Rickettsia felis

Rickettsia felis

Rickettsia felis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Alpha Proteobacteria
Order: Rickettsiales
Family: Rickettsiaceae
Genus: Rickettsia
Species: R. felis
Binomial name
Rickettsia felis
Bouyer et al., 2001[1] emend. La Scola et al., 2002[2]

Rickettsia felis or cat-flea typhus is a species of Rickettsia that causes flea-borne spotted fever in cats.[3] The bacteria can also infect humans and cause illness. Fleas are the vector carriers of the bacteria and it has been found in cat flea populations of North and South America, Southern Europe, Thailand and Australia. The host is usually infected by flea feces coming into contact with scratched or broken skin.[4]


Human cases of Rickettsia felis were diagnosed in Australia in 2009, these were the first reported human infections in Australia.[5] The infected individuals were family members who had been exposed to flea bites from infested kittens. In this cluster an otherwise healthy nine year old girl was admitted to hospital with fever and a rash. This later worsened three days later when her lungs filled with fluid and she was admitted to intensive care.[6]


  1. ^ Bouyer DH, Stenos J, Crocquet-Valdes P, et al. (March 2001). : molecular characterization of a new member of the spotted fever group"Rickettsia felis". Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 51 (Pt 2): 339–47.  
  2. ^ La Scola B, Meconi S, Fenollar F, Rolain JM, Roux V, Raoult D (November 2002). (Bouyer et al. 2001), a temperature-dependent cultured bacterium"Rickettsia felis"Emended description of . Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 52 (Pt 6): 2035–41.  
  3. ^ Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe (2007). Rickettsial diseases. CRC Press. pp. 87–.  
  4. ^ Azad AF, Beard CB (1998). "Rickettsial pathogens and their arthropod vectors". Emerging Infect. Dis. 4 (2): 179–86.  
  5. ^ Williams M, Izzard L, Graves SR, Stenos J, Kelly JJ (January 2011). (cat-flea typhus)"Rickettsia felis"First probable Australian cases of human infection with . Med. J. Aust. 194 (1): 41–3.  
  6. ^ Medew J (6 January 2011). "Deadly cat-flea disease hits Australia". The Age. 

External Links

  • "Rickettsia felis". NCBI Taxonomy Browser. 42862.