The Epidemiology of Rickettsioses on the Ethiopian High Plateau

A Six-Months' Survey from October 1964 to April 1965

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  • Imperial Central Laboratory and Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


This report deals with a 6-months' survey of rickettsial infections on the Ethiopian high plateau. It lists the serological results of tests of 304 human and 189 livestock blood specimens.

There were 18 isolations of rickettsial strains: 14 of R. conori from human blood, one from sheep blood, and two from batches of Amblyomma variegatum. One strain of R. mooseri originated from another human blood. Contrary to former findings, no R. prowazeki could be isolated from human or animal blood.

All data show clearly, that by 1964, epidemic typhus had lost its overwhelming dominance and had become the least evident of the rickettsial agents.

In view of the absence of eschars in the majority of the tick-typhus patients, the possibility of airborne infections is discussed.

Author Notes

Galileo Ferraris 104, Torino, Italy.

On invitation from the Ministry of Public Health.