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Relapsing Fever

Relapsing fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever is a vector-borne Vector-Borne Antimalarial Drugs disease caused by multiple species of the spirochete Spirochete Treponema is a gram-negative, microaerophilic spirochete. Owing to its very thin structure, it is not easily seen on Gram stain, but can be visualized using dark-field microscopy. This spirochete contains endoflagella, which allow for a characteristic corkscrew movement. Treponema Borrelia Borrelia Borrelia are gram-negative microaerophilic spirochetes. Owing to their small size, they are not easily seen on Gram stain but can be visualized using dark-field microscopy, Giemsa, or Wright stain. Spirochetes are motile and move in a characteristic spinning fashion due to axial filaments in the periplasmic space. Borrelia. There are 2 major forms of relapsing fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever: tick-borne relapsing fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever (caused by multiple species, such as B. hermsii B. hermsii Borrelia, B. miyamotoi B. miyamotoi Borrelia, and B. turicatae B. turicatae Borrelia) and louse-borne relapsing fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever (caused by B. recurrentis B. recurrentis Borrelia). Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship go through recurrent stages of fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, crisis phase, and afebrile periods. Severe manifestations can include myocarditis Myocarditis Myocarditis is an inflammatory disease of the myocardium, which may occur alone or in association with a systemic process. There are numerous etiologies of myocarditis, but all lead to inflammation and myocyte injury, most often leading to signs and symptoms of heart failure. Myocarditis, ARDS ARDS Acute respiratory distress syndrome is characterized by the sudden onset of hypoxemia and bilateral pulmonary edema without cardiac failure. Sepsis is the most common cause of ARDS. The underlying mechanism and histologic correlate is diffuse alveolar damage (DAD). Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), and meningitis Meningitis Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the protective membranes of the brain, and spinal cord. The causes of meningitis are varied, with the most common being bacterial or viral infection. The classic presentation of meningitis is a triad of fever, altered mental status, and nuchal rigidity. Meningitis. Diagnosis is based on the clinical history and visualization of spirochetes Spirochetes An order of slender, flexuous, helically coiled bacteria, with one or more complete turns in the helix. Treponema on a thick and thin blood smear Blood smear Myeloperoxidase Deficiency obtained during a febrile episode. Management of relapsing fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever is with antibiotics, such as doxycycline, penicillin Penicillin Rheumatic Fever, or ceftriaxone Ceftriaxone A broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic and cefotaxime derivative with a very long half-life and high penetrability to meninges, eyes and inner ears. Cephalosporins. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship should be monitored closely for Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction Lyme Disease.

Last updated: Feb 15, 2021

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Causative organism

  • Borrelia Borrelia Borrelia are gram-negative microaerophilic spirochetes. Owing to their small size, they are not easily seen on Gram stain but can be visualized using dark-field microscopy, Giemsa, or Wright stain. Spirochetes are motile and move in a characteristic spinning fashion due to axial filaments in the periplasmic space. Borrelia spp.
  • Associated diseases:
    • Tick-borne relapsing fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever (TBRF) is caused by multiple species of Borrelia Borrelia Borrelia are gram-negative microaerophilic spirochetes. Owing to their small size, they are not easily seen on Gram stain but can be visualized using dark-field microscopy, Giemsa, or Wright stain. Spirochetes are motile and move in a characteristic spinning fashion due to axial filaments in the periplasmic space. Borrelia including:
    • Louse-borne relapsing fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever (LBRF) is caused by B. recurrentis B. recurrentis Borrelia.
May-gruenwald-giemsa showing borrellia recurrentis

May-Grünwald-Giemsa (MGG)–stained thin blood smear Blood smear Myeloperoxidase Deficiency showing numerous spirochetes Spirochetes An order of slender, flexuous, helically coiled bacteria, with one or more complete turns in the helix. Treponema (arrows) identified as Borrelia recurrentis Borrelia recurrentis Borrelia

Image: “MGG stain” by Department of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences Luigi Sacco, University of Milano, Milano, Italy. License: CC BY 4.0

Epidemiology

Tick-borne relapsing fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever:

Louse-borne relapsing fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever:

  • Endemic in developing countries of Africa, such as Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia
  • Often occurs in areas of war, famine, overcrowding (homeless), and mass Mass Three-dimensional lesion that occupies a space within the breast Imaging of the Breast migration (refugees)
  • Cases peak during the rainy season.
  • Mortality Mortality All deaths reported in a given population. Measures of Health Status:
    • 4% in treated patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship
    • 10%–70% in untreated patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship

Pathogenesis

Relapsing fever vectors cycle

The vectors and reservoirs for Borrelia Borrelia Borrelia are gram-negative microaerophilic spirochetes. Owing to their small size, they are not easily seen on Gram stain but can be visualized using dark-field microscopy, Giemsa, or Wright stain. Spirochetes are motile and move in a characteristic spinning fashion due to axial filaments in the periplasmic space. Borrelia in relapsing fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever

Image by Lecturio.

Transmission of TBRF

  • Reservoir Reservoir Animate or inanimate sources which normally harbor disease-causing organisms and thus serve as potential sources of disease outbreaks. Reservoirs are distinguished from vectors (disease vectors) and carriers, which are agents of disease transmission rather than continuing sources of potential disease outbreaks. Humans may serve both as disease reservoirs and carriers. Escherichia coli hosts:
  • Vector for transmission:
    • Ornithodoros Ornithodoros A genus of softbacked ticks, in the family argasidae, serving as the vector of borrelia, causing relapsing fever, and of the african swine fever virus. Borrelia ticks Ticks Blood-sucking acarid parasites of the order ixodida comprising two families: the softbacked ticks (argasidae) and hardbacked ticks (ixodidae). Ticks are larger than their relatives, the mites. They penetrate the skin of their host by means of highly specialized, hooked mouth parts and feed on its blood. Ticks attack all groups of terrestrial vertebrates. In humans they are responsible for many tick-borne diseases, including the transmission of rocky mountain spotted fever; tularemia; babesiosis; african swine fever; and relapsing fever. Coxiella/Q Fever ( B. duttoni B. duttoni Borrelia, B. hermsii B. hermsii Borrelia, B. turicatae B. turicatae Borrelia, B. hispanica B. hispanica Borrelia, B. persica B. persica Borrelia) 
    • Ixodes ticks Ticks Blood-sucking acarid parasites of the order ixodida comprising two families: the softbacked ticks (argasidae) and hardbacked ticks (ixodidae). Ticks are larger than their relatives, the mites. They penetrate the skin of their host by means of highly specialized, hooked mouth parts and feed on its blood. Ticks attack all groups of terrestrial vertebrates. In humans they are responsible for many tick-borne diseases, including the transmission of rocky mountain spotted fever; tularemia; babesiosis; african swine fever; and relapsing fever. Coxiella/Q Fever ( B. miyamotoi B. miyamotoi Borrelia)
  • Groups at risk:
    • Hikers
    • Campers
    • Spelunkers
    • Woodworkers
    • Individuals residing in certain homes (rustic/log cabins, thatched roof, mud walls and floors)

Transmission of LBRF

  • Reservoir Reservoir Animate or inanimate sources which normally harbor disease-causing organisms and thus serve as potential sources of disease outbreaks. Reservoirs are distinguished from vectors (disease vectors) and carriers, which are agents of disease transmission rather than continuing sources of potential disease outbreaks. Humans may serve both as disease reservoirs and carriers. Escherichia coli hosts: humans
  • Vector for transmission: Pediculus humanus corporis Pediculus Humanus Corporis Epidemic Typhus ( human body louse Human Body Louse Epidemic Typhus)
  • Groups at risk:
    • Refugees
    • Homeless

Pathophysiology

  • Borrelia Borrelia Borrelia are gram-negative microaerophilic spirochetes. Owing to their small size, they are not easily seen on Gram stain but can be visualized using dark-field microscopy, Giemsa, or Wright stain. Spirochetes are motile and move in a characteristic spinning fashion due to axial filaments in the periplasmic space. Borrelia enters the body through:
    • Tick bite via the tick’s saliva Saliva The clear, viscous fluid secreted by the salivary glands and mucous glands of the mouth. It contains mucins, water, organic salts, and ptyalin. Salivary Glands: Anatomy in TBRF
    • Skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions or mucous membranes in LBRF 
      • Occurs when the louse is crushed by humans
      • B. recurrentis B. recurrentis Borrelia grows in the body cavity of the louse, but does not appear in the saliva Saliva The clear, viscous fluid secreted by the salivary glands and mucous glands of the mouth. It contains mucins, water, organic salts, and ptyalin. Salivary Glands: Anatomy or feces of the louse.
  • Spirochetes Spirochetes An order of slender, flexuous, helically coiled bacteria, with one or more complete turns in the helix. Treponema enter the vasculature.
    • Replication occurs every 6–12 hours.
    • Symptoms occur in conjunction with spirochetemia ( spirochetes Spirochetes An order of slender, flexuous, helically coiled bacteria, with one or more complete turns in the helix. Treponema in the blood).
      • Generalized symptoms (e.g., fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, myalgia Myalgia Painful sensation in the muscles. Ion Channel Myopathy)
      • Nonfocal CNS symptoms
      • Adherence of spirochetes Spirochetes An order of slender, flexuous, helically coiled bacteria, with one or more complete turns in the helix. Treponema to blood cells → microaggregates → occlusion of small vessels and sequestration of blood cells to the spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy and liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy → organ dysfunction
    • Allows dissemination to organs throughout the body → tissue invasion:
      • Hepatosplenomegaly Hepatosplenomegaly Cytomegalovirus
      • Impaired organ function
      • Focal CNS abnormalities
      • Can cross the maternal-fetal barrier → inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation and impairment of placenta Placenta A highly vascularized mammalian fetal-maternal organ and major site of transport of oxygen, nutrients, and fetal waste products. It includes a fetal portion (chorionic villi) derived from trophoblasts and a maternal portion (decidua) derived from the uterine endometrium. The placenta produces an array of steroid, protein and peptide hormones (placental hormones). Placenta, Umbilical Cord, and Amniotic Cavity → intrauterine growth retardation Growth Retardation Failure of a fetus to attain expected growth. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and congenital Congenital Chorioretinitis infection
  • The immune system Immune system The body’s defense mechanism against foreign organisms or substances and deviant native cells. It includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response and consists of a complex of interrelated cellular, molecular, and genetic components. Primary Lymphatic Organs attempts to clear the disease. 
    • Creation of antibodies Antibodies Immunoglobulins (Igs), also known as antibodies, are glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells that act in immune responses by recognizing and binding particular antigens. The various Ig classes are IgG (the most abundant), IgM, IgE, IgD, and IgA, which differ in their biologic features, structure, target specificity, and distribution. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions directed at the surface lipoproteins Lipoproteins Lipid-protein complexes involved in the transportation and metabolism of lipids in the body. They are spherical particles consisting of a hydrophobic core of triglycerides and cholesterol esters surrounded by a layer of hydrophilic free cholesterol; phospholipids; and apolipoproteins. Lipoproteins are classified by their varying buoyant density and sizes. Lipid Metabolism of spirochetes Spirochetes An order of slender, flexuous, helically coiled bacteria, with one or more complete turns in the helix. Treponema
    • Opsonization and complement fixation → lysis of spirochetes Spirochetes An order of slender, flexuous, helically coiled bacteria, with one or more complete turns in the helix. Treponema 
    • Products of lysis ( lipoproteins Lipoproteins Lipid-protein complexes involved in the transportation and metabolism of lipids in the body. They are spherical particles consisting of a hydrophobic core of triglycerides and cholesterol esters surrounded by a layer of hydrophilic free cholesterol; phospholipids; and apolipoproteins. Lipoproteins are classified by their varying buoyant density and sizes. Lipid Metabolism and bacterial products) → cause worsening of symptoms with fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension, and shock Shock Shock is a life-threatening condition associated with impaired circulation that results in tissue hypoxia. The different types of shock are based on the underlying cause: distributive (↑ cardiac output (CO), ↓ systemic vascular resistance (SVR)), cardiogenic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), hypovolemic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), obstructive (↓ CO), and mixed. Types of Shock/crisis phase
    • Crisis phase: symptoms similar to the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction Lyme Disease
  • Afebrile periods occur when the spirochetes Spirochetes An order of slender, flexuous, helically coiled bacteria, with one or more complete turns in the helix. Treponema are cleared from the blood.
  • Antigenic variation allows some spirochetes Spirochetes An order of slender, flexuous, helically coiled bacteria, with one or more complete turns in the helix. Treponema to evade the immune system Immune system The body’s defense mechanism against foreign organisms or substances and deviant native cells. It includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response and consists of a complex of interrelated cellular, molecular, and genetic components. Primary Lymphatic Organs and re-emerge later → creates cycles of the disease → relapses of fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever and symptoms

Clinical Presentation

Relapsing fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever timeline

  • Incubation Incubation The amount time between exposure to an infectious agent and becoming symptomatic. Rabies Virus period: 3–12 days
  • Relapsing course: febrile periods with afebrile periods of a few days
  • Febrile phase Febrile phase Dengue Virus/period:
    • Febrile episode characterized by sudden onset of fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever lasting:
      • 1–3 days in TBRF
      • 3–6 days in LBRF
    • 1st episode is usually the most severe.
    • Febrile episode ends in a crisis phase lasting 15–30 minutes.
  • Crisis phase: 
    • Mortality Mortality All deaths reported in a given population. Measures of Health Status is most commonly associated with this phase.
    • Characterized by rigors Rigors Fever and rising temperature, heart rate Heart rate The number of times the heart ventricles contract per unit of time, usually per minute. Cardiac Physiology, and blood pressure
    • Followed by several hours of diaphoresis, ↓ temperature, and hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension
  • Afebrile period: follows febrile period and can last 4–14 days
  • Relapse:
    • Fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever tends to be milder with each relapse.
    • TBRF: Multiple relapses are experienced.
    • LBRF: generally a single, milder relapse

Associated symptoms and manifestations

  • General:
    • Headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess
    • Myalgia Myalgia Painful sensation in the muscles. Ion Channel Myopathy
    • Arthralgia Arthralgia Pain in the joint. Rheumatic Fever
    • Chills Chills The sudden sensation of being cold. It may be accompanied by shivering. Fever
    • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics
    • Abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen
    • Diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea
  • Hepatic:
    • Jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice
    • Hepatosplenomegaly Hepatosplenomegaly Cytomegalovirus
  • Cardiopulmonary:
    • Myocarditis Myocarditis Myocarditis is an inflammatory disease of the myocardium, which may occur alone or in association with a systemic process. There are numerous etiologies of myocarditis, but all lead to inflammation and myocyte injury, most often leading to signs and symptoms of heart failure. Myocarditis (both TBRF and LBRF)
    • Non-productive cough (LBRF)
    • ARDS ARDS Acute respiratory distress syndrome is characterized by the sudden onset of hypoxemia and bilateral pulmonary edema without cardiac failure. Sepsis is the most common cause of ARDS. The underlying mechanism and histologic correlate is diffuse alveolar damage (DAD). Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) (occurs during TBRF crisis phase)
  • Neurologic:
    • Delirium Delirium Delirium is a medical condition characterized by acute disturbances in attention and awareness. Symptoms may fluctuate during the course of a day and involve memory deficits and disorientation. Delirium
    • Stupor
    • Dizziness Dizziness An imprecise term which may refer to a sense of spatial disorientation, motion of the environment, or lightheadedness. Lateral Medullary Syndrome (Wallenberg Syndrome)
    • Coma Coma Coma is defined as a deep state of unarousable unresponsiveness, characterized by a score of 3 points on the GCS. A comatose state can be caused by a multitude of conditions, making the precise epidemiology and prognosis of coma difficult to determine. Coma
    • Localized signs (due to spirochetemia) associated with TBRF:
      • Hemiplegia
      • Cranial neuritis (causing Bell’s palsy Bell’s palsy A syndrome characterized by the acute onset of unilateral facial paralysis which progresses over a 2-5 day period. Weakness of the orbicularis oculi muscle and resulting incomplete eye closure may be associated with corneal injury. Pain behind the ear often precedes the onset of paralysis. This condition may be associated with Human Herpesvirus 1 infection of the facial nerve. Cranial Nerve Palsies and/or deafness)
      • Myelitis
      • Meningitis Meningitis Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the protective membranes of the brain, and spinal cord. The causes of meningitis are varied, with the most common being bacterial or viral infection. The classic presentation of meningitis is a triad of fever, altered mental status, and nuchal rigidity. Meningitis or meningoencephalitis Meningoencephalitis Encephalitis
      • Radiculopathy Radiculopathy Disease involving a spinal nerve root which may result from compression related to intervertebral disk displacement; spinal cord injuries; spinal diseases; and other conditions. Clinical manifestations include radicular pain, weakness, and sensory loss referable to structures innervated by the involved nerve root. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Ophthalmological (more common in TBRF):
  • Dermatological (more common in TBRF):
  • Hematological findings due to ↓ platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology, clotting factors (more common in LBRF):
    • Epistaxis Epistaxis Bleeding from the nose. Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis
    • Hemoptysis Hemoptysis Hemoptysis is defined as the expectoration of blood originating in the lower respiratory tract. Hemoptysis is a consequence of another disease process and can be classified as either life threatening or non-life threatening. Hemoptysis can result in significant morbidity and mortality due to both drowning (reduced gas exchange as the lungs fill with blood) and hemorrhagic shock. Hemoptysis
    • Petechiae Petechiae Primary Skin Lesions and ecchymoses
    • Disseminated intravascular coagulation Disseminated intravascular coagulation Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a condition characterized by systemic bodywide activation of the coagulation cascade. This cascade results in both widespread microvascular thrombi contributing to multiple organ dysfunction and consumption of clotting factors and platelets, leading to hemorrhage. Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation

Prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas

Findings indicative of poor prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas:

  • Stupor or coma Coma Coma is defined as a deep state of unarousable unresponsiveness, characterized by a score of 3 points on the GCS. A comatose state can be caused by a multitude of conditions, making the precise epidemiology and prognosis of coma difficult to determine. Coma
  • Pneumonia Pneumonia Pneumonia or pulmonary inflammation is an acute or chronic inflammation of lung tissue. Causes include infection with bacteria, viruses, or fungi. In more rare cases, pneumonia can also be caused through toxic triggers through inhalation of toxic substances, immunological processes, or in the course of radiotherapy. Pneumonia
  • Myocarditis Myocarditis Myocarditis is an inflammatory disease of the myocardium, which may occur alone or in association with a systemic process. There are numerous etiologies of myocarditis, but all lead to inflammation and myocyte injury, most often leading to signs and symptoms of heart failure. Myocarditis
  • Diffuse bleeding
  • Severe liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease
  • Malnutrition Malnutrition Malnutrition is a clinical state caused by an imbalance or deficiency of calories and/or micronutrients and macronutrients. The 2 main manifestations of acute severe malnutrition are marasmus (total caloric insufficiency) and kwashiorkor (protein malnutrition with characteristic edema). Malnutrition in children in resource-limited countries
  • Coinfection with typhus, malaria Malaria Malaria is an infectious parasitic disease affecting humans and other animals. Most commonly transmitted via the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito infected with microorganisms of the Plasmodium genus. Patients present with fever, chills, myalgia, headache, and diaphoresis. Plasmodium/Malaria, typhoid Typhoid Typhoid (or enteric) fever is a severe, systemic bacterial infection classically caused by the facultative intracellular and Gram-negative bacilli Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi (S. Typhimurium, formerly S. typhi). S. paratyphi serotypes A, B, or C can cause a similar syndrome. Enteric Fever (Typhoid Fever)

Diagnosis

  • Thick and thin blood smear Blood smear Myeloperoxidase Deficiency is the 1st step:
    • Attempt to visualize the microorganisms using:
    • Optimal between the onset and peak of fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever
    • Lower yield, once the temperature is declining
  • For tissue specimens: silver stain Silver stain The use of silver, usually silver nitrate, as a reagent for producing contrast or coloration in tissue specimens. Legionella/Legionellosis or immunofluorescence
  • If blood smear Blood smear Myeloperoxidase Deficiency is unremarkable, but there is high clinical suspicion:
    • PCR PCR Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique that amplifies DNA fragments exponentially for analysis. The process is highly specific, allowing for the targeting of specific genomic sequences, even with minuscule sample amounts. The PCR cycles multiple times through 3 phases: denaturation of the template DNA, annealing of a specific primer to the individual DNA strands, and synthesis/elongation of new DNA molecules. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) can be performed using blood, CSF, or tissue samples.
    • Culture:
      • Requires special culture media
      • Only a few laboratories have this capability.
Blood smear diagnosing borrellia infection

Blood smear Blood smear Myeloperoxidase Deficiency showing Borrelia Borrelia Borrelia are gram-negative microaerophilic spirochetes. Owing to their small size, they are not easily seen on Gram stain but can be visualized using dark-field microscopy, Giemsa, or Wright stain. Spirochetes are motile and move in a characteristic spinning fashion due to axial filaments in the periplasmic space. Borrelia:
Blood smear Blood smear Myeloperoxidase Deficiency of a patient with tick-borne relapsing fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever secondary to Borrelia hispanica Borrelia hispanica Borrelia. Irregular coils of spirochetes Spirochetes An order of slender, flexuous, helically coiled bacteria, with one or more complete turns in the helix. Treponema are seen.

Image: “ Blood Smear Blood smear Myeloperoxidase Deficiency” by Irmin Leen et al AL Amyloidosis. License: CC BY 4.0

Other supporting tests and findings:

  • CBC:
    • Normocytic or hemolytic anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types
    • Leukopenia during a crisis
    • Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate Soft Tissue Abscess
  • ↑ Aminotransferases and unconjugated bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism
  • Prothrombin Prothrombin A plasma protein that is the inactive precursor of thrombin. It is converted to thrombin by a prothrombin activator complex consisting of factor Xa, factor V, phospholipid, and calcium ions. Hemostasis and partial thromboplastin
  • CSF analysis CSF analysis Meningitis:
    • Monocytes Monocytes Large, phagocytic mononuclear leukocytes produced in the vertebrate bone marrow and released into the blood; contain a large, oval or somewhat indented nucleus surrounded by voluminous cytoplasm and numerous organelles. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation
    • ↑ Protein
    • Normal glucose Glucose A primary source of energy for living organisms. It is naturally occurring and is found in fruits and other parts of plants in its free state. It is used therapeutically in fluid and nutrient replacement. Lactose Intolerance
  • ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG): in myocarditis Myocarditis Myocarditis is an inflammatory disease of the myocardium, which may occur alone or in association with a systemic process. There are numerous etiologies of myocarditis, but all lead to inflammation and myocyte injury, most often leading to signs and symptoms of heart failure. Myocarditis, prolonged QTc interval
  • Chest X-ray Chest X-ray X-ray visualization of the chest and organs of the thoracic cavity. It is not restricted to visualization of the lungs. Pulmonary Function Tests: may show pulmonary edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema

Management

Tick-borne relapsing fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever

  • Most patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship will require hospitalization Hospitalization The confinement of a patient in a hospital. Delirium due to severe symptoms.
  • Antibiotic therapy:
    • Initial intravenous (IV) therapy:
      • Penicillin G Penicillin G A penicillin derivative commonly used in the form of its sodium or potassium salts in the treatment of a variety of infections. It is effective against most gram-positive bacteria and against gram-negative cocci. It has also been used as an experimental convulsant because of its actions on gamma-aminobutyric acid mediated synaptic transmission. Penicillins
      • Ceftriaxone Ceftriaxone A broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic and cefotaxime derivative with a very long half-life and high penetrability to meninges, eyes and inner ears. Cephalosporins (preferred for neurological involvement)
    • Transition to oral, once clinically stable:
      • Doxycycline
      • Azithromycin Azithromycin A semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotic structurally related to erythromycin. It has been used in the treatment of Mycobacterium avium intracellulare infections, toxoplasmosis, and cryptosporidiosis. Macrolides and Ketolides

Louse-borne relapsing fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever

Most patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship can be treated with a single dose of:

  • Penicillin G Penicillin G A penicillin derivative commonly used in the form of its sodium or potassium salts in the treatment of a variety of infections. It is effective against most gram-positive bacteria and against gram-negative cocci. It has also been used as an experimental convulsant because of its actions on gamma-aminobutyric acid mediated synaptic transmission. Penicillins
  • Doxycycline or tetracycline Tetracycline A naphthacene antibiotic that inhibits amino Acyl tRNA binding during protein synthesis. Drug-induced Liver Injury
  • Erythromycin Erythromycin A bacteriostatic antibiotic macrolide produced by streptomyces erythreus. Erythromycin a is considered its major active component. In sensitive organisms, it inhibits protein synthesis by binding to 50s ribosomal subunits. This binding process inhibits peptidyl transferase activity and interferes with translocation of amino acids during translation and assembly of proteins. Macrolides and Ketolides

Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction Lyme Disease

  • Caused by an immune response to the antigens released by dying spirochetes Spirochetes An order of slender, flexuous, helically coiled bacteria, with one or more complete turns in the helix. Treponema
  • Symptoms:
  • All patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship should be monitored after therapy is initiated.
    • Often occurs within 4–6 hours
    • Can last up to 24 hours
    • Seen in:
      • Approximately 80% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with LBRF
      • Approximately 50% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with TBRF
  • Supportive care may be given:
    • Antipyretics (e.g., acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen, aspirin Aspirin The prototypical analgesic used in the treatment of mild to moderate pain. It has anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties and acts as an inhibitor of cyclooxygenase which results in the inhibition of the biosynthesis of prostaglandins. Aspirin also inhibits platelet aggregation and is used in the prevention of arterial and venous thrombosis. Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), ibuprofen Ibuprofen A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent with analgesic properties used in the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis. Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs))
    • IV fluids IV fluids Intravenous fluids are one of the most common interventions administered in medicine to approximate physiologic bodily fluids. Intravenous fluids are divided into 2 categories: crystalloid and colloid solutions. Intravenous fluids have a wide variety of indications, including intravascular volume expansion, electrolyte manipulation, and maintenance fluids. Intravenous Fluids

Prevention and Prophylaxis

Prevention of TBRF

Prevention of LBRF

  • Improve hygiene.
  • Wash clothing.
  • Avoid crowding.

Post-exposure prophylaxis Prophylaxis Cephalosporins

  • Given to individuals: 
    • At high risk of infection 
    • With suspected exposure Exposure ABCDE Assessment
    • In endemic areas
    • After accidental inoculation (infected blood or culture in a laboratory setting)
  • Antibiotic choices:

Differential Diagnosis

  • Lyme disease Lyme disease Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection caused by the gram-negative spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease is transmitted by the black-legged Ixodes tick (known as a deer tick), which is only found in specific geographic regions. Patient presentation can vary depending on the stage of the disease and may include a characteristic erythema migrans rash. Lyme Disease: an infection caused by B. burgdorferi, which is transmitted by the Ixodes tick. Presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor depends on the stage of the disease and may include a characteristic erythema Erythema Redness of the skin produced by congestion of the capillaries. This condition may result from a variety of disease processes. Chalazion migrans rash Rash Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Neurological, cardiac Cardiac Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR), ocular, and joint manifestations are also common in later stages. Diagnosis relies on clinical findings and tick exposure Exposure ABCDE Assessment and is supported by serological testing. Antibiotics are used for treatment. 
  • Leptospirosis Leptospirosis Leptospira is a spiral or question mark-shaped, gram-negative spirochete with hook-shaped ends. The major clinical species is Leptospira interrogans, which causes a mild flu-like illness in a majority of cases. The manifestations are biphasic, with Leptospira found in the blood initially. Leptospira/Leptospirosis: a disease caused by Leptospira Leptospira Leptospira is a spiral or question mark-shaped, gram-negative spirochete with hook-shaped ends. The disease, leptospirosis, is a zoonosis, infecting animals. Rodents are the most important reservoir. Bacteria shed in the urine of rodents and other animals can be transmitted to humans via contaminated water. Leptospira/Leptospirosis interrogans. Leptospirosis Leptospirosis Leptospira is a spiral or question mark-shaped, gram-negative spirochete with hook-shaped ends. The major clinical species is Leptospira interrogans, which causes a mild flu-like illness in a majority of cases. The manifestations are biphasic, with Leptospira found in the blood initially. Leptospira/Leptospirosis causes a mild flu-like illness in a majority of cases and the manifestations are biphasic. In about 10% of infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease, icterohemorrhagic leptospirosis Icterohemorrhagic leptospirosis Leptospira/Leptospirosis develops, manifesting as hemorrhage, renal failure Renal failure Conditions in which the kidneys perform below the normal level in the ability to remove wastes, concentrate urine, and maintain electrolyte balance; blood pressure; and calcium metabolism. Renal insufficiency can be classified by the degree of kidney damage (as measured by the level of proteinuria) and reduction in glomerular filtration rate. Crush Syndrome, and jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice. Bacterial culture takes weeks, so other diagnostic tests Diagnostic tests Diagnostic tests are important aspects in making a diagnosis. Some of the most important epidemiological values of diagnostic tests include sensitivity and specificity, false positives and false negatives, positive and negative predictive values, likelihood ratios, and pre-test and post-test probabilities. Epidemiological Values of Diagnostic Tests such as serology Serology The study of serum, especially of antigen-antibody reactions in vitro. Yellow Fever Virus and dark-field microscopy Dark-field microscopy Treponema are used. Treatment is primarily with penicillin Penicillin Rheumatic Fever.
  • Babesiosis Babesiosis Babesiosis is an infection caused by a protozoa belonging to the genus, Babesia. The most common Babesia seen in the United States is B. microti, which is transmitted by the Ixodes tick. The protozoa thrive and replicate within host erythrocytes. Lysis of erythrocytes and the body’s immune response result in clinical symptoms. Babesia/Babesiosis: a tick-borne infection caused by Babesia Babesia Babesiosis is an infection caused by a protozoa belonging to the genus, Babesia. The most common Babesia seen in the United States is B. microti, which is transmitted by the Ixodes tick. The protozoa thrive and replicate within host erythrocytes. Lysis of erythrocytes and the body’s immune response result in clinical symptoms. Babesia/Babesiosis. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship can be asymptomatic or develop fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, fatigue Fatigue The state of weariness following a period of exertion, mental or physical, characterized by a decreased capacity for work and reduced efficiency to respond to stimuli. Fibromyalgia, malaise Malaise Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus, and arthralgias. Asplenic, immunocompromised immunocompromised A human or animal whose immunologic mechanism is deficient because of an immunodeficiency disorder or other disease or as the result of the administration of immunosuppressive drugs or radiation. Gastroenteritis, and elderly patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship are at risk for severe disease, which can result in hemolytic anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types, thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia, hepatosplenomegaly Hepatosplenomegaly Cytomegalovirus, renal failure Renal failure Conditions in which the kidneys perform below the normal level in the ability to remove wastes, concentrate urine, and maintain electrolyte balance; blood pressure; and calcium metabolism. Renal insufficiency can be classified by the degree of kidney damage (as measured by the level of proteinuria) and reduction in glomerular filtration rate. Crush Syndrome, and death. Diagnosis is based on a peripheral blood smear Peripheral Blood Smear Anemia: Overview and Types, serological testing, and PCR PCR Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique that amplifies DNA fragments exponentially for analysis. The process is highly specific, allowing for the targeting of specific genomic sequences, even with minuscule sample amounts. The PCR cycles multiple times through 3 phases: denaturation of the template DNA, annealing of a specific primer to the individual DNA strands, and synthesis/elongation of new DNA molecules. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Treatment is with antibiotics, such as atovaquone Atovaquone A hydroxynaphthoquinone that has antimicrobial activity and is being used in antimalarial protocols. Antimalarial Drugs plus azithromycin Azithromycin A semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotic structurally related to erythromycin. It has been used in the treatment of Mycobacterium avium intracellulare infections, toxoplasmosis, and cryptosporidiosis. Macrolides and Ketolides.
  • Ehrlichiosis Ehrlichiosis Ehrlichiosis is a tick-borne bacterial infection. The most common causative species include Ehrlichia chaffeensis, which infect and multiply within monocytes. The clinical presentation can vary widely, but often includes fever, malaise, headache, myalgia, and arthralgias. Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis and anaplasmosis Anaplasmosis Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne bacterial infection. The most common causative species include Anaplasma phagocytophilum, which infect and multiply within granulocytes. The clinical presentation can vary widely, but often includes fever, malaise, headache, myalgia, and arthralgias. Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis: tick-borne infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease caused by Ehrlichia chaffeensis Ehrlichia chaffeensis A species of gram-negative bacteria that is the causative agent of human ehrlichiosis. This organism was first discovered at fort chaffee, arkansas, when blood samples from suspected human ehrlichiosis patients were studied. Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis and Anaplasmosis Anaplasmosis Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne bacterial infection. The most common causative species include Anaplasma phagocytophilum, which infect and multiply within granulocytes. The clinical presentation can vary widely, but often includes fever, malaise, headache, myalgia, and arthralgias. Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis phagocytophilum, respectively. Symptoms include fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess, and malaise Malaise Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus. A rash Rash Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is uncommon, but can appear petechial or maculopapular Maculopapular Dermatologic Examination. The diagnosis is based on serology Serology The study of serum, especially of antigen-antibody reactions in vitro. Yellow Fever Virus or PCR PCR Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique that amplifies DNA fragments exponentially for analysis. The process is highly specific, allowing for the targeting of specific genomic sequences, even with minuscule sample amounts. The PCR cycles multiple times through 3 phases: denaturation of the template DNA, annealing of a specific primer to the individual DNA strands, and synthesis/elongation of new DNA molecules. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Treatment of both diseases is with doxycycline.
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever: a disease caused by Rickettsia Rickettsia Rickettsiae are a diverse collection of obligate intracellular, gram-negative bacteria that have a tropism for vascular endothelial cells. The vectors for transmission vary by species but include ticks, fleas, mites, and lice. Rickettsia rickettsii that presents with fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, fatigue Fatigue The state of weariness following a period of exertion, mental or physical, characterized by a decreased capacity for work and reduced efficiency to respond to stimuli. Fibromyalgia, headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess, and a rash Rash Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever following a tick bite ( Dermacentor Dermacentor A widely distributed genus of ticks, in the family ixodidae, including a number that infest humans and other mammals. Several are vectors of diseases such as tularemia; rocky mountain spotted fever; colorado tick fever; and anaplasmosis. Rickettsia tick). Diagnosis is based on the clinical features, biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma of the rash Rash Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and serological testing. Treatment is with antibiotics, including doxycycline.
  • Epidemic typhus Epidemic Typhus Epidemic typhus is a febrile illness caused by the obligate intracellular gram-negative bacterium, Rickettsia prowazekii. Epidemic typhus is also known as louse-borne typhus or jail fever, and its symptoms include high fever, headache, myalgias, dry cough, delirium, stupor, and rash. Epidemic Typhus: a louse-borne disease caused by Rickettsia Rickettsia Rickettsiae are a diverse collection of obligate intracellular, gram-negative bacteria that have a tropism for vascular endothelial cells. The vectors for transmission vary by species but include ticks, fleas, mites, and lice. Rickettsia prowazekii that presents with myalgia Myalgia Painful sensation in the muscles. Ion Channel Myopathy, arthralgia Arthralgia Pain in the joint. Rheumatic Fever, rash Rash Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and encephalitis Encephalitis Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain parenchyma caused by an infection, usually viral. Encephalitis may present with mild symptoms such as headache, fever, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain or with severe symptoms such as seizures, altered consciousness, and paralysis. Encephalitis. A rash Rash Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever starts on the trunk and spreads outward to the extremities. Diagnosis is based on the clinical picture and serological testing. Treatment is with antibiotics, including doxycycline. 
  • Infectious Infectious Febrile Infant mononucleosis Mononucleosis Infectious mononucleosis (IM), also known as “the kissing disease,” is a highly contagious viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Its common name is derived from its main method of transmission: the spread of infected saliva via kissing. Clinical manifestations of IM include fever, tonsillar pharyngitis, and lymphadenopathy. Mononucleosis: a disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology that is characterized by fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, fatigue Fatigue The state of weariness following a period of exertion, mental or physical, characterized by a decreased capacity for work and reduced efficiency to respond to stimuli. Fibromyalgia, lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy is lymph node enlargement (> 1 cm) and is benign and self-limited in most patients. Etiologies include malignancy, infection, and autoimmune disorders, as well as iatrogenic causes such as the use of certain medications. Generalized lymphadenopathy often indicates underlying systemic disease. Lymphadenopathy, and pharyngitis Pharyngitis Pharyngitis is an inflammation of the back of the throat (pharynx). Pharyngitis is usually caused by an upper respiratory tract infection, which is viral in most cases. It typically results in a sore throat and fever. Other symptoms may include a runny nose, cough, headache, and hoarseness. Pharyngitis. Diagnosis is based on clinical features and testing, using a heterophile antibody test or serology Serology The study of serum, especially of antigen-antibody reactions in vitro. Yellow Fever Virus. Treatment is with supportive care. 
  • Malaria Malaria Malaria is an infectious parasitic disease affecting humans and other animals. Most commonly transmitted via the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito infected with microorganisms of the Plasmodium genus. Patients present with fever, chills, myalgia, headache, and diaphoresis. Plasmodium/Malaria: an infection caused by Plasmodium Plasmodium A genus of protozoa that comprise the malaria parasites of mammals. Four species infect humans (although occasional infections with primate malarias may occur). These are plasmodium falciparum; plasmodium malariae; plasmodium ovale, and plasmodium vivax. Species causing infection in vertebrates other than man include: plasmodium berghei; plasmodium chabaudi; p. Vinckei, and plasmodium yoelii in rodents; p. Brasilianum, plasmodium cynomolgi; and plasmodium knowlesi in monkeys; and plasmodium gallinaceum in chickens. Antimalarial Drugs. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship may also present with periodic fever Periodic Fever Fever. Other symptoms include rigors Rigors Fever, night sweats Night sweats Tuberculosis, diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea, abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen, seizure, hemolytic anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types, and splenomegaly Splenomegaly Splenomegaly is pathologic enlargement of the spleen that is attributable to numerous causes, including infections, hemoglobinopathies, infiltrative processes, and outflow obstruction of the portal vein. Splenomegaly. Diagnosis is confirmed by visualizing Plasmodium Plasmodium A genus of protozoa that comprise the malaria parasites of mammals. Four species infect humans (although occasional infections with primate malarias may occur). These are plasmodium falciparum; plasmodium malariae; plasmodium ovale, and plasmodium vivax. Species causing infection in vertebrates other than man include: plasmodium berghei; plasmodium chabaudi; p. Vinckei, and plasmodium yoelii in rodents; p. Brasilianum, plasmodium cynomolgi; and plasmodium knowlesi in monkeys; and plasmodium gallinaceum in chickens. Antimalarial Drugs on a peripheral smear and based on a rapid test for the detection of Plasmodium Plasmodium A genus of protozoa that comprise the malaria parasites of mammals. Four species infect humans (although occasional infections with primate malarias may occur). These are plasmodium falciparum; plasmodium malariae; plasmodium ovale, and plasmodium vivax. Species causing infection in vertebrates other than man include: plasmodium berghei; plasmodium chabaudi; p. Vinckei, and plasmodium yoelii in rodents; p. Brasilianum, plasmodium cynomolgi; and plasmodium knowlesi in monkeys; and plasmodium gallinaceum in chickens. Antimalarial Drugs antigens. Treatment with antimalarials depends on the species. 
  • Typhoid Typhoid Typhoid (or enteric) fever is a severe, systemic bacterial infection classically caused by the facultative intracellular and Gram-negative bacilli Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi (S. Typhimurium, formerly S. typhi). S. paratyphi serotypes A, B, or C can cause a similar syndrome. Enteric Fever (Typhoid Fever) fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever: a systemic disease caused by Salmonella Salmonella Salmonellae are gram-negative bacilli of the family Enterobacteriaceae. Salmonellae are flagellated, non-lactose-fermenting, and hydrogen sulfide-producing microbes. Salmonella enterica, the most common disease-causing species in humans, is further classified based on serotype as typhoidal (S. typhi and paratyphi) and nontyphoidal (S. enteritidis and typhimurium). Salmonella enterica serotype typhi. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship may have high fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen, and rose spots Rose spots Small, speckled, rose-colored exanthem most commonly on the lower chest/abdomen Enteric Fever (Typhoid Fever) ( rashes Rashes Rashes are a group of diseases that cause abnormal coloration and texture to the skin. The etiologies are numerous but can include irritation, allergens, infections, or inflammatory conditions. Rashes that present in only 1 area of the body are called localized rashes. Generalized rashes occur diffusely throughout the body. Generalized and Localized Rashes) on the body. Unlike relapsing fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, typhoid Typhoid Typhoid (or enteric) fever is a severe, systemic bacterial infection classically caused by the facultative intracellular and Gram-negative bacilli Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi (S. Typhimurium, formerly S. typhi). S. paratyphi serotypes A, B, or C can cause a similar syndrome. Enteric Fever (Typhoid Fever) predominantly manifests with GI symptoms. Diagnosis is based on clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor and confirmed using culture studies. Treatment is with antibiotics, including ceftriaxone Ceftriaxone A broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic and cefotaxime derivative with a very long half-life and high penetrability to meninges, eyes and inner ears. Cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones Fluoroquinolones Fluoroquinolones are a group of broad-spectrum, bactericidal antibiotics inhibiting bacterial DNA replication. Fluoroquinolones cover gram-negative, anaerobic, and atypical organisms, as well as some gram-positive and multidrug-resistant (MDR) organisms. Fluoroquinolones, and azithromycin Azithromycin A semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotic structurally related to erythromycin. It has been used in the treatment of Mycobacterium avium intracellulare infections, toxoplasmosis, and cryptosporidiosis. Macrolides and Ketolides.
  • Brucellosis Brucellosis Brucellosis (also known as undulant fever, Mediterranean fever, or Malta fever) is a zoonotic infection that spreads predominantly through ingestion of unpasteurized dairy products or direct contact with infected animal products. Clinical manifestations include fever, arthralgias, malaise, lymphadenopathy, and hepatosplenomegaly. Brucella/Brucellosis: an infection caused by Brucella Brucella Brucellosis (also known as undulant fever, Mediterranean fever, or Malta fever) is a zoonotic infection that spreads predominantly through ingestion of unpasteurized dairy products or direct contact with infected animal products. Clinical manifestations include fever, arthralgias, malaise, lymphadenopathy, and hepatosplenomegaly. Brucella/Brucellosis, which spreads predominantly after the ingestion of unpasteurized dairy products or direct contact with infected animal products. Clinical manifestations include fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, arthralgias, malaise Malaise Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus, lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy is lymph node enlargement (> 1 cm) and is benign and self-limited in most patients. Etiologies include malignancy, infection, and autoimmune disorders, as well as iatrogenic causes such as the use of certain medications. Generalized lymphadenopathy often indicates underlying systemic disease. Lymphadenopathy, and hepatosplenomegaly Hepatosplenomegaly Cytomegalovirus. Diagnosis is based on clinical manifestations, exposure Exposure ABCDE Assessment history, serology Serology The study of serum, especially of antigen-antibody reactions in vitro. Yellow Fever Virus, and culture studies. Management of brucellosis Brucellosis Brucellosis (also known as undulant fever, Mediterranean fever, or Malta fever) is a zoonotic infection that spreads predominantly through ingestion of unpasteurized dairy products or direct contact with infected animal products. Clinical manifestations include fever, arthralgias, malaise, lymphadenopathy, and hepatosplenomegaly. Brucella/Brucellosis involves a combination of antibiotics, including doxycycline, rifampin Rifampin A semisynthetic antibiotic produced from streptomyces mediterranei. It has a broad antibacterial spectrum, including activity against several forms of Mycobacterium. In susceptible organisms it inhibits dna-dependent RNA polymerase activity by forming a stable complex with the enzyme. It thus suppresses the initiation of RNA synthesis. Rifampin is bactericidal, and acts on both intracellular and extracellular organisms. Epiglottitis, and aminoglycosides Aminoglycosides Aminoglycosides are a class of antibiotics including gentamicin, tobramycin, amikacin, neomycin, plazomicin, and streptomycin. The class binds the 30S ribosomal subunit to inhibit bacterial protein synthesis. Unlike other medications with a similar mechanism of action, aminoglycosides are bactericidal. Aminoglycosides.

References

  1. Barbour, A.G. (2020). Clinical features, diagnosis, and management of relapsing fever. In Mitty, J. (Ed.), UpToDate. Retrieved December 21, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-features-diagnosis-and-management-of-relapsing-fever
  2. Barbour, A.G. (2020). Microbiology, pathogenesis, and epidemiology of relapsing fever. In Mitty, J. (Ed.), UpToDate. Retrieved December 27, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/microbiology-pathogenesis-and-epidemiology-of-relapsing-fever
  3. Bush, L.M., and Vazquez-Pertejo, M.T. (2020). Relapsing fever. [online] MSD Manual Professional Version. Retrieved December 22, 2020, from https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious-diseases/spirochetes/relapsing-fever
  4. Bobkova, E., and Kauser, A. (2017). Relapsing fever. In Bronze, M.S. (Ed.), Medscape. Retrieved December 22, 2020, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/227272-overview
  5. Snowden, J., Yarrarapu, S.N.S, and Oliver, T.I. (2020). Relapsing fever. [online] StatPearls. Retrieved December 29, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441913/

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