1887

Abstract

In 1973, investigators isolated a rickettsial organism, designated strain WB-8-2, from an adult Amblyomma americanum tick collected at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, TN, USA. This organism is now recognized as highly prevalent in A. americanum, as well as several other Amblyomma species found throughout the Western hemisphere. It has been suggested that cross-reactivity to WB-8-2 and similar strains contributes to the increasing number of spotted fever cases reported in the USA. In 1995, investigators provided preliminary evidence that this strain, as well as another strain from Missouri, represented a distinct taxonomic unit within the genus Rickettsia by evaluating sequences of the 16S rRNA and 17 kDa protein genes. However, the bacterium was never formally named, despite the use of the designation ‘ Rickettsia amblyommii’ and later ‘Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii’, for more than 20 years in the scientific literature. Herein, we provide additional molecular evidence to identify strain WB-8-2 as a representative strain of a unique rickettsial species and present a formal description for the species, with the proposed name modified to Rickettsia amblyommatis sp. nov. to conform to the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes. We also establish a pure culture of strain WB-8-2 and designate it as the type strain for the species. The type strain is WB-8-2 (=CRIRC RAM004=CSURP2882).

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2016-12-01
2019-09-21
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