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Rickettsia parkeri Infection

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Diagnosis

Serological assays as the indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) are used for the detection of antibodies in humans as well as in dogs. In studies, an at least four-fold higher titer, compared to the other used Rickettsia antigens is a taken indicative for an infection with the respective species or a very closely related genotype. Here, western blot analysis has been applied in order to determine the responsible spotted fever group rickettsia (Raoult and Paddock, 2005).

Rickettsia isolation in cell culture can also be used as direct evidence of the pathogen, but is usually not used in routine diagnosis due to high laboratory standard and time needed. Various generic or species-specific PCRs are available to detect rickettsial DNA in biopsies from eschars or in ticks (Wölfel et al., 2008).

Further information

  • Raoult D, Paddock CD: Rickettsia parkeri infection and other spotted fevers in the United States. New Engl J Med. 2005, 353, 626-7
  • Wölfel R, Essbauer S, Dobler G: Diagnostics of tick-borne rickettsioses in Germany: A modern concept for a neglected disease. Intern J Med Microbiol. 2008, 298 (Suppl. 1), 368-74

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