A Concise Review of the Epidemiology and Diagnostics of Rickettsioses: Rickettsia and Orientia spp

J Clin Microbiol. 2018 Jul 26;56(8):e01728-17. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01728-17. Print 2018 Aug.


Rickettsioses are globally distributed and caused by the family Rickettsiaceae, which comprise a diverse and expanding list of organisms. These include two genera, Rickettsia and Orientia Serology has been traditionally the mainstay of diagnosis, although this has been limited by cross-reactions among closely related members and diminished sensitivity/utility in the acute phase of illness. Other techniques, such as nucleic acid amplification tests using blood specimens or tissue swabs/biopsy specimens, sequencing, and mass spectrometry, have emerged in recent years for both pathogen and vector identification. This paper provides a concise review of the rickettsioses and the traditional and newer technologies available for their diagnosis.

Keywords: Orientia; Rickettsia; diagnostics; rickettsioses; scrub typhus; spotted fever; vector-borne diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthropod Vectors / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Microbiological Techniques
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques
  • Orientia tsutsugamushi / isolation & purification*
  • Orientia tsutsugamushi / pathogenicity
  • Rickettsia / isolation & purification*
  • Rickettsia / pathogenicity
  • Rickettsia Infections* / diagnosis
  • Rickettsia Infections* / epidemiology
  • Scrub Typhus* / diagnosis
  • Scrub Typhus* / epidemiology
  • Serologic Tests