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Rickettsia is a genus of motile, gram-negative, non-sporeforming, highly pleomorphic bacteria. It is included in the bacterial tribe Rickettsiae, family Rickettsiaceae, and order Rickettsiales. Its reservoir is mammals (mainly dogs, cattle, rabbits and rodents) and transmission to humans occurs via the bite of infected ticks. The disease is characterized by acute fever, an ulcerating primary lesion (the "tache noire"), lymphadenopathy and generalized erythema. There may also be conjunctivitis. Nervous and cardiac complications are rare. Rickettsiae that are pathogens of humans are subdivided into three major groups based on clinical characteristics of disease: 1. spotted fever group; 2. typhus group; and 3. scrub typhus group. The detection of Rickettsia-specific IgG antibodies in the absence of IgM antibodies indicates past infection, whereas, the detection of IgM antibodies indicates acute or recent rickettsiosis.