Rickettsia felis

Molecular characterization of a new member of the spotted fever group

Donald Bouyer, J. Stenos, P. Crocquet-Valdes, C. G. Moron, Vsevolod Popov, J. E. Zavala-Velazquez, L. D. Foil, D. R. Stothard, A. F. Azad, David Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this report, placement of Rickettsia felis in the spotted fever group (SFG) rather than the typhus group (TG) of Rickettsia is proposed. The organism, which was first observed in cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) by electron microscopy, has not yet been reported to have been cultivated reproducibly, thereby limiting the standard rickettsial typing by serological means. To overcome this challenge, several genes were selected as targets to be utilized for the classification of R. felis. DNA from cat fleas naturally infected with R. felis was amplified by PCR utilizing primer sets specific for the 190 kDa surface antigen (rOmpA) and 17 kDa antigen genes. The entire 5513 bp rompA gene was sequenced, characterized and found to have several unique features when compared to the rompA genes of other Rickettsia. Phylogenetic analysis of the partial sequence of the 17 kDa antigen gene indicated that R. felis is less divergent from the SFG rickettsiae than from the TG rickettsiae. The data corroborate results from previous reports that analysed the citrate synthase, 16S rRNA, rompB (135 kDa surface antigen), metK, ftsY, poIA and dnaE genes that placed R. felis as a member of the SFG. The organism is passed transstadially and transovarially, and infection in the cat flea has been observed in the midgut, tracheal matrix, muscle, hypodermis, ovaries and testes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-347
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Volume51
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

Fingerprint

Rickettsia felis
Ctenocephalides
fever
Ctenocephalides felis
Rickettsia
Fever
antigen
flea
gene
typhus
Genes
Epidemic Louse-Borne Typhus
genes
surface antigens
Surface Antigens
antigens
Antigens
Citrate (si)-Synthase
citrate (si)-synthase
Subcutaneous Tissue

Keywords

  • 17 kDa gene
  • Ctenocephalides felis
  • Rickettsia felis
  • Rickettsial outer-membrane protein A
  • Tandem repeat domain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Immunology

Cite this

Rickettsia felis : Molecular characterization of a new member of the spotted fever group. / Bouyer, Donald; Stenos, J.; Crocquet-Valdes, P.; Moron, C. G.; Popov, Vsevolod; Zavala-Velazquez, J. E.; Foil, L. D.; Stothard, D. R.; Azad, A. F.; Walker, David.

In: International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2001, p. 339-347.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bouyer, D, Stenos, J, Crocquet-Valdes, P, Moron, CG, Popov, V, Zavala-Velazquez, JE, Foil, LD, Stothard, DR, Azad, AF & Walker, D 2001, 'Rickettsia felis: Molecular characterization of a new member of the spotted fever group', International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, vol. 51, no. 2, pp. 339-347.
Bouyer, Donald ; Stenos, J. ; Crocquet-Valdes, P. ; Moron, C. G. ; Popov, Vsevolod ; Zavala-Velazquez, J. E. ; Foil, L. D. ; Stothard, D. R. ; Azad, A. F. ; Walker, David. / Rickettsia felis : Molecular characterization of a new member of the spotted fever group. In: International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2001 ; Vol. 51, No. 2. pp. 339-347.
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