodies reactive with Rickettsia rickettsii. Twenty-two (4.2%) of these samples demonstrated titers > or = 1:64. The results indicate that Brazilian spotted fever is endemic within this region of Brazil.

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