August 20, 2014
Although the Rickettsia felis carriage rate in fleas found in Laos is high, the incidence of human infections is low. In addition, it can present with unusual symptoms when associated with immunodeficiencies or multiple infections. More research is needed on this poorly understood organism and its role as a pathogen, according to researchers in Southeast Asia and Europe.
The researchers screened the blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples of more than 2,500 participants of two large prospective studies in Laos for Rickettsia spp. The screening yielded three patients with sequence-confirmed R. felis infections.