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Other spotted fever group rickettsial infections

Daniel J Sexton, MD
Micah T McClain, MD
Section Editor
Stephen B Calderwood, MD
Deputy Editor
Jennifer Mitty, MD, MPH


Rickettsia of the spotted fever group (SFG) cause human disease on six continents (table 1). Although the antimicrobial treatment of all SFG infections is similar, important differences exist in the epidemiology, clinical features, and diagnostic methods of individual diseases caused by SFG rickettsiae (table 2). Millions of people now travel annually between continents and countries, and physicians who practice in areas far removed from the site of primary infection may face returning travelers with unusual or unfamiliar clinical illnesses that are due to SFG rickettsiae.

The epidemiology, clinical features, and treatment of infections due to SFG organisms other than Rickettsia rickettsii will be reviewed here. Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), caused by R. rickettsii, is discussed separately. (See "Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Rocky Mountain spotted fever".)

A number of new human SFG rickettsiae have been identified in the past 16 years:

Rickettsia africae

Rickettsia felis


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Apr 28, 2016.
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