Background: We report a mononucleosis-like illnesses case due to co-infection with severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) and spotted fever group rickettsia (SFGR), which to the best of our knowledge, has never been reported . CASE PRESENTATION: A 64-year-old male with an 11-day history of fever, sore throat, malaise, nausea, and non-pruritic rash was admitted to our emergency department. Prior to admission, he was bitten by ticks. Laboratory tests revealed a white blood cell count of 24,460 cells/μL with 25% atypical lymphocytes and 20% mononucleosis, thrombocytopenia. Test results were positive for SFTSV RNA, SFTSV-specific IgM antibody, and SFGR-specific IgM antibody. He was diagnosed with mononucleosis-like illnesses due to co-infection with SFTSV and SFGR. After administration of doxycycline, he recovered completely.
Conclusions: The clinical presentation may be atypical in co-infection with SFTSV and SFGR. This finding highlighted the importance of considering SFGR infection, as well as a SFSTV and SFGR co-infection for the differential diagnosis of patients bitten by ticks in SFTSV-endemic areas.