Rickettsia parkeri in Amblyomma dubitatum ticks in a spotted fever focus from the Brazilian Pampa

Bárbara Weck, Bruno Dall'Agnol, Ugo Souza, Anelise Webster, Bárbara Stenzel, Guilherme Klafke, João Ricardo Martins, José Reck
Acta Tropica 2017, 171: 182-185
Spotted fever is an acute febrile illness, which is considered severely underreported and misdiagnosed in the Brazilian Pampa, caused by tick-borne Rickettsiae. Here, we report an eco-epidemiological investigation of Rickettsia spp. in ticks from a spotted fever focus in Toropi, southern Brazil. Ticks were collected from capybara carcasses and processed individually to obtain genomic DNA. Rickettsia was investigated using PCR that amplified the rickettsial fragments of the gltA, ompA and htrA genes. DNA from Rickettsia parkeri was found in four of 14 Amblyomma dubitatum ticks collected from capybara carcasses in Toropi and the nearby municipality of Quevedos. We also tested 210A. dubitatum ticks obtained from road-killed capybaras of other localities from the Pampa biome; none of them were positive for Rickettsiae. Thus, in Rio Grande do Sul, two Rickettsia species can be potentially associated to spotted fever: Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic Rainforest, associated with Amblyomma ovale ticks in the Atlantic Rainforest biome, and R. parkeri, associated both with Amblyomma tigrinum and A. dubitatum ticks in the Pampa biome. Our results reinforce that R. parkeri may be the agent associated with spotted fever in the Brazilian Pampa.

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