A case series of spotted fever rickettsiosis with neurological manifestations in Sri Lanka

Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
International journal of infectious diseases: IJID: official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 1.86). 04/2012; 16(7):e514-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijid.2012.02.016
Source: PubMed


Spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsial infections are increasingly detected in Sri Lanka. We describe 17 patients with SFG who developed neurological manifestations.
The cases were studied prospectively from 2008 at the Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya. An immunofluorescent antibody assay (IFA) was used to confirm the diagnosis.
All had an IFA IgG titer ranging from 1/64 to 1/4096 and a positive IFA IgM titer against Rickettsia conorii antigen; in 10 (59%) cases the IgG titers were ≥ 1/256 (definitive cases). The median age of the patients was 62 years (range 26-82 years); 10 were male and seven female. The median duration of fever was 12 days (range 4-35 days). Neurological manifestations on admission were drowsiness or confusion in 14 (82%) and a semi-comatose state in three (18%). Rigidity of the limbs occurred in 14 (82%), bradykinesia and resting tremors in 12 (71%), which persisted after defervescence, neck stiffness in seven (42%), weakness of the limbs in five (29%), deafness in two (12%), and stupor in three (18%). Electroencephalograms in three (18%) showed generalized slow waves. Cerebrospinal fluid examination showed a cellular reaction, predominantly lymphocytes, in three cases. Two patients died (fatality rate 12%).
We have documented for the first time the neurological features of SFG rickettsioses in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. These were predominantly extrapyramidal features in patients of older age.

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Available from: Devathri Nanayakkara, Nov 13, 2014
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