Trench Fever is an acute infectious disease characterized by chills and fever, caused by the microorganism Rickettsia quintana, and transmitted by the louse Pediculus humanus. The age at onset is typically in the mid-teens to the mid-40s. There is no seasonal variation. The annual incidence of B. quintana is 0.46 in 100,000 in the Singapore.
Tetracycline-group antibiotics (doxycycline, tetracycline) are commonly used. Chloramphenicol is an alternative medication recommended under circumstances that render use of tetracycline derivates undesirable, such as severe liver malfunction, kidney deficiency, in children under nine years and in pregnant women. The drug is administered for seven to ten days. First, no cure for trench fever was found and the disease continued to be a severe drain on army manpower throughout much of the conflict.