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Rickettsia africae, Oceania | CDC EID

EID Journal Home > Volume 17, Number 1–January 2011
Volume 17, Number 1–January 2011
Emergence of Rickettsia africae, Oceania

Carole Eldin, Oleg Mediannikov, Bernard Davoust, Olivier Cabre, Nicolas Barré, Didier Raoult, and Philippe Parola Comments to Author

Author affiliations: Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France (C. Eldin, O. Mediannikov, B. Davoust, D. Raoult, P. Parola); French Army Health Service, Marseille (B. Davoust, O. Cabre); and Institut Agronomique néo-Calédonien, Païta, New Caledonia (N. Barré)

Suggested citation for this article

We detected Rickettsia africae, the agent of African tick-bite fever (ATBF), by amplification of fragments of gltA, ompA, and ompB genes from 3 specimens of Amblyomma loculosum ticks collected from humans and birds in New Caledonia. Clinicians who treat persons in this region should be on alert for ATBF.

Spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsioses are caused by obligate intracellular gram-negative bacteria of the genus Rickettsia and are transmitted by hematophagous arthropods, mainly ticks. These zoonoses are important emerging vector-borne infections of humans worldwide. They share characteristic clinical features, including fever, rash, and sometimes an inoculation eschar at the bite site, depending on the rickettsial agent that is involved (1).

In Oceania, tick-borne rickettsioses have been reported primarily in Australia. They include Queensland tick typhus (R. australis) along the east coast of Australia (2), Flinders Island spotted fever (R. honei) in southeast Australia (2), and variant Flinders Island spotted fever (R. honei strain "marmionii") in eastern Australia (2). Furthermore, the DNA of at least 8 incompletely described SFG rickettsiae have been detected in ticks, and the pathogenicity of these rickettsiae remains unknown (2). Additionally, R. felis, the agent of flea-borne SFG rickettsiosis, has been found in Western Australia (3), New Zealand (4), and recently in New Caledonia (5). However, little is known about rickettsioses in the rest of Oceania.

Rickettsia africae, Oceania | CDC EID

Suggested Citation for this Article

Eldin C, Mediannikov O, Davoust B, Cabre O, Barré N, Raoult D, et al. Emergence of Rickettsia africae, Oceania. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2011 Jan [date cited].

DOI: 10.3201/eid1701.101081

Comments to the Authors

Please use the form below to submit correspondence to the authors or contact them at the following address:

Philippe Parola, Unité de Recherche en Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales Emergentes (URMITE), UMR CNRS-IRD 6236-198, Faculté de Médecine, 27 Bd Jean Moulin, 13385 Marseille CEDEX 5, France;

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