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SEROLOGIC EVIDENCE OF INFECTION WITH EHRLICHIAE AND SPOTTED FEVER GROUP RICKETTSIAE AMONG RESIDENTS OF GAG ISLAND, INDONESIA

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  • 1 U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 2, Jakarta, Indonesia; Communicable Diseases Research Center, National Institute of Health Research and Development, Jakarta, Indonesia; U.S. Naval Medical Research Center, Silver Spring, Maryland; Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, District of Columbia
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The causative agents of scrub and murine typhus are considered endemic to Indonesia. However, the presence of spotted fever group rickettsiae and ehrlichiae have not been previously described in this country. During an investigation of arthropod-borne diseases on Gag Island, located northwest of the island of New Guinea in eastern Indonesia, the prevalence of antibody to the etiologic agents of monocytic ehrlichiosis, spotted fever rickettsiosis, and scrub and murine typhus were determined. Analysis of 55 blood samples from residents of Gag Island showed serore-activity to antigen preparations of Ehrlichia chaffeensis (7 of 48, 14.6%), two spotted fever group rickettsiae: Rickettsia rickettsii (5 of 48, 10.4%) and R. conorii (10 of 49, 20.4%), Orientia tsutsugamushi (5 of 53, 9.4%), and R. typhi (1 of 48, 2.1% [by an indirect immunofluorescence assay] and 1 of 50, 2.0% [by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay]). These results show serologic evidence of infection with ehrlichiae and spotted fever group rickettsiae for the first time in Indonesia in a location where the prevalence of antibody to O. tsutsugamushi and R. typhi was lower.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Allen L. Richards, Rickettsial Diseases Department, Naval Medical Research Center, 503 Robert Grant Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910-7500, Telephone: 301-319-7668, Fax: 301-319-7451, E-mail: RichardsA@nmrc.navy.mil
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