In a multicenter, nationwide, retrospective study of patients hospitalized with spotted fever group rickettsiosis in Israel during 2010–2019, we identified 42 cases, of which 36 were autochthonous. The most prevalent species was the Rickettsia conorii Israeli tick typhus strain (n = 33, 79%); infection with this species necessitated intensive care for 52% of patients and was associated with a 30% fatality rate. A history of tick bite was rare, found for only 5% of patients; eschar was found in 12%; and leukocytosis was more common than leukopenia. Most (72%) patients resided along the Mediterranean shoreline. For 3 patients, a new Rickettsia variant was identified and had been acquired in eastern, mountainous parts of Israel. One patient had prolonged fever before admission and clinical signs resembling tickborne lymphadenopathy. Our findings suggest that a broad range of Rickettsia species cause spotted fever group rickettsiosis in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2117-2126
Number of pages10
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


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