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Open AccessArticle

Molecular Detection of Spotted-Fever Group Rickettsiae in Ticks Collected from Domestic and Wild Animals in Corsica, France

Laboratoire de Virologie, Université de Corse-Inserm, 20250 EA7310 Corte, France
Laboratoire de Recherches sur le Développement de l’Elevage (Research Laboratory for the Development of Livestock), 20250 UR045 Corte, France
Unité des Virus Emergents (UVE: Aix Marseille Université, IRD 190, Inserm 1207, IHU Méditerranée Infection), 13000 Marseille, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2019, 8(3), 138;
Received: 12 July 2019 / Revised: 16 August 2019 / Accepted: 30 August 2019 / Published: 4 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Pathogens)
To obtain a better understanding of the current magnitude of tick-borne rickettsioses in Corsica, we used molecular methods to characterize the occurrence of Rickettsia spp. in ixodid ticks collected from domestic and wild animals. The presence of Rickettsia spp. was evaluated using real-time polymerase chain reaction targeting the gltA gene and by sequencing of gltA and ompA partial genes for species identification and phylogenetic analysis. Infection rates were calculated as the maximum-likelihood estimation (MLE) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). In total, 1117 ticks belonging to four genera (Rhipicephalus, Hyalomma, Ixodes, and Dermacentor) were collected from cattle, sheep, wild boars, and companion animals during July–August 2017 and July 2018–January 2019. Overall, Rickettsia DNA was detected in 208 of 349 pools of ticks (MLE = 25.6%, 95% CI: 22.6–28.8%). The molecular analysis revealed five different rickettsial species of the spotted-fever group (SFG). We highlighted the exclusive detection of Candidatus Ri. barbariae in R. bursa and of Ri. aeschlimanii in H. marginatum. Rickettsia slovaca was detected in D. marginatus collected from wild boars. This study provides the first evidence of the presence of Ri. monacensis in I. ricinus ticks isolated from a dog in Corsica. In conclusion, our data revealed wide dispersal of SFG Rickettsiae and their arthropod hosts in Corsica, highlighting the need for surveillance of the risk of infection for people living and/or working close to infected or infested animals. View Full-Text
Keywords: ticks; Corsica; Rickettsia; wild animals; domestic animals; host ticks; Corsica; Rickettsia; wild animals; domestic animals; host
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Cicculli, V.; Maestrini, O.; Casabianca, F.; Villechenaud, N.; Charrel, R.; de Lamballerie, X.; Falchi, A. Molecular Detection of Spotted-Fever Group Rickettsiae in Ticks Collected from Domestic and Wild Animals in Corsica, France. Pathogens 2019, 8, 138.

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