Get Pathogen Testing for Rickettsia Infections


Rickettsia species PCR Test


The Rickettsia species PCR test is a form of pathogen testing designed to detect all Rickettsia species. Positive results are confirmed by DNA sequencing to identify the infecting species. It is recommended for diagnostic testing for symptomatic patients with risk of exposure.

Why do I need this test?

Rickettsia species cause Rocky Mountain spotted fever, rickettsial pox, other spotted fevers, epidemic typhus and murine typhus. These pathogens are transmitted by the bite of infected ticks or mites or by the feces of infected lice or fleas. If you are experiencing hard-to-diagnose chronic symptoms and have had a recent tick attachment or live in a region endemic for Rickettsia species in ticks, you should consider testing for Rickettsia infection. Symptoms can range from mild to serious illness characterized by

  • fever
  • headache
  • malaise
  • skin rash
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • encephalitis
  • hypotension
  • acute renal failure
  • respiratory distress
  • other conditions that may require immediate medical attention.

This zoonotic infection is primarily transmitted to humans by Ixodes ticks, but can also be transmitted through blood transfusion.  Clinical presentations may be more severe when co-infected with multiple tick-borne pathogens.

Most symptomatic Rickettsia species infections cause moderate illness and may be chronic, but epidemic typhus and Rocky Mountain spotted fever can induce severe and fatal disease in 20%–60% of untreated cases. If you are experiencing high fever and body rash, seek medical attention immediately.

Are there special requirements for this test?


Other relevant lab tests

  • Bartonella ePCR™ Triple Draw
  • Bartonella ePCR™ Single Draw
  • Bartonella IFA Serology
  • PCR Tick Panel

How long will it take to get my test results?

Test turnaround is 2 weeks.

What are the test result ranges?

Positive or Negative. Positive results include DNA sequence identification of species detected.

Indeterminate PCR, Indeterminate Sequence – A positive PCR was obtained. However, DNA sequencing was not successful and repeat PCR was negative.

Contact Galaxy Diagnostics for any questions you have regarding our pathogen testing.