Seroprevalence of typhus group and spotted fever group Rickettsia exposures on Reunion island

Abstract : OBJECTIVE: Murine typhus has been increasingly reported on Reunion island, Indian ocean, following documentation of eight autochthonous infections in 2012-2013. We conducted a serosurvey to assess the magnitude of the seroprevalence of rickettsioses in the population. Two hundred and forty-one stored frozen sera taken from the 2009 Copanflu-RUN cohort were analysed using an immunofluorescence assay allowing to distinguish typhus group (TGR) and spotted fever group Rickesttsiae (SFGR). Seropositivity was defined for a dilution titre of Rickettsia IgG antibodies ≥ 1:64. Seroprevalence was weighted to account for the discrepancy between the Copanflu-RUN subset and the general population, as to infer prevalence at community level. Prevalence proportion ratios (PPR) were measured using log-binomial models. RESULTS: The weighted seroprevalences of typhus group rickettsioses and spotted fever group rickettsioses were of 12.71% (95% CI 8.84-16.58%) and 17.68% (95% CI 13.25-22.11%), respectively. Pooled together, data suggested that a fifth of the population had been exposed at least to one Rickettsia group. Youths (< 20 years) were less likely seropositive than adults (adjusted PPR 0.13, 95% CI 0.01-0.91). People living in the western dryer part of the island were more exposed (adjusted PPR 2.53, 95% CI 1.07-5.97). Rickettsioses are endemic on Reunion island and circulated before their first identification as murine typhus in year 2011. Surprisingly, since isolation of Rickettsia africae from Amblyomma variegatum in year 2004 or isolation of Rickettsia felis from Amblyomma loculosum, no autochthonous cases of African tick-bite fever or flea-borne spotted fever has yet been diagnosed.
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Patrick Gérardin, Naël Zemali, Marie Bactora, Guillaume Camuset, Elsa Balleydier, et al.. Seroprevalence of typhus group and spotted fever group Rickettsia exposures on Reunion island. BMC Research Notes, BioMed Central, 2019, 12 (1), pp.387. ⟨10.1186/s13104-019-4416-8⟩. ⟨inserm-02284797⟩

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