Evidence of Rickettsial and Leptospira Infections in Andean Northern Peru
NAVAL MEDICAL RESEARCH INST DETACHMENT LIMA (PERU)
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Between May and October 2002, a cluster of acute febrile illnesses occurred in the subtropical Andean foothills of Peru. Serologic evidence in villages where disease had been documented showed that the prevalence of IgM antibody to Leptospira ranged from 6 to 52, that of IgM antibody to spotted fever group SFG rickettsia ranged from 10 to 19, and that of IgM antibody to Coxiella burnetii from 1 to 15. Measurement of IgG antibodies for SFG rickettsiae suggested that this disease was endemic. In contrast, IgG antibodies against C. burnetii were largely absent. In humans, microagglutination tests identified pathogenic variants of Leptospira. The presence of an SFG rickettsial infection was confirmed in four febrile patients following polymerase chain reaction and sequencing of the conserved 17-kD common antigen gene htrA. Collectively, these analyses indicated that Rickettsia sp., C. burnetii, and Leptospira sp. were circulating in the region during the time of disease outbreak and implicate the involvement of an as yet undetermined SFG rickettsia in northwestern Peru.
- Medicine and Medical Research