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Back to Infectious Diseases

Rickettsial infection

Rickettsia are small intracellular bacteria that inhabit arthropods.

There are 5 types of rickettsial diseases:

  1. Typhus.
  2. Scrub typhus.
  3. Rocky mountain spotted fever.
  4. Trench fever.
  5. Q fever.

The main pathology is vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels).

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The clinical picture includes the following symptoms:

  • Orbital pain & headache & meningeo-encephalitis.

  • Rash (measles like).

  • Renal failure.

  • Other organs: hepato-splenomegaly, lymph node enlargement, pneumonia.

Diagnosed by Weil-Felix test.

Treatment: Tetracycline.

All other types similar to above.


Caused by the organism Coxiella burnetti, no vector is needed.

Clinical picture: Petechial rash, atypical pneumonia, hepatitis.

Treatment: Tetracycline.


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