Murine typhus in Southern Taiwan during 1992-2009

Ko Chang, Yen Hsu Chen, Nan Yao Lee, Hsin Chun Lee, Chun Yu Lin, Jih Jin Tsai, Po Liang Lu, Tun Chieh Chen, Hsiao Chen Hsieh, Wei Ru Lin, Ping Chang Lai, Chia Ming Chang, Chi Jung Wu, Chung Hsu Lai, Wen Chien Ko

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Clinical information regarding murine typhus in Taiwan is limited. In this study, 81 cases of serologically documented murine typhus during 1992-2009 at four referral hospitals in southern Taiwan were analyzed. There was a significant correlation between average environmental temperature and case numbers of murine typhus (r = 0.747, P = 0.005). Acute hepatitis was found in 67% of cases, and hyperbilirubinemia (serum total bilirubin ≥ 23.9 μmol/L) was found in 38%. The intervals between the initiation of appropriate therapy to defervescence were longer in patients with hyperbilirubinemia than those without hyperbilirubinemia (6.1 versus 4.1 days; P = 0.015). Nine (11.1%) showed development of severe illnesses such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (2 patients), aseptic meningitis (3), and acute renal failure (4). Only one died of acute respiratory distress syndrome. Cases of murine typhus were often found during the summer and had acute febrile hepatitis. Those patients with hyperbilirubinemia tended to have a delayed recovery even with appropriate therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-147
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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