The spotted fever group of Rickettsiae is a heterogeneous group of Rickettsiae transmitted by ticks, causing similar diseases in humans (spotted fever). Until recently, it was supposed that a single pathogenic tick-borne SFG Rickettsia circulated in each different geographic area and that R. conorii subsp. conorii was the SFG Rickettsiae circulating in Italy, but in the last decade, thanks to molecular diagnostic, several different Rickettsia species, previously not considered pathogenic for decades, have been isolated from ticks and definitively associated to human disease, also in Italy. The present survey was carried out with the aim of investigating the presence of different SFG Rickettsia species in a geographic area where no information was available. Ticks collected from animals submitted to necropsy, removed from humans in local hospitals and collected from the environment were identified and tested by PCR for Rickettsia spp. based on the gltA gene, and positive PCR products were sequenced. A total of 3286 ticks were collected. Fifteen tick species were recognized, the most represented (79.52%) species in the collection was Ixodes ricinus, followed by Rhipicephalus sanguineus (9.13%). The overall prevalence of Rickettsia infection was 7.58%. Eight species of Rickettsia were identified, the most frequent was R. monacensis (56%), followed by R. helvetica (25.50%). Noteworthy, is the detection in the present study of Rrhipicephali, detected only twice in Italy. These are the first data available on SFG Rickettsiae circulation in the study area and they can be considered as starting point to assess the possible risk for humans.

One health approach to rickettsiosis: A five-year study on spotted fever group rickettsiae in ticks collected from humans, animals and environment

Canonico C.;Necci A.;Di Donato A.;Morganti G.;Crotti S.;
2022

Abstract

The spotted fever group of Rickettsiae is a heterogeneous group of Rickettsiae transmitted by ticks, causing similar diseases in humans (spotted fever). Until recently, it was supposed that a single pathogenic tick-borne SFG Rickettsia circulated in each different geographic area and that R. conorii subsp. conorii was the SFG Rickettsiae circulating in Italy, but in the last decade, thanks to molecular diagnostic, several different Rickettsia species, previously not considered pathogenic for decades, have been isolated from ticks and definitively associated to human disease, also in Italy. The present survey was carried out with the aim of investigating the presence of different SFG Rickettsia species in a geographic area where no information was available. Ticks collected from animals submitted to necropsy, removed from humans in local hospitals and collected from the environment were identified and tested by PCR for Rickettsia spp. based on the gltA gene, and positive PCR products were sequenced. A total of 3286 ticks were collected. Fifteen tick species were recognized, the most represented (79.52%) species in the collection was Ixodes ricinus, followed by Rhipicephalus sanguineus (9.13%). The overall prevalence of Rickettsia infection was 7.58%. Eight species of Rickettsia were identified, the most frequent was R. monacensis (56%), followed by R. helvetica (25.50%). Noteworthy, is the detection in the present study of Rrhipicephali, detected only twice in Italy. These are the first data available on SFG Rickettsiae circulation in the study area and they can be considered as starting point to assess the possible risk for humans.
2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1507423
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