[Rickettsiosis - Early skin biopsy is essential because of latency in serological findings].Dtsch Med Wochenschr 2016; 141(5):343-5DM
Global travel increasis practitioner's confrontation with very special infectious diseases, like hemorrhagic viral diseases that are traditionally rare in European countries. Prompt diagnosis and subsequent induction of therapy are essential to prevent high rates of severe and lethal complications.
A 59-year-old man complained deterioration of general health after a 3-week vacation to South Africa. He presented fever and hemorrhagic erythema with pustula surrounded by necrotic margin on the right calf. COURSE AND THERAPY: On the second day of inpatient treatment, a papulovesiculous, partly hemorrhagic exanthema appeared. With a tentative diagnosis of Rickettsiosis, we performed specific diagnostics by serology and biopsy. Therapy was initiated with doxycycline (200 mg/d) for 7 days. Under this regimen clinical symptoms healed without consequences. Rickettsioses are ubiquitious zoonoses that are caused by various Rickettsia subtypes. The stay in endemic regions together with signs of fever, reduced general health, eschar and exanthema are suspicious for this disease. Therapy should be initiated immediately in cases of clinical suspicion with a characteristic case history. The seroconversion, which appears later in course, should not give reason for avoiding early skin biopsy due to the potentially fatal course of the disease. Biopsy enables early histological proof of a dermal vasculitic inflammation pattern and PCR analysis before subsequent serological controls and proofs.