1887

Abstract

A novel spotted fever group was found in ticks collected from sheep and goats in Croatia in 2006. At the same time, a genetically identical organism was co-isolated with the embryonic cell line CCE3 obtained from the soft tick in Georgia, USA. In this study, further phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of the novel rickettsial strain present in ticks were investigated. Based on the cultivation of bacteria in mosquito and Vero cell cultures, the presence of rickettsiae in tick tissues and cell cultures [confirmed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM)] and the amplification and sequencing of five rickettsial genes, it was demonstrated that the novel strain fulfils the criteria to be classified as a novel species. The name sp. nov. is proposed for the new strain sp. nov., an obligately intracellular bacterium, was grown in Vero cells and arthropod CCE3, ISE6 and C6/36 cell lines. The morphology of the cells of the novel species was typical of SFG rickettsiae. The small coccobacillary appearance of the bacteria was apparent with light microscopy. A Gram-negative bacterial cell wall and a cytoplasmic membrane separated by a narrow periplasmic space were visible by TEM. To date, sp. nov. has been isolated from two species of ticks, and . The novel species appears to be geographically widely distributed, having been detected in Croatia, Spain and Georgia, USA. Although no information is available regarding the possible pathogenicity of the novel species for vertebrate hosts, sp. nov. has a cytopathic effect in Vero, CCE3 and ISE6 cells. Sequence analyses of the 16S rRNA, 17 kDa, , and genes indicated that even though sp. nov. was closely related to , it represents a separate species within the spotted fever group. The type strain of sp. nov. is strain Croatica (=DSM 22243=UTMB 00003).

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2010-04-01
2019-09-21
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