Serological evidence of Rickettsia infections in forestry rangers in north-eastern Italy

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The prevalence of antibodies to Rickettsiae and other tick-borne microrganisms in the sera of 181 forestry rangers from Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Italy, was examined. Seven (3.9%) sera were positive for Rickettsia conorii and Rickettsia helvetica, as single or dual infections; four of these sera had been found previously to be positive for Borrelia burgdorferi. Antibodies to Coxiella burnetii were detected in five (2.8%) sera, four of which were also positive for B. burgdorferi. These findings indicate that patients in this north-eastern Italian region with fever subsequent to tick-bite should be investigated for Rickettsia and Coxiella infections.

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