Rickettsia typhi

From IDWiki
Rickettsia typhi


  • Causes murine typhus, flea-borne typhus, or endemic typhus


  • Flea-borne Gram-negative intracellular bacterium

Life Cycle

  • Flea bites, flea poops, feces get rubbed into the bite wound
  • Flea acquires infection from feeding on a rickettsemic host


  • Flea vector (Xenopsylla cheopis) with a rat reservoirs (Rattus)
  • Worldwide distribution
  • In the US, most cases are in southern Texas and California

Clinical Manifestations


  • Based on acute and convalescent serology looking for a 4-fold risk after about 4 weeks
  • Possibly PCR of skin biopsy


  • doxycycline 100 mg PO bid for 7 to 10 days
  • Should be treated empirically, since cannot confirm diagnosis quickly