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The first detection of Rickettsia aeschlimannii and Rickettsia massiliae in Rhipicephalus turanicus ticks, in northwest China.


ABSTRACT: Rickettsia spp. belonging to the spotted fever group (SFG) cause infections in humans, domestic animals and wildlife. At least five SFG rickettsial species have been reported in China, but the occurrence of Rickettsia aeschlimannii and R. massiliae in ticks has not been characterized to date.A total of 114 adult ticks were collected from sheep in Yining County, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, in northwest China. The ticks were identified from morphological and molecular characteristics. All samples were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and six genetic markers were used to determine the Rickettsia spp. in the ticks. The ticks collected were identified as Rhipicephalus turanicus. Three different lineages of Rh. turanicus from Yining County were discovered on phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA and cox1. Twenty-one of the 114 samples (18.42%) were positive for rickettsial agents. Phylogenetic analysis based on six genetic sequences showed that three rickettsial species were present, namely: R. aeschlimannii (19.05%, 4/21), R. massiliae (19.05%, 4/21) and R. sibirica variant (61.90%, 13/21), which is clustered in the clade of R. sibirica subsp. sibirica.This is the first description of R. aeschlimannii and R. massiliae in China. R. massiliae, R. aeschlimannii and R. sibirica variant co-circulate in the region of the China-Kazakhstan border, in northwest China. Rickettsial agents in ticks of the genus Rhipicephalus from migrant birds, transported livestock, wildlife and human beings should be investigated further in the region of the China-Central Asian border.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4675064 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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