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Uruguayan Medical Journal

ISSN: 1688-0390

Vol.27 - Nº 2 - Jun. 2011

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Rickettsia genuss as a zoonosis agent in the South American Southern Cone

Rev Med Urug 2011; 27: 98-106
Full text (spanish) |  Full text (spanish) (New windows, pdf) | Abstract


Rickettsiosis are zoonosis caused by bacterias of the Rickettsia species that are classified into two groups: that of the spotted fever and typhic fever. Spotted fever is mainly transmitted by ticks, although sometimes they are transmitted by fleas and mites.

In the typhic fevers primary vectors are the human body louse and the Xenopspylla cheopis flea. Until the end of the 20th century the only Rickettsiosis known in SouthAmerica were Rickettsia prowazekii, Rickettsia (typhic fevers) and Rickettsia Rickettsii (spotted fevers).

But in the last decade, by using modern diagnostic techniques, several rickettsias species or strains have been identified in South America, six Rickettsia species and at least four Rickettsia sp. in the South American Southern Cone in ticks and one in fleas. Four of these Rickettsia species: R. rickettsii, Rickettsia parkeri, Rickettsia massiliae and Rickettsia felis and one Rickettsia sp strain (Atlantic Rainforest strain) are recognized as pathogenic for humans. In this study we describe the clinical cases caused by the three main Rickettsia sp that have epidemiologic importance in the South American Southern Cone: R. rickettsii, R. parkeri and R. massiliae. Information in this study comprises Argentina, the southern half of Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. Paraguay is not included since there no rickettsia studies were performed.