Rickettsia siberica, known as North Asian tick typhus when first described in 1960, is found in Siberia and western China. Another species Rickettsia mongolotimonae was described in 1993, then reclassified in 2005 as a subspecies of R. siberica based upon genomic studies. This subspecies has a much broader range, including Asia, Africa and Europe.The table, below, describes some of the clinical differences between these subspecies.
 Characteristic  R. siberica siberica   R. siberica mongolitimonae  
 Outbreak season for humans        Spring
      Spring and summer
 Clinical characteristic
 Headache        55%
 Fever       100         Yes
 Rash        78         100
 Enlarged lymph nodes        55         Yes
 Lymphangitis        44             4
 Eschar        89           77
 Multiple eschars        22             0
 Fatal outcome          0         Rare
  1. Yu X, Jin Y, Fan M, Xu G, Lui Q, Raoult D, Genotypic and antigenic identification of two new strains of spotted fever rickettsiae isolated from China. J Clin Microbiol 1993; 31:83-88.
  2. Fournier PE, Tissot-Dupont H, Gallais H, Raoult D. Rickettsia mongolotimonae: a rare pathogen in France. Emerg Infect Dis 2000; 6:290-292.
  3. Fournier PE, Gouriet F, Brouqui P, Lucht F, Raoult D. Lymphangitis-associated rickettsiosis, a new rickettsiosis caused by Rickettsia siberica mongolotimonae: seven new cases and review of the lierature. Clin Infect Dis 2005; 5:1435-1444.
  4. Fournier PE, Yong Z, Raoult D. Proposal to create subspecies of Rickettsia siberica and an emended description of Rickettsia siberica. Ann NY Acad Sci 2006, 1078:597-606.

Rickettsia siberica

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