Rickettsia conorii infection by polymerase chain reaction in a soldier returning from somalia

Wheaton J. Williams, Suzana Radulovic, Gregory A. Dasch, Jill Lindstrom, Daryl J. Kelly, Charles N. Oster, David H. Walker

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36 Scopus citations


A soldier developed characteristic manifestations of boutonneuse fever shortly after leaving Somalia. Rickettsial DNA was detected in a biopsy sample of the tache noire by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in which primers derived from the 190-kD antigen gene of Rickettsia rickettsii were used. The source of this DNA was identified as Rickettsia conorii by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the PCR product. R. conorii was also isolated from the skin biopsy specimen. The patient did not develop a significant increase in specific antibodies, as assessed by indirect fluorescent antibody testing, until several weeks after the onset of symptoms. This case demonstrates that the PCR/RFLP technique can be used for the direct identification of rickettsiae from clinical specimens. To our knowledge, this is the first confirmed case of R. conorii infection in Somalia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-99
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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