Human seroepidemiology of Rickettsia and Orientia species in Chile – A crosssectional study in five regions


In recent years, the spectrum and epidemiology of human rickettsioses has become an emerging topic in Chile. This survey aimed to assess the seroprevalence of spotted fever group rickettsiae (SFGR), typhus group rickettsiae (TGR), and scrub typhus group orientiae (STGO) in northern, central, and southern Chile. We performed a cross-sectional study of healthy adults in rural and urban settings of five regions. Participants were chosen by double stratified random sampling in urban and by convenience in rural locations (n = 1302). Serum specimens were analyzed for group-specific IgG antibodies against SFGR, TGR, and STGO by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). Overall seroprevalences to SFGR, TGR, and STGO were 5.3 %, 1.2 %, and 0.4 %, respectively. Prevalences showed geographical differences. Statistical analyses revealed an association of older age with seropositivity to SFGR and to TGR and of rural setting and male gender with seropositivity to SFGR. The study indicates that SFGR, TGR, and STGO are endemic in Chile. The very low STGO seroprevalence might indicate an insufficient sensitivity of serological tests using Asian O. tsutsugamushi strains as ELISA antigens for the detection of antibodies against Chilean Orientia species.



Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, 2020, vol.11:101503


Vector-borne diseases, Rickettsia, Orientia, Epidemiology, Seroprevalence