Etiology

The etiological agent of this disease, Rochalima quintana, was first studied during World War I by a commission of the American Red Cross Medical Research Committee. Their report found that the organism, unlike other rickettsiae, would pass through porcelain filters. Later, in another departure from typical rickettsial characteristics, the trench fever organism was cultivated on lifeless, cell-free, blood agar media. Because of these and other differences, in 1961 it was removed from the genus Rickettsia and placed in a separate genus, Rochalima.

Victoria A. Harden

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