alexa Brazilian spotted fever: real-time PCR for diagnosis of fatal cases.
Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases

Journal of Tropical Diseases & Public Health

Author(s): dos Santos FC, do Nascimento EM, Katz G, Angerami RN, Colombo S,

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Abstract Suspicion of Brazilian spotted fever (BSF) should occur in endemic regions upon surveillance of the acute febrile icteric hemorrhagic syndrome (AFIHS). However, limitations associated with currently available laboratory tests pose a challenge to early diagnosis, especially in fatal cases. Two real-time PCR (qPCR) protocols were evaluated to diagnose BSF in 110 fatal AFIHS cases, collected in BSF-endemic regions in 2009-2010. Of these, 24 were positive and 86 negative by indirect immunofluorescence (IFA) assay (cut-off IgG and/or IgM ≥ 128). DNA from these samples was used in the qPCR protocols: one to detect Rickettsia spp. (citrate synthase gene) and another to determine spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia species (OmpA gene). Of the 24 IFA-positive samples, 5 (21\%) were positive for OmpA and 9 (38\%) for citrate synthase. In the IFA-negative group (n=86), OmpA and citrate synthase were positive in 23 (27\%) and 27 (31\%), respectively. These results showed that the 2 qPCR protocols were about twice as sensitive as the IFA test alone (93\% concordance). In conclusion, qPCR is a sensitive method for the diagnosis of fatal BSF cases and should be considered for routine surveillance of AFIHS in places like Brazil, where spotted fever-related lethality is high and other endemic diseases like dengue and leptospirosis can mislead diagnosis. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved. This article was published in Ticks Tick Borne Dis and referenced in Journal of Tropical Diseases & Public Health

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