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Rickettsia australis and Queensland Tick Typhus: A Rickettsial Spotted Fever Group Infection in Australia

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  • 1 Department of Infectious Diseases, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia;
  • | 2 School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia;
  • | 3 Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory, Geelong, Australia

Rickettsia australis, the etiologic agent of Queensland tick typhus (QTT), is increasingly being recognized as a cause of community-acquired acute febrile illness in eastern Australia. Changing human population demographics, climate change, and increased understanding of expanding vector distribution indicate QTT is an emerging public health threat. This review summarizes the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, treatment principles, and future directions of this disease. Increased recognition of QTT will enable consideration of and prompt treatment of R. australis infection by clinicians in Australia.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Adam Stewart, Department of Infectious Diseases, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Butterfield Street, Herston, Brisbane, Queensland 4006, Australia. E-mail: adm_stewart@hotmail.com

Authors’ addresses: Adam Stewart and Mark Armstrong, Department of Infectious Diseases, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia, E-mails: adm_stewart@hotmail.com and mark.armstrong@health.qld.gov.au. Stephen Graves, Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory, WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Rickettsioses, Geelong, Australia, E-mail: graves.rickettsia@gmail.com. Krispin Hajkowicz, Department of Infectious Diseases, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia and School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, E-mail: krispin.hajkowicz@health.qld.gov.au.

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