Scrub typhus and antibiotic-resistant Orientia tsutsugamushi.Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2021 12; 19(12):1519-1527.ER
Introduction: Scrub typhus is one of the most underdiagnosed and under-reported febrile illnesses requiring hospitalization, mainly occurring in Southeast and East Asia and the Pacific Islands, in an area referred to as the 'Tsutsugamushi Triangle.' Scrub typhus is a zoonotic rickettsial disease that is transmitted to humans by trombiculid mites.Areas covered: A MEDLINE/PubMed search of the available literature was performed to describe the role of antibiotic-resistant scrub typhus in therapy failure.Expert opinion: Scrub typhus is characterized by an eschar that may appear 2-3 days before sudden-onset fever with chills, headache, backache, myalgia, profuse sweating, vomiting, and enlarged lymph nodes. A macular or maculopapular skin rash can develop within 3-8 days after the onset of fever. Various antibiotics, such as chloramphenicol, tetracycline, doxycycline, macrolides, quinolones, and rifampicin, have been used to treat scrub typhus. Resistance to tetracycline has been proposed to underlie delayed clinical improvement since 1996, but recent reports have questioned the existence of doxycycline resistance. Nevertheless, the existence and importance of antibiotic-resistant scrub typhus remain uncertain and require further study.