Proc. R. Soc. Med., 1930 May;23(7):1021-30.
PMID: 20911935


Typhus exanthematicus, Rocky Mountain fever, and the tsutsugamushi disease have been classified in the "typhus group" by Megaw, as louse-typhus, tick-typhus, and mite-typhus. He has added a fourth-class, comprising typhus-like fevers, with unknown vectors. It is the diseases of this class with which this paper is concerned. Endemic typhus (Brill's disease) is very closely related to typhus fever; the Weil-Felix reaction is positive, typhus-like vascular lesions are present, and there is cross-immunity with typhus. In the exanthematic fever of Marseilles the relationship is more superficial; there is neither cross-immunity nor vascular lesion, and the Weil-Felix reaction is negative. Some, e.g., the scrub-typhus of Malaya (vector probably a mite), are more nearly related to tsutsugamushi than to typhus; others, e.g., Indian "tick-typhus" (vector probably a tick), to Rocky Mountain fever.All are non-contagious, non-epidemic, warm-weather diseases. They are unassociated with dirt, squalor, or lice, and are restricted to definite foci. Probably rodents or other animals are the reservoirs of the virus. On the question of identity with typhus, health authorities decide that notification is unnecessary; typhus introduced into America spreads, Brill's disease does not.These typhus-like diseases are not the same in all the countries where they occur. There are two main groups: (1) an urban group, more closely related to typhus, in which the Weil-Felix reaction is positive; (2) a rural group, more closely related to tsutsugamushi and Rocky Mountain fever, in which the Weil-Felix reaction is negative. There is a special non-indologenic strain of B. proteus, which is agglutinated in some of the fevers belonging to the second group.TROPICAL TYPHUS IN THE MALAY STATES: (1) urban form, or "shop-typhus," resembling Brill's disease; (2) rural form or "scrub-typhus." Peculiar association with oil-palms and coarse grass.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.