Molecular Evidence of Different Rickettsia Species in Villeta, Colombia

Álvaro A. Faccini-Martínez, Alejandro Ramírez-Hernández, Elkin Forero-Becerra, Jesús A. Cortés-Vecino, Patricia Escandón, Juan D. Rodas, Ana M. Palomar, Aránzazu Portillo, José A. Oteo, Marylin Hidalgo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The aim of this work was to detect and identify Rickettsia species in ticks collected in rural areas of Villeta, Colombia. Tick specimens were collected from domestic animals and walls of houses in five rural villages of Villeta town and from humans in Naranjal village (same town). Moreover, a flea collected from the same area was also processed. DNA was extracted and tested by conventional, semi-nested, and nested PCR reactions targeting rickettsial genes. In the ticks collected from humans from Naranjal village, a nymph of Amblyomma cajennense sensu lato was amplified using primers for ompA and sequenced (100% identity with "Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii"). Last, three amplicons from the Ctenocephalides felis flea, corresponding to gltA, ompB, and 16S rRNA genes, showed high identity with R. felis (98.5%, 97.3%, and 99.2%, respectively) and "Candidatus Rickettsia asemboensis" (99.7% and 100%, respectively). To our knowledge, these results correspond to the first molecular detection in Colombia of "Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii" and "Ca. Rickettsia asemboensis" in fleas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-87
Number of pages3
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Colombia
  • Fleas
  • PCR
  • Rickettsia
  • Ticks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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