Detection and identification of spotted fever group rickettsiae in Dermacentor species from southern California

Mary E Wikswo, Renjie Hu, Gregory A Dasch, Laura Krueger, Aaron Arugay, Keith Jones, Barry Hess, Stephen Bennett, Vicki Kramer, Marina E Eremeeva
Journal of Medical Entomology 2008, 45 (3): 509-16
Dermacentor occidentalis Marx and Dermacentor variabilis (Say) commonly bite humans in California. These Dermacentor species may play a role in transmitting spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae to humans in many parts of the state where Dermacentor andersoni Stiles, a known vector for the etiologic agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Rickettsia rickettsii, is absent. However, the specific rickettsial agents present in these ticks and their current prevalence are poorly understood. In total, 365 D. occidentalis and 10 D. variabilis were collected by flagging vegetation at 16 sites in five counties of southern California. The presence of SFG rickettsial DNA in these ticks was detected with rOmpA and GltA gene polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. The rickettsial species were identified by sequencing PCR amplicons. Of 365 D. occidentalis, 90 (24.7%) contained R. rhipicephali DNA, 28 (7.7%) contained DNA of unclassified genotype 364D, two (0.55%) contained R. bellii DNA, and one (0.3%) contained R. rickettsii DNA. Of 10 D. variabilis, four (40%) contained only R. rhipicephali. Four new genotypes of R. rhipicephali were discovered. For the first time, we detected R. rickettsii in D. occidentalis. Our study provides the first molecular data on the prevalence and species identification of SFG rickettsiae circulating in populations of these California ticks. Because neither D. variabilis nor R. rickettsii were abundant, 364D should be evaluated further as a potential cause of human SFG rickettsioses in southern California.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"