Epidemiology and ecology of rickettsial diseases in the People's Republic of China.

M. Y. Fan, D. H. Walker, S. R. Yu, Q. H. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Since 1949, information on rickettsial diseases in the People's Republic of China has been virtually nonexistent in the West. This is the first comprehensive review of the ecology and epidemiology of Chinese rickettsial diseases to be published outside the People's Republic. At least five rickettsioses exist in China: scrub typhus, murine typhus, epidemic typhus, Q fever, and one or more spotted fever-group (SFG) rickettsioses. Although epidemic typhus has been controlled and scrub typhus has abated in many areas, murine typhus, Q fever, and SFG rickettsiosis are important public health problems. Serologic surveys indicate high prevalences of antibodies to Coxiella burnetii, Rickettsia tsutsugamushi, and SFG rickettsiae in some regions; these rickettsiae have been isolated from humans, arthropods, and animals. Doxycycline has emerged as the best treatment for murine typhus, epidemic typhus, and scrub typhus. China offers both opportunities and challenges for the investigation and alleviation of the problems of rickettsial diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-840
Number of pages18
JournalReviews of infectious diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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