Indexed on: 25 Sep '15Published on: 25 Sep '15Published in: Emerging infectious diseases
Rickettsia felis has been reported to be a cause of fever in sub-Saharan Africa, but this association has been poorly evaluated in Gabon. We assessed the prevalence of this bacterium among children <15 years of age in 4 areas of Gabon; the locations were in urban, semiurban, and rural areas. DNA samples from 410 febrile children and 60 afebrile children were analyzed by quantitative PCR. Overall, the prevalence of R. felis among febrile and afebrile children was 10.2% (42/410 children) and 3.3% (2/60 children), respectively. Prevalence differed among febrile children living in areas that are urban (Franceville, 1.3% [1/77]), semiurban (Koulamoutou, 2.1% [3/141]), and rural (Lastourville, 11.2% [15/134]; Fougamou, 39.7% [23/58]). Furthermore, in a rural area (Fougamou), R. felis was significantly more prevalent in febrile (39.7% [23/58]) than afebrile children (5.0% [1/20]). Additional studies are needed to better understand the pathogenic role of R. felis in this part of the world.