Volume 86, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Murine typhus, caused by and transmitted mainly by the rat fleas, , has emerged in the field of travel medicine. We analyzed retrospectively the epidemiological, clinical, and biological characteristics of the 32 murine typhus cases that were diagnosed during the past 3 years at the World Health Organization Collaborative Center for Rickettsial diseases, Marseille, France. All of the cases occurred in travelers and most of them had returned from Africa ( = 13 of 32) and South-east Asia ( = 12 of 32). Exposure to rats was reported only in a few ( = 2 of 32) patients. Almost half of the cases were diagnosed in August and September. Only four patients presented the classic triad: fever, rash, and headache. Moreover, we report the first known cases of a hemophagocytic syndrome associated with this disease. Murine typhus must be considered as an etiologic agent of febrile illness in returning travelers, particularly in those with unspecific symptoms.


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  • Received : 21 Dec 2011
  • Accepted : 27 Feb 2012
  • Published online : 01 Jun 2012

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