Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers

Epidemiological features of Mediterranean spotted fever, murine typhus, and Q fever in Split-Dalmatia County (Croatia), 1982–2002


a1 Department of Clinical Microbiology, Split University Medical School and Split University Hospital, Split, Croatia

a2 Department of Infectious Diseases, Split University Hospital, Split, Croatia

a3 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Split University Hospital, Split, Croatia


We determined the epidemiological features of three zoonoses in hospitalized patients in southern Croatia. Patients were diagnosed by serological testing. Clinical and epidemiological data were also collected. Between 1982 and 2002, Mediterranean spotted fever (MSF) was diagnosed in 126 (incidence rate 1·27/100 000 per year), murine typhus (MT), in 57 (incidence rate 0·57/100 000 per year), and Q fever in 170 (incidence rate 1·7/100 000 per year) patients. MSF and Q fever were characterized by a marked seasonality. Incidences of Q fever and of MSF were higher for males than for females (P<0·0001 and P=0·0024, respectively). The most frequent of the three zoonoses in children was MSF. Q fever and MT cases were mostly seen in the 21–50 years age group. We found no statistically significant differences between season- and gender-specific incidence rates of MT. Whereas infections due to rickettsiae decreased, the incidence of Q fever increased over the last 12 years of the study.

(Accepted August 09 2007)

(Online publication September 13 2007)


c1 Author for correspondence: Dr V. Punda-Polić, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Split University Hospital, Spinciceva 1, 21000 Split, Croatia. (Email: vpunda@kbsplit.hr)