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Volume 17, Number 2—February 2011
Another Dimension

Ode to Rickettsiae1

Veranja LiyanapathiranaComments to Author 
Author affiliation: Author affiliation:University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

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Oh! dear Rickettsiae.
Why did you become such a difficult bug?
You and your cousin (once removed) Orientia,
So tiny: yet so powerful
I cannot grow you, because you need special care.
My poor home can not offer a cocoon for you to grow
My poor home has no safety nets to contain you.
You are an illusion to me.
I see you in the darkened room, indirectly as a bright green star,
Illuminated on the glassy shrines.
I try to look for you, for your DNA
You still manage to evade me.
Some day my dear, some day,
I will build a house, with walls so strong,
So I can grow you and nurture you within.
Some day my dear, some day soon,
I will find a little DNA, amplify and see.
Till then, let us meet, in the darkened room, you dressed in your finest green,
Brightly illuminated like the Milky Way.

Dr Liyanapathirana is a lecturer in the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Her research interests include rickettsial infections and molecular microbiology.

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid1702.ad1702

1This short poem describes my frustrations at trying to establish laboratory diagnosis of rickettsial infections in a place where there is no cell culture facility and no class 3 containment facility.

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Table of Contents – Volume 17, Number 2—February 2011

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Veranja Liyanapathirana, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

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Page created: July 13, 2011
Page updated: July 13, 2011
Page reviewed: July 13, 2011
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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