Seroprevalence of Scrub typhus at a tertiary care hospital in Andhra Pradesh.Indian J Med Microbiol. 2015 Jan-Mar; 33(1):68-72.IJ
Scrub typhus is a rickettsial infection which is caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi and transmitted by the bite of the chigger of a mite. Delay in diagnosis can be fatal otherwise the treatment is simple, doxycycline being the drug of choice. Indirect immunoflurescence is considered gold standard but it is not used in India as it is costly and also not available. There is need for rapid, economic and simple test for the diagnosis of scrub typhus. This study was taken up to study the seroprevalence of scrub typhus in Andhra Pradesh and to compare two commonly used serological methods; rapid test and IgM ELISA.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This is a prospective study in which 100 serum samples from clinically suspected cases collected over a period of 3 months were processed for the detection of IgM antibodies for scrub typhus by ELISA and Rapid test. Samples were also tested for leptospirosis and dengue fever which the other common causes of fever prevalent in this region.
Total number of samples processed was 100 of which 52 were males and 48 females. Among the hundred samples 39 were seropositive. Positivity was higher in the age group of patients between 16 and 30 yrs of age. There was 97% correlation between ELISA and rapid method. Of the 100 samples only three samples positive by ELISA were negative by rapid method. Fever was the most common manifestation and there was no eschar and no mortality reported.
Scrub typhus should be included in the differential diagnosis of fever of unknown origin along with dengue, malaria and leptospirosis which are the other common endemic infections in this part of the country.