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Detection of Francisella-like endosymbiont in Hyalomma rufipes from Ethiopia

Szigeti, Alexandra, Kreizinger, Zsuzsa, Hornok, Sándor, Abichu, Getachew, Gyuranecz, Miklós
Ticks and tick-borne diseases 2014 v.5 no.6 pp. 818-820
Argasidae, Francisella, Hyalomma marginatum, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, bacteria, endosymbionts, evolution, genes, hosts, nucleotide sequences, pathogenicity, pathogens, polymerase chain reaction, ribosomal RNA, tick-borne diseases, ticks, Bulgaria, Ethiopia
The expanding family of Francisellaceae includes the genus Francisella, where several pathogen bacteria, e.g. the zoonotic F. tularensis, and different Francisella-like agents belong to. Francisella-like endosymbionts (FLEs) are widespread in hard and soft ticks and their pathogenicity is unknown. The examination of 296 ticks collected in Ethiopia was performed for the detection of F. tularensis and FLEs using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays based on the amplification of 16S rRNA, sdhA and tul4 gene fragments. FLE was described in one Hyalomma rufipes tick based on the 16S rRNA and sdhA gene sequences. The 16S rRNA gene fragment was identical with the ones detected previously in Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Hyalomma marginatum marginatum in Bulgaria. The presence of endosymbionts with identical 16S rRNA gene sequence in both Rhipicephalus and Hyalomma species further supports the hypotheses, that certain FLEs had independent evolution from their tick hosts.