Rickettsia akari

Rickettsia akari

MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET - INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCES

SECTION I - INFECTIOUS AGENT

NAME: Rickettsia akari

SYNONYM OR CROSS REFERENCE: Rickettsialpox, Vesicular rickettsiosis

CHARACTERISTICS: Pleomorphic gram-negative bacterium 0.6-1.0 µm, obligate intracellular

SECTION II - HEALTH HAZARD

PATHOGENICITY: Infection manifested by an initial skin lesion at the site of a mite bite, associated with lymphadenopathy; fever, sweats, headache, disseminated vesicular rash; may be confused with chickenpox; death is uncommon

EPIDEMIOLOGY: Occurred in urban areas of eastern USA (New York) and in USSR; incidence reduced by changes in management of garbage in tenement housing (only 6 cases in NY since 1971)

HOST RANGE: Humans, rats, mice, voles

INFECTIOUS DOSE: Unknown

MODE OF TRANSMISSION: Transmitted to man from mice by bite of infected mite; commensal rats are reported to be sources of infection in USSR

INCUBATION PERIOD: Initial skin lesion appears 7 to 10 days after mite bite

COMMUNICABILITY: Not directly communicated from person-to-person

SECTION III - DISSEMINATION

RESERVOIR: Maintained in nature in mites by transovarial passage; reservoir of house mice and rats

ZOONOSIS: Yes - by bites of mites from infected animals

VECTORS: Mites - Leponyssoides sanguineus

SECTION IV - VIABILITY

DRUG SUSCEPTIBILITY: Chloramphenicol and tetracyclines are effective; tetracycline is the treatment of choice

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Susceptible to 1% sodium hypochlorite, 70% ethanol, glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde

PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Sensitive to moist heat (121° C for at least 15 min) and dry heat (160-170° C for at least l hour)

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Organism is unstable under ambient environmental conditions; sensitive to drying

SECTION V - MEDICAL

SURVEILLANCE: Monitor for signs of an ulcerating papule followed by chills and fever; diagnosis by serology or PCR

FIRST AID/TREATMENT: Antibiotic therapy with tetracyclines

IMMUNIZATION: None available

PROPHYLAXIS: None

SECTION VI - LABORATORY HAZARDS

LABORATORY-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS: 5 cases of rickettsial pox up to 1976 associated with exposure to bites of infected mites

SOURCES/SPECIMENS: Blood and other tissues of infected mice or humans, and in mite vector

PRIMARY HAZARDS: Exposure to naturally or experimentally infected mites; accidental parenteral inoculation; inhalation of aerosols

SPECIAL HAZARDS: None

SECTION VII - RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS

CONTAINMENT REQUIREMENTS: Biosafety level 3 practices, containment and facilities for propagation and animals studies

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Laboratory coat; gloves when direct contact with infectious materials is unavoidable; gown with tight wrists and ties in back for work in biosafety cabinet

OTHER PRECAUTIONS: Appropriate precautions should be taken to avoid exposure of personnel to infected mites that are maintained in the laboratory or that may be present on naturally infected house mice

SECTION VIII - HANDLING INFORMATION

SPILLS: Allow aerosols to settle; wearing protective clothing; gently cover spill with paper towels and apply 1% sodium hypochlorite, starting at perimeter and working towards the centre; allow sufficient contact time (30 min) before clean up

DISPOSAL: Decontaminate all wastes before disposal; incineration, steam sterilization

STORAGE: In sealed containers that are appropriately labelled

SECTION IX - MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

Date prepared: January, 2001

Prepared by: Office of Laboratory Security, PHAC

Although the information, opinions and recommendations contained in this Material Safety Data Sheet are compiled from sources believed to be reliable, we accept no responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability or for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information. Newly discovered hazards are frequent and this information may not be completely up to date.

Copyright © Health Canada, 2001

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