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    Background: To date, there have been few investigations on Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae in rodents carried out in China. In this study, we conducted surveillance for Candidatus R. tarasevichiae infection in rodents. A total of 463 rodents were captured at five survey sites in Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang province, where Candidatus R. tarasevichiae patients have been reported. PCR targeting citrate synthase and outer membrane protein genes was performed and positive amplicons were sequenced. Result: Candidatus R. tarasevichiae was detected in 1.29% of the 463 rodents sampled from the five survey sites in Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang province. Only 2 out of 13 (15.38%) Rattus norvegicus and 4 out of 80 (5%) Clethrionomys rufocanus collected from Dashigou forestry were positive for the gltA and ompA genes of Candidatus R. tarasevichiae DNA. The detected Candidatus R. tarasevichiae was in the same clade of sequences from patients in Mudanjiang based on phylogenetic analysis. Conclusion: Rodents are major host of ticks and also serve as reservoirs of spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia. Although this is the first confirmation of Candidatus R. tarasevichiae detected in rodents in China, further investigations are needed to clarify the distribution of Candidatus R. tarasevichiae in rodents elsewhere and what role they play as reservoirs.

    Citation

    Ting-Ting Yuan, Lan Ma, Bao-Gui Jiang, Wei-Ming Fu, Yi Sun, Na Jia, Jia-Fu Jiang. First Confirmed Infection of Candidatus Rickettsia Tarasevichiae in Rodents Collected from Northeastern China. Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.). 2020 Feb;20(2):88-92

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    PMID: 31453762

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