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Ocular manifestations associated with murine typhus
  1. M Khairallah1,
  2. S Ben Yahia1,
  3. A Toumi2,
  4. B Jelliti1,
  5. C Loussaief2,
  6. F B Romdhane2,
  7. R Messaoud1,
  8. M Chakroun2
  1. 1
    Department of Ophthalmology, Fattouma Bourguiba University Hospital, Monastir, Tunisia
  2. 2
    Department of Infectious Diseases, Fattouma Bourguiba University Hospital, Monastir, Tunisia
  1. Professor M Khairallah, Department of Ophthalmology, Fattouma Bourguiba University Hospital, 5019, Monastir, Tunisia; moncef.khairallah{at}


Aims: To characterise and analyse ocular manifestations associated with acute murine typhus (MT), an infectious disease caused by Rickettsia typhi.

Methods: Nine consecutive patients (18 eyes) with serologically confirmed MT at the acute stage were enrolled in this prospective, non-comparative study. All patients underwent complete ophthalmic examination, including dilated biomicroscopic fundus examination, fundus photography, fluorescein angiography (FA) and indocyanine green (ICG) angiography.

Results: Of nine patients, eight (88.9%) had bilateral ocular involvement related to MT, with (n = 3) or without (n = 5) associated ocular symptoms. Findings included mild vitreous inflammation (10 eyes; 55.6%), white retinal lesions (nine eyes; 50%), retinal haemorrhages (four eyes; 22.2%), retinal vascular leakage (seven eyes; 38.9%), hypofluorescent choroidal dots on FA and/or ICG angiography (11 eyes; 61.1%), optic-disc swelling (two eyes; 11.1%), optic neuritis (one eye; 5.6%) and optic-disc staining (11 eyes; 61.1%). All ocular findings had a self-limited course.

Conclusion: Ocular involvement is frequently observed in acute MT. A systematic fundus examination, complemented by angiography in selected cases, may be helpful in establishing an early clinical diagnosis of the disease while serological testing is pending.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Ethics approval was provided by the Ethics Committee of Fattouma Bourguiba University Hospital, Monastir.

  • Patient consent: Obtained.