Document Detail

Status of the "East Side hypothesis" (transovarial interference) 25 years later.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19538274     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) cases in the notorious Bitterroot Valley outbreak of the early 20th century were peculiarly distributed, with virtually all reported from the west side of the valley. Such a distribution remained unexplained until Burgdorfer and colleagues (1981) reported that endosymbiotic rickettsiae were prevalent in wood ticks on the east side of the Bitterroot River valley but not on the west side. The "East Side agent" was said to prevent the transovarial transmission of Rickettsia rickettsii, thereby severely limiting the prevalence of the latter. This hypothesis has been considered one of the most innovative explanations for an epidemiological conundrum and, indeed, has generally been accepted as a fact in the medical entomology literature. I review the evidence for the interference hypothesis, and suggest that the distribution of the Bitterroot Valley RMSF outbreak might actually have its basis in habitat or microclimate-related factors, as opposed to reflecting interspecific competition by closely related rickettsiae.
Sam R Telford
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences     Volume:  1166     ISSN:  1749-6632     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci.     Publication Date:  2009 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-06-22     Completed Date:  2009-07-13     Revised Date:  2014-05-27    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7506858     Medline TA:  Ann N Y Acad Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  144-50     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Rickettsia rickettsii / pathogenicity*
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever* / epidemiology,  microbiology,  transmission
Ticks / microbiology
Grant Support
R01 AI 064218/AI/NIAID NIH HHS; R01 AI064218-02/AI/NIAID NIH HHS

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