A survey for spotted fever group rickettsiae and ehrlichiae in Amblyomma variegatum from St. Kitts and Nevis

Patrick J Kelly, Pierre-Edouard Fournier, Philippe Parola, Didier Raoult
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2003, 69 (1): 58-9
Eighty-nine Amblyomma variegatum ticks were collected from the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean and preserved in 70% ethanol or local rum. After being washed in sterile water, their DNA was extracted and analyzed by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for DNA of spotted fever group rickettsiae and ehrlichiae. None of the tested ticks was positive in a PCR assay using the primers 16S EHRD and 16S EHRR for the 16S rRNA gene of Ehrlichia spp.. Forty-one percent of the A. variegatum (36 of 89 of which 34 [47%] of 72 were adult males, 2 (13%) of 16 were adult females, and 0 (0%) of 1 were nymphs) were positive in a PCR assay using the primer pair 190-70 and 190-701 for the outer membrane protein A (ompA) gene of spotted fever group rickettsiae. All PCR amplification products obtained had 100% sequence homology with Rickettsia africae, the agent of African tick-bite fever.

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