Murine typhus is a common cause of febrile illness in Bedouin children in Israel

Hanna Shalev, Rotkane Raissa, Zislin Evgenia, Pablo Yagupsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Murine typhus is known to be endemic among populations living in poverty and exposed to rats and their fleas. A prospective 2-y study was conducted to determine the contribution of murine typhus to undifferentiated febrile illnesses among Bedouin children attending an outpatient clinic in southern Israel. Children with fever ≥38.58°C lasting for ≥3 d were enrolled in the study. Murine typhus was serologically confirmed by the microimmunofluorescence test. A total of 549 children met the inclusion criteria of whom 76 (13.8%) had serologically-confirmed murine typhus. The disease was diagnosed in 27 of 434 (6.2%) patients aged <5 y and in 49 of 115 (42.6%) older children (p < 0.001). Murine typhus was diagnosed in 54 of 288 (18.8%) patients between June and November and in 22 of 261 (8.4%) between December and May (p <0.001). Patients with murine typhus had significantly higher prevalence of anaemia, leukopenia, hyponatraemia, and elevated liver enzymes compared to children without the disease. A single child was hospitalized and all 76 patients recovered without complications. Murine typhus is an important cause of febrile illnesses among Bedouin children ≥5 y of age living in southern Israel and usually runs a benign clinical course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-455
Number of pages5
JournalScandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number6-7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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