Abstract : Introduction: Rickettsial infections are the most covert re-emerging infections of the present times. They
are considered one of the important causes of Pyrexia of Unknown origin (PUO). They are often under
diagnosed due to low index of suspicion, nonspecific signs and symptoms and absence of widely available
sensitive and specific diagnostic tests. These diseases have a high mortality, which can be averted if
diagnosed and treated early. Weil- Felix test is the cheapest and widely used test for diagnosis in India.
Aim: The present study was undertaken with the objective of evaluating the patients with Febrile illness,
for rickettsial infection using Weil- Felix test and study their demographic and clinical profile.
Materials and Methods: Weil-Felix test was done on serum samples of 120 patients with fever since 7-10
days, from October 2017 to October 2019 and evaluated for Rickettsial infection. Detailed history, signs,
symptoms were recorded.
Results: Out the 120 patients, 25 showed a titre of >1:80 in OX2, OX19 and 5 cases showed titre of
>1:160 in OX K. The disease was more common in children and in the cooler months. Fever, rash,
headache, vomiting and pain abdomen were common symptoms. Most common signs were rash (27
cases) and conjunctival congestion (19 cases).
Conclusion: Though the sensitivity and specificity of Weil-Felix test is low, it is done even today as it is
the most convenient and economical test available for the diagnosis of Rickettsial infections. Prevalence of
Rickettsial diseases is significant in this region and greater clinical awareness in the differential diagnosis
of fevers is required for early diagnosis and treatment.
Keywords: Rickettsial infection, PUO, Weil Felix test, Doxycycline.