Acute Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis among Febrile Patients, Cameroon

Lucy M. Ndip, Donald H. Bouyer, Amelia P.A. Travassos Da Rosa, V. P.K. Titanji, Robert B. Tesh, David H. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Although potential arthropod vectors are abundant in Cameroon, acute febrile illnesses are rarely evaluated for arboviral or rickettsial infections. Serum samples from 234 acutely febrile patients at clinics in Tiko and Buea, Cameroon, were examined for antibodies to Rickettsia africae and African alphaviruses and flaviviruses. These serum samples did not contain antibodies against typhoid, and blood malarial parasites were not detected. Serum samples of 32% contained immunoglobulin M antibodies reactive with R. africae by immunofluorescence assay and were reactive with outer membrane proteins A and B of R. africae by immunoblotting. These findings established a diagnosis of acute rickeftsiosis, most likely African tick-bite fever. Hemagglutination inhibition testing of the serum samples also detected antibodies to chikungunya virus (47%) and flaviviruses (47%). High prevalence of antibodies to arboviruses may represent a major, previously unrecognized public health problem in an area where endemic malaria and typhoid fever have been the principal diagnostic considerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-437
Number of pages6
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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