Brill-Zinsser disease

Last Updated: 2023-07-07

Author(s): Anzengruber F., Navarini A.

ICD11: 1C30.1

In patients with epidemic typhus, late relapse may occur if antibiotic therapy is discontinued early


  • Pathogen: Rickettsia prowazekii.

  • History.
  • Clinical.
  • Lice infestation.
  • BB (leucopenia, eosinophilia), liver and kidney values, electrolytes.
  • From the 2nd week of illness. Week of illness Weil-Felix reaction (agglutination test).
  • From the 3rd week of illness complement fixation reaction.
  • From the 3rd week of illness indirect immunofluorescence test.

  • Only after the disease has been completely overcome is there lifelong immunity!
  • High lethality.

  1. Bechah, Y., et al., Epidemic typhus. Lancet Infect Dis, 2008. 8(7): p. 417-26.
  2. McQuiston, J.H., et al., Brill-Zinsser disease in a patient following infection with sylvatic epidemic typhus associated with flying squirrels. Clin Infect Dis, 2010. 51(6): p. 712-5.
  3. Ormsbee, R., et al., Serologic diagnosis of epidemic typhus fever. Am J Epidemiol, 1977. 105(3): p. 261-71.