We formally propose the name sp. nov. for a new spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsia, strain MC16, isolated from ticks collected in Morocco. This organism shows a typical rickettsial morphology when analyzed by electron microscopy. After characterization by serotyping, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, Western immunoblotting, PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and 16S rDNA sequencing, this organism was found to be different from all of the recognized SFG rickettsiae. Identical PCR-RFLP profiles have, however, been found in from Portugal and from Zimbabwe, which suggests that the distribution of this rickettsia reaches from the Mediterranean to southern Africa.


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