Volume 91, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Bushland activity has previously been linked to rickettsial exposure in eastern and central regions of Australia, whereas little is known about the risks in Western Australia. The isolation of sp. nov. from ticks and anecdotal reports of low-grade illness among bush recreationists raised the possibility of rickettsial transmission in the State. This study investigated rickettsial seroprevalence and potential risk of exposure to the spotted fever group rickettsiae in rogainers. Our results showed that rogainers active in the bush had a significantly higher risk of seropositivity (immunofluorescence total antibody titer ≥ 128) for the spotted fever group (odds ratio [OR] = 14.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.38–142.07) compared with a reference population, the overall seroprevalence in the rogainer group being 23.1%.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Walker DH, Ismail N, , 2008. Emerging and re-emerging rickettsioses: endothelial cell infection and early disease events. Nat Rev Microbiol 6: 375386.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  2. Parola P, Paddock C, Socolovschi C, Labruna M, Mediannikov O, Kernif T, Abdad MY, Stenos J, Bitam I, Fournier PE, Raoult D, , 2013. Update on tick-borne rickettsioses around the world: a geographic approach. Clin Microbiol Rev 26: 657702.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  3. McBride WJ, Hanson JP, Miller R, Wenck D, , 2007. Severe spotted fever group rickettsiosis, Australia. Emerg Infect Dis 13: 17421744.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  4. Unsworth NB, Stenos J, Graves SR, Faa AG, Cox GE, Dyer JR, Boutlis CS, Lane AM, Shaw MD, Robson J, Nissen MD, , 2007. Flinders Island spotted fever rickettsioses caused by “marmionii” strain of Rickettsia honei, Eastern Australia. Emerg Infect Dis 13: 566573.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  5. Simon NG, Cremer PD, Graves SR, , 2011. Murine typhus returns to New South Wales: a case of isolated meningoencephalitis with raised intracranial pressure. Med J Aust 194: 652654. [Google Scholar]
  6. Williams M, Izzard L, Graves S, Stenos J, Kelly J, , 2010. First cases of probable Rickettsia felis (cat flea typhus) in Australia. Med J Aust 194: 4143. [Google Scholar]
  7. Owen H, Clark P, Stenos J, Robertson I, Fenwick S, , 2006. Potentially pathogenic spotted fever group rickettsiae present in Western Australia. Aust J Rural Health 14: 284285.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  8. Owen H, Unsworth NB, Stenos J, Robertson I, Clark P, Fenwick S, , 2006. Detection and identification of a novel spotted fever group Rickettsia in Western Australia. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1078: 197199.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  9. Schloderer D, Owen H, Clark P, Stenos J, Fenwick SG, , 2006. Rickettsia felis in fleas, Western Australia. Emerg Infect Dis 12: 841843.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  10. O'Connor LF, Kelly HA, Lubich JM, Lindsey RJ, McComish MJ, , 1996. A cluster of murine typhus cases in Western Australia. Med J Aust 165: 2426. [Google Scholar]
  11. Graves S, Wang L, Nack Z, Jones S, , 1999. Rickettsia serosurvey in Kimberley, Western Australia. Am J Trop Med Hyg 60: 786789. [Google Scholar]
  12. Sentausa E, Abdad MY, Robert C, Stenos J, Raoult D, Fournier PE, , 2013. Genome sequence of Rickettsia gravesii, isolated from Western Australian ticks. Genome Announc 1: e00975e001013.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  13. Li AY, Adams PJ, Abdad MY, Fenwick SG, , 2010. High prevalence of Rickettsia gravesii sp. nov. in Amblyomma triguttatum collected from feral pigs. Vet Microbiol 146: 5962.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  14. Graves SR, Dwyer BW, McColl D, McDade JE, , 1991. Flinders Island spotted fever: a newly recognized endemic focus of tick typhus in Bass Strait. Part 2. Serological investigations. Med J Aust 154: 99104. [Google Scholar]
  15. da Costa PS, Brigatte ME, Greco DB, , 2005. Antibodies to Rickettsia rickettsii, Rickettsia typhi, Coxiella burnetii, Bartonella henselae, Bartonella quintana, and Ehrlichia chaffeensis among healthy population in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Mem I Os Cr 100: 853859.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  16. Pinter A, Horta MC, Pacheco RC, Moraes-Filho J, Labruna MB, , 2008. Serosurvey of Rickettsia spp. in dogs and humans from an endemic area for Brazillian spotted fever in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Cad Saude Publica 24: 247252.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  17. Unsworth N, Graves S, Nguyen C, Kemp G, Graham J, Stenos J, , 2008. Markers of exposure to spotted fever rickettsiae in patients with chronic illness, including fatigue, in two Australian populations. QJM 101: 269274.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  18. Parola P, Vestris G, Martinez D, Brochier B, Roux V, Raoult D, , 1999. Tick-borne rickettsiosis in Guadeloupe, the French West Indies: isolation of Rickettsia africae from Amblyomma variegatum ticks and serosurvey in humans, cattle, and goats. Am J Trop Med Hyg 60: 888893. [Google Scholar]
  19. Jang WJ, Kim JH, Choi YJ, Jung KD, Kim YG, Lee SH, Choi MS, Kim IS, Walker DH, Park KH, , 2004. First serologic evidence of human spotted fever group rickettsiosis in Korea. J Clin Microbiol 42: 23102313.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  20. Nielsen H, Fournier PE, Pedersen IS, Krarup H, Ejlertsen T, Raoult D, , 2004. Serological and molecular evidence of Rickettsia helvetica in Denmark. Scand J Infect Dis 36: 559563.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  21. Roberts FHS, , 1970. Australian Ticks. Melbourne, Australia: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. [Google Scholar]
  22. Graves S, Stenos J, , 2009. Rickettsioses in Australia. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1166: 151155.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  23. Higgins JA, Radulovic S, Schriefer ME, Azad AF, , 1996. Rickettsia felis: a new species of pathogenic Rickettsia isolated from cat fleas. J Clin Microbiol 34: 671674. [Google Scholar]
  24. Paddock CD, Sumner JW, Comer JA, Zaki SR, Goldsmith CS, Goddard J, McLellan SL, Tamminga CL, Ohl CA, , 2004. Rickettsia parkeri: a newly recognized cause of spotted fever rickettsiosis in the United States. Clin Infect Dis 38: 805811.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  25. Pearce RL, Grove DI, , 1987. Tick infestation in soldies who were bivouacked in the Perth region. Med J Aust 146: 238240. [Google Scholar]
  26. Brown AF, Hamilton DL, , 1998. Tick bite anaphylaxis in Australia. J Accid Emerg Med 15: 111113.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  27. Gauci M, Loh RK, Stone BF, Thong YH, , 1989. Allergic reactions to the Australian paralysis tick, Ixodes holocyclus: diagnostic evaluation by skin test and radioimmunoassay. Clin Exp Allergy 19: 279283.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  28. Ganguli M, Lytle ME, Reynolds MD, Dodge HH, , 1998. Random versus volunteer selection for a community-based study. J Gerontol 53: M39M46.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  29. Lindsted KD, Fraser GE, Steinkohl M, Beeson WL, , 1996. Health volunteer effect in a cohort study; temporal resolution in the Adventist Health. J Clin Epidemiol 49: 783790.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  30. Froom P, Melamed S, Kristel-Boneh E, Benbassat J, Ribak J, , 1999. Healthy volunteer effect in industrial workers. J Clin Epidemiol 52: 731735.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  31. Austin MA, Criqui MH, Barrett-Connor E, Holdbrook MJ, , 1981. The effect of response bias on the odds ratio. Am J Epidemiol 114: 137143.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 13 Feb 2014
  • Accepted : 21 May 2014
  • Published online : 03 Sep 2014

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error