Molecular detection of Rickettsia africae, Rickettsia aeschlimannii, and Rickettsia sibirica mongolitimonae in camels and Hyalomma spp. ticks from Israel

Gabriela Kleinerman, Gad Baneth, Kosta Y. Mumcuoglu, Michael Van Straten, Dalia Berlin, Dmitry A. Apanaskevich, Ziad Abdeen, Abed Nasereddin, Shimon Harrus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, we aimed to identify and genetically characterize spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae in ticks, domestic one-humped camels, and horses from farms and Bedouin communities in southern Israel. A total of 618 ixodid ticks (Hyalomma dromedarii, Hyalomma turanicum, Hyalomma excavatum, and Hyalomma impeltatum) collected from camels and horses, as well as 152 blood samples from 148 camels and four horses were included in the study. Initial screening for rickettsiae was carried out by targeting the gltA gene. Positive samples were further analyzed for rickettsial ompA, 17kDa, ompB, and 16S rRNA genes. Rickettsia aeschlimannii DNA was detected in the blood of three camels and 14 ticks (H. dromedarii, H. turanicum, and H. excavatum). Rickettsia africae was found in six ticks (H. turanicum, H. impeltatum, H. dromedarii, and H. excavatum). In addition, Rickettsia sibirica mongolitimonae was detected in one H. turanicum tick. These findings represent the first autochthonous detection of R. africae in Israel. Previous detections of R. africae in Asia were reported from the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt) and Istanbul, only. Furthermore, we report for the first time the finding of R. aeschlimannii in H. turanicum and H. excavatum ticks, as well as the first identification of R. sibirica mongolitimonae in H. turanicum ticks. The tick species identified to harbor R. africae and other SFG rickettsiae have been reported to occasionally feed on people, and, therefore, physicians should be aware of the possible exposure of local communities and travelers, especially those in contact with camels, to these tick-borne rickettsial pathogens.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)851-856
Number of pages6
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Volume13
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2013

Keywords

  • Camel
  • Hyalomma
  • Rickettsia aeschlimannii
  • Rickettsia africae
  • Rickettsia sibirica mongolitimonae

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