Seroprevalence of murine typhus and fievre boutonneuse in certain human populations in Egypt

B. A.M. Botros, A. K. Soliman, M. Darwish, S. El Said, John Morrill, T. G. Ksiazek

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24 Scopus citations


A study was conducted between 1984 and 1987 to determine the prevalence of Rickettsia typhi and Rickettsia conorii infections among humans residing in the Nile Delta, Suez Canal area and Nile Valley of Egypt. Serum specimens were obtained from garbage and rodent control workers, other unclassified occupational workers, and from patients with fever of undetermined aetiology. All sera were assayed for IgA + IgM + IgG (IgAMG) antibody mixture and if positive, reassayed for specific IgM antibody to rickettsia by the indirect fluorescent antibody technique. R. typhi antibody was found in 19% (33/178) of the garbage collectors, whereas only 1% (2/178) had demonstrable antibody to R. conorii. Among those with other occupations, R. typhi antibody was detected in 0.7% (2/295) and none had R. conorii antibody. The antibody prevalence rate for R. typhi among patients with febrile illness ranged from 25 to 41%, and from 2 to 15% for R. conorii, at three different locations in Egypt. In addition, IgM antibody to R. typhi was demonstrated in some patients showing symptoms compatible with rickettsial disease and in some patients who seroconverted, indicating that R. typhi was the cause of illness among some of these patients. These findings support previous observations that R. typhi and R. conorii are the causes of human rickettsial disease in Egypt, and that humans are commonly infected with R. typhi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-378
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Infectious Diseases


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