Rickettsia – Serology
|Test Requested||Required Requisition(s)||Specimen Type||Minimum Volume||Collection Kit|
Rickettsia serology, or Murine typhus, or M typhus, or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or RMSF
Whole blood or serum
5.0 ml whole blood or 1.0 ml serum
Vacutainer tubes (SST)
Submission and Collection Notes
Timing of Specimen Collection
An acute (collected early after the onset of symptoms) and a convalescent (collected 2-3 weeks later) may be required for laboratory diagnosis.
Haemolysed, icteric, lipemic or microbially contaminated sera or plasma are not recommended for testing.
Preparation Prior to Transport
Label the specimen container with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.
Centrifuge if using SST. Label specimens with at least two identifiers; place it in biohazard bag and seal. Specimens should be stored at 2-8°C following collection and shipped to PHOL on ice packs.
Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)
Rickettsia serology testing is performed once per week.
Turnaround time is up to 10 days from receipt by PHO laboratory.
Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.
Rickettsia serology assays are performed using Indirect Immunofluorescence Assay (IFA) for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Murine typhus IgG and IgM antibody.
Antibody reactivity to the R.rickettsii antigen should be considered positive for the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever group, whereas antibody reactivity to the R.typhi antigen should be considered positive for Typhus Fever group.