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.
Last Editorial Review: 6/9/2016
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