Emerging scrub typhus infection in the northern region of Sri Lanka

Pradeepan, Jebananthy Anandaselvam, Ketheesan, Natkunam, and Murugananthan, Kalamathy (2014) Emerging scrub typhus infection in the northern region of Sri Lanka. BMC Research Notes, 7 (719). pp. 1-4.

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Background: There is an increasing trend in rickettsioses or typhus fevers in the island of Sri Lanka. The seroepidemiological mapping previously published did not include the northern region of the island. This study was conducted to demonstrate the presence of scrub typhus (ST) and to characterise the clinical presentation of ST in this region.

Findings: Serum samples from patients (n = 64) with clinical symptoms suspected of typhus fever following exclusion of other common febrile illnesses commonly seen in the northern region of Sri Lanka were selected and screened for ST using specific IgM and IgG ELISA (ImBios, USA). ST was confirmed by serology in 54 patients, with typical eschar being found in 49 of cases positive for ST. Fever was the sole presenting complaint of these patients with the duration of febrile illness varying from 2-14 days. Of these patients 44.4% had regional lymphadenopathy, 18.5% hepatomegaly, 12.9% pneumonitis and 9.3% splenomegaly. None of the patients had a rash.

Conclusions: This study confirms the presence of high numbers of patients with ST in northern Sri Lanka. It was found that 84.4% of the patients presenting with clinical features of rickettsioses (54 of the 64) were seropositive for ST with a significant majority having a typical eschar. This data provided will enable clinicians to be vigilant of ST in this region and provide appropriate therapy and also facilitate planning for preventive measures aimed at reducing the burden of ST.

Item ID: 38596
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1756-0500
Keywords: Rickettsioses; Scrub typhus (ST); ELISA IgM and IgG, Eschar; Sri Lanka
Additional Information:

© 2014 Pradeepan et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Funders: Australian High Commission
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2015 03:27
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1108 Medical Microbiology > 110801 Medical Bacteriology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 100%
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