, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 719-723

Isolation ofCoxiella burnetii and of an unknown rickettsial organism fromIxodes ricinus ticks collected in Austria

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Two strains ofCoxiella burnetii and two strains of an unidentified rickettsial organism were isolated for the first time fromIxodes ricinus ticks collected in the Alpine region of Tirol, Austria. TheC. burnetii strains belong to the group of agents causing acute forms of Q fever. The other two strains of isolated rickettsial agent share some antigenic epitopes withC. burnetii andR. prowazekii but they differ from them by their high sensitivity to freezing and refreezing and by poor multiplication in yolk sacs of chick embryos. There is at present no evidence that these organisms cause human illness and no ecological information is available. We suggest they may be some new species of rickettsiae or rickettsia-like organisms.