Spotted fever group Rickettsia infecting ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil

Alessandra Pereira Medeiros, Antonio Pereira de Souza, Anderson Barbosa de Moura, Marcia Sangaletti Lavina, Valdomiro Bellato, Amélia Aparecida Sartor, Fernanda Aparecida Nieri-Bastos, Leonardo José Richtzenhain, Marcelo Bahia Labruna
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 2011, 106 (8): 926-30
During 2006-2008, a total of 260 adult ticks were collected from domestic and wild animals in different regions of the state of Santa Catarina (SC), Brazil, including areas where human cases of Brazilian spotted fever have been reported. Collected ticks belonging to nine species (Amblyomma aureolatum, Amblyomma cajennense, Amblyomma dubitatum, Amblyomma longirostre, Amblyomma ovale, Amblyomma tigrinum, Dermacentor nitens, Rhipicephalus microplus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus) were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for rickettsial infection. Overall, eight (3.1%) ticks were found to be infected with Rickettsia species. After sequencing the PCR products, we determined that the sequences generated from three A. aureolatum, one A. ovale and one R. sanguineus from the municipality of Blumenau, one A. ovale from the municipality of Águas Mornas and one A. ovale from the municipality of Urussanga were identical to the corresponding partial rickettsial ompA gene sequence of Rickettsia parkeri strain Atlantic rainforest. The sequence generated from one A. longirostre from Blumenau was 100% identical to the corresponding partial rickettsial ompA gene sequence of Rickettsia amblyommii strain AL. Because R. parkeri strain Atlantic rainforest was recently shown to have caused two cases of human spotted fever in other states of Brazil, the role of this rickettsial agent as a possible etiological agent of spotted fever in SC is discussed.

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