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Article

Screening for Rickettsia, Coxiella and Borrelia Species in Ticks from Queensland, Australia

1
Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory, Geelong University Hospital, Geelong 3216, Victoria, Australia
2
Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, James Cook University, Townsville 4611, Queensland, Australia
3
Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change, James Cook University, Townsville 4611, Queensland, Australia
4
Research Institute for Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin 0815, Northern Territory, Australia
5
Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Nepean Hospital, NSW Health Pathology, Penrith 2747, New South Wales, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(12), 1016; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9121016
Received: 5 November 2020 / Revised: 19 November 2020 / Accepted: 19 November 2020 / Published: 2 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Updates on Rickettsia and Coxiella)
Tick bites in Australia are linked to the transmission of a variety of infectious diseases in humans, livestock and wildlife. Despite this recognition, little is currently known about the variety of potential pathogens that are carried and transmitted by Australian ticks. In this study, we attempted to expand knowledge of Australian tick-borne bacterial pathogens by analyzing various tick species from the state of Queensland for potential human pathogens belonging to the Rickettsia, Coxiella and Borrelia genera. A total of 203 ticks, comprising of four genera and nine different tick species, were screened by specific qPCR assays. An overall Rickettsia qPCR positivity of 6.4% (13/203) was detected with rickettsial DNA found in four tick species (Ixodes holocyclus, I. tasmani, Amblyommatriguttatum, and Haemaphysalis longicornis). Amplification and analysis of several rickettsial genes from rickettsial qPCR positive samples identified sequences closely related to but genetically distinct from several previously described cultured and uncultured rickettsial species in the Rickettsia spotted fever subgroup. No ticks were positive for either Coxiella or Borrelia DNA. This work suggests that a further diversity of rickettsiae remain to be described in Australian ticks with the full importance of these bacteria to human and animal health yet to be elucidated. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ixodes; Amblyomma; Haemaphysalis; Rhipicephalus; molecular detection; PCR; Lyme disease Ixodes; Amblyomma; Haemaphysalis; Rhipicephalus; molecular detection; PCR; Lyme disease
MDPI and ACS Style

Hussain-Yusuf, H.; Stenos, J.; Vincent, G.; Shima, A.; Abell, S.; Preece, N.D.; Tadepalli, M.; Hii, S.F.; Bowie, N.; Mitram, K.; Graves, S. Screening for Rickettsia, Coxiella and Borrelia Species in Ticks from Queensland, Australia. Pathogens 2020, 9, 1016. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9121016

AMA Style

Hussain-Yusuf H, Stenos J, Vincent G, Shima A, Abell S, Preece ND, Tadepalli M, Hii SF, Bowie N, Mitram K, Graves S. Screening for Rickettsia, Coxiella and Borrelia Species in Ticks from Queensland, Australia. Pathogens. 2020; 9(12):1016. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9121016

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hussain-Yusuf, Hazizul, John Stenos, Gemma Vincent, Amy Shima, Sandra Abell, Noel D. Preece, Mythili Tadepalli, Sze F. Hii, Naomi Bowie, Kate Mitram, and Stephen Graves. 2020. "Screening for Rickettsia, Coxiella and Borrelia Species in Ticks from Queensland, Australia" Pathogens 9, no. 12: 1016. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9121016

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