Molecular evidence supports the role of dogs as potential reservoirs for Rickettsia felis.
ABSTRACT Rickettsia felis causes flea-borne spotted fever in humans worldwide. The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, serves as vector and reservoir host for this disease agent. To determine the role of dogs as potential reservoir hosts for spotted fever group rickettsiae, we screened blood from 100 pound dogs in Southeast Queensland by using a highly sensitive genus-specific PCR. Nine of the pound dogs were positive for rickettsial DNA and subsequent molecular sequencing confirmed amplification of R. felis. A high prevalence of R. felis in dogs in our study suggests that dogs may act as an important reservoir host for R. felis and as a potential source of human rickettsial infection.
Article: Molecular evidence of Rickettsia felis infection in dogs from Northern Territory, Australia.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The prevalence of spotted fever group rickettsial infection in dogs from a remote indigenous community in the Northern Territory (NT) was determined using molecular tools. Blood samples collected from 130 dogs in the community of Maningrida were subjected to a spotted fever group (SFG)-specific PCR targeting the ompB gene followed by a Rickettsia felis-specific PCR targeting the gltA gene of R. felis. Rickettsia felis ompB and gltA genes were amplified from the blood of 3 dogs. This study is the first report of R. felis infection in indigenous community dogs in NT.Parasites & Vectors 01/2011; 4:198. · 2.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Rickettsioses and bartonelloses are arthropod-borne diseases of mammals with widespread geographical distributions. Yet their occurrence in specific regions, their association with different vectors and hosts and the infection rate of arthropod-vectors with these agents remain poorly studied in South-east Asia. We conducted entomological field surveys in the Lao PDR (Laos) and Borneo, Malaysia by surveying fleas, ticks, and lice from domestic dogs and collected additional samples from domestic cows and pigs in Laos. Rickettsia felis was detected by real-time PCR with similar overall flea infection rate in Laos (76.6%, 69/90) and Borneo (74.4%, 268/360). Both of the encountered flea vectors Ctenocephalides orientis and Ctenocephalides felis felis were infected with R. felis. The degrees of similarity of partial gltA and ompA genes with recognized species indicate the rickettsia detected in two Boophilus spp. ticks collected from a cow in Laos may be a new species. Isolation and further characterization will be necessary to specify it as a new species. Bartonella clarridgeiae was detected in 3/90 (3.3%) and 2/360 (0.6%) of examined fleas from Laos and Borneo, respectively. Two fleas collected in Laos and one flea collected in Borneo were co-infected with both R. felis and B. clarridgeiae. Further investigations are needed in order to isolate these agents and to determine their epidemiology and aetiological role in unknown fever in patients from these areas.Comparative immunology, microbiology and infectious diseases 12/2011; 35(1):51-7. · 2.99 Impact Factor