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Papers of the Week

2022 Oct-Dec

Saudi J Ophthalmol



Rickettsial disease: An underestimated cause of posterior uveitis.


Abroug N, Nabi W, Amor HB, Ksiaa I, Khochtali S, Attia S, Jelliti B, Khairallah M
Saudi J Ophthalmol. 2022 Oct-Dec; 36(4):374-379.
PMID: 36618574.


Rickettsioses are worldwide distributed infectious disease caused by intracellular small Gram-negative bacteria transmitted to humans by the bite of contaminated arthropods, such as ticks. Systemic disease typically consists of a triad of high fever, headache, and skin rash. It usually has a self-limited course, but severe, life-threatening complications can sometimes occur. It may be clinically difficult to differentiate rickettsial diseases from other febrile illnesses. Rickettsial infection has been largely underestimated as a cause of infectious uveitis for long decades in the past. Conversely, recent data show that ocular involvement is much more common than previously thought, with retinitis, retinal vasculitis, and neuroretinitis being the most typical and frequent findings. Early clinical diagnosis of rickettsial disease, while awaiting laboratory test results, is essential for prompt initiation of appropriate antibiotic treatment to prevent systemic and ocular morbidity. The prevention remains the mainstay of rickettsial infection control.