Molecular identification of Rickettsia felis in ticks and fleas from an endemic area for Brazilian Spotted Fever

K A Oliveira, L S Oliveira, C C A Dias, A Silva, M R Almeida, G Almada, D H Bouyer, M A M Galvão, Cl Mafra
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 2008, 103 (2): 191-4
Rickettsioses are arthropod-borne diseases caused by parasites from the Order Rickettsiales. The most prevalent rickettsial disease in Brazil is Brazilian Spotted Fever (BSF). This work intends the molecular detection of those agents in ectoparasites from an endemic area of BSF in the state of Espírito Santo. A total of 502 ectoparasites, among them Amblyomma cajennense, Amblyomma dubitatum (A. cooperi), Riphicephalus sanguineus, Anocentor nitens and Ctenocephalides felis, was collected from domestic animals and the environment and separated in 152 lots according to the origin. Rickettsia sp. was detected in pools of all collected species by amplification of 17 kDa protein-encoding gene fragments. The products of PCR amplification of three samples were sequenced, and Rickettsia felis was identified in R. sanguineus and C. felis. These results confirm the presence of Rickettsia felis in areas previously known as endemic for BSF, disease caused by Rickettsia rickettsii. Moreover, they show the needing of further studies for deeper knowledge of R. felis-spotted fever epidemiology and differentiation of these diseases in Brazil.


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