Molecular detection of Rickettsia, Coxiella and Rickettsiella DNA in three native Australian tick species
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- Vilcins, IM.E., Old, J.M. & Deane, E. Exp Appl Acarol (2009) 49: 229. doi:10.1007/s10493-009-9260-4
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Three Australian native animal species yielded 60 samples composed of three indigenous ticks. Hosts included twelve koalas, two echidnas and one wombat from Victoria, and ticks were of the species Ixodes tasmani (n = 42), Bothriocroton concolor (n = 8) and B. auruginans (n = 10), respectively. PCR screening and sequencing detected a species of Coxiella, sharing closest sequence identity to C. burnetii (>98%), in all B. auruginans, as well as a species of Rickettsia, matching closest to R. massiliae, in 70% of the same samples. A genotype sharing closest similarity to Rickettsia bellii (>99%) was identified in three female B. concolor collected from one of the echidnas. Three samples of I. tasmani, taken from three koalas, yielded different genotypes of Rickettsiella. These results represent the first detection of the three genera in each tick species and identify a high level of previously undetected bacterial diversity in Australian ticks.