Project description:Comparison of gene expression between the virulent Rickettsia rickettsii R strain and avirulent Rickettsia rickettsii Iowa. Keywords: virulent vs avirulent Virulent Rickettsia rickettsii R strain in triplicate was compared to avirulent Rickettsia rickettsii Iowa in triplicate
Project description:Comparison of gene expression between the virulent Rickettsia rickettsii R strain and avirulent Rickettsia rickettsii Iowa. Keywords: virulent vs avirulent Overall design: Virulent Rickettsia rickettsii R strain in triplicate was compared to avirulent Rickettsia rickettsii Iowa in triplicate
Project description:In a previous study conducted in Cyprus, various spotted fever group Rickettsia species were detected and identified in ticks by molecular analysis. Among them, a partially characterized Rickettsia species was detected in Hyalomma anatolicum excavatum and Rhipicephalus turanicus ticks. We report characterization of this rickettsial strain by using polymerase chain reaction sequencing analysis of partial citrate synthase A, outer membrane protein A, outer membrane protein B, and 17-kD protein genes. We propose a provisional name Rickettsia sp. strain Tselenti for this strain until it is isolated and further characterized.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to identify the presence of rickettsia and hantavirus in wild rodents and arthropods in response to an outbreak of acute unidentified febrile illness among Indians in the Halataikwa Indian Reserve, northwest of the Mato Grosso state, in the Brazilian Amazon. Where previously surveillance data showed serologic evidence of rickettsia and hantavirus human infection. METHODS: The arthropods were collected from the healthy Indian population and by flagging vegetation in grassland or woodland along the peridomestic environment of the Indian reserve. Wild rodents were live-trapped in an area bordering the reserve limits, due the impossibility of capturing wild animals in the Indian reserve. The wild rodents were identified based on external and cranial morphology and karyotype. DNA was extracted from spleen or liver samples of rodents and from invertebrate (tick and louse) pools, and the molecular characterization of the rickettsia was through PCR and DNA sequencing of fragments of two rickettsial genes (gltA and ompA). In relation to hantavirus, rodent serum samples were serologically screened by IgG ELISA using the Araraquara-N antigen and total RNA was extracted from lung samples of IgG-positive rodents. The amplification of the complete S segment was performed. RESULTS: A total of 153 wild rodents, 121 louse, and 36 tick specimens were collected in 2010. Laguna Negra hantavirus was identified in Calomys callidus rodents and Rickettsia bellii, Rickettsia amblyommii were identified in Amblyomma cajennense ticks. CONCLUSIONS: Zoonotic diseases such as HCPS and spotted fever rickettsiosis are a public health threat and should be considered in outbreaks and acute febrile illnesses among Indian populations. The presence of the genome of rickettsias and hantavirus in animals in this Indian reserve reinforces the need to include these infectious agents in outbreak investigations of febrile cases in Indian populations.
Project description:A divergent strain of Rickettsia japonica was isolated from a Dew's Australian bat argasid tick, Argas (Carios) dewae, collected in southern Victoria, Australia and a full-genome analysis along with sequencing of 5 core gene fragments was undertaken. This isolate was designated Rickettsia japonica str. argasii (ATCC VR-1665, CSUR R179).
Project description:Rickettsia spp. can cause mild to severe human disease. These intracellular bacteria are associated with arthropods, nematodes and trematodes, and usually, are efficiently transmitted transovarially to the progeny of the invertebrate host. We recently demonstrated foreign gene acquisition by lateral gene transfer in Rickettsia genomes. The unexpected presence of laterally transferred toxin-antitoxin (TA) genetic elements (including vapBC) in several Rickettsia genomes has not been connected with the pathogenic process or the host-bacteria relationship. We suspect that vapBC are selfish genetic elements that addict eukaryotic hosts to Rickettsia. We identified a statistical link between the transovarial transmission of Rickettsia in invertebrate hosts and the presence of TA operons, specifically vapBC, in the Rickettsia genome. These TA are neighboring to type IV secretion genes. Tunel assays and whole-genome expression of infected cells showed that antibiotic eradication of TA-containing Rickettsia from the host in cell culture initiates a proapoptotic program. Rickettsia VapC toxins inhibit the growth of transformed Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Rickettsia toxin presents in vitro RNase activity. Annexin-V staining and time-lapse video showed that intracytoplasmic injections of VapC toxins in cells cause apoptosis. These data demonstrate that host cells may develop a dependence on Rickettsia spp. expressing the vapBC operon. This would constitute a new evolutionary “mafia strategy” of intracellular bacteria based on host addiction. Fresh cells from the human microvascular endothelial cell line (HMEC-1)  were infected with R. felis California-2 strain in the presence and absence of antibiotics, at a rate of 5 bacteria per eukaryotic cell. Then, we added or not antibiotics (chloramphenicol 50 µg/ml or doxycycline to 40 µg/ml) in both experimental (R.felis-infected) and control, mock-infected cells for 6 hours. The cells were harvested and RNA was extracted using the RNeasy Mini Kit (Qiagen). DNA contamination was removed using the Turbo DNA-free Kit (Ambion). RNA were labeled using the Quick Amp Labeling Kit One-color (Agilent) and hybridized onto a Whole Human Genome Microarray, 4x44K (Agilent) as recommended by the manufacturer. Arrays were scanned with DNA Microarray Scanner (Agilent), and data were extracted using Feature Extractor (Agilent).
Project description:Rickettsia asembonensis, the most well-characterized rickettsia of the Rickettsia felis-like organisms (RFLO), is relatively unknown within the vector-borne diseases research community. The agent was initially identified in peri-domestic fleas from Asembo, Kenya in an area in which R. felis was associated with fever patients. Local fleas collected from domestic animals and within homes were predominately infected with R. asembonensis with < 10% infected with R. felis. Since the identification of R. asembonensis in Kenya, it has been reported in other locations within Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, and South America. With the description of R. asembonensis-like genotypes across the globe, a need exists to isolate these R. asembonensis genotypes in cell culture, conduct microscopic, and biological analysis, as well as whole genome sequencing to ascertain whether they are the same species. Additionally, interest has been building on the potential of R. asembonensis in infecting vertebrate hosts including humans, non-human primates, dogs, and other animals. The current knowledge of the presence, prevalence, and distribution of R. asembonensis worldwide, as well as its arthropod hosts and potential as a pathogen are discussed in this manuscript.
Project description:In the present study, attempts to isolate Rickettsia in cell culture were performed individually in seven specimens of Haemaphysalis juxtakochi ticks collected in the state of São Paulo (southeastern Brazil). Rickettsia was successfully isolated by the shell vial technique and established in Vero cell culture from six ticks (six isolates). DNA extracted from infected cells of these isolates was tested by PCR and DNA sequencing, using genus-specific Rickettsia primers targeting the genes gltA, htrA, ompA, and ompB. After the generated sequences were compared with available sequences in GenBank, five out of the six isolates were identified as Rickettsia bellii (isolates HJ#1, HJ#2, HJ#3, HJ#4, and HJ#7). The sixth isolate (HJ#5) was closest to Rickettsia sp. strain R300, previously detected in H. juxtakochi in northern Brazil, and to Rickettsia rhipicephali, isolated from ticks in the United States. Following recent gene sequence-based criteria proposed for the identification of Rickettsia isolates, both isolate HJ#5 and strain R300 were identified as South American strains of R. rhipicephali, which was confirmed in this continent for the first time. Isolation of R. bellii from H. juxtakochi ticks, added to eight other tick species that have been reported to be infected with this bacterium in Brazil, indicates that R. bellii is indeed the most frequent Rickettsia species infecting ticks in Brazil. Currently, the role of both R. rhipicephali and R. bellii as human pathogens is regarded as unknown.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Rickettsia are intracellular symbionts of eukaryotes that are best known for infecting and causing serious diseases in humans and other mammals. All known vertebrate-associated Rickettsia are vectored by arthropods as part of their life-cycle, and many other Rickettsia are found exclusively in arthropods with no known secondary host. However, little is known about the biology of these latter strains. Here, we have identified 20 new strains of Rickettsia from arthropods, and constructed a multi-gene phylogeny of the entire genus which includes these new strains. RESULTS: We show that Rickettsia are primarily arthropod-associated bacteria, and identify several novel groups within the genus. Rickettsia do not co-speciate with their hosts but host shifts most often occur between related arthropods. Rickettsia have evolved adaptations including transmission through vertebrates and killing males in some arthropod hosts. We uncovered one case of horizontal gene transfer among Rickettsia, where a strain is a chimera from two distantly related groups, but multi-gene analysis indicates that different parts of the genome tend to share the same phylogeny. CONCLUSION: Approximately 150 million years ago, Rickettsia split into two main clades, one of which primarily infects arthropods, and the other infects a diverse range of protists, other eukaryotes and arthropods. There was then a rapid radiation about 50 million years ago, which coincided with the evolution of life history adaptations in a few branches of the phylogeny. Even though Rickettsia are thought to be primarily transmitted vertically, host associations are short lived with frequent switching to new host lineages. Recombination throughout the genus is generally uncommon, although there is evidence of horizontal gene transfer. A better understanding of the evolution of Rickettsia will help in the future to elucidate the mechanisms of pathogenicity, transmission and virulence.
Project description:Spotted fever group rickettsia (SFGR) can cause mild to fatal illness. The early interaction between the host and rickettsia in skin is largely unknown, and the pathogenesis of severe rickettsiosis remains an important topic. A surveillance of SFGR infection by PCR of blood and skin biopsy specimens followed by sequencing and immunohistochemical (IHC) detection was performed on patients with a recent tick bite between 2013 and 2016. Humoral and cutaneous immunoprofiles were evaluated in different SFGR cases by serum cytokine and chemokine detection, skin IHC staining, and transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq). A total of 111 SFGR cases were identified, including 79 "Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae," 22 Rickettsia raoultii, 8 Rickettsia sibirica, and 2 Rickettsia heilongjiangensis cases. The sensitivity to detect SFGR in skin biopsy specimens (9/24, 37.5%) was significantly higher than that in blood samples (105/2,671, 3.9%) (P?<?0.05). As early as 1 day after the tick bite, rickettsiae could be detected in the skin. R. sibirica infection was more severe than "Ca Rickettsia" and R. raoultii infections. Increased levels of serum interleukin-18 (IL-18), IP10, and monokine induced by gamma interferon (MIG) and decreased levels of IL-2 were observed in febrile patients infected with R. sibirica compared to those infected with "Ca Rickettsia." RNA-seq and IHC staining could not discriminate between SFGR-infected and uninfected tick bite skin lesions. However, the type I interferon (IFN) response was differently expressed between R. sibirica and R. raoultii infections at the cutaneous interface. It is concluded that skin biopsy specimens were more reliable for the detection of SFGR infection in human patients although the immunoprofile may be complicated by immunomodulators induced by the tick bite.