Murine typhus in elderly patients: A prospective study of 49 patients
Tselentis, Yiannis J.
Gikas, Achilleas I.
MetadataShow full item record
Background: The characteristics of Rickettsia typhi infection in elderly patients have not been extensively described in the literature. Methods: We conducted a prospective study on murine typhus in patients > 65 years old in two endemic areas of Greece. Results: Forty-nine elderly patients were analyzed, including 30 (61.2%) males. The clinical triad of fever (100% of patients), headache (83.7%), and rash (73.5%), occurred in 63% of patients, whereas malaise (85.7%), anorexia (65.3%), and myalgia (59.2%) were also common. Frequent laboratory findings were transaminasemia (89.8%), lactate dehydrogenase elevation (65.3%), hematuria (55.1%), thrombocytopenia (53.1%), anemia (51%), leucopenia (40.8%), and mild hyponatremia (23.5%). Complications developed in 16 patients (32.7%); no deaths were recorded. Conclusions: The main clinical and laboratory characteristics of murine typhus are similar in elderly and younger adults. However, elderly patients have a more severe clinical picture, evidenced by a higher complication rate and longer duration of fever, even with appropriate treatment. To our knowledge, this is the first study to focus on murine typhus in a geriatric population.