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Definition of Brill-Zinsser disease

Brill-Zinsser disease: Recrudescence of epidemic typhus years after the initial attack. The agent that causes epidemic typhus (Rickettsia prowazekii) remains viable for many years and then when host defenses are down, it is reactivated causing recurrent typhus. The disease is named for the physician Nathan Brill and the great bacteriologist Hans Zinsser.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=2533
Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

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