Also known as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, an acute febrile (feverish) disease initially recognized in the Rocky Mountain states, caused by Rickettsia rickettsii transmitted by hard-shelled (ixodid) ticks. Occurs only in the Western Hemisphere. In the USA it is most common in the southeastern and south-central states, not in the Rocky Mountains. Anyone frequenting tick-infested areas is at risk for RMSF.
The onset of symptoms is abrupt with headache, high fever, chills, muscle pain. and then a rash. The rickettsiae grow within damaged cells lining blood vessels which may become blocked by clots. Blood vessel inflammation (vasculitis) is widespread.
Early recognition of RMSF and prompt antibiotic treatment is important in reducing mortality.
The first person to describe the disease was an ear, nose and throat specialist, Edward Ernest Maxey. Maxey reported the disease in 1899. Seven years later, a pathologist named Howard Taylor Ricketts showed that it was transmitted by a tick bite. The agent that causes the disease was named for him — Rickettsia rickettsii.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is also called spotted fever and tick fever.
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Murine typhus, an acute infectious disease with fever, headache, and rash, all quite similar to, but milder than, epidemic typhus. It is caused by a related microorganism, Rickettsia typhi (mooseri), transmitted to humans by rat fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis). The animal reservoir includes rats, mice and other rodents. Murine typhus occurs sporadically worldwide but is more […]
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A dystonia that affects the muscles of the hand and sometimes the forearm and only occurs during handwriting. Similar focal dystonias have also been called writer’s cramp, pianist’s cramp, musician’s cramp, and golfer’s cramp.
A genetic disorder involving the metabolism of the amino acid tyrosine characterized by abnormally high levels of tyrosine in blood (hypertyrosinemia) and urine (tyrosinuria). There are several different forms of tyrosinemia. The classic form, tyrosinemia type I, is due to deficiency of an enzyme called fumarylacetoacetic hydrolase, the last enzyme in the tyrosine pathway. Although […]
- Tyrosinemia type I
A metabolic genetic disease characterized by abnormally high levels of amino acid tyrosine in blood (hypertyrosinemia) and urine (tyrosinuria) due to deficiency of an enzyme called fumarylacetoacetic hydrolase, the last enzyme in the tyrosine pathway. Tyrosinemia type I is inherited as an autosomal recessive disorder. The disease causes cirrhosis of the liver before 6 months […]
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A metabolic genetic disease due to deficiency of the enzyme tyrosine transaminase. The disease is characterized by the deposition of crystals of tyrosine in the skin and eyes. Thickened areas (keratoses) on the palms and soles become painful and ulcers develop in the cornea. There is often mental retardation in tyrosinemia type II. It is […]