Main » Infectious diseases » Arthropod-borne Infection » The relapsing fevers
Photo 1. Borellia duttoni in human blood film from Tanzania.
Endemic relapsing fever, a cosmopolitan disease caused by B. duttoni, occurs in rodents and man. First described from Africa, it occurs also in the Middle East, Mediterranean basin, and the New World including the USA. (Giemsa - phase contrast x 900)
Photo 2. Soft tick with coxal fluid.
Soft ticks such as Ornithodorus moubata transmit B. duttoni from rodents to man, and man to man through infected coxal fluid which enters skin abrasions. As the organism passes from tick to tick by transovarial transmission, the arthropod is itself a reservoir host. (x4) In East Africa O. moubata lives in soft earth at the base of mudlined walls.
Photo 3. Scannielectron-micrograph of Borrelia recurrentis in blood. B. recurrentis transmitted by body lice occurs in epidemic form in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The febrile periods recur on one or two occasions only, but mortality can be high. Infection is acquired from the body fluids of lice crushed on the skin while scratching, fx 1100)
Photo 4. Temperature chart of tick-borne relapsing fever. The infection acquires its name from the typical relapsing nature of the fever. B. duttoni only appears in the blood during the febrile episodes which are numerous and of short duration.
Photo 4. B. recurrentis in blood film. The organisms are readily seen in this Indian ink preparation. (x600)
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