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1 December 2010 Rickettsia africae in Amblyomma variegatum and Domestic Ruminants on Eight Caribbean Islands
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Abstract

We used PCRs with ompA primers to determine if spotted fever group rickettsiae occurred in Amblyomma variegatum from 6 Caribbean islands. Positive amplicons were obtained from ticks from the U.S. Virgin Islands (9/18; 50%), Dominica (39/171; 30%), Montserrat (2/5; 40%), Nevis (17/34; 50%), St. Kitts (46/227; 20%), and St. Lucia (1/14; 7%). Sequences for a convenience sample of reaction products obtained from A. variegatum on St. Kitts (7), American Virgin Islands (4), Montserrat (2), and St. Lucia (1) were 100% homologous with that of Rickettsia africae, the agent of African tick-bite fever. To determine if transmission of R. africae occurred, we used Rickettsia rickettsii antigen in IFA tests and found positive titers (≥1/80) with sera from cattle, goats, and sheep from Dominica (24/95 [25%], 2/136 [2%], 0/58 [0%]), Nevis (12/45 [27%], 5/157 [3%], 0/90 [0%]), St. Kitts (2/43 [5%], 1/25 [4%), 1/35 [3%]), and St. Lucia (6/184 [3%] cattle), respectively. No seropositive animals were found in Grenada (0/4, 0/98/, 0/86), Montserrat (0/12, 0/26, 0/52), or Puerto Rico (0/80 cattle). Our study indicates that R. africae and African tick-bite fever are widespread in the Caribbean.

Patrick Kelly, Helene Lucas, Lorenza Beati, Charles Yowell, Suman Mahan, and John Dame "Rickettsia africae in Amblyomma variegatum and Domestic Ruminants on Eight Caribbean Islands," Journal of Parasitology 96(6), 1086-1088, (1 December 2010). https://doi.org/10.1645/GE-2552.1
Received: 28 May 2010; Accepted: 1 July 2010; Published: 1 December 2010
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