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Molecular evidence of the spotted fever group Rickettsiae in ticks from Yunnan Province, Southwest China

  • Hao Liu
  • Xiaotong Liang
  • Haijun Wang
  • Xiutao Sun
  • Xue Bai
  • Bo Hu
  • Ning Shi
  • Nina Wang
  • Xuelian Zhang
  • Liangzhong Huang
  • Jiedan Liao
  • Fuqiang Huang
  • Haoji Zhang
  • Xingkui Si
  • Shujian Huang
  • Ningyi Jin
  • Quan Liu
  • Lixia LiEmail author
Article
  • 29 Downloads

Abstract

Ixodid ticks transmit many obligate intracellular Rickettsial species. Several previous studies have identified Rickettsia species in the northeastern and southern part of China, but few reports on the prevalence of infection of spotted fever group Rickettsiae (SFGR) in ticks in southwest China are available. Here, we investigated SFGR in 394 adult ticks of five species including Dermacentor nuttalli, Dermacentor silvarum, Haemaphysalis longicornis, Ixodes sinensis and Ixodes persulcatus, collected in the border region between China and Burma in Yunnan Province. PCR was used to detect the presence of the citrate synthase (gltA) gene of Rickettsia species. SFGR was found in 12.1% (15/124) of I. persulcatus ticks, which was significantly higher than the 7.2% (7/97) positive D. nuttalli, 5.4% (3/56) D. silvarum, 5.6% (4/72) H. longicornis and 4.4 (2/45) I. sinensis. A portion of the gltA and ompA gene data subjected to phylogenetic analysis revealed that the detected SFGR clustered into two species, Rickettsia raoultii and the new Rickettsia species Candidatus Rickettsia jingxinensis. Detection of both Rickettsia spp. in this region indicates a potential public health threat posed by SFGR infection in Yunnan Province.

Keywords

SFG Rickettsiae Rickettsia raoultii Candidatus Rickettsia jingxinensis gltA, Citrate synthase gene ompA, outer membrane protein gene 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (31802199), the Key Laboratory for Preventive Research of Emerging Animal Diseases in Foshan University (KLPREAD201801-07).

Author contributions

HL and XTL analysed the data and wrote the manuscript. LZH, JDL, HJZ, XKS and SJH revised the manuscript. HJW, XB, BH, NS, NNW, XLZ and FQH participated in sample and testing. XTS provided samples from Yunnan. LXL, QL and NYJ designed the research. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hao Liu
    • 1
  • Xiaotong Liang
    • 1
  • Haijun Wang
    • 2
  • Xiutao Sun
    • 3
  • Xue Bai
    • 4
  • Bo Hu
    • 4
  • Ning Shi
    • 1
  • Nina Wang
    • 1
  • Xuelian Zhang
    • 1
  • Liangzhong Huang
    • 1
  • Jiedan Liao
    • 1
  • Fuqiang Huang
    • 1
  • Haoji Zhang
    • 1
  • Xingkui Si
    • 1
  • Shujian Huang
    • 1
  • Ningyi Jin
    • 5
  • Quan Liu
    • 1
  • Lixia Li
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Life Sciences and EngineeringFoshan UniversityFoshanChina
  2. 2.Jilin Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, Forestry Department of Jilin ProvinceChangchunChina
  3. 3.Honghe Animal Disease Prevention and Control CenterMengziChina
  4. 4.Institute of Special Economic Animal and Plant Sciences, Key Laboratory of Special Animal Epidemic DiseaseChinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Ministry of AgricultureChangchunChina
  5. 5.Military Veterinary InstituteAcademy of Military Medical SciencesChangchunChina

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