While bacterial transformation has evolved since the early 20th century to allow for the genetic manipulation of a variety of microbial agents, rickettsial organisms have proved resistant to such advances until only recently. The Ehrlichia are small, gram-negative, obligately intracellular bacterial parasites, which belong to the family Anaplasmataceae and cause a variety of infections in human and animal hosts. E. chaffeensis is the causative agent of human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis and is transmitted by Amblyomma americanum, the Lone Star tick. In this work, we describe the first report of successful transformation of a closely related ehrlichial species, the murine monocytotropic species E. muris. Application of these techniques should allow for a wide variety of molecular studies to be performed that were previously impossible. This heralds the beginning of a new era in ehrlichial research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- History and Philosophy of Science