On the basis of phenotypic data obtained on the strain Marseille-URRWFXCal2(T), isolated from the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis, the description of Rickettsia felis (Bouyer et al., 2001) is emended and Marseille-URRWFXCal2(T) is proposed as the type strain of the species. On the basis of polyphasic characterization, especially the inability to grow at temperatures higher than 32 degrees C on Vero cells that allow growth of other Rickettsia to at least 35 degrees C, it is confirmed that this agent, although different from other recognized rickettsial species, is genotypically indistinguishable from bacteria previously detected within cat fleas and provisionally named ELB. Comparison of the phenotypic characteristics previously described for R. felis and those observed for the isolate in this study indicated some differences, although concurrent analysis of the two was not possible as no extant isolates of the first isolate of R. felis exist.


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