Small Bites - Big Threats: Prevalence of scrub typhus among the pediatric population in a rural tertiary care hospital in South India

  • Rajkumar B 3rd Year MBBS Student, Department of Microbiology, Trichy SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Dr. Anupriya A. Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Trichy SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Dr. Uma A. Professor and Head of Department, Department of Microbiology, Trichy SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Dr. Prabhusaran N. Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Trichy SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India
Keywords: Febrile children, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Scrub typhus

Abstract

Background: It is an acute, febrile, exanthematous illness with a high fatality rate. Scrub typhus is underdiagnosed in India due to its non-specific clinical presentation, limited awareness, and low index of suspicion among clinicians and lack of diagnostic facilities.

Objective: This study was carried out to know the seroprevalence of scrub typhus in clinically suspected children and to compare a rapid test which is a simple and economic test with IgM ELISA for the diagnosis of scrub typhus.

Methods: This cross-sectional analytical study was conducted from a period of three months. The study population comprised mainly 140 young children attending Pediatric OP and in patients admitted to a tertiary care teaching hospital with fever and related symptoms. A serum sample was tested for Weil Felix reaction, IgM ELISA, and rapid card test.

Results: The mean age group of the study population is 7 to 9 years, of which seven cases were positive. The major predisposing factor for scrub typhus infection was vegetation around houses. The sensitivity and specificity of both card test and IgM ELISA was 100%.

Conclusion: In this study, 5% of febrile children were positive for scrub typhus. Leptospirosis, Dengue, and Typhoid were the common co-infections found in scrub typhus, positive children. Scrub typhus should be included in the differential diagnosis of fever of unknown origin in children.

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Published
2020-06-05
How to Cite
B, R., Aasaithambi, A., A, U., & N, P. (2020). Small Bites - Big Threats: Prevalence of scrub typhus among the pediatric population in a rural tertiary care hospital in South India. Pathology Update: Tropical Journal of Pathology and Microbiology, 6(4), 292-297. https://doi.org/10.17511/jopm.2020.i04.04
Section
Original Article