Spotted fever in Brazil: a seroepidemiological study and description of clinical cases in an endemic area in the state of São Paulo.

E R de LemosOswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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F B AlvarengaOswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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M L CintraOswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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M C RamosOswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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C D PaddockOswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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T L FerebeeOswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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S R ZakiOswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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F C FerreiraOswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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R C RavagnaniOswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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R D MachadoOswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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M A GuimarãesOswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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J R CouraOswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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During 1985-1995, illnesses clinically and epidemiologically compatible with Brazilian spotted fever were identified in 17 patients in the county of Pedreira, in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Spotted-fever group rickettsial infection was confirmed by serology and/or immunostaining of tissues in 10 of these patients. Immunostaining confirmed infection in a 37-year-old pregnant patient, although rickettsial antigens were not demonstrable in the tissues of the fetus. A serosurvey was conducted in four localities in the county to determine the prevalence of subclinical or asymptomatic infections with spotted fever group rickettsiae. Five hundred and twenty-five blood samples were tested by an indirect immunofluorescence assay for antibodies reactive with Rickettsia rickettsii. Twenty-two (4.2%) of these samples demonstrated titers > or = 1:64. The results indicate that Brazilian spotted fever is endemic within this region of Brazil.

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