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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
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Scrub Typhus: An under-reported and emerging threat - hospital based study from central and eastern Uttar Pradesh, India


1 Department of Microbiology, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India
2 Amity Institute of Biotechnology, Amity University, Lucknow, India
3 Department of Medicine, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India

Correspondence Address:
Vineeta Mittal,
Department of Microbiology, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.318311

Background & objectives: Scrub typhus is a zoonotic rickettsial disease that is transmitted by the bite of the larval stage (chiggers) of trombiculid mites. The aim of this study was to determine the existence of scrub typhus in central and eastern Uttar Pradesh, India in patients with acute febrile illness (AFI) presenting to a super specialty tertiary level institute. Methods: This prospective hospital-based study was conducted for a period of one year, from August 2018 to July 2019. About 2-5 mL of blood samples, along with clinical, epidemiological, and demographic data from a total of 125 patients presenting with acute febrile illness to outpatient and inpatient departments, were collected. ELISA testing tested the sera from blood samples for IgM antibodies against scrub typhus. Samples were also tested for dengue, leptospirosis, malaria and typhoid. Results: During the study period, out of a total of 125 samples collected, 20% were found positive for IgM antibodies against scrub typhus. Demographically higher positivity was found in males, older age group, and in rural area. Rainfall was found to be important epidemiological parameter for presence of scrub typhus. Co-infection with dengue, leptospirosis and malaria was found. Interpretation & conclusion: Scrub typhus is found to be an important cause of acute febrile illness. It is necessary to include it in differential diagnosis of AFI cases even in absence of eschar. Diagnostic facilities of this as a screening test should be started in primary care centers or community health centers of rural areas of districts of central and eastern Uttar Pradesh, India.


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