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Roseomonas sp. Isolated from Ticks, China | CDC EID

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Volume 16, Number 7–July 2010
Roseomonas sp. Isolated from Ticks, China
Wei Liu,1 Fang Zhang,1 Er-Chen Qiu, Jun Yang, Zhong-Tao Xin, Xiao-Ming Wu, Fang Tang, Hong Yang, and Wu-Chun Cao
Author affiliations: Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing, People's Republic of China (W. Liu, F. Zhang, E.-C. Qiu, X.-M. Wu, H. Yang, W.-C. Cao); Chinese People's Armed Police Force Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing (J. Yang, F. Tang); and Chinese National Human Genome Center, Beijing (Z.-T. Xin)

Suggested citation for this article

To the Editor: Roseomonas, which produces pink colonies, is a newly described genus of gram-negative bacteria (1). Human infections with Roseomonas spp. have been reported in the past decade, mostly in immunocompromised persons with underlying diseases such as acute leukemia, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis (2–5). A healthy woman was reported to be infected by R. gilardii after being bitten by a spider (6), which indicated possible transmission by an arthropod.

As a part of an investigation of tick-borne diseases, we collected actively questing and feeding ticks in Xinjiang Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China, in the summers of 2007 and 2008 (7). Ticks were washed in 75% ethanol, 30% hydrogen peroxide, and sterile distilled water. Five ticks of the same species, sex, and developmental stage were pooled and ground in 1 mL of saline. A 0.1-mL suspension was placed on cysteine heart agar plates containing chocolate and 9% sheep blood (Becton Dickinson Microbiology Systems, Cockeysville, MD, USA) and supplemented with colistin, amphotericin, lincomycin, trimethoprim, and ampicillin. Eggs laid by engorged female ticks were collected and kept at room temperature.

Fourteen days after hatching, larval ticks were processed as a batch by using the same methods described above. After 2–3 days of incubation at 37°C, pink colonies were observed in 9 cultures, 8 of which originated from engorged female Dermacentor nuttalli ticks. The other culture originated from larval ticks, the progeny of an engorged female D. nuttalli tick. Colonies were pinpoint, pale pink, shiny, raised, and mucoid. The pink color of the colonies became pronounced when the bacteria were transferred onto plates containing Luria-Bertani agar. Bacteria were gram-negative, plump, coccoid rods, in pairs or short chains. Electron microscopy showed that each organism was ≈0.7 × 1.1 μm.

The 9 isolates showed identical phenotypic and biochemical characteristics, which were similar to those of previously reported Roseomonas spp. (1). However, the isolates required a lower salt concentration (<4% NaCl) and a higher temperature (37°C instead of <35°C) for optimal growth than other Roseomonas spp. Antimicrobial drug susceptibility tests showed that the isolates were susceptible to aminoglycosides (amikacin, gentamicin, and tobramycin), tetracycline, and a β-lactam (imipenem) and resistant to cephalosporins (similar to R. cervicalis) (1) and sulfamethoxazole.

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Roseomonas sp. Isolated from Ticks, China | CDC EID

Suggested Citation for this Article
Liu W, Zhang F, Qiu E-C, Yang J, Xin Z-T, Wu X-M, et al. Roseomonas sp. isolated from ticks, China [letter].
Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2010 Jul [date cited].

DOI: 10.3201/eid1607.090166

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