A rickettsia infection from Saudi Arabia

Published Date
International Journal of Infectious Diseases
doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2019.10.042
Elzein FE
Aloteibi M
Alanazi W
Alsaeed M
Almaghaslah M

We here present a young patient who developed fever, headache, maculopapular skin rash and an eschar 3 days following a tick bite. Serology for Rickettsia was consistent with acute spotted fever group (SFG) infection. He had a dramatic response to doxycycline. Vectors for rickettsia transmission are shown in a number of studies from Saudi Arabia while human serological studies from Oman revealed that these infections are common among the rural population. Surprisingly, despite the existence of potential vectors, this disease is rarely reported from the Arab Gulf countries. To the best of our knowledge this is the first case report of SFG acquired within Saudi Arabia. SFG should be considered in the differential diagnosis of febrile illness and exposure history.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Rickettsia; Saudi Arabia; Spotted fever.