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Volume 18, Number 1—January 2012

Letter

Rickettsia felis Infections, New Zealand

Mei Yin Lim, Helen Brady, Tammy Hambling, Kerry Sexton, Daniel Tompkins, and David SlaneyComments to Author 
Author affiliations: Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited, Porirua, New Zealand (M.Y. Lim, H. Brady, T. Hambling, K. Sexton, D. Slaney); Landcare Research, Dunedin, New Zealand (D. Tompkins)

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Table

Serologic data and risk factors of volunteers that showed positive reactivity in rickettsial IFA, New Zealand*

Volunteer no. IFA serologic titers
WB and cross-adsorption results Risk factors in the past 4 years
ARRL kit†
Focus kit‡
Flea or animal contact Traveled overseas
Rickettsia typhi R. typhi R. rickettsii
4 Neg 64 64 Indeterminate§ Rat, cat, dog Yes
5 Neg Neg 64 Indeterminate Cat, dog Yes
8 Neg Neg 128 Neg¶ Flea, rat, cat, dog Yes
9 Neg Neg 64 Indeterminate Flea, cat, dog Yes
16 Neg Neg 128 Indeterminate Rat, cat, dog Yes
17 Neg Neg 128 R. felis Rat, cat, dog Yes
18 128 64 64 Neg Cat, cow, hen Yes
19 128 Neg 64 Indeterminate Cat, dog Yes
21 Neg 64 256 R. felis Flea, cat, dog, possum Yes
22 Neg Neg 64 Neg Cat, dog Yes
23 256 Neg Neg Neg Rat, cat, dog No
25 Neg Neg 128 Indeterminate None Yes

*IFA, indirect immunofluorescence assay; ARRL, Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory; WB, Western blot; neg, negative.
†The cutoff titer for seropositivity was 128 as recommended by the manufacturer.
‡According to kit instructions, endpoint titers ≥64 and <256 indicate either past infection or early response to a recent infection, and ≥256 are considered presumptive evidence of recent or current infection.
§Serum samples that still reacted with R. typhi and R. felis after cross-adsorption were classified as indeterminate responses.
¶Serum samples that showed no specific reactions to R. typhi and R. felis in the WB assay were classified as negative for R. typhi and R. felis..

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