Rickettsia parkeri is transmitted by the Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma
maculatum). It has been identified in many of the southern
states, including Florida. Cases have been reported throughout the range
of the Gulf Coast tick, one probable case was reported in Florida in 2007.
Lone start ticks may also be a potential vector.
Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum)
In the limited number of confirmed cases, symptoms appeared 2-10 days after a
tick bite. Unlike Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), R. parkeri cases
may have an inoculation eschar resembling a sore or pimple at the site of
infection, which is often the first symptom. Symptoms also included fever,
fatigue, headache, muscle pain, and generalized rash. R. parkeri
seems to be a less severe disease than RMSF, and may be misdiagnosed due to
cross-reaction of the available diagnostic tests.
Paddock C. Rickettsia parkeri as a pardigm for multiple causes of
tick-borne spotted fever in the Western Hemisphere. Annals of the New York
Academy of Sciences. 2005; 1063: 315-326.
Sumner J, Durden L, Goddard J, Stromdahl E, Clark K, Reeves W, Paddock C.
Gulf Coast Ticks and Rickettsia parkeri, United States. Emerging
Infectious Diseases. 2007; 13(5) 751-753.