Rickettsia africae

From IDWiki
Rickettsia africae
  • Causes African tick-bite fever (ATBF)
  • Carried by Amblyomma hebraeum and A. variegatum ticks in sub-Saharan Africa and the West Indies
  • Most frequently-imported rickettsiosis

Clinical Manifestations

  • Most common symptoms include fever, headache, and myalgias, with a black eschar ("tache noire")
    • Often have regional lymphadenopathy
    • Can have multiple eschars
  • Rash less common
  • Subacute neuropathy


  • Serology is the mainstay of diagnosis, but may need paired acute and convalescent serologies demonstrating a fourfold rise in titres
    • Compared to other Rickettsiae, antibodies appear late in convalescence
  • May see organism in skin biopsy
  • May be able to PCR blood, skin biopsy, or eschar base swabs