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Seroepidemiololgy of rickettsioses in Sri Lanka: a patient based study

Veranja Chathurani Liyanapathirana* and Vasanthi Thevanesam

Author Affiliations

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:328  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-328

Published: 25 November 2011



Rickettsioses are emerging infections in Sri Lanka as shown by the increase in the number of clinically diagnosed rickettsial patients being reported to the Epidemiology Unit, Sri Lanka. However, mapping the disease for the whole island with laboratory confirmed cases has not been previously carried out.


615 samples received from 23 hospital representing 8 provinces were tested using ELISA or IFA methods and clinical data was collected using a validated questionnaire.


Rash was found among more spotted fever seropositive patients than scrub typhus seropositive patients while the opposite was true for the presence of eschar. Spotted fever and scrub typhus was found in a geographically restricted manner. Consistent temporal patterns were seen for the presentation of patients with rickettsioses in Kandy and Kurunegala districts for 2009 and 2010.


This study expanded knowledge on the distribution of rickettsioses in Sri Lanka and their clinical profiles which in turn helps in the clinical diagnosis of these infections.