Introduction: Rickettsia spp. are tick, flea or lice-borne pathogenic bacterium, usually carried by rodents. In the last decade three outbreaks of rickettsial disease including fatalities, occurred in the provinces of Antioquia and Córdoba in northwestern Colombia. Objective: The purpose of this study was to perform an ecological and epidemiological description of the Rickettsia spp infection in the recently affected region of Colombia. Materials and methods: Samples were obtained from 354 rodents and their parasites captured in the municipalities of Apartadó, Turbo and Necoclí. Likewise, 220 human sera were also collected, for detection of infection by Rickettsia spp. Results: Indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) revealed that 130 (43%) of the rodents and 53 (24%) of the humans produced antibodies to Rickettsia spp. Additionally, rickettsial DNA was amplified by PCR from 23 (6.8%) rodent liver samples using primers directed to the genus specific gltA gene. While gltA sequences from rodent samples exhibited a 98.7% similitude with R. prowazekii, a sequence amplified from larvae of Amblyomma sp exhibited identities of >99% similarity with R. tamurae. Conclusion: These results demonstrate the presence of rickettsia in rodents, ectoparasites and humans throughout the municipalities studied.
- Disease vectors
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Typhoid fever
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)