Achieve Mastery of Medical Concepts

Study for medical school and boards with Lecturio

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

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 (RMSF) is a bacterial infection caused by the obligate intracellular parasite 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. Transmission occurs through an arthropod vector, most commonly the American dog tick ( 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 variabilis). 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 is prevalent in the southeastern United States. Early signs and symptoms of RMSF are nonspecific and include a 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, severe 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 rash. The rash is characteristic in that it begins peripherally and moves centrally, and also appears on the hands and soles. A high clinical suspicion is required for diagnosis, and empiric treatment with doxycycline is recommended within 5 days of symptoms onset.

Last updated: Feb 9, 2021

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

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 (RMSF) is an infectious Infectious Febrile Infant disease caused by the bacteria Bacteria Bacteria are prokaryotic single-celled microorganisms that are metabolically active and divide by binary fission. Some of these organisms play a significant role in the pathogenesis of diseases. Bacteriology 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, which is usually transmitted by 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.

Epidemiology

  • Incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency rate (per year): 0–63 cases per million people (state-dependent)
  • Affects all ages, but most common in those aged 40–64 years
  • Higher incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency in Native Americans
  • Most common rickettsial infection in the United States
  • Occurs throughout the United States, but most prevalent in the southeastearn and south-central states
  • Outside the United States: South and Central America
  • Distribution is dependent on the location of the tick vector.
  • Risk factors:
    • Season: more common in spring and early summer
    • Increased tick burden: residency near wooded areas or areas with high grass
Epidemiology of rocky mountain spotted fever

Distribution of 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 rickettsiosis in the United States, of which RMSF is a type, 2014

Image: “US distribution of 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 rickettsiosis” by CDC. License: Public Domain

Etiology

  • Causative agent is R. rickettsii:
  • Route of transmission: tick bite
  • Hosts and vectors:
    • Most common in the United States:
      • American dog tick ( 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 variabilis)
      • Rocky Mountain wood tick Wood tick A genus of hardbacked ticks, in the family Ixodidae. It includes the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, and the Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum, in the Americas. Amblyomma americanum is the primary vector of Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii which cause Ehrlichiosis. Other Amblyomma-associated diseases include tularemia and rickettsiosis. Rickettsia ( 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 andersoni)
    • Central and South America:
      • Brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus)
      • Lone star tick ( Amblyomma Amblyomma A genus of hardbacked ticks, in the family Ixodidae. It includes the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, and the Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum, in the Americas. Amblyomma americanum is the primary vector of Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii which cause Ehrlichiosis. Other Amblyomma-associated diseases include tularemia and rickettsiosis. Rickettsia cajennense)
Dermacentor tick

Adult 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

Image: “Adult 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 spp. tick” by Center for Infectious Infectious Febrile Infant Diseases and Travel Medicine, University Hospital Freiburg, Hugstetter Strasse, Germany. License: CC BY 2.0

Pathophysiology

  • R. rickettsii are transmitted to human hosts through the bite of an infected tick.
  • During feeding, bacteria Bacteria Bacteria are prokaryotic single-celled microorganisms that are metabolically active and divide by binary fission. Some of these organisms play a significant role in the pathogenesis of diseases. Bacteriology are released from tick salivary glands Salivary glands The salivary glands are exocrine glands positioned in and around the oral cavity. These glands are responsible for secreting saliva into the mouth, which aids in digestion. There are 3 major paired salivary glands: the sublingual, submandibular, and parotid glands. Salivary Glands: Anatomy.
  • 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 have a tropism for endothelial cells and adhere to the cells via membrane lipopolysaccharides Lipopolysaccharides Lipid-containing polysaccharides which are endotoxins and important group-specific antigens. They are often derived from the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria and induce immunoglobulin secretion. The lipopolysaccharide molecule consists of three parts: lipid a, core polysaccharide, and o-specific chains (o antigens). When derived from Escherichia coli, lipopolysaccharides serve as polyclonal b-cell mitogens commonly used in laboratory immunology. Diarrheagenic E. coli (LPS) and rickettsial outer membrane proteins Outer membrane proteins Neisseria (rOmps).
  • 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 are then endocytosed into host cells and cause host cell lysis via:
    • Phospholipase A
    • Protease Protease Enzyme of the human immunodeficiency virus that is required for post-translational cleavage of gag and gag-pol precursor polyproteins into functional products needed for viral assembly. HIV protease is an aspartic protease encoded by the amino terminus of the pol gene. HIV Infection and AIDS
    • Free radical Free Radical Highly reactive molecules with an unsatisfied electron valence pair. Free radicals are produced in both normal and pathological processes. They are proven or suspected agents of tissue damage in a wide variety of circumstances including radiation, damage from environment chemicals, and aging. Natural and pharmacological prevention of free radical damage is being actively investigated. Nitroimidazoles–induced lipid peroxidation Lipid peroxidation Peroxidase catalyzed oxidation of lipids using hydrogen peroxide as an electron acceptor. Drug-induced Liver Injury
  • 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 are then able to spread hematogenously through the blood and lymphatics:
    • Continued replication within vessels causes vasculitis Vasculitis Inflammation of any one of the blood vessels, including the arteries; veins; and rest of the vasculature system in the body. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
    • Widespread vasculitis Vasculitis Inflammation of any one of the blood vessels, including the arteries; veins; and rest of the vasculature system in the body. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus can result in microhemorrhages and 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 ( DIC DIC 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).

Related videos

Clinical Presentation

Symptoms usually occur within 2–14 days of exposure Exposure ABCDE Assessment to an infected tick bite. Initial symptoms may be vague and non-specific ( 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, generalized malaise Malaise Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus). Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship may not be aware of tick exposure Exposure ABCDE Assessment.

Classic triad

  • 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
  • Rash: 

Other possible clinical symptoms

  • Arthralgias
  • Abdominal pain Abdominal Pain Acute Abdomen (common in children)
  • 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 and/or vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
  • Conjunctivitis Conjunctivitis Conjunctivitis is a common inflammation of the bulbar and/or palpebral conjunctiva. It can be classified into infectious (mostly viral) and noninfectious conjunctivitis, which includes allergic causes. Patients commonly present with red eyes, increased tearing, burning, foreign body sensation, and photophobia. Conjunctivitis 
  • 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

Complications

Complications of untreated infection may include:

  • 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
  • Pulmonary edema Pulmonary edema Pulmonary edema is a condition caused by excess fluid within the lung parenchyma and alveoli as a consequence of a disease process. Based on etiology, pulmonary edema is classified as cardiogenic or noncardiogenic. Patients may present with progressive dyspnea, orthopnea, cough, or respiratory failure. Pulmonary Edema
  • Adult respiratory distress syndrome
  • Arrhythmias
  • Coagulopathy (including DIC DIC 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)
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding Gastrointestinal bleeding Gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB) is a symptom of multiple diseases within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Gastrointestinal bleeding is designated as upper or lower based on the etiology’s location to the ligament of Treitz. Depending on the location of the bleeding, the patient may present with hematemesis (vomiting blood), melena (black, tarry stool), or hematochezia (fresh blood in stools). Gastrointestinal Bleeding
  • 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 necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage and gangrene Gangrene Death and putrefaction of tissue usually due to a loss of blood supply. Small Bowel Obstruction

Diagnosis

History

  • Recent travel to areas with high prevalence Prevalence The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from incidence, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency
  • Possible tick exposure Exposure ABCDE Assessment

Physical exam

  • Rash
  • Pedal 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 (especially in children)
  • Conjunctival erythema Erythema Redness of the skin produced by congestion of the capillaries. This condition may result from a variety of disease processes. Chalazion
  • Meningismus Meningismus Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (in cases of central nervous system Nervous system The nervous system is a small and complex system that consists of an intricate network of neural cells (or neurons) and even more glial cells (for support and insulation). It is divided according to its anatomical components as well as its functional characteristics. The brain and spinal cord are referred to as the central nervous system, and the branches of nerves from these structures are referred to as the peripheral nervous system. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification involvement)
  • Late/severe manifestations:
    • Change in mental status
    • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
    • Gangrene Gangrene Death and putrefaction of tissue usually due to a loss of blood supply. Small Bowel Obstruction of digits and ears

Laboratory studies

  • Most patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship will have normal laboratory findings initially, including normal WBC count.
  • Later abnormalities include:
    • 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
    • Prolonged partial thromboplastin time Partial thromboplastin time The time required for the appearance of fibrin strands following the mixing of plasma with phospholipid platelet substitute (e.g., crude cephalins, soybean phosphatides). It is a test of the intrinsic pathway (factors VIII, IX, XI, and XII) and the common pathway (fibrinogen, prothrombin, factors V and X) of blood coagulation. Hemostasis (PTT) and prothrombin time Prothrombin time Clotting time of plasma recalcified in the presence of excess tissue thromboplastin. Factors measured are fibrinogen; prothrombin; factor V; factor VII; and factor X. Hemostasis (PT)
    • Transaminitis Transaminitis Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus
    • Hyperbilirubinemia Hyperbilirubinemia A condition characterized by an abnormal increase of bilirubin in the blood, which may result in jaundice. Bilirubin, a breakdown product of heme, is normally excreted in the bile or further catabolized before excretion in the urine. Jaundice
    • Azotemia Azotemia A biochemical abnormality referring to an elevation of blood urea nitrogen and creatinine. Azotemia can be produced by kidney diseases or other extrarenal disorders. When azotemia becomes associated with a constellation of clinical signs, it is termed uremia. Acute Kidney Injury
  • Definitive tests: 
    • Serology Serology The study of serum, especially of antigen-antibody reactions in vitro. Yellow Fever Virus (more common):
      • Immunoglobulin M ( IgM IgM A class of immunoglobulin bearing mu chains (immunoglobulin mu-chains). Igm can fix complement. The name comes from its high molecular weight and originally being called a macroglobulin. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions) and IgG IgG The major immunoglobulin isotype class in normal human serum. There are several isotype subclasses of igg, for example, igg1, igg2a, and igg2b. Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis 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 appear 7–10 days after illness onset.
      • Seroconversion Seroconversion The appearance of antibodies against causative agents in the blood of individuals during the course of an infection or following immunization. HIV Infection and AIDS: 4x increase in IgG IgG The major immunoglobulin isotype class in normal human serum. There are several isotype subclasses of igg, for example, igg1, igg2a, and igg2b. Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis antibody levels
    • Polymerase chain reaction Polymerase chain reaction 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) ( 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)) on a blood sample: low sensitivity Sensitivity Binary classification measures to assess test results. Sensitivity or recall rate is the proportion of true positives. Blotting Techniques
    • 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 biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma: 
      • Direct immunofluorescence testing or immunoperoxidase staining 
      • Not readily available across the United States
      • 70% sensitive, 100% specific
    • Culture:
      • Difficult to perform
      • Reserved for research Research Critical and exhaustive investigation or experimentation, having for its aim the discovery of new facts and their correct interpretation, the revision of accepted conclusions, theories, or laws in the light of newly discovered facts, or the practical application of such new or revised conclusions, theories, or laws. Conflict of Interest purposes
Microscopic image of rickettsia

Giemsa-stained R. rickettsii in the cells of a tick

Image: “Gimenez stain” by CDC. License: Public Domain

Management

Antibiotics

  • Should be started empirically if there is high clinical suspicion
  • Preferably within 5 days of symptom onset
  • 1st line: doxycycline (oral or intravenous)
  • Alternative: chloramphenicol Chloramphenicol Chloramphenicol, the only clinically relevant drug in the amphenicol class, is a potent inhibitor of bacterial protein synthesis by binding to the 50S ribosomal subunit and preventing peptide bond formation. Chloramphenicol is a broad-spectrum antibiotic with wide distribution; however, due to its toxicity, its use is limited to severe infections. Chloramphenicol

Supportive care

  • For severe cases requiring hospitalization Hospitalization The confinement of a patient in a hospital. Delirium
  • May include:
    • Mechanical ventilation Ventilation The total volume of gas inspired or expired per unit of time, usually measured in liters per minute. Ventilation: Mechanics of Breathing
    • Dialysis Dialysis Renal replacement therapy refers to dialysis and/or kidney transplantation. Dialysis is a procedure by which toxins and excess water are removed from the circulation. Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis (PD) are the two types of dialysis, and their primary difference is the location of the filtration process (external to the body in hemodialysis versus inside the body for PD). Peritoneal Dialysis and Hemodialysis
    • Blood and/or platelet transfusions
    • Anticonvulsant Anticonvulsant Anticonvulsant drugs are pharmacological agents used to achieve seizure control and/or prevent seizure episodes. Anticonvulsants encompass various drugs with different mechanisms of action including ion-channel (Na+ and Ca+2) blocking and GABA reuptake inhibition. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs medications

Prevention

  • Prevention of tick bites
  • Detection and removal of attached 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
  • Surveillance Surveillance Developmental Milestones and Normal Growth of symptoms following known tick bites
  • No commercially available vaccines

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

Differential Diagnosis

  • Meningococcal 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: a meningeal infection with Neisseria Neisseria Neisseria is a genus of bacteria commonly present on mucosal surfaces. Several species exist, but only 2 are pathogenic to humans: N. gonorrhoeae and N. meningitidis. Neisseria species are non-motile, gram-negative diplococci most commonly isolated on modified Thayer-Martin (MTM) agar. Neisseria meningitidis. 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 rash are commonly noted in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with meningococcal 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. However, there is usually no history of tick exposure Exposure ABCDE Assessment and symptoms do not improve with doxycycline. Diagnosis is established with lumbar puncture Lumbar Puncture Febrile Infant. Treatment is usually with 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 or penicillin Penicillin Rheumatic Fever.
  • 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 viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus Epstein-Barr Virus Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a linear, double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the Herpesviridae family. This highly prevalent virus is mostly transmitted through contact with oropharyngeal secretions from an infected individual. The virus can infect epithelial cells and B lymphocytes, where it can undergo lytic replication or latency. Epstein-Barr Virus. Initial clinical symptoms of RMSF and 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 are very similar to any viral infection, with malaise Malaise Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus and low-grade fever Low-Grade Fever Erythema Infectiosum. 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 can present with a rash but usually spares the palms and soles. Diagnosed with a monospot test. Treatment is largely supportive.
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a life-threatening condition due to either a congenital or an acquired deficiency of ADAMTS-13, a metalloproteinase that cleaves multimers of von Willebrand factor (VWF). The large multimers then aggregate excessive platelets resulting in microvascular thrombosis and an increase in consumption of platelets. Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura ( TTP TTP Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a life-threatening condition due to either a congenital or an acquired deficiency of adamts-13, a metalloproteinase that cleaves multimers of von Willebrand factor (vWF). The large multimers then aggregate excessive platelets resulting in microvascular thrombosis and an increase in consumption of platelets. Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura): a life-threatening condition caused by defects of von Willebrand factor von Willebrand factor A high-molecular-weight plasma protein, produced by endothelial cells and megakaryocytes, that is part of the factor VIII/von Willebrand factor complex. The von Willebrand factor has receptors for collagen, platelets, and ristocetin activity as well as the immunologically distinct antigenic determinants. It functions in adhesion of platelets to collagen and hemostatic plug formation. The prolonged bleeding time in von Willebrand diseases is due to the deficiency of this factor. Hemostasis. Complications of RMSF include 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 and 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 ( DIC DIC 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), which can cause a purpuric rash and be mistaken for TTP TTP Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a life-threatening condition due to either a congenital or an acquired deficiency of adamts-13, a metalloproteinase that cleaves multimers of von Willebrand factor (vWF). The large multimers then aggregate excessive platelets resulting in microvascular thrombosis and an increase in consumption of platelets. Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura.  Diagnosis is established with blood work. Treatment involves plasmapheresis Plasmapheresis Procedure whereby plasma is separated and extracted from anticoagulated whole blood and the red cells retransfused to the donor. Plasmapheresis is also employed for therapeutic use. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and steroids Steroids A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to terpenes. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (sterols), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. Benign Liver Tumors.
  • Measles Measles Measles (also known as rubeola) is caused by a single-stranded, linear, negative-sense RNA virus of the family Paramyxoviridae. It is highly contagious and spreads by respiratory droplets or direct-contact transmission from an infected person. Typically a disease of childhood, measles classically starts with cough, coryza, and conjunctivitis, followed by a maculopapular rash. Measles Virus: a viral infection associated 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 and maculopapular Maculopapular Dermatologic Examination rash. The rash usually starts on the face and then progresses to the trunk and extremities, sparing the palms and soles. Diagnosis is made clinically and confirmed by serology Serology The study of serum, especially of antigen-antibody reactions in vitro. Yellow Fever Virus, and treatment is largely supportive.

References

  1. Riedel, S., Jawetz, E., Melnick, J. L., & Adelberg, E. A. (2019). Jawetz, Melnick & Adelberg’s Medical microbiology (pp. 357–361). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
  2. Sexton, D., McClain, M. (2020). Clinical manifestation and diagnosis of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. UpToDate, Retrieved January 26, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-manifestations-and-diagnosis-of-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever
  3. Sexton, D., McClain, M. (2019). Treatment of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. UpToDate, Retrieved January 26, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/treatment-of-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever
  4. Sexton, D., McClain, M. (2020). Biology of Rickettsia rickettsii infection. UpToDate, Retrieved January 26, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/biology-of-rickettsia-rickettsii-infection
  5. Walker DH. Rocky Mountain spotted fever: a seasonal alert. Clin Infect Dis. 1995;20(5):1111. doi: 10.1093/clinids/20.5.1111.

USMLE™ is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB®) and National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME®). MCAT is a registered trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). NCLEX®, NCLEX-RN®, and NCLEX-PN® are registered trademarks of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc (NCSBN®). None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Lecturio.

Study on the Go

Lecturio Medical complements your studies with evidence-based learning strategies, video lectures, quiz questions, and more – all combined in one easy-to-use resource.

Learn even more with Lecturio:

Complement your med school studies with Lecturio’s all-in-one study companion, delivered with evidence-based learning strategies.

User Reviews

¡Hola!

Esta página está disponible en Español.

Details