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Molecular investigation into the presence of a Coxiella sp. in Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks in Australia

Oskam, C.L., Gofton, A.W., Greay, T. L., Yang, R.ORCID: 0000-0003-2563-2015, Doggett, S., Ryan, U.M.ORCID: 0000-0003-2710-9324 and Irwin, P.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-0006-8262 (2017) Molecular investigation into the presence of a Coxiella sp. in Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks in Australia. Veterinary Microbiology, 201 . pp. 141-145.

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Q fever is an infectious disease with a global distribution caused by the intracellular bacterium, Coxiella burnetii, which has been detected in a large number of tick species worldwide, including the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Recent reports of a high seroprevalance of C. burnetii in Australian dogs, along with the identification of additional Coxiella species within R. sanguineus ticks, has prompted an investigation into the presence and identification of Coxiella species in R. sanguineus ticks in Australia. Using a combination of C. burnetii species-specific IS1111a transposase gene and Coxiella genus-specific 16S rRNA PCR assays, a Coxiella sp. was identified in 100% (n = 199) of R. sanguineus ticks analysed, and C. burnetii was not detected in any R. sanguineus ticks studied. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene revealed the Coxiella sequences were closely related to Coxiella sp. identified previously in R. sanguineus and R. turanicus ticks overseas. This study illustrates the value of using genus specific PCR assays to detect previously unreported bacterial species. Furthermore, the presence of an additional Coxiella sp. in Australia requires further investigation into its potential for contributing to serological cross-reactions during Q fever testing.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier B.V.
United Nations SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
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