How is scrub typhus diagnosed?

Updated: Apr 19, 2018
  • Author: David J Cennimo, MD, FAAP, FACP, FIDSA, AAHIVS; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
  • Print

Laboratory studies in patients with scrub typhus may reveal the following:

  • Early lymphopenia with late lymphocytosis

  • Decreased CD4:CD8 lymphocyte ratio

  • Thrombocytopenia

  • Hematologic manifestations may be confused with dengue infection

  • Elevated transaminase levels (75-95% of patients)

  • Hypoalbuminemia (50% of cases)

Laboratory studies of choice are serologic tests for antibodies, including the following:

  • Indirect immunoperoxidase test

  • Indirect fluorescent antibody test

  • Dot immunoassay

  • Rapid immunochromatographic tests for detection of IgM and IgG

  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay

  • Rapid diagnostic reagent for scrub typhus

  • Weil-Felix OX-K strain agglutination reaction

Chest radiography may reveal pneumonitis, especially in the lower lung fields.

See Workup for more detail.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!