Molecular detection of the human pathogenic Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest in Amblyomma dubitatum ticks from Argentina

Lucas D Monje, Santiago Nava, Ayelen T Eberhardt, Ana I Correa, Alberto A Guglielmone, Pablo M Beldomenico
Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 2015, 15 (2): 167-9
To date, three tick-borne pathogenic Rickettsia species have been reported in different regions of Argentina, namely, R. rickettsii, R. parkeri, and R. massiliae. However, there are no reports available for the presence of tick-borne pathogens from the northeastern region of Argentina. This study evaluated the infection with Rickettsia species of Amblyomma dubitatum ticks collected from vegetation and feeding from capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) in northeastern Argentina. From a total of 374 A. dubitatum ticks collected and evaluated by PCR for the presence of rickettsial DNA, 19 were positive for the presence of Rickettsia bellii DNA, two were positive for Rickettsia sp. strain COOPERI, and one was positive for the pathogenic Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest. To our knowledge, this study is the first report of the presence of the human pathogen Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest and Rickettsia sp. strain COOPERI in Argentina. Moreover, our findings posit A. dubitatum as a potential vector for this pathogenic strain of Rickettsia.

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