Volume 80, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


We performed indirect immunofluorescence assays (IFAs) to compare levels of IgM and IgG antibodies to and in admission-phase serum samples and filter paper blood spots (assayed immediately and stored at 5.4°C and 29°C for 30 days) collected on the same day from 53 adults with suspected scrub typhus and murine typhus admitted to Mahosot Hospital Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The sensitivities and specificities of admission-phase filter paper blood spots in comparison to paired sera were between 91% and 95% and 87% and 100%, respectively, for the diagnosis of scrub typhus and murine typhus. The classification of patients as having or not having typhus did not significantly differ after storage of the blood spots for 30 days ( > 0.4) at 5.4°C and 29°C. Because filter paper blood samples do not require sophisticated and expensive storage and transport, they may be an appropriate specimen collection technique for the diagnosis of rickettsial disease in the rural tropics.


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  • Received : 15 Nov 2008
  • Accepted : 17 Feb 2009

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