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Open Access Highly Accessed Case report

Tick-borne lymphadenopathy (TIBOLA) acquired in Southwestern Germany

Siegbert Rieg1*, Sabine Schmoldt2, Christian Theilacker1, Katja de With1, Silke Wölfel2, Winfried V Kern1 and Gerhard Dobler2

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Infectious Diseases and Travel Medicine, University Hospital Freiburg, Hugstetter Strasse 55, 79106 Freiburg, Germany

2 Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, Neuherbergstrasse 11, 80937 Munich, Germany

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:167  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-167

Published: 10 June 2011



Tick-borne lymphadenopathy (TIBOLA) was first described in 1997 in a patient in France. The causative agent, Rickettsia slovaca, is transmitted by Dermacentor ticks.

Case presentation

In southwestern Germany we encountered a patient with a tick bite at the dorsal scalp that resulted in an eschar and nuchal lymphadenopathy. Additionally, fever, malaise as well as elevated inflammatory markers and transaminases occurred. The characteristic clinical picture along with positive antibody testing for rickettsiae of the tick-borne spotted fever group strongly suggest the diagnosis TIBOLA.


Human rickettsioses are emerging infections. Clinicians should be aware of TIBOLA as a newly described rickettsial disease. As in our case, TIBOLA may be encountered in regions/countries where R. slovaca and Dermacentor ticks are prevalent but autochthonous acquisition was not described before.