During the month of January 2023, Pathcare confirmed a number of Rickettsia infections although both serological confirmation as well as PCR confirmation have significant limitations.

The two common spotted fever diseases in Southern Africa are boutonneuse fever-like tick bite fever (BFL-TBF), caused by Rickettsia conorii, and African TBF, caused by R. africae.1

R. conorii is usually transmitted by dog and kennel ticks (Haemaphysalis elliptica and Rhipicephalus simus) in peri-urban or peri-domestic situations. In contrast, R. africae is typically transmitted by particular cattle and game ticks (Amblyomma hebraeum) in rural settings.1

Pitfalls in laboratory confirmation of South African tick bite fever