We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

African Tick-Bite Fever An Imported Spotless Rickettsiosis

Philippe Brouqui, MD, PhD; Jean R. Harle, MD; Jean Delmont, MD; Camille Frances, MD; Pierre J. Weiller, MD; Didier Raoult, MD, PhD
Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(1):119-124. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440220125016.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Objectives:  To characterize the clinical presentation and course of African tick-bite fever, a recently rediscovered rickettsiosis caused by Rickettsia africae (a new species within the spotted fever group of rickettsiae), to establish its relationship with Amblyomma tick species, and to discuss its role in the etiology of fever in patients who are returning from the tropics.

Patients:  Seven patients who returned from Zimbabwe or the Republic of South Africa and presented with fever.

Methods:  Cases were recognized clinically by the presence of multiple taches noire and were diagnosed as having a rickettsial infection by identification of the organisms in circulating endothelial cells. The causative role of R africae was further demonstrated using cross-absorption and immunoblotting of patients' serum samples and isolation of the agent from blood and skin biopsy specimens. Isolates were characterized using the restriction fragment length polymorphism—polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis of the gene that encodes for the 190-kd Rickettsia-specific antigen.

Results:  All 7 patients presented with fever and multiple taches noire. Further physical examination of patients revealed lymphadenopathy, lymphangitis, and edema, but there were virtually no signs of a rash. These findings are characteristic of R africae—infected patients and are distinct from those observed in patients with Rickettsia conorii—induced Mediterranean spotted fever. All 7 patients were infected with R africae as demonstrated by immunoblotting or isolation of the agent, and all were cured.

Conclusions:  With increasing international travel, a need for the recognition of rickettsial diseases by physicians is becoming more important. Tick-bite fever, a disease caused by R africae and transmitted by Amblyomma ticks, is characterized by multiple taches noire, lymphadenopathy, lymphangitis, and edema, but no rash or a discrete rash. It is a frequent but benign disease that physicians should consider when presented with febrile patients returning from southern Africa.Arch Intern Med. 1997;157:119-124


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

52 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.