Prevalence of Rickettsia conorii and Rickettsia typhi infections in the population of northern Greece.

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  • 1 A' Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Greece. salexiou@med.auth.gr

Seroepidemical surveys concerning the prevalence of Rickettsia conorii and Rickettsia typhi have never been studied in northern Greece. We examined 1,584 sera samples from residents of northern Greece for the detection of antibodies to R. conorii and to R. typhi by means of immunofluorescence assay. In addition, we compared the prevalence of rickettsial infections among the demographic variables of sex, age, occupation, and area of residence. Antibodies to R. conorii and R. typhi were found in 125 (7.9%) and 31 (2.0%) of the examined subjects, respectively. The prevalence of antibodies to R. conorii correlated with increasing age and was statistically higher in men. Farmers had significantly higher prevalence of antibodies to both species of rickettsiae studied versus other professions. Residents of rural areas showed a statistically higher prevalence for R. conorii versus urban residents, although this difference was not demonstrated for R. typhi. We also detected differences in the prevalence of rickettsial infections among the different prefectures. Our data show the wide distribution of R. conorii in northern Greece and indicate the presence of R. typhi.

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