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Ionita, Mariana; Silaghi, Cornelia; Mitrea, Ioan Liviu; Edouard, Sophie; Parola, Philippe; Pfister, Kurt (2016): Molecular detection of Rickettsia conorii and other zoonotic spotted fever group rickettsiae in ticks, Romania. In: Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases, Vol. 7, No. 1: pp. 150-153
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The diverse tick fauna as well as the abundance of tick populations in Romania represent potential risks for both human and animal health. Spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae are recognized as important agents of emerging human tick-borne diseases worldwide. However, the epidemiology of rickettsial diseases has been poorly investigated in Romania. In urban habitats, companion animals which are frequently exposed to tick infestation, play a role in maintenance of tick populations and as reservoirs of tick-borne pathogens. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the occurrence of SFG rickettsiae in ticks infesting dogs in a greater urban area in South-eastern Romania. Adult ixodid ticks (n = 205), including Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (n=120), Dermacentor reticulatus (n = 76) and Ixodes ricinus (n=9) were collected from naturally infested dogs and were screened for SFG rickettsiae using conventional PCR followed by sequencing. Additionally, ticks were screened for DNA of Babesia spp., Hepatozoon spp., Ehrlichia canis, and Anaplasma platys. Four zoonotic SFG rickettsiae were identified: Rickettsia raoultii (16%) and Rickettsia slovaca (3%) in D. reticulatus, Rickettsia monacensis (11%) in I. ricinus, and Rickettsia conorii (0.8%) in Rh. sanguineus s.l. Moreover, pathogens of veterinary importance, such as B. canis (21%) in D. reticulatus and E. canis (7.5%) in Rh. sanguineus s.l. were identified. The findings expand the knowledge on distribution of SFG rickettsiae as well as canine pathogens in Romania. Additionally, this is the first report describing the molecular detection of R. conorii in ticks from Romania.. (C) 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.