ISSN: 0973-7510

E-ISSN: 2581-690X

Research Article | Open Access
Rajagopal Murali1, Sivasambo Kalpana2, Karthick Shanmugam1 and Prabu Dhandapani1
1Dr. ALM PG Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Department of Microbiology, University of Madras, Taramani Campus, Chennai, India.
2Department of Pediatrics, Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Article Number: 8780 | © The Author(s). 2024
J Pure Appl Microbiol. 2024;18(1):317-322.
Received: 11 June 2023 | Accepted: 22 December 2023 | Published online: 19 February 2024
Issue online: March 2024

Rickettsioses caused by Rickettsia and Orientia spp. are the re-emerging diseases in India, which are grossly underdiagnosed, particularly among children. They usually present as mild-febrile illness but may extend to severe life-threatening complications. Early diagnosis followed by proper treatment reduces the morbidity and mortality. Non-specific clinical symptoms and lack of point of care diagnosis may delay the treatment. Molecular assays like PCR may helpful in the early diagnosis and confirmation of rickettsial diseases. In this study, we used multiplex real-time PCR to detect Rickettsia spp. and Orientia spp. in febrile pediatric patients. Whole blood was collected from 239 clinically suspected febrile pediatric patients aged between 6 months to 12 years admitted in tertiary care hospital at Chennai, South India. Multiplex real-time PCR was used to target the gltA gene for Rickettsia spp. and the 47kDa gene for Orientia tsutsugamushi. To compare the sensitivity, nested PCR was performed on the 56kDa antigen gene of O. tsutsugamushi and the Rickettsia genus specific gltA gene. By multiplex real-time PCR, 15 samples were positive for O. tsutsugamushi and 3 were positive for Rickettsia spp. Nested PCR identified 35 positive samples for O. tsutsugamushi and 4 positive samples for Rickettsia spp. Even though multiplex real-time PCR had lower positivity than nPCR, it was effective in diagnosing O. tsutsugamushi and Rickettsia spp. in a single assay.


Rickettsia, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Real time-PCR, 47kDa gene, gltA Gene, Multiplex PCR, Rickettsial Infection

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© The Author(s) 2024. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License which permits unrestricted use, sharing, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.