Author(s): Carr SB, Bergamo DF, Emmanuel PJ, Ferreira JA
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Murine typhus is a systemic febrile illness caused by Rickettsia typhi, a gram-negative, obligate intracellular bacterium. It is found worldwide, including in the United States, where cases are concentrated in suburban areas of Texas and California. The disease manifests with fever, headache, and rash. Central nervous system involvement is rare in both adults and children. Aseptic meningitis and meningoencephalitis are the most common neurological presentations, occurring in 2\% to 5\% of cases. Neurological dysfunction, including memory impairment and behavioral alterations, can occur and usually are reversible. Long-term deficits are considered rare even in untreated cases and have not been described in the pediatric population. METHODS: Single case report. RESULTS: We describe a previously healthy 17-year-old girl infected with R. typhi who developed meningoencephalitis that resulted in chronic cognitive impairment despite treatment. CONCLUSION: Murine typhus should be considered in the differential diagnosis of aseptic meningitis and meningoencephalitis. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent death and long-term morbidity. Published by Elsevier Inc.
This article was published in Pediatr Neurol
and referenced in Journal of Tropical Diseases & Public Health