Candidatus: A Case Series Rickettsia tarasevichiae Infection in Eastern Central China: A Case Series

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Abstract

Background:

Human infection with Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae (CRT) was first reported in northeastern China in 2012.

Objective:

To describe the clinical spectrum and laboratory findings of patients infected with CRT in eastern central China.

Design:

Case series.

Setting:

A sentinel hospital for severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in eastern central China in 2014.

Participants:

Hospitalized patients with SFTS-like illness.

Measurements:

Molecular and serologic tests were performed to diagnose CRT infection. Data about clinical manifestations and laboratory findings were retrieved from medical records.

Results:

56 of 733 assessed patients had CRT based on polymerase chain reaction and sequencing. All patients presented with nonspecific manifestations, including fever (96%), malaise (88%), myalgia (57%), cough (25%), and dizziness (14%). Only 2 patients had rash. Further, 16% had eschar, 29% had lymphadenopathy, 100% had gastrointestinal symptoms, 34% had neurologic symptoms, 43% had hemorrhagic manifestations, and 23% had signs of plasma leakage. Thrombocytopenia was observed in 70%, leukopenia in 59%; lymphopenia in 45%; and elevated levels of lactate dehydrogenase in 82%, aspartate aminotransferase in 70%, alanine aminotransferase in 54%, and creatinine kinase in 46%. Co-infection with SFTS virus was documented in 66% patients, and 8 of the 56 patients died.

Limitations:

Patients with CRT were not treated for infection because they were retrospectively identified. This was not a population-based study, and the results cannot be generalized to all patients with CRT.

Conclusion:

Candidatus R tarasevichiae infection should be considered in the differential diagnosis of febrile patients with SFTS-like illness in endemic areas.

Primary Funding Source:

National Natural Science Foundation of China.

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