New records of Rickettsia bellii-infected ticks in Brazil
AbstractThis study investigated the occurrence of rickettsial infection in ticks collected from wild animals in two areas of Brazil. Amblyomma dubitatum ticks were collected from a capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) in Guarda-Mor municipality, state of Minas Gerais, and Amblyomma pseudoconcolor ticks were collected from a six-banded armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus) in Corumbá municipality, state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Attempts to isolate rickettsia in Vero cell culture were performed with one A. dubitatum tick and one A. pseudoconcolor tick, which were previously shown by the hemolymph test to contain Rickettsia-like structures within their hemocytes. Rickettsiae were successfully isolated in Vero cell culture from the two tick species. The two isolates were identified as Rickettsia bellii, since gltA partial sequences were 99.9%-100% identical to corresponding sequences of R. bellii in GenBank. While there have been several previous reports of R. bellii infecting A. dubitatum ticks, we provide the first report for A. pseudoconcolor, which increases to 25 the number of R. bellii-infected tick species in the American continent.
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