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Sample records for rickettsia phylogenomics unwinding

  1. Rickettsia phylogenomics: unwinding the intricacies of obligate intracellular life.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph J Gillespie

    distribution of 14354 predicted ORFs from 10 rickettsial genomes across robust phylogeny estimation. The data, available at PATRIC (PathoSystems Resource Integration Center, provide novel information for unwinding the intricacies associated with Rickettsia pathogenesis, expanding the range of potential diagnostic, vaccine and therapeutic targets.

  2. Rickettsia

    OpenAIRE

    Pramestuti, Nova

    2011-01-01

    Mungkin sebagian orang belum mengetahui bahkan baru mendengar tentang Rickettsia. Di Indonesia, skrining terhadap kasus Rickettsia ini masih jarang dan belum banyak dilakukan penelitian. Rickettsia sebenarnya merupakan bakteri yang mempunyai sifat parasit obligat intrasel uler, berukuran kecil (0,3-0,5 x 0,8-2,0 µm), mempunyai bentuk coccobacilli, gram negatif, tidak berflagel (kecuali Rickettsia prowazekii), dan mengalami pembelahan ganda dalam set pejamu. Rickettsia dianggap sebagai kelompo...

  3. Secretome of obligate intracellular Rickettsia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillespie, Joseph J.; Kaur, Simran J.; Rahman, M. Sayeedur; Rennoll-Bankert, Kristen; Sears, Khandra T.; Beier-Sexton, Magda; Azad, Abdu F.

    2014-01-01

    The genus Rickettsia (Alphaproteobacteria, Rickettsiales, Rickettsiaceae) is comprised of obligate intracellular parasites, with virulent species of interest both as causes of emerging infectious diseases and for their potential deployment as bioterrorism agents. Currently, there are no effective commercially available vaccines, with treatment limited primarily to tetracycline antibiotics, although others (e.g. josamycin, ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, and azithromycin) are also effective. Much of the recent research geared toward understanding mechanisms underlying rickettsial pathogenicity has centered on characterization of secreted proteins that directly engage eukaryotic cells. Herein, we review all aspects of the Rickettsia secretome, including six secretion systems, 19 characterized secretory proteins, and potential moonlighting proteins identified on surfaces of multiple Rickettsia species. Employing bioinformatics and phylogenomics, we present novel structural and functional insight on each secretion system. Unexpectedly, our investigation revealed that the majority of characterized secretory proteins have not been assigned to their cognate secretion pathways. Furthermore, for most secretion pathways, the requisite signal sequences mediating translocation are poorly understood. As a blueprint for all known routes of protein translocation into host cells, this resource will assist research aimed at uniting characterized secreted proteins with their apposite secretion pathways. Furthermore, our work will help in the identification of novel secreted proteins involved in rickettsial ‘life on the inside’. PMID:25168200

  4. Dynamics of unwinding of a simple entaglement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wiegel, F.W.; Michels, J.P.J.

    1987-01-01

    The dynamics of unwinding of a simple entanglement is studied in two ways, firstly using an optimal path approximation in the Rouse model and secondly by simulating the movement of a more realistic model using Brownian molecular dynamics

  5. Detection of Rickettsia hoogstraalii, Rickettsia helvetica, Rickettsia massiliae, Rickettsia slovaca and Rickettsia aeschlimannii in ticks from Sardinia, Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisu, Valentina; Leulmi, Hamza; Masala, Giovanna; Piredda, Mariano; Foxi, Cipriano; Parola, Philippe

    2017-03-01

    Tick-borne diseases represent a large proportion of infectious diseases that have become a world health concern. The presence of Rickettsia spp. was evaluated by standard PCR and sequencing in 123 ticks collected from several mammals and vegetation in Sardinia, Italy. This study provides the first evidence of the presence of Rickettsia hoogstralii in Haemaphysalis punctata and Haemaphysalis sulcata ticks from mouflon and Rickettsia helvetica in Ixodes festai ticks from hedgehog. In addition, Rickettsia massiliae, Rickettsia slovaca and Rickettsia aeschlimannii were detected in Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Dermacentor marginatus and Hyalomma marginatum marginatum ticks from foxes, swine, wild boars, and mouflon. The data presented here increase our knowledge of tick-borne diseases in Sardinia and provide a useful contribution toward understanding their epidemiology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  6. Understanding the process of fascial unwinding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minasny, Budiman

    2009-09-23

    Fascial or myofascial unwinding is a process in which a client undergoes a spontaneous reaction in response to the therapist's touch. It can be induced by using specific techniques that encourage a client's body to move into areas of ease. Unwinding is a popular technique in massage therapy, but its mechanism is not well understood. In the absence of a scientific explanation or hypothesis of the mechanism of action, it can be interpreted as "mystical." This paper proposes a model that builds on the neurobiologic, ideomotor action, and consciousness theories to explain the process and mechanism of fascial unwinding. HYPOTHETICAL MODEL: During fascial unwinding, the therapist stimulates mechanoreceptors in the fascia by applying gentle touch and stretching. Touch and stretching induce relaxation and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. They also activate the central nervous system, which is involved in the modulation of muscle tone as well as movement. As a result, the central nervous system is aroused and thereby responds by encouraging muscles to find an easier, or more relaxed, position and by introducing the ideomotor action. Although the ideomotor action is generated via normal voluntary motor control systems, it is altered and experienced as an involuntary response. Fascial unwinding occurs when a physically induced suggestion by a therapist prompts ideomotor action that the client experiences as involuntary. This action is guided by the central nervous system, which produces continuous action until a state of ease is reached. Consequently, fascial unwinding can be thought of as a neurobiologic process employing the self-regulation dynamic system theory.

  7. Next-generation phylogenomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chan Cheong Xin

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Thanks to advances in next-generation technologies, genome sequences are now being generated at breadth (e.g. across environments and depth (thousands of closely related strains, individuals or samples unimaginable only a few years ago. Phylogenomics – the study of evolutionary relationships based on comparative analysis of genome-scale data – has so far been developed as industrial-scale molecular phylogenetics, proceeding in the two classical steps: multiple alignment of homologous sequences, followed by inference of a tree (or multiple trees. However, the algorithms typically employed for these steps scale poorly with number of sequences, such that for an increasing number of problems, high-quality phylogenomic analysis is (or soon will be computationally infeasible. Moreover, next-generation data are often incomplete and error-prone, and analysis may be further complicated by genome rearrangement, gene fusion and deletion, lateral genetic transfer, and transcript variation. Here we argue that next-generation data require next-generation phylogenomics, including so-called alignment-free approaches. Reviewers Reviewed by Mr Alexander Panchin (nominated by Dr Mikhail Gelfand, Dr Eugene Koonin and Prof Peter Gogarten. For the full reviews, please go to the Reviewers’ comments section.

  8. Tropism and pathogenicity of rickettsiae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsuneo eUchiyama

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Rickettsiae are obligate intracellular parasitic bacteria that cause febrile exanthematous illnesses such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Mediterranean spotted fever, epidemic and murine typhus, etc. Although the vector ranges of each Rickettsia species are rather restricted; i.e., ticks belonging to Arachnida and lice and fleas belonging to Insecta usually act as vectors for spotted fever group and typhus group rickettsiae, respectively, it would be interesting to elucidate the mechanisms controlling the vector tropism of rickettsiae. This review discusses the factors determining the vector tropism of rickettsiae. In brief, the vector tropism of rickettsiae species is basically consistent with their tropism towards cultured tick and insect cells. The mechanisms responsible for rickettsiae pathogenicity are also described. Recently, genomic analyses of rickettsiae have revealed that they possess several genes that are homologous to those affecting the pathogenicity of other bacteria. Analyses comparing the genomes of pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains of rickettsiae have detected many factors that are related to rickettsial pathogenicity. It is also known that a reduction in the rickettsial genome has occurred during the course of its evolution. Interestingly, Rickettsia species with small genomes, such as Rickettsia prowazekii, are more pathogenic to humans than those with larger genomes. This review also examines the growth kinetics of pathogenic and nonpathogenic species of spotted fever group rickettsiae in mammalian cells. The growth of nonpathogenic species is restricted in these cells, which is mediated, at least in part, by autophagy. The superinfection of nonpathogenic rickettsiae-infected cells with pathogenic rickettsiae results in an elevated yield of the nonpathogenic rickettsiae and the growth of the pathogenic rickettsiae. Autophagy is restricted in these cells. These results are discussed in this review.

  9. Wholly Rickettsia! Reconstructed Metabolic Profile of the Quintessential Bacterial Parasite of Eukaryotic Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driscoll, Timothy P; Verhoeve, Victoria I; Guillotte, Mark L; Lehman, Stephanie S; Rennoll, Sherri A; Beier-Sexton, Magda; Rahman, M Sayeedur; Azad, Abdu F; Gillespie, Joseph J

    2017-09-26

    Reductive genome evolution has purged many metabolic pathways from obligate intracellular Rickettsia ( Alphaproteobacteria ; Rickettsiaceae ). While some aspects of host-dependent rickettsial metabolism have been characterized, the array of host-acquired metabolites and their cognate transporters remains unknown. This dearth of information has thwarted efforts to obtain an axenic Rickettsia culture, a major impediment to conventional genetic approaches. Using phylogenomics and computational pathway analysis, we reconstructed the Rickettsia metabolic and transport network, identifying 51 host-acquired metabolites (only 21 previously characterized) needed to compensate for degraded biosynthesis pathways. In the absence of glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway, cell envelope glycoconjugates are synthesized from three imported host sugars, with a range of additional host-acquired metabolites fueling the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Fatty acid and glycerophospholipid pathways also initiate from host precursors, and import of both isoprenes and terpenoids is required for the synthesis of ubiquinone and the lipid carrier of lipid I and O-antigen. Unlike metabolite-provisioning bacterial symbionts of arthropods, rickettsiae cannot synthesize B vitamins or most other cofactors, accentuating their parasitic nature. Six biosynthesis pathways contain holes (missing enzymes); similar patterns in taxonomically diverse bacteria suggest alternative enzymes that await discovery. A paucity of characterized and predicted transporters emphasizes the knowledge gap concerning how rickettsiae import host metabolites, some of which are large and not known to be transported by bacteria. Collectively, our reconstructed metabolic network offers clues to how rickettsiae hijack host metabolic pathways. This blueprint for growth determinants is an important step toward the design of axenic media to rescue rickettsiae from the eukaryotic cell. IMPORTANCE A hallmark of obligate intracellular

  10. Is inflation from unwinding fluxes IIB?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gautason, Fridrik Freyr [Instituut voor Theoretische Fysica, K.University Leuven,Celestijnenlaan 200D, B-3001 Leuven (Belgium); Institut de Physique Théorique, Université Paris Saclay, CEA, CNRS,Orme des Merisiers, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Schillo, Marjorie; Riet, Thomas Van [Instituut voor Theoretische Fysica, K.University Leuven,Celestijnenlaan 200D, B-3001 Leuven (Belgium)

    2017-03-07

    In this paper we argue that the mechanism of unwinding inflation is naturally present in warped compactifications of type IIB string theory with local throats. The unwinding of flux is caused by its annihilation against branes. The resulting inflaton potential is linear with periodic modulations. We initiate an analysis of the inflationary dynamics and cosmological observables, which are highly constrained by moduli stabilization. For the simplified model of single-Kähler Calabi-Yau spaces we find that many, though not all of the consistency constraints can be satisfied. Particularly, in this simple model geometric constraints are in tension with obtaining the observed amplitude of the scalar power spectrum. However, we do find 60 efolds of inflation with a trans-Planckian field excursion which offers the hope that slightly more complicated models can lead to a fully consistent explicit construction of large field inflation of this kind.

  11. Novel Rickettsia in Ticks, Tasmania, Australia

    OpenAIRE

    Izzard, Leonard; Graves, Stephen; Cox, Erika; Fenwick, Stan; Unsworth, Nathan; Stenos, John

    2009-01-01

    A novel rickettsia was detected in Ixodes tasmani ticks collected from Tasmanian devils. A total of 55% were positive for the citrate synthase gene by quantitative PCR. According to current criteria for rickettsia speciation, this new rickettsia qualifies as Candidatus Rickettsia tasmanensis, named after the location of its detection.

  12. Phylogenomic analyses data of the avian phylogenomics project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jarvis, Erich D; Mirarab, Siavash; Aberer, Andre J

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Determining the evolutionary relationships among the major lineages of extant birds has been one of the biggest challenges in systematic biology. To address this challenge, we assembled or collected the genomes of 48 avian species spanning most orders of birds, including all Neognathae...... and two of the five Palaeognathae orders. We used these genomes to construct a genome-scale avian phylogenetic tree and perform comparative genomic analyses. FINDINGS: Here we present the datasets associated with the phylogenomic analyses, which include sequence alignment files consisting of nucleotides......ML algorithm or when using statistical binning with the coalescence-based MP-EST algorithm (which we refer to as MP-EST*). Other data sets, such as the coding sequence of some exons, revealed other properties of genome evolution, namely convergence. CONCLUSIONS: The Avian Phylogenomics Project is the largest...

  13. Immunoproteomic profiling of Rickettsia parkeri and Rickettsia amblyommii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pornwiroon, Walairat; Bourchookarn, Apichai; Paddock, Christopher D; Macaluso, Kevin R

    2015-09-01

    Rickettsia parkeri is an Amblyomma-associated, spotted fever group Rickettsia species that causes an eschar-associated, febrile illness in multiple countries throughout the Western Hemisphere. Many other rickettsial species of known or uncertain pathogenicity have been detected in Amblyomma spp. ticks in the Americas, including Rickettsia amblyommii, "Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae" and Rickettsia rickettsii. In this study, we utilized an immunoproteomic approach to compare antigenic profiles of low-passage isolates of R. parkeri and R. amblyommii with serum specimens from patients with PCR- and culture-confirmed infections with R. parkeri. Five immunoreactive proteins of R. amblyommii and nine immunoreactive proteins of R. parkeri were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Four of these, including the outer membrane protein (Omp) A, OmpB, translation initiation factor IF-2, and cell division protein FtsZ, were antigens common to both rickettsiae. Serum specimens from patients with R. parkeri rickettsiosis reacted specifically with cysteinyl-tRNA synthetase, DNA-directed RNA polymerase subunit alpha, putative sigma (54) modulation protein, chaperonin GroEL, and elongation factor Tu of R. parkeri which have been reported as virulence factors in other bacterial species. Unique antigens identified in this study may be useful for further development of the better serological assays for diagnosing infection caused by R. parkeri. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  14. Multi-omics Analysis Sheds Light on the Evolution and the Intracellular Lifestyle Strategies of Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Karkouri, Khalid; Kowalczewska, Malgorzata; Armstrong, Nicholas; Azza, Said; Fournier, Pierre-Edouard; Raoult, Didier

    2017-01-01

    Arthropod-borne Rickettsia species are obligate intracellular bacteria which are pathogenic for humans. Within this genus, Rickettsia slovaca and Rickettsia conorii cause frequent and potentially severe infections, whereas Rickettsia raoultii and Rickettsia massiliae cause rare and milder infections. All four species belong to spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae. However, R. slovaca and R. raoultii cause scalp eschar and neck lymphadenopathy (SENLAT) and are mainly associated with Dermacentor ticks, whereas the other two species cause Mediterranean spotted fever (MSF) and are mainly transmitted by Rhipicephalus ticks. To identify the potential genes and protein profiles and to understand the evolutionary processes that could, comprehensively, relate to the differences in virulence and pathogenicity observed between these four species, we compared their genomes and proteomes. The virulent and milder agents displayed divergent phylogenomic evolution in two major clades, whereas either SENLAT or MSF disease suggests a discrete convergent evolution of one virulent and one milder agent, despite their distant genetic relatedness. Moreover, the two virulent species underwent strong reductive genomic evolution and protein structural variations, as well as a probable loss of plasmid(s), compared to the two milder species. However, an abundance of mobilome genes was observed only in the less pathogenic species. After infecting Xenopus laevis cells, the virulent agents displayed less up-regulated than down-regulated proteins, as well as less number of identified core proteins. Furthermore, their similar and distinct protein profiles did not contain some genes (e.g., omp A/B and rick A) known to be related to rickettsial adhesion, motility and/or virulence, but may include other putative virulence-, antivirulence-, and/or disease-related proteins. The identified evolutionary forces herein may have a strong impact on intracellular expressions and strategies in these

  15. Diagnostic Assay for Rickettsia japonica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanaoka, Nozomu; Matsutani, Minenosuke; Kawabata, Hiroki; Yamamoto, Seigo; Fujita, Hiromi; Sakata, Akiko; Azuma, Yoshinao; Ogawa, Motohiko; Takano, Ai; Watanabe, Haruo; Kishimoto, Toshio; Shirai, Mutsunori; Kurane, Ichiro

    2009-01-01

    We developed a specific and rapid detection system for Rickettsia japonica and R. heilongjiangensis, the causative agents of spotted fever, using a TaqMan minor groove binder probe for a particular open reading frame (ORF) identified by the R. japonica genome project. The target ORF was present only in R. japonica–related strains. PMID:19961684

  16. Detection of a Rickettsia Closely Related to Rickettsia aeschlimannii, “Rickettsia heilongjiangensis,” Rickettsia sp. Strain RpA4, and Ehrlichia muris in Ticks Collected in Russia and Kazakhstan

    OpenAIRE

    Shpynov, Stanislav; Fournier, Pierre-Edouard; Rudakov, Nikolay; Tankibaev, Marat; Tarasevich, Irina; Raoult, Didier

    2004-01-01

    Using PCR, we screened 411 ticks from four genera collected in Russia and Kazakhstan for the presence of rickettsiae and ehrlichiae. In Russia, we detected “Rickettsia heilongjiangensis,” Rickettsia sp. strain RpA4, and Ehrlichia muris. In Kazakhstan, we detected Rickettsia sp. strain RpA4 and a rickettsia closely related to Rickettsia aeschlimannii. These agents should be considered in a differential diagnosis of tick-borne infections in these areas.

  17. Human Infection with Rickettsia felis, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    Human Infection with Rickettsia felis, Kenya Allen L. Richards, Ju Jiang, Sylvia Omulo, Ryan Dare, Khalif Abdirah~a~, P:bdile Ali, Shanaaz K...infection with obligate intracellular rickettsiae , which are transmitted to humans by arthropod vectors (e.g., lice, fleas, ticks, and mites... Rickettsiae are associated with arthropods for a least a part of their life cycle and are passed to other arthropods by transovarial transmission or

  18. Morphometrics of Daucus (Apiaceae): A counterpart to a phylogenomic study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molecular phylogenetics of genome-scale data sets (phylogenomics) often produces phylogenetic trees with unprecedented resolution. A companion phylogenomics analysis of Daucus (carrots) using 94 conserved nuclear orthologs supported many of the traditional species but showed unexpected results that ...

  19. Electrotransformation and clonal isolation of Rickettsia species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, Sean P; Macaluso, Kevin R; Martinez, Juan J

    2015-01-01

    Genetic manipulation of obligate intracellular bacteria of the genus Rickettsia is currently undergoing a rapid period of change. The development of viable genetic tools, including replicative plasmids, transposons, homologous recombination, fluorescent protein-encoding genes, and antibiotic selectable markers has provided the impetus for future research development. This unit is designed to coalesce the basic methods pertaining to creation of genetically modified Rickettsia. The unit describes a series of methods, from inserting exogenous DNA into Rickettsia to the final isolation of genetically modified bacterial clones. Researchers working towards genetic manipulation of Rickettsia or similar obligate intracellular bacteria will find these protocols to be a valuable reference. PMID:26528784

  20. Routes to DNA accessibility: alternative pathways for nucleosome unwinding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlingman, Daniel J; Mack, Andrew H; Kamenetska, Masha; Mochrie, Simon G J; Regan, Lynne

    2014-07-15

    The dynamic packaging of DNA into chromatin is a key determinant of eukaryotic gene regulation and epigenetic inheritance. Nucleosomes are the basic unit of chromatin, and therefore the accessible states of the nucleosome must be the starting point for mechanistic models regarding these essential processes. Although the existence of different unwound nucleosome states has been hypothesized, there have been few studies of these states. The consequences of multiple states are far reaching. These states will behave differently in all aspects, including their interactions with chromatin remodelers, histone variant exchange, and kinetic properties. Here, we demonstrate the existence of two distinct states of the unwound nucleosome, which are accessible at physiological forces and ionic strengths. Using optical tweezers, we measure the rates of unwinding and rewinding for these two states and show that the rewinding rates from each state are different. In addition, we show that the probability of unwinding into each state is dependent on the applied force and ionic strength. Our results demonstrate not only that multiple unwound states exist but that their accessibility can be differentially perturbed, suggesting possible roles for these states in gene regulation. For example, different histone variants or modifications may facilitate or suppress access to DNA by promoting unwinding into one state or the other. We anticipate that the two unwound states reported here will be the basis for future models of eukaryotic transcriptional control. Copyright © 2014 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Phylogenomic analysis of marine Roseobacters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Tang

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Members of the Roseobacter clade which play a key role in the biogeochemical cycles of the ocean are diverse and abundant, comprising 10-25% of the bacterioplankton in most marine surface waters. The rapid accumulation of whole-genome sequence data for the Roseobacter clade allows us to obtain a clearer picture of its evolution.In this study about 1,200 likely orthologous protein families were identified from 17 Roseobacter bacteria genomes. Functional annotations for these genes are provided by iProClass. Phylogenetic trees were constructed for each gene using maximum likelihood (ML and neighbor joining (NJ. Putative organismal phylogenetic trees were built with phylogenomic methods. These trees were compared and analyzed using principal coordinates analysis (PCoA, approximately unbiased (AU and Shimodaira-Hasegawa (SH tests. A core set of 694 genes with vertical descent signal that are resistant to horizontal gene transfer (HGT is used to reconstruct a robust organismal phylogeny. In addition, we also discovered the most likely 109 HGT genes. The core set contains genes that encode ribosomal apparatus, ABC transporters and chaperones often found in the environmental metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data. These genes in the core set are spread out uniformly among the various functional classes and biological processes.Here we report a new multigene-derived phylogenetic tree of the Roseobacter clade. Of particular interest is the HGT of eleven genes involved in vitamin B12 synthesis as well as key enzynmes for dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP degradation. These aquired genes are essential for the growth of Roseobacters and their eukaryotic partners.

  2. Multi-omics Analysis Sheds Light on the Evolution and the Intracellular Lifestyle Strategies of Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia spp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khalid El Karkouri

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Arthropod-borne Rickettsia species are obligate intracellular bacteria which are pathogenic for humans. Within this genus, Rickettsia slovaca and Rickettsia conorii cause frequent and potentially severe infections, whereas Rickettsia raoultii and Rickettsia massiliae cause rare and milder infections. All four species belong to spotted fever group (SFG rickettsiae. However, R. slovaca and R. raoultii cause scalp eschar and neck lymphadenopathy (SENLAT and are mainly associated with Dermacentor ticks, whereas the other two species cause Mediterranean spotted fever (MSF and are mainly transmitted by Rhipicephalus ticks. To identify the potential genes and protein profiles and to understand the evolutionary processes that could, comprehensively, relate to the differences in virulence and pathogenicity observed between these four species, we compared their genomes and proteomes. The virulent and milder agents displayed divergent phylogenomic evolution in two major clades, whereas either SENLAT or MSF disease suggests a discrete convergent evolution of one virulent and one milder agent, despite their distant genetic relatedness. Moreover, the two virulent species underwent strong reductive genomic evolution and protein structural variations, as well as a probable loss of plasmid(s, compared to the two milder species. However, an abundance of mobilome genes was observed only in the less pathogenic species. After infecting Xenopus laevis cells, the virulent agents displayed less up-regulated than down-regulated proteins, as well as less number of identified core proteins. Furthermore, their similar and distinct protein profiles did not contain some genes (e.g., ompA/B and rickA known to be related to rickettsial adhesion, motility and/or virulence, but may include other putative virulence-, antivirulence-, and/or disease-related proteins. The identified evolutionary forces herein may have a strong impact on intracellular expressions and strategies in

  3. Multi-omics Analysis Sheds Light on the Evolution and the Intracellular Lifestyle Strategies of Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Karkouri, Khalid; Kowalczewska, Malgorzata; Armstrong, Nicholas; Azza, Said; Fournier, Pierre-Edouard; Raoult, Didier

    2017-01-01

    Arthropod-borne Rickettsia species are obligate intracellular bacteria which are pathogenic for humans. Within this genus, Rickettsia slovaca and Rickettsia conorii cause frequent and potentially severe infections, whereas Rickettsia raoultii and Rickettsia massiliae cause rare and milder infections. All four species belong to spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae. However, R. slovaca and R. raoultii cause scalp eschar and neck lymphadenopathy (SENLAT) and are mainly associated with Dermacentor ticks, whereas the other two species cause Mediterranean spotted fever (MSF) and are mainly transmitted by Rhipicephalus ticks. To identify the potential genes and protein profiles and to understand the evolutionary processes that could, comprehensively, relate to the differences in virulence and pathogenicity observed between these four species, we compared their genomes and proteomes. The virulent and milder agents displayed divergent phylogenomic evolution in two major clades, whereas either SENLAT or MSF disease suggests a discrete convergent evolution of one virulent and one milder agent, despite their distant genetic relatedness. Moreover, the two virulent species underwent strong reductive genomic evolution and protein structural variations, as well as a probable loss of plasmid(s), compared to the two milder species. However, an abundance of mobilome genes was observed only in the less pathogenic species. After infecting Xenopus laevis cells, the virulent agents displayed less up-regulated than down-regulated proteins, as well as less number of identified core proteins. Furthermore, their similar and distinct protein profiles did not contain some genes (e.g., ompA/B and rickA) known to be related to rickettsial adhesion, motility and/or virulence, but may include other putative virulence-, antivirulence-, and/or disease-related proteins. The identified evolutionary forces herein may have a strong impact on intracellular expressions and strategies in these rickettsiae

  4. Phylogenomics of the carrot genus (Daucus, Apiaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molecular phylogenetics of genome-scale data sets (phylogenomics) often produces phylogenetic trees with unprecedented resolution. We here explore the utility of multiple nuclear orthologs for the taxonomic resolution of a wide variety of Daucus species and outgroups. We studied the phylogeny of 89 ...

  5. α-Helix Unwinding as Force Buffer in Spectrins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Hirohide; Rico, Felix; Chipot, Christophe; Scheuring, Simon

    2018-03-27

    Spectrins are cytoskeletal proteins located at the inner face of the plasma membrane, making connections between membrane anchors and the actin cortex, and between actin filaments. Spectrins share a common structure forming a bundle of 3 α-helices and play a major role during cell deformation. Here, we used high-speed force spectroscopy and steered molecular dynamics simulations to understand the mechanical stability of spectrin, revealing a molecular force buffering function. We find that spectrin acts as a soft spring at short extensions (70-100 Å). Under continuous external stretching, its α-helices unwind, leading to a viscous mechanical response over larger extensions (100-300 Å), represented by a constant-force plateau in force/extension curves. This viscous force buffering emerges from a quasi-equilibrium competition between disruption and re-formation of α-helical hydrogen bonds. Our results suggest that, in contrast to β-sheet proteins, which unfold in a catastrophic event, α-helical spectrins dominantly unwind, providing a viscous force buffer over extensions about 5 times their folded length.

  6. Rickettsia parkeri Rickettsiosis, Arizona, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrick, Kristen L; Pena, Sandra A; Yaglom, Hayley D; Layton, Brent J; Moors, Amanda; Loftis, Amanda D; Condit, Marah E; Singleton, Joseph; Kato, Cecilia Y; Denison, Amy M; Ng, Dianna; Mertins, James W; Paddock, Christopher D

    2016-05-01

    In the United States, all previously reported cases of Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis have been linked to transmission by the Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum). Here we describe 1 confirmed and 1 probable case of R. parkeri rickettsiosis acquired in a mountainous region of southern Arizona, well beyond the recognized geographic range of A. maculatum ticks. The likely vector for these 2 infections was identified as the Amblyomma triste tick, a Neotropical species only recently recognized in the United States. Identification of R. parkeri rickettsiosis in southern Arizona demonstrates a need for local ecologic and epidemiologic assessments to better understand geographic distribution and define public health risk. Education and outreach aimed at persons recreating or working in this region of southern Arizona would improve awareness and promote prevention of tickborne rickettsioses.

  7. Rickettsiae in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks in the Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Venclíková, Kristýna; Rudolf, Ivo; Mendel, Jan; Betášová, Lenka; Hubálek, Zdeněk

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 2 (2014), s. 135-138 ISSN 1877-959X Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Ixodes ricinus * Anaplasma phagocytophilum * Rickettsia spp. * Rickettsia helvetica * Rickettsia monacensis * Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 2.718, year: 2014

  8. 21 CFR 866.3500 - Rickettsia serological reagents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Rickettsia serological reagents. 866.3500 Section... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents § 866.3500 Rickettsia serological reagents. (a) Identification. Rickettsia serological reagents are devices that consist of antigens...

  9. Exotic Rickettsiae in Ixodes ricinus: fact or artifact?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tijsse-Klasen, E.; Fonville, M.; Overbeek, van L.S.; Reimerink, J.H.J.; Sprong, H.

    2010-01-01

    Several pathogenic Rickettsia species can be transmitted via Ixodes ricinus ticks to humans and animals. Surveys of I. ricinus for the presence of Rickettsiae using part of its 16S rRNA gene yield a plethora of new and different Rickettsia sequences. Interpreting these data is sometimes difficult

  10. Nucleolin inhibits G4 oligonucleotide unwinding by Werner helicase.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fred E Indig

    Full Text Available The Werner protein (WRNp, a member of the RecQ helicase family, is strongly associated with the nucleolus, as is nucleolin (NCL, an important nucleolar constituent protein. Both WRNp and NCL respond to the effects of DNA damaging agents. Therefore, we have investigated if these nuclear proteins interact and if this interaction has a possible functional significance in DNA damage repair.Here we report that WRNp interacts with the RNA-binding protein, NCL, based on immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescent co-localization in live and fixed cells, and direct binding of purified WRNp to nucleolin. We also map the binding region to the C-terminal domains of both proteins. Furthermore, treatment of U2OS cells with 15 µM of the Topoisomerase I inhibitor, camptothecin, causes the dissociation of the nucleolin-Werner complex in the nucleolus, followed by partial re-association in the nucleoplasm. Other DNA damaging agents, such as hydroxyurea, Mitomycin C, and aphidicolin do not have these effects. Nucleolin or its C-terminal fragment affected the helicase, but not the exonuclease activity of WRNp, by inhibiting WRN unwinding of G4 tetraplex DNA structures, as seen in activity assays and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA.These data suggest that nucleolin may regulate G4 DNA unwinding by WRNp, possibly in response to certain DNA damaging agents. We postulate that the NCL-WRNp complex may contain an inactive form of WRNp, which is released from the nucleolus upon DNA damage. Then, when required, WRNp is released from inhibition and can participate in the DNA repair processes.

  11. 'Candidatus Rickettsia mendelii', a novel basal group rickettsia detected in Ixodes ricinus ticks in the Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hajdušková, Eva; Literák, I.; Papoušek, I.; Costa, F.B.; Nováková, M.; Labruna, M. B.; Zdražilová-Dubská, L.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 3 (2016), s. 482-486 ISSN 1877-959X Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Rickettsiae * Candidatus Rickettsia mendelii * Ixodes ricinus * basal group rickettsiae * ticks * Czech Republic Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.230, year: 2016

  12. Molecular detection of Rickettsia conorii and other zoonotic spotted fever group rickettsiae in ticks, Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ionita, Mariana; Silaghi, Cornelia; Mitrea, Ioan Liviu; Edouard, Sophie; Parola, Philippe; Pfister, Kurt

    2016-02-01

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  13. Competition between the DNA unwinding and strand pairing activities of the Werner and Bloom syndrome proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orren David K

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The premature aging and cancer-prone Werner and Bloom syndromes are caused by defects in the RecQ helicase enzymes WRN and BLM, respectively. Recently, both WRN and BLM (as well as several other RecQ members have been shown to possess a strand annealing activity in addition to the requisite DNA unwinding activity. Since an annealing function would appear to directly oppose the action of a helicase, we have examined in this study the dynamic equilibrium between unwinding and annealing mediated by either WRN or BLM. Results Our investigation into the competition between annealing and unwinding demonstrates that, under standard reaction conditions, WRN- or BLM-mediated annealing can partially or completely mask unwinding as measured in standard helicase assays. Several strategies were employed to suppress the annealing activity so that the actual strength of WRN- or BLM-dependent unwinding could be more accurately assessed. Interestingly, if a DNA oligomer complementary to one strand of the DNA substrate to be unwound is added during the helicase reaction, both WRN and BLM unwinding is enhanced, presumably by preventing protein-mediated re-annealing. This strategy allowed measurement of WRN-catalyzed unwinding of long (80 base pair duplex regions and fully complementary, blunt-ended duplexes, both of which were otherwise quite refractory to the helicase activity of WRN. Similarly, the addition of trap strand stimulated the ability of BLM to unwind long and blunt-ended duplexes. The stimulatory effect of the human replication protein A (hRPA, the eukaryotic single-stranded DNA binding protein on both WRN- and BLM-dependent unwinding was also re-examined in light of its possible role in preventing re-annealing. Our results show that hRPA influences the outcome of WRN and BLM helicase assays by both inhibiting re-annealing and directly promoting unwinding, with the larger contribution from the latter mechanism. Conclusion These

  14. Rickettsiae and rickettsial diseases in Croatia: Implications for travel medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dzelalija, Boris; Punda-Polic, Volga; Medic, Alan; Dobec, Marinko

    To review the current state of knowledge concerning rickettsiae and rickettsioses in Croatia and to discuss their implications for travellers. The PubMed database was searched from 1991 to 2015 by combining the words "rickettsia," "rickettsiosis", "travellers" and "Croatia". Since 1969, Croatia appears to be free of epidemic typhus (ET) caused by Rickettsia prowazekii and the last case of Brill-Zinsser disease was recorded in 2008. Mediterranean spotted fever (MSF) caused by Rickettsia conorii is the most frequent human rickettsial infection in Croatia, followed by murine typhus caused by Rickettsia typhi. Human cases of MSF and murine typhus have been predominantly observed along the eastern Adriatic coast from Zadar to Dubrovnik and between Zadar and Split, respectively. Rickettsia akari, etiologic agent of rickettsialpox, was isolated from blood of a patient diagnosed with MSF in Zadar, but no cases of rickettsialpox were reported. Several species of pathogenic (Rickettsia slovaca, Rickettsia aeschlimannii, Ricketsia helvetica, and Ricketsia raoultii) and species of undetermined pathogenicity (Ricketsia hoogstraalii sp. nov.) rickettsiae were identified in ticks collected in different ecological regions of Croatia. A search of the literature revealed no evidence of rickettsial infection in travellers visiting Croatia. Three imported cases of Rickettsia africae were observed in travellers returning from South Africa. Rickettsiae and rickettsial diseases continue to be present in Croatia. As they can be acquired while travelling, physicians should consider rickettsial infection in the differential diagnosis of patients returning from Croatia and presenting with febrile illness. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Guidelines for the Detection of Rickettsia spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portillo, Aránzazu; de Sousa, Rita; Santibáñez, Sonia; Duarte, Ana; Edouard, Sophie; Fonseca, Isabel P; Marques, Cátia; Novakova, Marketa; Palomar, Ana M; Santos, Marcos; Silaghi, Cornelia; Tomassone, Laura; Zúquete, Sara; Oteo, José A

    2017-01-01

    The genus Rickettsia (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae) includes Gram-negative, small, obligate intracellular, nonmotile, pleomorphic coccobacilli bacteria transmitted by arthropods. Some of them cause human and probably also animal disease (life threatening in some patients). In these guidelines, we give clinical practice advices (microscopy, serology, molecular tools, and culture) for the microbiological study of these microorganisms in clinical samples. Since in our environment rickettsioses are mainly transmitted by ticks, practical information for the identification of these arthropods and for the study of Rickettsia infections in ticks has also been added.

  16. First report of Rickettsia raoultii and Rickettsia helvetica in Dermacentor reticulatus ticks from the Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rudolf, I.; Venclíková, Kristýna; Blažejová, H.; Betášová, L.; Mendel, J.; Hubálek, Z.; Parola, P.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 6 (2016), s. 1222-1224 ISSN 1877-959X Institutional support: RVO:61389013 Keywords : Rickettsia spp. * Dermacentor spp. * DEBONEL Subject RIV: CD - Macromolecular Chemistry Impact factor: 3.230, year: 2016

  17. Rickettsia bellii, Rickettsia amblyommii, and Laguna Negra hantavirus in an Indian reserve in the Brazilian Amazon

    OpenAIRE

    de Barros Lopes, Lívia; Guterres, Alexandro; Rozental, Tatiana; Carvalho de Oliveira, Renata; Mares-Guia, Maria Angélica; Fernandes, Jorlan; Figueredo, José Ferreira; Anschau, Inês; de Jesus, Sebastião; V Almeida, Ana Beatriz M; Cristina da Silva, Valéria; Gomes de Melo Via, Alba Valéria; Bonvicino, Cibele Rodrigues; D’Andrea, Paulo Sérgio; Barreira, Jairo Dias

    2014-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study was to identify the presence of rickettsia and hantavirus in wild rodents and arthropods in response to an outbreak of acute unidentified febrile illness among Indians in the Halataikwa Indian Reserve, northwest of the Mato Grosso state, in the Brazilian Amazon. Where previously surveillance data showed serologic evidence of rickettsia and hantavirus human infection. Methods The arthropods were collected from the healthy Indian population and by flagging v...

  18. First report on the occurrence of Rickettsia slovaca and Rickettsia raoultii in Dermacentor silvarum in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tian Zhan-Cheng

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Rickettsioses are among both the longest known and most recently recognized infectious diseases. Although new spotted fever group rickettsiae have been isolated in many parts of the world including China, Little is known about the epidemiology of Rickettsia pathogens in ticks from Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China. Methods In an attempt to assess the potential risk of rickettsial infection after exposure to ticks in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China, a total of 200 Dermacentor silvarum ticks collected in Xinyuan district were screened by polymerase chain reaction based on the outer membrane protein A gene. Results 22 of the 200 specimens (11% were found to be positive by PCR. Phylogenetic analysis of OmpA sequences identified two rickettsial species, Rickettsia raoultii (4.5% and Rickettsia slovaca (6.5%. Conclusions This study has reported the occurrence of Rickettsia raoultii and Rickettsia slovaca in Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China and suggests that Dermacentor silvarum could be involved in the transmission of rickettsial agents in China. Further studies on the characterization and culture of rickettsial species found in Dermacentor silvarum should be performed to further clarify this. Additionally, the screening of human specimens for rickettsial disease in this region will define the incidence of infection.

  19. A Decoupling Control Algorithm for Unwinding Tension System Based on Active Disturbance Rejection Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanhui Liu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a new control methodology based on active disturbance rejection control (ADRC for designing the tension decoupling controller of the unwinding system in a gravure printing machine. The dynamic coupling can be actively estimated and compensated in real time, which makes feedback control an ideal approach to designing the decoupling controller of the unwinding system. This feature is unique to ADRC. In this study, a nonlinear mathematical model is established according to the working principle of the unwinding system. A decoupling model is also constructed to determine the order and decoupling plant of the unwinding system. Based on the order and decoupling plant, an ADRC decoupling control methodology is designed to enhance the tension stability in the unwinding system. The effectiveness and capability of the proposed methodology are verified through simulation and experiments. The results show that the proposed strategy not only realises a decoupling control for the unwinding system but also has an effective antidisturbance capability and is robust.

  20. Genomic Diversification in Strains of Rickettsia felis Isolated from Different Arthropods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillespie, Joseph J.; Driscoll, Timothy P.; Verhoeve, Victoria I.; Utsuki, Tadanobu; Husseneder, Claudia; Chouljenko, Vladimir N.; Azad, Abdu F.; Macaluso, Kevin R.

    2015-01-01

    Rickettsia felis (Alphaproteobacteria: Rickettsiales) is the causative agent of an emerging flea-borne rickettsiosis with worldwide occurrence. Originally described from the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, recent reports have identified R. felis from other flea species, as well as other insects and ticks. This diverse host range for R. felis may indicate an underlying genetic variability associated with host-specific strains. Accordingly, to determine a potential genetic basis for host specialization, we sequenced the genome of R. felis str. LSU-Lb, which is an obligate mutualist of the parthenogenic booklouse Liposcelis bostrychophila (Insecta: Psocoptera). We also sequenced the genome of R. felis str. LSU, the second genome sequence for cat flea-associated strains (cf. R. felis str. URRWXCal2), which are presumably facultative parasites of fleas. Phylogenomics analysis revealed R. felis str. LSU-Lb diverged from the flea-associated strains. Unexpectedly, R. felis str. LSU was found to be divergent from R. felis str. URRWXCal2, despite sharing similar hosts. Although all three R. felis genomes contain the pRF plasmid, R. felis str. LSU-Lb carries an additional unique plasmid, pLbaR (plasmid of L. bostrychophila associated Rickettsia), nearly half of which encodes a unique 23-gene integrative conjugative element. Remarkably, pLbaR also encodes a repeats-in-toxin-like type I secretion system and associated toxin, heretofore unknown from other Rickettsiales genomes, which likely originated from lateral gene transfer with another obligate intracellular parasite of arthropods, Cardinium (Bacteroidetes). Collectively, our study reveals unexpected genomic diversity across three R. felis strains and identifies several diversifying factors that differentiate facultative parasites of fleas from obligate mutualists of booklice. PMID:25477419

  1. Rickettsia sibirica mongolitimonae Infection, Turkey, 2016.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuscu, Ferit; Orkun, Omer; Ulu, Aslihan; Kurtaran, Behice; Komur, Suheyla; Inal, A Seza; Erdogan, Damla; Tasova, Yesim; Aksu, Hasan S Z

    2017-07-01

    In 2016, Rickettsia sibirica mongolitimonae was diagnosed for a man in Turkey. He had been bitten by a Hyalomma marginatum tick, from which PCR detected rickettsial DNA. Sequence analysis of the DNA identified R. sibirica mongolitimonae. Immunofluorescence assay of patient serum indicated R. conorii, which cross-reacts. PCR is recommended for rickettsiosis diagnoses.

  2. Pathogenesis of Cell Injury by Rickettsia conorii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-06-15

    infected soldiers in the Viet Nam War. These rickettsiae have continued to attract research support. Although R. conorii has received far less...principally for reasons of location related to cosmetic concern or proximity to vital structures, e.g., carotid artery. Other patients had boutonneuse fever

  3. Unwinding motion of a twisted active region filament

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yan, X. L.; Xue, Z. K.; Kong, D. F. [Yunnan Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650011 (China); Liu, J. H. [Department of Physics, Shijiazhuang University, Shijiazhuang 050035 (China); Xu, C. L. [Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650092 (China)

    2014-12-10

    To better understand the structures of active region filaments and the eruption process, we study an active region filament eruption in active region NOAA 11082 in detail on 2010 June 22. Before the filament eruption, the opposite unidirectional material flows appeared in succession along the spine of the filament. The rising of the filament triggered two B-class flares at the upper part of the filament. As the bright material was injected into the filament from the sites of the flares, the filament exhibited a rapid uplift accompanying the counterclockwise rotation of the filament body. From the expansion of the filament, we can see that the filament consisted of twisted magnetic field lines. The total twist of the filament is at least 5π obtained by using a time slice method. According to the morphology change during the filament eruption, it is found that the active region filament was a twisted flux rope and its unwinding motion was like a solar tornado. We also find that there was a continuous magnetic helicity injection before and during the filament eruption. It is confirmed that magnetic helicity can be transferred from the photosphere to the filament. Using the extrapolated potential fields, the average decay index of the background magnetic fields over the filament is 0.91. Consequently, these findings imply that the mechanism of solar filament eruption could be due to the kink instability and magnetic helicity accumulation.

  4. Unwinding focal segmental glomerulosclerosis [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasil Peev

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS represents the most common primary glomerular disease responsible for the development of end-stage renal disease (ESRD in the United States (US. The disease progresses from podocyte injury to chronic kidney disease (CKD, ultimately leading to total nephron degeneration. Extensive basic science research has been conducted to unwind the mechanisms of FSGS and, with those insights, understand major contributors of CKD in general. As a result, several putative molecules and pathways have been studied, all implicated in the disease; some serve, in addition, as early biomarkers. The ongoing research is currently focusing on understanding how these molecules and pathways can interplay and be utilized as potential diagnostic and therapeutic targets. Among these molecules, the soluble urokinase plasminogen activating receptor (suPAR has been studied in detail, both clinically and from a basic science perspective. By now, it has emerged as the earliest and most robust marker of future CKD. Other circulating factors harming podocytes include anti-CD40 auto-antibody and possibly cardiotrophin-like cytokine factor-1. Understanding these factors will aid our efforts to ultimately cure FSGS and possibly treat a larger portion of CKD patients much more effectively.

  5. In Vitro Activities of Telithromycin (HMR 3647) against Rickettsia rickettsii, Rickettsia conorii, Rickettsia africae, Rickettsia typhi, Rickettsia prowazekii, Coxiella burnetii, Bartonella henselae, Bartonella quintana, Bartonella bacilliformis, and Ehrlichia chaffeensis

    OpenAIRE

    Rolain, Jean-Marc; Maurin, Max; Bryskier, André; Raoult, Didier

    2000-01-01

    In vitro activities of telithromycin compared to those of erythromycin against Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp., Coxiella burnetii, and Ehrlichia chaffeensis were determined. Telithromycin was more active than erythromycin against Rickettsia, Bartonella, and Coxiella burnetii, with MICs of 0.5 μg/ml, 0.003 to 0.015 μg/ml, and 1 μg/ml, respectively, but was inactive against Ehrlichia chaffeensis.

  6. Phylogenomics of Colombian Helicobacter pylori isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Escobar, Andrés Julián; Trujillo, Esperanza; Acevedo, Orlando; Bravo, María Mercedes

    2017-01-01

    During the Spanish colonisation of South America, African slaves and Europeans arrived in the continent with their corresponding load of pathogens, including Helicobacter pylori . Colombian strains have been clustered with the hpEurope population and with the hspWestAfrica subpopulation in multilocus sequence typing (MLST) studies. However, ancestry studies have revealed the presence of population components specific to H. pylori in Colombia. The aim of this study was to perform a thorough phylogenomic analysis to describe the evolution of the Colombian urban H. pylori isolates. A total of 115 genomes of H. pylori were sequenced with Illumina technology from H. pylori isolates obtained in Colombia in a region of high risk for gastric cancer. The genomes were assembled, annotated and underwent phylogenomic analysis with 36 reference strains. Additionally, population differentiation analyses were performed for two bacterial genes. The phylogenetic tree revealed clustering of the Colombian strains with hspWestAfrica and hpEurope, along with three clades formed exclusively by Colombian strains, suggesting the presence of independent evolutionary lines for Colombia. Additionally, the nucleotide diversity of horB and vacA genes from Colombian isolates was lower than in the reference strains and showed a significant genetic differentiation supporting the hypothesis of independent clades with recent evolution. The presence of specific lineages suggest the existence of an hspColombia subtype that emerged from a small and relatively isolated ancestral population that accompanied crossbreeding of human population in Colombia.

  7. Phylogenetic and Phylogenomic Definition of Rhizopus Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrii P. Gryganskyi

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Phylogenomic approaches have the potential to improve confidence about the inter-relationships of species in the order Mucorales within the fungal tree of life. Rhizopus species are especially important as plant and animal pathogens and bioindustrial fermenters for food and metabolite production. A dataset of 192 orthologous genes was used to construct a phylogenetic tree of 21 Rhizopus strains, classified into four species isolated from habitats of industrial, medical and environmental importance. The phylogeny indicates that the genus Rhizopus consists of three major clades, with R. microsporus as the basal species and the sister lineage to R. stolonifer and two closely related species R. arrhizus and R. delemar. A comparative analysis of the mating type locus across Rhizopus reveals that its structure is flexible even between different species in the same genus, but shows similarities between Rhizopus and other mucoralean fungi. The topology of single-gene phylogenies built for two genes involved in mating is similar to the phylogenomic tree. Comparison of the total length of the genome assemblies showed that genome size varies by as much as threefold within a species and is driven by changes in transposable element copy numbers and genome duplications.

  8. Rickettsia Species in African Anopheles Mosquitoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socolovschi, Cristina; Pages, Frédéric; Ndiath, Mamadou O.; Ratmanov, Pavel; Raoult, Didier

    2012-01-01

    Background There is higher rate of R. felis infection among febrile patients than in healthy people in Sub-Saharan Africa, predominantly in the rainy season. Mosquitoes possess a high vectorial capacity and, because of their abundance and aggressiveness, likely play a role in rickettsial epidemiology. Methodology/Principal Findings Quantitative and traditional PCR assays specific for Rickettsia genes detected rickettsial DNA in 13 of 848 (1.5%) Anopheles mosquitoes collected from Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, and Senegal. R. felis was detected in one An. gambiae molecular form S mosquito collected from Kahin, Côte d’Ivoire (1/77, 1.3%). Additionally, a new Rickettsia genotype was detected in five An. gambiae molecular form S mosquitoes collected from Côte d’Ivoire (5/77, 6.5%) and one mosquito from Libreville, Gabon (1/88, 1.1%), as well as six An. melas (6/67, 9%) mosquitoes collected from Port Gentil, Gabon. A sequence analysis of the gltA, ompB, ompA and sca4 genes indicated that this new Rickettsia sp. is closely related to R. felis. No rickettsial DNA was detected from An. funestus, An. arabiensis, or An. gambiae molecular form M mosquitoes. Additionally, a BLAST analysis of the gltA sequence from the new Rickettsia sp. resulted in a 99.71% sequence similarity to a species (JQ674485) previously detected in a blood sample of a Senegalese patient with a fever from the Bandafassi village, Kedougou region. Conclusion R. felis was detected for the first time in An. gambiae molecular form S, which represents the major African malaria vector. The discovery of R. felis, as well as a new Rickettsia species, in mosquitoes raises new issues with respect to African rickettsial epidemiology that need to be investigated, such as bacterial isolation, the degree of the vectorial capacity of mosquitoes, the animal reservoirs, and human pathogenicity. PMID:23118963

  9. Detection of Rickettsia and Anaplasma from hard ticks in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malaisri, Premnika; Hirunkanokpun, Supanee; Baimai, Visut; Trinachartvanit, Wachareeporn; Ahantarig, Arunee

    2015-12-01

    We collected a total of 169 adult hard ticks and 120 nymphs from under the leaves of plants located along tourist nature trails in ten localities. The results present data examining the vector competence of ticks of different genera and the presence of Rickettsia and Anaplasma species. The ticks belonged to three genera, Amblyomma, Dermacentor, and Haemaphysalis, comprising 11 species. Rickettsia bacteria were detected at three collection sites, while Anaplasma bacteria were detected at only one site. Phylogenetic analysis revealed new rickettsia genotypes from Thailand that were closely related to Rickettsia tamurae, Rickettsia monacensis, and Rickettsia montana. This study was also the first to show that Anaplasma bacteria are found in Haemaphysalis shimoga ticks and are closely related evolutionarily to Anaplasma bovis. These results provide additional information for the geographical distribution of tick species and tick-borne bacteria in Thailand and can therefore be applied for ecotourism management. © 2015 The Society for Vector Ecology.

  10. Possible Rickettsia massiliae Infection in Greece: an Imported Case.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chochlakis, Dimosthenis; Bongiorni, Christine; Partalis, Nikolaos; Tselentis, Yannis; Psaroulaki, Anna

    2016-07-22

    Tick-borne rickettsioses are endemic in Greece; however, until recently, only Rickettsia typhi and R. conorii were tested routinely in human samples arriving at the National Reference Center. During the last few years, the identification of different rickettsia species in ticks led to the introduction of other spotted fever group rickettsiae in routine analysis. Under the new scheme, R. massiliae is now tested routinely in human samples; herein, we describe a human case of this infection.

  11. Rickettsia parkeri in Gulf Coast Ticks, Southeastern Virginia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-01

    Rickettsia parkeri in Gulf Coast Ticks, Southeastern Virginia, USA Chelsea L. Wright, Robyn M. Nadolny, Ju Jiang, Allen L. Richards, Daniel E...Virginia. We found that 43.1% of the adult Gulf Coast ticks collected in the summer of 2010 carried Rickettsia parkeri, suggesting that persons living in...or visiting southeastern Virginia are at risk for infection with this pathogen. Rickettsia parkeri is an obligate intracellular bacterium belonging

  12. Detecting Rickettsia parkeri Infection from Eschar Swab Specimens

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-01

    Detecting Rickettsia parkeri Infection from Eschar Swab Specimens Todd Myers, Tahaniyat Lalani, Mike Dent, Ju Jiang, Patrick L. Daly, Jason D...Maguire, and Allen L. Richards The typical clinical presentation of several spotted fever group Rickettsia infections includes eschars. Clinical...diagnosis by using an eschar swab specimen from patients infected with Rickettsia parkeri. Until 2004, all confirmed cases of tick-borne spotted

  13. Molecular Detection of Rickettsia amblyommii in Amblyomma americanum Parasitizing Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Detection of Rickettsia amblyommii in Amblyomma americanum Parasitizing Humans Ju Jiang~ Tamasin Yarina~ Melissa K. Miller,2 Ellen Y. Stromdahl? and...protein B gene (ompB) of Rickettsia amblyommii was employed to assess the threat of R. amblyommii exposure to humans parasitized by Amblyomma americanum...infection of and possibly disease in humans. Key Words: Amblyomma americanum-Lone star ticks-Real-time PCR- Rickettsia amblyommii. Introduction R

  14. 'Candidatus Rickettsia nicoyana': A novel Rickettsia species isolated from Ornithodoros knoxjonesi in Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira-Soto, Rolando D; Moreira-Soto, Andrés; Corrales-Aguilar, Eugenia; Calderón-Arguedas, Ólger; Troyo, Adriana

    2017-06-01

    Rickettsiae are intracellular bacteria commonly associated with hematophagous arthropods. Most of them have been described in hard ticks, but some have been found in soft ticks. Here we report the detection and isolation of a new Rickettsia from Ornithodoros knoxjonesi larvae collected from Balantiopteryx plicata (Emballonuridae) in Nicoya, Costa Rica. Two ticks were processed to detect Rickettsia spp. genes gltA, ompA, ompB, and htrA by PCR. Part of the macerate was also inoculated into Vero E6 and C6/36 cell lines, and cells were evaluated by Giménez stain, indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA), and PCR. Both ticks were positive by PCR and rickettsial growth was successful in Vero E6 cells. Amplification and sequencing of near full length rrs, gltA, sca4 genes, and fragments of ompA and ompB showed that the Rickettsia sp. was different from described species. The highest homologies were with 'Candidatus Rickettsia wissemanii' and Rickettsia peacockii: 99.70% (1321/1325) with both sequences for rrs, 99.58% (1172/1177) and 99.76% (1246/1249) for gltA, 99.26% with both sequences (2948/2970 and 2957/2979) for sca4, 98.78% (485/491) and 98.39% (2069/2115) for ompA, and 98.58 (1453/1474) and 98.92% (1459/1475) for ompB; respectively. Bat blood, spleen, liver, and lung samples analyzed for Rickettsia detection were negative. Results demonstrate that the Rickettsia isolated from O. knoxjonesi is probably an undescribed species that belongs to the spotted fever group, for which 'Candidatus Rickettsia nicoyana' is proposed. Considering that B. plicata inhabits areas where contact with humans may occur and that human parasitism by Ornithodoros has been reported in the country, it will be important to continue with the characterization of this species and its pathogenic potential. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. Rickettsia parkeri and "Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae" in Questing Amblyomma maculatum (Acari: Ixodidae) From Mississippi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J K; Moraru, G M; Stokes, J V; Wills, R W; Mitchell, E; Unz, E; Moore-Henderson, B; Harper, A B; Varela-Stokes, A S

    2017-03-01

    Amblyomma maculatum Koch (Acari: Ixodidae), the primary vector for Rickettsia parkeri, may also be infected with a rickettsia of unknown pathogenicity, "Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae." Infection rates with these rickettsiae vary geographically, and coinfected ticks have been reported. In this study, infection rates of R. parkeri and "Ca. R. andeanae" were evaluated, and rickettsial DNA levels quantified, in 335 questing adult A. maculatum collected in 2013 (n = 95), 2014 (n = 139), and 2015 (n = 101) from Oktibbeha County, MS. Overall infection rates of R. parkeri and "Ca. R. andeanae" were 28.7% and 9.3%, respectively, with three additional A. maculatum (0.9%) coinfected. While R. parkeri-infected ticks were detected all three years (34.7% in 2013; 13.7% in 2014; 43.6% in 2015), "Ca. R. andeanae" was not detected in 2013, and was detected at rates of 10.8% in 2014, and 15.8% in 2015. Interestingly, rickettsial DNA levels in singly-infected ticks were significantly lower in "Ca. R. andeanae"-infected ticks compared to R. parkeri-infected ticks (P Rickettsia species in A. maculatum at the population level. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Velocity and processivity of helicase unwinding of double-stranded nucleic acids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Betterton, M D; Juelicher, F

    2005-01-01

    Helicases are molecular motors which unwind double-stranded nucleic acids (dsNA) in cells. Many helicases move with directional bias on single-stranded (ss) nucleic acids, and couple their directional translocation to strand separation. A model of the coupling between translocation and unwinding uses an interaction potential to represent passive and active helicase mechanisms. A passive helicase must wait for thermal fluctuations to open dsNA base pairs before it can advance and inhibit NA closing. An active helicase directly destabilizes dsNA base pairs, accelerating the opening rate. Here we extend this model to include helicase unbinding from the nucleic-acid strand. The helicase processivity depends on the form of the interaction potential. A passive helicase has a mean attachment time which does not change between ss translocation and ds unwinding, while an active helicase in general shows a decrease in attachment time during unwinding relative to ss translocation. In addition, we describe how helicase unwinding velocity and processivity vary if the base-pair binding free energy is changed

  17. Prevalence data of Rickettsia slovaca and other SFG Rickettsiae species in Dermacentor marginatus in the southeastern Iberian peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Márquez, F J; Rojas, A; Ibarra, V; Cantero, A; Rojas, J; Oteo, J A; Muniain, M A

    2006-10-01

    In southern Spain, Dermacentor marginatus ticks can be infected with several genospecies of spotted fever Group (SFG) Rickettsia. We developed a nested polymerase chain reaction assay by using a species-specific probe targeting the ompA gene to detect and differentiate between the two groups of rickettsiae previously described in D. marginatus. SFG rickettsia has been detected in 85.15% of ticks studied (26.7% of positives have been to R. slovaca, the causative agent of TIBOLA-DEBONEL, and 73.3% to SFG rickettsia closely related to strains RpA4-JL-02-DnS14-DnS28).

  18. Permeability of Rickettsia prowazekii to NAD

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Atkinson, W.H.; Winkler, H.H.

    1989-01-01

    Rickettsia prowazekii accumulated radioactivity from [adenine-2,8-3H]NAD but not from [nicotinamide-4-3H]NAD, which demonstrated that NAD was not taken up intact. Extracellular NAD was hydrolyzed by rickettsiae with the products of hydrolysis, nicotinamide mononucleotide and AMP, appearing in the incubation medium in a time- and temperature-dependent manner. The particulate (membrane) fraction contained 90% of this NAD pyrophosphatase activity. Rickettsiae which had accumulated radiolabel after incubation with [adenine-2,8-3H]NAD were extracted, and the intracellular composition was analyzed by chromatography. The cells contained labeled AMP, ADP, ATP, and NAD. The NAD-derived intracellular AMP was transported via a pathway distinct from and in addition to the previously described AMP translocase. Exogenous AMP (1 mM) inhibited uptake of radioactivity from [adenine-2,8-3H]NAD and hydrolysis of extracellular NAD. AMP increased the percentage of intracellular radiolabel present as NAD. Nicotinamide mononucleotide was not taken up by the rickettsiae, did not inhibit hydrolysis of extracellular NAD, and was not a good inhibitor of the uptake of radiolabel from [adenine-2,8-3H]NAD. Neither AMP nor ATP (both of which are transported) could support the synthesis of intracellular NAD. The presence of intracellular [adenine-2,8-3H]NAD within an organism in which intact NAD could not be transported suggested the resynthesis from AMP of [adenine-2,8-3H]NAD at the locus of NAD hydrolysis and translocation

  19. Rickettsia conorii transcriptional response within inoculation eschar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Renesto

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Rickettsia conorii, the causative agent of the Mediterranean spotted fever, is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks Rhipicephalus sanguineus. The skin thus constitutes an important barrier for the entry and propagation of R. conorii. Given this, analysis of the survival strategies used by the bacterium within infected skin is critical for our understanding of rickettsiosis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we report the first genome-wide analysis of R. conorii gene expression from infected human skin biopsies. Our data showed that R. conorii exhibited a striking transcript signature that is remarkably conserved across patients, regardless of genotype. The expression profiles obtained using custom Agilent microarrays were validated by quantitative RT-PCR. Within eschars, the amount of detected R. conorii transcripts was of 55%, this value being of 74% for bacteria grown in Vero cells. In such infected host tissues, approximately 15% (n = 211 of the total predicted R. conorii ORFs appeared differentially expressed compared to bacteria grown in standard laboratory conditions. These genes are mostly down-regulated and encode proteins essential for bacterial replication. Some of the strategies displayed by rickettsiae to overcome the host defense barriers, thus avoiding killing, were also pointed out. The observed up-regulation of rickettsial genes associated with DNA repair is likely to correspond to a DNA-damaging agent enriched environment generated by the host cells to eradicate the pathogens. Survival of R. conorii within eschars also involves adaptation to osmotic stress, changes in cell surface proteins and up-regulation of some virulence factors. Interestingly, in contrast to down-regulated transcripts, we noticed that up-regulated ones rather exhibit a small nucleotide size, most of them being exclusive for the spotted fever group rickettsiae. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Because eschar is a site for rickettsial

  20. Rickettsia bellii, Rickettsia amblyommii, and Laguna Negra hantavirus in an Indian reserve in the Brazilian Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Barros Lopes, Lívia; Guterres, Alexandro; Rozental, Tatiana; Carvalho de Oliveira, Renata; Mares-Guia, Maria Angélica; Fernandes, Jorlan; Figueredo, José Ferreira; Anschau, Inês; de Jesus, Sebastião; V Almeida, Ana Beatriz M; Cristina da Silva, Valéria; Gomes de Melo Via, Alba Valéria; Bonvicino, Cibele Rodrigues; D'Andrea, Paulo Sérgio; Barreira, Jairo Dias; Sampaio de Lemos, Elba Regina

    2014-04-17

    The purpose of this study was to identify the presence of rickettsia and hantavirus in wild rodents and arthropods in response to an outbreak of acute unidentified febrile illness among Indians in the Halataikwa Indian Reserve, northwest of the Mato Grosso state, in the Brazilian Amazon. Where previously surveillance data showed serologic evidence of rickettsia and hantavirus human infection. The arthropods were collected from the healthy Indian population and by flagging vegetation in grassland or woodland along the peridomestic environment of the Indian reserve. Wild rodents were live-trapped in an area bordering the reserve limits, due the impossibility of capturing wild animals in the Indian reserve. The wild rodents were identified based on external and cranial morphology and karyotype. DNA was extracted from spleen or liver samples of rodents and from invertebrate (tick and louse) pools, and the molecular characterization of the rickettsia was through PCR and DNA sequencing of fragments of two rickettsial genes (gltA and ompA). In relation to hantavirus, rodent serum samples were serologically screened by IgG ELISA using the Araraquara-N antigen and total RNA was extracted from lung samples of IgG-positive rodents. The amplification of the complete S segment was performed. A total of 153 wild rodents, 121 louse, and 36 tick specimens were collected in 2010. Laguna Negra hantavirus was identified in Calomys callidus rodents and Rickettsia bellii, Rickettsia amblyommii were identified in Amblyomma cajennense ticks. Zoonotic diseases such as HCPS and spotted fever rickettsiosis are a public health threat and should be considered in outbreaks and acute febrile illnesses among Indian populations. The presence of the genome of rickettsias and hantavirus in animals in this Indian reserve reinforces the need to include these infectious agents in outbreak investigations of febrile cases in Indian populations.

  1. Phylogenetic Variants of Rickettsia africae, and Incidental Identification of "Candidatus Rickettsia Moyalensis" in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimita, Gathii; Mutai, Beth; Nyanjom, Steven Ger; Wamunyokoli, Fred; Waitumbi, John

    2016-07-01

    Rickettsia africae, the etiological agent of African tick bite fever, is widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa. Contrary to reports of its homogeneity, a localized study in Asembo, Kenya recently reported high genetic diversity. The present study aims to elucidate the extent of this heterogeneity by examining archived Rickettsia africae DNA samples collected from different eco-regions of Kenya. To evaluate their phylogenetic relationships, archived genomic DNA obtained from 57 ticks a priori identified to contain R. africae by comparison to ompA, ompB and gltA genes was used to amplify five rickettsial genes i.e. gltA, ompA, ompB, 17kDa and sca4. The resulting amplicons were sequenced. Translated amino acid alignments were used to guide the nucleotide alignments. Single gene and concatenated alignments were used to infer phylogenetic relationships. Out of the 57 DNA samples, three were determined to be R. aeschlimanii and not R. africae. One sample turned out to be a novel rickettsiae and an interim name of "Candidatus Rickettsia moyalensis" is proposed. The bonafide R. africae formed two distinct clades. Clade I contained 9% of the samples and branched with the validated R. africae str ESF-5, while clade II (two samples) formed a distinct sub-lineage. This data supports the use of multiple genes for phylogenetic inferences. It is determined that, despite its recent emergence, the R. africae lineage is diverse. This data also provides evidence of a novel Rickettsia species, Candidatus Rickettsia moyalensis.

  2. Plasmids and rickettsial evolution: insight from Rickettsia felis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph J Gillespie

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available The genome sequence of Rickettsia felis revealed a number of rickettsial genetic anomalies that likely contribute not only to a large genome size relative to other rickettsiae, but also to phenotypic oddities that have confounded the categorization of R. felis as either typhus group (TG or spotted fever group (SFG rickettsiae. Most intriguing was the first report from rickettsiae of a conjugative plasmid (pRF that contains 68 putative open reading frames, several of which are predicted to encode proteins with high similarity to conjugative machinery in other plasmid-containing bacteria.Using phylogeny estimation, we determined the mode of inheritance of pRF genes relative to conserved rickettsial chromosomal genes. Phylogenies of chromosomal genes were in agreement with other published rickettsial trees. However, phylogenies including pRF genes yielded different topologies and suggest a close relationship between pRF and ancestral group (AG rickettsiae, including the recently completed genome of R. bellii str. RML369-C. This relatedness is further supported by the distribution of pRF genes across other rickettsiae, as 10 pRF genes (or inactive derivatives also occur in AG (but not SFG rickettsiae, with five of these genes characteristic of typical plasmids. Detailed characterization of pRF genes resulted in two novel findings: the identification of oriV and replication termination regions, and the likelihood that a second proposed plasmid, pRFdelta, is an artifact of the original genome assembly.Altogether, we propose a new rickettsial classification scheme with the addition of a fourth lineage, transitional group (TRG rickettsiae, that is unique from TG and SFG rickettsiae and harbors genes from possible exchanges with AG rickettsiae via conjugation. We offer insight into the evolution of a plastic plasmid system in rickettsiae, including the role plasmids may have played in the acquirement of virulence traits in pathogenic strains, and the

  3. TRF2 Recruits RTEL1 to Telomeres in S Phase to Promote T-Loop Unwinding

    OpenAIRE

    Sarek, Grzegorz; Vannier, Jean-Baptiste; Panier, Stephanie; Petrini, John?H.J.; Boulton, Simon?J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary The helicase RTEL1 promotes t-loop unwinding and suppresses telomere fragility to maintain the integrity of vertebrate telomeres. An interaction between RTEL1 and PCNA is important to prevent telomere fragility, but how RTEL1 engages with the telomere to promote t-loop unwinding is unclear. Here, we establish that the shelterin protein TRF2 recruits RTEL1 to telomeres in S phase, which is required to?prevent catastrophic t-loop processing by structure-specific nucleases. We show that ...

  4. Rickettsia massiliae infection and SENLAT syndrome in Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaharia, Mihaela; Popescu, Corneliu Petru; Florescu, Simin Aysel; Ceausu, Emanoil; Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe; Socolovschi, Cristina

    2016-07-01

    The purpose of this prospective study is to describe the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of rickettsioses in Romania, where only Rickettsia conorii is known by clinicians but new Rickettsia species have been identified recently in ticks. A total of eight patients, including a nine-year-old child, were included between June 2011 and June 2012, in the Hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Bucharest, Romania. Seven cases presented during summer months and one in spring. Six patients presented a generalized rash with fever, myalgia and skin eschar. The last two patients presented a typical SENLAT syndrome, characterized by scalp eschar and neck lymphadenopathy. Using serological tools, we confirmed for the first time two cases of Rickettsia massiliae, the agent of spotted fever disease, and one case of Rickettsia slovaca, and one case of R. slovacaRickettsia raoultii the agents of SENLAT syndrome. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  5. First report of Rickettsia raoultii and Rickettsia helvetica in Dermacentor reticulatus ticks from the Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rudolf, Ivo; Venclíková, Kristýna; Blažejová, Hana; Betášová, Lenka; Mendel, Jan; Hubálek, Zdeněk; Parola, P.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 6 (2016), s. 1222-1224 ISSN 1877-959X Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Rickettsia spp. * Dermacentor spp. * DEBONEL * SENLAT Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases , Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 3.230, year: 2016

  6. Ixodes ricinus ticks are reservoir hosts for Rickettsia helvetica and potentially carry flea-borne Rickettsia species.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sprong, H.; Wielinga, P.R.; Fonville, M.; Reusken, C.; Brandenburg, A.H.; Borgsteede, F.H.M.

    2009-01-01

    Background - Hard ticks have been identified as important vectors of rickettsiae causing the spotted fever syndrome. Tick-borne rickettsiae are considered to be emerging, but only limited data are available about their presence in Western Europe, their natural life cycle and their reservoir hosts.

  7. Torsional regulation of hRPA-induced unwinding of double-stranded DNA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Vlaminck, I.; Vidic, I.; Van Loenhout, M.T.J.; Kanaar, R.; Lebbink, J.H.G.; Dekker, C.

    2010-01-01

    All cellular single-stranded (ss) DNA is rapidly bound and stabilized by single stranded DNA-binding proteins (SSBs). Replication protein A, the main eukaryotic SSB, is able to unwind double-stranded (ds) DNA by binding and stabilizing transiently forming bubbles of ssDNA. Here, we study the

  8. Dynamic torsional unwinding of southern pine tracheids as observed in the scanning electron microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    C.W. McMillin

    1974-01-01

    In previous research on the process for making groundwood in a double-disk refiner, a theoretical stress analysis indicated that tracheids of Pinus taeda L. may fail while under torsional stress and unwind into ribbonlike elements. Such elements provide the coherence necessary for strength development in these pulps. Depending upon their physical...

  9. Molecular diagnosis of Rickettsia infection in patients from Tunisia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khrouf, Fatma; Sellami, Hanene; Elleuch, Emna; Hattab, Zouhour; Ammari, Lamia; Khalfaoui, Moncef; Souissi, Jihed; Harrabi, Hejer; M'ghirbi, Youmna; Tiouiri, Hanene; Ben Jemaa, Mounir; Hammami, Adnene; Letaief, Amel; Bouattour, Ali; Znazen, Abir

    2016-07-01

    Diagnosis of rickettsioses had largely benefited from the development of molecular techniques. Unfortunately, in Tunisia, despite the large number of rickettsial cases registered every year, the Rickettsia species remain unidentified. In this study, we aimed to detect the Rickettsia species in clinical samples using molecular tests. A study was established to analyze skin biopsies, cutaneous swabs, and cerebrospinal fluid samples taken from clinically suspected patients to have rickettsial infection. Two molecular techniques were used to detect Rickettsia DNA: quantitative real time PCR (qPCR) and reverse line blot test (RLB). An analysis of the RLB hybridization assay results revealed the presence of Rickettsia DNA in skin biopsies (40.6%) and swabs (46.7%). Rickettsia conorii was the most prevalent identified species among tested samples. Other species of interest include Rickettsia typhi and Rickettsia massiliae. Using qPCR positivity rates in skin biopsies was 63.7% against 80% in swabs. R. conorii was the most frequently detected species, followed by R. typhi. The agreement between the two techniques was 68.6% (kappa=0.33). Molecular tests, especially using specific probes qPCR, allow for a rapid, better and confident diagnosis in clinical practice. They improve the survey of Mediterranean spotted fever which is considered to be the most important rickettsial infection in humans in Tunisia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  10. Improved phylogenomic taxon sampling noticeably affects nonbilaterian relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pick, K S; Philippe, H; Schreiber, F; Erpenbeck, D; Jackson, D J; Wrede, P; Wiens, M; Alié, A; Morgenstern, B; Manuel, M; Wörheide, G

    2010-09-01

    Despite expanding data sets and advances in phylogenomic methods, deep-level metazoan relationships remain highly controversial. Recent phylogenomic analyses depart from classical concepts in recovering ctenophores as the earliest branching metazoan taxon and propose a sister-group relationship between sponges and cnidarians (e.g., Dunn CW, Hejnol A, Matus DQ, et al. (18 co-authors). 2008. Broad phylogenomic sampling improves resolution of the animal tree of life. Nature 452:745-749). Here, we argue that these results are artifacts stemming from insufficient taxon sampling and long-branch attraction (LBA). By increasing taxon sampling from previously unsampled nonbilaterians and using an identical gene set to that reported by Dunn et al., we recover monophyletic Porifera as the sister group to all other Metazoa. This suggests that the basal position of the fast-evolving Ctenophora proposed by Dunn et al. was due to LBA and that broad taxon sampling is of fundamental importance to metazoan phylogenomic analyses. Additionally, saturation in the Dunn et al. character set is comparatively high, possibly contributing to the poor support for some nonbilaterian nodes.

  11. Detection of Rickettsia in Rhipicephalus sanguineus Ticks and Ctenocephalides felis Fleas from Southeastern Tunisia by Reverse Line Blot Assay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khrouf, Fatma; M'Ghirbi, Youmna; Znazen, Abir; Ben Jemaa, Mounir; Hammami, Adnene

    2014-01-01

    Ticks (n = 663) and fleas (n = 470) collected from domestic animals from southeastern Tunisia were screened for Rickettsia infection using reverse line blot assay. Evidence of spotted fever group Rickettsia was obtained. We detected Rickettsia felis in fleas, Rickettsia massiliae Bar 29 and the Rickettsia conorii Israeli spotted fever strain in ticks, and Rickettsia conorii subsp. conorii and Rickettsia spp. in both arthropods. The sensitivity of the adopted technique allowed the identification of a new association between fleas and R. conorii subsp. conorii species. The presence of these vector-borne Rickettsia infections should be considered when diagnosing this disease in humans in Tunisia. PMID:24226919

  12. Ticks and rickettsiae from wildlife in Belize, Central America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Marcos G; May Junior, Joares; Foster, Rebecca J; Harmsen, Bart J; Sanchez, Emma; Martins, Thiago F; Quigley, Howard; Marcili, Arlei; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2016-02-02

    The agents of spotted fevers in Latin America are Rickettsia rickettsii, R. parkeri, Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest, and R. massiliae. In Continental Central America, R. rickettsii remains the only known pathogenic tick-borne rickettsia. In the present study, ticks were collected from wild mammals in natural areas of Belize. Besides providing new data of ticks from Belize, we investigated rickettsial infection in some of these ticks. Our results provide ticks harboring rickettsial agents for the first time in Central America. Between 2010 and 2015, wild mammals were lived-trapped in the tropical broadleaf moist forests of central and southern Belize. Ticks were collected from the animals and identified to species by morphological and molecular analysis (DNA sequence of the tick mitochondrial 16S RNA gene). Some of the ticks were tested for rickettsial infection by molecular methods (DNA sequences of the rickettsial gltA and ompA genes). A total of 84 ticks were collected from 8 individual hosts, as follows: Amblyomma pacae from 3 Cuniculus paca; Amblyomma ovale and Amblyomma coelebs from a Nasua narica; A. ovale from an Eira Barbara; A. ovale, Amblyomma cf. oblongoguttatum, and Ixodes affinis from a Puma concolor; and A. ovale, A. coelebs, A. cf. oblongoguttatum, and I. affinis from two Panthera onca. Three rickettsial agents were detected: Rickettsia amblyommii in A. pacae, Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest in A. ovale, and Rickettsia sp. endosymbiont in Ixodes affinis. The present study provides unprecedented records of ticks harboring rickettsial agents in the New World. An emerging rickettsial pathogen of South America, Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest, is reported for the first time in Central America. Besides expanding the distribution of 3 rickettsial agents in Central America, our results highlight the possible occurrence of Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest-caused spotted fever human cases in Belize, since its possible

  13. Rickettsia species in fleas collected from small mammals in Slovakia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Špitalská, Eva; Boldiš, Vojtech; Mošanský, Ladislav; Sparagano, Olivier; Stanko, Michal

    2015-11-01

    Epidemiological and epizootiological studies of Rickettsia felis and other Rickettsia spp. are very important, because their natural cycle has not yet been established completely. In total, 315 fleas (Siphonaptera) of 11 species of Ceratophyllidae, Hystrichopsyllidae and Leptopsyllidae families were tested for the presence of Rickettsia species and Coxiella burnetii with conventional and specific quantitative real-time PCR assays. Fleas were collected from five rodent hosts (Myodes glareolus, Apodemus flavicollis, Apodemus agrarius, Microtus subterraneus, Microtus arvalis) and three shrew species (Sorex araneus, Neomys fodiens, Crocidura suaveolens) captured in Eastern and Southern Slovakia. Overall, Rickettsia spp. was found in 10.8% (34/315) of the tested fleas of Ctenophthalmus agyrtes, Ctenophthalmus solutus, Ctenophthalmus uncinatus and Nosopsyllus fasciatus species. Infected fleas were coming from A. flavicollis, A. agrarius, and M. glareolus captured in Eastern Slovakia. C. burnetii was not found in any fleas. R. felis, Rickettsia helvetica, unidentified Rickettsia, and rickettsial endosymbionts were identified in fleas infesting small mammals in the Košice region, Eastern Slovakia. This study is the first report of R. felis infection in C. solutus male flea collected from A. agrarius in Slovakia.

  14. Isolation and characterization of a novel Rickettsia species (Rickettsia asembonensis sp. nov.) obtained from cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maina, Alice N; Luce-Fedrow, Alison; Omulo, Sylvia; Hang, Jun; Chan, Teik-Chye; Ade, Fredrick; Jima, Dereje D; Ogola, Eric; Ge, Hong; Breiman, Robert F; Njenga, Moses K; Richards, Allen L

    2016-11-01

    A novel rickettsial agent, 'Candidatus Rickettsia asembonensis' strain NMRCiiT, was isolated from cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis, from Kenya. Genotypic characterization of the new isolate based on sequence analysis of five rickettsial genes, rrs, gltA, ompA, ompB and sca4, indicated that this isolate clustered with Rickettsia felis URRWXCal2. The degree of nucleotide similarity demonstrated that isolate NMRCiiT belongs within the genus Rickettsia and fulfils the criteria for classification as a representative of a novel species. The name Rickettsia asembonensis sp. nov. is proposed, with NMRCiiT (=DSM 100172T=CDC CRIRC RAS001T=ATCC VR-1827T) as the type strain.

  15. A retrospective study of the characterization of Rickettsia species in ticks collected from humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanda, Valeria; Torina, Alessandra; La Russa, Francesco; D'Agostino, Rosalia; Randazzo, Kety; Scimeca, Salvatore; Giudice, Elisabetta; Caracappa, Santo; Cascio, Antonio; de la Fuente, José

    2017-06-01

    Rickettsiae (family Rickettsiaceae, order Rickettsiales) are obligate intracellular bacteria transmitted by arthropod vectors. Several Rickettsia species causing vector-borne rickettsioses belong to the spotted fever group (SFG). Traditionally, Rickettsia conorii has been considered as the main etiologic agent of Mediterranean spotted fever. However, the molecular characterization of rickettsiae allowed identifying other species involved in spotted fever in the Mediterranean region. In this study, 42 ticks collected from humans were subjected to morphological identification and molecular characterization of Rickettsia species potentially involved in human rickettsiosis in Sicily. Fourteen ticks positive to at least two Rickettsia spp. molecular markers were used in the study. Identified Rickettsia spp. included R. conorii, found in Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato and Rhipicephalus turanicus, Rickettsia aeschlimannii found in Hyalomma marginatum, Hyalomma lusitanicum, Dermacentor marginatus and Ixodes ricinus, Rickettsia massiliae found in R. turanicus and R. sanguineus s.l., and Rickettsia slovaca found in D. marginatus and R. sanguineus s.l. Our results showed a great variety of zoonotic Rickettsia spp. in ticks collected from humans in Sicily. The Rickettsia spp. reported in this study were identified in previously recognized or new potential tick vectors in Europe, highlighting the risk of infection by different Rickettsia spp. for humans bitten by ticks in Sicily. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  16. Serologic evidence of the exposure of small mammals to spotted-fever Rickettsia and Rickettsia bellii in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, Marcella Gonçalves; Ramos, Vanessa do Nascimento; Limongi, Jean Ezequiel; de Lemos, Elba Regina Sampaio; Guterres, Alexandro; da Costa Neto, Sócrates Fraga; Rozental, Tatiana; Bonvicino, Cibele Rodrigues; D'Andrea, Paulo Sérgio; Moraes-Filho, Jonas; Labruna, Marcelo Bahia; Szabó, Matias Pablo Juan

    2016-03-31

    Sources of pathogenic Rickettsia in wildlife are largely unknown in Brazil. In this work, potential tick vectors and seroreactivity of small mammals against four spotted-fever group Rickettsia (R. rickettsii, R. parkeri, R. amblyommii and R. rhipicephali) and Rickettsia bellii from peri-urban areas of Uberlândia, a major town in Brazil, are described for the first time. Small mammals were captured and blood samples collected. Ticks were collected from the surface of the host and the environment and posteriorly identified. Reactivity of small mammal sera to Rickettsia was tested by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) using crude antigens from five Brazilian Rickettsia isolates. Information was obtained from 416 small mammals (48 Marsupialia and 368 Rodentia). Forty-eight animals were parasitized and two tick species, Ixodes loricatus and Amblyomma dubitatum, were found on several host species, with a few tick-host relationships described for the first time. From the 416 tested sera, 70 reacted to at least one Rickettsia antigen (prevalence of 16.8%) and from these, 19 (27.1%) reacted to two or more antigens. Seroprevalence was higher for marsupials (39.6%) than for rodents (13.8%). Marsupial and Rhipidomys spp. sera reacted mainly (highest seroprevalence and titers) to R. bellii, and that of Necromys lasiurus mainly to R. rickettsii. Although the serologic assays poorly discriminate between closely related spotted-fever group Rickettsia, the observed small mammal seroreactivity suggests the circulation of Rickettsia in the peri-urban area of Uberlândia, albeit at low levels.

  17. G-quadruplexes Significantly Stimulate Pif1 Helicase-catalyzed Duplex DNA Unwinding*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Xiao-Lei; Liu, Na-Nv; Yang, Yan-Tao; Li, Hai-Hong; Li, Ming; Dou, Shuo-Xing; Xi, Xu-Guang

    2015-01-01

    The evolutionarily conserved G-quadruplexes (G4s) are faithfully inherited and serve a variety of cellular functions such as telomere maintenance, gene regulation, DNA replication initiation, and epigenetic regulation. Different from the Watson-Crick base-pairing found in duplex DNA, G4s are formed via Hoogsteen base pairing and are very stable and compact DNA structures. Failure of untangling them in the cell impedes DNA-based transactions and leads to genome instability. Cells have evolved highly specific helicases to resolve G4 structures. We used a recombinant nuclear form of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Pif1 to characterize Pif1-mediated DNA unwinding with a substrate mimicking an ongoing lagging strand synthesis stalled by G4s, which resembles a replication origin and a G4-structured flap in Okazaki fragment maturation. We find that the presence of G4 may greatly stimulate the Pif1 helicase to unwind duplex DNA. Further studies reveal that this stimulation results from G4-enhanced Pif1 dimerization, which is required for duplex DNA unwinding. This finding provides new insights into the properties and functions of G4s. We discuss the observed activation phenomenon in relation to the possible regulatory role of G4s in the rapid rescue of the stalled lagging strand synthesis by helping the replicator recognize and activate the replication origin as well as by quickly removing the G4-structured flap during Okazaki fragment maturation. PMID:25627683

  18. Genetic variability of Rickettsia spp. in Ixodes persulcatus/Ixodes trianguliceps sympatric areas from Western Siberia, Russia: Identification of a new Candidatus Rickettsia species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igolkina, Yana P; Rar, Vera A; Yakimenko, Valeriy V; Malkova, Marina G; Tancev, Aleksey K; Tikunov, Artem Yu; Epikhina, Tamara I; Tikunova, Nina V

    2015-08-01

    Rickettsia spp. are the causative agents of a number of diseases in humans. These bacteria are transmitted by arthropods, including ixodid ticks. DNA of several Rickettsia spp. was identified in Ixodes persulcatus ticks, however, the association of Ixodes trianguliceps ticks with Rickettsia spp. is unknown. In our study, blood samples of small mammals (n=108), unfed adult I. persulcatus ticks (n=136), and I. persulcatus (n=12) and I. trianguliceps (n=34) ticks feeding on voles were collected in two I. persulcatus/I. trianguliceps sympatric areas in Western Siberia. Using nested PCR, ticks and blood samples were studied for the presence of Rickettsia spp. Three distinct Rickettsia species were found in ticks, but no Rickettsia species were found in the blood of examined voles. Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae DNA was detected in 89.7% of unfed I. persulcatus, 91.7% of engorged I. persulcatus and 14.7% of I. trianguliceps ticks. Rickettsia helvetica DNA was detected in 5.9% of I. trianguliceps ticks. In addition, a new Rickettsia genetic variant was found in 32.4% of I. trianguliceps ticks. Sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA, gltA, ompA, оmpB and sca4 genes was performed and, in accordance with genetic criteria, a new Rickettsia genetic variant was classified as a new Candidatus Rickettsia species. We propose to name this species Candidatus Rickettsia uralica, according to the territory where this species was initially identified. Candidatus Rickettsia uralica was found to belong to the spotted fever group. The data obtained in this study leads us to propose that Candidatus Rickettsia uralica is associated with I. trianguliceps ticks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Development of shuttle vectors for transformation of diverse Rickettsia species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Y Burkhardt

    Full Text Available Plasmids have been identified in most species of Rickettsia examined, with some species maintaining multiple different plasmids. Three distinct plasmids were demonstrated in Rickettsia amblyommii AaR/SC by Southern analysis using plasmid specific probes. Copy numbers of pRAM18, pRAM23 and pRAM32 per chromosome in AaR/SC were estimated by real-time PCR to be 2.0, 1.9 and 1.3 respectively. Cloning and sequencing of R. amblyommii AaR/SC plasmids provided an opportunity to develop shuttle vectors for transformation of rickettsiae. A selection cassette encoding rifampin resistance and a fluorescent marker was inserted into pRAM18 yielding a 27.6 kbp recombinant plasmid, pRAM18/Rif/GFPuv. Electroporation of Rickettsia parkeri and Rickettsia bellii with pRAM18/Rif/GFPuv yielded GFPuv-expressing rickettsiae within 2 weeks. Smaller vectors, pRAM18dRG, pRAM18dRGA and pRAM32dRGA each bearing the same selection cassette, were made by moving the parA and dnaA-like genes from pRAM18 or pRAM32 into a vector backbone. R. bellii maintained the highest numbers of pRAM18dRGA (13.3 - 28.1 copies, and R. parkeri, Rickettsia monacensis and Rickettsia montanensis contained 9.9, 5.5 and 7.5 copies respectively. The same species transformed with pRAM32dRGA maintained 2.6, 2.5, 3.2 and 3.6 copies. pRM, the plasmid native to R. monacensis, was still present in shuttle vector transformed R. monacensis at a level similar to that found in wild type R. monacensis after 15 subcultures. Stable transformation of diverse rickettsiae was achieved with a shuttle vector system based on R. amblyommii plasmids pRAM18 and pRAM32, providing a new research tool that will greatly facilitate genetic and biological studies of rickettsiae.

  20. Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misof, Bernhard; Liu, Shanlin; Meusemann, Karen; Peters, Ralph S; Donath, Alexander; Mayer, Christoph; Frandsen, Paul B; Ware, Jessica; Flouri, Tomáš; Beutel, Rolf G; Niehuis, Oliver; Petersen, Malte; Izquierdo-Carrasco, Fernando; Wappler, Torsten; Rust, Jes; Aberer, Andre J; Aspöck, Ulrike; Aspöck, Horst; Bartel, Daniela; Blanke, Alexander; Berger, Simon; Böhm, Alexander; Buckley, Thomas R; Calcott, Brett; Chen, Junqing; Friedrich, Frank; Fukui, Makiko; Fujita, Mari; Greve, Carola; Grobe, Peter; Gu, Shengchang; Huang, Ying; Jermiin, Lars S; Kawahara, Akito Y; Krogmann, Lars; Kubiak, Martin; Lanfear, Robert; Letsch, Harald; Li, Yiyuan; Li, Zhenyu; Li, Jiguang; Lu, Haorong; Machida, Ryuichiro; Mashimo, Yuta; Kapli, Pashalia; McKenna, Duane D; Meng, Guanliang; Nakagaki, Yasutaka; Navarrete-Heredia, José Luis; Ott, Michael; Ou, Yanxiang; Pass, Günther; Podsiadlowski, Lars; Pohl, Hans; von Reumont, Björn M; Schütte, Kai; Sekiya, Kaoru; Shimizu, Shota; Slipinski, Adam; Stamatakis, Alexandros; Song, Wenhui; Su, Xu; Szucsich, Nikolaus U; Tan, Meihua; Tan, Xuemei; Tang, Min; Tang, Jingbo; Timelthaler, Gerald; Tomizuka, Shigekazu; Trautwein, Michelle; Tong, Xiaoli; Uchifune, Toshiki; Walzl, Manfred G; Wiegmann, Brian M; Wilbrandt, Jeanne; Wipfler, Benjamin; Wong, Thomas K F; Wu, Qiong; Wu, Gengxiong; Xie, Yinlong; Yang, Shenzhou; Yang, Qing; Yeates, David K; Yoshizawa, Kazunori; Zhang, Qing; Zhang, Rui; Zhang, Wenwei; Zhang, Yunhui; Zhao, Jing; Zhou, Chengran; Zhou, Lili; Ziesmann, Tanja; Zou, Shijie; Li, Yingrui; Xu, Xun; Zhang, Yong; Yang, Huanming; Wang, Jian; Wang, Jun; Kjer, Karl M; Zhou, Xin

    2014-11-07

    Insects are the most speciose group of animals, but the phylogenetic relationships of many major lineages remain unresolved. We inferred the phylogeny of insects from 1478 protein-coding genes. Phylogenomic analyses of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, with site-specific nucleotide or domain-specific amino acid substitution models, produced statistically robust and congruent results resolving previously controversial phylogenetic relations hips. We dated the origin of insects to the Early Ordovician [~479 million years ago (Ma)], of insect flight to the Early Devonian (~406 Ma), of major extant lineages to the Mississippian (~345 Ma), and the major diversification of holometabolous insects to the Early Cretaceous. Our phylogenomic study provides a comprehensive reliable scaffold for future comparative analyses of evolutionary innovations among insects. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  1. A Novel Rickettsia Species Detected in Vole Ticks (Ixodes angustus) from Western Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anstead, Clare A.

    2013-01-01

    The genomic DNA of ixodid ticks from western Canada was tested by PCR for the presence of Rickettsia. No rickettsiae were detected in Ixodes sculptus, whereas 18% of the I. angustus and 42% of the Dermacentor andersoni organisms examined were PCR positive for Rickettsia. The rickettsiae from each tick species were characterized genetically using multiple genes. Rickettsiae within the D. andersoni organisms had sequences at four genes that matched those of R. peacockii. In contrast, the Rickettsia present within the larvae, nymphs, and adults of I. angustus had novel DNA sequences at four of the genes characterized compared to the sequences available from GenBank for all recognized species of Rickettsia and all other putative species within the genus. Phylogenetic analyses of the sequence data revealed that the rickettsiae in I. angustus do not belong to the spotted fever, transitional, or typhus groups of rickettsiae but are most closely related to “Candidatus Rickettsia kingi” and belong to a clade that also includes R. canadensis, “Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae,” and “Candidatus Rickettsia monteiroi.” PMID:24077705

  2. Diversity of spotted fever group Rickettsia infection in hard ticks from Suifenhe, Chinese-Russian border.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Cheng; Fu, Weiming; Ju, Wendong; Yang, Liwei; Xu, Ning; Wang, Yan-Mei; Li, Hui; Wang, Yan-Lu; Hu, Man-Xia; Wen, Jing; Jiao, Dan; Geng, Cong; Sun, Yi

    2016-07-01

    In order to investigate the diversity of spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia infection in hard ticks, ticks were harvested from the forest areas in Suifenhe city, along the Chinese-Russian border and conventional PCR was carried out using universal SFG Rickettsia primers targeting gltA and ompA genes to screen for their infection with SFG Rickettsia organisms. Results showed that of the 215 ticks belonging to Ixodes persulcatus, Haemaphysalis concinna and Haemaphysalis japonica Warburton, 1908 species, 138 (64.2%) were positive for SFG Rickettsia. Three species of SFG Rickettsia were detected, Rickettsia raoultii, Rickettsia heilongjiangensis and Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae. No co-infection with different species of SFG Rickettsia was found in any individual tick among the three tick species. We detected more than one SFG Rickettsia species in ticks from each of the three tick species with an overlapping distribution and potentially similar transmission cycles of SFG Rickettsia in the areas surveyed. Consequently, different pathogenic rickettsial species may be involved in human cases of rickettsiosis after a bite of the three above-mentioned tick species in that area Rickettsia. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier GmbH.

  3. Detection of Rickettsia felis, Rickettsia typhi, Bartonella Species and Yersinia pestis in Fleas (Siphonaptera) from Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leulmi, Hamza; Socolovschi, Cristina; Laudisoit, Anne; Houemenou, Gualbert; Davoust, Bernard; Bitam, Idir; Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe

    2014-10-01

    Little is known about the presence/absence and prevalence of Rickettsia spp, Bartonella spp. and Yersinia pestis in domestic and urban flea populations in tropical and subtropical African countries. Fleas collected in Benin, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were investigated for the presence and identity of Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp. and Yersinia pestis using two qPCR systems or qPCR and standard PCR. In Xenopsylla cheopis fleas collected from Cotonou (Benin), Rickettsia typhi was detected in 1% (2/199), and an uncultured Bartonella sp. was detected in 34.7% (69/199). In the Lushoto district (United Republic of Tanzania), R. typhi DNA was detected in 10% (2/20) of Xenopsylla brasiliensis, and Rickettsia felis was detected in 65% (13/20) of Ctenocephalides felis strongylus, 71.4% (5/7) of Ctenocephalides canis and 25% (5/20) of Ctenophthalmus calceatus calceatus. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, R. felis was detected in 56.5% (13/23) of Ct. f. felis from Kinshasa, in 26.3% (10/38) of Ct. f. felis and 9% (1/11) of Leptopsylla aethiopica aethiopica from Ituri district and in 19.2% (5/26) of Ct. f. strongylus and 4.7% (1/21) of Echidnophaga gallinacea. Bartonella sp. was also detected in 36.3% (4/11) of L. a. aethiopica. Finally, in Ituri, Y. pestis DNA was detected in 3.8% (1/26) of Ct. f. strongylus and 10% (3/30) of Pulex irritans from the villages of Wanyale and Zaa. Most flea-borne infections are neglected diseases which should be monitored systematically in domestic rural and urban human populations to assess their epidemiological and clinical relevance. Finally, the presence of Y. pestis DNA in fleas captured in households was unexpected and raises a series of questions regarding the role of free fleas in the transmission of plague in rural Africa, especially in remote areas where the flea density in houses is high.

  4. A functional phylogenomic view of the seed plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernest K Lee

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available A novel result of the current research is the development and implementation of a unique functional phylogenomic approach that explores the genomic origins of seed plant diversification. We first use 22,833 sets of orthologs from the nuclear genomes of 101 genera across land plants to reconstruct their phylogenetic relationships. One of the more salient results is the resolution of some enigmatic relationships in seed plant phylogeny, such as the placement of Gnetales as sister to the rest of the gymnosperms. In using this novel phylogenomic approach, we were also able to identify overrepresented functional gene ontology categories in genes that provide positive branch support for major nodes prompting new hypotheses for genes associated with the diversification of angiosperms. For example, RNA interference (RNAi has played a significant role in the divergence of monocots from other angiosperms, which has experimental support in Arabidopsis and rice. This analysis also implied that the second largest subunit of RNA polymerase IV and V (NRPD2 played a prominent role in the divergence of gymnosperms. This hypothesis is supported by the lack of 24nt siRNA in conifers, the maternal control of small RNA in the seeds of flowering plants, and the emergence of double fertilization in angiosperms. Our approach takes advantage of genomic data to define orthologs, reconstruct relationships, and narrow down candidate genes involved in plant evolution within a phylogenomic view of species' diversification.

  5. Rickettsia species in human-parasitizing ticks in Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papa, Anna; Xanthopoulou, Kyriaki; Kotriotsiou, Tzimoula; Papaioakim, Miltiadis; Sotiraki, Smaragda; Chaligiannis, Ilias; Maltezos, Efstratios

    2016-05-01

    Ticks serve as vectors and reservoirs for a variety of bacterial, viral and protozoan pathogens affecting humans and animals. Unusual increased tick aggressiveness was observed in 2008-2009 in northeastern Greece. The aim of the study was to check ticks removed from persons during 2009 for infection with Rickettsia species. A total of 159 ticks were removed from 147 persons who sought medical advice in a hospital. Tick identification was performed morphologically using taxonomic keys. DNA was extracted from each individual tick and a PCR assay targeting the rickettsial outer membrane protein A gene of Rickettsia spp. was applied. Most of the adult ticks (132/153, 86.3%) were Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Rickettsiae were detected in 23 of the 153 (15.0%) adult ticks. Five Rickettsiae species were identified: R. aeschlimannii, R. africae (n=6), R. massilae (4), R. monacensis (1), and Candidatus R. barbariae (1). To our knowledge, this is the first report of R. africae, R. monacensis, and Candidatus R. barbariae in Greece. Several Rickettsia species were identified in ticks removed from humans in Greece, including those that are prevalent in northern and southern latitudes. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Experimental infection of Rickettsia parkeri in the Rhipicephalus microplus tick.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordeiro, Matheus Dias; de Azevedo Baêta, Bruna; Cepeda, Patricia Barizon; Teixeira, Rafaella Câmara; Ribeiro, Carla Carolina Dias Uzedo; de Almeida Valim, Jaqueline Rodrigues; Pinter, Adriano; da Fonseca, Adivaldo Henrique

    2018-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate, by means of artificial feeding, the interaction between a pathogenic rickettsia and the hard tick R. microplus. We used partially engorged females fed on calves free of Rickettsia spp. Group 1 (G1), containing 20 ticks, was fed bovine blood only. Group 2 (G2), containing 20 ticks, was fed blood containing uninfected VERO cells, and group 3 (G3), containing 40 ticks, was fed blood containing VERO cells infected with Rickettsia parkeri. Biological parameters of the non-parasitic phase and a possible bacterial transmission to the tick eggs and to guinea pigs were evaluated. At the end of oviposition, all G3 females were PCR-positive for genes specific for the genus Rickettsia. Although no guinea pigs were infected, the experimental infection of R. microplus by R. parkeri caused a deleterious effect on the oviposition and provided the first report of transovarian transmission of rickettsia in this tick. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  7. Molecular Evidence of Different Rickettsia Species in Villeta, Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faccini-Martínez, Álvaro A; Ramírez-Hernández, Alejandro; Forero-Becerra, Elkin; Cortés-Vecino, Jesús A; Escandón, Patricia; Rodas, Juan D; Palomar, Ana M; Portillo, Aránzazu; Oteo, José A; Hidalgo, Marylin

    2016-02-01

    The aim of this work was to detect and identify Rickettsia species in ticks collected in rural areas of Villeta, Colombia. Tick specimens were collected from domestic animals and walls of houses in five rural villages of Villeta town and from humans in Naranjal village (same town). Moreover, a flea collected from the same area was also processed. DNA was extracted and tested by conventional, semi-nested, and nested PCR reactions targeting rickettsial genes. In the ticks collected from humans from Naranjal village, a nymph of Amblyomma cajennense sensu lato was amplified using primers for ompA and sequenced (100% identity with "Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii"). Last, three amplicons from the Ctenocephalides felis flea, corresponding to gltA, ompB, and 16S rRNA genes, showed high identity with R. felis (98.5%, 97.3%, and 99.2%, respectively) and "Candidatus Rickettsia asemboensis" (99.7% and 100%, respectively). To our knowledge, these results correspond to the first molecular detection in Colombia of "Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii" and "Ca. Rickettsia asemboensis" in fleas.

  8. Genotypic characterization of Rickettsiae by DNA probes generated from Rickettsia Prowazekii DNA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demkin, V.V.; Rydkina, E.B.; Likhoded, L.Ya.; Ignatovich, V.F.; Genig, V.A.; Balayeva, N.M.

    1994-01-01

    Southern blot analysis of HindIII-cleaved rickettsial DNA was used for genotypic characterization of the typhus group (TG) species (R. prowazekii, R. typhi, R. canada) and a few species were of the spotted fever group (SFG)rickettsiae (R. sibirica, R. conorii, R. akari). Four different DNA probes were employed. PBH11 and PBH13 probes were morphospecific HindIII fragment of R prowazekii DNA. MW218 probe contained the gene for 51 K antigen and MW264 probe contained the citrate synthase gene of R. prowazekii. All the probes hybridized with the tested TG and SFG rickettsial DNAs, forming from 1 to 5 bands, but they did not with R. tsutsudamushi or C. burnetii DNAs. All the probes demonstrated specific hybridization pattern with TG species and R. akari. PBH11. PBH13 and MW264 probes clearly distinguished R. sibirica and R. conorii from the other tested rickettsiae, but not from each other. However, these two species differed slightly with MW218 probe. Several strains of each species were analyzed in this way and except for strains of R. conorii identical intra-species pattern were obtained. These data lead us to consider the obtained hybridization patterns as criteria for genotypic identification. (author)

  9. Rickettsia gravesii sp. nov.: a novel spotted fever group rickettsia in Western Australian Amblyomma triguttatum triguttatum ticks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdad, Mohammad Y; Abdallah, Rita Abou; Karkouri, Khalid El; Beye, Mamadou; Stenos, John; Owen, Helen; Unsworth, Nathan; Robertson, Ian; Blacksell, Stuart D; Nguyen, Thi-Tien; Nappez, Claude; Raoult, Didier; Fenwick, Stan; Fournier, Pierre-Edouard

    2017-09-01

    A rickettsial organism harboured by Amblyomma triguttatum ticks on Barrow Island, Western Australia, was discovered after reports of possible rickettsiosis among local workers. Subsequent isolation of this rickettsia (strain BWI-1) in cell culture and analysis of its phylogenetic, genotypic and phenotypic relationships with type strains of Rickettsia species with standing in nomenclature suggested that it was sufficiently divergent to warrant its classification as a new species. Multiple gene comparison of strain BWI-1 revealed degrees of sequence similarity with Rickettsia raoultii, its closest relative, of 99.58, 98.89, 97.03, 96.93 and 95.73 % for the 16S rRNA, citrate synthase, ompA, ompB and sca4 genes, respectively. Serotyping in mice also demonstrated that strain BWI-1T was distinct from Rickettsia raoultii. Thus, we propose the naming of a new species, Rickettsia gravesii sp. nov., based on its novel genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. Strain BWI-1T was deposited in the ATCC, CSUR and ARRL collections under reference numbers VR-1664, CSUR R172 and RGBWI-1, respectively.

  10. Selfish DNA in protein-coding genes of Rickettsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogata, H; Audic, S; Barbe, V; Artiguenave, F; Fournier, P E; Raoult, D; Claverie, J M

    2000-10-13

    Rickettsia conorii, the aetiological agent of Mediterranean spotted fever, is an intracellular bacterium transmitted by ticks. Preliminary analyses of the nearly complete genome sequence of R. conorii have revealed 44 occurrences of a previously undescribed palindromic repeat (150 base pairs long) throughout the genome. Unexpectedly, this repeat was found inserted in-frame within 19 different R. conorii open reading frames likely to encode functional proteins. We found the same repeat in proteins of other Rickettsia species. The finding of a mobile element inserted in many unrelated genes suggests the potential role of selfish DNA in the creation of new protein sequences.

  11. A Case of Human Infection by Rickettsia slovaca in Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostopoulou, Vasiliki; Chochlakis, Dimosthenis; Kanta, Chrysoula; Katsanou, Andromachi; Rossiou, Konstantina; Rammos, Aidonis; Papadopoulos, Spyridon-Filippos; Katsarou, Theodora; Tselentis, Yannis; Psaroulaki, Anna; Boukas, Chrysostomos

    2016-07-22

    Although tick-borne rickettsiosis is endemic in Greece, until recently, human samples arriving at the National Reference Centre under suspicion of rickettsial infection were routinely tested only for Rickettsia typhi and R. conorii. However, identification of additional rickettsia species in ticks prompted revision of the protocol in 2010. Until that year, all human samples received by the laboratory were tested for antibodies against R. conorii and R. typhi only. Now, tests for R. slovaca, R. felis, and R. mongolotimonae are all included in routine analysis. The current description of a human R. slovaca case is possible as a result of these changes in routine testing.

  12. Detection of Borrelia lusitaniae, Rickettsia sp. IRS3, Rickettsia monacensis, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Ixodes ricinus collected in Madeira Island, Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Carvalho, Isabel Lopes; Milhano, Natacha; Santos, Ana Sofia; Almeida, Victor; Barros, Silvia C; De Sousa, Rita; Núncio, Maria Sofia

    2008-08-01

    A total of 300 Ixodes ricinus ticks were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of Borrelia spp., Rickettsia spp., and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Sequence analysis demonstrated 8 (2.7%) ticks infected with B. lusitaniae, 60 (20%) with Rickettsia spp., and 1 (0.3%) with A. phagocytophilum. Seven (2.3%) ticks were coinfected with B. lusitaniae and Rickettsia spp., 2 (0.6%) with R. monacensis, and 5 (1.7%) with Rickettsia sp. IRS3. The results of this study suggest simultaneous transmission of multiple tick-borne agents on Madeira Island, Portugal.

  13. Ixodes ricinus ticks are reservoir hosts for Rickettsia helvetica and potentially carry flea-borne Rickettsia species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaasenbeek Cor

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hard ticks have been identified as important vectors of rickettsiae causing the spotted fever syndrome. Tick-borne rickettsiae are considered to be emerging, but only limited data are available about their presence in Western Europe, their natural life cycle and their reservoir hosts. Ixodes ricinus, the most prevalent tick species, were collected and tested from different vegetation types and from potential reservoir hosts. In one biotope area, the annual and seasonal variability of rickettsiae infections of the different tick stages were determined for 9 years. Results The DNA of the human pathogen R. conorii as well as R. helvetica, R. sp. IRS and R. bellii-like were found. Unexpectedly, the DNA of the highly pathogenic R. typhi and R. prowazekii and 4 other uncharacterized Rickettsia spp. related to the typhus group were also detected in I. ricinus. The presence of R. helvetica in fleas isolated from small rodents supported our hypothesis that cross-infection can occur under natural conditions, since R. typhi/prowazekii and R. helvetica as well as their vectors share rodents as reservoir hosts. In one biotope, the infection rate with R. helvetica was ~66% for 9 years, and was comparable between larvae, nymphs, and adults. Larvae caught by flagging generally have not yet taken a blood meal from a vertebrate host. The simplest explanation for the comparable prevalence of R. helvetica between the defined tick stages is, that R. helvetica is vertically transmitted through the next generation with high efficiency. The DNA of R. helvetica was also present in whole blood from mice, deer and wild boar. Conclusion Besides R. helvetica, unexpected rickettsiae are found in I. ricinus ticks. We propose that I. ricinus is a major reservoir host for R. helvetica, and that vertebrate hosts play important roles in the further geographical dispersion of rickettsiae.

  14. Escherichia coli and Neisseria gonorrhoeae UvrD helicase unwinds G4 DNA structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shukla, Kaustubh; Thakur, Roshan Singh; Ganguli, Debayan; Rao, Desirazu Narasimha; Nagaraju, Ganesh

    2017-10-18

    G-quadruplex (G4) secondary structures have been implicated in various biological processes, including gene expression, DNA replication and telomere maintenance. However, unresolved G4 structures impede replication progression which can lead to the generation of DNA double-strand breaks and genome instability. Helicases have been shown to resolve G4 structures to facilitate faithful duplication of the genome. Escherichia coli UvrD (EcUvrD) helicase plays a crucial role in nucleotide excision repair, mismatch repair and in the regulation of homologous recombination. Here, we demonstrate a novel role of E. coli and Neisseria gonorrhoeae UvrD in resolving G4 tetraplexes. EcUvrD and N gonorrhoeae UvrD were proficient in unwinding previously characterized tetramolecular G4 structures. Notably, EcUvrD was equally efficient in resolving tetramolecular and bimolecular G4 DNA that were derived from the potential G4-forming sequences from the genome of E. coli Interestingly, in addition to resolving intermolecular G4 structures, EcUvrD was robust in unwinding intramolecular G4 structures. These data for the first time provide evidence for the role of UvrD in the resolution of G4 structures, which has implications for the in vivo role of UvrD helicase in G4 DNA resolution and genome maintenance. © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  15. Phase unwinding for dictionary compression with multiple channel transmission in magnetic resonance fingerprinting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lattanzi, Riccardo; Zhang, Bei; Knoll, Florian; Assländer, Jakob; Cloos, Martijn A

    2018-06-01

    Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting reconstructions can become computationally intractable with multiple transmit channels, if the B 1 + phases are included in the dictionary. We describe a general method that allows to omit the transmit phases. We show that this enables straightforward implementation of dictionary compression to further reduce the problem dimensionality. We merged the raw data of each RF source into a single k-space dataset, extracted the transceiver phases from the corresponding reconstructed images and used them to unwind the phase in each time frame. All phase-unwound time frames were combined in a single set before performing SVD-based compression. We conducted synthetic, phantom and in-vivo experiments to demonstrate the feasibility of SVD-based compression in the case of two-channel transmission. Unwinding the phases before SVD-based compression yielded artifact-free parameter maps. For fully sampled acquisitions, parameters were accurate with as few as 6 compressed time frames. SVD-based compression performed well in-vivo with highly under-sampled acquisitions using 16 compressed time frames, which reduced reconstruction time from 750 to 25min. Our method reduces the dimensions of the dictionary atoms and enables to implement any fingerprint compression strategy in the case of multiple transmit channels. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Anthraquinones quinizarin and danthron unwind negatively supercoiled DNA and lengthen linear DNA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verebová, Valéria; Adamcik, Jozef; Danko, Patrik; Podhradský, Dušan; Miškovský, Pavol; Staničová, Jana

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Anthraquinones quinizarin and danthron unwind negatively supercoiled DNA. • Anthraquinones quinizarin and danthron lengthen linear DNA. • Anthraquinones quinizarin and danthron possess middle binding affinity to DNA. • Anthraquinones quinizarin and danthron interact with DNA by intercalating mode. - Abstract: The intercalating drugs possess a planar aromatic chromophore unit by which they insert between DNA bases causing the distortion of classical B-DNA form. The planar tricyclic structure of anthraquinones belongs to the group of chromophore units and enables anthraquinones to bind to DNA by intercalating mode. The interactions of simple derivatives of anthraquinone, quinizarin (1,4-dihydroxyanthraquinone) and danthron (1,8-dihydroxyanthraquinone), with negatively supercoiled and linear DNA were investigated using a combination of the electrophoretic methods, fluorescence spectrophotometry and single molecule technique an atomic force microscopy. The detection of the topological change of negatively supercoiled plasmid DNA, unwinding of negatively supercoiled DNA, corresponding to appearance of DNA topoisomers with the low superhelicity and an increase of the contour length of linear DNA in the presence of quinizarin and danthron indicate the binding of both anthraquinones to DNA by intercalating mode

  17. Anthraquinones quinizarin and danthron unwind negatively supercoiled DNA and lengthen linear DNA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Verebová, Valéria [Institute of Biophysics, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, Komenského 73, 041 81 Košice (Slovakia); Adamcik, Jozef [Food and Soft Materials Science, Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH Zurich, Schmelzbergstrasse 9, CH-8092 Zürich (Switzerland); Danko, Patrik; Podhradský, Dušan [Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, P.J. Šafárik University, Moyzesova 11, 041 54 Košice (Slovakia); Miškovský, Pavol [Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Sciences, P.J. Šafárik University, Jesenná 5, 041 54 Košice (Slovakia); Center for Interdisciplinary Biosciences, Faculty of Sciences, P.J. Šafárik University, Jesenná 5, 041 54 Košice (Slovakia); Staničová, Jana, E-mail: jana.stanicova@uvlf.sk [Institute of Biophysics, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, Komenského 73, 041 81 Košice (Slovakia)

    2014-01-31

    Highlights: • Anthraquinones quinizarin and danthron unwind negatively supercoiled DNA. • Anthraquinones quinizarin and danthron lengthen linear DNA. • Anthraquinones quinizarin and danthron possess middle binding affinity to DNA. • Anthraquinones quinizarin and danthron interact with DNA by intercalating mode. - Abstract: The intercalating drugs possess a planar aromatic chromophore unit by which they insert between DNA bases causing the distortion of classical B-DNA form. The planar tricyclic structure of anthraquinones belongs to the group of chromophore units and enables anthraquinones to bind to DNA by intercalating mode. The interactions of simple derivatives of anthraquinone, quinizarin (1,4-dihydroxyanthraquinone) and danthron (1,8-dihydroxyanthraquinone), with negatively supercoiled and linear DNA were investigated using a combination of the electrophoretic methods, fluorescence spectrophotometry and single molecule technique an atomic force microscopy. The detection of the topological change of negatively supercoiled plasmid DNA, unwinding of negatively supercoiled DNA, corresponding to appearance of DNA topoisomers with the low superhelicity and an increase of the contour length of linear DNA in the presence of quinizarin and danthron indicate the binding of both anthraquinones to DNA by intercalating mode.

  18. TRF2 recruits RTEL1 to telomeres in S phase to promote t-loop unwinding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarek, Grzegorz; Vannier, Jean-Baptiste; Panier, Stephanie; Petrini, John H J; Boulton, Simon J

    2015-02-19

    The helicase RTEL1 promotes t-loop unwinding and suppresses telomere fragility to maintain the integrity of vertebrate telomeres. An interaction between RTEL1 and PCNA is important to prevent telomere fragility, but how RTEL1 engages with the telomere to promote t-loop unwinding is unclear. Here, we establish that the shelterin protein TRF2 recruits RTEL1 to telomeres in S phase, which is required to prevent catastrophic t-loop processing by structure-specific nucleases. We show that the TRF2-RTEL1 interaction is mediated by a metal-coordinating C4C4 motif in RTEL1, which is compromised by the Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome (HHS) mutation, RTEL1(R1264H). Conversely, we define a TRF2(I124D) substitution mutation within the TRFH domain of TRF2, which eliminates RTEL1 binding and phenocopies the RTEL1(R1264H) mutation, giving rise to aberrant t-loop excision, telomere length heterogeneity, and loss of the telomere as a circle. These results implicate TRF2 in the recruitment of RTEL1 to facilitate t-loop disassembly at telomeres in S phase. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Structural determinants of miRNAs for RISC loading and slicer-independent unwinding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawamata, Tomoko; Seitz, Hervé; Tomari, Yukihide

    2009-09-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate expression of their target mRNAs through the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), which contains an Argonaute (Ago) family protein as a core component. In Drosophila melanogaster, miRNAs are generally sorted into Ago1-containing RISC (Ago1-RISC). We established a native gel system that can biochemically dissect the Ago1-RISC assembly pathway. We found that miRNA-miRNA* duplexes are loaded into Ago1 as double-stranded RNAs in an ATP-dependent fashion. In contrast, unexpectedly, unwinding of miRNA-miRNA* duplexes is a passive process that does not require ATP or slicer activity of Ago1. Central mismatches direct miRNA-miRNA* duplexes into pre-Ago1-RISC, whereas mismatches in the seed or guide strand positions 12-15 promote conversion of pre-Ago1-RISC into mature Ago1-RISC. Our findings show that unwinding of miRNAs is a precise mirror-image process of target recognition, and both processes reflect the unique geometry of RNAs in Ago proteins.

  20. Analyzing contentious relationships and outlier genes in phylogenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Joseph F; Brown, Joseph W; Smith, Stephen A

    2018-06-08

    Recent studies have demonstrated that conflict is common among gene trees in phylogenomic studies, and that less than one percent of genes may ultimately drive species tree inference in supermatrix analyses. Here, we examined two datasets where supermatrix and coalescent-based species trees conflict. We identified two highly influential "outlier" genes in each dataset. When removed from each dataset, the inferred supermatrix trees matched the topologies obtained from coalescent analyses. We also demonstrate that, while the outlier genes in the vertebrate dataset have been shown in a previous study to be the result of errors in orthology detection, the outlier genes from a plant dataset did not exhibit any obvious systematic error and therefore may be the result of some biological process yet to be determined. While topological comparisons among a small set of alternate topologies can be helpful in discovering outlier genes, they can be limited in several ways, such as assuming all genes share the same topology. Coalescent species tree methods relax this assumption but do not explicitly facilitate the examination of specific edges. Coalescent methods often also assume that conflict is the result of incomplete lineage sorting (ILS). Here we explored a framework that allows for quickly examining alternative edges and support for large phylogenomic datasets that does not assume a single topology for all genes. For both datasets, these analyses provided detailed results confirming the support for coalescent-based topologies. This framework suggests that we can improve our understanding of the underlying signal in phylogenomic datasets by asking more targeted edge-based questions.

  1. Conserved Nonexonic Elements: A Novel Class of Marker for Phylogenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Scott V; Cloutier, Alison; Baker, Allan J

    2017-11-01

    Noncoding markers have a particular appeal as tools for phylogenomic analysis because, at least in vertebrates, they appear less subject to strong variation in GC content among lineages. Thus far, ultraconserved elements (UCEs) and introns have been the most widely used noncoding markers. Here we analyze and study the evolutionary properties of a new type of noncoding marker, conserved nonexonic elements (CNEEs), which consists of noncoding elements that are estimated to evolve slower than the neutral rate across a set of species. Although they often include UCEs, CNEEs are distinct from UCEs because they are not ultraconserved, and, most importantly, the core region alone is analyzed, rather than both the core and its flanking regions. Using a data set of 16 birds plus an alligator outgroup, and ∼3600-∼3800 loci per marker type, we found that although CNEEs were less variable than bioinformatically derived UCEs or introns and in some cases exhibited a slower approach to branch resolution as determined by phylogenomic subsampling, the quality of CNEE alignments was superior to those of the other markers, with fewer gaps and missing species. Phylogenetic resolution using coalescent approaches was comparable among the three marker types, with most nodes being fully and congruently resolved. Comparison of phylogenetic results across the three marker types indicated that one branch, the sister group to the passerine + falcon clade, was resolved differently and with moderate (>70%) bootstrap support between CNEEs and UCEs or introns. Overall, CNEEs appear to be promising as phylogenomic markers, yielding phylogenetic resolution as high as for UCEs and introns but with fewer gaps, less ambiguity in alignments and with patterns of nucleotide substitution more consistent with the assumptions of commonly used methods of phylogenetic analysis. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Systematic Biologists.

  2. Amblyomma imitator Ticks as Vectors of Rickettsia rickettsii, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Karla A.; Pinter, Adriano; Medina-Sanchez, Aaron; Boppana, Venkata D.; Wikel, Stephen K.; Saito, Tais B.; Shelite, Thomas; Blanton, Lucas; Popov, Vsevolod; Teel, Pete D.; Walker, David H.; Galvao, Marcio A.M.; Mafra, Claudio

    2010-01-01

    Real-time PCR of Amblyomma imitator tick egg masses obtained in Nuevo Leon State, Mexico, identified a Rickettsia species. Sequence analyses of 17-kD common antigen and outer membrane protein A and B gene fragments showed to it to be R. rickettsii, which suggested a potential new vector for this bacterium. PMID:20678325

  3. Outbreaks of Rickettsia felis in Kenya and Senegal, 2010

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    This podcast describes the outbreak of Rickettsia felis in Kenya between August 2006 and June 2008, and in rural Senegal from November 2008 through July 2009. CDC infectious disease pathologist Dr. Chris Paddock discusses what researchers learned about this flea-borne disease and how to prevent infection.

  4. Direct evidence of Rickettsia typhi infection in Rhipicephalus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    These studies remarks that in addition to rats, other animals like cats, opossums and dogs could be implied in the transmission of Rickettsia typhi as infected fleas obtained from serologically positive animals have been detected in samples from endemic areas. In Mexico, the higher number of murine typhus cases have ...

  5. Anaplasma, Ehrlichia and Rickettsia species infections in cats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pennisi, Maria Grazia; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina; Radford, Alan D; Tasker, Séverine; Belák, Sándor; Addie, Diane D; Boucraut-Baralon, Corine; Egberink, Herman; Frymus, Tadeusz; Gruffydd-Jones, Tim; Hartmann, Katrin; Horzinek, Marian C; Hosie, Margaret J; Lloret, Albert; Lutz, Hans; Marsilio, Fulvio; Thiry, Etienne; Truyen, Uwe; Möstl, Karin

    2017-01-01

    OVERVIEW: Anaplasma species, Ehrlichia species and Rickettsia species are vector-borne pathogens infecting a wide variety of mammals, but causing disease in very few of them. Infection in cats: Anaplasma phagocytophilum is the most important feline pathogen among these rickettsial organisms, and

  6. Rickettsia sibirica mongolitimonae Infection, France, 2010-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelakis, Emmanouil; Richet, Herve; Raoult, Didier

    2016-05-01

    To further characterize human infections caused by Rickettsia sibirica mongolitimonae, we tested skin biopsy and swab samples and analyzed clinical, epidemiologic, and diagnostic characteristics of patients with a rickettsiosis. The most common (38%) indigenous species was R. sibirica mongolitimonae. Significantly more cases of R. sibirica mongolitimonae infection occurred during spring and summer.

  7. Plant-mediated horizontal transmission of Rickettsia endosymbiont between different whitefly species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yi-Han; Ahmed, Muhammad Z; Li, Shao-Jian; Lv, Ning; Shi, Pei-Qiong; Chen, Xiao-Sheng; Qiu, Bao-Li

    2017-12-01

    A growing number of studies have revealed the presence of closely related endosymbionts in phylogenetically distant arthropods, indicating horizontal transmission of these bacteria. Here we investigated the interspecific horizontal transmission of Rickettsia between two globally invasive whitefly species, Bemisia tabaci MEAM1 and B. tabaci MED, via cotton plants. We found both scattered and confined distribution patterns of Rickettsia in these whiteflies. After entering cotton leaves, Rickettsia was restricted to the leaf phloem vessels and could be taken up by both species of the Rickettsia-free whitefly adults, but only the scattered pattern was observed in the recipient whiteflies. Both the relative quantity of Rickettsia and the efficiency of transmitting Rickettsia into cotton leaves were significantly higher in MEAM1 females than in MED females. The retention time of Rickettsia transmitted from MEAM1 into cotton leaves was at least 5 days longer than that of MED. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA and gltA genes confirmed that the Rickettsia extracted from the donor MEAM1, the cotton leaves, the recipient MEAM1 and the recipient MED were all identical. We conclude that cotton plants can mediate horizontal transmission of Rickettsia between different insect species, and that the transmission dynamics of Rickettsia vary with different host whitefly species. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Extremely Low Genomic Diversity of Rickettsia japonica Distributed in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akter, Arzuba; Ooka, Tadasuke; Gotoh, Yasuhiro; Yamamoto, Seigo; Fujita, Hiromi; Terasoma, Fumio; Kida, Kouji; Taira, Masakatsu; Nakadouzono, Fumiko; Gokuden, Mutsuyo; Hirano, Manabu; Miyashiro, Mamoru; Inari, Kouichi; Shimazu, Yukie; Tabara, Kenji; Toyoda, Atsushi; Yoshimura, Dai; Itoh, Takehiko; Kitano, Tomokazu; Sato, Mitsuhiko P; Katsura, Keisuke; Mondal, Shakhinur Islam; Ogura, Yoshitoshi; Ando, Shuji; Hayashi, Tetsuya

    2017-01-01

    Rickettsiae are obligate intracellular bacteria that have small genomes as a result of reductive evolution. Many Rickettsia species of the spotted fever group (SFG) cause tick-borne diseases known as "spotted fevers". The life cycle of SFG rickettsiae is closely associated with that of the tick, which is generally thought to act as a bacterial vector and reservoir that maintains the bacterium through transstadial and transovarial transmission. Each SFG member is thought to have adapted to a specific tick species, thus restricting the bacterial distribution to a relatively limited geographic region. These unique features of SFG rickettsiae allow investigation of how the genomes of such biologically and ecologically specialized bacteria evolve after genome reduction and the types of population structures that are generated. Here, we performed a nationwide, high-resolution phylogenetic analysis of Rickettsia japonica, an etiological agent of Japanese spotted fever that is distributed in Japan and Korea. The comparison of complete or nearly complete sequences obtained from 31 R. japonica strains isolated from various sources in Japan over the past 30 years demonstrated an extremely low level of genomic diversity. In particular, only 34 single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified among the 27 strains of the major lineage containing all clinical isolates and tick isolates from the three tick species. Our data provide novel insights into the biology and genome evolution of R. japonica, including the possibilities of recent clonal expansion and a long generation time in nature due to the long dormant phase associated with tick life cycles. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  9. Widespread Rickettsia spp. Infections in Ticks (Acari: Ixodoidea) in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, Chi-Chien; Shu, Pei-Yun; Mu, Jung-Jung; Lee, Pei-Lung; Wu, Yin-Wen; Chung, Chien-Kung; Wang, Hsi-Chieh

    2015-09-01

    Ticks are second to mosquitoes as the most important disease vectors, and recent decades have witnessed the emergence of many novel tick-borne rickettsial diseases, but systematic surveys of ticks and tick-borne rickettsioses are generally lacking in Asia. We collected and identified ticks from small mammal hosts between 2006 and 2010 in different parts of Taiwan. Rickettsia spp. infections in ticks were identified by targeting ompB and gltA genes with nested polymerase chain reaction. In total, 2,732 ticks were collected from 1,356 small mammals. Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides Supino (51.8% of total ticks), Haemaphysalis bandicota Hoogstraal & Kohls (28.0%), and Ixodes granulatus Supino (20.0%) were the most common tick species, and Rattus losea Swinhoe (44.7% of total ticks) and Bandicota indica Bechstein (39.9%) were the primary hosts. The average Rickettsia infective rate in 329 assayed ticks was 31.9% and eight Rickettsia spp. or closely related species were identified. This study shows that rickettsiae-infected ticks are widespread in Taiwan, with a high diversity of Rickettsia spp. circulating in the ticks. Because notifiable rickettsial diseases in Taiwan only include mite-borne scrub typhus and flea-borne murine typhus, more studies are warranted for a better understanding of the real extent of human risks to rickettsioses in Taiwan. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. 'Candidatus Rickettsia mendelii', a novel basal group rickettsia detected in Ixodes ricinus ticks in the Czech Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajduskova, Eva; Literak, Ivan; Papousek, Ivo; Costa, Francisco B; Novakova, Marketa; Labruna, Marcelo B; Zdrazilova-Dubska, Lenka

    2016-04-01

    A novel rickettsial sequence in the citrate synthase gltA gene indicating a novel Rickettsia species has been detected in 7 out of 4524 Ixodes ricinus ticks examined within several surveys performed in the Czech Republic from 2005 to 2009. This new Candidatus Rickettsia sp. sequence has been found in 2 nymphs feeding on wild birds (Luscinia megarhynchos and Erithacus rubecula), in a male tick from vegetation, and 4 ticks feeding on a dog (3 males, 1 female tick). Portions of the ompA, ompB, sca4, and htrA genes were not amplifiable in these samples. A maximum likelihood tree of rickettsiae based on comparisons of partial amino acid sequences of citrate synthase and nucleotide sequences of 16S rDNA genes and phylogenetic analysis revealed a basal position of the novel species in the proximity of R. bellii and R. canadensis. The novel species has been named 'Candidatus Rickettsia mendelii' after the founder of genetics, Gregor Mendel. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  11. Rickettsia vini n. sp. (Rickettsiaceae) infecting the tick Ixodes arboricola (Acari: Ixodidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novakova, Marketa; Costa, Francisco B; Krause, Frantisek; Literak, Ivan; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2016-08-26

    Recently, a new rickettsia named 'Candidatus Rickettsia vini' belonging to the spotted fever group has been molecularly detected in Ixodes arboricola ticks in Spain, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Turkey, with prevalence reaching up to 100 %. The aim of this study was to isolate this rickettsia in pure culture, and to describe it as a new Rickettsia species. A total of 148 ornitophilic nidicolous ticks Ixodes arboricola were collected in a forest near Breclav (Czech Republic) and examined for rickettsiae. Shell vial technique was applied to isolate rickettsiae in Vero cells. Rickettsial isolation was confirmed by optical microscopy and sequencing of partial sequences of the rickettsial genes gltA, ompA, ompB, and htrA. Laboratory guinea pigs and chickens were used for experimental infestations and infections. Animal blood sera were tested by immunofluorescence assay employing crude antigens of various rickettsiae. Rickettsia vini n. sp. was successfully isolated from three males of I. arboricola. Phylogenetic analysis of fragments of 1092, 590, 800, and 497 nucleotides of the gltA, ompA, ompB, and htrA genes, respectively, showed closest proximity of R. vini n. sp. to Rickettsia japonica and Rickettsia heilongjiangensis belonging to the spotted fever group. Experimental infection of guinea pigs and chickens with R. vini led to various levels of cross-reactions of R. vini-homologous antibodies with Rickettsia rickettsii, Rickettsia parkeri, 'Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii', Rickettsia rhipicephali, Rickettsia bellii, and Rickettsia felis. Laboratory infestations by R. vini-infected I. arboricola larvae on chickens led to no seroconversion to R. vini n. sp., nor cross-reactions with R. rickettsii, R. parkeri, 'Ca. R. amblyommii', R. rhipicephali, R. bellii or R. felis. Our results suggest that R. vini n. sp. is possibly a tick endosymbiont, not pathogenic for guinea pigs and chickens. Regarding specific phenotypic characters and significant differences of DNA

  12. ReproPhylo: An Environment for Reproducible Phylogenomics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir Szitenberg

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The reproducibility of experiments is key to the scientific process, and particularly necessary for accurate reporting of analyses in data-rich fields such as phylogenomics. We present ReproPhylo, a phylogenomic analysis environment developed to ensure experimental reproducibility, to facilitate the handling of large-scale data, and to assist methodological experimentation. Reproducibility, and instantaneous repeatability, is built in to the ReproPhylo system and does not require user intervention or configuration because it stores the experimental workflow as a single, serialized Python object containing explicit provenance and environment information. This 'single file' approach ensures the persistence of provenance across iterations of the analysis, with changes automatically managed by the version control program Git. This file, along with a Git repository, are the primary reproducibility outputs of the program. In addition, ReproPhylo produces an extensive human-readable report and generates a comprehensive experimental archive file, both of which are suitable for submission with publications. The system facilitates thorough experimental exploration of both parameters and data. ReproPhylo is a platform independent CC0 Python module and is easily installed as a Docker image or a WinPython self-sufficient package, with a Jupyter Notebook GUI, or as a slimmer version in a Galaxy distribution.

  13. DNA unwinding induced by photoaddition of psoralen derivatives and determination of dark-binding equilibrium constants by gel electrophoresis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiesehahn, G.; Hearst, J.E.

    1978-01-01

    Derivatives of furo[3,2-g]coumarin (psoralen) can bind to the DNA double helix and, in the presence of long-wavelength uv light, the bound psoralen may react covalently with pyrimidine residues on one or both strands of the helix. By using agarose gel electrophoresis, we have determined the unwinding angle associated with each of four different psoralen derivatives to be 28 0 +- 4 0 . For 4,5',8-trimethylpsoralen (trioxsalen) the unwinding angle was found to be independent of the initial DNA superhelix density in the range that is accessible to agarose gel electrophoresis. Also by using agarose gel electrophoresis, we have determined the unwinding angle for ethidium intercalation. This was done by the total relaxation of supercoiled DNA in the presence of a series of ethidium concentrations. By using published values for the association constant for ethidium binding to DNA and evaluating the final superhelix density (after removal of ethidium) of the DNA on gels, we calculated an unwinding angle of 29 0 +- 3 0 . Assuming an unwinding angle of 28 0 for the noncovalent intercalation of psoralen derivatives, we used the same procedure to determine intercalation binding constants. The association constants for 4'-aminomethyltrioxsalen were 300 to 1400 M -1 in NaCl at 0.2 to 0.05 M and 300 to 2500 M -1 in Mg 2+ at 4 to 0.5 mM. The association constant for 4'-hydroxymethyltrioxsalen in 0.5 mM Mg 2+ was determined to be 70 M -1

  14. Antibodies to Rickettsia spp. and Borrelia burgdorferi in Spanish Wild Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lledó, Lourdes; Serrano, José Luis; Isabel Gegúndez, María; Giménez-Pardo, Consuelo; Saz, José Vicente

    2016-01-01

    We examined 314 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from the province of Soria, Spain, for Rickettsia typhi, Rickettsia slovaca, and Borrelia burgdorferi infection. Immunofluorescence assays showed 1.9% had antibodies to R. typhi, 6.7% had antibodies to R. slovaca, and 8.3% had antibodies to B. burgdorferi. Serostatus was not correlated with sex or age. Because red foxes can be infected by Rickettsiae and B. burgdorferi, presence of red foxes may be and indicator for the presence of these pathogens.

  15. Ixodes pacificus Ticks Maintain Embryogenesis and Egg Hatching after Antibiotic Treatment of Rickettsia Endosymbiont

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurlovs, Andre H.; Li, Jinze; Cheng, Du; Zhong, Jianmin

    2014-01-01

    Rickettsia is a genus of intracellular bacteria that causes a variety of diseases in humans and other mammals and associates with a diverse group of arthropods. Although Rickettsia appears to be common in ticks, most Rickettsia-tick relationships remain generally uncharacterized. The most intimate of these associations is Rickettsia species phylotype G021, a maternally and transstadially transmitted endosymbiont that resides in 100% of I. pacificus in California. We investigated the effects of this Rickettsia phylotype on I. pacificus reproductive fitness using selective antibiotic treatment. Ciprofloxacin was 10-fold more effective than tetracycline in eliminating Rickettsia from I. pacificus, and quantitative PCR results showed that eggs from the ciprofloxacin-treated ticks contained an average of 0.02 Rickettsia per egg cell as opposed to the average of 0.2 in the tetracycline-treated ticks. Ampicillin did not significantly affect the number of Rickettsia per tick cell in adults or eggs compared to the water-injected control ticks. We found no relationship between tick embryogenesis and rickettsial density in engorged I. pacificus females. Tetracycline treatment significantly delayed oviposition of I. pacificus ticks, but the antibiotic’s effect was unlikely related to Rickettsia. We also demonstrated that Rickettsia-free eggs could successfully develop into larvae without any significant decrease in hatching compared to eggs containing Rickettsia. No significant differences in the incubation period, egg hatching rate, and the number of larvae were found between any of the antibiotic-treated groups and the water-injected tick control. We concluded that Rickettsia species phylotype G021 does not have an apparent effect on embryogenesis, oviposition, and egg hatching of I. pacificus. PMID:25105893

  16. Molecular Detection and Identification of Rickettsia Species in Ixodes pacificus in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phan, Jimmy Ninh; Lu, Casey Roy; Bender, William Garrett; Smoak, Robert Marion

    2011-01-01

    Abstract We amplified 16S rRNA, gltA, and ompA genes from Ixodes pacificus by polymerase chain reaction. Sequencing, BLAST analysis, and phylogenetic constructions indicated that two Rickettsia phylotypes are present in I. pacificus. While phylotype G021 has high homology to Ixodes scapularis endosymbiotic Rickettsia, phylotype G022 is a deeply branched novel spotted fever group Rickettsia. PMID:21413886

  17. Propagation of Arthropod-Borne Rickettsia spp. in Two Mosquito Cell Lines▿

    OpenAIRE

    Sakamoto, Joyce M.; Azad, Abdu F.

    2007-01-01

    Rickettsiae are obligate intracellular alphaproteobacteria that include pathogenic species in the spotted fever, typhus, and transitional groups. The development of a standardized cell line in which diverse rickettsiae can be grown and compared would be highly advantageous to investigate the differences among and between pathogenic and nonpathogenic species of rickettsiae. Although several rickettsial species have been grown in tick cells, tick cells are more difficult to maintain and they gr...

  18. Comparative vertical transmission of Rickettsia by Dermacentor variabilis and Amblyomma maculatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Emma K; Verhoeve, Victoria I; Banajee, Kaikhushroo H; Macaluso, Jacqueline A; Azad, Abdu F; Macaluso, Kevin R

    2017-06-01

    The geographical overlap of multiple Rickettsia and tick species coincides with the molecular detection of a variety of rickettsial agents in what may be novel tick hosts. However, little is known concerning transmissibility of rickettsial species by various tick hosts. To examine the vertical transmission potential between select tick and rickettsial species, two sympatric species of ticks, Dermacentor variabilis and Amblyomma maculatum, were exposed to five different rickettsial species, including Rickettsia rickettsii, Rickettsia parkeri, Rickettsia montanensis, Rickettsia amblyommatis, or flea-borne Rickettsia felis. Fitness-related metrics including engorgement weight, egg production index, nutrient index, and egg hatch percentage were then assessed. Subsamples of egg clutches and unfed larvae, nymphs, and adults for each cohort were assessed for transovarial and transstadial transmission of rickettsiae by qPCR. Rickettsial exposure had a minimal fitness effect in D. variabilis and transovarial transmission was observed for all groups except R. rickettsii. In contrast, rickettsial exposure negatively influenced A. maculatum fitness and transovarial transmission of rickettsiae was demonstrated only for R. amblyommatis- and R. parkeri-exposed ticks. Sustained maintenance of rickettsiae via transstadial transmission was diminished from F 1 larvae to F 1 adults in both tick species. The findings of this study suggest transovarial transmission specificity may not be tick species dependent, and sustained vertical transmission is not common. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  19. Comparative genomic data of the Avian Phylogenomics Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Guojie; Li, Bo; Li, Cai; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Jarvis, Erich D; Wang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    The evolutionary relationships of modern birds are among the most challenging to understand in systematic biology and have been debated for centuries. To address this challenge, we assembled or collected the genomes of 48 avian species spanning most orders of birds, including all Neognathae and two of the five Palaeognathae orders, and used the genomes to construct a genome-scale avian phylogenetic tree and perform comparative genomics analyses (Jarvis et al. in press; Zhang et al. in press). Here we release assemblies and datasets associated with the comparative genome analyses, which include 38 newly sequenced avian genomes plus previously released or simultaneously released genomes of Chicken, Zebra finch, Turkey, Pigeon, Peregrine falcon, Duck, Budgerigar, Adelie penguin, Emperor penguin and the Medium Ground Finch. We hope that this resource will serve future efforts in phylogenomics and comparative genomics. The 38 bird genomes were sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform and assembled using a whole genome shotgun strategy. The 48 genomes were categorized into two groups according to the N50 scaffold size of the assemblies: a high depth group comprising 23 species sequenced at high coverage (>50X) with multiple insert size libraries resulting in N50 scaffold sizes greater than 1 Mb (except the White-throated Tinamou and Bald Eagle); and a low depth group comprising 25 species sequenced at a low coverage (~30X) with two insert size libraries resulting in an average N50 scaffold size of about 50 kb. Repetitive elements comprised 4%-22% of the bird genomes. The assembled scaffolds allowed the homology-based annotation of 13,000 ~ 17000 protein coding genes in each avian genome relative to chicken, zebra finch and human, as well as comparative and sequence conservation analyses. Here we release full genome assemblies of 38 newly sequenced avian species, link genome assembly downloads for the 7 of the remaining 10 species, and provide a guideline of

  20. Limited transcriptional responses of Rickettsia rickettsii exposed to environmental stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damon W Ellison

    Full Text Available Rickettsiae are strict obligate intracellular pathogens that alternate between arthropod and mammalian hosts in a zoonotic cycle. Typically, pathogenic bacteria that cycle between environmental sources and mammalian hosts adapt to the respective environments by coordinately regulating gene expression such that genes essential for survival and virulence are expressed only upon infection of mammals. Temperature is a common environmental signal for upregulation of virulence gene expression although other factors may also play a role. We examined the transcriptional responses of Rickettsia rickettsii, the agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, to a variety of environmental signals expected to be encountered during its life cycle. R. rickettsii exposed to differences in growth temperature (25 degrees C vs. 37 degrees C, iron limitation, and host cell species displayed nominal changes in gene expression under any of these conditions with only 0, 5, or 7 genes, respectively, changing more than 3-fold in expression levels. R. rickettsii is not totally devoid of ability to respond to temperature shifts as cold shock (37 degrees C vs. 4 degrees C induced a change greater than 3-fold in up to 56 genes. Rickettsiae continuously occupy a relatively stable environment which is the cytosol of eukaryotic cells. Because of their obligate intracellular character, rickettsiae are believed to be undergoing reductive evolution to a minimal genome. We propose that their relatively constant environmental niche has led to a minimal requirement for R. rickettsii to respond to environmental changes with a consequent deletion of non-essential transcriptional response regulators. A minimal number of predicted transcriptional regulators in the R. rickettsii genome is consistent with this hypothesis.

  1. Outbreaks of Rickettsia felis in Kenya and Senegal, 2010

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2010-06-09

    This podcast describes the outbreak of Rickettsia felis in Kenya between August 2006 and June 2008, and in rural Senegal from November 2008 through July 2009. CDC infectious disease pathologist Dr. Chris Paddock discusses what researchers learned about this flea-borne disease and how to prevent infection.  Created: 6/9/2010 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 6/24/2010.

  2. Challenges posed by tick-borne rickettsiae: eco-epidemiology and public health implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eremeeva, Marina E; Dasch, Gregory A

    2015-01-01

    Rickettsiae are obligately intracellular bacteria that are transmitted to vertebrates by a variety of arthropod vectors, primarily by fleas and ticks. Once transmitted or experimentally inoculated into susceptible mammals, some rickettsiae may cause febrile illness of different morbidity and mortality, and which can manifest with different types of exhanthems in humans. However, most rickettsiae circulate in diverse sylvatic or peridomestic reservoirs without having obvious impacts on their vertebrate hosts or affecting humans. We have analyzed the key features of tick-borne maintenance of rickettsiae, which may provide a deeper basis for understanding those complex invertebrate interactions and strategies that have permitted survival and circulation of divergent rickettsiae in nature. Rickettsiae are found in association with a wide range of hard and soft ticks, which feed on very different species of large and small animals. Maintenance of rickettsiae in these vector systems is driven by both vertical and horizontal transmission strategies, but some species of Rickettsia are also known to cause detrimental effects on their arthropod vectors. Contrary to common belief, the role of vertebrate animal hosts in maintenance of rickettsiae is very incompletely understood. Some clearly play only the essential role of providing a blood meal to the tick while other hosts may supply crucial supplemental functions for effective agent transmission by the vectors. This review summarizes the importance of some recent findings with known and new vectors that afford an improved understanding of the eco-epidemiology of rickettsiae; the public health implications of that information for rickettsial diseases are also described. Special attention is paid to the co-circulation of different species and genotypes of rickettsiae within the same endemic areas and how these observations may influence, correctly or incorrectly, trends, and conclusions drawn from the surveillance of

  3. Detection of a Novel Rickettsia From Leptotrombidium scutellare Mites (Acari: Trombiculidae) From Shandong of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yuting; Zhao, Li; Zhang, Zhentang; Liu, Miaomiao; Xue, Zaifeng; Ma, Dongqiang; Sun, Xifeng; Sun, Yue; Zhou, Chuanmin; Qin, Xiangrong; Zhu, Yelei; Li, Wenqian; Yu, Hao; Yu, Xue-Jie

    2017-05-01

    Leptotrombidium scutellare mites, the vector of Orientia tsutsugamushi, have rarely been reported to associate with Rickettsia species. Three hundred nineteen chiggers were collected from the ears of 32 rodents captured in Huangdao District of Qingdao City, China, in October 2015. The chigger samples were tested for Rickettsia, severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus, and hantavirus by PCR or RT-PCR amplification. All mites were classified morphologically and molecularly as L. scutellare chiggers. Rickettsial DNA sequences were amplified for four genes including 16S rRNA, ompB, gltA, and 17 kD protein genes. The minimum infection rate (MIR; number of positive pools/total specimens tested) of the Rickettsia species in the chiggers were 2.8% (9/319). Phylogenetic analysis indicated that individual genes were closely related to different Rickettsia species including R. felis (with 16S rRNA gene), R. australis (with gltA gene), an unnamed Rickettsia sp. TwKM02 (with ompB gene), and Rickettsia endosymbiont of soft tick Ornithodoros erraticus (with 17 kD protein gene). Phylogenic analysis of the concatenated sequence of 16S rRNA, gltA, ompB, and 17 kD protein genes indicated that the Rickettsia species from L. scutellare chigger was most closely related to R. australis and R. akari. These results indicated that the Rickettsia species in chiggers was unique; it was named Candidatus Rickettsia leptotrombidium. Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus and hantavirus were not amplified from the chiggers, suggesting lack of infection of these pathogens in the chiggers. A unique Rickettsia species was detected in L. scutellare, which expanded the knowledge on the vector distribution of Rickettsia. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Detection of Rickettsia bellii and Rickettsia amblyommii in Amblyomma longirostre (Acari: Ixodidae) from Bahia state, Northeast Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Douglas; Bezerra, Rodrigo Alves; Luz, Hermes Ribeiro; Faccini, João Luiz Horacio; Gaiotto, Fernanda Amato; Giné, Gastón Andrés Fernandez; Albuquerque, George Rego

    2015-01-01

    Studies investigating rickettsial infections in ticks parasitizing wild animals in the Northeast region of Brazil have been confined to the detection of Rickettsia amblyommii in immature stages of Amblyomma longirostre collected from birds in the state of Bahia, and in immatures and females of Amblyomma auricularium collected from the striped hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus semistriatus) and armadillos (Euphractus sexcinctus) in the state of Pernambuco. The current study extends the distribution of R. amblyommii (strain Aranha), which was detected in A. longirostre collected from the thin-spined porcupine Chaetomys subspinosus and the hairy dwarf porcupine Coendou insidiosus. In addition, we report the first detection of Rickettsia bellii in adults of A. longirostre collected from C. insidiosus in the state of Bahia.

  5. Spotted fever group rickettsiae detected in immature stages of ticks parasitizing on Iberian endemic lizard Lacerta schreiberi Bedriaga, 1878

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kubelová, M.; Papoušek, I.; Bělohlávek, T.; Goüy de Bellocq, Joëlle; Baird, Stuart J. E.; Široký, P.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 6 (2015), s. 711-714 ISSN 1877-959X Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Spotted fever group rickettsiae * Rickettsia monacensis * Rickettsia helvetica * Ixodes ricinus * Lacerta schreiberi Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 2.690, year: 2015

  6. Serological and molecular evidence for spotted fever group Rickettsia and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato co-infections in The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koetsveld, Joris; Tijsse-Klasen, Ellen; Herremans, Tineke; Hovius, Joppe W. R.; Sprong, Hein

    2016-01-01

    Only a few reported cases indicate that Rickettsia helvetica and Rickettsia monacensis can cause disease in humans. Exposure to these two spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae occurs through bites of Ixodes ricinus, also the primary vector of Lyme borreliosis in Europe. To date, it is unclear how

  7. Bartonella quintana and Typhus Group Rickettsiae Exposure among Homeless Persons, Bogotá, Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faccini-Martínez, Álvaro A; Márquez, Andrea C; Bravo-Estupiñan, Diana M; Calixto, Omar-Javier; López-Castillo, Christian A; Botero-García, Carlos A; Hidalgo, Marylin; Cuervo, Claudia

    2017-11-01

    In 2015, we investigated Bartonella quintana and typhus group rickettsiae in body lice from homeless persons in Bogotá, Colombia. We found B. quintana-infected body lice and seroprevalence of this microorganism in 19% of homeless persons and typhus group rickettsiae in 56%. Public health professionals should start preemptive measures and active vector control.

  8. Detection of spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae in Dermacentor reticulatus (Acari: Ixodidae) in Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stańczak, Joanna

    2006-05-01

    Dermacentor reticulatus ticks from Poland were investigated by molecular methods for the presence of rickettsiae. During 2003/2004, a total of 285 adult ticks was assayed using primers RpCS.877 and RpCS.1258 derived from the citrate synthase (gltA) gene, and 116 samples (40.7%) were positive for rickettsial DNA. Ten out of these positive samples were further assayed using SLO1F and SLO1R primers derived form the rOmpA-encoding gene to confirm that detected rickettsiae belong to the spotted fever group (SFG). The obtained sequence of a fragment of the gltA gene of Rickettsia sp. isolated from Polish D. reticulatus demonstrated 96-98% similarities to Rickettsia slovaca, Rickettsia sibirica, Rickettsia honei, and other SFG rickettsiae. The nucleotide sequences of the amplified fragments of the ompA gene were 98% homologous to RpA4 Rickettsia sp. reported from ticks collected in territories of the former Soviet Union.

  9. Gamma-irradiated scrub typhus immunogens: analysis for residual replicating rickettsiae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eisenberg, G.H. Jr.; Osterman, J.V.; Stephenson, E.H.

    1980-01-01

    Scrub thyphus immunogens that received inadequate gamma radiation contained residual, viable rickettsiae. The presence of these organisms in the host was masked by the rapid immune response elicited by the large number of inactivated rickettsiae. Transfer of homogenized spleen cells from immunized mice to normal syngeneic recipients provided a sensitive technique for the detection of these viable, replicating organisms

  10. First report of a Rickettsia asembonensis related infecting fleas in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Arannadia Barbosa; Vizzoni, Vinicius Figueiredo; Costa, Andréa Pereira; Costa, Francisco Borges; Moraes-Filho, Jonas; Labruna, Marcelo Bahia; Gazêta, Gilberto Salles; de Maria Seabra Nogueira, Rita

    2017-08-01

    The present study was performed in a non-endemic area for spotted fever (SF) in Imperatriz microregion, state of Maranhão, Brazil. Blood samples and ectoparasites were collected from 300 dogs of the Imperatriz microregion. Canine serum samples were tested individually by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA), using five Rickettsia isolates from Brazil. Antibodies reactive to at least one of the five species of Rickettsia were detected in 1.6% of the dogs (5/300). These sera were considered reactive to Rickettsia rickettsii and Rickettsia amblyommatis or very closely related species. The ticks (Acari: Ixodidae), identified as Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (Latreille), and the fleas, identified as Ctenocephalides felis, were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of rickettsial DNA. More than 78% (83/106) of the C. felis fleas were found to be infected with Rickettsia species using gltA as rickettsial PCR targets, whereas no evidence of Rickettsia spp. was found in R. sanguineus s. l. Genetic analysis based on genes gltA, htrA and ompB showed that the detected strain, is most closely related to Rickettsia asembonensis (formerly Candidatus Rickettsia asemboensis). The present study is the first report of a R. asembonensis related infecting C. felis fleas in Brazil. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Molecular diagnostics of Rickettsia africae infection in travelers returning from South Africa to The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wieten, Rosanne W.; Hovius, Joppe W. R.; Groen, Emilie J.; van der Wal, Allard C.; de Vries, Peter J.; Beersma, Matthijs F. C.; Tijsse-Klasen, Ellen; Sprong, Hein; Grobusch, Martin P.

    2011-01-01

    African tick-bite fever (ATBF) is frequently diagnosed in The Netherlands in travelers returning from South Africa. It is caused by Rickettsia africae and diagnosis is based on travel history and clinical presentation and usually confirmed by detecting serum antibodies against rickettsiae of the

  12. Transovarial Transmission of Rickettsia spp. and Organ-Specific Infection of the Whitefly Bemisia tabaci

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumin, Marina; Levy, Maggie

    2012-01-01

    The whitefly Bemisia tabaci is a cosmopolitan insect pest that harbors Portiera aleyrodidarum, the primary obligatory symbiotic bacterium, and several facultative secondary symbionts. Secondary symbionts in B. tabaci are generally associated with the bacteriome, ensuring their vertical transmission; however, Rickettsia is an exception and occupies most of the body cavity, except the bacteriome. The mode of Rickettsia transfer between generations and its subcellular localization in insect organs have not been investigated. Using electron and fluorescence microscopy, we show that Rickettsia infects the digestive, salivary, and reproductive organs of the insect; however, it was not observed in the bacteriome. Rickettsia invades the oocytes during early developmental stages and resides in follicular cells and cytoplasm; it is mostly excluded when the egg matures; however, some bacterial cells remain in the egg, ensuring their transfer to subsequent generations. Rickettsia was localized to testicles and the spermatheca, suggesting a horizontal transfer between males and females during mating. The bacterium was further observed at large amounts in midgut cells, concentrating in vacuole-like structures, and was located in the hemolymph, specifically at exceptionally large amounts around bacteriocytes and in fat bodies. Organs further infected by Rickettsia included the primary salivary glands and stylets, sites of possible secretion of the bacterium outside the whitefly body. The close association between Rickettsia and the B. tabaci digestive system might be important for digestive purposes. The vertical transmission of Rickettsia to subsequent generations occurs via the oocyte and not, like other secondary symbionts, the bacteriome. PMID:22660706

  13. Use of immunoradiometric analysis to determine Rickettsia antigens in cell cultures and chick embryos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prozorovskiy, S.V.; Alekseeva, N.V.; Knyazeva, E.N.; Ignatovich, V.F.; Barkhatova, O.T.

    1984-02-01

    A modification of an immunoradiometric analysis to determine Rickettsia antigens in various biological substrates was studied, using rickettsious diagnostricums, egg and cell cultures of Rickettsia. The method was highly sensitive for the determination of minimal quantities of antigens in these substrates. The method appears to be promising for studies related to the detection of microorganisms and their antigens. 5 references.

  14. High Prevalence of Rickettsia spp. Infections in Small Mammals in Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, Chi-Chien; Shu, Pei-Yun; Mu, Jung-Jung

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Surveillance for Rickettsia spp. is urgently needed due to the recent emergence of many novel rickettsioses around the globe, but previous studies in Taiwan have been limited to small areas and no investigation of infections in vertebrate hosts has ever been attempted. We surveyed rickettsial infections systematically in small-mammal hosts trapped between 2006 and 2010 throughout Taiwan. Fragments of ompB and gltA genes in the liver, spleen, and kidney of mammals were targeted by nested polymerase chain reaction. We trapped 1375 individuals of 10 species, among which Rattus losea was the most common (54.6%), followed by Suncus murinus (20.6%) and Mus caroli (10.6%). The overall rate of Rickettsia infections in the liver, spleen, or kidney of 309 assayed small mammals was 60.5%, with a rate of infection ≥50% for each mammal species. DNA nucleotide sequences of 184 successfully sequenced genes were most similar to nine Rickettsia species: Rickettsia conorii, R. felis, R. japonica, R. raoultii, R. rickettsii, Rickettsia sp. IG-1, Rickettsia sp. TwKM01, Rickettsia sp. TwKM02, and R. typhi. Our results suggest that several novel Rickettsia spp. are common and widespread across various habitats throughout Taiwan and suggest the need for further study of emerging rickettsioses in Taiwan. PMID:25629776

  15. First isolation of Rickettsia monacensis from a patient in South Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yeon-Sook; Choi, Yeon-Joo; Lee, Kyung-Min; Ahn, Kyu-Joong; Kim, Heung-Chul; Klein, Terry; Jiang, Ju; Richards, Allen; Park, Kyung-Hee; Jang, Won-Jong

    2017-07-01

    A Rickettsia sp. was isolated from the blood of a patient with an acute febrile illness using the shell vial technique; the isolate was named CN45Kr and was identified by molecular assay as Rickettsia monacensis, which was first recognized as a pathogen in Spain. Sequencing analysis showed that the gltA sequence of the isolate was identical to that of Rickettsia sp. IRS3. The ompA-5mp fragment sequence showed 100% identity to those of R. monacensis and Rickettsia sp. In56 and ompA-3pA In56 and 100% identity to that of Rickettsia sp. IRS3. The ompB sequence was found to have 99.9% similarity to that of R. monacensis IrR/Munich. This study confirms the pathogenicity of this agent and provides additional information about its geographic distribution. © 2017 The Societies and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  16. General Methods for Analysis of Sequential “n-step” Kinetic Mechanisms: Application to Single Turnover Kinetics of Helicase-Catalyzed DNA Unwinding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucius, Aaron L.; Maluf, Nasib K.; Fischer, Christopher J.; Lohman, Timothy M.

    2003-01-01

    Helicase-catalyzed DNA unwinding is often studied using “all or none” assays that detect only the final product of fully unwound DNA. Even using these assays, quantitative analysis of DNA unwinding time courses for DNA duplexes of different lengths, L, using “n-step” sequential mechanisms, can reveal information about the number of intermediates in the unwinding reaction and the “kinetic step size”, m, defined as the average number of basepairs unwound between two successive rate limiting steps in the unwinding cycle. Simultaneous nonlinear least-squares analysis using “n-step” sequential mechanisms has previously been limited by an inability to float the number of “unwinding steps”, n, and m, in the fitting algorithm. Here we discuss the behavior of single turnover DNA unwinding time courses and describe novel methods for nonlinear least-squares analysis that overcome these problems. Analytic expressions for the time courses, fss(t), when obtainable, can be written using gamma and incomplete gamma functions. When analytic expressions are not obtainable, the numerical solution of the inverse Laplace transform can be used to obtain fss(t). Both methods allow n and m to be continuous fitting parameters. These approaches are generally applicable to enzymes that translocate along a lattice or require repetition of a series of steps before product formation. PMID:14507688

  17. General methods for analysis of sequential "n-step" kinetic mechanisms: application to single turnover kinetics of helicase-catalyzed DNA unwinding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucius, Aaron L; Maluf, Nasib K; Fischer, Christopher J; Lohman, Timothy M

    2003-10-01

    Helicase-catalyzed DNA unwinding is often studied using "all or none" assays that detect only the final product of fully unwound DNA. Even using these assays, quantitative analysis of DNA unwinding time courses for DNA duplexes of different lengths, L, using "n-step" sequential mechanisms, can reveal information about the number of intermediates in the unwinding reaction and the "kinetic step size", m, defined as the average number of basepairs unwound between two successive rate limiting steps in the unwinding cycle. Simultaneous nonlinear least-squares analysis using "n-step" sequential mechanisms has previously been limited by an inability to float the number of "unwinding steps", n, and m, in the fitting algorithm. Here we discuss the behavior of single turnover DNA unwinding time courses and describe novel methods for nonlinear least-squares analysis that overcome these problems. Analytic expressions for the time courses, f(ss)(t), when obtainable, can be written using gamma and incomplete gamma functions. When analytic expressions are not obtainable, the numerical solution of the inverse Laplace transform can be used to obtain f(ss)(t). Both methods allow n and m to be continuous fitting parameters. These approaches are generally applicable to enzymes that translocate along a lattice or require repetition of a series of steps before product formation.

  18. Development of a Novel Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) Assay for the Detection of Rickettsia spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanaoka, Nozomu; Matsutani, Minenosuke; Satoh, Masaaki; Ogawa, Motohiko; Shirai, Mutsunori; Ando, Shuji

    2017-01-24

    We developed a novel loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method to detect Rickettsia spp., including Rickettsia prowazekii and R. typhi. Species-specific LAMP primers were developed for orthologous genes conserved among Rickettsia spp. The selected modified primers could detect all the Rickettsia spp. tested. The LAMP method was successfully used to detect 100 DNA copies of Rickettsia spp. within approximately 60 min at 63℃. Therefore, this method may be an excellent tool for the early diagnosis of rickettsiosis in a laboratory or in the field.

  19. Substrate-modulated unwinding of transmembrane helices in the NSS transporter LeuT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merkle, Patrick S; Gotfryd, Kamil; Cuendet, Michel A; Leth-Espensen, Katrine Z; Gether, Ulrik; Loland, Claus J; Rand, Kasper D

    2018-05-01

    LeuT, a prokaryotic member of the neurotransmitter:sodium symporter (NSS) family, is an established structural model for mammalian NSS counterparts. We investigate the substrate translocation mechanism of LeuT by measuring the solution-phase structural dynamics of the transporter in distinct functional states by hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS). Our HDX-MS data pinpoint LeuT segments involved in substrate transport and reveal for the first time a comprehensive and detailed view of the dynamics associated with transition of the transporter between outward- and inward-facing configurations in a Na + - and K + -dependent manner. The results suggest that partial unwinding of transmembrane helices 1/5/6/7 drives LeuT from a substrate-bound, outward-facing occluded conformation toward an inward-facing open state. These hitherto unknown, large-scale conformational changes in functionally important transmembrane segments, observed for LeuT in detergent-solubilized form and when embedded in a native-like phospholipid bilayer, could be of physiological relevance for the translocation process.

  20. Characterization of the Caenorhabditis elegans HIM-6/BLM helicase: unwinding recombination intermediates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Hana; Lee, Jin A; Choi, Seoyoon; Lee, Hyunwoo; Ahn, Byungchan

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in three human RecQ genes are implicated in heritable human syndromes. Mutations in BLM, a RecQ gene, cause Bloom syndrome (BS), which is characterized by short stature, cancer predisposition, and sensitivity to sunlight. BLM is a RecQ DNA helicase that, with interacting proteins, is able to dissolve various DNA structures including double Holliday junctions. A BLM ortholog, him-6, has been identified in Caenorhabditis elegans, but little is known about its enzymatic activities or its in vivo roles. By purifying recombinant HIM-6 and performing biochemical assays, we determined that the HIM-6 has DNA-dependent ATPase activity HIM-6 and helicase activity that proceeds in the 3'-5' direction and needs at least five 3' overhanging nucleotides. HIM-6 is also able to unwind DNA structures including D-loops and Holliday junctions. Worms with him-6 mutations were defective in recovering the cell cycle arrest after HU treatment. These activities strongly support in vivo roles for HIM-6 in processing recombination intermediates.

  1. Changes in immunoferritin labeling of Rickettsia tsutsugamushi after serial cultivation in 60Co-irradiated BHK cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rikihisa, Y.; Rota, T.; Lee, T.H.; MacDonald, A.B.; Ito, S.

    1979-01-01

    The immunolabeling characteritics of Rickettsia tsutsugamushi (Gilliam strain) were examined by using a purified immunoglobulin G fraction of antibody to R. tsutsugamushi raised in rabbits. When rickettsiae in BHK-21 cells infected from yolk sac seed material were immunoferritin labeled, the binding of ferritin was found to be dense and uniform on the outer surface of the rickettsiae in disrupted host cells. Immunolabeling of purified suspensions of extracellular rickettsiae resulted in the uniform ferritin labeling of the microorganism. The immunoferritin labeling of R. tsutsugamushi during successive serial passages in BHK-21 cells revealed decreased labeling with each passage, and by the 10th passage there was no detectable labeling. However, these rickettsiae inoculated back into yolk sacs regained their immunoferritin labeling. Antibody against rickettsiae cultivated in BHK-21 cells continued labeling rickettsiae even after 9 serial passages in BHK-21 cells

  2. Spider phylogenomics: untangling the Spider Tree of Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole L. Garrison

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Spiders (Order Araneae are massively abundant generalist arthropod predators that are found in nearly every ecosystem on the planet and have persisted for over 380 million years. Spiders have long served as evolutionary models for studying complex mating and web spinning behaviors, key innovation and adaptive radiation hypotheses, and have been inspiration for important theories like sexual selection by female choice. Unfortunately, past major attempts to reconstruct spider phylogeny typically employing the “usual suspect” genes have been unable to produce a well-supported phylogenetic framework for the entire order. To further resolve spider evolutionary relationships we have assembled a transcriptome-based data set comprising 70 ingroup spider taxa. Using maximum likelihood and shortcut coalescence-based approaches, we analyze eight data sets, the largest of which contains 3,398 gene regions and 696,652 amino acid sites forming the largest phylogenomic analysis of spider relationships produced to date. Contrary to long held beliefs that the orb web is the crowning achievement of spider evolution, ancestral state reconstructions of web type support a phylogenetically ancient origin of the orb web, and diversification analyses show that the mostly ground-dwelling, web-less RTA clade diversified faster than orb weavers. Consistent with molecular dating estimates we report herein, this may reflect a major increase in biomass of non-flying insects during the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution 125–90 million years ago favoring diversification of spiders that feed on cursorial rather than flying prey. Our results also have major implications for our understanding of spider systematics. Phylogenomic analyses corroborate several well-accepted high level groupings: Opisthothele, Mygalomorphae, Atypoidina, Avicularoidea, Theraphosoidina, Araneomorphae, Entelegynae, Araneoidea, the RTA clade, Dionycha and the Lycosoidea. Alternatively, our results

  3. Spider phylogenomics: untangling the Spider Tree of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, Nicole L.; Rodriguez, Juanita; Agnarsson, Ingi; Coddington, Jonathan A.; Griswold, Charles E.; Hamilton, Christopher A.; Hedin, Marshal; Kocot, Kevin M.; Ledford, Joel M.

    2016-01-01

    Spiders (Order Araneae) are massively abundant generalist arthropod predators that are found in nearly every ecosystem on the planet and have persisted for over 380 million years. Spiders have long served as evolutionary models for studying complex mating and web spinning behaviors, key innovation and adaptive radiation hypotheses, and have been inspiration for important theories like sexual selection by female choice. Unfortunately, past major attempts to reconstruct spider phylogeny typically employing the “usual suspect” genes have been unable to produce a well-supported phylogenetic framework for the entire order. To further resolve spider evolutionary relationships we have assembled a transcriptome-based data set comprising 70 ingroup spider taxa. Using maximum likelihood and shortcut coalescence-based approaches, we analyze eight data sets, the largest of which contains 3,398 gene regions and 696,652 amino acid sites forming the largest phylogenomic analysis of spider relationships produced to date. Contrary to long held beliefs that the orb web is the crowning achievement of spider evolution, ancestral state reconstructions of web type support a phylogenetically ancient origin of the orb web, and diversification analyses show that the mostly ground-dwelling, web-less RTA clade diversified faster than orb weavers. Consistent with molecular dating estimates we report herein, this may reflect a major increase in biomass of non-flying insects during the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution 125–90 million years ago favoring diversification of spiders that feed on cursorial rather than flying prey. Our results also have major implications for our understanding of spider systematics. Phylogenomic analyses corroborate several well-accepted high level groupings: Opisthothele, Mygalomorphae, Atypoidina, Avicularoidea, Theraphosoidina, Araneomorphae, Entelegynae, Araneoidea, the RTA clade, Dionycha and the Lycosoidea. Alternatively, our results challenge the

  4. Radioiodination of an outer membrane protein in intact Rickettsia prowazekii

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, D.K.; Winkler, H.H.

    1980-01-01

    Intact Rickettsia prowazekii was radiolabeled with the glucose oxidase-lactoperoxidase method of iodination. Separation of the rickettsial extract into cytoplasmic, outer and inner membrane fractions demonstrated that the outer membrane was preferentially labeled. Analysis of the polypeptides of these fractions on high-resolution slab polyacrylamide gels showed that most of the 125 I was in polypeptide T49, an outer membrane constituent. Additional outer membrane polypeptides were iodinated in broken envelope preparations, demonstrating that T49 is uniquely accessible to the external environment and the asymmetric polypeptide organization of the outer membrane

  5. Rickettsia parkeri in Amblyomma dubitatum ticks in a spotted fever focus from the Brazilian Pampa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weck, Bárbara; Dall'Agnol, Bruno; Souza, Ugo; Webster, Anelise; Stenzel, Bárbara; Klafke, Guilherme; Martins, João Ricardo; Reck, José

    2017-07-01

    Spotted fever is an acute febrile illness, which is considered severely underreported and misdiagnosed in the Brazilian Pampa, caused by tick-borne Rickettsiae. Here, we report an eco-epidemiological investigation of Rickettsia spp. in ticks from a spotted fever focus in Toropi, southern Brazil. Ticks were collected from capybara carcasses and processed individually to obtain genomic DNA. Rickettsia was investigated using PCR that amplified the rickettsial fragments of the gltA, ompA and htrA genes. DNA from Rickettsia parkeri was found in four of 14 Amblyomma dubitatum ticks collected from capybara carcasses in Toropi and the nearby municipality of Quevedos. We also tested 210A. dubitatum ticks obtained from road-killed capybaras of other localities from the Pampa biome; none of them were positive for Rickettsiae. Thus, in Rio Grande do Sul, two Rickettsia species can be potentially associated to spotted fever: Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic Rainforest, associated with Amblyomma ovale ticks in the Atlantic Rainforest biome, and R. parkeri, associated both with Amblyomma tigrinum and A. dubitatum ticks in the Pampa biome. Our results reinforce that R. parkeri may be the agent associated with spotted fever in the Brazilian Pampa. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Horizontal transmission of the insect symbiont Rickettsia is plant-mediated

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caspi-Fluger, Ayelet; Inbar, Moshe; Mozes-Daube, Netta; Katzir, Nurit; Portnoy, Vitaly; Belausov, Eduard; Hunter, Martha S.; Zchori-Fein, Einat

    2012-01-01

    Bacteria in the genus Rickettsia, best known as vertebrate pathogens vectored by blood-feeding arthropods, can also be found in phytophagous insects. The presence of closely related bacterial symbionts in evolutionarily distant arthropod hosts presupposes a means of horizontal transmission, but no mechanism for this transmission has been described. Using a combination of experiments with live insects, molecular analyses and microscopy, we found that Rickettsia were transferred from an insect host (the whitefly Bemisia tabaci) to a plant, moved inside the phloem, and could be acquired by other whiteflies. In one experiment, Rickettsia was transferred from the whitefly host to leaves of cotton, basil and black nightshade, where the bacteria were restricted to the phloem cells of the plant. In another experiment, Rickettsia-free adult whiteflies, physically segregated but sharing a cotton leaf with Rickettsia-plus individuals, acquired the Rickettsia at a high rate. Plants can serve as a reservoir for horizontal transmission of Rickettsia, a mechanism which may explain the occurrence of phylogenetically similar symbionts among unrelated phytophagous insect species. This plant-mediated transmission route may also exist in other insect–symbiont systems and, since symbionts may play a critical role in the ecology and evolution of their hosts, serve as an immediate and powerful tool for accelerated evolution. PMID:22113034

  7. Broad phylogenomic sampling and the sister lineage of land plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth E Timme

    Full Text Available The tremendous diversity of land plants all descended from a single charophyte green alga that colonized the land somewhere between 430 and 470 million years ago. Six orders of charophyte green algae, in addition to embryophytes, comprise the Streptophyta s.l. Previous studies have focused on reconstructing the phylogeny of organisms tied to this key colonization event, but wildly conflicting results have sparked a contentious debate over which lineage gave rise to land plants. The dominant view has been that 'stoneworts,' or Charales, are the sister lineage, but an alternative hypothesis supports the Zygnematales (often referred to as "pond scum" as the sister lineage. In this paper, we provide a well-supported, 160-nuclear-gene phylogenomic analysis supporting the Zygnematales as the closest living relative to land plants. Our study makes two key contributions to the field: 1 the use of an unbiased method to collect a large set of orthologs from deeply diverging species and 2 the use of these data in determining the sister lineage to land plants. We anticipate this updated phylogeny not only will hugely impact lesson plans in introductory biology courses, but also will provide a solid phylogenetic tree for future green-lineage research, whether it be related to plants or green algae.

  8. Phylogenomic and functional domain analysis of polyketide synthases in Fusarium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Daren W.; Butchko, Robert A.; Baker, Scott E.; Proctor, Robert H.

    2012-02-01

    Fusarium species are ubiquitous in nature, cause a range of plant diseases, and produce a variety of chemicals often referred to as secondary metabolites. Although some fungal secondary metabolites affect plant growth or protect plants from other fungi and bacteria, their presence in grain based food and feed is more often associated with a variety of diseases in plants and in animals. Many of these structurally diverse metabolites are derived from a family of related enzymes called polyketide synthases (PKSs). A search of genomic sequence of Fusarium verticillioides, F. graminearum, F. oxysporum and Nectria haematococca (anamorph F. solani) identified a total of 58 PKS genes. To gain insight into how this gene family evolved and to guide future studies, we conducted a phylogenomic and functional domain analysis. The resulting genealogy suggested that Fusarium PKSs represent 34 different groups responsible for synthesis of different core metabolites. The analyses indicate that variation in the Fusarium PKS gene family is due to gene duplication and loss events as well as enzyme gain-of-function due to the acquisition of new domains or of loss-of-function due to nucleotide mutations. Transcriptional analysis indicate that the 16 F. verticillioides PKS genes are expressed under a range of conditions, further evidence that they are functional genes that confer the ability to produce secondary metabolites.

  9. Phylogenomic re-assessment of the thermophilic genus Geobacillus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aliyu, Habibu; Lebre, Pedro; Blom, Jochen; Cowan, Don; De Maayer, Pieter

    2016-12-01

    Geobacillus is a genus of Gram-positive, aerobic, spore-forming obligate thermophiles. The descriptions and subsequent affiliations of the species in the genus have mostly been based on polyphasic taxonomy rules that include traditional sequence-based methods such as DNA-DNA hybridization and comparison of 16S rRNA gene sequences. Currently, there are fifteen validly described species within the genus. The availability of whole genome sequences has provided an opportunity to validate and/or re-assess these conventional estimates of genome relatedness. We have applied whole genome approaches to estimate the phylogenetic relatedness among the sixty-three Geobacillus strains for which genome sequences are currently publicly available, including the type strains of eleven validly described species. The phylogenomic metrics AAI (Average Amino acid Identity), ANI (Average Nucleotide Identity) and dDDH (digital DNA-DNA hybridization) indicated that the current genus Geobacillus is comprised of sixteen distinct genomospecies, including several potentially novel species. Furthermore, a phylogeny constructed on the basis of the core genes identified from the whole genome analyses indicated that the genus clusters into two monophyletic clades that clearly differ in terms of nucleotide base composition. The G+C content ranges for clade I and II were 48.8-53.1% and 42.1-44.4%, respectively. We therefore suggest that the Geobacillus species currently residing within clade II be considered as a new genus. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  10. Phylogenomics provides strong evidence for relationships of butterflies and moths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawahara, Akito Y; Breinholt, Jesse W

    2014-08-07

    Butterflies and moths constitute some of the most popular and charismatic insects. Lepidoptera include approximately 160 000 described species, many of which are important model organisms. Previous studies on the evolution of Lepidoptera did not confidently place butterflies, and many relationships among superfamilies in the megadiverse clade Ditrysia remain largely uncertain. We generated a molecular dataset with 46 taxa, combining 33 new transcriptomes with 13 available genomes, transcriptomes and expressed sequence tags (ESTs). Using HaMStR with a Lepidoptera-specific core-orthologue set of single copy loci, we identified 2696 genes for inclusion into the phylogenomic analysis. Nucleotides and amino acids of the all-gene, all-taxon dataset yielded nearly identical, well-supported trees. Monophyly of butterflies (Papilionoidea) was strongly supported, and the group included skippers (Hesperiidae) and the enigmatic butterfly-moths (Hedylidae). Butterflies were placed sister to the remaining obtectomeran Lepidoptera, and the latter was grouped with greater than or equal to 87% bootstrap support. Establishing confident relationships among the four most diverse macroheteroceran superfamilies was previously challenging, but we recovered 100% bootstrap support for the following relationships: ((Geometroidea, Noctuoidea), (Bombycoidea, Lasiocampoidea)). We present the first robust, transcriptome-based tree of Lepidoptera that strongly contradicts historical placement of butterflies, and provide an evolutionary framework for genomic, developmental and ecological studies on this diverse insect order. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  11. Defining the phylogenomics of Shigella species: a pathway to diagnostics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahl, Jason W; Morris, Carolyn R; Emberger, Jennifer; Fraser, Claire M; Ochieng, John Benjamin; Juma, Jane; Fields, Barry; Breiman, Robert F; Gilmour, Matthew; Nataro, James P; Rasko, David A

    2015-03-01

    Shigellae cause significant diarrheal disease and mortality in humans, as there are approximately 163 million episodes of shigellosis and 1.1 million deaths annually. While significant strides have been made in the understanding of the pathogenesis, few studies on the genomic content of the Shigella species have been completed. The goal of this study was to characterize the genomic diversity of Shigella species through sequencing of 55 isolates representing members of each of the four Shigella species: S. flexneri, S. sonnei, S. boydii, and S. dysenteriae. Phylogeny inferred from 336 available Shigella and Escherichia coli genomes defined exclusive clades of Shigella; conserved genomic markers that can identify each clade were then identified. PCR assays were developed for each clade-specific marker, which was combined with an amplicon for the conserved Shigella invasion antigen, IpaH3, into a multiplex PCR assay. This assay demonstrated high specificity, correctly identifying 218 of 221 presumptive Shigella isolates, and sensitivity, by not identifying any of 151 diverse E. coli isolates incorrectly as Shigella. This new phylogenomics-based PCR assay represents a valuable tool for rapid typing of uncharacterized Shigella isolates and provides a framework that can be utilized for the identification of novel genomic markers from genomic data. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  12. Final Report - Phylogenomic tools and web resources for the Systems Biology Knowledgebase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sjolander, Kimmen [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2014-12-08

    The major advance during this last reporting period (8/15/12 to present) is our release of data on the PhyloFacts website: phylogenetic trees, multiple sequence alignments and other data for protein families are now available for download from http://phylogenomics.berkeley.edu/data/. This project as a whole aimed to develop high-throughput functional annotation systems that exploit information from protein 3D structure and evolution to provide highly precise inferences of various aspects of gene function, including molecular function, biological process, pathway association, Pfam domains, cellular localization and so on. We accomplished these aims by developing and testing different systems on a database of protein family trees: the PhyloFacts Phylogenomic Encyclopedia (at http://phylogenomics.berkeley.edu/phylofacts/ ).

  13. Shell-vial culture and real-time PCR applied to Rickettsia typhi and Rickettsia felis detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segura, Ferran; Pons, Immaculada; Pla, Júlia; Nogueras, María-Mercedes

    2015-11-01

    Murine typhus is a zoonosis transmitted by fleas, whose etiological agent is Rickettsia typhi. Rickettsia felis infection can produces similar symptoms. Both are intracellular microorganisms. Therefore, their diagnosis is difficult and their infections can be misdiagnosed. Early diagnosis prevents severity and inappropriate treatment regimens. Serology can't be applied during the early stages of infection because it requires seroconversion. Shell-vial (SV) culture assay is a powerful tool to detect Rickettsia. The aim of the study was to optimize SV using a real-time PCR as monitoring method. Moreover, the study analyzes which antibiotics are useful to isolate these microorganisms from fleas avoiding contamination by other bacteria. For the first purpose, SVs were inoculated with each microorganism. They were incubated at different temperatures and monitored by real-time PCR and classical methods (Gimenez staining and indirect immunofluorescence assay). R. typhi grew at all temperatures. R. felis grew at 28 and 32 °C. Real-time PCR was more sensitive than classical methods and it detected microorganisms much earlier. Besides, the assay sensitivity was improved by increasing the number of SV. For the second purpose, microorganisms and fleas were incubated and monitored in different concentrations of antibiotics. Gentamicin, sufamethoxazole, trimethoprim were useful for R. typhi isolation. Gentamicin, streptomycin, penicillin, and amphotericin B were useful for R. felis isolation. Finally, the optimized conditions were used to isolate R. felis from fleas collected at a veterinary clinic. R. felis was isolated at 28 and 32 °C. However, successful establishment of cultures were not possible probably due to sub-optimal conditions of samples.

  14. Genome sequence of the endosymbiont Rickettsia peacockii and comparison with virulent Rickettsia rickettsii: identification of virulence factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roderick F Felsheim

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Rickettsia peacockii, also known as the East Side Agent, is a non-pathogenic obligate intracellular bacterium found as an endosymbiont in Dermacentor andersoni ticks in the western USA and Canada. Its presence in ticks is correlated with reduced prevalence of Rickettsia rickettsii, the agent of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It has been proposed that a virulent SFG rickettsia underwent changes to become the East Side Agent. We determined the genome sequence of R. peacockii and provide a comparison to a closely related virulent R. rickettsii. The presence of 42 chromosomal copies of the ISRpe1 transposon in the genome of R. peacockii is associated with a lack of synteny with the genome of R. rickettsii and numerous deletions via recombination between transposon copies. The plasmid contains a number of genes from distantly related organisms, such as part of the glycosylation island of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Genes deleted or mutated in R. peacockii which may relate to loss of virulence include those coding for an ankyrin repeat containing protein, DsbA, RickA, protease II, OmpA, ScaI, and a putative phosphoethanolamine transferase. The gene coding for the ankyrin repeat containing protein is especially implicated as it is mutated in R. rickettsii strain Iowa, which has attenuated virulence. Presence of numerous copies of the ISRpe1 transposon, likely acquired by lateral transfer from a Cardinium species, are associated with extensive genomic reorganization and deletions. The deletion and mutation of genes possibly involved in loss of virulence have been identified by this genomic comparison. It also illustrates that the introduction of a transposon into the genome can have varied effects; either correlating with an increase in pathogenicity as in Francisella tularensis or a loss of pathogenicity as in R. peacockii and the recombination enabled by multiple transposon copies can cause significant deletions in some genomes while not in others.

  15. Molecular detection of Rickettsia, Anaplasma, Coxiella and Francisella bacteria in ticks collected from Artiodactyla in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumrandee, Chalao; Baimai, Visut; Trinachartvanit, Wachareeporn; Ahantarig, Arunee

    2016-07-01

    A total of 79 ticks collected from Sambar deer (Cervus unicolor), Barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak) and Wild boar (Sus scrofa) were examined by PCR for the presence of Rickettsia, Anaplasma, Coxiella, and Francisella bacteria. Of the 79 ticks, 13% tested positive for Rickettsia, 15% tested positive for Anaplasma, 4% tested positive for Coxiella, and 3% tested positive for Francisella. Interestingly, triple infection with Anaplasma, Rickettsia and Francisella was determined in a Dermacentor auratus tick. Moreover, another triple infection with Rickettsia, Anaplasma, and Coxiella was found in a Haemaphysalis lagrangei tick. Double infection of Rickettsia with Coxiella was also detected in another H. lagrangei tick. From the phylogenetic analyses, we found a Rickettsia sp. with a close evolutionary relationship to Rickettsia bellii in the H. lagrangei tick. We also found the first evidence of a Rickettsia sp. that is closely related to Rickettsia tamurae in Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus ticks from Thailand. H. lagrangei and Haemaphysalis obesa ticks collected from Sambar deer tested positive for Anaplasma species form the same clade with Anaplasma bovis. In contrast, other H. lagrangei ticks collected from Sambar deer and D. auratus ticks collected from Wild boar were also reported for the first time to be infected with an Anaplasma species that is closely related to Anaplasma platys. The phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene of Coxiella bacteria revealed that Coxiella symbionts from H. lagrangei formed a distinctly different lineage from Coxiella burnetii (a human pathogen). Additionally, Francisella bacteria identified in D. auratus ticks were found to be distantly related to a group of pathogenic Francisella species. The identification of these bacteria in several feeding ticks suggests the risk of various emerging tick-borne diseases and endosymbionts in humans, wildlife, and domestic animals in Thailand. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights

  16. Molecular Detection of Rickettsia Species Within Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) Collected from Arkansas United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trout Fryxell, R T; Steelman, C D; Szalanski, A L; Billingsley, P M; Williamson, P C

    2015-05-01

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), caused by the etiological agent Rickettsia rickettsii, is the most severe and frequently reported rickettsial illness in the United States, and is commonly diagnosed throughout the southeast. With the discoveries of Rickettsia parkeri and other spotted fever group rickettsiae (SFGR) in ticks, it remains inconclusive if the cases reported as RMSF are truly caused by R. rickettsii or other SFGR. Arkansas reports one of the highest incidence rates of RMSF in the country; consequently, to identify the rickettsiae in Arkansas, 1,731 ticks, 250 white-tailed deer, and 189 canines were screened by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the rickettsial genes gltA, rompB, and ompA. None of the white-tailed deer were positive, while two of the canines (1.1%) and 502 (29.0%) of the ticks were PCR positive. Five different tick species were PCR positive: 244 (37%) Amblyomma americanum L., 130 (38%) Ixodes scapularis Say, 65 (39%) Amblyomma maculatum (Koch), 30 (9%) Rhipicephalus sanguineus Latreille, 7 (4%) Dermacentor variabilis Say, and 26 (44%) unidentified Amblyomma ticks. None of the sequenced products were homologous to R. rickettsii. The most common Rickettsia via rompB amplification was Rickettsia montanensis and nonpathogenic Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii, whereas with ompA amplification the most common Rickettsia was Ca. R. amblyommii. Many tick specimens collected in northwest Arkansas were PCR positive and these were commonly A. americanum harboring Ca. R. amblyommii, a currently nonpathogenic Rickettsia. Data reported here indicate that pathogenic R. rickettsii was absent from these ticks and suggest by extension that other SFGR are likely the causative agents for Arkansas diagnosed RMSF cases. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. The ribosome uses two active mechanisms to unwind messenger RNA during translation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Xiaohui; Wen, Jin-Der; Lancaster, Laura; Noller, Harry F; Bustamante, Carlos; Tinoco, Ignacio

    2011-07-06

    The ribosome translates the genetic information encoded in messenger RNA into protein. Folded structures in the coding region of an mRNA represent a kinetic barrier that lowers the peptide elongation rate, as the ribosome must disrupt structures it encounters in the mRNA at its entry site to allow translocation to the next codon. Such structures are exploited by the cell to create diverse strategies for translation regulation, such as programmed frameshifting, the modulation of protein expression levels, ribosome localization and co-translational protein folding. Although strand separation activity is inherent to the ribosome, requiring no exogenous helicases, its mechanism is still unknown. Here, using a single-molecule optical tweezers assay on mRNA hairpins, we find that the translation rate of identical codons at the decoding centre is greatly influenced by the GC content of folded structures at the mRNA entry site. Furthermore, force applied to the ends of the hairpin to favour its unfolding significantly speeds translation. Quantitative analysis of the force dependence of its helicase activity reveals that the ribosome, unlike previously studied helicases, uses two distinct active mechanisms to unwind mRNA structure: it destabilizes the helical junction at the mRNA entry site by biasing its thermal fluctuations towards the open state, increasing the probability of the ribosome translocating unhindered; and it mechanically pulls apart the mRNA single strands of the closed junction during the conformational changes that accompany ribosome translocation. The second of these mechanisms ensures a minimal basal rate of translation in the cell; specialized, mechanically stable structures are required to stall the ribosome temporarily. Our results establish a quantitative mechanical basis for understanding the mechanism of regulation of the elongation rate of translation by structured mRNAs. ©2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

  18. DNA binding and unwinding by Hel308 helicase requires dual functions of a winged helix domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northall, Sarah J; Buckley, Ryan; Jones, Nathan; Penedo, J Carlos; Soultanas, Panos; Bolt, Edward L

    2017-09-01

    Hel308 helicases promote genome stability linked to DNA replication in archaea, and have homologues in metazoans. In the crystal structure of archaeal Hel308 bound to a tailed DNA duplex, core helicase domains encircle single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) in a "ratchet" for directional translocation. A winged helix domain (WHD) is also present, but its function is mysterious. We investigated the WHD in full-length Hel308, identifying that mutations in a solvent exposed α-helix resulted in reduced DNA binding and unwinding activities. When isolated from the rest of Hel308, the WHD protein alone bound to duplex DNA but not ssDNA, and DNA binding by WHD protein was abolished by the same mutations as were analyzed in full-length Hel308. Isolated WHD from a human Hel308 homologue (HelQ) also bound to duplex DNA. By disrupting the interface between the Hel308 WHD and a RecA-like domain, a topology typical of Ski2 helicases, we show that this is crucial for ATPase and helicase activities. The data suggest a model in which the WHD promotes activity of Hel308 directly, through binding to duplex DNA that is distinct from ssDNA binding by core helicase, and indirectly through interaction with the RecA-like domain. We propose how the WHD may contribute to ssDNA translocation, resulting in DNA helicase activity or in removal of other DNA bound proteins by "reeling" ssDNA. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Rickettsia amblyommatis infecting ticks and exposure of domestic dogs to Rickettsia spp. in an Amazon-Cerrado transition region of northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Francisco B; da Costa, Andréa P; Moraes-Filho, Jonas; Martins, Thiago F; Soares, Herbert S; Ramirez, Diego G; Dias, Ricardo A; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2017-01-01

    This study was performed in Maranhão state, a transition area two Brazilian biomes, Amazon and Cerrado. During 2011-2013, 1,560 domestic dogs were sampled for collection of serum blood samples and ticks in eight counties (3 within the Amazon and 5 within the Cerrado). A total of 959 ticks were collected on 150 dogs (9.6%). Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (s.l.) was the most abundant tick (68% of all collected specimens), followed by Amblyomma cajennense sensu lato (s.l.) (12.9%), Amblyomma parvum (9.2%), and Amblyomma ovale (5.2%). Other less abundant species (Rickettsia species: Rickettsia amblyommatis in 1% (1/100) A. cajennense s.l., 'Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae' in 20.7% (12/58) A. parvum, Rickettsia bellii in 6.8% (3/44) A. ovale and 100% (1/1) A. rotundatum ticks. An additional collection of A. sculptum from horses in a Cerrado area, and A. cajennense s.s. from pigs in an Amazon area revealed R. amblyommatis infecting only the A. cajennense s.s. ticks. Serological analysis of the 1,560 canine blood samples revealed 12.6% canine seroreactivity to Rickettsia spp., with the highest specific seroreactivity rate (10.2%) for R. amblyommatis. Endpoint titers to R. amblyommatis were significantly higher than those for the other Rickettsia antigens, suggesting that most of the seroreactive dogs were exposed to R. amblyommatis-infected ticks. Highest canine seroreactivity rates per locality (13.1-30.8%) were found in Amazon biome, where A. cajennense s.s. predominated. Lowest seroreactivity rates (1.9-6.5%) were found in Cerrado localities that were further from the Amazon, where A. sculptum predominated. Multivariate analyses revealed that canine seroreactivity to Rickettsia spp. or R. amblyommatis was statistically associated with rural dogs, exposed to Amblyomma ticks.

  20. Detection of a typhus group Rickettsia in Amblyomma ticks in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina-Sanchez, Aaron; Bouyer, Donald H; Alcantara-Rodriguez, Virginia; Mafra, Claudio; Zavala-Castro, Jorge; Whitworth, Ted; Popov, Vsevolod L; Fernandez-Salas, Ildefonso; Walker, David H

    2005-12-01

    The state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico has had outbreaks of typhus group rickettsiosis, most recently recognized in 1997. Evaluation of the sera of 345 patients with a dengue-like illness revealed that 25.5% had antibodies reactive with typhus group rickettsiae and 16% had antibodies to Rickettsia parkeri. Rickettsiae were detected by PCR and shell-vial isolations in the field-collected Amblyomma ticks. Molecular characterization by DNA sequence analysis of the gltA, ompB, and 17-kDa gene identified the organisms to be R. prowazekii.

  1. Sequencing and comparison of the Rickettsia genomes from the whitefly Bemisia tabaci Middle East Asia Minor I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Dan-Tong; Xia, Wen-Qiang; Rao, Qiong; Liu, Shu-Sheng; Ghanim, Murad; Wang, Xiao-Wei

    2016-08-01

    The whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, harbors the primary symbiont 'Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum' and a variety of secondary symbionts. Among these secondary symbionts, Rickettsia is the only one that can be detected both inside and outside the bacteriomes. Infection with Rickettsia has been reported to influence several aspects of the whitefly biology, such as fitness, sex ratio, virus transmission and resistance to pesticides. However, mechanisms underlying these differences remain unclear, largely due to the lack of genomic information of Rickettsia. In this study, we sequenced the genome of two Rickettsia strains isolated from the Middle East Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) species of the B. tabaci complex in China and Israel. Both Rickettsia genomes were of high coding density and AT-rich, containing more than 1000 coding sequences, much larger than that of the coexisted primary symbiont, Portiera. Moreover, the two Rickettsia strains isolated from China and Israel shared most of the genes with 100% identity and only nine genes showed sequence differences. The phylogenetic analysis using orthologs shared in the genus, inferred the proximity of Rickettsia in MEAM1 and Rickettsia bellii. Functional analysis revealed that Rickettsia was unable to synthesize amino acids required for complementing the whitefly nutrition. Besides, a type IV secretion system and a number of virulence-related genes were detected in the Rickettsia genome. The presence of virulence-related genes might benefit the symbiotic life of the bacteria, and hint on potential effects of Rickettsia on whiteflies. The genome sequences of Rickettsia provided a basis for further understanding the function of Rickettsia in whiteflies. © 2016 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  2. G-quadruplex and G-rich sequence stimulate Pif1p-catalyzed downstream duplex DNA unwinding through reducing waiting time at ss/dsDNA junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bo; Wu, Wen-Qiang; Liu, Na-Nv; Duan, Xiao-Lei; Li, Ming; Dou, Shuo-Xing; Hou, Xi-Miao; Xi, Xu-Guang

    2016-01-01

    Alternative DNA structures that deviate from B-form double-stranded DNA such as G-quadruplex (G4) DNA can be formed by G-rich sequences that are widely distributed throughout the human genome. We have previously shown that Pif1p not only unfolds G4, but also unwinds the downstream duplex DNA in a G4-stimulated manner. In the present study, we further characterized the G4-stimulated duplex DNA unwinding phenomenon by means of single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer. It was found that Pif1p did not unwind the partial duplex DNA immediately after unfolding the upstream G4 structure, but rather, it would dwell at the ss/dsDNA junction with a ‘waiting time’. Further studies revealed that the waiting time was in fact related to a protein dimerization process that was sensitive to ssDNA sequence and would become rapid if the sequence is G-rich. Furthermore, we identified that the G-rich sequence, as the G4 structure, equally stimulates duplex DNA unwinding. The present work sheds new light on the molecular mechanism by which G4-unwinding helicase Pif1p resolves physiological G4/duplex DNA structures in cells. PMID:27471032

  3. DNA unwinding by ring-shaped T4 helicase gp41 is hindered by tension on the occluded strand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeck, Noah; Saleh, Omar A

    2013-01-01

    The replicative helicase for bacteriophage T4 is gp41, which is a ring-shaped hexameric motor protein that achieves unwinding of dsDNA by translocating along one strand of ssDNA while forcing the opposite strand to the outside of the ring. While much study has been dedicated to the mechanism of binding and translocation along the ssDNA strand encircled by ring-shaped helicases, relatively little is known about the nature of the interaction with the opposite, 'occluded' strand. Here, we investigate the interplay between the bacteriophage T4 helicase gp41 and the ss/dsDNA fork by measuring, at the single-molecule level, DNA unwinding events on stretched DNA tethers in multiple geometries. We find that gp41 activity is significantly dependent on the geometry and tension of the occluded strand, suggesting an interaction between gp41 and the occluded strand that stimulates the helicase. However, the geometry dependence of gp41 activity is the opposite of that found previously for the E. coli hexameric helicase DnaB. Namely, tension applied between the occluded strand and dsDNA stem inhibits unwinding activity by gp41, while tension pulling apart the two ssDNA tails does not hinder its activity. This implies a distinct variation in helicase-occluded strand interactions among superfamily IV helicases, and we propose a speculative model for this interaction that is consistent with both the data presented here on gp41 and the data that had been previously reported for DnaB.

  4. Analysis of the Rickettsia africae genome reveals that virulence acquisition in Rickettsia species may be explained by genome reduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Audic Stéphane

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Rickettsia genus includes 25 validated species, 17 of which are proven human pathogens. Among these, the pathogenicity varies greatly, from the highly virulent R. prowazekii, which causes epidemic typhus and kills its arthropod host, to the mild pathogen R. africae, the agent of African tick-bite fever, which does not affect the fitness of its tick vector. Results We evaluated the clonality of R. africae in 70 patients and 155 ticks, and determined its genome sequence, which comprises a circular chromosome of 1,278,540 bp including a tra operon and an unstable 12,377-bp plasmid. To study the genetic characteristics associated with virulence, we compared this species to R. prowazekii, R. rickettsii and R. conorii. R. africae and R. prowazekii have, respectively, the less and most decayed genomes. Eighteen genes are present only in R. africae including one with a putative protease domain upregulated at 37°C. Conclusion Based on these data, we speculate that a loss of regulatory genes causes an increase of virulence of rickettsial species in ticks and mammals. We also speculate that in Rickettsia species virulence is mostly associated with gene loss. The genome sequence was deposited in GenBank under accession number [GenBank: NZ_AAUY01000001].

  5. In vitro studies of Rickettsia-host cell interactions: Confocal laser scanning microscopy of Rickettsia helvetica-infected eukaryotic cell lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speck, Stephanie; Kern, Tanja; Aistleitner, Karin; Dilcher, Meik; Dobler, Gerhard; Essbauer, Sandra

    2018-02-01

    Rickettsia (R.) helvetica is the most prevalent rickettsia found in Ixodes ricinus ticks in Germany. Several studies reported antibodies against R. helvetica up to 12.5% in humans investigated, however, fulminant clinical cases are rare indicating a rather low pathogenicity compared to other rickettsiae. We investigated growth characteristics of R. helvetica isolate AS819 in two different eukaryotic cell lines with focus on ultra-structural changes of host cells during infection determined by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Further investigations included partially sequencing of rickA, sca4 and sca2 genes, which have been reported to encode proteins involved in cell-to-cell spread and virulence in some rickettsiae. R. helvetica grew constantly but slowly in both cell lines used. Confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed that the dissemination of R. helvetica AS819 in both cell lines was rather mediated by cell break-down and bacterial release than cell-to-cell spread. The cytoskeleton of both investigated eukaryotic cell lines was not altered. R. helvetica possesses rickA, but its expression is not sufficient to promote actin-based motility as demonstrated by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Hypothetical Sca2 and Sca4 proteins were deduced from nucleotide gene sequences but the predicted amino acid sequences were disrupted or truncated compared to other rickettsiae most likely resulting in non-functional proteins. Taken together, these results might give a first hint to the underlying causes of the reduced virulence and pathogenicity of R. helvetica.

  6. EST based phylogenomics of Syndermata questions monophyly of Eurotatoria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bucher Gregor

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The metazoan taxon Syndermata comprising Rotifera (in the classical sense of Monogononta+Bdelloidea+Seisonidea and Acanthocephala has raised several hypotheses connected to the phylogeny of these animal groups and the included subtaxa. While the monophyletic origin of Syndermata and Acanthocephala is well established based on morphological and molecular data, the phylogenetic position of Syndermata within Spiralia, the monophyletic origin of Monogononta, Bdelloidea, and Seisonidea and the acanthocephalan sister group are still a matter of debate. The comparison of the alternative hypotheses suggests that testing the phylogenetic validity of Eurotatoria (Monogononta+Bdelloidea is the key to unravel the phylogenetic relations within Syndermata. The syndermatan phylogeny in turn is a prerequisite for reconstructing the evolution of the acanthocephalan endoparasitism. Results Here we present our results from a phylogenomic approach studying i the phylogenetic position of Syndermata within Spiralia, ii the monophyletic origin of monogononts and bdelloids and iii the phylogenetic relations of the latter two taxa to acanthocephalans. For this analysis we have generated EST libraries of Pomphorhynchus laevis, Echinorhynchus truttae (Acanthocephala and Brachionus plicatilis (Monogononta. By extending these data with database entries of B. plicatilis, Philodina roseola (Bdelloidea and 25 additional metazoan species, we conducted phylogenetic reconstructions based on 79 ribosomal proteins using maximum likelihood and bayesian approaches. Our findings suggest that the phylogenetic position of Syndermata within Spiralia is close to Platyhelminthes, that Eurotatoria are not monophyletic and that bdelloids are more closely related to acanthocephalans than monogononts. Conclusion Mapping morphological character evolution onto molecular phylogeny suggests the (partial or complete reduction of the corona and the emergence of a retractable

  7. Phylogenomic Analysis and Dynamic Evolution of Chloroplast Genomes in Salicaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Huang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Chloroplast genomes of plants are highly conserved in both gene order and gene content. Analysis of the whole chloroplast genome is known to provide much more informative DNA sites and thus generates high resolution for plant phylogenies. Here, we report the complete chloroplast genomes of three Salix species in family Salicaceae. Phylogeny of Salicaceae inferred from complete chloroplast genomes is generally consistent with previous studies but resolved with higher statistical support. Incongruences of phylogeny, however, are observed in genus Populus, which most likely results from homoplasy. By comparing three Salix chloroplast genomes with the published chloroplast genomes of other Salicaceae species, we demonstrate that the synteny and length of chloroplast genomes in Salicaceae are highly conserved but experienced dynamic evolution among species. We identify seven positively selected chloroplast genes in Salicaceae, which might be related to the adaptive evolution of Salicaceae species. Comparative chloroplast genome analysis within the family also indicates that some chloroplast genes are lost or became pseudogenes, infer that the chloroplast genes horizontally transferred to the nucleus genome. Based on the complete nucleus genome sequences from two Salicaceae species, we remarkably identify that the entire chloroplast genome is indeed transferred and integrated to the nucleus genome in the individual of the reference genome of P. trichocarpa at least once. This observation, along with presence of the large nuclear plastid DNA (NUPTs and NUPTs-containing multiple chloroplast genes in their original order in the chloroplast genome, favors the DNA-mediated hypothesis of organelle to nucleus DNA transfer. Overall, the phylogenomic analysis using chloroplast complete genomes clearly elucidates the phylogeny of Salicaceae. The identification of positively selected chloroplast genes and dynamic chloroplast-to-nucleus gene transfers in

  8. Prevalence and diversity of human pathogenic rickettsiae in urban versus rural habitats, Hungary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szekeres, Sándor; Docters van Leeuwen, Arieke; Rigó, Krisztina; Jablonszky, Mónika; Majoros, Gábor; Sprong, Hein; Földvári, Gábor

    2016-02-01

    Tick-borne rickettsioses belong to the important emerging infectious diseases worldwide. We investigated the potential human exposure to rickettsiae by determining their presence in questing ticks collected in an urban park of Budapest and a popular hunting and recreational forest area in southern Hungary. Differences were found in the infectious risk between the two habitats. Rickettsia monacensis and Rickettsia helvetica were identified with sequencing in questing Ixodes ricinus, the only ticks species collected in the city park. Female I. ricinus had a particularly high prevalence of R. helvetica (45%). Tick community was more diverse in the rural habitat with Dermacentor reticulatus ticks having especially high percentage (58%) of Rickettsia raoultii infection. We conclude that despite the distinct eco-epidemiological traits, the risk (hazard and exposure) of acquiring human pathogenic rickettsial infections in both the urban and the rural study sites exists.

  9. DNA Microarray Analysis of Human Monocytes Early Response Genes upon Infection with Rickettsia rickettsii

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Chao, Chien-Chung

    2004-01-01

    Rickettsia are arthropod-borne bacteria which have caused diseases that have had a military impact by sweeping through troops and incapacitating them, such as the so called Trench Fevers of World War I and II...

  10. Investigation of Rickettsia, Coxiella burnetii and Bartonella in ticks from animals in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halajian, Ali; Palomar, Ana M; Portillo, Aránzazu; Heyne, Heloise; Luus-Powell, Wilmien J; Oteo, José A

    2016-03-01

    Ticks are involved in the epidemiology of several human pathogens including spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia spp., Coxiella burnetii and Bartonella spp. Human diseases caused by these microorganisms have been reported from South Africa. The presence of SFG Rickettsia spp., C. burnetii and Bartonella spp. was investigated in 205 ticks collected from domestic and wild animals from Western Cape and Limpopo provinces (South Africa). Rickettsia massiliae was detected in 10 Amblyomma sylvaticum and 1 Rhipicephalus simus whereas Rickettsia africae was amplified in 7 Amblyomma hebraeum. Neither C. burnetii nor Bartonella spp. was found in the examined ticks. This study demonstrates the presence of the tick borne pathogen R. massiliae in South Africa (Western Cape and Limpopo provinces), and corroborates the presence of the African tick-bite fever agent (R. africae) in this country (Limpopo province). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  11. Phospholipase A and the interaction of Rickettsia prowazekii and mouse fibroblasts (L-929 cells)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winkler, H.H.; Miller, E.T.

    1982-01-01

    L-929 cells were killed when approximately 50 viable Rickettsia prowazekii organisms per L-cell were centrifuged onto a monolayer. The glycerophospholipids of the L-cell were hydrolyzed to lysophosphatides and free fatty acids. Concomitantly, there was a loss of membrane integrity as shown by release of lactate dehydrogenase and 86Rb and permeability to trypan blue dye. No glycerophospholipid hydrolysis or cytotoxicity occurred when the rickettsiae were inactivated by heat, UV irradiation, N-ethylmaleimide, or metabolic inhibitors before their addition to the L-929 cells. On the other hand, treatment of the L929 cells with the cytoskeleton agents colchicine or cytochalasin B or with N-ethylmaleimide inhibited neither the phospholipase A activity nor the loss of membrane integrity. Cytochalasin B-treated cells could be damaged by even small numbers of rickettsiae. We suggest that this phospholipase A activity is used by the rickettsiae to escape from the phagosomes into the cytoplasm of host cells

  12. Orientia, rickettsia, and leptospira pathogens as causes of CNS infections in Laos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dittrich, Sabine; Rattanavong, Sayaphet; Lee, Sue J

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Scrub typhus (caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi), murine typhus (caused by Rickettsia typhi), and leptospirosis are common causes of febrile illness in Asia; meningitis and meningoencephalitis are severe complications. However, scarce data exist for the burden of these pathogens......, Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae, S suis) and O tsutsugamushi, Rickettsia typhi/Rickettsia spp, and Leptospira spp infections in blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). We analysed and compared causes and clinical and CSF characteristics between patient groups. FINDINGS: 1051 (95%) of 1112...... patients who presented had CSF available for analysis, of whom 254 (24%) had a CNS infection attributable to a bacterial or fungal pathogen. 90 (35%) of these 254 infections were caused by O tsutsugamushi, R typhi/Rickettsia spp, or Leptospira spp. These pathogens were significantly more frequent than...

  13. Characterization of Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiae in Flea and Tick Specimens From Northern Peru

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Blair, Patrick J; Jiang, Ju; Schoeler, George B; Moron, Cecilia; Anaya, Elizabeth; Cespedes, Manuel; Cruz, Christopher; Felices, Vidal; Guevara, Carolina; Mendoza, Leonardo; Villaseca, Pablo; Sumner, John W; Richards, Allen L; Olson, James G

    2004-01-01

    ... the focus of an outbreak of febrile disease in humans attributed, in part, to SFG rickettsia infections. Molecular identification of the etiologic agents from these samples was determined after partial sequencing of the 17-kDa common antigen gene...

  14. A prospective study evaluating the presence of Rickettsia in Danish patients with sarcoidosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svendsen, Claus Bo; Milman, Nils; Nielsen, Henrik Winther

    2009-01-01

    Rickettsia helvetica has previously been proposed as an aetiological agent in sarcoidosis. The purpose of the present study was to detect possible signs of Rickettsia infection in a Danish population of patients with sarcoidosis. Twenty-six patients with newly diagnosed sarcoidosis were...... interview. Evidence of rickettsial infection was assessed by an immunofluorescence assay testing for antibodies towards Rickettsia as well as specific real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on lung biopsy specimens. We performed fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) on the biopsies to detect....... There was no difference in the reported frequency of tick bite between patients and controls. In conclusion, we found no evidence of Rickettsia being involved in the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis in Denmark....

  15. A novel fluorescent in situ hybridization technique for detection of Rickettsia spp. in archival samples

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svendsen, Claus Bo; Boye, Mette; Struve, Carsten

    2009-01-01

    A novel, sensitive and specific method for detecting Rickettsia spp. in archival samples is described. The method involves the use of fluorescently marked oligonucleotide probes for in situ hybridization. Specific hybridization of Ricekttsia was found without problems of cross-reactions with bact......A novel, sensitive and specific method for detecting Rickettsia spp. in archival samples is described. The method involves the use of fluorescently marked oligonucleotide probes for in situ hybridization. Specific hybridization of Ricekttsia was found without problems of cross...

  16. Rickettsia Detected in the Reptile Tick Bothriocroton hydrosauri from the Lizard Tiliqua rugosa in South Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harriet Whiley

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Rickettsiosis is a potentially fatal tick borne disease. It is caused by the obligate intracellular bacteria Rickettsia, which is transferred to humans through salivary excretions of ticks during the biting process. Globally, the incidence of tick-borne diseases is increasing; as such, there is a need for a greater understanding of tick–host interactions to create more informed risk management strategies. Flinders Island spotted fever rickettsioses has been identified throughout Australia (Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and Torres Strait Islands with possible identifications in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Italy. Flinders Island spotted fever is thought to be spread through tick bites and the reptile tick Bothriocroton hydrosauri has been implicated as a vector in this transmission. This study used qPCR to assay Bothriocroton hydrosauri ticks collected from Tiliqua rugosa (sleepy lizard hosts on mainland South Australia near where spotted fever cases have been identified. We report that, although we discovered Rickettsia in all tick samples, it was not Rickettsia honei. This study is the first to use PCR to positively identify Rickettsia from South Australian Bothriocroton hydrosauri ticks collected from Tiliqua rugosa (sleepy lizard hosts. These findings suggest that B. hydrosauri may be a vector of multiple Rickettsia spp. Also as all 41 tested B. hydrosauri ticks were positive for Rickettsia this indicates an extremely high prevalence within the studied area in South Australia.

  17. Lysis of cells infected with typhus group rickettsiae by a human cytotoxic T cell clone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carl, M.; Robbins, F.; Hartzman, R.J.; Dasch, G.A.

    1987-01-01

    Cytolytic human T cells clones generated in response to the intracellular bacterium Rickettsia typhi were characterized. Growing clones were tested for their ability to proliferate specifically in response to antigens derived from typhus group rickettsiae or to lyse targets infected with R. typhi or Rickettsia prowazekii, as measured by 51 Cr-release from target cells. Two clones were able to lyse targets infected with typhus group rickettsiae. One of these clones was more fully characterized because of its rapid growth characteristics. This cytolytic clone was capable of lysing an autologous infected target as well as a target matched for class I and II histocompatibility leukocyte antigens (HLA). It was not capable, however, of lysing either a target mismatched for both class I and II HLA or a target partially matched for class I HLA. In addition, the clone exhibited specificity in that it was able to lyse an autologous target infected with typhus group rickettsiae, but did not lyse an autologous target infected with an antigenically distinct rickettsial species, Rickettsia tsutsugamushi. These results demonstrate, for the first time, that cells infected with intracellular bacteria can be lysed by human cytotoxic T lymphocytes

  18. Detection and identification of Rickettsia species in Ixodes tick populations from Estonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katargina, Olga; Geller, Julia; Ivanova, Anna; Värv, Kairi; Tefanova, Valentina; Vene, Sirkka; Lundkvist, Åke; Golovljova, Irina

    2015-09-01

    A total of 1640 ticks collected in different geographical parts of Estonia were screened for the presence of Rickettsia species DNA by real-time PCR. DNA of Rickettsia was detected in 83 out of 1640 questing ticks with an overall prevalence of 5.1%. The majority of the ticks infected by rickettsiae were Ixodes ricinus (74 of 83), while 9 of the 83 positive ticks were Ixodes persulcatus. For rickettsial species identification, a part of the citrate synthase gltA gene was sequenced. The majority of the positive samples were identified as Rickettsia helvetica (81 out of 83) and two of the samples were identified as Rickettsia monacensis and Candidatus R. tarasevichiae, respectively. Genetic characterization based on the partial gltA gene showed that the Estonian sequences within the R. helvetica, R. monacensis and Candidatus R. tarasevichiae species demonstrated 100% similarity with sequences deposited in GenBank, originating from Rickettsia species distributed over large territories from Europe to Asia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  19. The Detection of Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia DNA in Tick Samples From Pastoral Communities in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koka, Hellen; Sang, Rosemary; Kutima, Helen Lydia; Musila, Lillian

    2017-05-01

    In this study, ticks from pastoral communities in Kenya were tested for Rickettsia spp. infections in geographical regions where the presence of tick-borne arboviruses had previously been reported. Rickettsial and arbovirus infections have similar clinical features which makes differential diagnosis challenging when both diseases occur. The tick samples were tested for Rickettsia spp. by conventional PCR using three primer sets targeting the gltA, ompA, and ompB genes followed by amplicon sequencing. Of the tick pools screened, 25% (95/380) were positive for Rickettsia spp. DNA using the gltA primer set. Of the tick-positive pools, 60% were ticks collected from camels. Rickettsia aeschlimannii and R. africae were the main Rickettsia spp. detected in the tick pools sequenced. The findings of this study indicate that multiple Rickettsia species are circulating in ticks from pastoral communities in Kenya and could contribute to the etiology of febrile illness in these areas. Diagnosis and treatment of rickettsial infections should be a public health priority in these regions. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. First detection of Rickettsia conorii ssp. caspia in Rhipicephalus sanguineus in Zambia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chitimia-Dobler, Lidia; Dobler, Gerhard; Schaper, Sabine; Küpper, Thomas; Kattner, Simone; Wölfel, Silke

    2017-11-01

    Ticks are important vectors for Rickettsia spp. of the spotted fever group all around the world. Rickettsia conorii is the etiological agent of boutonneuse fever in the Mediterranean region and Africa. Tick identification was based on morphological features and further characterized using the 16S rRNA gene. The ticks were individually tested using pan-Rickettsia real-time-PCR for screening, and 23S-5S intergenic spacer region, 16S rDNA, gltA, sca4, ompB, and ompA genes were used to analyze the Rickettsia positive samples. Rickettsia conorii ssp. caspia was detected in tick collected in Zambia for the first time, thus demonstrating the possibility of the occurrence of human disease, namely Astrakhan fever, due to this Rickettsia ssp. in this region of Africa. The prevalence of R. conorii ssp. caspia was 0.06% (one positive tick out of 1465 tested ticks) and 0.07% (one positive tick out of 1254 tested Rh. sanguineus).

  1. THE DISTRIBUTION OF RICKETTSIA IN THE TISSUES OF INSECTS AND ARACHNIDS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowdry, E V

    1923-03-31

    In the absence of a satisfactory definition of Rickettsia the observations herein recorded were arbitrarily limited to bacterium-like organisms which are intracellular and Gram-negative. Rickettsia of this type were found in the following species: Amblyomma americana, Amblyomma hebraeum, Boophilus decoloratus, Atomus sp., Casinaria infesta, Chrysopa oculata, Ctenocephalus canis, Dermacentor variabilis, Lepisma saccharina, Lucoppia curviseta, Margaropus annulatus, Margaropus annulatus australis, Ornithodoros turicata, Pulex irritans, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Rhipicephalus evertsi, and Salticus scenicus. Since intracellular, Gram-negative Rickettsia have been recorded in the literature as existing in Cimex lectularius, Dermacentor venustus, Melophagus ovinus, and Pediculus humanus, the occasional occurrence of such bodies must be conceded in the following groups not closely related phylogenetically: Attidae, Trombidiidae, Argasidae, lxodidae, Cinura, Acanthiidae, Pediculidae, Hippoboscidae, Chrysopidae, Pulicidae, and Ichneumonidae. The species which harbor Rickettsia differ widely in diet and habitat. One such species is insectivorous throughout life, two are insectivorous in larval stages, becoming vegetarian in the adult condition, one is chiefly vegetarian but partakes of some animal products, and two are usually entirely vegetarian; while the remainder subsist wholly upon a diet of mammalian blood. Rickettsia are associated, in only a few cases, with diseases in mammals. The evidence at hand does not lead beyond the conclusion that the Rickettsia mentioned above are true Gram-negative microorganisms, easily distinguishable from mitochondria and all other cytoplasmic and nuclear granulations, rather completely adapted to an intracellular existence, exhibiting in some cases a remarkable degree of host specificity, and often inherited through the eggs.

  2. Conserved XPB Core Structure and Motifs for DNA Unwinding:Implications for Pathway Selection of Transcription or ExcisionRepair

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fan, Li; Arval, Andrew S.; Cooper, Priscilla K.; Iwai, Shigenori; Hanaoka, Fumio; Tainer, John A.

    2005-04-01

    The human xeroderma pigmentosum group B (XPB) helicase is essential for transcription, nucleotide excision repair, and TFIIH functional assembly. Here, we determined crystal structures of an Archaeoglobus fulgidus XPB homolog (AfXPB) that characterize two RecA-like XPB helicase domains and discover a DNA damage recognition domain (DRD), a unique RED motif, a flexible thumb motif (ThM), and implied conformational changes within a conserved functional core. RED motif mutations dramatically reduce helicase activity, and the DRD and ThM, which flank the RED motif, appear structurally as well as functionally analogous to the MutS mismatch recognition and DNA polymerase thumb domains. Substrate specificity is altered by DNA damage, such that AfXPB unwinds dsDNA with 3' extensions, but not blunt-ended dsDNA, unless it contains a lesion, as shown for CPD or (6-4) photoproducts. Together, these results provide an unexpected mechanism of DNA unwinding with Implications for XPB damage verification in nucleotide excision repair.

  3. Phylogenomic reconstruction of lactic acid bacteria: an update

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Li

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lactic acid bacteria (LAB are important in the food industry for the production of fermented food products and in human health as commensals in the gut. However, the phylogenetic relationships among LAB species remain under intensive debate owing to disagreements among different data sets. Results We performed a phylogenetic analysis of LAB species based on 232 genes from 28 LAB genome sequences. Regardless of the tree-building methods used, combined analyses yielded an identical, well-resolved tree topology with strong supports for all nodes. The LAB species examined were divided into two groups. Group 1 included families Enterococcaceae and Streptococcaceae. Group 2 included families Lactobacillaceae and Leuconostocaceae. Within Group 2, the LAB species were divided into two clades. One clade comprised of the acidophilus complex of genus Lactobacillus and two other species, Lb. sakei and Lb. casei. In the acidophilus complex, Lb. delbrueckii separated first, while Lb. acidophilus/Lb. helveticus and Lb. gasseri/Lb. johnsonii were clustered into a sister group. The other clade within Group 2 consisted of the salivarius subgroup, including five species, Lb. salivarius, Lb. plantarum, Lb. brevis, Lb. reuteri, Lb. fermentum, and the genera Pediococcus, Oenococcus, and Leuconostoc. In this clade, Lb. salivarius was positioned most basally, followed by two clusters, one corresponding to Lb. plantarum/Lb. brevis pair and Pediococcus, and the other including Oenococcus/Leuconostoc pair and Lb. reuteri/Lb. fermentum pair. In addition, phylogenetic utility of the 232 genes was analyzed to identify those that may be more useful than others. The genes identified as useful were related to translation and ribosomal structure and biogenesis (TRSB, and a three-gene set comprising genes encoding ultra-violet resistance protein B (uvrB, DNA polymerase III (polC and penicillin binding protein 2B (pbpB. Conclusions Our phylogenomic analyses

  4. Duplex unwinding and ATPase activities of the DEAD-box helicase eIF4A are coupled by eIF4G and eIF4B

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özeş, Ali R.; Feoktistova, Kateryna; Avanzino, Brian C.; Fraser, Christopher S.

    2011-01-01

    Eukaryotic initiation factor 4A (eIF4A) is a DEAD-box helicase that stimulates translation initiation by unwinding mRNA secondary structure. The accessory proteins, eIF4G, eIF4B, and eIF4H enhance the duplex unwinding activity of eIF4A, but the extent to which they modulate eIF4A activity is poorly understood. Here, we use real time fluorescence assays to determine the kinetic parameters of duplex unwinding and ATP hydrolysis by these initiation factors. To ensure efficient duplex unwinding, eIF4B and eIF4G cooperatively activate the duplex unwinding activity of eIF4A. Our data reveal that eIF4H is much less efficient at stimulating eIF4A unwinding activity than eIF4B, implying that eIF4H is not able to completely substitute for eIF4B in duplex unwinding. By monitoring unwinding and ATPase assays using identical conditions, we demonstrate that eIF4B couples the ATP hydrolysis cycle of eIF4A with strand separation, thereby minimizing non-productive unwinding events. Using duplex substrates with altered GC contents, but with similar predicted thermal stabilities, we further show that the rate of formation of productive unwinding complexes is strongly influenced by the local stability per base pair in addition to the stability of the entire duplex. This finding explains how a change in the GC content of a hairpin while maintaining overall predicted thermal stability is able to influence translation initiation. PMID:21840318

  5. Rickettsia spp. among wild mammals and their respective ectoparasites in Pantanal wetland, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Sousa, Keyla Carstens Marques; Herrera, Heitor Miraglia; Rocha, Fabiana Lopes; Costa, Francisco Borges; Martins, Thiago Fernandes; Labruna, Marcelo Bahia; Machado, Rosangela Zacarias; André, Marcos Rogério

    2018-01-01

    The genus Rickettsia comprises obligatory intracellular bacteria, well known to cause zoonotic diseases around the world. The present work aimed to investigate the occurrence of Rickettsia spp. in wild animals, domestic dogs and their respective ectoparasites in southern Pantanal region, central-western Brazil, by molecular and serological techniques. Between August 2013 and March 2015, serum, whole blood and/or spleen samples were collected from 31 coatis, 78 crab-eating foxes, seven ocelots, 42 dogs, 110 wild rodents, and 30 marsupials. Serum samples from canids, felids, rodents and marsupials were individually tested by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) in order to detect IgG antibodies to Rickettsia rickettsii, Rickettsia parkeri and Rickettsia amblyommatis. DNA samples from mammals and ectoparasites were submitted to a multiplex qPCR assay in order to detect and quantify spotted fever group (SFG) and typhus group (TG) rickettsiae and Orientia tsutsugamushi. Positive samples in qPCR assays were submitted to conventional PCR assays targeting gltA, ompA, ompB and htrA genes, followed by sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. The ticks collected (1582) from animals belonged to the species Amblyomma sculptum, Amblyomma parvum, Amblyomma ovale, Amblyomma tigrinum, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato and Amblyomma auricularium. Overall, 27 (64.2%) dogs, 59 (75.6%) crab-eating foxes and six (85.7%) ocelots were seroreactive (titer≥64) to at least one Rickettsia species. For 17 (40.4%) dogs, 33 (42.3%) crab-eating foxes, and two (33.3%) ocelots, homologous reactions to R. amblyommatis or a closely related organism were suggested. One hundred and sixteen (23.5%) tick samples and one (1.2%) crab-eating fox blood sample showed positivity in qPCR assays for SFG Rickettsia spp. Among SFG Rickettsia-positive ticks samples, 93 (80.2%) belonged to A. parvum, 14 (12%) belonged to A. sculptum species, three (2.5%) belonged to A

  6. New Rickettsia species in soft ticks Ornithodoros hasei collected from bats in French Guiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahir, Djamel; Socolovschi, Cristina; Marié, Jean-Lou; Ganay, Gautier; Berenger, Jean-Michel; Bompar, Jean-Michel; Blanchet, Denis; Cheuret, Marie; Mediannikov, Oleg; Raoult, Didier; Davoust, Bernard; Parola, Philippe

    2016-10-01

    In French Guiana, located on the northeastern coast of South America, bats of different species are very numerous. The infection of bats and their ticks with zoonotic bacteria, especially Rickettsia species, is so far unknown. In order to improve knowledge of these zoonotic pathogens in this French overseas department, the presence and diversity of tick-borne bacteria was investigated with molecular tools in bat ticks. In the beginning of 2013, 32 bats were caught in Saint-Jean-du-Maroni, an area close to the coast of French Guiana, and the ticks of these animals were collected. A total of 354 larvae of Argasidae soft ticks (Ornithodoros hasei) from 12 bats (Noctilio albiventris) were collected and 107 of them were analysed. DNA was extracted from the samples and quantitative real-time PCR was carried out to detect Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp., Borrelia spp. and Coxiella burnetii. All tested samples were negative for Bartonella spp., Borrelia spp. and Coxiella burnetii. Rickettsia DNA was detected in 31 (28.9%) ticks. An almost entire (1118 base pairs long) sequence of the gltA gene was obtained after the amplification of some positive samples on conventional PCR and sequencing. A Bayesian tree was constructed using concatenated rrs, gltA, ompA, ompB, and gene D sequences. The study of characteristic sequences shows that this Rickettsia species is very close (98.3-99.8%) genetically to R. peacockii. Nevertheless, the comparative analysis of sequences obtained from gltA, ompA, ompB, rrs and gene D fragments demonstrated that this Rickettsia is different from the other members of the spotted fever group. The sequences of this new species were deposited in GenBank as Candidatus Rickettsia wissemanii. This is the first report showing the presence of nucleic acid of Rickettsia in Ornithodoros hasei ticks from South American bats. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  7. Multispacer typing of Rickettsia isolates from humans and ticks in Tunisia revealing new genotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Znazen, Abir; Khrouf, Fatma; Elleuch, Nihel; Lahiani, Dorra; Marrekchi, Chakib; M'Ghirbi, Youmna; Ben Jemaa, Mounir; Bouattour, Ali; Hammami, Adnene

    2013-12-31

    Rickettsioses are important remerging vector born infections. In Tunisia, many species have been described in humans and vectors. Genotyping is important for tracking pathogen movement between hosts and vectors. In this study, we characterized Rickettsia species detected in patients and vectors using multispacer typing (MST), proposed by Founier et al. and based on three intergenic spacers (dksA-xerC, rmpE- tRNA(fMet), mppA-pruC) sequencing. Our study included 25 patients hospitalized during 2009. Ticks and fleas were collected in the vicinity of confirmed cases. Serology was performed on serum samples by microimmunofluorescence using Rickettsia conorii and Rickettsia typhi antigens. To detect and identify Rickettsia species, PCR targeting ompA, ompB and gltA genes followed by sequencing was performed on 18 obtained skin biopsies and on all collected vectors. Rickettsia positive samples were further characterized using primers targeting three intergenic spacers (dksA-xerC, rmpE- tRNA(fMet) and mppA-purC). A rickettsial infection was confirmed in 15 cases (60%). Serology was positive in 13 cases (52%). PCR detected Rickettsia DNA in four biopsies (16%) allowing the identification of R. conorii subsp israelensis in three cases and R. conorii subsp conorii in one case. Among 380 collected ticks, nine presented positive PCR (2.4%) allowing the identification of six R. conorii subsp israelensis, two R. massiliae and one R. conorii subsp conorii. Among 322 collected fleas, only one was positive for R. felis. R. conorii subsp israelensis strains detected in humans and vectors clustered together and showed a new MST genotype. Similarly, R. conorii subsp conorii strains detected in a skin biopsy and a tick were genetically related and presented a new MST genotype. New Rickettsia spotted fever strain genotypes were found in Tunisia. Isolates detected in humans and vectors were genetically homogenous despite location differences in their original isolation suggesting

  8. Rickettsia amblyommatis sp. nov., a spotted fever group Rickettsia associated with multiple species of Amblyomma ticks in North, Central and South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpathy, Sandor E; Slater, Kimetha S; Goldsmith, Cynthia S; Nicholson, William L; Paddock, Christopher D

    2016-12-01

    In 1973, investigators isolated a rickettsial organism, designated strain WB-8-2T, from an adult Amblyomma americanum tick collected at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, TN, USA. This organism is now recognized as highly prevalent in A. americanum, as well as several other Amblyomma species found throughout the Western hemisphere. It has been suggested that cross-reactivity to WB-8-2T and similar strains contributes to the increasing number of spotted fever cases reported in the USA. In 1995, investigators provided preliminary evidence that this strain, as well as another strain from Missouri, represented a distinct taxonomic unit within the genus Rickettsia by evaluating sequences of the 16S rRNA and 17 kDa protein genes. However, the bacterium was never formally named, despite the use of the designation 'Rickettsia amblyommii' and later 'Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii', for more than 20 years in the scientific literature. Herein, we provide additional molecular evidence to identify strain WB-8-2T as a representative strain of a unique rickettsial species and present a formal description for the species, with the proposed name modified to Rickettsia amblyommatis sp. nov. to conform to the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes. We also establish a pure culture of strain WB-8-2T and designate it as the type strain for the species. The type strain is WB-8-2T (=CRIRC RAM004T=CSURP2882T).

  9. Conserved helicase domain of human RecQ4 is required for strand annealing-independent DNA unwinding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rossi, Marie L; Ghosh, Avik K; Kulikowicz, Tomasz

    2010-01-01

    Humans have five members of the well conserved RecQ helicase family: RecQ1, Bloom syndrome protein (BLM), Werner syndrome protein (WRN), RecQ4, and RecQ5, which are all known for their roles in maintaining genome stability. BLM, WRN, and RecQ4 are associated with premature aging and cancer...... provide the first evidence that human RecQ4's unwinding is independent of strand annealing, and that it does not require the presence of excess ssDNA. Moreover, we demonstrate that a point mutation of the conserved lysine in the Walker A motif abolished helicase activity, implying that not the N...... activities and protein partners of RecQ4 are conserved with those of the other RecQ helicases....

  10. Mycobacterium tuberculosis DinG is a structure-specific helicase that unwinds G4 DNA: implications for targeting G4 DNA as a novel therapeutic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Roshan Singh; Desingu, Ambika; Basavaraju, Shivakumar; Subramanya, Shreelakshmi; Rao, Desirazu N; Nagaraju, Ganesh

    2014-09-05

    The significance of G-quadruplexes and the helicases that resolve G4 structures in prokaryotes is poorly understood. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome is GC-rich and contains >10,000 sequences that have the potential to form G4 structures. In Escherichia coli, RecQ helicase unwinds G4 structures. However, RecQ is absent in M. tuberculosis, and the helicase that participates in G4 resolution in M. tuberculosis is obscure. Here, we show that M. tuberculosis DinG (MtDinG) exhibits high affinity for ssDNA and ssDNA translocation with a 5' → 3' polarity. Interestingly, MtDinG unwinds overhangs, flap structures, and forked duplexes but fails to unwind linear duplex DNA. Our data with DNase I footprinting provide mechanistic insights and suggest that MtDinG is a 5' → 3' polarity helicase. Notably, in contrast to E. coli DinG, MtDinG catalyzes unwinding of replication fork and Holliday junction structures. Strikingly, we find that MtDinG resolves intermolecular G4 structures. These data suggest that MtDinG is a multifunctional structure-specific helicase that unwinds model structures of DNA replication, repair, and recombination as well as G4 structures. We finally demonstrate that promoter sequences of M. tuberculosis PE_PGRS2, mce1R, and moeB1 genes contain G4 structures, implying that G4 structures may regulate gene expression in M. tuberculosis. We discuss these data and implicate targeting G4 structures and DinG helicase in M. tuberculosis could be a novel therapeutic strategy for culminating the infection with this pathogen. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  11. High prevalence of Rickettsia typhi and Bartonella species in rats and fleas, Kisangani, Democratic Republic of the Congo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laudisoit, A.; Falay, D.; Amundala, N.; de Bellock, J.G.; van Houtte, N.; Breno, M.; Verheven, E.; Wilschut, Liesbeth; Parola, P.; Raoult, D.; C., Socolovschi

    2014-01-01

    The prevalence and identity of Rickettsia and Bartonella in urban rat and flea populations were evaluated in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by molecular tools. An overall prevalence of 17% Bartonella species and 13% Rickettsia typhi, the agent of murine typhus, was found in the

  12. JST Thesaurus Headwords and Synonyms: Rickettsia [MeCab user dictionary for science technology term[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available MeCab user dictionary for science technology term Rickettsia 名詞 一般 * * * * リケッチア属 リケッチアゾク リケッチアゾク Thesaurus2015 200906036464977172 C LS07 UNKNOWN_1 Rickettsia

  13. The Facultative Symbiont Rickettsia Protects an Invasive Whitefly against Entomopathogenic Pseudomonas syringae Strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendry, Tory A; Hunter, Martha S; Baltrus, David A

    2014-12-01

    Facultative endosymbionts can benefit insect hosts in a variety of ways, including context-dependent roles, such as providing defense against pathogens. The role of some symbionts in defense may be overlooked, however, when pathogen infection is transient, sporadic, or asymptomatic. The facultative endosymbiont Rickettsia increases the fitness of the sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) in some populations through mechanisms that are not yet understood. In this study, we investigated the role of Rickettsia in mediating the interaction between the sweet potato whitefly and Pseudomonas syringae, a common environmental bacterium, some strains of which are pathogenic to aphids. Our results show that P. syringae multiplies within whiteflies, leading to host death, and that whiteflies infected with Rickettsia show a decreased rate of death due to P. syringae. Experiments using plants coated with P. syringae confirmed that whiteflies can acquire the bacteria at a low rate while feeding, leading to increased mortality, particularly when the whiteflies are not infected with Rickettsia. These results suggest that P. syringae may affect whitefly populations in nature and that Rickettsia can ameliorate this effect. This study highlights the possible importance of interactions among opportunistic environmental pathogens and endosymbionts of insects. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  14. Dynamics of Exposure to Rickettsia parkeri in Cattle in the Paraná River Delta, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monje, L D; Costa, F B; Colombo, V C; Labruna, M B; Antoniazzi, L R; Gamietea, I; Nava, S; Beldomenico, P M

    2016-05-01

    Several cases of human rickettsiosis caused by Rickettsia parkeri were recently documented in the Paraná River delta of Argentina, where the tick vector is Amblyomma triste Koch. As cattle suffer recurrent A. triste infestations, they are at risk of becoming infected with R. parkeri Herein we investigated the dynamics of R. parkeri and its A. triste vector in a herd of beef cattle. Cattle were followed for 18 mo and samples were analyzed for the presence of antibodies against four Rickettsia species (R. parkeri, Rickettsia bellii, Rickettsia amblyommii, and Rickettsia felis) and also for the presence of rickettsial DNA. Additionally, cattle were examined for attached ticks and questing adult ticks were collected. All ticks were analyzed for the presence of rickettsial DNA. No evidence of rickettsemia was found in any cow, but the high R. parkeri infection rate documented in A. triste both questing in the study area (13.9%) and feeding on cattle (19.8%) and the identification of antibodies against R. parkeri antigen in 90% of cattle are evidence that infection is taking place. Altogether, our data suggest that A. triste ticks are capable of naturally exposing cattle to R. parkeri However, the progress of R. parkeri infection and its impact on bovine health and production remain to be established. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Lysis of typhus-group rickettsia-infected targets by lymphokine activated killers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carl, M.; Dasch, G.A.

    1986-01-01

    The authors recently described a subset of OKT8, OKT3-positive lymphocytes from typhus-group rickettsia immune individuals which were capable of lysing autologous PHA-blasts or Epstein-Barr virus transformed B cells (LCL) infected with typhus-group rickettsiae. In order to determine if killing by these effectors was HLA-restricted, they stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from typhus-group rickettsia immune individuals in vitro with typhus-group rickettsia-derived antigen for one week and then measured lysis of autologous LCL or HLA-mismatched LCL in a 4-6 hour Cr 51 -release assay. There was significant lysis of both the autologous and the HLA-mismatched infected targets as compared to the corresponding uninfected targets. Since this suggested that the effectors were lymphokine activated killers (LAK) rather than cytotoxic T lymphocytes, they then tested this hypothesis by stimulating PBMC from both immune and non-immune individuals in vitro for one week with purified interleukin 2 and measuring lysis of infected, autologous LCL. PBMC thus treated, from both immune and non-immune individuals, were capable of significantly lysing autologous, infected LCL as compared to the non-infected control. They therefore conclude that targets infected with typhus-group rickettsiae are susceptible to lysis to LAK

  16. The PS1 hairpin of Mcm3 is essential for viability and for DNA unwinding in vitro.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon K W Lam

    Full Text Available The pre-sensor 1 (PS1 hairpin is found in ring-shaped helicases of the AAA+ family (ATPases associated with a variety of cellular activities of proteins and is implicated in DNA translocation during DNA unwinding of archaeal mini-chromosome maintenance (MCM and superfamily 3 viral replicative helicases. To determine whether the PS1 hairpin is required for the function of the eukaryotic replicative helicase, Mcm2-7 (also comprised of AAA+ proteins, we mutated the conserved lysine residue in the putative PS1 hairpin motif in each of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Mcm2-7 subunits to alanine. Interestingly, only the PS1 hairpin of Mcm3 was essential for viability. While mutation of the PS1 hairpin in the remaining MCM subunits resulted in minimal phenotypes, with the exception of Mcm7 which showed slow growth under all conditions examined, the viable alleles were synthetic lethal with each other. Reconstituted Mcm2-7 containing Mcm3 with the PS1 mutation (Mcm3(K499A had severely decreased helicase activity. The lack of helicase activity provides a probable explanation for the inviability of the mcm3(K499A strain. The ATPase activity of Mcm2-7(3K499A was similar to the wild type complex, but its interaction with single-stranded DNA in an electrophoretic mobility shift assay and its associations in cells were subtly altered. Together, these findings indicate that the PS1 hairpins in the Mcm2-7 subunits have important and distinct functions, most evident by the essential nature of the Mcm3 PS1 hairpin in DNA unwinding.

  17. Infection of Amblyomma ovale with Rickettsia species Atlantic rainforest in Serra do Mar, São Paulo State, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luz, Hermes Ribeiro; McIntosh, Douglas; Furusawa, Guilherme P; Flausino, Walter; Rozental, Tatiana; Lemos, Elba R S; Landulfo, Gabriel A; Faccini, João Luiz H

    2016-10-01

    Rickettsia rickettsii and Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest, that is considered to represent a genetic variant of Rickettsia parkeri, are confirmed as being capable of infecting humans in Brazil. This study reports the detection and characterization, by PCR and nucleotide sequencing, of Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rain forest in Amblyomma ovale parasitizing a human, in ticks infesting dogs and in free-living ticks collected from the environment where the human infestation was recorded. The data contribute to our knowledge of infection rates in A. ovale with Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest and identified an additional location in the state of São Paulo populated with ticks infected with this emerging pathogen. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  18. AIR: A batch-oriented web program package for construction of supermatrices ready for phylogenomic analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mevik Bjørn-Helge

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Large multigene sequence alignments have over recent years been increasingly employed for phylogenomic reconstruction of the eukaryote tree of life. Such supermatrices of sequence data are preferred over single gene alignments as they contain vastly more information about ancient sequence characteristics, and are thus more suitable for resolving deeply diverging relationships. However, as alignments are expanded, increasingly numbers of sites with misleading phylogenetic information are also added. Therefore, a major goal in phylogenomic analyses is to maximize the ratio of information to noise; this can be achieved by the reduction of fast evolving sites. Results Here we present a batch-oriented web-based program package, named AIR that allows 1 transformation of several single genes to one multigene alignment, 2 identification of evolutionary rates in multigene alignments and 3 removal of fast evolving sites. These three processes can be done with the programs AIR-Appender, AIR-Identifier, and AIR-Remover (AIR, which can be used independently or in a semi-automated pipeline. AIR produces user-friendly output files with filtered and non-filtered alignments where residues are colored according to their evolutionary rates. Other bioinformatics applications linked to the AIR package are available at the Bioportal http://www.bioportal.uio.no, University of Oslo; together these greatly improve the flexibility, efficiency and quality of phylogenomic analyses. Conclusion The AIR program package allows for efficient creation of multigene alignments and better assessment of evolutionary rates in sequence alignments. Removing fast evolving sites with the AIR programs has been employed in several recent phylogenomic analyses resulting in improved phylogenetic resolution and increased statistical support for branching patterns among the early diverging eukaryotes.

  19. A ocorrência de riquetsioses do grupo Rickettsia rickettsii Occurrence of rickettsiosis of the group Rickettsia rickettsii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalva A. Portari Mancini

    1983-12-01

    Full Text Available Foi realizada revisão da literatura com objetivo de atualizar as informações sobre a ocorrência de riquetsioses do grupo Rickettsia rickettsii. Verificou-se que nos EUA e Europa, a incidência da febre maculosa, vem aumentando desde 1970 até hoje. No Brasil, foi relatado um caso presuntivo, no estado da Bahia, em 1979. Com relação a prevenção, controle e tratamento dessa doença é salientada a importância de informações relacionadas com indivíduos expostos a picadas de carrapatos, notificação de novos casos, fatores ecológicos, técnicas laboratoriais mais específicas para a identificação do agente etiológico, e a antibioticoterapia mais eficiente. A vacinação é ainda referida como meio mais favorável na prevenção da doença, devendo ser administrada aos indivíduos de alto risco. No Brasil, faltam informações precisas sobre a ocorrência de R. rickettsii.A search of the literature to update the available information on the occurrence of rickettsiosis caused by the Rickettsia rickettsii group was made. It was verified that the incidence of spotted fever has had an increase in the U.S.A. and Europe since 1970. In Brazil, a presumptive case was reported in the State of Bahia, in 1979. Regarding the prevention, control and treatment of this disease, importance is given to data related to individuals exposed to tick bites, report of new cases, ecological factors, more specific laboratorial procedures for the identification of the etiological agent, and a more efficient antibiotic therapy. Vaccination is still regarded as the most adequate means for the prevention of the disease, and should be aimed at groups of individuals at high risk. In Brazil, there is a lack of more precise information on the occurrence of R. rickettsii.

  20. Molecular Detection and Identification of Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiae in Ticks Collected from the West Bank, Palestinian Territories.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suheir Ereqat

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Tick-borne rickettsioses are caused by obligate intracellular bacteria belonging to the spotted fever group (SFG rickettsiae. Although Spotted Fever is prevalent in the Middle East, no reports for the presence of tick-borne pathogens are available or any studies on the epidemiology of this disease in the West Bank. We aimed to identify the circulating hard tick vectors and genetically characterize SFG Rickettsia species in ixodid ticks from the West Bank-Palestinian territories.A total of 1,123 ixodid ticks belonging to eight species (Haemaphysalis parva, Haemaphysalis adleri, Rhipicephalus turanicus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Rhipicephalus bursa, Hyalomma dromedarii, Hyalomma aegyptium and Hyalomma impeltatum were collected from goats, sheep, camels, dogs, a wolf, a horse and a tortoise in different localities throughout the West Bank during the period of January-April, 2014. A total of 867 ticks were screened for the presence of rickettsiae by PCR targeting a partial sequence of the ompA gene followed by sequence analysis. Two additional genes, 17 kDa and 16SrRNA were also targeted for further characterization of the detected Rickettsia species. Rickettsial DNA was detected in 148 out of the 867 (17% tested ticks. The infection rates in Rh. turanicus, Rh. sanguineus, H. adleri, H. parva, H. dromedarii, and H. impeltatum ticks were 41.7, 11.6, 16.7, 16.2, 11.8 and 20%, respectively. None of the ticks, belonging to the species Rh. bursa and H. aegyptium, were infected. Four SFG rickettsiae were identified: Rickettsia massiliae, Rickettsia africae, Candidatus Rickettsia barbariae and Candidatus Rickettsia goldwasserii.The results of this study demonstrate the geographic distribution of SFG rickettsiae and clearly indicate the presence of at least four of them in collected ticks. Palestinian clinicians should be aware of emerging tick-borne diseases in the West Bank, particularly infections due to R. massiliae and R. africae.

  1. Genetic variability of Rickettsia spp. in Ixodes persulcatus ticks from continental and island areas of the Russian Far East.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igolkina, Y; Bondarenko, E; Rar, V; Epikhina, T; Vysochina, N; Pukhovskaya, N; Tikunov, A; Ivanov, L; Golovljova, I; Ivanov, М; Tikunova, N

    2016-10-01

    Rickettsia spp. are intracellular Gram-negative bacteria transmitted by arthropods. Two potentially pathogenic rickettsiae, Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae and Rickettsia helvetica, have been found in unfed adult Ixodes persulcatus ticks. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and genetic variability of Rickettsia spp. in I. persulcatus ticks collected from different locations in the Russian Far East. In total, 604 adult I. persulcatus ticks collected from four sites in the Khabarovsk Territory (continental area) and one site in Sakhalin Island were examined for the presence of Rickettsia spp. by real-time PCR. Nested PCR with species-specific primers and sequencing were used for genotyping of revealed rickettsiae. The overall prevalence of Rickettsia spp. in ticks collected in different sites varied from 67.9 to 90.7%. However, the proportion of different Rickettsia species observed in ticks from Sakhalin Island significantly differed from that in ticks from the Khabarovsk Territory. In Sakhalin Island, R. helvetica prevailed in examined ticks, while Candidatus R. tarasevichiae was predominant in the Khabarovsk Territory. For gltA and ompB gene fragments, the sequences obtained for Candidatus R. tarasevichiae from all studied sites were identical to each other and to the known sequences of this species. According to sequence analysis of gltA, оmpB and sca4 genes, R. helvetica isolates from Sakhalin Island and the Khabarovsk Territory were identical to each other, but they differed from R. helvetica from other regions and from those found in other tick species. For the first time, DNA of pathogenic Rickettsia heilongjiangensis was detected in I. persulcatus ticks in two sites from the Khabarovsk Territory. The gltA, ompA and оmpB gene sequences of R. heilongjiangensis were identical to or had solitary mismatches with the corresponding sequences of R. heilongjiangensis found in other tick species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights

  2. Thoracic radiographic findings in dogs infected with Rickettsia rickettsii

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drost, W.T.; Berry, C.R.; Breitschwerdt, E.B.; Davidson, M.G.

    1997-01-01

    Sixteen beagle dogs were injected intradermally with Rickettsia rickettsii. The dogs were divided into four groups (n = 4): 1) infected, non-treated control; 2) infected, treated with doxycycline; 3) infected, treated with doxycycline and an anti-inflammatory dose of corticosteroid; and 4) infected, treated with doxycycline and an immunosuppressive dose of corticosteroid. Thoracic radiographs were made and ocular fluorescein angiography was performed on days 6, 10, 17 post-inoculation. A mild interstitial lung opacity was noted in 4/16 dogs on day 6, 5/16 on day 10 and 3/16 on day 17 post-inoculation. Increased retinal vascular permeability was noted in 8/16 dogs on day 6, 3/16 on day 10 and 1/16 on day 17 post-inoculation. Correlation between the presence of radiographic and retinal lesions was not significant (p = 0.08). Eleven, naturally infected, dogs with thoracic radiographs and a final diagnosis of RMSF were also evaluated. Four of the 11 dogs had an unstructured interstitial pattern. Dogs with acute, experimentally-infected or naturally-occurring RMSF may have subtle pulmonary changes characterized by an unstructured interstitial pattern

  3. Seroprevalence of Rickettsia bellii and Rickettsia felis in dogs, São José dos Pinhais, State of Paraná, Brazil Soroprevalência de Rickettsia bellii e Rickettsia felis em cães, São José dos Pinhais, Paraná, Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda Silva Fortes

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Brazilian spotted fever (BSF is a vector-borne zoonosis caused by Rickettsia rickettsii bacteria. Dogs can be host sentinels for this bacterium. The aim of the study was to determine the presence of antibodies against Rickettsia spp. in dogs from the city of São José dos Pinhais, State of Paraná, Southern Brazil, where a human case of BSF was first reported in the state. Between February 2006 and July 2007, serum samples from 364 dogs were collected and tested at 1:64 dilutions by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA against R. rickettsii and R. parkeri. All sera that reacted at least to one of Rickettsia species were tested against the six main Rickettsia species identified in Brazil: R. rickettsii, R. parkeri, R. bellii, R. rhipicephali, R. amblyommii and R. felis. Sixteen samples (4.4% reacted to at least one Rickettsia species. Among positive animals, two dogs (15.5% showed suggestive titers for R. bellii exposure. One sample had a homologous reaction to R. felis, a confirmed human pathogen. Although Rickettsia spp. circulation in dogs in the area studied may be considered at low prevalence, suggesting low risk of human infection, the present data demonstrate for the first time the exposure of dogs to R. bellii and R. felis in Southern Brazil.A febre maculosa brasileira (FMB é uma zoonose veiculada por carrapatos e causada pela bactéria Rickettsia rickettsii, podendo os cães ser hospedeiros sentinelas para essa bactéria. O objetivo do estudo foi determinar a presença de anticorpos contra Rickettsia spp. em cães de São José dos Pinhais, estado do Paraná, Sul do Brasil. Entre fevereiro de 2006 e julho de 2007, amostras séricas de 364 cães foram coletadas e testadas na diluição de 1:64 por Reação de Imunofluorescência Indireta (RIFI contra R. rickettsii e R. parkeri. Todos os soros reagentes para pelo menos uma espécie de Rickettsia foram testados contra as seis principais espécies de Rickettsia identificadas no Brasil: R

  4. "Rickettsia amblyommii" induces cross protection against lethal Rocky Mountain spotted fever in a guinea pig model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanton, Lucas S; Mendell, Nicole L; Walker, David H; Bouyer, Donald H

    2014-08-01

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a severe illness caused by Rickettsia rickettsii for which there is no available vaccine. We hypothesize that exposure to the highly prevalent, relatively nonpathogenic "Rickettsia amblyommii" protects against R. rickettsii challenge. To test this hypothesis, guinea pigs were inoculated with "R. amblyommii." After inoculation, the animals showed no signs of illness. When later challenged with lethal doses of R. rickettsii, those previously exposed to "R. amblyommii" remained well, whereas unimmunized controls developed severe illness and died. We conclude that "R. amblyommii" induces an immune response that protects from illness and death in the guinea pig model of RMSF. These results provide a basis for exploring the use of low-virulence rickettsiae as a platform to develop live attenuated vaccine candidates to prevent severe rickettsioses.

  5. Investigations on Rickettsia in Ticks at the Sino-Russian and Sino-Mongolian Borders, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Lijuan; Chen, Qian; Yang, Yu; Wang, Jiancheng; Cao, Xiaomei; Zhang, Sheng; Li, Hong; Hou, Yong; Wang, Fuxiang; Xu, Baoliang

    2015-12-01

    To describe the prevalence of Rickettsia in ticks at the Sino-Russian and Sino-Mongolian borders, a total of 292 ticks were collected and tested by conventional PCR assays. The prevalence of Rickettsia was 53.4%, and phylogenetic analysis showed that they belonged to R. raoultii species after alignment for the ompA, ompB, and gltA genes, respectively. Coxiella burnetii DNA was detected for 14%, and no Ehrlichia, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Babesia species were found. Co-infection of two pathogens was 9.9%, and no co-infection with three or more pathogens was found. This study suggested Rickettsia was the most common pathogen in the ticks and co-infection was found. The findings might be helpful to provide advice on the prevention and control of tick-borne disease potential for tourists and residents.

  6. RickA expression is not sufficient to promote actin-based motility of Rickettsia raoultii.

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    Premanand Balraj

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Rickettsia raoultii is a novel Rickettsia species recently isolated from Dermacentor ticks and classified within the spotted fever group (SFG. The inability of R. raoultii to spread within L929 cells suggests that this bacterium is unable to polymerize host cell actin, a property exhibited by all SFG rickettsiae except R. peacocki. This result led us to investigate if RickA, the protein thought to generate actin nucleation, was expressed within this rickettsia species. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Amplification and sequencing of R. raoultii rickA showed that this gene encoded a putative 565 amino acid protein highly homologous to those found in other rickettsiae. Using immunofluorescence assays, we determined that the motility pattern (i.e. microcolonies or cell-to-cell spreading of R. raoultii was different depending on the host cell line in which the bacteria replicated. In contrast, under the same experimental conditions, R. conorii shares the same phenotype both in L929 and in Vero cells. Transmission electron microscopy analysis of infected cells showed that non-motile bacteria were free in the cytosol instead of enclosed in a vacuole. Moreover, western-blot analysis demonstrated that the defect of R. raoultii actin-based motility within L929 cells was not related to lower expression of RickA. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: These results, together with previously published data about R. typhi, strongly suggest that another factor, apart from RickA, may be involved with be responsible for actin-based motility in bacteria from the Rickettsia genus.

  7. Dynamics of actin-based movement by Rickettsia rickettsii in vero cells.

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    Heinzen, R A; Grieshaber, S S; Van Kirk, L S; Devin, C J

    1999-08-01

    Actin-based motility (ABM) is a virulence mechanism exploited by invasive bacterial pathogens in the genera Listeria, Shigella, and Rickettsia. Due to experimental constraints imposed by the lack of genetic tools and their obligate intracellular nature, little is known about rickettsial ABM relative to Listeria and Shigella ABM systems. In this study, we directly compared the dynamics and behavior of ABM of Rickettsia rickettsii and Listeria monocytogenes. A time-lapse video of moving intracellular bacteria was obtained by laser-scanning confocal microscopy of infected Vero cells synthesizing beta-actin coupled to green fluorescent protein (GFP). Analysis of time-lapse images demonstrated that R. rickettsii organisms move through the cell cytoplasm at an average rate of 4.8 +/- 0.6 micrometer/min (mean +/- standard deviation). This speed was 2.5 times slower than that of L. monocytogenes, which moved at an average rate of 12.0 +/- 3.1 micrometers/min. Although rickettsiae moved more slowly, the actin filaments comprising the actin comet tail were significantly more stable, with an average half-life approximately three times that of L. monocytogenes (100.6 +/- 19.2 s versus 33.0 +/- 7.6 s, respectively). The actin tail associated with intracytoplasmic rickettsiae remained stationary in the cytoplasm as the organism moved forward. In contrast, actin tails of rickettsiae trapped within the nucleus displayed dramatic movements. The observed phenotypic differences between the ABM of Listeria and Rickettsia may indicate fundamental differences in the mechanisms of actin recruitment and polymerization.

  8. Seroprevalence of spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae infection in domestic ruminants in Khartoum State, Sudan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisawi, Nagwa M; Hassan, Dina A; Hussien, Mohammed O; Musa, Azza B; El Hussein, Abdel Rahim M

    2017-05-01

    Spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiosis is caused by obligatory intracellular Gram-negative bacteria that belong to the genus Rickettsia . Ticks belonging to the family Ixodidae can act as vectors, reservoirs or amplifiers of SFG rickettsiae. This study was conducted to estimate the seroprevalence of SFG rickettsioses in cattle, sheep and goats from Khartoum State, Sudan. Blood samples were collected from a total of 600 animals (sheep, goats and cattle) from 32 different farms distributed in three locations in Khartoum State during the period January to December 2012. Sera were tested for antibodies against SFG rickettsiae using IFAT. The prevalence of seropositivity was 59.3% in sheep, 60.1% in goats and 64.4% in cattle. Season was significantly ( P <  0.05) associated with seroprevalence of SFG rickettsiae in cattle during winter. The SFG rickettsiae antibodies prevalence was significantly higher in female compared with male in sheep, but there were no significant differences between male and female in either cattle or goats. The prevalence was significantly higher in adult animals compared with young in both sheep and goats. With regard to management system, there was a significant difference in the prevalence in cattle raised in closed system compared with those raised in semi-intensive system. In contrast, there was significant difference in the seroprevalence of SFG in sheep where the prevalence was higher in the sheep raised in semi-intensive system compared with those raised in close system. There was no significant difference in the seroprevalence in goats with regard to management systems. The unexpected high prevalence of SFG rickettsia antibodies in domestic ruminants sera suggest that the veterinary and public health impact of these agents in Sudan need further evaluation especially in humans.

  9. Differences in Intracellular Fate of Two Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia in Macrophage-Like Cells.

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    Curto, Pedro; Simões, Isaura; Riley, Sean P; Martinez, Juan J

    2016-01-01

    Spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae are recognized as important agents of human tick-borne diseases worldwide, such as Mediterranean spotted fever (Rickettsia conorii) and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (Rickettsia rickettsii). Recent studies in several animal models have provided evidence of non-endothelial parasitism by pathogenic SFG Rickettsia species, suggesting that the interaction of rickettsiae with cells other than the endothelium may play an important role in pathogenesis of rickettsial diseases. These studies raise the hypothesis that the role of macrophages in rickettsial pathogenesis may have been underappreciated. Herein, we evaluated the ability of two SFG rickettsial species, R. conorii (a recognized human pathogen) and Rickettsia montanensis (a non-virulent member of SFG) to proliferate in THP-1 macrophage-like cells, or within non-phagocytic cell lines. Our results demonstrate that R. conorii was able to survive and proliferate in both phagocytic and epithelial cells in vitro. In contrast, R. montanensis was able to grow in non-phagocytic cells, but was drastically compromised in the ability to proliferate within both undifferentiated and PMA-differentiated THP-1 cells. Interestingly, association assays revealed that R. montanensis was defective in binding to THP-1-derived macrophages; however, the invasion of the bacteria that are able to adhere did not appear to be affected. We have also demonstrated that R. montanensis which entered into THP-1-derived macrophages were rapidly destroyed and partially co-localized with LAMP-2 and cathepsin D, two markers of lysosomal compartments. In contrast, R. conorii was present as intact bacteria and free in the cytoplasm in both cell types. These findings suggest that a phenotypic difference between a non-pathogenic and a pathogenic SFG member lies in their respective ability to proliferate in macrophage-like cells, and may provide an explanation as to why certain SFG rickettsial species are not associated

  10. Molecular Detection and Identification of Rickettsia Species in Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) Collected From Belize, Central America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polsomboon, Suppaluck; Hoel, David F; Murphy, Jittawadee R; Linton, Yvonne-Marie; Motoki, Maysa; Robbins, Richard G; Bautista, Kim; Bricen O, Ireneo; Achee, Nicole L; Grieco, John P; Ching, Wei-Mei; Chao, Chien-Chung

    2017-11-07

    Little is known about tick-borne rickettsial pathogens in Belize, Central America. We tested ixodid ticks for the presence of Rickettsia species in three of the six northern and western Belizean districts. Ticks were collected from domestic animals and tick drags over vegetation in 23 different villages in November 2014, February 2015, and May 2015. A total of 2,506 collected ticks were identified to the following species: Dermacentor nitens Neumann (46.69%), Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille) (19.55%), Rhipicephalus microplus (Canestrini) (19.47%), Amblyomma cajennense complex (9.74%), Amblyomma maculatum Koch (3.47%), Amblyomma ovale Koch (0.68%), Ixodes nr affinis (0.16%), Amblyomma nr maculatum (0.12%), and Amblyomma nr oblongoguttatum (0.12%). Ticks were pooled according to species, life stage (larva, nymph, or adult), and location (n = 509) for DNA extraction and screened for genus Rickettsia by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). All 42 positive pools were found to be positive for spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia in pools of A. cajennense complex (n = 33), A. maculatum (n = 4), A. nr maculatum (n = 1), A. ovale (n = 1), R. sanguineus (n = 1), and I. nr affinis (n = 2). Rickettsia amblyommatis was identified from A. cajennense complex and A. nr maculatum. Rickettsia parkeri was found in A. maculatum, and Rickettsia sp. endosymbiont was detected in I. nr affinis. The presence of infected ticks suggests a risk of tick-borne rickettsioses to humans and animals in Belize. This knowledge can contribute to an effective tick management and disease control program benefiting residents and travelers. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  11. Amblyomma maculatum Feeding Augments Rickettsia parkeri Infection in a Rhesus Macaque Model: A Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banajee, Kaikhushroo H.; Embers, Monica E.; Langohr, Ingeborg M.; Doyle, Lara A.; Hasenkampf, Nicole R.; Macaluso, Kevin R.

    2015-01-01

    Rickettsia parkeri is an emerging eschar-causing human pathogen in the spotted fever group of Rickettsia and is transmitted by the Gulf coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum. Tick saliva has been shown to alter both the cellular and humoral components of the innate and adaptive immune systems. However, the effect of this immunomodulation on Rickettsia transmission and pathology in an immunocompetent vertebrate host has not been fully examined. We hypothesize that, by modifying the host immune response, tick feeding enhances infection and pathology of pathogenic spotted fever group Rickettsia sp. In order to assess this interaction in vivo, a pilot study was conducted using five rhesus macaques that were divided into three groups. One group was intradermally inoculated with low passage R. parkeri (Portsmouth strain) alone (n = 2) and another group was inoculated during infestation by adult, R. parkeri-free A. maculatum (n = 2). The final macaque was infested with ticks alone (tick feeding control group). Blood, lymph node and skin biopsies were collected at several time points post-inoculation/infestation to assess pathology and quantify rickettsial DNA. As opposed to the tick-only animal, all Rickettsia-inoculated macaques developed inflammatory leukograms, elevated C-reactive protein concentrations, and elevated TH1 (interferon-γ, interleukin-15) and acute phase inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6) post-inoculation, with greater neutrophilia and interleukin-6 concentrations in the tick plus R. parkeri group. While eschars formed at all R. parkeri inoculation sites, larger and slower healing eschars were observed in the tick feeding plus R. parkeri group. Furthermore, dissemination of R. parkeri to draining lymph nodes early in infection and increased persistence at the inoculation site were observed in the tick plus R. parkeri group. This study indicates that rhesus macaques can be used to model R. parkeri rickettsiosis, and suggests that immunomodulatory factors

  12. The Rickettsia Endosymbiont of Ixodes pacificus Contains All the Genes of De Novo Folate Biosynthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodnar, James; Mortazavi, Bobak; Laurent, Timothy; Deason, Jeff; Thephavongsa, Khanhkeo; Zhong, Jianmin

    2015-01-01

    Ticks and other arthropods often are hosts to nutrient providing bacterial endosymbionts, which contribute to their host’s fitness by supplying nutrients such as vitamins and amino acids. It has been detected, in our lab, that Ixodes pacificus is host to Rickettsia species phylotype G021. This endosymbiont is predominantly present, and 100% maternally transmitted in I. pacificus. To study roles of phylotype G021 in I. pacificus, bioinformatic and molecular approaches were carried out. MUMmer genome alignments of whole genome sequence of I. scapularis, a close relative to I. pacificus, against completely sequenced genomes of R. bellii OSU85-389, R. conorii, and R. felis, identified 8,190 unique sequences that are homologous to Rickettsia sequences in the NCBI Trace Archive. MetaCyc metabolic reconstructions revealed that all folate gene orthologues (folA, folC, folE, folKP, ptpS) required for de novo folate biosynthesis are present in the genome of Rickettsia buchneri in I. scapularis. To examine the metabolic capability of phylotype G021 in I. pacificus, genes of the folate biosynthesis pathway of the bacterium were PCR amplified using degenerate primers. BLAST searches identified that nucleotide sequences of the folA, folC, folE, folKP, and ptpS genes possess 98.6%, 98.8%, 98.9%, 98.5% and 99.0% identity respectively to the corresponding genes of Rickettsia buchneri. Phylogenetic tree constructions show that the folate genes of phylotype G021 and homologous genes from various Rickettsia species are monophyletic. This study has shown that all folate genes exist in the genome of Rickettsia species phylotype G021 and that this bacterium has the genetic capability for de novo folate synthesis. PMID:26650541

  13. Molecular characterization of novel mosquito-borne Rickettsia spp. from mosquitoes collected at the Demilitarized Zone of the Republic of Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maina, Alice N; Klein, Terry A; Kim, Heung-Chul; Chong, Sung-Tae; Yang, Yu; Mullins, Kristin; Jiang, Ju; St John, Heidi; Jarman, Richard G; Hang, Jun; Richards, Allen L

    2017-01-01

    Rickettsiae are associated with a diverse range of invertebrate hosts. Of these, mosquitoes could emerge as one of the most important vectors because of their ability to transmit significant numbers of pathogens and parasites throughout the world. Recent studies have implicated Anopheles gambiae as a potential vector of Rickettsia felis. Herein we report that a metagenome sequencing study identified rickettsial sequence reads in culicine mosquitoes from the Republic of Korea. The detected rickettsiae were characterized by a genus-specific quantitative real-time PCR assay and sequencing of rrs, gltA, 17kDa, ompB, and sca4 genes. Three novel rickettsial genotypes were detected (Rickettsia sp. A12.2646, Rickettsia sp. A12.2638 and Rickettsia sp. A12.3271), from Mansonia uniformis, Culex pipiens, and Aedes esoensis, respectively. The results underscore the need to determine the Rickettsia species diversity associated with mosquitoes, their evolution, distribution and pathogenic potential.

  14. Survey for hantaviruses, tick-borne encephalitis virus, and Rickettsia spp. in small rodents in Croatia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svoboda, Petra; Dobler, Gerhard; Markotić, Alemka; Kurolt, Ivan-Christian; Speck, Stephanie; Habuš, Josipa; Vucelja, Marko; Krajinović, Lidija Cvetko; Tadin, Ante; Margaletić, Josip; Essbauer, Sandra

    2014-07-01

    In Croatia, several rodent- and vector-borne agents are endemic and of medical importance. In this study, we investigated hantaviruses and, for the first time, tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and Rickettsia spp. in small wild rodents from two different sites (mountainous and lowland region) in Croatia. In total, 194 transudate and tissue samples from 170 rodents (A. flavicollis, n=115; A. agrarius, n=2; Myodes glareolus, n=53) were tested for antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence assays (IIFT) and for nucleic acids by conventional (hantaviruses) and real-time RT-/PCRs (TBEV and Rickettsia spp.). A total of 25.5% (24/94) of the rodents from the mountainous area revealed specific antibodies against hantaviruses. In all, 21.3% (20/94) of the samples from the mountainous area and 29.0% (9/31) from the lowland area yielded positive results for either Puumala virus (PUUV) or Dobrava-Belgrade virus (DOBV) using a conventional RT-PCR. All processed samples (n=194) were negative for TBEV by IIFT or real-time RT-PCR. Serological evidence of rickettsial infection was detected in 4.3% (4/94) rodents from the mountainous region. Another 3.2% (3/94) rodents were positive for Rickettsia spp. by real-time PCR. None of the rodents (n=76) from the lowland area were positive for Rickettsia spp. by real-time PCR. Dual infection of PUUV and Rickettsia spp. was found in one M. glareolus from the mountainous area by RT-PCR and real-time PCR, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first detection of Rickettsia spp. in small rodents from Croatia. Phylogenetic analyses of S- and M-segment sequences obtained from the two study sites revealed well-supported subgroups in Croatian PUUV and DOBV. Although somewhat limited, our data showed occurrence and prevalence of PUUV, DOBV, and rickettsiae in Croatia. Further studies are warranted to confirm these data and to determine the Rickettsia species present in rodents in these areas.

  15. Molecular evidence of Rickettsia felis infection in dogs from northern territory, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rees Robert L

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The prevalence of spotted fever group rickettsial infection in dogs from a remote indigenous community in the Northern Territory (NT was determined using molecular tools. Blood samples collected from 130 dogs in the community of Maningrida were subjected to a spotted fever group (SFG-specific PCR targeting the ompB gene followed by a Rickettsia felis-specific PCR targeting the gltA gene of R. felis. Rickettsia felis ompB and gltA genes were amplified from the blood of 3 dogs. This study is the first report of R. felis infection in indigenous community dogs in NT.

  16. Detection of Rickettsia felis in Wild Mammals from Three Municipalities in Yucatan, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panti-May, Jesús Alonso; Torres-Castro, Marco; Hernández-Betancourt, Silvia; Dzul-Rosado, Karla; Zavala-Castro, Jorge; López-Avila, Karina; Tello-Martín, Raúl

    2015-09-01

    The aim of this study was to provide information of the occurrence of Rickettsia felis in wild mammals from three municipalities in Yucatan, Mexico. The reactivity of rodent serum to Rickettsia antigens was detected in 80.9% (17 of 21) samples using immunofluorescence assay. Polymerase chain reaction identified rickettsial DNA in spleens of 43.5% (10 of 23) rodents and 57.1% (4 of 7) opossums. The identification of the rickettsial DNA was confirmed as R. felis by restriction fragment length polymorphism and DNA sequencing. This study comprises the first report of R. felis detection in wild mammals in Yucatan.

  17. Francisella-Like Endosymbionts and Rickettsia Species in Local and Imported Hyalomma Ticks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azagi, Tal; Klement, Eyal; Perlman, Gidon; Lustig, Yaniv; Mumcuoglu, Kosta Y; Apanaskevich, Dmitry A; Gottlieb, Yuval

    2017-09-15

    Hyalomma ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) are hosts for Francisella -like endosymbionts (FLE) and may serve as vectors of zoonotic disease agents. This study aimed to provide an initial characterization of the interaction between Hyalomma and FLE and to determine the prevalence of pathogenic Rickettsia in these ticks. Hyalomma marginatum , Hyalomma rufipes , Hyalomma dromedarii , Hyalomma aegyptium , and Hyalomma excavatum ticks, identified morphologically and molecularly, were collected from different hosts and locations representing the distribution of the genus Hyalomma in Israel, as well as from migratory birds. A high prevalence of FLE was found in all Hyalomma species (90.6%), as well as efficient maternal transmission of FLE (91.8%), and the localization of FLE in Malpighian tubules, ovaries, and salivary glands in H. marginatum Furthermore, we demonstrated strong cophylogeny between FLE and their host species. Contrary to FLE, the prevalence of Rickettsia ranged from 2.4% to 81.3% and was significantly different between Hyalomma species, with a higher prevalence in ticks collected from migratory birds. Using ompA gene sequences, most of the Rickettsia spp. were similar to Rickettsia aeschlimannii , while a few were similar to Rickettsia africae of the spotted fever group (SFG). Given their zoonotic importance, 249 ticks were tested for Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever virus infection, and all were negative. The results imply that Hyalomma and FLE have obligatory symbiotic interactions, indicating a potential SFG Rickettsia zoonosis risk. A further understanding of the possible influence of FLE on Hyalomma development, as well as on its infection with Rickettsia pathogens, may lead to novel ways to control tick-borne zoonoses. IMPORTANCE This study shows that Francisella -like endosymbionts were ubiquitous in Hyalomma , were maternally transmitted, and cospeciated with their hosts. These findings imply that the interaction between FLE and Hyalomma is of an obligatory

  18. Association of Borrelia and Rickettsia spp. and bacterial loads in Ixodes ricinus ticks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raulf, Marie-Kristin; Jordan, Daniela; Fingerle, Volker; Strube, Christina

    2018-01-01

    In recent years, awareness of coinfections has increased as synergistic or antagonistic effects on interacting bacteria have been observed. To date, several reports on coinfections of ticks with Rickettsia and Borrelia spp. are available. However, associations are rarely described and studies are based on rather low sample sizes. In the present study, coinfections of Ixodes ricinus with these pathogens were investigated by determining their association in a meta-analysis. A total of 5079 tick samples examined for Rickettsia and Borrelia spp. via probe-based quantitative real-time PCR in previous prevalence studies or as submitted diagnostic material were included. In Borrelia-positive ticks, genospecies were determined by Reverse Line Blot. Determination of bacterial loads resulted in an increase between developmental tick stages with highest mean bacterial loads in female ticks (7.96×10 4 in Borrelia single-infected, 4.87×10 5 in Rickettsia single-infected and 3.22×10 5 in Borrelia-Rickettsia coinfected females). The determined Borrelia-Rickettsia tick coinfection rate was 12.3% (626/5079) with a significant difference to the expected coinfection rate of 9.0% (457/5079). A significant slight association as well as correlation between Borrelia and Rickettsia were determined. In addition, a significant interrelation of the bacterial load in coinfected ticks was shown. At the level of Borrelia genospecies, significant weak associations with Rickettsia spp. were detected for B. afzelii, B. garinii/bavariensis, B. valaisiana and B. lusitaniae. The positive association provides evidence for interactions between Borrelia and Rickettsia spp. in the tick vector, presumably resulting in higher bacterial replication rates in the tick vector and possibly the reservoir host. However, coinfection may impact the vector negatively as indicated by an absent increase in coinfection rates from nymphs to adults. Future studies are needed to investigate the underlying mechanisms of

  19. Identification and molecular characterization of spotted fever group rickettsiae in ticks collected from farm ruminants in Lebanon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández de Mera, Isabel G; Blanda, Valeria; Torina, Alessandra; Dabaja, Mayssaa Fawaz; El Romeh, Ali; Cabezas-Cruz, Alejandro; de la Fuente, José

    2018-01-01

    Tick-borne diseases have become a world health concern, emerging with increasing incidence in recent decades. Spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae are tick-borne pathogens recognized as important agents of human tick-borne diseases worldwide. In this study, 88 adult ticks from the species Hyalomma anatolicum, Rhipicephalus annulatus, Rh. bursa, Rh. sanguineus sensu lato, and Rh. turanicus, were collected from farm ruminants in Lebanon, and SFG rickettsiae were molecularly identified and characterized in these ticks. The screening showed a prevalence of 68% for Rickettsia spp., including the species R. aeschlimannii, R. africae, R. massiliae and Candidatus R. barbariae, the latter considered an emerging member of the SFG rickettsiae. These findings contribute to a better knowledge of the distribution of these pathogens and demonstrate that SFG rickettsiae with public health relevance are found in ticks collected in Lebanon, where the widespread distribution of tick vectors and possible livestock animal hosts in contact with humans may favor transmission to humans. Few reports exist for some of the tick species identified here as being infected with SFG Rickettsia. Some of these tick species are proven vectors of the hosted rickettsiae, although this information is unknown for other of these species. Therefore, these results suggested further investigation on the vector competence of the tick species with unknown role in transmission of some of the pathogens identified in this study. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  20. Bacteria of the genera Ehrlichia and Rickettsia in ticks of the family Ixodidae with medical importance in Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebastian, Patrick S; Tarragona, Evelina L; Bottero, María N Saracho; Mangold, Atilio J; Mackenstedt, Ute; Nava, Santiago

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to get an overview about the occurrence of bacteria from the genus Ehrlichia and Rickettsia in ixodid ticks with medical importance in Argentina. Therefore, in 2013 and 2014, free-living ticks were collected in different provinces of northern Argentina. These ticks were determined as Amblyomma sculptum, Amblyomma neumanni, Amblyomma parvum, Amblyomma triste, Amblyomma ovale, Amblyomma tonelliae and Haemaphysalis juxtakochi. All samples were tested to determine the infection with Ehrlichia spp. and Rickettsia spp. by PCR assays. Rickettsial DNA was detected in all tested tick species, with the exception of A. tonelliae. 'Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii', 'Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae', and Rickettsia parkeri were found in A. neumanni, A. parvum, and A. triste, respectively. Another rickettsial species, Rickettsia bellii, was found in A. sculptum, A. ovale and H. juxtakochi. None of the tested ticks showed infection with Ehrlichia. The results of the study demonstrate that Rickettsia species belonging to the spotted fever group are associated with various species of Amblyomma throughout a wide area of northern Argentina, where cases of Amblyomma ticks biting humans are common.

  1. Rickettsia felis in fleas from Catalonia (Northeast Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogueras, María-Mercedes; Pons, Immaculada; Ortuño, Anna; Lario, Sergio; Segura, Ferran

    2011-05-01

    Rickettsia felis produces a syndrome indistinguishable from murine typhus, which has been described in Spain. R. felis is transmitted to humans by fleas. Although no clinical case has been described so far, serologic evidence of infections in humans, cats, and dogs has been obtained in our area. However, no study has been conducted regarding its presence in vectors. Recognition of routes of transmission is of great importance to prevent infection in humans. Taking into account these results, R. felis seems to be present in animals that are in contact with humans. The aim of this study was to determine the presence of R. felis in the fleas of cats and dogs from Northeast Spain, to show the presence of peridomestic cycle in our area. Between May 2006 and July 2008, 78 fleas were collected. Sixty-three fleas were recovered from kennels. Most of them were collected from cages and a few of them on dogs and cats living in kennels. Fifteen fleas were collected from dogs and cats attended at a veterinary clinic. Fleas were rinsed with ethanol, dried, identified, and stored at 4°C. DNA was extracted from each flea individually. Rickettsial DNA was determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. OmpB-specific primers and molecular beacon probes targeting specifically R. felis were used. All 78 fleas were identified as Ctenocephalides felis. R. felis was detected in 34 (43.6%) fleas. No nucleic acids were amplified from negative controls and expected results were obtained from positive controls. Eight positive samples were also confirmed by sequencing. R. felis was found in a high percentage of Ct. felis from cats and dogs. It seems that there is a peridomestic cycle in Northeast Spain, which would allow contact of R. felis with humans.

  2. Spotted fever Rickettsia species in Hyalomma and Ixodes ticks infesting migratory birds in the European Mediterranean area

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background A few billion birds migrate annually between their breeding grounds in Europe and their wintering grounds in Africa. Many bird species are tick-infested, and as a result of their innate migratory behavior, they contribute significantly to the geographic distribution of pathogens, including spotted fever rickettsiae. The aim of the present study was to characterize, in samples from two consecutive years, the potential role of migrant birds captured in Europe as disseminators of Rickettsia-infected ticks. Methods Ticks were collected from a total of 14,789 birds during their seasonal migration northwards in spring 2009 and 2010 at bird observatories on two Mediterranean islands: Capri and Antikythira. All ticks were subjected to RNA extraction followed by cDNA synthesis and individually assayed with a real-time PCR targeting the citrate synthase (gltA) gene. For species identification of Rickettsia, multiple genes were sequenced. Results Three hundred and ninety-eight (2.7%) of all captured birds were tick-infested; some birds carried more than one tick. A total number of 734 ticks were analysed of which 353 ± 1 (48%) were Rickettsia-positive; 96% were infected with Rickettsia aeschlimannii and 4% with Rickettsia africae or unidentified Rickettsia species. The predominant tick taxon, Hyalomma marginatum sensu lato constituted 90% (n = 658) of the ticks collected. The remaining ticks were Ixodes frontalis, Amblyomma sp., Haemaphysalis sp., Rhipicephalus sp. and unidentified ixodids. Most ticks were nymphs (66%) followed by larvae (27%) and adult female ticks (0.5%). The majority (65%) of ticks was engorged and nearly all ticks contained visible blood. Conclusions Migratory birds appear to have a great impact on the dissemination of Rickettsia-infected ticks, some of which may originate from distant locations. The potential ecological, medical and veterinary implications of such Rickettsia infections need further examination. PMID:25011617

  3. A novel spotted fever group Rickettsia infecting Amblyomma parvitarsum (Acari: Ixodidae) in highlands of Argentina and Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogrzewalska, Maria; Nieri-Bastos, Fernanda A; Marcili, Arlei; Nava, Santiago; González-Acuña, Daniel; Muñoz-Leal, Sebastián; Ruiz-Arrondo, Ignacio; Venzal, José M; Mangold, Atilio; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2016-04-01

    The tick Amblyomma parvitarsum (Acari: Ixodidae) has established populations in Andean and Patagonic environments of South America. For the present study, adults of A. parvitarsum were collected in highland areas (elevation >3500 m) of Argentina and Chile during 2009-2013, and tested by PCR for rickettsial infection in the laboratory, and isolation of rickettsiae in Vero cell culture by the shell vial technique. Overall, 51 (62.2%) out of 82 A. parvitarsum adult ticks were infected by spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae, which generated DNA sequences 100% identical to each other, and when submitted to BLAST analysis, they were 99.3% identical to corresponding sequence of the ompA gene of Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest. Rickettsiae were successfully isolated in Vero cell culture from two ticks, one from Argentina and one from Chile. DNA extracted from the third passage of the isolates of Argentina and Chile were processed by PCR, resulting in partial sequences for three rickettsial genes (gltA, ompB, ompA). These sequences were concatenated and aligned with rickettsial corresponding sequences available in GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the A. pavitarsum rickettsial agent grouped under high bootstrap support in a clade composed by the SFG pathogens R. sibirica, R. africae, R. parkeri, Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest, and two unnamed SFG agents of unknown pathogenicty, Rickettsia sp. strain NOD, and Rickettsia sp. strain ApPR. The pathogenic role of this A. parvitarsum rickettsia cannot be discarded, since several species of tick-borne rickettsiae that were considered nonpathogenic for decades are now associated with human infections. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier GmbH.

  4. Rickettsia sp. strain colombianensi (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae): a new proposed Rickettsia detected in Amblyomma dissimile (Acari: Ixodidae) from iguanas and free-living larvae ticks from vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Jorge; Portillo, Aránzazu; Oteo, José A; Mattar, Salim

    2012-07-01

    From January to December 2009, 55 Amblyomma dissimile (Koch) ticks removed from iguanas in the municipality of Monteria and 3,114 ticks [458 Amblyomma sp. larvae, 2,636 Rhipicephalus microplus (Canestrini) larvae and 20 Amblyomma sp. nymphs] collected over vegetation in Los Cordobas were included in the study. The ticks were pooled into groups from which DNA was extracted. For initial screening of Rickettsia sp., each pool was analyzed by gltA real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Positive pools were further studied using gltA, ompA, and ompB conventional PCR assays. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis were also conducted. Rickettsial DNA was found in 28 pools of ticks (16 A. dissimile pools and 12 free-living larvae pools) out of 113 (24.7%) using real-time PCR. The same 28 pools were also positive using conventional PCR assays aimed to amplify gltA, ompA, and ompB. For each gene analyzed, PCR products obtained from 4/28 pools (two pools of A. dissimile, one pool of Amblyomma sp. larvae and one pool of Rh. microplus larvae) were randomly chosen and sequenced twice. Nucleotide sequences generated were identical to each other for each of the rickettsial genes gltA, ompA, and ompB, and showed 99.4, 95.6, and 96.4% identity with those of Rickettsia tamurae. They were deposited in the GenBank database under accession numbers JF905456, JF905458, and JF905457, respectively. In conclusion, we present the first molecular evidence of a novel Rickettsia (Rickettsia sp. strain Colombianensi) infecting A. dissimile ticks collected from iguanas, and also Rh. microplus and unspeciated Amblyomma larvae from vegetation in Colombia.

  5. Detection of Rickettsia aeschlimannii and Rickettsia africae in ixodid ticks from Burkina Faso and Somali Region of Ethiopia by new real-time PCR assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomassone, L; De Meneghi, D; Adakal, H; Rodighiero, P; Pressi, G; Grego, E

    2016-10-01

    In the framework of cooperation for development projects in Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, we collected ixodid ticks from cattle, small ruminants and camels. We optimized new TaqMan Probe real-time PCR assays to detect Rickettsia aeschlimannii and Rickettsia africae OmpA gene in the collected samples. Rickettsia africae was identified in 75.0% Amblyomma variegatum (95%CI: 56.6-88.5), while R. aeschlimannii in 24.0% Hyalomma truncatum (95%CI: 9.4-45.1) and 50.0% H. rufipes (95%CI: 29.9-70.0) collected from cattle in different provinces throughout Burkina Faso. Ticks from the Libaan zone, Somali Region of Ethiopia, were also infected by R. africae (28.5% prevalence in Amblyomma gemma, 95%CI: 14.7-46.0) and R. aeschlimannii (27.0% H. truncatum, 95%CI: 5.0-62.9; 88.3% H. rufipes, 95%CI: 60.5-99.3). All tested ticks were adults. The developed diagnostic tools were highly sensitive and enabled us to rapidly classify R. aeschlimannii and R. africae, which were identified in Burkina Faso and in the Somali Region of Ethiopia for the first time. Further studies are needed to assess the zoonotic risk and prevalence of infection in local human populations, who have high contact rates with ticks and their animal hosts. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  6. Infection of the Gulf Coast Tick, Amblyomma Maculatum (Acari: Ixodidae), with Rickettsia Parkeri: First Report from the State of Delaware

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-31

    0279276E-D761-4A27-BFF7-7329E05E0F66 Infection of the Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum (Acari: Ixodidae), with Rickettsia parkeri: first report from...Spring, MD 20910-1230, U.S.A. Abstract The molecular detection of Rickettsia parkeri in a Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum, collected in Delaware...near Smyrna, Delaware. All specimens were tested for the presence of Rickettsia with a genus-specific quantitative real-time polymerase chain

  7. Rickettsia infection in five areas of the state of São Paulo, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurício C Horta

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated rickettsial infection in animals, humans, ticks, and fleas collected in five areas of the state of São Paulo. Eight flea species (Adoratopsylla antiquorum antiquorum, Ctenocephalides felis felis, Polygenis atopus, Polygenis rimatus, Polygenis roberti roberti, Polygenis tripus, Rhopalopsyllus lugubris, and Rhopalopsyllus lutzi lutzi, and five tick species (Amblyomma aureolatum, Amblyomma cajennense, Amblyomma dubitatum, Ixodes loricatus, and Rhipicephalus sanguineus were collected from dogs, cats, and opossums. Rickettsia felis was the only rickettsia found infecting fleas, whereas Rickettsia bellii was the only agent infecting ticks, but no animal or human blood was shown to contain rickettsial DNA. Testing animal and human sera by indirect immunofluorescence assay against four rickettsia antigens (R. rickettsii, R. parkeri, R. felis, and R. bellii, some opossum, dog, horse, and human sera reacted to R. rickettsii with titers at least four-fold higher than to the other three rickettsial antigens. These sera were considered to have a predominant antibody response to R. rickettsii. Using the same criteria, opossum, dog, and horse sera showed predominant antibody response to R. parkeri or a very closely related genotype. Our serological results suggest that both R. rickettsii and R. parkeri infected animals and/or humans in the studied areas.

  8. Rickettsia asembonensis Characterization by Multilocus Sequence Typing of Complete Genes, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loyola, Steev; Flores-Mendoza, Carmen; Torre, Armando; Kocher, Claudine; Melendrez, Melanie; Luce-Fedrow, Alison; Maina, Alice N; Richards, Allen L; Leguia, Mariana

    2018-05-01

    While studying rickettsial infections in Peru, we detected Rickettsia asembonensis in fleas from domestic animals. We characterized 5 complete genomic regions (17kDa, gltA, ompA, ompB, and sca4) and conducted multilocus sequence typing and phylogenetic analyses. The molecular isolate from Peru is distinct from the original R. asembonensis strain from Kenya.

  9. Molecular detection of Rickettsia species in Amblyomma ticks collected from snakes in Thailand

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sumrandee, C.; Hirunkanokpun, S.; Doornbos, K.; Kitthawee, S.; Baimai, V.; Grubhoffer, Libor; Trinachartvanit, W.; Ahantarig, A.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 6 (2014), s. 632-640 ISSN 1877-959X Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Tick * Rickettsia spp. * Amblyomma varanense * Amblyomma helvolum * Snake * Thailand Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.718, year: 2014

  10. Rickettsia bellii in ticks Amblyomma varium Koch, 1844, from birds in Peru

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ogrzewalska, M.; Literák, I.; Cárdenas-Callirgos, J. M.; Čapek, Miroslav; Labruna, M. B.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 3, č. 4 (2012), s. 254-256 ISSN 1877-959X R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA601690901; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Rickettsia bellii * ticks * Amblyomma calcaratum * birds * Peru Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.353, year: 2012

  11. First report of Rickettsia raoultii in field collected Dermacentor reticulatus ticks from Austria

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Duscher, G. G.; Hodžić, A.; Weiler, M.; Vaux, A. G. C.; Rudolf, Ivo; Sixl, W.; Medlock, J. M.; Versteirt, V.; Hubálek, Zdeněk

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 5 (2016), s. 720-722 ISSN 1877-959X Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Rickettsia raoultii * Dermacentor reticulatus * TIBOLA * DEBONEL * Austria Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 3.230, year: 2016

  12. Detection of flea-borne Rickettsia species in the Western Himalayan region of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Chahota

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Human infections by various rickettsial species are frequently reported globally. We investigated a flea-borne rickettsial outbreak infecting 300 people in Western Himalayan region of India. Arthropod vectors (ticks and fleas and animal and human blood samples from affected households were analysed by gltA and ompB genes based polymerase chain reaction (PCR. Rat flea (Ceratophyllus fasciatus samples were found harbouring a Rickettsia sp. Phylogenetic analysis based on gltA gene using PHYLIP revealed that the detected Rickettsia sp. has 100% identity with SE313 and RF2125 strains of Rickettsia sp. of flea origin from Egypt and Thai-Myanmar border, respectively and cf1 and 5 strains from fleas and lice from the USA. But, the nucleotide sequence of genetically variable gene ompB of R14 strain was found closely related to cf9 strain, reported from Ctenocephalides felis fleas. These results highlight the public health importance of such newly discovered or less recognised Rickettsia species/strains, harboured by arthropod vectors like fleas.

  13. Co-Infection of Rickettsia rickettsii and Streptococcus pyogenes: Is Fatal Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Underdiagnosed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raczniak, Gregory A.; Kato, Cecilia; Chung, Ida H.; Austin, Amy; McQuiston, Jennifer H.; Weis, Erica; Levy, Craig; Carvalho, Maria da Gloria S.; Mitchell, Audrey; Bjork, Adam; Regan, Joanna J.

    2014-01-01

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a tick-borne disease caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, is challenging to diagnose and rapidly fatal if not treated. We describe a decedent who was co-infected with group A β-hemolytic streptococcus and R. rickettsii. Fatal cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever may be underreported because they present as difficult to diagnose co-infections. PMID:25331804

  14. Seroprevalence against Rickettsia and Borrelia Species in Patients with Uveitis: A Prospective Survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim B. Madsen

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Vector-borne diseases such as Lyme borreliosis and rickettsioses have been associated with ocular inflammation. Our aim was to study patients with diagnosed uveitis to evaluate serological signs of infection or exposure to these tick-borne agents. Forty-eight patients were prospectively examined with serology together with medical records and a questionnaire concerning previous exposure, diseases, and treatments. Seven patients (14.6% showed seroconversion to Rickettsia spp. between acute and convalescent phase sera, which provides support for a positive Rickettsia diagnosis according to guidelines. The specificity was confirmed by Western blot. Additional 28 patients had stationary titres of which eight (16.6% had 1 : 256 or higher titre in the first serum, and another 13 patients were seronegative. No epidemiological risk factor or marker could be identified. For Borrelia, only three patients showed moderate IgG titres. A control group of 100 blood donors, 60 patients with rheumatic disease, and 56 patients seeking medical care were tested of which 2.0–7.1% showed low anti-Rickettsia titres and 3.0–8.3% anti-Borrelia titres. The findings are indicative for an association between infection or exposure to Rickettsia spp. and uveitis with a seropositivity among patients with recurrent uveitis in concordance with the spread of rickettsial exposure in a tick-exposed population.

  15. Seroprevalence against Rickettsia and Borrelia Species in Patients with Uveitis: A Prospective Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, Kim B.; Wallménius, Katarina; Fridman, Åke; Påhlson, Carl

    2017-01-01

    Vector-borne diseases such as Lyme borreliosis and rickettsioses have been associated with ocular inflammation. Our aim was to study patients with diagnosed uveitis to evaluate serological signs of infection or exposure to these tick-borne agents. Forty-eight patients were prospectively examined with serology together with medical records and a questionnaire concerning previous exposure, diseases, and treatments. Seven patients (14.6%) showed seroconversion to Rickettsia spp. between acute and convalescent phase sera, which provides support for a positive Rickettsia diagnosis according to guidelines. The specificity was confirmed by Western blot. Additional 28 patients had stationary titres of which eight (16.6%) had 1 : 256 or higher titre in the first serum, and another 13 patients were seronegative. No epidemiological risk factor or marker could be identified. For Borrelia, only three patients showed moderate IgG titres. A control group of 100 blood donors, 60 patients with rheumatic disease, and 56 patients seeking medical care were tested of which 2.0–7.1% showed low anti-Rickettsia titres and 3.0–8.3% anti-Borrelia titres. The findings are indicative for an association between infection or exposure to Rickettsia spp. and uveitis with a seropositivity among patients with recurrent uveitis in concordance with the spread of rickettsial exposure in a tick-exposed population. PMID:29318041

  16. Phylogenetic Analysis of a Novel Molecular Isolate of Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiae from Northern Peru

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jiang, Ju; Blair, Patrick J; Felices, Vidal; Moron, Cecilia; Cespedes, Manuel; Anaya, Elizabeth; Schoeler, George B; Sumner, John W; Olson, James G; Richards, Allen L

    2005-01-01

    ... (SFG) rickettsia. Following nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the 17-kDa gene, gltA, ompB, ompA, and sca4, amplicons were purified, sequenced, and compared to those downloaded from GenBank...

  17. Development of a Rickettsia bellii-Specific TaqMan Assay Targeting the Citrate Synthase Gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecht, Joy A; Allerdice, Michelle E J; Krawczak, Felipe S; Labruna, Marcelo B; Paddock, Christopher D; Karpathy, Sandor E

    2016-11-01

    Rickettsia bellii is a rickettsial species of unknown pathogenicity that infects argasid and ixodid ticks throughout the Americas. Many molecular assays used to detect spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia species do not detect R. bellii, so that infection with this bacterium may be concealed in tick populations when assays are used that screen specifically for SFG rickettsiae. We describe the development and validation of a R. bellii-specific, quantitative, real-time PCR TaqMan assay that targets a segment of the citrate synthase (gltA) gene. The specificity of this assay was validated against a panel of DNA samples that included 26 species of Rickettsia, Orientia, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and Bartonella, five samples of tick and human DNA, and DNA from 20 isolates of R. bellii, including 11 from North America and nine from South America. A R. bellii control plasmid was constructed, and serial dilutions of the plasmid were used to determine the limit of detection of the assay to be one copy per 4 µl of template DNA. This assay can be used to better determine the role of R. bellii in the epidemiology of tick-borne rickettsioses in the Western Hemisphere. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  18. Spotted fever rickettsiae in wild-living rodents from south-western Poland.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gajda, Ewa; Hildebrand, Joanna; Sprong, Hein; Buńkowska-Gawlik, Katarzyna; Perec-Matysiak, Agnieszka; Coipan, Elena Claudia

    2017-01-01

    Rickettsiae are obligate intracellular alpha-proteobacteria. They are transmitted via arthropod vectors, which transmit the bacteria between animals and occasionally to humans. So far, much research has been conducted to indicate reservoir hosts for these microorganisms, but our knowledge is still

  19. Detection of Rickettsia spp in Ticks by MALDI-TOF MS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yssouf, Amina; Almeras, Lionel; Terras, Jérôme; Socolovschi, Cristina; Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Background Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has been shown to be an effective tool for the rapid identification of arthropods, including tick vectors of human diseases. Methodology/Principal Findings The objective of the present study was to evaluate the use of MALDI-TOF MS to identify tick species, and to determine the presence of rickettsia pathogens in the infected Ticks. Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Dermacentor marginatus Ticks infected or not by R. conorii conorii or R. slovaca, respectively, were used as experimental models. The MS profiles generated from protein extracts prepared from tick legs exhibited mass peaks that distinguished the infected and uninfected Ticks, and successfully discriminated the Rickettsia spp. A blind test was performed using Ticks that were laboratory-reared, collected in the field or removed from patients and infected or not by Rickettsia spp. A query against our in-lab arthropod MS reference database revealed that the species and infection status of all Ticks were correctly identified at the species and infection status levels. Conclusions/Significance Taken together, the present work demonstrates the utility of MALDI-TOF MS for a dual identification of tick species and intracellular bacteria. Therefore, MALDI-TOF MS is a relevant tool for the accurate detection of Rickettsia spp in Ticks for both field monitoring and entomological diagnosis. The present work offers new perspectives for the monitoring of other vector borne diseases that present public health concerns. PMID:25659152

  20. High Prevalence of Rickettsia spp. in Dog Fleas (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) in Rural Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palomar, Ana M; Cevidanes, Aitor; Portillo, Aránzazu; Kalema-Zikusoka, Gladis; Chirife, Andrea D; Romero, Lourdes; Muro, Jesús; Mugisha, Lawrence; Oteo, José A; Millán, Javier

    2017-07-01

    Fleas are known vectors of zoonotic agents. Thirty-five fleas, including 28 Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché), four Pulex irritans (L.), and three Echidnophaga gallinacea (Westwood) from 19 rural dogs from southwestern Uganda were analyzed for the presence of Rickettsia spp. (ompB, gltA, and 17 kDa fragment genes) and Bartonella spp. (rpoB and ITS genes) by PCR. Rickettsial DNA was detected in 27 out of 28 of Ct. felis and in two out of four P. irritans. None of the E. gallinacea specimens harbored Rickettsia DNA. Rickettsia felis was confirmed in 12 Ct. felis and in the two P. irritans specimens with positive PCR-results. In addition, the presence of Candidatus Rickettsia asemboensis was evidenced in 15 Ct. felis. Bartonella spp. was not amplified in any sample. Our survey indicates that R. felis, the agent of the flea-borne spotted fever, is present in the study area. Besides, this is the first description of Ca. R. asemboensis in Uganda. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Identification of Dermacentor reticulatus Ticks Carrying Rickettsia raoultii on Migrating Jackal, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schou, Kirstine Klitgaard; Chriél, Mariann; Isbrand, Anastasia

    2017-01-01

    From a migrating golden jackal (Canis aureus), we retrieved 21 live male Dermacentor reticulatus ticks, a species not previously reported from wildlife in Denmark. We identified Rickettsia raoultii from 18 (86%) of the ticks. This bacterium is associated with scalp eschar and neck lymphadenopathy...

  2. Evidence of Rickettsia and Orientia Infections Among Abattoir Workers in Djibouti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, Katherine C; Jiang, Ju; Maina, Alice; Dueger, Erica; Zayed, Alia; Ahmed, Ammar Abdo; Pimentel, Guillermo; Richards, Allen L

    2016-08-03

    Of 49 workers at a Djiboutian abattoir, eight (16%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 9-29) were seropositive against spotted fever group rickettsiae (SFGR), two (4%, 95% CI: 1-14) against typhus group rickettsiae, and three (6%, 95% CI: 2-17) against orientiae. One worker (9%, 95% CI: 2-38) seroconverted against orientiae during the study period. This is the first evidence of orientiae exposure in the Horn of Africa. SFGR were also identified by polymerase chain reaction in 32 of 189 (11%, 95% CI: 8-15) tick pools from 26 of 72 (36%) cattle. Twenty-five (8%, 95% CI: 6-12) tick pools were positive for Rickettsia africae, the causative agent of African tick-bite fever. Health-care providers in Djibouti should be aware of the possibility of rickettsiae infections among patients, although further research is needed to determine the impact of these infections in the country. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  3. Detection and identification of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Rickettsia helvetica in Danish Ixodes ricinus ticks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skarphédinsson, Sigurdur; Lyholm, Birgitte Fjendbo; Ljungberg, Marianne

    2007-01-01

    % of adult ticks. The difference in prevalence between Anaplasma and Borrelia in adult ticks supports the idea that their maintenance cycles in nature may be different. Ticks were also infected with Rickettsia helvetica. Our study indicates that A. phagocytophilum prevalence in ticks in Denmark is as high...

  4. Bacteria of the genus Rickettsia in ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) collected from birds in Costa Rica

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ogrzewalska, M.; Literák, I.; Čapek, Miroslav; Sychra, O.; Calderón, V. Á.; Rodríguez, B. C.; Prudencio, C.; Martins, T. F.; Labruna, M. B.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 4 (2015), s. 478-482 ISSN 1877-959X R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA601690901 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Rickettsia * Ticks * Birds * Ixodes * Amblyomma * Costa Rica Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 2.690, year: 2015

  5. Molecular detection of Bartonella spp. and Rickettsia spp. in bat ectoparasites in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    do Amaral, Renan Bressianini; Lourenço, Elizabete Captivo; Famadas, Kátia Maria; Garcia, Amanda Barbosa; Machado, Rosangela Zacarias; André, Marcos Rogério

    2018-01-01

    The family Streblidae comprises a monophyletic group of Hippoboscoidea, hematophagous dipterans that parasitize bats. Bartonella spp. and Rickettsia spp. have been reported in bats sampled in Europe, Africa, Asia, North, Central and South America. However, there are few reports on the Bartonella and Rickettsia bacteria infecting Hippoboscoidea flies and mites. While Spinturnicidae mites are ectoparasites found only in bats, those belonging to the family Macronyssidae comprise mites that also parasitize other mammal species. This study investigates the occurrence and assesses the phylogenetic positioning of Bartonella spp. and Rickettsia spp. found in Streblidae flies and Spinturnicidae and Macronyssidae mites collected from bats captured in Brazil. From May 2011 to April 2012 and September 2013 to December 2014, 400 Streblidae flies, 100 Macronyssidaes, and 100 Spinturnicidae mites were collected from bats captured in two sites in northeastern Nova Iguaçu, Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil. Forty (19.8%) out of 202 Streblidae flies were positive for Bartonella spp. in qPCR assays based on the nuoG gene. Among the flies positive for the bacterium, six (18%) were Paratrichobius longicrus, seven (29%) Strebla guajiro, two (40%) Aspidoptera phyllostomatis, five (11%) Aspidoptera falcata, one (10%) Trichobius anducei, one (25%) Megistopoda aranea, and 18 (32%) Trichobius joblingi, and collected from bats of the following species: Artibeus lituratus, Carollia perspicillata, Artibeus planirostris, Sturnira lilium, and Artibeus obscurus. Six sequences were obtained for Bartonella (nuoG [n = 2], gltA [n = 2], rpoB [n = 1], ribC = 1]). The phylogenetic analysis based on gltA (750pb) gene showed that the Bartonella sequences clustered with Bartonella genotypes detected in bats and ectoparasites previously sampled in Latin America, including Brazil. Only one sample (0.49%) of the species Trichobius joblingi collected from a specimen of Carollia perspicillata was positive

  6. Rewinding Frankenstein and the body-machine: organ transplantation in the dystopian young adult fiction series Unwind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlmann, Anita; Steinberg, Ruth

    2016-12-01

    While the separation of body and mind (and the entailing metaphor of the body as a machine) has been a cornerstone of Western medicine for a long time, reactions to organ transplantation among others challenge this clear-cut dichotomy. The limits of the machine-body have been negotiated in science fiction, most canonically in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818). Since then, Frankenstein's monster itself has become a motif that permeates both medical and fictional discourses. Neal Shusterman's contemporary dystology for young adults, Unwind, draws on traditional concepts of the machine-body and the Frankenstein myth. This article follows one of the young protagonists in the series, who is entirely constructed from donated tissue, and analyses how Shusterman explores the complicated relationship between body and mind and between self and other as the teenager matures into an adult. It will be shown that, by framing the story of a transplanted individual along the lines of a coming-of-age narrative, Shusterman inter-relates the acceptance of a donor organ with the transitional space of adolescence and positions the quest for embodied selfhood at the centre of both developments. By highlighting the interconnections between medical discourse and a literary tradition, the potential contribution of the series to the treatment and understanding of post-transplant patients will be addressed. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  7. Pathogenic potential of a Costa Rican strain of 'Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii' in guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) and protective immunity against Rickettsia rickettsii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivas, Juan J; Moreira-Soto, Andrés; Alvarado, Gilberth; Taylor, Lizeth; Calderón-Arguedas, Olger; Hun, Laya; Corrales-Aguilar, Eugenia; Morales, Juan Alberto; Troyo, Adriana

    2015-09-01

    'Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii' is a spotted fever group rickettsia that is not considered pathogenic, although there is serologic evidence of possible infection in animals and humans. The aim of this study was to evaluate the pathogenic potential of a Costa Rican strain of 'Candidatus R. amblyommii' in guinea pigs and determine its capacity to generate protective immunity against a subsequent infection with a local strain of Rickettsia rickettsii isolated from a human case. Six guinea pigs were inoculated with 'Candidatus R. amblyommii' strain 9-CC-3-1 and two controls with cell culture medium. Health status was evaluated, and necropsies were executed at days 2, 4, and 13. Blood and tissues were processed by PCR to detect the gltA gene, and end titers of anti-'Candidatus R. amblyommii' IgG were determined by indirect immunofluorescence. To evaluate protective immunity, another 5 guinea pigs were infected with 'Candidatus R. amblyommii' (IGPs). After 4 weeks, these 5 IGPs and 3 controls (CGPs) were inoculated with pathogenic R. rickettsii. Clinical signs and titers of anti-Rickettsia IgG were determined. IgG titers reached 1:512 at day 13 post-infection with 'Candidatus R. amblyommii'. On day 2 after inoculation, two guinea pigs had enlarged testicles and 'Candidatus R. amblyommii' DNA was detected in testicles. Histopathology confirmed piogranulomatous orchitis with perivascular inflammatory infiltrate in the epididymis. In the protective immunity assay, anti-Rickettsia IgG end titers after R. rickettsii infection were lower in IGPs than in CGPs. IGPs exhibited only transient fever, while CGP showed signs of severe disease and mortality. R. rickettsii was detected in testicles and blood of CGPs. Results show that the strain 9-CC-3-1 of 'Candidatus R. amblyommii' was able to generate pathology and an antibody response in guinea pigs. Moreover, its capacity to generate protective immunity against R. rickettsii may modulate the epidemiology and severity of Rocky

  8. Spotted fever group rickettsiae in ticks of migratory birds in Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mărcuţan, Ioan-Daniel; Kalmár, Zsuzsa; Ionică, Angela Monica; D'Amico, Gianluca; Mihalca, Andrei Daniel; Vasile, Cozma; Sándor, Attila D

    2016-05-20

    Birds are important hosts and dispersers of parasitic arthropods and vector-borne zoonotic pathogens. Particularly migratory species may carry these parasites over long distances in short time periods. Migratory hotspots present ideal conditions to get a snapshot of parasite and pathogen diversity of birds migrating between continents. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence and diversity of Rickettsia spp. in ticks collected from birds at a migratory hot-spot in the Danube Delta, Romania, eastern Europe. DNA was extracted from ticks that were collected from migratory birds in the Danube Delta during migratory seasons in 2011-2012. Two 360 bp  fragments of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene and a 381 bp  fragment Gene gltA were PCR amplified and analyzed by sequence analysis (performed at Macrogen Europe, Amsterdam, The Netherlands). Nucleotide sequences were compared to reference sequences available in the GenBank database, using Basic Local Alignment Search Tool. Four hundred ticks of four different species were found on 11 bird species. The prevalence of Rickettsia spp. infection was 14 % (56/400, CI: 11.7-29.1), with significantly more nymphs hosting rickettsial infection compared to larvae (48 vs 7; P birds migrating through eastern Europe may carry ticks infected with a high diversity of rickettsial pathogens, with four Rickettsia spp. recorded. Migratory direction was important for pathogen burden, with seasonal differences in the occurrence of individual Rickettsia species. Here we report the first individual records of different Rickettsia spp. in H. concinna (R. monacensis), I. arboricola (R. helvetica, R. massiliae) and I. redikorzevi (R. helvetica) and also the first geographical record of occurrence of R. massiliae in Romania, representing the easternmost observation on the continent.

  9. Bacteria of the genus Rickettsia in ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) collected from birds in Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogrzewalska, Maria; Literák, Ivan; Capek, Miroslav; Sychra, Oldřich; Calderón, Víctor Álvarez; Rodríguez, Bernardo Calvo; Prudencio, Carlos; Martins, Thiago F; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2015-06-01

    The aim of this study was to document the presence of Rickettsia spp. in ticks parasitizing wild birds in Costa Rica. Birds were trapped at seven locations in Costa Rica during 2004, 2009, and 2010; then visually examined for the presence of ticks. Ticks were identified, and part of them was tested individually for the presence of Rickettsia spp. by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using primers targeting fragments of the rickettsial genes gltA and ompA. PCR products were DNA-sequenced and analyzed in BLAST to determine similarities with previously reported rickettsial agents. A total of 1878 birds were examined, from which 163 birds (9%) were infested with 388 ticks of the genera Amblyomma and Ixodes. The following Amblyomma (in decreasing order of abundance) were found in immature stages (larvae and nymphs): Amblyomma longirostre, Amblyomma calcaratum, Amblyomma coelebs, Amblyomma sabanerae, Amblyomma varium, Amblyomma maculatum, and Amblyomma ovale. Ixodes ticks were represented by Ixodes minor and two unclassified species, designated here as Ixodes sp. genotype I, and Ixodes sp. genotype II. Twelve of 24 tested A. longirostre ticks were found to be infected with 'Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii', and 2 of 4 A. sabanerae were found to be infected with Rickettsia bellii. Eight of 10 larval Ixodes minor were infected with an endosymbiont (a novel Rickettsia sp. agent) genetically related to the Ixodes scapularis endosymbiont. No rickettsial DNA was found in A. calcaratum, A. coelebs, A. maculatum, A. ovale, A. varium, Ixodes sp. I, and Ixodes sp. II. We report the occurrence of I. minor in Costa Rica for the first time and a number of new bird host-tick associations. Moreover, 'Candidatus R. amblyommii' and R. bellii were found in A. longirostre and A. sabanerae, respectively, in Costa Rica for the first time. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  10. Neorickettsia risticii, Rickettsia sp. and Bartonella sp. in Tadarida brasiliensis bats from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicuttin, Gabriel L; De Salvo, María N; La Rosa, Isabel; Dohmen, Federico E Gury

    2017-06-01

    Bats are potential reservoirs of many vector-borne bacterial pathogens. The aim of the present study was to detect species of Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Neorickettsia, Rickettsia, Borrelia and Bartonella in Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis, Molossidae) from Buenos Aires city, Argentina. Between 2012 and 2013, 61 T. brasiliensis from urban areas of Buenos Aires city were studied. The samples were molecularly screened by PCR and sequencing. Five bats (8.2%) were positive to Neorickettsia risticii, one (1.6%) was positive to Rickettsia sp. and three bats (4.9%) to Bartonella sp. For molecular characterization, the positive samples were subjected to amplification and sequencing of a fragment of p51 gene for N. risticii, a fragment of citrate synthase gene (gltA) for Rickettsia genus and a fragment of gltA for Bartonella genus. Phylogenetic tree was constructed using the maximum-likelihood method. Phylogenetic analysis of N. risticii detect in our study revealed that it relates to findings in the USA West Coast; Rickettsia sp. detected is phylogenetically within R. bellii group, which also includes many other Rickettsia endosymbionts of insects; and Bartonella sp. found is related to various Bartonella spp. described in Vespertilionidae bats, which are phylogenetically related to Molossidae. Our results are in accordance to previous findings, which demonstrate that insectivorous bats could be infected with vector-borne bacteria representing a potential risk to public health. Future research is necessary to clarify the circulation of these pathogens in bats from Buenos Aires. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. First detection of Candidatus Rickettsia barbariae in the flea Vermipsylla alakurt from north-western China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Shan-Shan; Li, Hong-Yu; Yin, Xiao-Ping; Liu, Zhi-Qiang; Chen, Chuang-Fu; Wang, Yuan-Zhi

    2016-06-07

    Vermipsylla is a genus of the family Vermipsyllidae within the order Siphonaptera of fleas. Vermipsylla alakurt is mainly distributed in alpine pastoral areas of Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China and Nepal, and infests sheep, yaks and horses, causing irritation, poor condition, anaemia and even death. However, to date, no rickettsial agents have been reported in V. alakurt. A total of 133 fleas were collected directly from the tails of three sheep flocks (n = 335) in Minfeng County, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, north-western China. Of these, 55 fleas were identified by morphological examination and molecular analysis of four loci (the ribosomal 18S and 28S rDNA genes and the mitochondrial genes cytochrome  c oxidase subunit II and elongation factor 1-alpha). Eight Rickettsia-specific gene fragments originated from seven genes: the 17-kilodalton antigen gene (17-kDa), citrate synthase gene (gltA), 16S rRNA gene (rrs), outer membrane protein A gene (ompA), surface cell antigen 1 gene (sca1), PS120 protein gene (gene D), and outer membrane protein B gene (ompB, two fragments), were used to identify the species of Rickettsia in 53 fleas. The amplified products were sequenced and included in a phylogenetic analysis to verify the taxonomic identification of the rickettsial agents. Based on morphological and molecular evidence, the flea was identified as Vermipsylla alakurt. Nine samples were positive (16.98 %, 9/53) for Rickettsia spp. The phylogenetic tree revealed that the rickettsial agents found in V. alakurt cluster with Candidatus Rickettsia barbariae. Our study suggests that: (i) V. alakurt may serve as a carrier for Candidatus R. barbariae; and (ii) Candidatus R. barbariae, previously reported in Israel, is the eighth newly discovered validated Rickettsia species in China. This finding extends our knowledge of the distribution of Candidatus R. barbariae and the profile of carriers, which not only comprise ticks but also fleas.

  12. Coxiella burnetii and Rickettsia conorii: Two zoonotic pathogens in peridomestic rodents and their ectoparasites in Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamani, Joshua; Baneth, Gad; Gutiérrez, Ricardo; Nachum-Biala, Yaarit; Mumcuoglu, Kosta Y; Harrus, Shimon

    2018-01-01

    Rodents are hosts of numerous pathogenic agents of public health importance globally. Their ability to harbor these pathogens without showing overt clinical signs of disease has epidemiologic consequences. In some rural settings in Nigeria, humans and rodents do not only share feeds and abode, but the latter may end up on the table of the former as a source of protein, thereby increasing the risks of disease transmission. Molecular assays were used to detect and characterize two agents of zoonotic importance, Coxiella burnetii and Rickettsia spp. in 194 peridomestic rodents captured in a peri-urban setting in Nigeria, and 32 pools of ectoparasites removed from them, to determine their possible role in the epidemiology of these diseases in this country. Targeting and characterizing the insertion sequence IS1111, C. burnetii DNA was detected in 4 out of 194 (2.1%) rodents comprising 3 out of 121 (2.5%) Rattus norvegicus and 1 out of 48 (2.1%) Rattus rattus screened in this study. Rickettsia spp. DNA was detected in two Rhipicephalus sanginueus sensu lato pools (i.e. RT1 and RT4) using the citrate synthase (gltA) gene and further characterized by amplification and sequence analysis of six genes to determine their identity. The RT1 sample consistently gave 98-100% identity to Rickettsia conorii str. Malish 7 for the various genes and loci studied. However, the identity of RT4 could not be definitively determined due to variable identities to different Rickettsia spp. according to the gene or loci under consideration. Further isolation study to determine if the RT4 characterized is a new variant or a mixture of sequences of different rickettsiae within the pool will be worthwhile. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  13. Pesquisa de Rickettsia spp em carrapatos Amblyomma cajennense e Amblyomma dubitatum no Estado de São Paulo Survey of Rickettsia spp in the ticks Amblyomma cajennense and Amblyomma dubitatum in the State of São Paulo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Campos Pacheco

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Foi pesquisada a presença de riquétsias em 3.545 carrapatos Amblyomma cajennense e 2.666 Amblyomma dubitatum. Através do teste de hemolinfa, reação em cadeia pela polimerase e isolamento de rickettsia em cultivo celular, todos os Amblyomma cajennense foram negativos, sendo que 634 (23,8% Amblyomma dubitatum mostraram-se infectados com Rickettsia bellii.The presence of rickettsial infection was surveyed in 3,545 Amblyomma cajennense ticks and 2,666 Amblyomma dubitatum ticks. Using the hemolymph test, polymerase chain reaction and isolation of Rickettsia in cell cultures, all of the Amblyomma cajennense were negative, whereas 634 (23.8% of the Amblyomma dubitatum ticks were shown to be infected with Rickettsia bellii.

  14. Phylogenomics and comparative genomics of Lactobacillus salivarius, a mammalian gut commensal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Hugh M B; Bourin, Maxence J B; Claesson, Marcus J; O'Toole, Paul W

    2017-08-01

    The genus Lactobacillus is a diverse group with a combined species count of over 200. They are the largest group within the lactic acid bacteria and one of the most important bacterial groups involved in food microbiology and human nutrition because of their fermentative and probiotic properties. Lactobacillus salivarius , a species commonly isolated from the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals, has been described as having potential probiotic properties and results of previous studies have revealed considerable functional diversity existing on both the chromosomes and plasmids. Our study consists of comparative genomic analyses of the functional and phylogenomic diversity of 42 genomes of strains of L . salivarius using bioinformatic techniques. The main aim of the study was to describe intra-species diversity and to determine how this diversity is spread across the replicons. We found that multiple phylogenomic and non-phylogenomic methods used for reconstructing trees all converge on similar tree topologies, showing that different metrics largely agree on the evolutionary history of the species. The greatest genomic variation lies on the small plasmids, followed by the repA -type circular megaplasmid, with the chromosome varying least of all. Additionally, the presence of extra linear and circular megaplasmids is noted in several strains, while small plasmids are not always present. Glycosyl hydrolases, bacteriocins and proteases vary considerably on all replicons while two exopolysaccharide clusters and several clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-associated systems show a lot of variation on the chromosome. Overall, despite its reputation as a mammalian gastrointestinal tract specialist, the intra-specific variation of L. salivarius reveals potential strain-dependant effects on human health.

  15. Phylogenomic analysis of the Chilean clade of Liolaemus lizards (Squamata: Liolaemidae based on sequence capture data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Panzera

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The genus Liolaemus is one of the most ecologically diverse and species-rich genera of lizards worldwide. It currently includes more than 250 recognized species, which have been subject to many ecological and evolutionary studies. Nevertheless, Liolaemus lizards have a complex taxonomic history, mainly due to the incongruence between morphological and genetic data, incomplete taxon sampling, incomplete lineage sorting and hybridization. In addition, as many species have restricted and remote distributions, this has hampered their examination and inclusion in molecular systematic studies. The aims of this study are to infer a robust phylogeny for a subsample of lizards representing the Chilean clade (subgenus Liolaemus sensu stricto, and to test the monophyly of several of the major species groups. We use a phylogenomic approach, targeting 541 ultra-conserved elements (UCEs and 44 protein-coding genes for 16 taxa. We conduct a comparison of phylogenetic analyses using maximum-likelihood and several species tree inference methods. The UCEs provide stronger support for phylogenetic relationships compared to the protein-coding genes; however, the UCEs outnumber the protein-coding genes by 10-fold. On average, the protein-coding genes contain over twice the number of informative sites. Based on our phylogenomic analyses, all the groups sampled are polyphyletic. Liolaemus tenuis tenuis is difficult to place in the phylogeny, because only a few loci (nine were recovered for this species. Topologies or support values did not change dramatically upon exclusion of L. t. tenuis from analyses, suggesting that missing data did not had a significant impact on phylogenetic inference in this data set. The phylogenomic analyses provide strong support for sister group relationships between L. fuscus, L. monticola, L. nigroviridis and L. nitidus, and L. platei and L. velosoi. Despite our limited taxon sampling, we have provided a reliable starting hypothesis for

  16. Molecular Pathogenesis of Rickettsioses and Development of Novel Anti-Rickettsia Treatment by Comginatorial Peptide-Based Libraries

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Walker, David H; Olano, Juan P

    2005-01-01

    ...) library and challenge with R. prowazekii, R. rickettsii, and 0. tsutsugamushi; 2) To determine the role of NF-KB, cytokines, ROS and NO in intracellular killing of rickettsia-infected monolayers containing adapteins and 3...

  17. Molecular detection of Rickettsia species in ticks collected from the southwestern provinces of the Republic of Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noh, Yoontae; Lee, Yeong Seon; Kim, Heung-Chul; Chong, Sung-Tae; Klein, Terry A; Jiang, Ju; Richards, Allen L; Lee, Hae Kyeong; Kim, Su Yeon

    2017-01-10

    Rickettsiae constitute a group of arthropod-borne, Gram-negative, obligate intracellular bacteria that are the causative agents of diseases ranging from mild to life threatening that impact on medical and veterinary health worldwide. A total of 6,484 ticks were collected by tick drag from June-October 2013 in the southwestern provinces of the Republic of Korea (ROK) (Jeollanam, n = 3,995; Jeollabuk, n = 680; Chungcheongnam, n = 1,478; and Chungcheongbuk, n = 331). Ticks were sorted into 311 pools according to species, collection site, and stage of development. DNA preparations of tick pools were assayed for rickettsiae by 17 kDa antigen gene and ompA nested PCR (nPCR) assays and the resulting amplicons sequenced to determine the identity and prevalence of spotted fever group rickettsiae (SFGR). Haemaphysalis longicornis (4,471; 52 adults, 123 nymphs and 4,296 larvae) were the most commonly collected ticks, followed by Haemaphysalis flava (1,582; 28 adults, 263 nymphs and 1,291 larvae), and Ixodes nipponensis (431; 25 adults, 5 nymphs and 401 larvae). The minimum field infection rate/100 ticks (assuming 1 positive tick/pool) was 0.93% for the 17 kDa antigen gene and 0.82% for the ompA nPCR assays. The partial 17 kDa antigen and ompA gene sequences from positive pools of H. longicornis were similar to: Rickettsia sp. HI550 (99.4-100%), Rickettsia sp. FUJ98 (99.3-100%), Rickettsia sp. HIR/D91 (99.3-100%), and R. japonica (99.7%). One sequence of the partial 17 kDa antigen gene for H. flava was similar to Rickettsia sp. 17kd-005 (99.7%), while seven sequences of the 17 kDa antigen gene obtained from I. nipponensis ticks were similar to R. monacensis IrR/Munich (98.7-100%) and Rickettsia sp. IRS3 (98.9%). SFG rickettsiae were detected in three species of ixodid ticks collected in the southwestern provinces of the ROK during 2013. A number of rickettsiae have been recently reported from ticks in Korea, some of which were identified as medically

  18. New records of tick-associated spotted fever group Rickettsia in an Amazon-Savannah ecotone, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguirre, A A R; Garcia, Marcos Valério; Costa, Ivaneide Nunes da; Csordas, Bárbara Guimarães; Rodrigues, Vinícius da Silva; Medeiros, Jansen Fernandes; Andreotti, Renato

    2018-05-01

    Human rickettsiosis has been recorded in the Amazon Biome. However, the epidemiological cycle of causative rickettsiae has not been fully accounted for in the Amazon region. This study investigates the presence of spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia spp. in free-living unfed ticks of the Amblyomma genus. The study was conducted in seven municipalities in Rondonia State, Brazil, where the main biomes are Amazon forest, Brazilian Savannah and their ecotones (areas of ecological tension between open ombrophilous forest and savannah). The following tick species were collected: Amblyomma cajennense (sensu lato) s.l., A. cajennense (sensu stricto) s.s., A. coelebs, A. naponense, A. oblongoguttatum, A. romitii, A. scalpturatum and A. sculptum. A total of 167 adults, 248 nymphs and 1004 larvae were subjected to DNA extraction and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to determine the presence of SFG Rickettsia spp. PCR-positive samples included: one A. cajennense s.s. female and one A. cajennense s.l. male from a rural area in Vilhena Municipality; 10 nymphs and a sample of larvae of A. cajennense s.l. from a peri-urban area in Cacoal Municipality; and an A. oblongoguttatum adult male from a rural area of Pimenta Bueno Municipality. All sequences obtained exhibited 100% identity with Rickettsia amblyommatis sequences. This is the first confirmation of SFG Rickettsia in an A. oblongoguttatum tick. Furthermore, this is the first record of SFG Rickettsia in the municipalities targeted by this study. These results warn that SFG Rickettsia circulation poses a threat in Rondonia State (among Amazon-Savannah ecotones), and that this threat is increased by the fact that SFG Rickettsia infect a human-biting tick species hitherto unconfirmed as a vector. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  19. Serological and molecular evidence for spotted fever group Rickettsia and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato co-infections in The Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koetsveld, Joris; Tijsse-Klasen, Ellen; Herremans, Tineke; Hovius, Joppe W R; Sprong, Hein

    2016-03-01

    Only a few reported cases indicate that Rickettsia helvetica and Rickettsia monacensis can cause disease in humans. Exposure to these two spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae occurs through bites of Ixodes ricinus, also the primary vector of Lyme borreliosis in Europe. To date, it is unclear how often exposure to these two microorganisms results in infection or disease. We show that of all the Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.-positive ticks, 25% were co-infected with rickettsiae. Predominantly R. helvetica was detected while R. monacensis was only found in approximately 2% of the ticks. In addition, exposure to tick-borne pathogens was compared by serology in healthy blood donors, erythema migrans (EM)-patients, and patients suspected of Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB). As could be expected, seroreactivity against B. burgdorferi sensu lato was lower in blood donors (6%) compared to EM patients (34%) and suspected LNB cases (64%). Interestingly, seroreactivity against SFG Rickettsia antigens was not detected in serum samples from blood donors (0%), but 6% of the EM patients and 21% of the LNB suspects showed anti-rickettsial antibodies. Finally, the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. and Rickettsia spp. in cerebrospinal fluid samples of a large cohort of patients suspected of LNB (n=208) was investigated by PCR. DNA of B. burgdorferi s.l., R. helvetica and R. monacensis was detected in seventeen, four and one patient, respectively. In conclusion, our data show that B. burgdorferi s.l. and SFG rickettsiae co-infection occurs in Dutch I. ricinus and that Lyme borreliosis patients, or patients suspected of Lyme borreliosis, are indeed exposed to both tick-borne pathogens. Whether SFG rickettsiae actually cause disease, and whether co-infections alter the clinical course of Lyme borreliosis, is not clear from our data, and warrants further investigation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  20. Serological and molecular detection of spotted fever group Rickettsia in a group of pet dogs from Luanda, Angola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barradas, Patrícia F; Vilhena, Hugo; Oliveira, Ana Cristina; Granada, Sara; Amorim, Irina; Ferreira, Paula; Cardoso, Luís; Gärtner, Fátima; de Sousa, Rita

    2017-05-31

    Infections with tick-borne rickettsiae can cause diseases well known in humans but still not so well characterized in dogs. Susceptibility to infection depends on the virulence of Rickettsia spp. and only a few of them have been described to cause disease in dogs. The aim of this study was to investigate the exposure to Rickettsia spp. among a group of pet dogs from Luanda, Angola. Out of 103 dogs included in the study, 62 (60.2%) were infested with ticks. Plasma specimens tested for serology by an immunofluorescence assay (IFA) revealed that six (5.8%) dogs had detectable immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to spotted fever group Rickettsia (SFGR), with endpoint titers of 64 for two dogs, 128 for three dogs and 1024 for one dog. From the seropositive group of dogs, five (83%) of them were males, with their age ranging from 1 to 8 years old. Among the seropositive dogs, four (66.7%) were parasitized with ticks and no breed (or cross) was found to be associated with specific antibodies. Rickettsia spp. DNA was detected by nested-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in two (1.9%) dogs that were found to be seronegative. Seroprevalence and molecular detection of Rickettsia spp. infection in this group of pet dogs from Luanda is low compared with other studies performed in the same type of hosts in other areas. Although many dogs were parasitized with ticks, a low prevalence of Rickettsia spp. could be related with the hypothesis of a low rickettsial prevalence in the infesting ticks. This study provides evidence that dogs in Luanda are exposed to Rickettsia spp., but further studies are needed to better characterize the bacterial infections in dogs and in their ectoparasites.

  1. Rickettsia typhi in rodents and R. felis in fleas in Yucatán as a possible causal agent of undefined febrile cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peniche-Lara, Gaspar; Dzul-Rosado, Karla; Pérez-Osorio, Carlos; Zavala-Castro, Jorge

    2015-01-01

    Rickettsia typhi is the causal agent of murine typhus; a worldwide zoonotic and vector-borne infectious disease, commonly associated with the presence of domestic and wild rodents. Human cases of murine typhus in the state of Yucatán are frequent. However, there is no evidence of the presence of Rickettsia typhi in mammals or vectors in Yucatán. The presence of Rickettsia in rodents and their ectoparasites was evaluated in a small municipality of Yucatán using the conventional polymerase chain reaction technique and sequencing. The study only identified the presence of Rickettsia typhi in blood samples obtained from Rattus rattus and it reported, for the first time, the presence of R. felis in the flea Polygenis odiosus collected from Ototylomys phyllotis rodent. Additionally, Rickettsia felis was detected in the ectoparasite Ctenocephalides felis fleas parasitizing the wild rodent Peromyscus yucatanicus. This study's results contributed to a better knowledge of Rickettsia epidemiology in Yucatán.

  2. “Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae” en Amblyomma tigrinum, San Luis, Argentina

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    Gabriel CICUTTIN

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available El objetivo del estudio fue detectar especies del género Rickettsia en garrapatas de la especie Amblyomma tigrinum colectadas sobre carnívoros domésticos y en sangre de caninos domésticos de la provincia de San Luis (Argentina. Entre 2013 y 2015 se colectaron 56 garrapatas adultas de la especie A. tigrinum sobre caninos y felinos domésticos, y se obtuvieron 65 muestras sanguíneas de caninos. Tres garrapatas resultaron positivas mediante la amplificación de un fragmento del espacio intergénico 23S-5S ARNr del género Rickettsia, lográndose secuenciar uno de los productos positivos. La muestra positiva secuenciada también resultó positiva por PCRs de los fragmentos de los genes gltA y ompA. Las secuencias obtenidas resultaron tener una identidad del 100 % de identidad con “Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae”. Todas las muestras sanguíneas resultaron negativas. “Ca. R. andeanae” no ha sido asociada con enfermedad en humanos o animales, sin embargo, es necesario realizar nuevas investigaciones para lograr un mayor conocimiento del riesgo potencial de transmisión de rickettsiosis en la región. SUMMARY. “Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae” in Amblyomma tigrinum ticks from San Luis (Argentina. The aim of this study was to detect species of Rickettsia in Amblyomma tigrinum ticks collected from domestic carnivores and blood of domestic dogs of San Luis (Argentina. Between 2013 and 2015, 56 adults of A. tigrinum from dogs and cats and 65 blood from dogs were collected. Three ticks were positive by amplification of a 23S-5S rRNA fragment, and the sequence of one of the positive products was obtained. The positive sample sequenced was positive by PCRs of fragments of genes gltA and ompA. The sequences obtained were 100% identical with "Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae". All blood samples were negative. “Ca. R. andeanae” has not been associated with disease in humans or animals; however, further research is necessary to achieve greater

  3. First report of Rickettsia raoultii and R. slovaca in Melophagus ovinus, the sheep ked.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dan; Wang, Yuan-Zhi; Zhang, Huan; Liu, Zhi-Qiang; Wureli, Ha-Zi; Wang, Shi-Wei; Tu, Chang-Chun; Chen, Chuang-Fu

    2016-11-25

    Melophagus ovinus (Diptera: Hippoboscidae), a hematophagous ectoparasite, is mainly found in Europe, Northwestern Africa, and Asia. This wingless fly infests sheep, rabbits, and red foxes, and causes inflammation, wool loss and skin damage. Furthermore, this parasite has been shown to transmit diseases, and plays a role as a vector. Herein, we investigated the presence of various Rickettsia species in M. ovinus. In this study, a total of 95 sheep keds were collected in Kuqa County and Alaer City southern region of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwestern China. First, collected sheep keds were identified on the species level using morphological keys and molecular methods based on a fragment of the 18S ribosomal DNA gene (18S rDNA). Thereafter, to assess the presence of rickettsial DNA in sheep keds, the DNA of individual samples was screened by PCR based on six Rickettsia-specific gene fragments originating from six genes: the 17-kilodalton antigen gene (17-kDa), 16S rRNA gene (rrs), surface cell antigen 4 gene (sca4), citrate synthase gene (gltA), and outer membrane protein A and B genes (ompA and ompB). The amplified products were confirmed by sequencing and BLAST analysis ( https://blast.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Blast.cgi?PROGRAM=blastn&PAGE_TYPE=BlastSearch&LINK_LOC=blasthome ). According to its morphology and results of molecular analysis, the species was identified as Melophagus ovinus, with 100% identity to M. ovinus from St. Kilda, Australia (FN666411). DNA of Rickettsia spp. were found in 12 M. ovinus samples (12.63%, 12/95). Rickettsia raoultii and R. slovaca were confirmed based on phylogenetic analysis, although the genetic markers of these two rickettsial agents amplified in this study showed molecular diversity. This is the first report of R. raoultii and R. slovaca DNA in M. ovinus. Rickettsia slovaca was found for the first time around the Taklimakan Desert located in China. This finding extends the geographical range of spotted fever group

  4. First report of Rickettsia raoultii and R. slovaca in Melophagus ovinus, the sheep ked

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan Liu

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Melophagus ovinus (Diptera: Hippoboscidae, a hematophagous ectoparasite, is mainly found in Europe, Northwestern Africa, and Asia. This wingless fly infests sheep, rabbits, and red foxes, and causes inflammation, wool loss and skin damage. Furthermore, this parasite has been shown to transmit diseases, and plays a role as a vector. Herein, we investigated the presence of various Rickettsia species in M. ovinus. Methods In this study, a total of 95 sheep keds were collected in Kuqa County and Alaer City southern region of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwestern China. First, collected sheep keds were identified on the species level using morphological keys and molecular methods based on a fragment of the 18S ribosomal DNA gene (18S rDNA. Thereafter, to assess the presence of rickettsial DNA in sheep keds, the DNA of individual samples was screened by PCR based on six Rickettsia-specific gene fragments originating from six genes: the 17-kilodalton antigen gene (17-kDa, 16S rRNA gene (rrs, surface cell antigen 4 gene (sca4, citrate synthase gene (gltA, and outer membrane protein A and B genes (ompA and ompB. The amplified products were confirmed by sequencing and BLAST analysis ( https://blast.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Blast.cgi?PROGRAM=blastn&PAGE_TYPE=BlastSearch&LINK_LOC=blasthome . Results According to its morphology and results of molecular analysis, the species was identified as Melophagus ovinus, with 100% identity to M. ovinus from St. Kilda, Australia (FN666411. DNA of Rickettsia spp. were found in 12 M. ovinus samples (12.63%, 12/95. Rickettsia raoultii and R. slovaca were confirmed based on phylogenetic analysis, although the genetic markers of these two rickettsial agents amplified in this study showed molecular diversity. Conclusions This is the first report of R. raoultii and R. slovaca DNA in M. ovinus. Rickettsia slovaca was found for the first time around the Taklimakan Desert located in China. This finding

  5. Consequences of Common Topological Rearrangements for Partition Trees in Phylogenomic Inference.

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    Chernomor, Olga; Minh, Bui Quang; von Haeseler, Arndt

    2015-12-01

    In phylogenomic analysis the collection of trees with identical score (maximum likelihood or parsimony score) may hamper tree search algorithms. Such collections are coined phylogenetic terraces. For sparse supermatrices with a lot of missing data, the number of terraces and the number of trees on the terraces can be very large. If terraces are not taken into account, a lot of computation time might be unnecessarily spent to evaluate many trees that in fact have identical score. To save computation time during the tree search, it is worthwhile to quickly identify such cases. The score of a species tree is the sum of scores for all the so-called induced partition trees. Therefore, if the topological rearrangement applied to a species tree does not change the induced partition trees, the score of these partition trees is unchanged. Here, we provide the conditions under which the three most widely used topological rearrangements (nearest neighbor interchange, subtree pruning and regrafting, and tree bisection and reconnection) change the topologies of induced partition trees. During the tree search, these conditions allow us to quickly identify whether we can save computation time on the evaluation of newly encountered trees. We also introduce the concept of partial terraces and demonstrate that they occur more frequently than the original "full" terrace. Hence, partial terrace is the more important factor of timesaving compared to full terrace. Therefore, taking into account the above conditions and the partial terrace concept will help to speed up the tree search in phylogenomic inference.

  6. Insect Phylogenomics: Exploring the Source of Incongruence Using New Transcriptomic Data

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    Simon, Sabrina; Narechania, Apurva; DeSalle, Rob; Hadrys, Heike

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of the diverse insect lineages is one of the most fascinating issues in evolutionary biology. Despite extensive research in this area, the resolution of insect phylogeny especially of interordinal relationships has turned out to be still a great challenge. One of the challenges for insect systematics is the radiation of the polyneopteran lineages with several contradictory and/or unresolved relationships. Here, we provide the first transcriptomic data for three enigmatic polyneopteran orders (Dermaptera, Plecoptera, and Zoraptera) to clarify one of the most debated issues among higher insect systematics. We applied different approaches to generate 3 data sets comprising 78 species and 1,579 clusters of orthologous genes. Using these three matrices, we explored several key mechanistic problems of phylogenetic reconstruction including missing data, matrix selection, gene and taxa number/choice, and the biological function of the genes. Based on the first phylogenomic approach including these three ambiguous polyneopteran orders, we provide here conclusive support for monophyletic Polyneoptera, contesting the hypothesis of Zoraptera + Paraneoptera and Plecoptera + remaining Neoptera. In addition, we employ various approaches to evaluate data quality and highlight problematic nodes within the Insect Tree that still exist despite our phylogenomic approach. We further show how the support for these nodes or alternative hypotheses might depend on the taxon- and/or gene-sampling. PMID:23175716

  7. Phylogenomic analyses support the monophyly of Excavata and resolve relationships among eukaryotic "supergroups".

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    Hampl, Vladimir; Hug, Laura; Leigh, Jessica W; Dacks, Joel B; Lang, B Franz; Simpson, Alastair G B; Roger, Andrew J

    2009-03-10

    Nearly all of eukaryotic diversity has been classified into 6 suprakingdom-level groups (supergroups) based on molecular and morphological/cell-biological evidence; these are Opisthokonta, Amoebozoa, Archaeplastida, Rhizaria, Chromalveolata, and Excavata. However, molecular phylogeny has not provided clear evidence that either Chromalveolata or Excavata is monophyletic, nor has it resolved the relationships among the supergroups. To establish the affinities of Excavata, which contains parasites of global importance and organisms regarded previously as primitive eukaryotes, we conducted a phylogenomic analysis of a dataset of 143 proteins and 48 taxa, including 19 excavates. Previous phylogenomic studies have not included all major subgroups of Excavata, and thus have not definitively addressed their interrelationships. The enigmatic flagellate Andalucia is sister to typical jakobids. Jakobids (including Andalucia), Euglenozoa and Heterolobosea form a major clade that we name Discoba. Analyses of the complete dataset group Discoba with the mitochondrion-lacking excavates or "metamonads" (diplomonads, parabasalids, and Preaxostyla), but not with the final excavate group, Malawimonas. This separation likely results from a long-branch attraction artifact. Gradual removal of rapidly-evolving taxa from the dataset leads to moderate bootstrap support (69%) for the monophyly of all Excavata, and 90% support once all metamonads are removed. Most importantly, Excavata robustly emerges between unikonts (Amoebozoa + Opisthokonta) and "megagrouping" of Archaeplastida, Rhizaria, and chromalveolates. Our analyses indicate that Excavata forms a monophyletic suprakingdom-level group that is one of the 3 primary divisions within eukaryotes, along with unikonts and a megagroup of Archaeplastida, Rhizaria, and the chromalveolate lineages.

  8. Hyb-Seq: Combining Target Enrichment and Genome Skimming for Plant Phylogenomics

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    Kevin Weitemier

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Premise of the study: Hyb-Seq, the combination of target enrichment and genome skimming, allows simultaneous data collection for low-copy nuclear genes and high-copy genomic targets for plant systematics and evolution studies. Methods and Results: Genome and transcriptome assemblies for milkweed (Asclepias syriaca were used to design enrichment probes for 3385 exons from 768 genes (>1.6 Mbp followed by Illumina sequencing of enriched libraries. Hyb-Seq of 12 individuals (10 Asclepias species and two related genera resulted in at least partial assembly of 92.6% of exons and 99.7% of genes and an average assembly length >2 Mbp. Importantly, complete plastomes and nuclear ribosomal DNA cistrons were assembled using off-target reads. Phylogenomic analyses demonstrated signal conflict between genomes. Conclusions: The Hyb-Seq approach enables targeted sequencing of thousands of low-copy nuclear exons and flanking regions, as well as genome skimming of high-copy repeats and organellar genomes, to efficiently produce genome-scale data sets for phylogenomics.

  9. Hyb-Seq: Combining target enrichment and genome skimming for plant phylogenomics1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weitemier, Kevin; Straub, Shannon C. K.; Cronn, Richard C.; Fishbein, Mark; Schmickl, Roswitha; McDonnell, Angela; Liston, Aaron

    2014-01-01

    • Premise of the study: Hyb-Seq, the combination of target enrichment and genome skimming, allows simultaneous data collection for low-copy nuclear genes and high-copy genomic targets for plant systematics and evolution studies. • Methods and Results: Genome and transcriptome assemblies for milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) were used to design enrichment probes for 3385 exons from 768 genes (>1.6 Mbp) followed by Illumina sequencing of enriched libraries. Hyb-Seq of 12 individuals (10 Asclepias species and two related genera) resulted in at least partial assembly of 92.6% of exons and 99.7% of genes and an average assembly length >2 Mbp. Importantly, complete plastomes and nuclear ribosomal DNA cistrons were assembled using off-target reads. Phylogenomic analyses demonstrated signal conflict between genomes. • Conclusions: The Hyb-Seq approach enables targeted sequencing of thousands of low-copy nuclear exons and flanking regions, as well as genome skimming of high-copy repeats and organellar genomes, to efficiently produce genome-scale data sets for phylogenomics. PMID:25225629

  10. Diversification of Rosaceae since the Late Cretaceous based on plastid phylogenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shu-Dong; Jin, Jian-Jun; Chen, Si-Yun; Chase, Mark W; Soltis, Douglas E; Li, Hong-Tao; Yang, Jun-Bo; Li, De-Zhu; Yi, Ting-Shuang

    2017-05-01

    Phylogenetic relationships in Rosaceae have long been problematic because of frequent hybridisation, apomixis and presumed rapid radiation, and their historical diversification has not been clarified. With 87 genera representing all subfamilies and tribes of Rosaceae and six of the other eight families of Rosales (outgroups), we analysed 130 newly sequenced plastomes together with 12 from GenBank in an attempt to reconstruct deep relationships and reveal temporal diversification of this family. Our results highlight the importance of improving sequence alignment and the use of appropriate substitution models in plastid phylogenomics. Three subfamilies and 16 tribes (as previously delimited) were strongly supported as monophyletic, and their relationships were fully resolved and strongly supported at most nodes. Rosaceae were estimated to have originated during the Late Cretaceous with evidence for rapid diversification events during several geological periods. The major lineages rapidly diversified in warm and wet habits during the Late Cretaceous, and the rapid diversification of genera from the early Oligocene onwards occurred in colder and drier environments. Plastid phylogenomics offers new and important insights into deep phylogenetic relationships and the diversification history of Rosaceae. The robust phylogenetic backbone and time estimates we provide establish a framework for future comparative studies on rosaceous evolution. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  11. Phylogenomics, Diversification Dynamics, and Comparative Transcriptomics across the Spider Tree of Life.

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    Fernández, Rosa; Kallal, Robert J; Dimitrov, Dimitar; Ballesteros, Jesús A; Arnedo, Miquel A; Giribet, Gonzalo; Hormiga, Gustavo

    2018-05-07

    Dating back to almost 400 mya, spiders are among the most diverse terrestrial predators [1]. However, despite considerable effort [1-9], their phylogenetic relationships and diversification dynamics remain poorly understood. Here, we use a synergistic approach to study spider evolution through phylogenomics, comparative transcriptomics, and lineage diversification analyses. Our analyses, based on ca. 2,500 genes from 159 spider species, reject a single origin of the orb web (the "ancient orb-web hypothesis") and suggest that orb webs evolved multiple times since the late Triassic-Jurassic. We find no significant association between the loss of foraging webs and increases in diversification rates, suggesting that other factors (e.g., habitat heterogeneity or biotic interactions) potentially played a key role in spider diversification. Finally, we report notable genomic differences in the main spider lineages: while araneoids (ecribellate orb-weavers and their allies) reveal an enrichment in genes related to behavior and sensory reception, the retrolateral tibial apophysis (RTA) clade-the most diverse araneomorph spider lineage-shows enrichment in genes related to immune responses and polyphenic determination. This study, one of the largest invertebrate phylogenomic analyses to date, highlights the usefulness of transcriptomic data not only to build a robust backbone for the Spider Tree of Life, but also to address the genetic basis of diversification in the spider evolutionary chronicle. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Phylogenomic detection and functional prediction of genes potentially important for plant meiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Luoyan; Kong, Hongzhi; Ma, Hong; Yang, Ji

    2018-02-15

    Meiosis is a specialized type of cell division necessary for sexual reproduction in eukaryotes. A better understanding of the cytological procedures of meiosis has been achieved by comprehensive cytogenetic studies in plants, while the genetic mechanisms regulating meiotic progression remain incompletely understood. The increasing accumulation of complete genome sequences and large-scale gene expression datasets has provided a powerful resource for phylogenomic inference and unsupervised identification of genes involved in plant meiosis. By integrating sequence homology and expression data, 164, 131, 124 and 162 genes potentially important for meiosis were identified in the genomes of Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa, Selaginella moellendorffii and Pogonatum aloides, respectively. The predicted genes were assigned to 45 meiotic GO terms, and their functions were related to different processes occurring during meiosis in various organisms. Most of the predicted meiotic genes underwent lineage-specific duplication events during plant evolution, with about 30% of the predicted genes retaining only a single copy in higher plant genomes. The results of this study provided clues to design experiments for better functional characterization of meiotic genes in plants, promoting the phylogenomic approach to the evolutionary dynamics of the plant meiotic machineries. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Complete genome of Cobetia marina JCM 21022T and phylogenomic analysis of the family Halomonadaceae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Xianghai; Xu, Kuipeng; Han, Xiaojuan; Mo, Zhaolan; Mao, Yunxiang

    2018-03-01

    Cobetia marina is a model proteobacteria in researches on marine biofouling. Its taxonomic nomenclature has been revised many times over the past few decades. To better understand the role of the surface-associated lifestyle of C. marina and the phylogeny of the family Halomonadaceae, we sequenced the entire genome of C. marina JCM 21022T using single molecule real-time sequencing technology (SMRT) and performed comparative genomics and phylogenomics analyses. The circular chromosome was 4 176 300 bp with an average GC content of 62.44% and contained 3 611 predicted coding sequences, 72 tRNA genes, and 21 rRNA genes. The C. marina JCM 21022T genome contained a set of crucial genes involved in surface colonization processes. The comparative genome analysis indicated the significant differences between C. marina JCM 21022T and Cobetia amphilecti KMM 296 (formerly named C. marina KMM 296) resulted from sequence insertions or deletions and chromosomal recombination. Despite these differences, pan and core genome analysis showed similar gene functions between the two strains. The phylogenomic study of the family Halomonadaceae is reported here for the first time. We found that the relationships were well resolved among every genera tested, including Chromohalobacter, Halomonas, Cobetia, Kushneria, Zymobacter, and Halotalea.

  14. Phylogenomics Controlling for Base Compositional Bias Reveals a Single Origin of Eusociality in Corbiculate Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romiguier, Jonathan; Cameron, Sydney A; Woodard, S Hollis; Fischman, Brielle J; Keller, Laurent; Praz, Christophe J

    2016-03-01

    As increasingly large molecular data sets are collected for phylogenomics, the conflicting phylogenetic signal among gene trees poses challenges to resolve some difficult nodes of the Tree of Life. Among these nodes, the phylogenetic position of the honey bees (Apini) within the corbiculate bee group remains controversial, despite its considerable importance for understanding the emergence and maintenance of eusociality. Here, we show that this controversy stems in part from pervasive phylogenetic conflicts among GC-rich gene trees. GC-rich genes typically have a high nucleotidic heterogeneity among species, which can induce topological conflicts among gene trees. When retaining only the most GC-homogeneous genes or using a nonhomogeneous model of sequence evolution, our analyses reveal a monophyletic group of the three lineages with a eusocial lifestyle (honey bees, bumble bees, and stingless bees). These phylogenetic relationships strongly suggest a single origin of eusociality in the corbiculate bees, with no reversal to solitary living in this group. To accurately reconstruct other important evolutionary steps across the Tree of Life, we suggest removing GC-rich and GC-heterogeneous genes from large phylogenomic data sets. Interpreted as a consequence of genome-wide variations in recombination rates, this GC effect can affect all taxa featuring GC-biased gene conversion, which is common in eukaryotes. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Detection of Babesia Sp. EU1 and members of spotted fever group rickettsiae in ticks collected from migratory birds at Curonian Spit, North-Western Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Movila, Alexandru; Reye, Anna L; Dubinina, Helen V; Tolstenkov, Oleg O; Toderas, Ion; Hübschen, Judith M; Muller, Claude P; Alekseev, Andrey N

    2011-01-01

    To reveal the prevalence of spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae and Babesia sp. in Ixodes ricinus (L.) ticks from migratory birds, 236 specimens represented 8 species of Passeriformes and were collected at Curonian Spit in Kaliningrad enclave of North-Western Russia. The ticks (total 126) being detached from four bird species, Turdus philomelos, Fringilla coelebs, Parus major, and Sturnus vulgaris, were investigated by PCR using the primers Rp CS.877p/Rp CS.1258n for the detection of Rickettsia and BJ1/BN2 for Babesia spp. Babesia spp. were detected in 2 of 126 (1.6%) ticks. The partial sequence of 18S rDNA had 100% similarity to human pathogenic Babesia sp. EU1. The SFG rickettsiae were detected in 19 of 126 (15.1%) ticks collected from the above-mentioned bird species. BLAST analysis of SFG rickettsia gltA assigned sequences to human pathogenic Rickettsia helvetica (10.3%), Rickettsia monacensis (3.9%), and Rickettsia japonica (0.8%) with 98%-100% sequence similarity. The SFG rickettsiae and Babesia sp. EU1 in ticks collected from the passerines in Russia were detected for the first time. The survey indicates that migratory birds may become a reservoir for Babesia spp. and SFG rickettsiae. Future investigations need to characterize the role of birds in the epidemiology of these human pathogens in the region.

  16. Selecting Question-Specific Genes to Reduce Incongruence in Phylogenomics: A Case Study of Jawed Vertebrate Backbone Phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Meng-Yun; Liang, Dan; Zhang, Peng

    2015-11-01

    Incongruence between different phylogenomic analyses is the main challenge faced by phylogeneticists in the genomic era. To reduce incongruence, phylogenomic studies normally adopt some data filtering approaches, such as reducing missing data or using slowly evolving genes, to improve the signal quality of data. Here, we assembled a phylogenomic data set of 58 jawed vertebrate taxa and 4682 genes to investigate the backbone phylogeny of jawed vertebrates under both concatenation and coalescent-based frameworks. To evaluate the efficiency of extracting phylogenetic signals among different data filtering methods, we chose six highly intractable internodes within the backbone phylogeny of jawed vertebrates as our test questions. We found that our phylogenomic data set exhibits substantial conflicting signal among genes for these questions. Our analyses showed that non-specific data sets that are generated without bias toward specific questions are not sufficient to produce consistent results when there are several difficult nodes within a phylogeny. Moreover, phylogenetic accuracy based on non-specific data is considerably influenced by the size of data and the choice of tree inference methods. To address such incongruences, we selected genes that resolve a given internode but not the entire phylogeny. Notably, not only can this strategy yield correct relationships for the question, but it also reduces inconsistency associated with data sizes and inference methods. Our study highlights the importance of gene selection in phylogenomic analyses, suggesting that simply using a large amount of data cannot guarantee correct results. Constructing question-specific data sets may be more powerful for resolving problematic nodes. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Unique Strain of Rickettsia parkeri Associated with the Hard Tick Dermacentor parumapertus Neumann in the Western United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paddock, Christopher D; Allerdice, Michelle E J; Karpathy, Sandor E; Nicholson, William L; Levin, Michael L; Smith, Travis C; Becker, Tom; Delph, Robert J; Knight, Robert N; Ritter, Jana M; Sanders, Jeanine H; Goddard, Jerome

    2017-05-01

    In 1953, investigators at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, MT, described the isolation of a spotted fever group Rickettsia (SFGR) species from Dermacentor parumapertus ticks collected from black-tailed jackrabbits ( Lepus californicus ) in northern Nevada. Several decades later, investigators characterized this SFGR (designated the parumapertus agent) by using mouse serotyping methods and determined that it represented a distinct rickettsial serotype closely related to Rickettsia parkeri ; nonetheless, the parumapertus agent was not further characterized or studied. To our knowledge, no isolates of the parumapertus agent remain in any rickettsial culture collection, which precludes contemporary phylogenetic placement of this enigmatic SFGR. To rediscover the parumapertus agent, adult-stage D. parumapertus ticks were collected from black-tailed jackrabbits shot or encountered as roadkills in Arizona, Utah, or Texas from 2011 to 2016. A total of 339 ticks were collected and evaluated for infection with Rickettsia species. Of 112 D. parumapertus ticks collected in south Texas, 16 (14.3%) contained partial ompA sequences with the closest identity (99.6%) to Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest Aa46, an SFGR that is closely related or identical to an SFGR species that causes a mild rickettsiosis in several states of Brazil. A pure isolate, designated strain Black Gap, was cultivated in Vero E6 cells, and sequence analysis of the rrs , gltA , sca0 , sca5 , and sca4 genes also revealed the closest genetic identity to Rickettsia sp. Atlantic rainforest Aa46. Phylogenetic analysis of the five concatenated rickettsial genes place Rickettsia sp. strain Black Gap and Rickettsia sp. Atlantic rainforest Aa46 with R. parkeri in a distinct and well-supported clade. IMPORTANCE We suggest that Rickettsia sp. Black Gap and Rickettsia sp. Atlantic rainforest Aa46 represent nearly identical strains of R. parkeri and that Rickettsia sp. Black Gap or a very similar

  18. Evidence of spotted fever group rickettsiae in state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ROZENTAL Tatiana

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Ticks were obtained from dogs from February to September of 1999 at weekly intervals, in the County of Piraí, State of Rio de Janeiro. Four hundred seventy four ixodids were taxonomically identified, 103 Amblyomma cajennense, seven Amblyomma ovale, 209 Rhipicephalus sanguineus, and 155 Amblyomma sp. An hemolymph test associated with Giemsa's stain revealed two specimens in 163 ticks tested (R. sanguineus and Amblyomma sp, containing rickettsia-like organisms. Direct immunofluorescence verified the presence of spotted fever group rickettsia in one specimen of R. sanguineus. Considering the limited information on rickettsiosis in Brazil, principally in relation to the vectors involved in perpetuating it in foci, these preliminary results give us an idea on the importance of infection in ticks, allowing to expand our knowledge on this zoonosis.

  19. Molecular Detection of Rickettsia africae in Amblyomma variegatum Collected from Sudan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakao, Ryo; Qiu, Yongjin; Salim, Bashir; Hassan, Shawgi Mohamed; Sugimoto, Chihiro

    2015-05-01

    Despite the increasing awareness of the importance of emerging vector-borne diseases, human tick-borne diseases, particularly rickettsial infections, are overlooked, especially in the countries such as Sudan with limited resources to perform molecular-based surveys. This study aimed at detection and genetic characterization of Rickettsia spp. in ticks collected from Sudan. The samples were first screened for the presence of rickettsial agents by gltA real-time PCR and subsequently characterized by gltA and ompA PCR and size-based multispacer typing. The results demonstrated the wide distribution of Rickettsia africae and/or closely related species across Sudan. The results of this report highlight the need for careful consideration of rickettsial infections in patients with nonmalarial febrile illness in this country. Nationwide surveillance on ticks associated with human rickettsial infections in Sudan is warranted.

  20. Outbreak of Rickettsia africae infections in participants of an adventure race in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, P E; Roux, V; Caumes, E; Donzel, M; Raoult, D

    1998-08-01

    African tick-bite fever, caused by Rickettsia africae and transmitted by Amblyomma ticks, is an emerging rickettsiosis in southern Africa. Because of increased tourism to this area, several cases in tourists have been reported recently. We report 13 cases of R. africae infection diagnosed in France that occurred in competitors returning from an adventure race in South Africa and compare our data with previously reported findings. Most of our patients presented with fever, headache, multiple inoculation eschars, and regional lymphadenopathies, but only 15.4% had a cutaneous rash. Diagnosis was confirmed either by isolation of R. africae from an eschar biopsy specimen or by serological methods, including cross-adsorption between R. africae and Rickettsia conorii. The purpose of this study was to raise physicians' awareness of R. africae infections in an attempt to facilitate the rapid diagnosis and treatment of imported African tick-bite fever in developed countries.

  1. Experimental infection in Cavia porcellus by infected Amblyomma ovale nymphs with Rickettsia sp. (Atlantic rainforest strain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brustolin, Joice Magali; da Silva Krawczak, Felipe; Alves, Marta Elena Machado; Weiller, Maria Amélia; de Souza, Camila Lopes; Rosa, Fábio Brum; Cadore, Gustavo Cauduro; Dos Anjos Lopes, Sônia Terezinha; Labruna, Marcelo Bahia; Vogel, Fernanda Silveira Flores; de Avila Botton, Sônia; Sangioni, Luís Antônio

    2018-03-01

    This study describes experimental infection of guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) infested with naturally infected Amblyomma ovale nymphs with Rickettsia sp. (Atlantic rainforest strain), and the capacity of A. ovale nymphs to transmit this bacterium. Twenty-six guinea pigs were divided into the following groups: G1, 10 animals infested with uninfected A. ovale nymphs; G2, 10 animals infested with nymphs infected with Rickettsia sp. (Atlantic rainforest strain); and G3, 6 animals without tick infestation. Blood samples were taken 7, 14, 21, and 28 days post-infestation for serological and hematological tests. For histopathological analysis and rickettsial DNA detection, fragments of the spleen, lung, brain, and liver were harvested after euthanasia. The average feeding period for nymphs was 6.6 days for G1 and 6 days for G2. Hemolymph and PCR assays, performed to detect the causative agent in ticks, indicated that in G1, all ticks were negative, and in G2, all nymphs were positive by PCR and 80% (8/10) was positive by hemolymph tests. The only clinical change was skin scarring at the tick attachment site. Hematological parameters indicated leukopenia and total plasma protein (TPP) increased with decreased platelets in G1. In G2, leukocytosis, neutrophilia, monocytosis, an increase in platelets, and reduced TPP were observed. Only G2 guinea pigs were seroconverted (80%; 8/10). Histopathology tests indicated mild, diffuse hemosiderosis and mild, multifocal, follicular hyperplasia in the spleen. Molecular analysis did not detect Rickettsia sp. DNA in C. porcellus tissues. We demonstrated the capacity of A. ovale nymphs to transmit Rickettsia sp. (Atlantic rainforest strain) to guinea pigs.

  2. First report of Rickettsia raoultii and R. slovaca in Melophagus ovinus, the sheep ked

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    Liu, Dan; Wang, Yuan-Zhi; Zhang, Huan; Liu, Zhi-Qiang; Wureli, Ha-zi; Wang, Shi-Wei; Tu, Chang-Chun; Chen, Chuang-Fu

    2016-01-01

    Background Melophagus ovinus (Diptera: Hippoboscidae), a hematophagous ectoparasite, is mainly found in Europe, Northwestern Africa, and Asia. This wingless fly infests sheep, rabbits, and red foxes, and causes inflammation, wool loss and skin damage. Furthermore, this parasite has been shown to transmit diseases, and plays a role as a vector. Herein, we investigated the presence of various Rickettsia species in M. ovinus. Methods In this study, a total of 95 sheep keds were collected in Kuqa...

  3. Direct evidence of Rickettsia typhi infection in Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks and their canine hosts

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    Karla Dzul-Rosado

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Murine typhus is a rickettsiosis caused by Rickettsia typhi, whose transmission is carried out by rat fleas in urban settlements as classically known, but it also has been related to cat fleas in a sub-urban alternative cycle that has been suggested by recent reports. These studies remarks that in addition to rats, other animals like cats, opossums and dogs could be implied in the transmission of Rickettsia typhi as infected fleas obtained from serologically positive animals have been detected in samples from endemic areas. In Mexico, the higher number of murine typhus cases have been detected in the Yucatan peninsula, which includes a great southeastern region of Mexico that shows ecologic characteristics similar to the sub-urban alternative cycle recently described in Texas and California at the United States. To find out which are the particular ecologic characteristics of murine typhus transmission in this region, we analyzed blood and Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks obtained from domestic dogs by molecular approaches, demonstrating that both samples were infected by Rickettsia typhi. Following this, we obtained isolates that were analyzed by genetic sequencing to corroborate this infection in 100% of the analyzed samples. This evidence suggests for the first time that ticks and dogs could be actively participating in the transmission of murine typhus, in a role that requires further studies for its precise description.

  4. Arsenophonus nasoniae and Rickettsiae Infection of Ixodes ricinus Due to Parasitic Wasp Ixodiphagus hookeri.

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    Monika Bohacsova

    Full Text Available Arsenophonus nasoniae, a male-killing endosymbiont of chalcid wasps, was recently detected in several hard tick species. Following the hypothesis that its presence in ticks may not be linked to the direct occurrence of bacteria in tick's organs, we identified A. nasoniae in wasps emerging from parasitised nymphs. We confirmed that 28.1% of Ixodiphagus hookeri wasps parasitizing Ixodes ricinus ticks were infected by A. nasoniae. Moreover, in examined I. ricinus nymphs, A. nasoniae was detected only in those, which were parasitized by the wasp. However, in part of the adult wasps as well as in some ticks that contained wasp's DNA, we did not confirm A. nasoniae. We also found, that in spite of reported male-killing, some newly emerged adult wasp males were also infected by A. nasoniae. Additionally, we amplified the DNA of Rickettsia helvetica and Rickettsia monacensis (known to be Ixodes ricinus-associated bacteria in adult parasitoid wasps. This may be related either with the digested bacterial DNA in wasp body lumen or with a role of wasps in circulation of rickettsiae among tick vectors.

  5. The Phylogeny of Rickettsia Using Different Evolutionary Signatures: How Tree-Like is Bacterial Evolution?

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    Murray, Gemma G. R.; Weinert, Lucy A.; Rhule, Emma L.; Welch, John J.

    2016-01-01

    Rickettsia is a genus of intracellular bacteria whose hosts and transmission strategies are both impressively diverse, and this is reflected in a highly dynamic genome. Some previous studies have described the evolutionary history of Rickettsia as non-tree-like, due to incongruity between phylogenetic reconstructions using different portions of the genome. Here, we reconstruct the Rickettsia phylogeny using whole-genome data, including two new genomes from previously unsampled host groups. We find that a single topology, which is supported by multiple sources of phylogenetic signal, well describes the evolutionary history of the core genome. We do observe extensive incongruence between individual gene trees, but analyses of simulations over a single topology and interspersed partitions of sites show that this is more plausibly attributed to systematic error than to horizontal gene transfer. Some conflicting placements also result from phylogenetic analyses of accessory genome content (i.e., gene presence/absence), but we argue that these are also due to systematic error, stemming from convergent genome reduction, which cannot be accommodated by existing phylogenetic methods. Our results show that, even within a single genus, tests for gene exchange based on phylogenetic incongruence may be susceptible to false positives. PMID:26559010

  6. Evolution of Rhizaria: new insights from phylogenomic analysis of uncultivated protists.

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    Burki, Fabien; Kudryavtsev, Alexander; Matz, Mikhail V; Aglyamova, Galina V; Bulman, Simon; Fiers, Mark; Keeling, Patrick J; Pawlowski, Jan

    2010-12-02

    Recent phylogenomic analyses have revolutionized our view of eukaryote evolution by revealing unexpected relationships between and within the eukaryotic supergroups. However, for several groups of uncultivable protists, only the ribosomal RNA genes and a handful of proteins are available, often leading to unresolved evolutionary relationships. A striking example concerns the supergroup Rhizaria, which comprises several groups of uncultivable free-living protists such as radiolarians, foraminiferans and gromiids, as well as the parasitic plasmodiophorids and haplosporids. Thus far, the relationships within this supergroup have been inferred almost exclusively from rRNA, actin, and polyubiquitin genes, and remain poorly resolved. To address this, we have generated large Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) datasets for 5 species of Rhizaria belonging to 3 important groups: Acantharea (Astrolonche sp., Phyllostaurus sp.), Phytomyxea (Spongospora subterranea, Plasmodiophora brassicae) and Gromiida (Gromia sphaerica). 167 genes were selected for phylogenetic analyses based on the representation of at least one rhizarian species for each gene. Concatenation of these genes produced a supermatrix composed of 36,735 amino acid positions, including 10 rhizarians, 9 stramenopiles, and 9 alveolates. Phylogenomic analyses of this large dataset revealed a strongly supported clade grouping Foraminifera and Acantharea. The position of this clade within Rhizaria was sensitive to the method employed and the taxon sampling: Maximum Likelihood (ML) and Bayesian analyses using empirical model of evolution favoured an early divergence, whereas the CAT model and ML analyses with fast-evolving sites or the foraminiferan species Reticulomyxa filosa removed suggested a derived position, closely related to Gromia and Phytomyxea. In contrast to what has been previously reported, our analyses also uncovered the presence of the rhizarian-specific polyubiquitin insertion in Acantharea. Finally, this

  7. Evolution of Rhizaria: new insights from phylogenomic analysis of uncultivated protists

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    Bulman Simon

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent phylogenomic analyses have revolutionized our view of eukaryote evolution by revealing unexpected relationships between and within the eukaryotic supergroups. However, for several groups of uncultivable protists, only the ribosomal RNA genes and a handful of proteins are available, often leading to unresolved evolutionary relationships. A striking example concerns the supergroup Rhizaria, which comprises several groups of uncultivable free-living protists such as radiolarians, foraminiferans and gromiids, as well as the parasitic plasmodiophorids and haplosporids. Thus far, the relationships within this supergroup have been inferred almost exclusively from rRNA, actin, and polyubiquitin genes, and remain poorly resolved. To address this, we have generated large Expressed Sequence Tag (EST datasets for 5 species of Rhizaria belonging to 3 important groups: Acantharea (Astrolonche sp., Phyllostaurus sp., Phytomyxea (Spongospora subterranea, Plasmodiophora brassicae and Gromiida (Gromia sphaerica. Results 167 genes were selected for phylogenetic analyses based on the representation of at least one rhizarian species for each gene. Concatenation of these genes produced a supermatrix composed of 36,735 amino acid positions, including 10 rhizarians, 9 stramenopiles, and 9 alveolates. Phylogenomic analyses of this large dataset revealed a strongly supported clade grouping Foraminifera and Acantharea. The position of this clade within Rhizaria was sensitive to the method employed and the taxon sampling: Maximum Likelihood (ML and Bayesian analyses using empirical model of evolution favoured an early divergence, whereas the CAT model and ML analyses with fast-evolving sites or the foraminiferan species Reticulomyxa filosa removed suggested a derived position, closely related to Gromia and Phytomyxea. In contrast to what has been previously reported, our analyses also uncovered the presence of the rhizarian-specific polyubiquitin

  8. Seroprevalencia de Leptospira sp., Rickettsia sp. Ehrlichia sp. en trabajadores rurales del departamento de Sucre, Colombia Seroprevalence of Leptospira sp., Rickettsia sp. and Ehrlichia sp. in rural workers of Sucre, Colombia

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    Rodrigo Ríos

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Determinar la seroprevalencia de Leptospira sp., Rickettsia sp. y Ehrlichia sp. en trabajadores de áreas rurales del departamento de Sucre. Material y métodos. Se realizó un estudio escriptivo, prospectivo, de corte transversal, que pretendió determinar la seroprevalencia e Leptospira sp., Rickettsia sp. y Ehrlichia sp. en 90 trabajadores de áreas rurales del departamento de Sucre. Se estableció la presencia de anticuerpos séricos anti-IgM específicos anti-Leptospira por la técnica de ELISA indirecta. Para la determinación de Rickettsia sp. y Ehrlichia sp. se uso la técnica de inmunofluorescencia indirecta. Resultados. La población evaluada estaba compuesta por 27 (30% ordeñadores, 21 (23% jornaleros, 18 (20% profesionales del campo y 24 (27% que realizaban otras actividades. Ventidós (24% muestras resultaron positivas en alguna de las pruebas. De éstas, 12 (13,3% fueron positivas para Leptospira sp., 7 (7,8% para Rickettsia sp. y 3 (3,3% ara Ehrlichia sp. Conclusión. Este fue el primer estudio que se llevó a cabo en el departamento de Sucre y permitió demostrar que existe una prevalencia importante de Leptospira p.,Rickettsia sp. y Ehrlichia sp.. Los factores de riesgo ocupacional fueron factores determinantes en la seropositividad.Objective. To determine the seroprevalence of Leptospira sp., Rickettsia sp. and Ehrlichia sp. in agricultural workers of Sucre. Methods. A descriptive prospective cross-sectional study was conducted in ninety rural workers of Sucre. Presence of serum antibodies anti-IgM specific anti-Leptospira by indirect ELISA was established. For the determination of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia indirect inmunoflorescence was used. Results.The population was composed by 27 (30% milkers, 21 (23% day workers, 18 farm professionals (20% and 24 (26% workers in others activities. A total of 22 (24% samples were positive to some test. Twelve (13.3% were positive to Leptospira sp., seven (7.8% to Rickettsia sp

  9. Implication of the Bacterial Endosymbiont Rickettsia spp. in Interactions of the Whitefly Bemisia tabaci with Tomato yellow leaf curl virus

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    Kliot, Adi; Cilia, Michelle; Czosnek, Henryk

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Numerous animal and plant viruses are transmitted by arthropod vectors in a persistent, circulative manner. Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) is transmitted by the sweet potato whitefly Bemisia tabaci. We report here that infection with Rickettsia spp., a facultative endosymbiont of whiteflies, altered TYLCV-B. tabaci interactions. A B. tabaci strain infected with Rickettsia acquired more TYLCV from infected plants, retained the virus longer, and exhibited nearly double the transmission efficiency compared to an uninfected B. tabaci strain with the same genetic background. Temporal and spatial antagonistic relationships were discovered between Rickettsia and TYLCV within the whitefly. In different time course experiments, the levels of virus and Rickettsia within the insect were inversely correlated. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of Rickettsia-infected midguts provided evidence for niche exclusion between Rickettsia and TYLCV. In particular, high levels of the bacterium in the midgut resulted in higher virus concentrations in the filter chamber, a favored site for virus translocation along the transmission pathway, whereas low levels of Rickettsia in the midgut resulted in an even distribution of the virus. Taken together, these results indicate that Rickettsia, by infecting the midgut, increases TYLCV transmission efficacy, adding further insights into the complex association between persistent plant viruses, their insect vectors, and microorganism tenants that reside within these insects. IMPORTANCE Interest in bacterial endosymbionts in arthropods and many aspects of their host biology in agricultural and human health systems has been increasing. A recent and relevant studied example is the influence of Wolbachia on dengue virus transmission by mosquitoes. In parallel with our recently studied whitefly-Rickettsia-TYLCV system, other studies have shown that dengue virus levels in the mosquito vector are inversely correlated with

  10. Alignment-free microbial phylogenomics under scenarios of sequence divergence, genome rearrangement and lateral genetic transfer.

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    Bernard, Guillaume; Chan, Cheong Xin; Ragan, Mark A

    2016-07-01

    Alignment-free (AF) approaches have recently been highlighted as alternatives to methods based on multiple sequence alignment in phylogenetic inference. However, the sensitivity of AF methods to genome-scale evolutionary scenarios is little known. Here, using simulated microbial genome data we systematically assess the sensitivity of nine AF methods to three important evolutionary scenarios: sequence divergence, lateral genetic transfer (LGT) and genome rearrangement. Among these, AF methods are most sensitive to the extent of sequence divergence, less sensitive to low and moderate frequencies of LGT, and most robust against genome rearrangement. We describe the application of AF methods to three well-studied empirical genome datasets, and introduce a new application of the jackknife to assess node support. Our results demonstrate that AF phylogenomics is computationally scalable to multi-genome data and can generate biologically meaningful phylogenies and insights into microbial evolution.

  11. The origin of modern metabolic networks inferred from phylogenomic analysis of protein architecture.

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    Caetano-Anollés, Gustavo; Kim, Hee Shin; Mittenthal, Jay E

    2007-05-29

    Metabolism represents a complex collection of enzymatic reactions and transport processes that convert metabolites into molecules capable of supporting cellular life. Here we explore the origins and evolution of modern metabolism. Using phylogenomic information linked to the structure of metabolic enzymes, we sort out recruitment processes and discover that most enzymatic activities were associated with the nine most ancient and widely distributed protein fold architectures. An analysis of newly discovered functions showed enzymatic diversification occurred early, during the onset of the modern protein world. Most importantly, phylogenetic reconstruction exercises and other evidence suggest strongly that metabolism originated in enzymes with the P-loop hydrolase fold in nucleotide metabolism, probably in pathways linked to the purine metabolic subnetwork. Consequently, the first enzymatic takeover of an ancient biochemistry or prebiotic chemistry was related to the synthesis of nucleotides for the RNA world.

  12. A phylogenomic gene cluster resource: The phylogeneticallyinferred groups (PhlGs) database

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    Dehal, Paramvir S.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-08-25

    We present here the PhIGs database, a phylogenomic resource for sequenced genomes. Although many methods exist for clustering gene families, very few attempt to create truly orthologous clusters sharing descent from a single ancestral gene across a range of evolutionary depths. Although these non-phylogenetic gene family clusters have been used broadly for gene annotation, errors are known to be introduced by the artifactual association of slowly evolving paralogs and lack of annotation for those more rapidly evolving. A full phylogenetic framework is necessary for accurate inference of function and for many studies that address pattern and mechanism of the evolution of the genome. The automated generation of evolutionary gene clusters, creation of gene trees, determination of orthology and paralogy relationships, and the correlation of this information with gene annotations, expression information, and genomic context is an important resource to the scientific community.

  13. Genotypic and biological characteristics of non-identified strain of spotted fever group rickettsiae isolated in Crimea.

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    Balayeva, N M; Demkin, V V; Rydkina, E B; Ignatovich, V F; Artemiev, M I; Lichoded LYa; Genig, V A

    1993-12-01

    A strain of rickettsiae, designated Crimea-108, was isolated from ticks Dermacentor marginatus in the Crimea in 1977. Its immunobiological characteristics involve low pathogenicity for experimental animals, moderate infectivity for chick embryos, and antigenic relatedness to spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae (R. sibirica, R. conorii, R. akari), especially to R. sibirica. The genotypic characterization of the strain Crimea-108 was carried out in comparison with SFG and typhus group rickettsiae by using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis and DNA-probe hybridization. The marked similarity was detected between DNA restriction patterns of the strains Crimea-108, R. sibirica and R. conorii, but each of them besides comigrating fragments had specific ones. Genotypic analysis of the strain Crimea-108, the SFG and typhus group rickettsiae by three independent DNA probes, based on R. prowazekii DNA, gave unique hybridization patterns for the Crimea-108 strain with all probes. The obtained data show that the Crimea-108 isolate does not belong to the species of R. sibirica, R. conorii, R. akari. The strain Crimea-108 is a novel strain of SFG rickettsiae for the Crimea region.

  14. Life inside a gall: closeness does not favour horizontal transmission of Rickettsia between a gall wasp and its parasitoid.

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    Gualtieri, Liberata; Nugnes, Francesco; Nappo, Anna G; Gebiola, Marco; Bernardo, Umberto

    2017-07-01

    The incidence of horizontal transmission as a route for spreading symbiont infections is still being debated, but a common view is that horizontal transfers require intimate between-species relationships. Here we study a system that meets ideal requirements for horizontal transmission: the gall wasp Leptocybe invasa and its parasitoid Quadrastichus mendeli (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). These wasps belong to the same subfamily, spend most of their lives inside the same minute gall and are both infected by Rickettsia, a maternally inherited endosymbiotic bacteria that infects several arthropods, sometimes manipulating their reproduction, like inducing thelytokous parthenogenesis in L. invasa. Despite intimate contact, close phylogenetic relationship and the parasitoid's host specificity, we show that host and parasitoid do not share the same Rickettsia. We provide indirect evidence that Rickettsia infecting Q. mendeli may be inducing thelytokous parthenogenesis, as the symbiont is densely present in the reproductive apparatus and is vertically transmitted. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S and gltA placed this symbiont in the leech group. The confirmed and presumed parthenogenesis-inducing Rickettsia discovered so far only infect eulophid wasps, and belong to three different groups, suggesting multiple independent evolution of the parthenogenesis inducing phenotype. We also show some degree of cospeciation between Rickettsia and their eulophid hosts. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Evaluating Fast Maximum Likelihood-Based Phylogenetic Programs Using Empirical Phylogenomic Data Sets

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    Zhou, Xiaofan; Shen, Xing-Xing; Hittinger, Chris Todd

    2018-01-01

    Abstract The sizes of the data matrices assembled to resolve branches of the tree of life have increased dramatically, motivating the development of programs for fast, yet accurate, inference. For example, several different fast programs have been developed in the very popular maximum likelihood framework, including RAxML/ExaML, PhyML, IQ-TREE, and FastTree. Although these programs are widely used, a systematic evaluation and comparison of their performance using empirical genome-scale data matrices has so far been lacking. To address this question, we evaluated these four programs on 19 empirical phylogenomic data sets with hundreds to thousands of genes and up to 200 taxa with respect to likelihood maximization, tree topology, and computational speed. For single-gene tree inference, we found that the more exhaustive and slower strategies (ten searches per alignment) outperformed faster strategies (one tree search per alignment) using RAxML, PhyML, or IQ-TREE. Interestingly, single-gene trees inferred by the three programs yielded comparable coalescent-based species tree estimations. For concatenation-based species tree inference, IQ-TREE consistently achieved the best-observed likelihoods for all data sets, and RAxML/ExaML was a close second. In contrast, PhyML often failed to complete concatenation-based analyses, whereas FastTree was the fastest but generated lower likelihood values and more dissimilar tree topologies in both types of analyses. Finally, data matrix properties, such as the number of taxa and the strength of phylogenetic signal, sometimes substantially influenced the programs’ relative performance. Our results provide real-world gene and species tree phylogenetic inference benchmarks to inform the design and execution of large-scale phylogenomic data analyses. PMID:29177474

  16. Construction of a rice glycoside hydrolase phylogenomic database and identification of targets for biofuel research

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    Rita eSharma

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Glycoside hydrolases (GH catalyze the hydrolysis of glycosidic bonds in cell wall polymers and can have major effects on cell wall architecture. Taking advantage of the massive datasets available in public databases, we have constructed a rice phylogenomic database of GHs (http://ricephylogenomics.ucdavis.edu/cellwalls/gh/. This database integrates multiple data types including the structural features, orthologous relationships, mutant availability and gene expression patterns for each GH family in a phylogenomic context. The rice genome encodes 437 GH genes classified into 34 families. Based on pairwise comparison with eight dicot and four monocot genomes, we identified 138 GH genes that are highly diverged between monocots and dicots, 57 of which have diverged further in rice as compared with four monocot genomes scanned in this study. Chromosomal localization and expression analysis suggest a role for both whole-genome and localized gene duplications in expansion and diversification of GH families in rice. We examined the meta-profiles of expression patterns of GH genes in twenty different anatomical tissues of rice. Transcripts of 51 genes exhibit tissue or developmental stage-preferential expression, whereas, seventeen other genes preferentially accumulate in actively growing tissues. When queried in RiceNet, a probabilistic functional gene network that facilitates functional gene predictions, nine out of seventeen genes form a regulatory network with the well-characterized genes involved in biosynthesis of cell wall polymers including cellulose synthase and cellulose synthase-like genes of rice. Two-thirds of the GH genes in rice are up regulated in response to biotic and abiotic stress treatments indicating a role in stress adaptation. Our analyses identify potential GH targets for cell wall modification.

  17. The impact of paralogy on phylogenomic studies - a case study on annelid relationships.

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    Torsten H Struck

    Full Text Available Phylogenomic studies based on hundreds of genes derived from expressed sequence tags libraries are increasingly used to reveal the phylogeny of taxa. A prerequisite for these studies is the assignment of genes into clusters of orthologous sequences. Sophisticated methods of orthology prediction are used in such analyses, but it is rarely assessed whether paralogous sequences have been erroneously grouped together as orthologous sequences after the prediction, and whether this had an impact on the phylogenetic reconstruction using a super-matrix approach. Herein, I tested the impact of paralogous sequences on the reconstruction of annelid relationships based on phylogenomic datasets. Using single-partition analyses, screening for bootstrap support, blast searches and pruning of sequences in the supermatrix, wrongly assigned paralogous sequences were found in eight partitions and the placement of five taxa (the annelids Owenia, Scoloplos, Sthenelais and Eurythoe and the nemertean Cerebratulus including the robust bootstrap support could be attributed to the presence of paralogous sequences in two partitions. Excluding these sequences resulted in a different, weaker supported placement for these taxa. Moreover, the analyses revealed that paralogous sequences impacted the reconstruction when only a single taxon represented a previously supported higher taxon such as a polychaete family. One possibility of a priori detection of wrongly assigned paralogous sequences could combine 1 a screening of single-partition analyses based on criteria such as nodal support or internal branch length with 2 blast searches of suspicious cases as presented herein. Also possible are a posteriori approaches in which support for specific clades is investigated by comparing alternative hypotheses based on differences in per-site likelihoods. Increasing the sizes of EST libraries will also decrease the likelihood of wrongly assigned paralogous sequences, and in the case

  18. Mycobacterium smegmatis Lhr Is a DNA-dependent ATPase and a 3'-to-5' DNA translocase and helicase that prefers to unwind 3'-tailed RNA:DNA hybrids.

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    Ordonez, Heather; Shuman, Stewart

    2013-05-17

    We are interested in the distinctive roster of helicases of Mycobacterium, a genus of the phylum Actinobacteria that includes the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis and its avirulent relative Mycobacterium smegmatis. Here, we identify and characterize M. smegmatis Lhr as the exemplar of a novel clade of superfamily II helicases, by virtue of its biochemical specificities and signature domain organization. Lhr is a 1507-amino acid monomeric nucleic acid-dependent ATPase that uses the energy of ATP hydrolysis to drive unidirectional 3'-to-5' translocation along single strand DNA and to unwind duplexes en route. The ATPase is more active in the presence of calcium than magnesium. ATP hydrolysis is triggered by either single strand DNA or single strand RNA, yet the apparent affinity for a DNA activator is 11-fold higher than for an RNA strand of identical size and nucleobase sequence. Lhr is 8-fold better at unwinding an RNA:DNA hybrid than it is at displacing a DNA:DNA duplex of identical nucleobase sequence. The truncated derivative Lhr-(1-856) is an autonomous ATPase, 3'-to-5' translocase, and RNA:DNA helicase. Lhr-(1-856) is 100-fold better RNA:DNA helicase than DNA:DNA helicase. Lhr homologs are found in bacteria representing eight different phyla, being especially prevalent in Actinobacteria (including M. tuberculosis) and Proteobacteria (including Escherichia coli).

  19. Rickettsia ‘In’ and ‘Out’: Two Different Localization Patterns of a Bacterial Symbiont in the Same Insect Species

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    Caspi-Fluger, Ayelet; Inbar, Moshe; Mozes-Daube, Netta; Mouton, Laurence; Hunter, Martha S.; Zchori-Fein, Einat

    2011-01-01

    Intracellular symbionts of arthropods have diverse influences on their hosts, and their functions generally appear to be associated with their localization within the host. The effect of localization pattern on the role of a particular symbiont cannot normally be tested since the localization pattern within hosts is generally invariant. However, in Israel, the secondary symbiont Rickettsia is unusual in that it presents two distinct localization patterns throughout development and adulthood in its whitefly host, Bemisia tabaci (B biotype). In the “scattered” pattern, Rickettsia is localized throughout the whitefly hemocoel, excluding the bacteriocytes, where the obligate symbiont Portiera aleyrodidarum and some other secondary symbionts are housed. In the “confined” pattern, Rickettsia is restricted to the bacteriocytes. We examined the effects of these patterns on Rickettsia densities, association with other symbionts (Portiera and Hamiltonella defensa inside the bacteriocytes) and on the potential for horizontal transmission to the parasitoid wasp, Eretmocerus mundus, while the wasp larvae are developing within the whitefly nymph. Sequences of four Rickettsia genes were found to be identical for both localization patterns, suggesting that they are closely related strains. However, real-time PCR analysis showed very different dynamics for the two localization types. On the first day post-adult emergence, Rickettsia densities were 21 times higher in the “confined” pattern vs. “scattered” pattern whiteflies. During adulthood, Rickettsia increased in density in the “scattered” pattern whiteflies until it reached the “confined” pattern Rickettsia density on day 21. No correlation between Rickettsia densities and Hamiltonella or Portiera densities were found for either localization pattern. Using FISH technique, we found Rickettsia in the gut of the parasitoid wasps only when they developed on whiteflies with the “scattered” pattern. The

  20. The complete mitochondrial genome of the threatened Neotropical catfish Lophiosilurus alexandri (Silurifomes: Pseudopimelodidae and phylogenomic analysis indicate monophyly of Pimelodoidea

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    Daniel Cardoso Carvalho

    Full Text Available Abstract Lophiosilurus alexandri is an endemic catfish from the São Francisco River Basin (Brazil popularly known as pacamã, which has economic potential for aquaculture farming. The mitochondrial genome was sequenced for the threatened Neotropical catfish L. alexandri. Assembly into scaffolds using MIRA and MITObim software produced the whole, circularized mitochondrial genome, which comprises 16,445 bp and presents the typical gene arrangement of Teleostei mitochondria. A phylogenomic analysis was performed after the concatenation of all proteins obtained from whole mitogenomes of 20 Siluriformes and two outgroups. The results confirmed the monophyly of nine families of catfishes and also clustered L. alexandri as a sister group to the family Pimelodidae, thus confirming the monophyly of the superfamily Pimelodoidea. This is the first mitochondrial phylogenomics study for Pimelodoidea and the first mitogenome described for the Pseudopimelodidae family, representing an important resource for phylogeography, evolutionary biology, and conservation genetics studies in Neotropical fishes.

  1. Phylemon 2.0: a suite of web-tools for molecular evolution, phylogenetics, phylogenomics and hypotheses testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Rubén; Serra, François; Tárraga, Joaquín; Medina, Ignacio; Carbonell, José; Pulido, Luis; de María, Alejandro; Capella-Gutíerrez, Salvador; Huerta-Cepas, Jaime; Gabaldón, Toni; Dopazo, Joaquín; Dopazo, Hernán

    2011-07-01

    Phylemon 2.0 is a new release of the suite of web tools for molecular evolution, phylogenetics, phylogenomics and hypotheses testing. It has been designed as a response to the increasing demand of molecular sequence analyses for experts and non-expert users. Phylemon 2.0 has several unique features that differentiates it from other similar web resources: (i) it offers an integrated environment that enables evolutionary analyses, format conversion, file storage and edition of results; (ii) it suggests further analyses, thereby guiding the users through the web server; and (iii) it allows users to design and save phylogenetic pipelines to be used over multiple genes (phylogenomics). Altogether, Phylemon 2.0 integrates a suite of 30 tools covering sequence alignment reconstruction and trimming; tree reconstruction, visualization and manipulation; and evolutionary hypotheses testing.

  2. Phylemon 2.0: a suite of web-tools for molecular evolution, phylogenetics, phylogenomics and hypotheses testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Rubén; Serra, François; Tárraga, Joaquín; Medina, Ignacio; Carbonell, José; Pulido, Luis; de María, Alejandro; Capella-Gutíerrez, Salvador; Huerta-Cepas, Jaime; Gabaldón, Toni; Dopazo, Joaquín; Dopazo, Hernán

    2011-01-01

    Phylemon 2.0 is a new release of the suite of web tools for molecular evolution, phylogenetics, phylogenomics and hypotheses testing. It has been designed as a response to the increasing demand of molecular sequence analyses for experts and non-expert users. Phylemon 2.0 has several unique features that differentiates it from other similar web resources: (i) it offers an integrated environment that enables evolutionary analyses, format conversion, file storage and edition of results; (ii) it suggests further analyses, thereby guiding the users through the web server; and (iii) it allows users to design and save phylogenetic pipelines to be used over multiple genes (phylogenomics). Altogether, Phylemon 2.0 integrates a suite of 30 tools covering sequence alignment reconstruction and trimming; tree reconstruction, visualization and manipulation; and evolutionary hypotheses testing. PMID:21646336

  3. First molecular evidence of Anaplasma ovis and Rickettsia spp. in keds (Diptera: Hippoboscidae) of sheep and wild ruminants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornok, Sándor; de la Fuente, José; Biró, Nóra; Fernández de Mera, Isabel G; Meli, Marina L; Elek, Vilmos; Gönczi, Eniko; Meili, Theres; Tánczos, Balázs; Farkas, Róbert; Lutz, Hans; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina

    2011-10-01

    To evaluate the presence of rickettsial agents in hippoboscid flies with molecular methods, 81 sheep keds (Melophagus ovinus) were collected from 23 sheep, 144 deer keds (Lipoptena cervi) were caught in the environment, and a further 463 and 59 individuals of the latter species were obtained from fresh carcasses of 29 red deer and 17 roe deer, respectively. DNA was extracted individually or in pools. Anaplasma ovis was demonstrated in all examined sheep keds, and from one pool of free-living deer keds. Rickettsia helvetica or other, unidentified rickettsiae were also present in one pool of sheep keds, and in four pools of deer keds from both red deer and roe deer. This is the first account of polymerase chain reaction positivity of hippoboscid flies for A. ovis and rickettsiae. These results raise the possibility that-apart from cattle and roe deer as already reported-sheep and red deer might also play a reservoir role in the epidemiology of rickettsioses.

  4. Phylogenomics of a rapid radiation: is chromosomal evolution linked to increased diversification in north american spiny lizards (Genus Sceloporus)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leaché, Adam D; Banbury, Barbara L; Linkem, Charles W; de Oca, Adrián Nieto-Montes

    2016-03-22

    Resolving the short phylogenetic branches that result from rapid evolutionary diversification often requires large numbers of loci. We collected targeted sequence capture data from 585 nuclear loci (541 ultraconserved elements and 44 protein-coding genes) to estimate the phylogenetic relationships among iguanian lizards in the North American genus Sceloporus. We tested for diversification rate shifts to determine if rapid radiation in the genus is correlated with chromosomal evolution. The phylogenomic trees that we obtained for Sceloporus using concatenation and coalescent-based species tree inference provide strong support for the monophyly and interrelationships among nearly all major groups. The diversification analysis supported one rate shift on the Sceloporus phylogeny approximately 20-25 million years ago that is associated with the doubling of the speciation rate from 0.06 species/million years (Ma) to 0.15 species/Ma. The posterior probability for this rate shift occurring on the branch leading to the Sceloporus species groups exhibiting increased chromosomal diversity is high (posterior probability = 0.997). Despite high levels of gene tree discordance, we were able to estimate a phylogenomic tree for Sceloporus that solves some of the taxonomic problems caused by previous analyses of fewer loci. The taxonomic changes that we propose using this new phylogenomic tree help clarify the number and composition of the major species groups in the genus. Our study provides new evidence for a putative link between chromosomal evolution and the rapid divergence and radiation of Sceloporus across North America.

  5. Phylogenomic analysis of Odyssella thessalonicensis fortifies the common origin of Rickettsiales, Pelagibacter ubique and Reclimonas americana mitochondrion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalliopi Georgiades

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The evolution of the Alphaproteobacteria and origin of the mitochondria are topics of considerable debate. Most studies have placed the mitochondria ancestor within the Rickettsiales order. Ten years ago, the bacterium Odyssella thessalonicensis was isolated from Acanthamoeba spp., and the 16S rDNA phylogeny placed it within the Rickettsiales. Recently, the whole genome of O. thessalonicensis has been sequenced, and 16S rDNA phylogeny and more robust and accurate phylogenomic analyses have been performed with 65 highly conserved proteins. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The results suggested that the O. thessalonicensis emerged between the Rickettsiales and other Alphaproteobacteria. The mitochondrial proteins of the Reclinomonas americana have been used to locate the phylogenetic position of the mitochondrion ancestor within the Alphaproteobacteria tree. Using the K tree score method, nine mitochondrion-encoded proteins, whose phylogenies were congruent with the Alphaproteobacteria phylogenomic tree, have been selected and concatenated for Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood phylogenies. The Reclinomonas americana mitochondrion is a sister taxon to the free-living bacteria Candidatus Pelagibacter ubique, and together, they form a clade that is deeply rooted in the Rickettsiales clade. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The Reclinomonas americana mitochondrion phylogenomic study confirmed that mitochondria emerged deeply in the Rickettsiales clade and that they are closely related to Candidatus Pelagibacter ubique.

  6. Molecular evidence of Rickettsia spp. in ixodid ticks and rodents in suburban, natural and rural habitats in Slovakia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minichová, Lenka; Hamšíková, Zuzana; Mahríková, Lenka; Slovák, Mirko; Kocianová, Elena; Kazimírová, Mária; Škultéty, Ľudovít; Štefanidesová, Katarína; Špitalská, Eva

    2017-03-24

    Natural foci of tick-borne spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae of public health concern have been found in Slovakia, but the role of rodents in their circulation is unclear. Ticks (Ixodes ricinus, Ixodes trianguliceps, Dermacentor marginatus, Dermacentor reticulatus, Haemaphysalis concinna and Haemaphysalis inermis) and tissues of rodents (Apodemus flavicollis, Apodemus sylvaticus, Myodes glareolus, Microtus arvalis, Microtus subterraneus and Micromys minutus) were examined for the presence of SFG rickettsiae and Coxiella burnetii by molecular methods. Suburban, natural and rural habitats were monitored to acquire information on the role of ticks and rodents in the agents' maintenance in various habitat types of Slovakia. The overall prevalence of rickettsial infection in questing I. ricinus and D. marginatus was 6.6% and 21.4%, respectively. Rickettsia helvetica, R. monacensis and non-identified rickettsial species were detected in I. ricinus, whereas R. slovaca and R. raoultii were identified in D. marginatus. Rickettsia spp.-infected I. ricinus occurred during the whole tick questing period. Rickettsia helvetica dominated (80.5%) followed by R. monacensis (6.5%). The species were present in all studied habitats. Rickettsia slovaca (66.7%) and R. raoultii (33.3%) were identified in D. marginatus from the rural habitat. Apodemus flavicollis was the most infested rodent species with I. ricinus, but My. glareolus carried the highest proportion of Rickettsia-positive I. ricinus larvae. Only 0.5% of rodents (A. flavicollis) and 5.2% of engorged I. ricinus removed from My. glareolus, A. flavicollis and M. arvalis were R. helvetica- and R. monacensis-positive. Coxiella burnetii was not detected in any of the tested samples. We hypothesize that rodents could play a role as carriers of infected ticks and contribute to the maintenance of rickettsial pathogens in natural foci. Long-term presence of SFG Rickettsia spp. was confirmed in questing ticks from different habitat

  7. Rickettsia rickettsii isolation from naturally infected Amblyomma parvum ticks by centrifugation in a 24-well culture plate technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Dzul-Rosado

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Rocky Mountain spotted fever is an acute illness caused by Rickettsia rickettsii (R. rickettsii and is transmitted by the bite of ticks of the genera Dermacentor, Amblyomma and Rhipicephalus. The illness results in a high mortality rate and may be easily confused with other febrile syndromes. In Yucatan State, Mexico, childhood cases with a high mortality have been reported. In this work we report the isolation of a Mexican R. rickettsii strain from a tick egg mass using an alternative method for Rickettsia isolation with 24-well plates. We also identified a potential vector of R. rickettsii in the southeast of Mexico, which is Amblyomma parvum.

  8. The influence of temperature and pH on the growth of Rickettsia conorii in irradiated mammalian cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oaks, S.C.Jr.; Osterman, J.V.

    1979-01-01

    The temperature range for optimum growth of Rickettsia conorii in suspension culture of gamma-irradiated L cells was 32 to 38 degC, resulting in rickettsial doubling times between 4.1 and 6.0 hrs. An asynchronous release of Rickettsia conorii from host cells was suggested by the constant increase in percent cells infected over a 36 hrs period. Rickettsial growth was optimal at neutral to slightly alkaline extracellular pH levels. A moderately acidic pH, however, resulted in an increase in doubling time from 4.1 to 7.8 hrs. (author)

  9. Cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) carrying Rickettsia felis and Bartonella species in Hong Kong.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šlapeta, Jan; Lawrence, Andrea; Reichel, Michael P

    2018-04-01

    Fleas are commonly recorded on stray as well as domestic dogs and cats in Hong Kong. Fleas can be a major cause of pruritus in dogs and cats and also vectors of potentially zoonotic bacteria in the genera Rickettsia and Bartonella. Morphological examination of 174 fleas from dogs and cats living in Hong Kong revealed only cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis). Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (cox1) genotyping of 20 randomly selected specimens, revealed three cox1 haplotypes (HK-h1 to HK-h3). The most common haplotype was HK-h1 with 17 specimens (17/20, 85%). HK-h1 was identical to cox1 sequences of fleas in Thailand and Fiji. HK-h1 and HK-h2 form a distinct cat flea cox1 clade previously recognized as the Clade 3. HK-h3 forms a new Clade 6. A multiplex Bartonella and Rickettsia real-time PCR of DNA from 20 C. felis found Bartonella and Rickettsia DNA in three (15%) and ten (50%) C. felis, respectively. DNA sequencing confirmed the presence of R. felis, B. clarridgeiae and Bartonella henselae. This is the first reported study of that kind in Hong Kong, and further work is required to expand the survey of companion animals in the geographical region. The sampling of fleas on domestic cats and dogs in Hong Kong revealed them to be exclusively infested by the cat flea and to be harbouring pathogens of zoonotic potential. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Differences in intracellular fate of two spotted fever group Rickettsia in macrophage-like cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Curto

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Spotted fever group (SFG rickettsiae are recognized as important agents of human tick-borne diseases worldwide, such as Mediterranean spotted fever (R. conorii and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (R. rickettsii. Recent studies in several animal models have provided evidence of non-endothelial parasitism by pathogenic SFG Rickettsia species, suggesting that the interaction of rickettsiae with cells other than the endothelium may play an important role in pathogenesis of rickettsial diseases. These studies raise the hypothesis that the role of macrophages in rickettsial pathogenesis may have been underappreciated. Herein, we evaluated the ability of two SFG rickettsial species, R. conorii (a recognized human pathogen and R. montanensis (a non-virulent member of SFG to proliferate in THP-1 macrophage-like cells, or within non-phagocytic cell lines. Our results demonstrate that R. conorii was able to survive and proliferate in both phagocytic and epithelial cells in vitro. In contrast, R. montanensis was able to grow in non-phagocytic cells, but was drastically compromised in the ability to proliferate within both undifferentiated and PMA-differentiated THP-1 cells. Interestingly, association assays revealed that R. montanensis was defective in binding to THP-1-derived macrophages; however, the invasion of the bacteria that are able to adhere did not appear to be affected. We have also demonstrated that R. montanensis which entered into THP-1-derived macrophages were rapidly destroyed and partially co-localized with LAMP-2 and cathepsin D, two markers of lysosomal compartments. In contrast, R. conorii was present as intact bacteria and free in the cytoplasm in both cell types. These findings suggest that a phenotypic difference between a non-pathogenic and a pathogenic SFG member lies in their respective ability to proliferate in macrophage-like cells, and may provide an explanation as to why certain SFG rickettsial species are not associated with

  11. Experimental infection of dogs with a Brazilian strain of Rickettsia rickettsii: clinical and laboratory findings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliane M Piranda

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available The bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii is the etiological agent of an acute, severe disease called Rocky Mountain spotted fever in the United States or Brazilian spotted fever (BSF in Brazil. In addition to these two countries, the disease has also been reported to affect humans in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Argentina. Like humans, dogs are also susceptible to R. rickettsii infection. However, despite the wide distribution of R. rickettsii in the Western Hemisphere, reports of R. rickettsii-induced illness in dogs has been restricted to the United States. The present study evaluated the pathogenicity for dogs of a South American strain of R. rickettsii. Three groups of dogs were evaluated: group 1 (G1 was inoculated ip with R. rickettsii; group 2 (G2 was infested by R. rickettsii-infected ticks; and the control group (G3 was infested by uninfected ticks. During the study, no clinical abnormalities, Rickettsia DNA or R. rickettsii-reactive antibodies were detected in G3. In contrast, all G1 and G2 dogs developed signs of rickettsial infection, i.e., fever, lethargy, anorexia, ocular lesions, thrombocytopenia, anemia and detectable levels of Rickettsia DNA and R. rickettsii-reactive antibodies in their blood. Rickettsemia started 3-8 days after inoculation or tick infestation and lasted for 3-13 days. Our results indicate that a Brazilian strain of R. rickettsii is pathogenic for dogs, suggesting that canine clinical illness due to R. rickettsii has been unreported in Brazil and possibly in the other South American countries where BSF has been reported among humans.

  12. Two Bacterial Genera, Sodalis and Rickettsia, Associated with the Seal Louse Proechinophthirus fluctus (Phthiraptera: Anoplura)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Julie M.; Koga, Ryuichi; Fukatsu, Takema; Sweet, Andrew D.; Johnson, Kevin P.; Reed, David L.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Roughly 10% to 15% of insect species host heritable symbiotic bacteria known as endosymbionts. The lice parasitizing mammals rely on endosymbionts to provide essential vitamins absent in their blood meals. Here, we describe two bacterial associates from a louse, Proechinophthirus fluctus, which is an obligate ectoparasite of a marine mammal. One of these is a heritable endosymbiont that is not closely related to endosymbionts of other mammalian lice. Rather, it is more closely related to endosymbionts of the genus Sodalis associated with spittlebugs and feather-chewing bird lice. Localization and vertical transmission of this endosymbiont are also more similar to those of bird lice than to those of other mammalian lice. The endosymbiont genome appears to be degrading in symbiosis; however, it is considerably larger than the genomes of other mammalian louse endosymbionts. These patterns suggest the possibility that this Sodalis endosymbiont might be recently acquired, replacing a now-extinct, ancient endosymbiont. From the same lice, we also identified an abundant bacterium belonging to the genus Rickettsia that is closely related to Rickettsia ricketsii, a human pathogen vectored by ticks. No obvious masses of the Rickettsia bacterium were observed in louse tissues, nor did we find any evidence of vertical transmission, so the nature of its association remains unclear. IMPORTANCE Many insects are host to heritable symbiotic bacteria. These heritable bacteria have been identified from numerous species of parasitic lice. It appears that novel symbioses have formed between lice and bacteria many times, with new bacterial symbionts potentially replacing existing ones. However, little was known about the symbionts of lice parasitizing marine mammals. Here, we identified a heritable bacterial symbiont in lice parasitizing northern fur seals. This bacterial symbiont appears to have been recently acquired by the lice. The findings reported here provide insights

  13. Notes from the Field: Rickettsia parkeri Rickettsiosis - Georgia, 2012-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straily, Anne; Feldpausch, Amanda; Ulbrich, Carl; Schell, Kiersten; Casillas, Shannon; Zaki, Sherif R; Denison, Amy M; Condit, Marah; Gabel, Julie; Paddock, Christopher D

    2016-07-22

    During 2012-2014, five cases of Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis were identified by a single urgent care practice in Georgia, located approximately 40 miles southwest of Atlanta. Symptom onset occurred during June-October, and all patients had a known tick bite. Patients ranged in age from 27 to 72 years (median = 53 years), and all were male. The most commonly reported initial signs were erythema (n = 3) and swelling (n = 2) at the site of the bite. Two patients reported fever and a third patient reported a rash and lymphadenopathy without fever. Other symptoms included myalgia (n = 3), chills (n = 3), fatigue (n = 2), arthralgia (n = 2), and headache (n = 2). Eschar biopsy specimens were collected from each patient using a 4-mm or 5-mm punch and placed in 10% neutral buffered formalin or sterile saline. These specimens were tested by immunohistochemical (IHC) stains, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays, or cell culture isolation to determine if there was evidence of infection with a Rickettsia species (1). IHC evidence of spotted fever group rickettsiae was found in the eschar biopsy specimens in all five cases. In four cases, the biopsy specimens were also positive for R. parkeri by qPCR. The fifth case (specimen positive only by IHC testing) was considered a probable R. parkeri case based on clinical signs and symptoms. R. parkeri was grown in cell culture from one specimen from which isolation was attempted. All patients were treated with oral doxycycline (100 mg twice daily) for a minimum of 10 days, and all recovered.

  14. Distribution of rats infected with Rickettsia tsutsugamushi (scrub typhus) in an edge habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muul, I; Chai, K S

    1978-12-01

    No focalization of rats (Rattus tiomanicus and R. argentiventer) infected with Rickettsia tsutsugamushi could be discerned over a 500 m trapping transect at the border between a forest and lalang grass (Imperata cylindrica). R. tiomanicus appeared to occupy 250 m of the transect on the average and had periods during which infections were observed which averaged 97 days. Calulations indicated that more than 50% of individuals become infected over their life-time. The high rate of infection in this and other areas described in earlier publications and the habits of the rats suggest that infected mites are densely and widely dispersed in the areas studied in Malaysia.

  15. Fatal Brazilian spotless fever caused by Rickettsia rickettsii in a dark-skinned patient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexsandra Rodrigues de Mendonça Favacho

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Brazilian spotted fever (BSF is the most important and frequent rickettsial disease in Brazil. A fatal case of BSF is reported in a 32-year-old black man, who died of irreversible shock after five days of fever, severe headache and abdominal pain with no rash. Spleen, kidney and heart samples collected at autopsy were positive for Rickettsia rickettsii by PCR and sequencing. The authors emphasize the need for a high index of diagnostic suspicion for spotted fever in black patients. Absence of a skin rash should not dissuade clinicians from considering the possibility of BSF and initiating empirical therapy.

  16. Which Way In? The RalF Arf-GEF Orchestrates Rickettsia Host Cell Invasion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rennoll-Bankert, Kristen E.; Rahman, M. Sayeedur; Gillespie, Joseph J.; Guillotte, Mark L.; Kaur, Simran J.; Lehman, Stephanie S.; Beier-Sexton, Magda; Azad, Abdu F.

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial Sec7-domain-containing proteins (RalF) are known only from species of Legionella and Rickettsia, which have facultative and obligate intracellular lifestyles, respectively. L. pneumophila RalF, a type IV secretion system (T4SS) effector, is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) of ADP-ribosylation factors (Arfs), activating and recruiting host Arf1 to the Legionella-containing vacuole. In contrast, previous in vitro studies showed R. prowazekii (Typhus Group) RalF is a functional Arf-GEF that localizes to the host plasma membrane and interacts with the actin cytoskeleton via a unique C-terminal domain. As RalF is differentially encoded across Rickettsia species (e.g., pseudogenized in all Spotted Fever Group species), it may function in lineage-specific biology and pathogenicity. Herein, we demonstrate RalF of R. typhi (Typhus Group) interacts with the Rickettsia T4SS coupling protein (RvhD4) via its proximal C-terminal sequence. RalF is expressed early during infection, with its inactivation via antibody blocking significantly reducing R. typhi host cell invasion. For R. typhi and R. felis (Transitional Group), RalF ectopic expression revealed subcellular localization with the host plasma membrane and actin cytoskeleton. Remarkably, R. bellii (Ancestral Group) RalF showed perinuclear localization reminiscent of ectopically expressed Legionella RalF, for which it shares several structural features. For R. typhi, RalF co-localization with Arf6 and PI(4,5)P2 at entry foci on the host plasma membrane was determined to be critical for invasion. Thus, we propose recruitment of PI(4,5)P2 at entry foci, mediated by RalF activation of Arf6, initiates actin remodeling and ultimately facilitates bacterial invasion. Collectively, our characterization of RalF as an invasin suggests that, despite carrying a similar Arf-GEF unknown from other bacteria, different intracellular lifestyles across Rickettsia and Legionella species have driven divergent roles for Ral

  17. Characterization of Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiae in Flea and Tick Specimens From Northern Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-11-01

    boliviensis 3 (18.7) 1 (6.2) Ixodes pararicinus 2 (12.5) 0 Flea speciesb Adoratopsilla intermedia 2 (3.4) 0 Ctenocephalides felis 33 (55.9) 2 (3.4...analysis of a genus-common rickettsial antigen gene. J. Bacteriol. 171:5199–5201. 3. Azad, A. F., S. Radulovic, J. A. Higgins , B. H. Noden, and J. M...Y. Acad. Sci. 990:57–61. 21. Hackstadt, T. 1996. The biology of rickettsiae. Infect. Agents Dis. 5:127–143. 22. Higgins , J. A., S. Radulovic, M. E

  18. Why Do Phylogenomic Data Sets Yield Conflicting Trees? Data Type Influences the Avian Tree of Life more than Taxon Sampling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Sushma; Kimball, Rebecca T; Pandey, Akanksha; Hosner, Peter A; Braun, Michael J; Hackett, Shannon J; Han, Kin-Lan; Harshman, John; Huddleston, Christopher J; Kingston, Sarah; Marks, Ben D; Miglia, Kathleen J; Moore, William S; Sheldon, Frederick H; Witt, Christopher C; Yuri, Tamaki; Braun, Edward L

    2017-09-01

    Phylogenomics, the use of large-scale data matrices in phylogenetic analyses, has been viewed as the ultimate solution to the problem of resolving difficult nodes in the tree of life. However, it has become clear that analyses of these large genomic data sets can also result in conflicting estimates of phylogeny. Here, we use the early divergences in Neoaves, the largest clade of extant birds, as a "model system" to understand the basis for incongruence among phylogenomic trees. We were motivated by the observation that trees from two recent avian phylogenomic studies exhibit conflicts. Those studies used different strategies: 1) collecting many characters [$\\sim$ 42 mega base pairs (Mbp) of sequence data] from 48 birds, sometimes including only one taxon for each major clade; and 2) collecting fewer characters ($\\sim$ 0.4 Mbp) from 198 birds, selected to subdivide long branches. However, the studies also used different data types: the taxon-poor data matrix comprised 68% non-coding sequences whereas coding exons dominated the taxon-rich data matrix. This difference raises the question of whether the primary reason for incongruence is the number of sites, the number of taxa, or the data type. To test among these alternative hypotheses we assembled a novel, large-scale data matrix comprising 90% non-coding sequences from 235 bird species. Although increased taxon sampling appeared to have a positive impact on phylogenetic analyses the most important variable was data type. Indeed, by analyzing different subsets of the taxa in our data matrix we found that increased taxon sampling actually resulted in increased congruence with the tree from the previous taxon-poor study (which had a majority of non-coding data) instead of the taxon-rich study (which largely used coding data). We suggest that the observed differences in the estimates of topology for these studies reflect data-type effects due to violations of the models used in phylogenetic analyses, some of which

  19. Shell-vial culture, coupled with real-time PCR, applied to Rickettsia conorii and Rickettsia massiliae-Bar29 detection, improving the diagnosis of the Mediterranean spotted fever.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segura, Ferran; Pons, Immaculada; Sanfeliu, Isabel; Nogueras, María-Mercedes

    2016-04-01

    Rickettsia conorii and Rickettsia massiliae-Bar29 are related to Mediterranean spotted fever (MSF). They are intracellular microorganisms. The Shell-vial culture assay (SV) improved Rickettsia culture but it still has some limitations: blood usually contains low amount of microorganisms and the samples that contain the highest amount of them are non-sterile. The objectives of this study were to optimize SV culture conditions and monitoring methods and to establish antibiotic concentrations useful for non-sterile samples. 12 SVs were inoculated with each microorganism, incubated at different temperatures and monitored by classical methods and real-time PCR. R. conorii was detected by all methods at all temperatures since 7th day of incubation. R. massiliae-Bar29 was firstly observed at 28°C. Real-time PCR allowed to detected it 2-7 days earlier (depend on temperature) than classical methods. Antibiotics concentration needed for the isolation of these Rickettsia species from non-sterile samples was determined inoculating SV with R. conorii, R. massiliae-Bar29, biopsy or tick, incubating them with different dilutions of antibiotics and monitoring them weekly. To sum up, if a MSF diagnosis is suspected, SV should be incubated at both 28°C and 32°C for 1-3 weeks and monitored by a sensitive real-time PCR. If the sample is non-sterile the panel of antibiotics tested can be added. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  20. Who Let the CAT Out of the Bag? Accurately Dealing with Substitutional Heterogeneity in Phylogenomic Analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whelan, Nathan V; Halanych, Kenneth M

    2017-03-01

    As phylogenetic datasets have increased in size, site-heterogeneous substitution models such as CAT-F81 and CAT-GTR have been advocated in favor of other models because they purportedly suppress long-branch attraction (LBA). These models are two of the most commonly used models in phylogenomics, and they have been applied to a variety of taxa, ranging from Drosophila to land plants. However, many arguments in favor of CAT models have been based on tenuous assumptions about the true phylogeny, rather than rigorous testing with known trees via simulation. Moreover, CAT models have not been compared to other approaches for handling substitutional heterogeneity such as data partitioning with site-homogeneous substitution models. We simulated amino acid sequence datasets with substitutional heterogeneity on a variety of tree shapes including those susceptible to LBA. Data were analyzed with both CAT models and partitioning to explore model performance; in total over 670,000 CPU hours were used, of which over 97% was spent running analyses with CAT models. In many cases, all models recovered branching patterns that were identical to the known tree. However, CAT-F81 consistently performed worse than other models in inferring the correct branching patterns, and both CAT models often overestimated substitutional heterogeneity. Additionally, reanalysis of two empirical metazoan datasets supports the notion that CAT-F81 tends to recover less accurate trees than data partitioning and CAT-GTR. Given these results, we conclude that partitioning and CAT-GTR perform similarly in recovering accurate branching patterns. However, computation time can be orders of magnitude less for data partitioning, with commonly used implementations of CAT-GTR often failing to reach completion in a reasonable time frame (i.e., for Bayesian analyses to converge). Practices such as removing constant sites and parsimony uninformative characters, or using CAT-F81 when CAT-GTR is deemed too

  1. NS3 from Hepatitis C Virus Strain JFH-1 Is an Unusually Robust Helicase That Is Primed To Bind and Unwind Viral RNA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Ting; Ren, Xiaoming; Adams, Rebecca L.; Pyle, Anna Marie; Ou, J. -H. James

    2017-10-25

    Hepatitis C viruses (HCV) encode a helicase enzyme that is essential for viral replication and assembly (nonstructural protein 3 [NS3]). This helicase has become the focus of extensive basic research on the general helicase mechanism, and it is also of interest as a novel drug target. Despite the importance of this protein, mechanistic work on NS3 has been conducted almost exclusively on variants from HCV genotype 1. Our understanding of NS3 from the highly active HCV strains that are used to study HCV genetics and mechanism in cell culture (such as JFH-1) is lacking. We therefore set out to determine whether NS3 from the replicatively efficient genotype 2a strain JFH-1 displays novel functional or structural properties. Using biochemical assays for RNA binding and duplex unwinding, we show that JFH-1 NS3 binds RNA much more rapidly than the previously studied NS3 variants from genotype 1b. Unlike NS3 variants from other genotypes, JFH-1 NS3 binds RNA with high affinity in a functionally active form that is capable of immediately unwinding RNA duplexes without undergoing rate-limiting conformational changes that precede activation. Unlike other superfamily 2 (SF2) helicases, JFH-1 NS3 does not require long 3' overhangs, and it unwinds duplexes that are flanked by only a few nucleotides, as in the folded HCV genome. To understand the physical basis for this, we solved the crystal structure of JFH-1 NS3, revealing a novel conformation that contains an open, positively charged RNA binding cleft that is primed for productive interaction with RNA targets, potentially explaining robust replication by HCV JFH-1.

    IMPORTANCEGenotypes of HCV are as divergent as different types of flavivirus, and yet mechanistic features of HCV variants are presumed to be held in common. One of the most well-studied components of the HCV replication complex is a helicase known as nonstructural protein 3 (NS3). We set out to determine whether this important

  2. Rickettsia species infecting Amblyomma ticks from an area endemic for Brazilian spotted fever in Brazil Rickettsia infectando carrapatos Amblyomma de uma área endêmica para febre maculosa Brasileira no Brasil

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    Elizângela Guedes

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available This study reports rickettsial infection in Amblyomma cajennense and Amblyomma dubitatum ticks collected in an area of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, where Brazilian spotted fever is considered endemic. For this purpose, 400 adults of A. cajenennse and 200 adults of A. dubitatum, plus 2,000 larvae and 2,000 nymphs of Amblyomma spp. were collected from horses and from the vegetation. The ticks were tested for rickettsial infection through polymerase chain reaction (PCR protocols targeting portions of three rickettsial genes (gltA, ompA, and ompB. Only two free-living A. cajennense adult ticks, and four pools of free-living Amblyomma spp. nymphs were shown to contain rickettsial DNA. PCR products from the two A. cajennense adult ticks were shown to be identical to corresponding sequences of the Rickettsia rickettsii strain Sheila Smith. DNA sequences of gltA-PCR products of the four nymph pools of Amblyomma spp. revealed a new genotype, which was shown to be closest (99.4% to the corresponding sequence of Rickettsia tamurae. Our findings of two R. rickettsii-infected A. cajennense ticks corroborate the endemic status of the study area, where human cases of BSF were reported recently. In addition, we report for the first time a new Rickettsia genotype in Brazil.Este trabalho relata infecção por Rickettsia em carrapatos Amblyomma cajennense e Amblyomma dubitatum, colhidos numa área do Estado de Minas Gerais, onde a febre maculosa brasileira (FMB é considerada endêmica. Para esse estudo, 400 adultos de A. cajennense, 200 adultos de A. dubitatum, 2.000 larvas e 2.000 ninfas de Amblyomma spp. foram colhidas de equinos e da vegetação. Os carrapatos foram testados para infecção por rickettsia através de reação em cadeia pela polimerase (PCR direcionada a fragmentos de três genes de rickettsia (gltA, ompA, e ompB. Apenas 2 A. cajennense adultos de vida livre, e 4 grupos de ninfas de Amblyomma spp. continham DNA de rickettsia. Os produtos

  3. Human prevalence of the spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae in endemic zones of Northwestern Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Londoño, Andrés F; Acevedo-Gutiérrez, Leidy Y; Marín, Diana; Contreras, Verónica; Díaz, Francisco J; Valbuena, Gustavo; Labruna, Marcelo B; Hidalgo, Marylin; Arboleda, Margarita; Mattar, Salim; Solari, Sergio; Rodas, Juan D

    2017-06-01

    In February 2006, an outbreak of human rickettsiosis occurred in the municipality of Necoclí Colombia, with 35% of lethality. This episode was, followed by two more, one in the municipality of Los Cordobas in 2007 with a 54% of lethality and the other one in the municipality of Turbo in 2008 with 27% of lethality. The aim of this study was to perform serological tests in healthy persons to determine the seroprevalence of antibodies against spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae and develop a survey to study some infection risk-related factors. A cross-sectional study was performed in 2011 and 2012. A blood sample and survey of associated factors was performed in healthy persons. A prevalence of 32%-41% was found in healthy people. From the multivariate analysis, we found that people living more than 16 years in these sites had a 79% higher risk of being seropositive and a 46% higher risk when they reported having birds in their houses if the variable of having a horse was included in the model. In conclusion, this study shows endemicity of at least one spotted fever group Rickettsia in the study zone. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  4. Prevalence of Rickettsia species in Dermacentor variabilis ticks from Ontario, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Heidi; Dillon, Liz; Patel, Samir N; Ralevski, Filip

    2016-07-01

    Relatively little is known about the prevalence of rickettsial species in Dermacentor ticks in eastern Canada. In this study, Dermacentor ticks from the province of Ontario, Canada, were tested for the presence of spotted fever group rickettsial (SFGR) species, Coxiella burnetii and Francisella tularensis. Rickettsia rickettsii was not detected in any ticks tested, but R. montanensis was detected at a prevalence of 2.2% in D. variabilis (17/778). Two other SFGR species, R. parkeri and Candidatus R. andeanae, were detected individually in 2 Amblyomma maculatum ticks. Rickettsia peacockii, a non-pathogenic endosymbiont, was detected in two D. andersonii ticks. Given the highly abundant nature of D. variabilis, surveillance for human pathogens in this species of tick has important public health implications, but the lack of detection of known human pathogens indicates a low risk of infection via this tick species in Ontario. However, the detection of R. parkeri in an adventive A. maculatum tick indicates that health care providers should be aware of the possibility of spotted fever rickettsioses in individuals with a history of travel outside of Ontario and symptoms compatible with a spotted fever rickettsiosis. Coxiella burnetii and Francisella tularensis, human pathogens also potentially transmitted by D. variabilis, were not detected in a subset of the ticks. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  5. Proteome analysis and serological characterization of surface-exposed proteins of Rickettsia heilongjiangensis.

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    Yong Qi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Rickettsia heilongjiangensis, the agent of Far-Eastern spotted fever (FESF, is an obligate intracellular bacterium. The surface-exposed proteins (SEPs of rickettsiae are involved in rickettsial adherence to and invasion of host cells, intracellular bacterial growth, and/or interaction with immune cells. They are also potential molecular candidates for the development of diagnostic reagents and vaccines against rickettsiosis. METHODS: R. heilongjiangensis SEPs were identified by biotin-streptavidin affinity purification and 2D electrophoreses coupled with ESI-MS/MS. Recombinant SEPs were probed with various sera to analyze their serological characteristics using a protein microarray and an enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay (ELISA. RESULTS: Twenty-five SEPs were identified, most of which were predicted to reside on the surface of R. heilongjiangensis cells. Bioinformatics analysis suggests that these proteins could be involved in bacterial pathogenesis. Eleven of the 25 SEPs were recognized as major seroreactive antigens by sera from R. heilongjiangensis-infected mice and FESF patients. Among the major seroreactive SEPs, microarray assays and/or ELISAs revealed that GroEL, OmpA-2, OmpB-3, PrsA, RplY, RpsB, SurA and YbgF had modest sensitivity and specificity for recognizing R. heilongjiangensis infection and/or spotted fever. CONCLUSIONS: Many of the SEPs identified herein have potentially important roles in R. heilongjiangensis pathogenicity. Some of them have potential as serodiagnostic antigens or as subunit vaccine antigens against the disease.

  6. Isolation and characterization of the dnaA gene of Rickettsia prowazekii

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waite, R.T.; Shaw, E.I.; Winkler, H.H.; Wood, D.G.

    1998-01-01

    The dnaA gene encoding the initiator protein of DNA replication was isolated from the obligate intracellular bacterium, Rickettsia prowazekii. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence of R. prowazekii DnaA with other bacterial DnaA proteins revealed extensive similarity. However, the rickettsial sequence is unique in the number of basic lysine residues found within a highly conserved portion of the putative DNA binding region, suggesting that the rickettsial protein may recognize a DNA sequence that differs from the consensus DnaA box sequence identified in other bacteria. Consensus DnaA box sequences, found upstream of many bacterial dnaA genes, were not identified upstream of rickettsial dnaA gene. In addition, gene organization within this region differed from that of other bacteria. The putative start of transcription of the rickettsial dnaA gene was localized to a site 522 nucleotides upstream of the DnaA start codon. Key words: Rickettsia prowazekii; dnaA gene; initiator protein (authors)

  7. Detection of a novel Rickettsia sp. in soft ticks (Acari: Argasidae) in Algeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafri, Ismail; Leulmi, Hamza; Baziz-Neffah, Fadhila; Lalout, Reda; Mohamed, Chergui; Mohamed, Karakallah; Parola, Philippe; Bitam, Idir

    2015-01-01

    Argasid ticks are vectors of viral and bacterial agents that can infect humans and animals. In Africa, relapsing fever borreliae are neglected arthropod-borne pathogens that cause mild to deadly septicemia and miscarriage. It would be incredibly beneficial to be able to simultaneous detect and identify other pathogens transmitted by Argasid ticks. From 2012 to 2014, we conducted field surveys in 4 distinct areas of Algeria. We investigated the occurrence of soft ticks in rodent burrows and yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) nests in 10 study sites and collected 154 soft ticks. Molecular identification revealed the occurrence of two different soft tick genera and five species, including Carios capensis in yellow-legged gull nests and Ornithodoros occidentalis, Ornithodoros rupestris, Ornithodoros sonrai, Ornithodoros erraticus in rodent burrows. Rickettsial DNA was detected in 41/154, corresponding to a global detection rate of 26.6%. Sequences of the citrate synthase (gltA) gene suggest that this agent is a novel spotted fever group Rickettsia. For the first time in Algeria, we characterize a novel Rickettsia species by molecular means in soft ticks. Copyright © 2015 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  8. Antibodies against spotted fever group Rickettsia sp., in horses of the colombian Orinoquia

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    Diego A. Riveros-Pinilla

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Objective. It was determined the presence of antibodies against Rickettsia sp. of the spotted fever group, in horses of 8 municipalities of the Colombian Orinoquia. Matherials and methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 246 sera from apparently healthy horses and processed by the indirect immunofluorescence test (IFI. Results. General seropositivity was (2.85%; 7/246, while by municipalities the results were, Arauca (9.1%; 2/22, Saravena (5.6%; 1/18, San José del Guaviare (4.9%; 2/41, San Martín (3.8%; 1/26, Yopal (1.9%; 1/52. It was not identified the presence of antibodies in Puerto López (0/52, Puerto Gaitán (0/15 and Villavicencio (0/20. Four of the positive samples presented titles of 1:64, while the remaining 3 1:128. Conclusions. It shows the circulation of Rickettsia sp. of the Spotted Fever Group in horses in the region of the Colombian Orinoquia, suggesting the need for further studies to understand the ecoepidemiology of municipalities with presence of seropositive.

  9. Antibodies against rickettsiae from spotted fever groups in horses from two mesoregions in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil

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    A.P. Medeiros

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria of the Rickettsia genus are agents of Brazilian Spotted Fever (BSF, a zoonotic disease which is difficult to diagnose, evolves quickly and can result in death. Antibodies against Rickettsia spp. in horses were studied, by means of Indirect Immunofluorescence Assay (IFAT ≥64, in 150 blood samples taken from animals in two Santa Catarina mesoregions (Planalto Serrano and Vale do Itajaí. The overall occurrence of Rickettsia spp. antibodies in horses was 18.66%, with cross-reactivity occurring in all positive samples for at least two of the species tested. Separately, according to the species, 25 (16.66% samples were positive for R. rickettsii, 15 (10% for R. parkeri, 22 (14.66% for R. amblyommii, 23 (15.33% for R. rhipicephali, 16 (10.66% for R. bellii and 19 (12.66% for R. felis. Only two animals resulted in a conclusive serodiagnosis, one for R. bellii and the other for R. rickettsii, at maximum dilutions of 1:4096 and 1:512, respectively. The occurrence of antibodies against Rickettsia spp. in horses from two mesoregions in the state of Santa Catarina indicates the movement of BSF agents in these sentinel animals and confirms the importance of studying spotted fever in the state of Santa Catarina.

  10. Torix group Rickettsia are widespread in Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), reach high frequency and carry unique genomic features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilgrim, Jack; Ander, Mats; Garros, Claire; Baylis, Matthew; Hurst, Gregory D D; Siozios, Stefanos

    2017-10-01

    There is increasing interest in the heritable bacteria of invertebrate vectors of disease as they present novel targets for control initiatives. Previous studies on biting midges (Culicoides spp.), known to transmit several RNA viruses of veterinary importance, have revealed infections with the endosymbiotic bacteria, Wolbachia and Cardinium. However, rickettsial symbionts in these vectors are underexplored. Here, we present the genome of a previously uncharacterized Rickettsia endosymbiont from Culicoides newsteadi (RiCNE). This genome presents unique features potentially associated with host invasion and adaptation, including genes for the complete non-oxidative phase of the pentose phosphate pathway, and others predicted to mediate lipopolysaccharides and cell wall modification. Screening of 414 Culicoides individuals from 29 Palearctic or Afrotropical species revealed that Rickettsia represent a widespread but previously overlooked association, reaching high frequencies in midge populations and present in 38% of the species tested. Sequence typing clusters the Rickettsia within the Torix group of the genus, a group known to infect several aquatic and hematophagous taxa. FISH analysis indicated the presence of Rickettsia bacteria in ovary tissue, indicating their maternal inheritance. Given the importance of biting midges as vectors, a key area of future research is to establish the impact of this endosymbiont on vector competence. © 2017 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Infection of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci with Rickettsia spp. alters its interactions with Tomato yellow leaf curl virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Numerous animal and plant viruses are transmitted by arthropod vectors in a persistent, circulative manner. Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) is transmitted by the sweet potato whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Here we report that infection with Rickettsia spp., a facultative endosymbiont of whiteflies...

  12. Molecular detection of spotted fever group Rickettsia in Dermacentor silvarum from a forest area of northeastern China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W.-C. Cao (Wu-Chun); L. Zhan (Lin); S.J. de Vlas (Sake); B.-H. Wen (Bo-Hai); H. Yang (Honghui); J.H. Richardus (Jan Hendrik); J.D.F. Habbema (Dik)

    2008-01-01

    textabstractIn total, 676 Dermacentor silvarum Olenev (Acari: Ixodidae) from a forest area of Jilin Province in northeastern China were examined by polymerase chain reaction for the presence of spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia. The overall positive rate was 10.7%, with a 95% confidence interval

  13. Tick-borne zoonotic pathogens in ticks feeding on the common nightingale including a novel strain of Rickettsia sp

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dubská, L.; Literák, I.; Kverek, P.; Roubalová, Eva; Kocianova, E.; Taragelova, V.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 3, č. 4 (2012), s. 265-268 ISSN 1877-959X Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : tick * Ixodes ricinus * Borrelia garinii * Anaplasma phagocytophilum * Rickettsia helvetica * Babesia sp. EU1 * Common nightingale Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 2.353, year: 2012 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877959X12000556

  14. Estimated seroprevalence of Anaplasma spp. and spotted fever group Rickettsia exposure among herders and livestock in Mongolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Fricken, Michael E; Lkhagvatseren, Sukhbaatar; Boldbaatar, Bazartseren; Nymadawa, Pagbajab; Weppelmann, Thomas A; Baigalmaa, Bekh-Ochir; Anderson, Benjamin D; Reller, Megan E; Lantos, Paul M; Gray, Gregory C

    2018-01-01

    To better understand the epidemiology of tick-borne disease in Mongolia, a comprehensive seroprevalence study was conducted investigating exposure to Anaplasma spp. and spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia spp. in nomadic herders and their livestock across three provinces from 2014 to 2015. Blood was collected from 397 herders and 2370 livestock, including sheep, goats, cattle, horses and camels. Antibodies against Anaplasma spp. and SFG Rickettsia were determined by indirect immunofluorescence using commercially available slides coated with Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Rickettsia rickettsii antigens. Logistic regression was used to determine if the odds of previous exposure differed by gender, location, and species, with or without adjustment for age. To examine the association between seroprevalence and environmental variables we used ArcGIS to circumscribe the five major clusters where human and animal data were collected. Anaplasma spp. exposure was detected in 37.3% (136/365) of humans and 47.3% (1120/2370) of livestock; SFG Rickettsia exposure was detected in 19.5% (73/374) humans and 20.4% (478/2342) livestock. Compared to the southern province (aimag) of Dornogovi, located in the Gobi Desert, humans were significantly more likely to be exposed to Anaplasma spp. and SFG Rickettsia in the northern provinces of Tov (OR=7.3, 95% CI: 3.5, 15.1; OR=3.3, 95% CI: 1.7, 7.5), and Selenge (OR=6.9, 95% CI: 3.4, 14.0; OR=2.2, 95% CI: 1.1, 4.8). The high seroprevalence of Anaplasma spp. and SFG Rickettsia in humans and livestock suggests that exposure to tick-borne pathogens may be common in herders and livestock in Mongolia, particularly in the more northern regions of the country. Until more is known about these pathogens in Mongolia, physicians and veterinarians in the countryside should consider testing for Anaplasma and SFG Rickettsia infections and treating clinically compatible cases, while public health authorities should expand surveillance efforts for these

  15. Large-scale phylogenomic analysis resolves a backbone phylogeny in ferns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Hui; Jin, Dongmei; Shu, Jiang-Ping; Zhou, Xi-Le; Lei, Ming; Wei, Ran; Shang, Hui; Wei, Hong-Jin; Zhang, Rui; Liu, Li; Gu, Yu-Feng; Zhang, Xian-Chun; Yan, Yue-Hong

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background Ferns, originated about 360 million years ago, are the sister group of seed plants. Despite the remarkable progress in our understanding of fern phylogeny, with conflicting molecular evidence and different morphological interpretations, relationships among major fern lineages remain controversial. Results With the aim to obtain a robust fern phylogeny, we carried out a large-scale phylogenomic analysis using high-quality transcriptome sequencing data, which covered 69 fern species from 38 families and 11 orders. Both coalescent-based and concatenation-based methods were applied to both nucleotide and amino acid sequences in species tree estimation. The resulting topologies are largely congruent with each other, except for the placement of Angiopteris fokiensis, Cheiropleuria bicuspis, Diplaziopsis brunoniana, Matteuccia struthiopteris, Elaphoglossum mcclurei, and Tectaria subpedata. Conclusions Our result confirmed that Equisetales is sister to the rest of ferns, and Dennstaedtiaceae is sister to eupolypods. Moreover, our result strongly supported some relationships different from the current view of fern phylogeny, including that Marattiaceae may be sister to the monophyletic clade of Psilotaceae and Ophioglossaceae; that Gleicheniaceae and Hymenophyllaceae form a monophyletic clade sister to Dipteridaceae; and that Aspleniaceae is sister to the rest of the groups in eupolypods II. These results were interpreted with morphological traits, especially sporangia characters, and a new evolutionary route of sporangial annulus in ferns was suggested. This backbone phylogeny in ferns sets a foundation for further studies in biology and evolution in ferns, and therefore in plants. PMID:29186447

  16. Large-scale phylogenomic analysis resolves a backbone phylogeny in ferns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Hui; Jin, Dongmei; Shu, Jiang-Ping; Zhou, Xi-Le; Lei, Ming; Wei, Ran; Shang, Hui; Wei, Hong-Jin; Zhang, Rui; Liu, Li; Gu, Yu-Feng; Zhang, Xian-Chun; Yan, Yue-Hong

    2018-02-01

    Ferns, originated about 360 million years ago, are the sister group of seed plants. Despite the remarkable progress in our understanding of fern phylogeny, with conflicting molecular evidence and different morphological interpretations, relationships among major fern lineages remain controversial. With the aim to obtain a robust fern phylogeny, we carried out a large-scale phylogenomic analysis using high-quality transcriptome sequencing data, which covered 69 fern species from 38 families and 11 orders. Both coalescent-based and concatenation-based methods were applied to both nucleotide and amino acid sequences in species tree estimation. The resulting topologies are largely congruent with each other, except for the placement of Angiopteris fokiensis, Cheiropleuria bicuspis, Diplaziopsis brunoniana, Matteuccia struthiopteris, Elaphoglossum mcclurei, and Tectaria subpedata. Our result confirmed that Equisetales is sister to the rest of ferns, and Dennstaedtiaceae is sister to eupolypods. Moreover, our result strongly supported some relationships different from the current view of fern phylogeny, including that Marattiaceae may be sister to the monophyletic clade of Psilotaceae and Ophioglossaceae; that Gleicheniaceae and Hymenophyllaceae form a monophyletic clade sister to Dipteridaceae; and that Aspleniaceae is sister to the rest of the groups in eupolypods II. These results were interpreted with morphological traits, especially sporangia characters, and a new evolutionary route of sporangial annulus in ferns was suggested. This backbone phylogeny in ferns sets a foundation for further studies in biology and evolution in ferns, and therefore in plants. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  17. The underlying mechanisms of genetic innovation and speciation in the family Corynebacteriaceae: A phylogenomics approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhi, Xiao-Yang; Jiang, Zhao; Yang, Ling-Ling; Huang, Ying

    2017-02-01

    The pangenome of a bacterial species population is formed by genetic reduction and genetic expansion over the long course of evolution. Gene loss is a pervasive source of genetic reduction, and (exogenous and endogenous) gene gain is the main driver of genetic expansion. To understand the genetic innovation and speciation of the family Corynebacteriaceae, which cause a wide range of serious infections in humans and animals, we analyzed the pangenome of this family, and reconstructed its phylogeny using a phylogenomics approach. Genetic variations have occurred throughout the whole evolutionary history of the Corynebacteriaceae. Gene loss has been the primary force causing genetic changes, not only in terms of the number of protein families affected, but also because of its continuity on the time series. The variation in metabolism caused by these genetic changes mainly occurred for membrane transporters, two-component systems, and metabolism related to amino acids and carbohydrates. Interestingly, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) not only caused changes related to pathogenicity, but also triggered the acquisition of antimicrobial resistance. The Darwinian theory of evolution did not adequately explain the effects of dispersive HGT and/or gene loss in the evolution of the Corynebacteriaceae. These findings provide new insight into the evolution and speciation of Corynebacteriaceae and advance our understanding of the genetic innovation in microbial populations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Clarification of Taxonomic Status within the Pseudomonas syringae Species Group Based on a Phylogenomic Analysis

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    Margarita Gomila

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The Pseudomonas syringae phylogenetic group comprises 15 recognized bacterial species and more than 60 pathovars. The classification and identification of strains is relevant for practical reasons but also for understanding the epidemiology and ecology of this group of plant pathogenic bacteria. Genome-based taxonomic analyses have been introduced recently to clarify the taxonomy of the whole genus. A set of 139 draft and complete genome sequences of strains belonging to all species of the P. syringae group available in public databases were analyzed, together with the genomes of closely related species used as outgroups. Comparative genomics based on the genome sequences of the species type strains in the group allowed the delineation of phylogenomic species and demonstrated that a high proportion of strains included in the study are misclassified. Furthermore, representatives of at least 7 putative novel species were detected. It was also confirmed that P. ficuserectae, P. meliae, and P. savastanoi are later synonyms of P. amygdali and that “P. coronafaciens” should be revived as a nomenspecies.

  19. Comparative phylogenomics uncovers the impact of symbiotic associations on host genome evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre-Marc Delaux

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Mutualistic symbioses between eukaryotes and beneficial microorganisms of their microbiome play an essential role in nutrition, protection against disease, and development of the host. However, the impact of beneficial symbionts on the evolution of host genomes remains poorly characterized. Here we used the independent loss of the most widespread plant-microbe symbiosis, arbuscular mycorrhization (AM, as a model to address this question. Using a large phenotypic approach and phylogenetic analyses, we present evidence that loss of AM symbiosis correlates with the loss of many symbiotic genes in the Arabidopsis lineage (Brassicales. Then, by analyzing the genome and/or transcriptomes of nine other phylogenetically divergent non-host plants, we show that this correlation occurred in a convergent manner in four additional plant lineages, demonstrating the existence of an evolutionary pattern specific to symbiotic genes. Finally, we use a global comparative phylogenomic approach to track this evolutionary pattern among land plants. Based on this approach, we identify a set of 174 highly conserved genes and demonstrate enrichment in symbiosis-related genes. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that beneficial symbionts maintain purifying selection on host gene networks during the evolution of entire lineages.

  20. Missed, Not Missing: Phylogenomic Evidence for the Existence of Avian FoxP3.

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    Michael P Denyer

    Full Text Available The Forkhead box transcription factor FoxP3 is pivotal to the development and function of regulatory T cells (Tregs, which make a major contribution to peripheral tolerance. FoxP3 is believed to perform a regulatory role in all the vertebrate species in which it has been detected. The prevailing view is that FoxP3 is absent in birds and that avian Tregs rely on alternative developmental and suppressive pathways. Prompted by the automated annotation of foxp3 in the ground tit (Parus humilis genome, we have questioned this assumption. Our analysis of all available avian genomes has revealed that the foxp3 locus is missing, incomplete or of poor quality in the relevant genomic assemblies for nearly all avian species. Nevertheless, in two species, the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus and the saker falcon (F. cherrug, there is compelling evidence for the existence of exons showing synteny with foxp3 in the ground tit. A broader phylogenomic analysis has shown that FoxP3 sequences from these three species are similar to crocodilian sequences, the closest living relatives of birds. In both birds and crocodilians, we have also identified a highly proline-enriched region at the N terminus of FoxP3, a region previously identified only in mammals.

  1. Multiple measures could alleviate long-branch attraction in phylogenomic reconstruction of Cupressoideae (Cupressaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Xiao-Jian; Jin, Jian-Jun; Chaw, Shu-Miaw; Li, De-Zhu; Yi, Ting-Shuang

    2017-01-25

    Long-branch attraction (LBA) is a major obstacle in phylogenetic reconstruction. The phylogenetic relationships among Juniperus (J), Cupressus (C) and the Hesperocyparis-Callitropsis-Xanthocyparis (HCX) subclades of Cupressoideae are controversial. Our initial analyses of plastid protein-coding gene matrix revealed both J and C with much longer stem branches than those of HCX, so their sister relationships may be attributed to LBA. We used multiple measures including data filtering and modifying, evolutionary model selection and coalescent phylogenetic reconstruction to alleviate the LBA artifact. Data filtering by strictly removing unreliable aligned regions and removing substitution saturation genes and rapidly evolving sites could significantly reduce branch lengths of subclades J and C and recovered a relationship of J (C, HCX). In addition, using coalescent phylogenetic reconstruction could elucidate the LBA artifact and recovered J (C, HCX). However, some valid methods for other taxa were inefficient in alleviating the LBA artifact in J-C-HCX. Different strategies should be carefully considered and justified to reduce LBA in phylogenetic reconstruction of different groups. Three subclades of J-C-HCX were estimated to have experienced ancient rapid divergence within a short period, which could be another major obstacle in resolving relationships. Furthermore, our plastid phylogenomic analyses fully resolved the intergeneric relationships of Cupressoideae.

  2. Phylogenomic evidence for a myxococcal contribution to the mitochondrial fatty acid beta-oxidation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agatha Schlüter

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The origin of eukaryotes remains a fundamental question in evolutionary biology. Although it is clear that eukaryotic genomes are a chimeric combination of genes of eubacterial and archaebacterial ancestry, the specific ancestry of most eubacterial genes is still unknown. The growing availability of microbial genomes offers the possibility of analyzing the ancestry of eukaryotic genomes and testing previous hypotheses on their origins. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we have applied a phylogenomic analysis to investigate a possible contribution of the Myxococcales to the first eukaryotes. We conducted a conservative pipeline with homologous sequence searches against a genomic sampling of 40 eukaryotic and 357 prokaryotic genomes. The phylogenetic reconstruction showed that several eukaryotic proteins traced to Myxococcales. Most of these proteins were associated with mitochondrial lipid intermediate pathways, particularly enzymes generating reducing equivalents with pivotal roles in fatty acid β-oxidation metabolism. Our data suggest that myxococcal species with the ability to oxidize fatty acids transferred several genes to eubacteria that eventually gave rise to the mitochondrial ancestor. Later, the eukaryotic nucleocytoplasmic lineage acquired those metabolic genes through endosymbiotic gene transfer. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results support a prokaryotic origin, different from α-proteobacteria, for several mitochondrial genes. Our data reinforce a fluid prokaryotic chromosome model in which the mitochondrion appears to be an important entry point for myxococcal genes to enter eukaryotes.

  3. Phylogenomics Reveals Three Sources of Adaptive Variation during a Rapid Radiation.

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    James B Pease

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Speciation events often occur in rapid bursts of diversification, but the ecological and genetic factors that promote these radiations are still much debated. Using whole transcriptomes from all 13 species in the ecologically and reproductively diverse wild tomato clade (Solanum sect. Lycopersicon, we infer the species phylogeny and patterns of genetic diversity in this group. Despite widespread phylogenetic discordance due to the sorting of ancestral variation, we date the origin of this radiation to approximately 2.5 million years ago and find evidence for at least three sources of adaptive genetic variation that fuel diversification. First, we detect introgression both historically between early-branching lineages and recently between individual populations, at specific loci whose functions indicate likely adaptive benefits. Second, we find evidence of lineage-specific de novo evolution for many genes, including loci involved in the production of red fruit color. Finally, using a "PhyloGWAS" approach, we detect environment-specific sorting of ancestral variation among populations that come from different species but share common environmental conditions. Estimated across the whole clade, small but substantial and approximately equal fractions of the euchromatic portion of the genome are inferred to contribute to each of these three sources of adaptive genetic variation. These results indicate that multiple genetic sources can promote rapid diversification and speciation in response to new ecological opportunity, in agreement with our emerging phylogenomic understanding of the complexity of both ancient and recent species radiations.

  4. Using phylogenomics to understand the link between biogeographic origins and regional diversification in ratsnakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xin; Lemmon, Alan R; Lemmon, Emily Moriarty; Pyron, R Alexander; Burbrink, Frank T

    2017-06-01

    Globally distributed groups may show regionally distinct rates of diversification, where speciation is elevated given timing and sources of ecological opportunity. However, for most organisms, nearly complete sampling at genomic-data scales to reduce topological error in all regions is unattainable, thus hampering conclusions related to biogeographic origins and rates of diversification. We explore processes leading to the diversity of global ratsnakes and test several important hypotheses related to areas of origin and enhanced diversification upon colonizing new continents. We estimate species trees inferred from phylogenomic scale data (304 loci) while exploring several strategies that consider topological error from each individual gene tree. With a dated species tree, we examine taxonomy and test previous hypotheses that suggest the ratsnakes originated in the Old World (OW) and dispersed to New World (NW). Furthermore, we determine if dispersal to the NW represented a source of ecological opportunity, which should show elevated rates of species diversification. We show that ratsnakes originated in the OW during the mid-Oligocene and subsequently dispersed to the NW by the mid-Miocene; diversification was also elevated in a subclade of NW taxa. Finally, the optimal biogeographic region-dependent speciation model shows that the uptick in ratsnake diversification was associated with colonization of the NW. We consider several alternative explanations that account for regionally distinct diversification rates. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Signal, Uncertainty, and Conflict in Phylogenomic Data for a Diverse Lineage of Microbial Eukaryotes (Diatoms, Bacillariophyta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Matthew B; Wickett, Norman J; Alverson, Andrew J

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Diatoms (Bacillariophyta) are a species-rich group of eukaryotic microbes diverse in morphology, ecology, and metabolism. Previous reconstructions of the diatom phylogeny based on one or a few genes have resulted in inconsistent resolution or low support for critical nodes. We applied phylogenetic paralog pruning techniques to a data set of 94 diatom genomes and transcriptomes to infer perennially difficult species relationships, using concatenation and summary-coalescent methods to reconstruct species trees from data sets spanning a wide range of thresholds for taxon and column occupancy in gene alignments. Conflicts between gene and species trees decreased with both increasing taxon occupancy and bootstrap cutoffs applied to gene trees. Concordance between gene and species trees was lowest for short internodes and increased logarithmically with increasing edge length, suggesting that incomplete lineage sorting disproportionately affects species tree inference at short internodes, which are a common feature of the diatom phylogeny. Although species tree topologies were largely consistent across many data treatments, concatenation methods appeared to outperform summary-coalescent methods for sparse alignments. Our results underscore that approaches to species-tree inference based on few loci are likely to be misled by unrepresentative sampling of gene histories, particularly in lineages that may have diversified rapidly. In addition, phylogenomic studies of diatoms, and potentially other hyperdiverse groups, should maximize the number of gene trees with high taxon occupancy, though there is clearly a limit to how many of these genes will be available. PMID:29040712

  6. When outgroups fail; phylogenomics of rooting the emerging pathogen, Coxiella burnetii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Talima; Hornstra, Heidie M; Sahl, Jason W; Schaack, Sarah; Schupp, James M; Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen M; O'Neill, Matthew W; Priestley, Rachael A; Champion, Mia D; Beckstrom-Sternberg, James S; Kersh, Gilbert J; Samuel, James E; Massung, Robert F; Keim, Paul

    2013-09-01

    Rooting phylogenies is critical for understanding evolution, yet the importance, intricacies and difficulties of rooting are often overlooked. For rooting, polymorphic characters among the group of interest (ingroup) must be compared to those of a relative (outgroup) that diverged before the last common ancestor (LCA) of the ingroup. Problems arise if an outgroup does not exist, is unknown, or is so distant that few characters are shared, in which case duplicated genes originating before the LCA can be used as proxy outgroups to root diverse phylogenies. Here, we describe a genome-wide expansion of this technique that can be used to solve problems at the other end of the evolutionary scale: where ingroup individuals are all very closely related to each other, but the next closest relative is very distant. We used shared orthologous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 10 whole genome sequences of Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever in humans, to create a robust, but unrooted phylogeny. To maximize the number of characters informative about the rooting, we searched entire genomes for polymorphic duplicated regions where orthologs of each paralog could be identified so that the paralogs could be used to root the tree. Recent radiations, such as those of emerging pathogens, often pose rooting challenges due to a lack of ingroup variation and large genomic differences with known outgroups. Using a phylogenomic approach, we created a robust, rooted phylogeny for C. burnetii. [Coxiella burnetii; paralog SNPs; pathogen evolution; phylogeny; recent radiation; root; rooting using duplicated genes.].

  7. Phylogenomics of 2,4-Diacetylphloroglucinol-Producing Pseudomonas and Novel Antiglycation Endophytes from Piper auritum.

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    Gutiérrez-García, Karina; Neira-González, Adriana; Pérez-Gutiérrez, Rosa Martha; Granados-Ramírez, Giovana; Zarraga, Ramon; Wrobel, Kazimierz; Barona-Gómez, Francisco; Flores-Cotera, Luis B

    2017-07-28

    2,4-Diacetylphloroglucinol (DAPG) (1) is a phenolic polyketide produced by some plant-associated Pseudomonas species, with many biological activities and ecological functions. Here, we aimed at reconstructing the natural history of DAPG using phylogenomics focused at its biosynthetic gene cluster or phl genes. In addition to around 1500 publically available genomes, we obtained and analyzed the sequences of nine novel Pseudomonas endophytes isolated from the antidiabetic medicinal plant Piper auritum. We found that 29 organisms belonging to six Pseudomonas species contain the phl genes at different frequencies depending on the species. The evolution of the phl genes was then reconstructed, leading to at least two clades postulated to correlate with the known chemical diversity surrounding DAPG biosynthesis. Moreover, two of the newly obtained Pseudomonas endophytes with high antiglycation activity were shown to exert their inhibitory activity against the formation of advanced glycation end-products via DAPG and related congeners. Its isomer, 5-hydroxyferulic acid (2), detected during bioactivity-guided fractionation, together with other DAPG congeners, were found to enhance the detected inhibitory activity. This report provides evidence of a link between the evolution and chemical diversity of DAPG and congeners.

  8. Origin and evolutionary history of freshwater Rhodophyta: further insights based on phylogenomic evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nan, Fangru; Feng, Jia; Lv, Junping; Liu, Qi; Fang, Kunpeng; Gong, Chaoyan; Xie, Shulian

    2017-06-07

    Freshwater representatives of Rhodophyta were sampled and the complete chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes were determined. Characteristics of the chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes were analyzed and phylogenetic relationship of marine and freshwater Rhodophyta were reconstructed based on the organelle genomes. The freshwater member Compsopogon caeruleus was determined for the largest chloroplast genome among multicellular Rhodophyta up to now. Expansion and subsequent reduction of both the genome size and GC content were observed in the Rhodophyta except for the freshwater Compsopogon caeruleus. It was inferred that the freshwater members of Rhodophyta occurred through diverse origins based on evidence of genome size, GC-content, phylogenomic analysis and divergence time estimation. The freshwater species Compsopogon caeruleus and Hildenbrandia rivularis originated and evolved independently at the inland water, whereas the Bangia atropurpurea, Batrachospermum arcuatum and Thorea hispida are derived from the marine relatives. The typical freshwater representatives Thoreales and Batrachospermales are probably derived from the marine relative Palmaria palmata at approximately 415-484 MYA. The origin and evolutionary history of freshwater Rhodophyta needs to be testified with more organelle genome sequences and wider global sampling.

  9. Comparative Phylogenomics Uncovers the Impact of Symbiotic Associations on Host Genome Evolution

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    Delaux, Pierre-Marc; Varala, Kranthi; Edger, Patrick P.; Coruzzi, Gloria M.; Pires, J. Chris; Ané, Jean-Michel

    2014-01-01

    Mutualistic symbioses between eukaryotes and beneficial microorganisms of their microbiome play an essential role in nutrition, protection against disease, and development of the host. However, the impact of beneficial symbionts on the evolution of host genomes remains poorly characterized. Here we used the independent loss of the most widespread plant–microbe symbiosis, arbuscular mycorrhization (AM), as a model to address this question. Using a large phenotypic approach and phylogenetic analyses, we present evidence that loss of AM symbiosis correlates with the loss of many symbiotic genes in the Arabidopsis lineage (Brassicales). Then, by analyzing the genome and/or transcriptomes of nine other phylogenetically divergent non-host plants, we show that this correlation occurred in a convergent manner in four additional plant lineages, demonstrating the existence of an evolutionary pattern specific to symbiotic genes. Finally, we use a global comparative phylogenomic approach to track this evolutionary pattern among land plants. Based on this approach, we identify a set of 174 highly conserved genes and demonstrate enrichment in symbiosis-related genes. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that beneficial symbionts maintain purifying selection on host gene networks during the evolution of entire lineages. PMID:25032823

  10. Agent of whirling disease meets orphan worm: phylogenomic analyses firmly place Myxozoa in Cnidaria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximilian P Nesnidal

    Full Text Available Myxozoa are microscopic obligate endoparasites with complex live cycles. Representatives are Myxobolus cerebralis, the causative agent of whirling disease in salmonids, and the enigmatic "orphan worm" Buddenbrockia plumatellae parasitizing in Bryozoa. Originally, Myxozoa were classified as protists, but later several metazoan characteristics were reported. However, their phylogenetic relationships remained doubtful. Some molecular phylogenetic analyses placed them as sister group to or even within Bilateria, whereas the possession of polar capsules that are similar to nematocysts of Cnidaria and of minicollagen genes suggest a close relationship between Myxozoa and Cnidaria. EST data of Buddenbrockia also indicated a cnidarian origin of Myxozoa, but were not sufficient to reject a closer relationship to bilaterians. Phylogenomic analyses of new genomic sequences of Myxobolus cerebralis firmly place Myxozoa as sister group to Medusozoa within Cnidaria. Based on the new dataset, the alternative hypothesis that Myxozoa form a clade with Bilateria can be rejected using topology tests. Sensitivity analyses indicate that this result is not affected by long branch attraction artifacts or compositional bias.

  11. Phylogenomics of Rhodobacteraceae reveals evolutionary adaptation to marine and non-marine habitats.

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    Simon, Meinhard; Scheuner, Carmen; Meier-Kolthoff, Jan P; Brinkhoff, Thorsten; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Ulbrich, Marcus; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Schomburg, Dietmar; Petersen, Jörn; Göker, Markus

    2017-06-01

    Marine Rhodobacteraceae (Alphaproteobacteria) are key players of biogeochemical cycling, comprise up to 30% of bacterial communities in pelagic environments and are often mutualists of eukaryotes. As 'Roseobacter clade', these 'roseobacters' are assumed to be monophyletic, but non-marine Rhodobacteraceae have not yet been included in phylogenomic analyses. Therefore, we analysed 106 genome sequences, particularly emphasizing gene sampling and its effect on phylogenetic stability, and investigated relationships between marine versus non-marine habitat, evolutionary origin and genomic adaptations. Our analyses, providing no unequivocal evidence for the monophyly of roseobacters, indicate several shifts between marine and non-marine habitats that occurred independently and were accompanied by characteristic changes in genomic content of orthologs, enzymes and metabolic pathways. Non-marine Rhodobacteraceae gained high-affinity transporters to cope with much lower sulphate concentrations and lost genes related to the reduced sodium chloride and organohalogen concentrations in their habitats. Marine Rhodobacteraceae gained genes required for fucoidan desulphonation and synthesis of the plant hormone indole 3-acetic acid and the compatible solutes ectoin and carnitin. However, neither plasmid composition, even though typical for the family, nor the degree of oligotrophy shows a systematic difference between marine and non-marine Rhodobacteraceae. We suggest the operational term 'Roseobacter group' for the marine Rhodobacteraceae strains.

  12. Phylogenomics resolves a spider backbone phylogeny and rejects a prevailing paradigm for orb web evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond, Jason E; Garrison, Nicole L; Hamilton, Chris A; Godwin, Rebecca L; Hedin, Marshal; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2014-08-04

    Spiders represent an ancient predatory lineage known for their extraordinary biomaterials, including venoms and silks. These adaptations make spiders key arthropod predators in most terrestrial ecosystems. Despite ecological, biomedical, and biomaterial importance, relationships among major spider lineages remain unresolved or poorly supported. Current working hypotheses for a spider "backbone" phylogeny are largely based on morphological evidence, as most molecular markers currently employed are generally inadequate for resolving deeper-level relationships. We present here a phylogenomic analysis of spiders including taxa representing all major spider lineages. Our robust phylogenetic hypothesis recovers some fundamental and uncontroversial spider clades, but rejects the prevailing paradigm of a monophyletic Orbiculariae, the most diverse lineage, containing orb-weaving spiders. Based on our results, the orb web either evolved much earlier than previously hypothesized and is ancestral for a majority of spiders or else it has multiple independent origins, as hypothesized by precladistic authors. Cribellate deinopoid orb weavers that use mechanically adhesive silk are more closely related to a diverse clade of mostly webless spiders than to the araneoid orb-weaving spiders that use adhesive droplet silks. The fundamental shift in our understanding of spider phylogeny proposed here has broad implications for interpreting the evolution of spiders, their remarkable biomaterials, and a key extended phenotype--the spider web. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The natural infection of birds and ticks feeding on birds with Rickettsia spp. and Coxiella burnetii in Slovakia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berthová, Lenka; Slobodník, Vladimír; Slobodník, Roman; Olekšák, Milan; Sekeyová, Zuzana; Svitálková, Zuzana; Kazimírová, Mária; Špitalská, Eva

    2016-03-01

    Ixodid ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) are known as primary vectors of many pathogens causing diseases in humans and animals. Ixodes ricinus is a common ectoparasite in Europe and birds are often hosts of subadult stages of the tick. From 2012 to 2013, 347 birds belonging to 43 species were caught and examined for ticks in three sites of Slovakia. Ticks and blood samples from birds were analysed individually for the presence of Rickettsia spp. and Coxiella burnetii by PCR-based methods. Only I. ricinus was found to infest birds. In total 594 specimens of bird-attached ticks were collected (451 larvae, 142 nymphs, 1 female). Altogether 37.2% (16/43) of bird species were infested by ticks and some birds carried more than one tick. The great tit, Parus major (83.8%, 31/37) was the most infested species. In total, 6.6 and 2.7% of bird-attached ticks were infected with Rickettsia spp. and C. burnetii, respectively. Rickettsia helvetica predominated (5.9%), whereas R. monacensis (0.5%) was only sporadically detected. Coxiella burnetii was detected in 0.9%, Rickettsia spp. in 8.9% and R. helvetica in 4.2% of bird blood samples. The great tit was the bird species most infested with I. ricinus, carried R. helvetica and C. burnetti positive tick larvae and nymphs and was found to be rickettsaemic in its blood. Further studies are necessary to define the role of birds in the circulation of rickettsiae and C. burnetii in natural foci.

  14. RC1339/APRc from Rickettsia conorii is a novel aspartic protease with properties of retropepsin-like enzymes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Cruz

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Members of the species Rickettsia are obligate intracellular, gram-negative, arthropod-borne pathogens of humans and other mammals. The life-threatening character of diseases caused by many Rickettsia species and the lack of reliable protective vaccine against rickettsioses strengthens the importance of identifying new protein factors for the potential development of innovative therapeutic tools. Herein, we report the identification and characterization of a novel membrane-embedded retropepsin-like homologue, highly conserved in 55 Rickettsia genomes. Using R. conorii gene homologue RC1339 as our working model, we demonstrate that, despite the low overall sequence similarity to retropepsins, the gene product of rc1339 APRc (for Aspartic Protease from Rickettsia conorii is an active enzyme with features highly reminiscent of this family of aspartic proteases, such as autolytic activity impaired by mutation of the catalytic aspartate, accumulation in the dimeric form, optimal activity at pH 6, and inhibition by specific HIV-1 protease inhibitors. Moreover, specificity preferences determined by a high-throughput profiling approach confirmed common preferences between this novel rickettsial enzyme and other aspartic proteases, both retropepsins and pepsin-like. This is the first report on a retropepsin-like protease in gram-negative intracellular bacteria such as Rickettsia, contributing to the analysis of the evolutionary relationships between the two types of aspartic proteases. Additionally, we have also shown that APRc is transcribed and translated in R. conorii and R. rickettsii and is integrated into the outer membrane of both species. Finally, we demonstrated that APRc is sufficient to catalyze the in vitro processing of two conserved high molecular weight autotransporter adhesin/invasion proteins, Sca5/OmpB and Sca0/OmpA, thereby suggesting the participation of this enzyme in a relevant proteolytic pathway in rickettsial life-cycle. As a

  15. Molecular detection of Rickettsia aeschlimannii in Hyalomma spp. ticks from camels (Camelus dromedarius) in Nigeria, West Africa.

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    Kamani, J; Baneth, G; Apanaskevich, D A; Mumcuoglu, K Y; Harrus, S

    2015-06-01

    Several species of the spotted fever group rickettsiae have been identified as emerging pathogens throughout the world, including in Africa. In this study, 197 Hyalomma ticks (Ixodida: Ixodidae) collected from 51 camels (Camelus dromedarius) in Kano, northern Nigeria, were screened by amplification and sequencing of the citrate synthase (gltA), outer membrane protein A (ompA) and 17-kDa antigen gene fragments. Rickettsia sp. gltA fragments were detected in 43.3% (42/97) of the tick pools tested. Rickettsial ompA gene fragments (189 bp and 630 bp) were detected in 64.3% (n = 27) and 23.8% (n = 10) of the gltA-positive tick pools by real-time and conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR), respectively. The amplicons were 99-100% identical to Rickettsia aeschlimannii TR/Orkun-H and R. aeschlimannii strain EgyRickHimp-El-Arish in GenBank. Furthermore, 17-kDa antigen gene fragments of 214 bp and 265 bp were detected in 59.5% (n = 25) and 38.1% (n = 16), respectively, of tick pools, and sequences were identical to one another and 99-100% identical to those of the R. aeschlimannii strain Ibadan A1 in GenBank. None of the Hyalomma impressum ticks collected were positive for Rickettsia sp. DNA. Rickettsia sp. gltA fragments (133 bp) were detected in 18.8% of camel blood samples, but all samples were negative for the other genes targeted. This is the first report to describe the molecular detection of R. aeschlimannii in Hyalomma spp. ticks from camels in Nigeria. © 2015 The Royal Entomological Society.

  16. First Report of Rickettsia Identical to R. slovaca in Colony-Originated D. variabilis in the United States: Detection, Laboratory Animal Model, and Vector Competence of Ticks.

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    Zemtsova, Galina E; Killmaster, Lindsay F; Montgomery, Merrill; Schumacher, Lauren; Burrows, Matt; Levin, Michael L

    2016-02-01

    Ticks of the genus Dermacentor are known vectors of rickettsial pathogens in both the Old World and New World. In North America, Dermacentor variabilis and D. andersoni are vectors of Rickettsia rickettsii, while in Europe, D. marginatus and D. reticulatus transmit R. slovaca and R. raoultii, respectively. Neither the presence of R. slovaca in the Americas nor the ability of American tick species to maintain this pathogen have been reported. Here we describe detection of Rickettsia genetically identical to R. slovaca in D. variabilis, its molecular characterization, assessment of pathogenicity to guinea pigs, and vector competence of D. variabilis ticks. Ticks from a laboratory colony of D. variabilis, established from wild ticks and maintained on naïve NZW rabbits, tested positive for spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia by PCR. Analysis of 17 kDa gltA, rpoB, ompA, ompB, and sca4 genes revealed 100% identity to R. slovaca sequences available in the GenBank. New Zealand white rabbits fed upon by infected ticks seroconverted to SFG Rickettsia. Guinea pigs inoculated with the Rickettsia culture or infested by the infected ticks developed antibodies to SFG Rickettsia. The intensity of clinical signs and immune response were dependent on dose and route of infection. The identified Rickettsia was detected in all life stages of D. variabilis ticks, confirming transstadial and transovarial transmission. Thirty-six percent of uninfected larvae co-fed with infected nymphs on guinea pigs were PCR-positive and able to pass rickettsia to at least 11.7% of molted nymphs. To our knowledge, this is a first report of identification of a European pathogen R. slovaca or a highly similar agent in the American dog tick, D. variabilis. Considering pathogenicity of R. slovaca in humans, further laboratory and field studies are warranted to assess the relevance of the above findings to the public health and epidemiology of SFG rickettsioses in the United States.

  17. Rickettsia (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae) Vector Biodiversity in High Altitude Atlantic Forest Fragments Within a Semiarid Climate: A New Endemic Area of Spotted-Fever in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moerbeck, Leonardo; Vizzoni, Vinícius F; Machado-Ferreira, Erik; Cavalcante, Robson C; Oliveira, Stefan V; Soares, Carlos A G; Amorim, Marinete; Gazêta, Gilberto S

    2016-11-01

    Rickettsioses are re-emerging vector-borne zoonoses with a global distribution. Recently, Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest has been associated with new human spotted-fever (SF) cases in Brazil, featuring particular clinical signs: eschar formation and lymphadenopathy. These cases have been associated with the tick species, Amblyomma ovale From 2010 until 2015, the Brazilian Health Department confirmed 11 human SF cases in the Maciço de Baturité region, Ceará, Brazil. The present study reports the circulation of Rickettsia spp. in vectors from this entirely new endemic area for SF. A total of 1,727 ectoparasites were collected in this area from the environment, humans, and wild and domestic animals. Samples (n = 887) were screened by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), targeting the gltA and ompA rickettsial genes. Sequencing and phylogenetic analyses of gltA gene amplicons were carried out for 13 samples positive for both screening PCRs. Fragments of gltA and ompA from three samples were cloned, sequenced, and analyzed further. A. ovale and Rhipicephalus sanguineus specimens, collected from dogs, were found to be infected with Rickettsia sp. str. Atlantic rainforest, suggesting the importance of dogs in the epidemic cycle. Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae, Rickettsia felis, and Rickettsia bellii were also found infecting ticks and fleas in five municipalities, demonstrating the broad diversity of rickettsiae in circulation in the studied area. This study reports, for the first time, evidence of infection with Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest in A. ovale and R. sanguineus in Ceará, and Ca. R. andeanae in an Atlantic rainforest environment of Brazil. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. The phylogenomic position of the grey nurse shark Carcharias taurus Rafinesque, 1810 (Lamniformes, Odontaspididae) inferred from the mitochondrial genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowden, Deborah L; Vargas-Caro, Carolina; Ovenden, Jennifer R; Bennett, Michael B; Bustamante, Carlos

    2016-11-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the grey nurse shark Carcharias taurus is described from 25 963 828 sequences obtained using Illumina NGS technology. Total length of the mitogenome is 16 715 bp, consisting of 2 rRNAs, 13 protein-coding regions, 22 tRNA and 2 non-coding regions thus updating the previously published mitogenome for this species. The phylogenomic reconstruction inferred from the mitogenome of 15 species of Lamniform and Carcharhiniform sharks supports the inclusion of C. taurus in a clade with the Lamnidae and Cetorhinidae. This complete mitogenome contributes to ongoing investigation into the monophyly of the Family Odontaspididae.

  19. Rickettsia typhi IN RODENTS AND R. felis IN FLEAS IN YUCATÁN AS A POSSIBLE CAUSAL AGENT OF UNDEFINED FEBRILE CASES

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    Gaspar PENICHE-LARA

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Rickettsia typhi is the causal agent of murine typhus; a worldwide zoonotic and vector-borne infectious disease, commonly associated with the presence of domestic and wild rodents. Human cases of murine typhus in the state of Yucatán are frequent. However, there is no evidence of the presence of Rickettsia typhi in mammals or vectors in Yucatán. The presence of Rickettsia in rodents and their ectoparasites was evaluated in a small municipality of Yucatán using the conventional polymerase chain reaction technique and sequencing. The study only identified the presence of Rickettsia typhi in blood samples obtained from Rattus rattus and it reported, for the first time, the presence of R. felis in the flea Polygenis odiosus collected from Ototylomys phyllotis rodent. Additionally, Rickettsia felis was detected in the ectoparasite Ctenocephalides felis fleas parasitizing the wild rodent Peromyscus yucatanicus. This study’s results contributed to a better knowledge of Rickettsia epidemiology in Yucatán.

  20. Phylogenomic analyses support the position of turtles as the sister group of birds and crocodiles (Archosauria

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    Chiari Ylenia

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The morphological peculiarities of turtles have, for a long time, impeded their accurate placement in the phylogeny of amniotes. Molecular data used to address this major evolutionary question have so far been limited to a handful of markers and/or taxa. These studies have supported conflicting topologies, positioning turtles as either the sister group to all other reptiles, to lepidosaurs (tuatara, lizards and snakes, to archosaurs (birds and crocodiles, or to crocodilians. Genome-scale data have been shown to be useful in resolving other debated phylogenies, but no such adequate dataset is yet available for amniotes. Results In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to obtain seven new transcriptomes from the blood, liver, or jaws of four turtles, a caiman, a lizard, and a lungfish. We used a phylogenomic dataset based on 248 nuclear genes (187,026 nucleotide sites for 16 vertebrate taxa to resolve the origins of turtles. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian concatenation analyses and species tree approaches performed under the most realistic models of the nucleotide and amino acid substitution processes unambiguously support turtles as a sister group to birds and crocodiles. The use of more simplistic models of nucleotide substitution for both concatenation and species tree reconstruction methods leads to the artefactual grouping of turtles and crocodiles, most likely because of substitution saturation at third codon positions. Relaxed molecular clock methods estimate the divergence between turtles and archosaurs around 255 million years ago. The most recent common ancestor of living turtles, corresponding to the split between Pleurodira and Cryptodira, is estimated to have occurred around 157 million years ago, in the Upper Jurassic period. This is a more recent estimate than previously reported, and questions the interpretation of controversial Lower Jurassic fossils as being part of the extant turtles radiation

  1. Plastid Phylogenomic Analyses Resolve Tofieldiaceae as the Root of the Early Diverging Monocot Order Alismatales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Yang; Ma, Peng-Fei; Li, Hong-Tao; Yang, Jun-Bo; Wang, Hong; Li, De-Zhu

    2016-04-06

    The predominantly aquatic order Alismatales, which includes approximately 4,500 species within Araceae, Tofieldiaceae, and the core alismatid families, is a key group in investigating the origin and early diversification of monocots. Despite their importance, phylogenetic ambiguity regarding the root of the Alismatales tree precludes answering questions about the early evolution of the order. Here, we sequenced the first complete plastid genomes from three key families in this order:Potamogeton perfoliatus(Potamogetonaceae),Sagittaria lichuanensis(Alismataceae), andTofieldia thibetica(Tofieldiaceae). Each family possesses the typical quadripartite structure, with plastid genome sizes of 156,226, 179,007, and 155,512 bp, respectively. Among them, the plastid genome ofS. lichuanensisis the largest in monocots and the second largest in angiosperms. Like other sequenced Alismatales plastid genomes, all three families generally encode the same 113 genes with similar structure and arrangement. However, we detected 2.4 and 6 kb inversions in the plastid genomes ofSagittariaandPotamogeton, respectively. Further, we assembled a 79 plastid protein-coding gene sequence data matrix of 22 taxa that included the three newly generated plastid genomes plus 19 previously reported ones, which together represent all primary lineages of monocots and outgroups. In plastid phylogenomic analyses using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference, we show both strong support for Acorales as sister to the remaining monocots and monophyly of Alismatales. More importantly, Tofieldiaceae was resolved as the most basal lineage within Alismatales. These results provide new insights into the evolution of Alismatales as well as the early-diverging monocots as a whole. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  2. A phylogenomic profile of hemerythrins, the nonheme diiron binding respiratory proteins

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    Mizuguchi Kenji

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hemerythrins, are the non-heme, diiron binding respiratory proteins of brachiopods, priapulids and sipunculans; they are also found in annelids and bacteria, where their functions have not been fully elucidated. Results A search for putative Hrs in the genomes of 43 archaea, 444 bacteria and 135 eukaryotes, revealed their presence in 3 archaea, 118 bacteria, several fungi, one apicomplexan, a heterolobosan, a cnidarian and several annelids. About a fourth of the Hr sequences were identified as N- or C-terminal domains of chimeric, chemotactic gene regulators. The function of the remaining single domain bacterial Hrs remains to be determined. In addition to oxygen transport, the possible functions in annelids have been proposed to include cadmium-binding, antibacterial action and immunoprotection. A Bayesian phylogenetic tree revealed a split into two clades, one encompassing archaea, bacteria and fungi, and the other comprising the remaining eukaryotes. The annelid and sipunculan Hrs share the same intron-exon structure, different from that of the cnidarian Hr. Conclusion The phylogenomic profile of Hrs demonstrated a limited occurrence in bacteria and archaea and a marked absence in the vast majority of multicellular organisms. Among the metazoa, Hrs have survived in a cnidarian and in a few protostome groups; hence, it appears that in metazoans the Hr gene was lost in deuterostome ancestor(s after the radiata/bilateria split. Signal peptide sequences in several Hirudinea Hrs suggest for the first time, the possibility of extracellular localization. Since the α-helical bundle is likely to have been among the earliest protein folds, Hrs represent an ancient family of iron-binding proteins, whose primary function in bacteria may have been that of an oxygen sensor, enabling aerophilic or aerophobic responses. Although Hrs evolved to function as O2 transporters in brachiopods, priapulids and sipunculans, their function in

  3. Domain duplication, divergence, and loss events in vertebrate Msx paralogs reveal phylogenomically informed disease markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finnerty, John R; Mazza, Maureen E; Jezewski, Peter A

    2009-01-20

    Msx originated early in animal evolution and is implicated in human genetic disorders. To reconstruct the functional evolution of Msx and inform the study of human mutations, we analyzed the phylogeny and synteny of 46 metazoan Msx proteins and tracked the duplication, diversification and loss of conserved motifs. Vertebrate Msx sequences sort into distinct Msx1, Msx2 and Msx3 clades. The sister-group relationship between MSX1 and MSX2 reflects their derivation from the 4p/5q chromosomal paralogon, a derivative of the original "MetaHox" cluster. We demonstrate physical linkage between Msx and other MetaHox genes (Hmx, NK1, Emx) in a cnidarian. Seven conserved domains, including two Groucho repression domains (N- and C-terminal), were present in the ancestral Msx. In cnidarians, the Groucho domains are highly similar. In vertebrate Msx1, the N-terminal Groucho domain is conserved, while the C-terminal domain diverged substantially, implying a novel function. In vertebrate Msx2 and Msx3, the C-terminal domain was lost. MSX1 mutations associated with ectodermal dysplasia or orofacial clefting disorders map to conserved domains in a non-random fashion. Msx originated from a MetaHox ancestor that also gave rise to Tlx, Demox, NK, and possibly EHGbox, Hox and ParaHox genes. Duplication, divergence or loss of domains played a central role in the functional evolution of Msx. Duplicated domains allow pleiotropically expressed proteins to evolve new functions without disrupting existing interaction networks. Human missense sequence variants reside within evolutionarily conserved domains, likely disrupting protein function. This phylogenomic evaluation of candidate disease markers will inform clinical and functional studies.

  4. Domain duplication, divergence, and loss events in vertebrate Msx paralogs reveal phylogenomically informed disease markers

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    Finnerty John R

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Msx originated early in animal evolution and is implicated in human genetic disorders. To reconstruct the functional evolution of Msx and inform the study of human mutations, we analyzed the phylogeny and synteny of 46 metazoan Msx proteins and tracked the duplication, diversification and loss of conserved motifs. Results Vertebrate Msx sequences sort into distinct Msx1, Msx2 and Msx3 clades. The sister-group relationship between MSX1 and MSX2 reflects their derivation from the 4p/5q chromosomal paralogon, a derivative of the original "MetaHox" cluster. We demonstrate physical linkage between Msx and other MetaHox genes (Hmx, NK1, Emx in a cnidarian. Seven conserved domains, including two Groucho repression domains (N- and C-terminal, were present in the ancestral Msx. In cnidarians, the Groucho domains are highly similar. In vertebrate Msx1, the N-terminal Groucho domain is conserved, while the C-terminal domain diverged substantially, implying a novel function. In vertebrate Msx2 and Msx3, the C-terminal domain was lost. MSX1 mutations associated with ectodermal dysplasia or orofacial clefting disorders map to conserved domains in a non-random fashion. Conclusion Msx originated from a MetaHox ancestor that also gave rise to Tlx, Demox, NK, and possibly EHGbox, Hox and ParaHox genes. Duplication, divergence or loss of domains played a central role in the functional evolution of Msx. Duplicated domains allow pleiotropically expressed proteins to evolve new functions without disrupting existing interaction networks. Human missense sequence variants reside within evolutionarily conserved domains, likely disrupting protein function. This phylogenomic evaluation of candidate disease markers will inform clinical and functional studies.

  5. Phylogenomic analyses support the position of turtles as the sister group of birds and crocodiles (Archosauria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The morphological peculiarities of turtles have, for a long time, impeded their accurate placement in the phylogeny of amniotes. Molecular data used to address this major evolutionary question have so far been limited to a handful of markers and/or taxa. These studies have supported conflicting topologies, positioning turtles as either the sister group to all other reptiles, to lepidosaurs (tuatara, lizards and snakes), to archosaurs (birds and crocodiles), or to crocodilians. Genome-scale data have been shown to be useful in resolving other debated phylogenies, but no such adequate dataset is yet available for amniotes. Results In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to obtain seven new transcriptomes from the blood, liver, or jaws of four turtles, a caiman, a lizard, and a lungfish. We used a phylogenomic dataset based on 248 nuclear genes (187,026 nucleotide sites) for 16 vertebrate taxa to resolve the origins of turtles. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian concatenation analyses and species tree approaches performed under the most realistic models of the nucleotide and amino acid substitution processes unambiguously support turtles as a sister group to birds and crocodiles. The use of more simplistic models of nucleotide substitution for both concatenation and species tree reconstruction methods leads to the artefactual grouping of turtles and crocodiles, most likely because of substitution saturation at third codon positions. Relaxed molecular clock methods estimate the divergence between turtles and archosaurs around 255 million years ago. The most recent common ancestor of living turtles, corresponding to the split between Pleurodira and Cryptodira, is estimated to have occurred around 157 million years ago, in the Upper Jurassic period. This is a more recent estimate than previously reported, and questions the interpretation of controversial Lower Jurassic fossils as being part of the extant turtles radiation. Conclusions These results

  6. A Phylogenomic Solution to the Origin of Insects by Resolving Crustacean-Hexapod Relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwentner, Martin; Combosch, David J; Pakes Nelson, Joey; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2017-06-19

    Insects, the most diverse group of organisms, are nested within crustaceans, arguably the most abundant group of marine animals. However, to date, no consensus has been reached as to which crustacean taxon is the closest relative of hexapods. A majority of studies have proposed that Branchiopoda (e.g., fairy shrimps) is the sister group of Hexapoda [1-7]. However, these investigations largely excluded two equally important taxa, Remipedia and Cephalocarida. Other studies suggested Remipedia [8-11] or Remipedia + Cephalocarida [12, 13] as potential sister groups of hexapods, but they either did not include Cephalocarida or used only Sanger sequence data and morphology [9, 12]. Here we present the first phylogenomic study specifically addressing the origins of hexapods, including transcriptomes for two species each of Cephalocarida and Remipedia. Phylogenetic analyses of selected matrices, ranging from 81 to 1,675 orthogroups and up to 510,982 amino acid positions, clearly reject a sister-group relationship between Hexapoda and Branchiopoda [1-7]. Nonetheless, support for a hexapod sister-group relationship to Remipedia or to Cephalocarida-Remipedia was highly dependent on the employed analytical methodology. Further analyses assessing the effects of gene evolutionary rate and targeted taxon exclusion support Remipedia as the sole sister taxon of Hexapoda and suggest that the prior grouping of Remipedia + Cephalocarida is an artifact, possibly due to long branch attraction and compositional heterogeneity. We further conclude that terrestrialization of Hexapoda probably occurred in the late Cambrian to early Ordovician, an estimate that is independent of their proposed sister group [4, 8, 12, 14]. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Different phylogenomic approaches to resolve the evolutionary relationships among model fish species.

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    Negrisolo, Enrico; Kuhl, Heiner; Forcato, Claudio; Vitulo, Nicola; Reinhardt, Richard; Patarnello, Tomaso; Bargelloni, Luca

    2010-12-01

    to the choice of alignment methodology applied to noncoding parts of the genomic region under study. This may limit the use of intergenic/noncoding sequences in phylogenomics until more robust alignment algorithms are developed.

  8. Modeling Site Heterogeneity with Posterior Mean Site Frequency Profiles Accelerates Accurate Phylogenomic Estimation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Huai-Chun; Minh, Bui Quang; Susko, Edward; Roger, Andrew J

    2018-03-01

    Proteins have distinct structural and functional constraints at different sites that lead to site-specific preferences for particular amino acid residues as the sequences evolve. Heterogeneity in the amino acid substitution process between sites is not modeled by commonly used empirical amino acid exchange matrices. Such model misspecification can lead to artefacts in phylogenetic estimation such as long-branch attraction. Although sophisticated site-heterogeneous mixture models have been developed to address this problem in both Bayesian and maximum likelihood (ML) frameworks, their formidable computational time and memory usage severely limits their use in large phylogenomic analyses. Here we propose a posterior mean site frequency (PMSF) method as a rapid and efficient approximation to full empirical profile mixture models for ML analysis. The PMSF approach assigns a conditional mean amino acid frequency profile to each site calculated based on a mixture model fitted to the data using a preliminary guide tree. These PMSF profiles can then be used for in-depth tree-searching in place of the full mixture model. Compared with widely used empirical mixture models with $k$ classes, our implementation of PMSF in IQ-TREE (http://www.iqtree.org) speeds up the computation by approximately $k$/1.5-fold and requires a small fraction of the RAM. Furthermore, this speedup allows, for the first time, full nonparametric bootstrap analyses to be conducted under complex site-heterogeneous models on large concatenated data matrices. Our simulations and empirical data analyses demonstrate that PMSF can effectively ameliorate long-branch attraction artefacts. In some empirical and simulation settings PMSF provided more accurate estimates of phylogenies than the mixture models from which they derive.

  9. Methodological congruence in phylogenomic analyses with morphological support for teiid lizards (Sauria: Teiidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Derek B; Colli, Guarino R; Giugliano, Lilian G; Hedges, S Blair; Hendry, Catriona R; Lemmon, Emily Moriarty; Lemmon, Alan R; Sites, Jack W; Pyron, R Alexander

    2016-10-01

    A well-known issue in phylogenetics is discordance among gene trees, species trees, morphology, and other data types. Gene-tree discordance is often caused by incomplete lineage sorting, lateral gene transfer, and gene duplication. Multispecies-coalescent methods can account for incomplete lineage sorting and are believed by many to be more accurate than concatenation. However, simulation studies and empirical data have demonstrated that concatenation and species tree methods often recover similar topologies. We use three popular methods of phylogenetic reconstruction (one concatenation, two species tree) to evaluate relationships within Teiidae. These lizards are distributed across the United States to Argentina and the West Indies, and their classification has been controversial due to incomplete sampling and the discordance among various character types (chromosomes, DNA, musculature, osteology, etc.) used to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships. Recent morphological and molecular analyses of the group resurrected three genera and created five new genera to resolve non-monophyly in three historically ill-defined genera: Ameiva, Cnemidophorus, and Tupinambis. Here, we assess the phylogenetic relationships of the Teiidae using "next-generation" anchored-phylogenomics sequencing. Our final alignment includes 316 loci (488,656bp DNA) for 244 individuals (56 species of teiids, representing all currently recognized genera) and all three methods (ExaML, MP-EST, and ASTRAL-II) recovered essentially identical topologies. Our results are basically in agreement with recent results from morphology and smaller molecular datasets, showing support for monophyly of the eight new genera. Interestingly, even with hundreds of loci, the relationships among some genera in Tupinambinae remain ambiguous (i.e. low nodal support for the position of Salvator and Dracaena). Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Phylogenomics and Morphology of Extinct Paleognaths Reveal the Origin and Evolution of the Ratites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yonezawa, Takahiro; Segawa, Takahiro; Mori, Hiroshi; Campos, Paula F; Hongoh, Yuichi; Endo, Hideki; Akiyoshi, Ayumi; Kohno, Naoki; Nishida, Shin; Wu, Jiaqi; Jin, Haofei; Adachi, Jun; Kishino, Hirohisa; Kurokawa, Ken; Nogi, Yoshifumi; Tanabe, Hideyuki; Mukoyama, Harutaka; Yoshida, Kunio; Rasoamiaramanana, Armand; Yamagishi, Satoshi; Hayashi, Yoshihiro; Yoshida, Akira; Koike, Hiroko; Akishinonomiya, Fumihito; Willerslev, Eske; Hasegawa, Masami

    2017-01-09

    The Palaeognathae comprise the flightless ratites and the volant tinamous, and together with the Neognathae constitute the extant members of class Aves. It is commonly believed that Palaeognathae originated in Gondwana since most of the living species are found in the Southern Hemisphere [1-3]. However, this hypothesis has been questioned because the fossil paleognaths are mostly from the Northern Hemisphere in their earliest time (Paleocene) and possessed many putative ancestral characters [4]. Uncertainties regarding the origin and evolution of Palaeognathae stem from the difficulty in estimating their divergence times [1, 2] and their remarkable morphological convergence. Here, we recovered nuclear genome fragments from extinct elephant birds, which enabled us to reconstruct a reliable phylogenomic time tree for the Palaeognathae. Based on the tree, we identified homoplasies in morphological traits of paleognaths and reconstructed their morphology-based phylogeny including fossil species without molecular data. In contrast to the prevailing theories, the fossil paleognaths from the Northern Hemisphere were placed as the basal lineages. Combined with our stable divergence time estimates that enabled a valid argument regarding the correlation with geological events, we propose a new evolutionary scenario that contradicts the traditional view. The ancestral Palaeognathae were volant, as estimated from their molecular evolutionary rates, and originated during the Late Cretaceous in the Northern Hemisphere. They migrated to the Southern Hemisphere and speciated explosively around the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. They then extended their distribution to the Gondwana-derived landmasses, such as New Zealand and Madagascar, by overseas dispersal. Gigantism subsequently occurred independently on each landmass. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. INFECTION BY Rickettsia felis IN OPOSSUMS (Didelphis sp.) FROM YUCATAN, MEXICO.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peniche-Lara, Gaspar; Ruiz-Piña, Hugo A; Reyes-Novelo, Enrique; Dzul-Rosado, Karla; Zavala-Castro, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    Rickettsia felis is an emergent pathogen and the causative agent of a typhus-like rickettsiosis in the Americas. Its transmission cycle involves fleas as biological vectors (mainly Ctenocephalides felis) and multiple domestic and synanthropic mammal hosts. Nonetheless, the role of mammals in the cycle of R. felis is not well understood and many efforts are ongoing in different countries of America to clarify it. The present study describes for the first time in Mexico the infection of two species of opossum (Didelphis virginiana and D. marsupialis) by R. felis. A diagnosis was carried out from blood samples by molecular methods through the gltA and 17 kDa genes and sequence determination. Eighty-seven opossum samples were analyzed and 28 were found to be infected (32.1%) from five out of the six studied localities of Yucatan. These findings enable recognition of the potential epidemiological implications for public health of the presence of infected synanthropic Didelphis in households.

  12. Molecular Detection of Rickettsia felis in Humans, Cats, and Cat Fleas in Bangladesh, 2013-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Rajib; Paul, Shyamal Kumar; Hossain, Muhammad Akram; Ahmed, Salma; Mahmud, Muhammad Chand; Nasreen, Syeda Anjuman; Ferdouse, Faria; Sharmi, Rumana Hasan; Ahamed, Farid; Ghosh, Souvik; Urushibara, Noriko; Aung, Meiji Soe; Kobayashi, Nobumichi

    2016-05-01

    High prevalence of Rickettsia felis in patients with fever of unknown origin was revealed in the north-central Bangladesh from 2012 to 2013. Subsequently, in this study, prevalence of R. felis in cats and cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis), together with febrile patients, was studied by PCR detection of 17 kDa antigen gene and DNA sequencing. R. felis was detected in 28% (28/100) and 21% (14/68) of cat blood and cat flea samples, respectively, whereas 42% (21/50) of patients were positive for R. felis. R. felis-positive cat fleas were detected at significantly higher rate on R. felis-positive cats. The results suggested a potential role of cats and cat fleas for transmission of R. felis to humans in Bangladesh.

  13. Analysis of convergent gene transcripts in the obligate intracellular bacterium Rickettsia prowazekii.

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    Andrew Woodard

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Termination of transcription is an important component of bacterial gene expression. However, little is known concerning this process in the obligate intracellular pathogen and model for reductive evolution, Rickettsia prowazekii. To assess transcriptional termination in this bacterium, transcripts of convergent gene pairs, some containing predicted intrinsic terminators, were analyzed. These analyses revealed that, rather than terminating at a specific site within the intervening region between the convergent genes, most of the transcripts demonstrated either a lack of termination within this region, which generated antisense RNA, or a putative non-site-specific termination that occurred throughout the intervening sequence. Transcripts terminating at predicted intrinsic terminators, as well as at a putative Rho-dependant terminator, were also examined and found to vary based on the rickettsial host environment. These results suggest that transcriptional termination, or lack thereof, plays a role in rickettsial gene regulation.

  14. Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae, a spotted fever group agent infecting Amblyomma parvum ticks in two Brazilian biomes

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    Fernanda Aparecida Nieri-Bastos

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Adult ticks of the species Amblyomma parvum were collected from the vegetation in the Pantanal biome (state of Mato Grosso do Sul and from horses in the Cerrado biome (state of Piauí in Brazil. The ticks were individually tested for rickettsial infection via polymerase chain reaction (PCR targeting three rickettsial genes, gltA, ompA and ompB. Overall, 63.5% (40/63 and 66.7% (2/3 of A. parvum ticks from Pantanal and Cerrado, respectively, contained rickettsial DNA, which were all confirmed by DNA sequencing to be 100% identical to the corresponding fragments of the gltA, ompA and ompB genes of Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae. This report is the first to describe Ca. R. andeanae in Brazil.

  15. Flinders Island spotted fever rickettsioses caused by "marmionii" strain of Rickettsia honei, Eastern Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsworth, Nathan B; Stenos, John; Graves, Stephen R; Faa, Antony G; Cox, G Erika; Dyer, John R; Boutlis, Craig S; Lane, Amanda M; Shaw, Matthew D; Robson, Jennifer; Nissen, Michael D

    2007-04-01

    Australia has 4 rickettsial diseases: murine typhus, Queensland tick typhus, Flinders Island spotted fever, and scrub typhus. We describe 7 cases of a rickettsiosis with an acute onset and symptoms of fever (100%), headache (71%), arthralgia (43%), myalgia (43%), cough (43%), maculopapular/petechial rash (43%), nausea (29%), pharyngitis (29%), lymphadenopathy (29%), and eschar (29%). Cases were most prevalent in autumn and from eastern Australia, including Queensland, Tasmania, and South Australia. One patient had a history of tick bite (Haemaphysalis novaeguineae). An isolate shared 99.2%, 99.8%, 99.8%, 99.9%, and 100% homology with the 17 kDa, ompA, gltA, 16S rRNA, and Sca4 genes, respectively, of Rickettsia honei. This Australian rickettsiosis has similar symptoms to Flinders Island spotted fever, and the strain is genetically related to R. honei. It has been designated the "marmionii" strain of R. honei, in honor of Australian physician and scientist Barrie Marmion.

  16. Unwinding after high salinity stress: Pea DNA helicase 45 over- expression in tobacco confers high salinity tolerance without affecting yield (abstract)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tuteja, N.

    2005-01-01

    Soil salinity is an increasing threat for agriculture and is a major factor in reducing plant productivity; therefore, it is necessary to obtain salinity-tolerant varieties. A typical characteristic of soil salinity is the induction of multiple stress- inducible genes. Some of the genes encoding osmolytes, ion channels or enzymes are able to confer salinity-tolerant phenotypes when transferred to sensitive plants. As salinity stress affects the cellular gene-expression machinery, it is evident that molecules involved in nucleic acid processing including helicases, are likely to be affected as well. DNA helicases unwind duplex DNA and are involved in replication, repair, recombination and transcription while RNA helicases unfold the secondary structures in RNA and are involved in transcription, ribosome biogenesis and translation initiation. We have earlier reported the isolation of a pea DNA helicase 45 (PDH45) that exhibits striking homology with eIF-4A (Plant J. 24:219-230,2000). Here we report that PDH45 mRNA is induced in pea seedlings in response to high salt and its over- expression driven by a constitutive CAMV-355-promoter in tobacco plants confers salinity tolerance, thus suggesting a new pathway for manipulating stress tolerance in crop plants. The T0 transgenic plants showed high-levels of PDH45 protein in normal and stress conditions, as compared to wild type (WT) plants. The T0 transgenics also showed tolerance to high salinity as tested by a leaf disc senescence assay. The T1 transgenics were able to grow to maturity and set normal viable seeds under continuous salinity stress, without any reduction in plant yield, in terms of seed weight. Measurement of Na/sup +/ ions in different parts of the plant showed higher accumulation in the old leaves and negligible in seeds of T1 transgenic lines as compared with the WT plants. The possible mechanism of salinity tolerance will be discussed. Over-expression of PDH45 provides a possible example of the

  17. Novel Rickettsia raoultii strain isolated and propagated from Austrian Dermacentor reticulatus ticks

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    Michiel Wijnveld

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Continuous culture of tick cell lines has proven a valuable asset in isolating and propagating several different vector-borne pathogens, making it possible to study these microorganisms under laboratory conditions and develop serological tests to benefit public health. We describe a method for effective, cost- and labor-efficient isolation and propagation of Rickettsia raoultii using generally available laboratory equipment and Rhipicephalus microplus cells, further demonstrating the usefulness of continuous tick cell lines. R. raoultii is one of the causative agents of tick-borne lymphadenopathy (TIBOLA and is, together with its vector Dermacentor reticulatus, emerging in novel regions of Europe, giving rise to an increased threat to general public health. Methods Dermacentor reticulatus ticks were collected in the Donau-Auen (Lobau national park in Vienna, Austria. The hemolymph of ten collected ticks was screened by PCR-reverse line blot for the presence of rickettsial DNA. A single tick tested positive for R. raoultii DNA and was used to infect Rhipicephalus microplus BME/CTVM2 cells. Results Sixty-five days after infection of the tick-cell line with an extract from a R. raoultii-infected tick, we observed intracellular bacteria in the cultured cells. On the basis of microscopy we suspected that the intracellular bacteria were a species of Rickettsia; this was confirmed by several PCRs targeting different genes. Subsequent sequencing showed 99–100 % identity with R. raoultii. Cryopreservation and resuscitation of R. raoultii was successful. After 28 days identical intracellular bacteria were microscopically observed. Conclusions R. raoultii was successfully isolated and propagated from D. reticulatus ticks using R. microplus BME/CTVM2 cells. The isolated strain shows significant molecular variation compared to currently known sequences. Furthermore we show for the first time the successful cryopreservation and

  18. Identification of novel surface-exposed proteins of Rickettsia rickettsii by affinity purification and proteomics.

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    Wenping Gong

    Full Text Available Rickettsia rickettsii, the causative agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, is the most pathogenic member among Rickettsia spp. Surface-exposed proteins (SEPs of R. rickettsii may play important roles in its pathogenesis or immunity. In this study, R. rickettsii organisms were surface-labeled with sulfo-NHS-SS-biotin and the labeled proteins were affinity-purified with streptavidin. The isolated proteins were separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis, and 10 proteins were identified among 23 protein spots by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Five (OmpA, OmpB, GroEL, GroES, and a DNA-binding protein of the 10 proteins were previously characterized as surface proteins of R. rickettsii. Another 5 proteins (Adr1, Adr2, OmpW, Porin_4, and TolC were first recognized as SEPs of R. rickettsii herein. The genes encoding the 5 novel SEPs were expressed in Escherichia coli cells, resulting in 5 recombinant SEPs (rSEPs, which were used to immunize mice. After challenge with viable R. rickettsii cells, the rickettsial load in the spleen, liver, or lung of mice immunized with rAdr2 and in the lungs of mice immunized with other rSEPs excluding rTolC was significantly lower than in mice that were mock-immunized with PBS. The in vitro neutralization test revealed that sera from mice immunized with rAdr1, rAdr2, or rOmpW reduced R. rickettsii adherence to and invasion of vascular endothelial cells. The immuno-electron microscopic assay clearly showed that the novel SEPs were located in the outer and/or inner membrane of R. rickettsii. Altogether, the 5 novel SEPs identified herein might be involved in the interaction of R. rickettsii with vascular endothelial cells, and all of them except TolC were protective antigens.

  19. Identification of Novel Surface-Exposed Proteins of Rickettsia rickettsii by Affinity Purification and Proteomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Wenping; Xiong, Xiaolu; Qi, Yong; Jiao, Jun; Duan, Changsong; Wen, Bohai

    2014-01-01

    Rickettsia rickettsii, the causative agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, is the most pathogenic member among Rickettsia spp. Surface-exposed proteins (SEPs) of R. rickettsii may play important roles in its pathogenesis or immunity. In this study, R. rickettsii organisms were surface-labeled with sulfo-NHS-SS-biotin and the labeled proteins were affinity-purified with streptavidin. The isolated proteins were separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis, and 10 proteins were identified among 23 protein spots by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Five (OmpA, OmpB, GroEL, GroES, and a DNA-binding protein) of the 10 proteins were previously characterized as surface proteins of R. rickettsii. Another 5 proteins (Adr1, Adr2, OmpW, Porin_4, and TolC) were first recognized as SEPs of R. rickettsii herein. The genes encoding the 5 novel SEPs were expressed in Escherichia coli cells, resulting in 5 recombinant SEPs (rSEPs), which were used to immunize mice. After challenge with viable R. rickettsii cells, the rickettsial load in the spleen, liver, or lung of mice immunized with rAdr2 and in the lungs of mice immunized with other rSEPs excluding rTolC was significantly lower than in mice that were mock-immunized with PBS. The in vitro neutralization test revealed that sera from mice immunized with rAdr1, rAdr2, or rOmpW reduced R. rickettsii adherence to and invasion of vascular endothelial cells. The immuno-electron microscopic assay clearly showed that the novel SEPs were located in the outer and/or inner membrane of R. rickettsii. Altogether, the 5 novel SEPs identified herein might be involved in the interaction of R. rickettsii with vascular endothelial cells, and all of them except TolC were protective antigens. PMID:24950252

  20. Novel Rickettsia raoultii strain isolated and propagated from Austrian Dermacentor reticulatus ticks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wijnveld, Michiel; Schötta, Anna-Margarita; Pintér, Adriano; Stockinger, Hannes; Stanek, Gerold

    2016-11-03

    Continuous culture of tick cell lines has proven a valuable asset in isolating and propagating several different vector-borne pathogens, making it possible to study these microorganisms under laboratory conditions and develop serological tests to benefit public health. We describe a method for effective, cost- and labor-efficient isolation and propagation of Rickettsia raoultii using generally available laboratory equipment and Rhipicephalus microplus cells, further demonstrating the usefulness of continuous tick cell lines. R. raoultii is one of the causative agents of tick-borne lymphadenopathy (TIBOLA) and is, together with its vector Dermacentor reticulatus, emerging in novel regions of Europe, giving rise to an increased threat to general public health. Dermacentor reticulatus ticks were collected in the Donau-Auen (Lobau) national park in Vienna, Austria. The hemolymph of ten collected ticks was screened by PCR-reverse line blot for the presence of rickettsial DNA. A single tick tested positive for R. raoultii DNA and was used to infect Rhipicephalus microplus BME/CTVM2 cells. Sixty-five days after infection of the tick-cell line with an extract from a R. raoultii-infected tick, we observed intracellular bacteria in the cultured cells. On the basis of microscopy we suspected that the intracellular bacteria were a species of Rickettsia; this was confirmed by several PCRs targeting different genes. Subsequent sequencing showed 99-100 % identity with R. raoultii. Cryopreservation and resuscitation of R. raoultii was successful. After 28 days identical intracellular bacteria were microscopically observed. R. raoultii was successfully isolated and propagated from D. reticulatus ticks using R. microplus BME/CTVM2 cells. The isolated strain shows significant molecular variation compared to currently known sequences. Furthermore we show for the first time the successful cryopreservation and resuscitation of R. raoultii.

  1. Why are there so few Rickettsia conorii conorii-infected Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks in the wild?

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    Cristina Socolovschi

    Full Text Available Rickettsia conorii conorii is the etiological agent of Mediterranean spotted fever, which is transmitted by the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. The relationship between the Rickettsia and its tick vector are still poorly understood one century after the first description of this disease.An entomological survey was organized in Algeria to collect ticks from the houses of patients with spotted fever signs. Colonies of R. conorii conorii-infected and non-infected ticks were established under laboratory conditions. Gimenez staining and electron microscopy on the ovaries of infected ticks indicated heavy rickettsial infection. The transovarial transmission of R. conorii conorii in naturally infected Rh. sanguineus ticks was 100% at eleven generations, and the filial infection rate was up to 99% according to molecular analyses. No differences in life cycle duration were observed between infected and non-infected ticks held at 25°C, but the average weight of engorged females and eggs was significantly lower in infected ticks than in non-infected ticks. The eggs, larvae and unfed nymphs of infected and non-infected ticks could not tolerate low (4°C or high (37°C temperatures or long starvation periods. R. conorii conorii-infected engorged nymphs that were exposed to a low or high temperature for one month experienced higher mortality when they were transferred to 25°C than non-infected ticks after similar exposure. High mortality was observed in infected adults that were maintained for one month at a low or high temperature after tick-feeding on rabbits.These preliminary results suggest that infected quiescent ticks may not survive the winter and may help explain the low prevalence of infected Rh. sanguineus in nature. Further investigations on the influence of extrinsic factors on diapaused R. conorii-infected and non-infected ticks are required.

  2. Population genetics, phylogenomics and hybrid speciation of Juglans in China determined from whole chloroplast genomes, transcriptomes, and genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng Zhao; Hui-Juan Zhou; Daniel Potter; Yi-Heng Hu; Xiao-Jia Feng; Meng Dang; Li Feng; Saman Zulfiqar; Wen-Zhe Liu; Gui-Fang Zhao; Keith Woeste

    2018-01-01

    Genomic data are a powerful tool for elucidating the processes involved in the evolution and divergence of species. The speciation and phylogenetic relationships among Chinese Juglans remain unclear. Here, we used results from phylogenomic and population genetic analyses, transcriptomics, Genotyping-By-Sequencing (GBS), and whole chloroplast...

  3. Perspectives from the Avian Phylogenomics Project: Questions that Can Be Answered with Sequencing All Genomes of a Vertebrate Class.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, Erich D

    2016-01-01

    The rapid pace of advances in genome technology, with concomitant reductions in cost, makes it feasible that one day in our lifetime we will have available extant genomes of entire classes of species, including vertebrates. I recently helped cocoordinate the large-scale Avian Phylogenomics Project, which collected and sequenced genomes of 48 bird species representing most currently classified orders to address a range of questions in phylogenomics and comparative genomics. The consortium was able to answer questions not previously possible with just a few genomes. This success spurred on the creation of a project to sequence the genomes of at least one individual of all extant ∼10,500 bird species. The initiation of this project has led us to consider what questions now impossible to answer could be answered with all genomes, and could drive new questions now unimaginable. These include the generation of a highly resolved family tree of extant species, genome-wide association studies across species to identify genetic substrates of many complex traits, redefinition of species and the species concept, reconstruction of the genomes of common ancestors, and generation of new computational tools to address these questions. Here I present visions for the future by posing and answering questions regarding what scientists could potentially do with available genomes of an entire vertebrate class.

  4. Serological evidence of Rickettsia parkeri as the etiological agent of rickettsiosis in Uruguay Evidência sorológica de Rickettsia parkeri como agente etiológico de rickettsiose no Uruguai

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismael A. Conti-Díaz

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available We report three new rickettsiosis human cases in Uruguay. The three clinical cases presented clinical manifestations similar to previous reported cases of Rickettsia parkeri in the United States; that is mild fever (São relatados três novos casos humanos de rickettsiose no Uruguai. Os três casos clínicos apresentam manifestações clínicas semelhantes às descritas em casos de infecção por Rickettsia parkeri previamente relatados nos Estados Unidos, tais como: febre moderada (< 40 ºC, mal-estar, cefaléia, exantema, escara de inoculação no sítio de fixação do carrapato, linfadenopatia regional e ausência de letalidade. Testes sorológicos de absorção de anticorpos com antígenos de R. parkeri e Rickettsia rickettsii, associados à reação de imunofluorescência indireta, sugerem que os pacientes de dois casos foram infectados por R. parkeri. Evidências clínicas e epidemiológicas, associadas com nossas análises sorológicas, sugerem que R. parkeri é o agente etiológico de casos humanos de febre maculosa no Uruguai, uma doença que tem sido reconhecida naquele país como rickettsiose cutâneo-ganglionar.

  5. Characterization of rickettsia rickettsii in a case of Fatal Brazilian spotted fever in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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    Cristiane Lamas

    Full Text Available A lethal case of Brazilian spotted fever (BSF is presented. Clinical features were initially of gastrointestinal involvement and evolved with progression to septic shock, meningoencephalitis and death on the 6th day of illness. Indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA for spotted fever group rickettsia (SFGR was non-reactive. Diagnosis was confirmed by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR and the nucleotide sequencing of a fragment of the ompA gene showed 100% homology to Rickettsia rickettsii. BSF has not been reported in the city of Rio de Janeiro in the last three decades, and the present description should alert the clinicians to its presence in urban Rio de Janeiro, and to the differential diagnosis with dengue fever, gastroenteritis, leptospirosis and bacterial septic shock, among others.

  6. Liolaemus lizards (Squamata: Liolaemidae) as hosts for the nymph of Amblyomma parvitarsum (Acari: Ixodidae), with notes on Rickettsia infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Leal, Sebastián; Tarragona, Evelina L; Martins, Thiago F; Martín, Claudia M; Burgos-Gallardo, Freddy; Nava, Santiago; Labruna, Marcelo B; González-Acuña, Daniel

    2016-10-01

    Adults of Amblyomma parvitarsum are common ectoparasites of South American camelids of the genera Lama and Vicugna, occuring in highlands of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru and also in Argentinean Patagonia. Whereas larval stages of this tick are known to feed on small lizards, host records for the nymphal instar have remained unreported. Supported by morphological and molecular analyses, herein we report A. parvitarsum nymphs parasitizing two Liolaemus species (Reptilia: Squamata) in the Andean Plateau of Argentina and Chile. Additionally, by a PCR screening targetting gltA and ompA genes, DNA of Rickettsia was detected in one of the collected nymphs. Obtained sequences of this agent were identical to a recent Rickettsia sp. described infecting adults of this tick species in Chile and Argentina.

  7. Extensive and equivalent repair in both radiation-resistant and radiation-sensitive E. coli determined by a DNA-unwinding technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahnstroem, G.; George, A.M.; Cramp, W.A.

    1978-01-01

    The extent of strand breakage and repair in irradiated E. coli B/r and Bsub(s-l) was studied using a DNA-unwinding technique in denaturing conditions of weak alkali. Although these two strains showed widely different response to the lethal effects of ionizing radiation, they both had an equal capacity to repair radiation-induced breaks in DNA. Oxygen enhancement ratios for the killing of B/r and Bsub(s-l) were respectively 4 and 2; but after repair in non-nutrient or nutrient post-irradiation conditions, the oxygen enhancement values for the residual strand breaks were always the same for the two strains. The equal abilities of E.coli B/r and E.coli Bsub(s-l) to remove the strand breaks measured by this weak-alkali technqiue has led to the suggestion that some other type of damage to either DNA or another macromolecule may play a major role in determining whether or not the cells survive to proliferate. (author)

  8. Extensive and equivalent repair in both radiation-resistant and radiation-sensitive E. coli determined by a DNA-unwinding technique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahnstroem, G [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden); George, A M; Cramp, W A

    1978-10-01

    The extent of strand breakage and repair in irradiated E. coli B/r and Bsub(s-l) was studied using a DNA-unwinding technique in denaturing conditions of weak alkali. Although these two strains showed widely different response to the lethal effects of ionizing radiation, they both had an equal capacity to repair radiation-induced breaks in DNA. Oxygen enhancement ratios for the killing of B/r and Bsub(s-l) were respectively 4 and 2; but after repair in non-nutrient or nutrient post-irradiation conditions, the oxygen enhancement values for the residual strand breaks were always the same for the two strains. The equal abilities of E.coli B/r and E.coli Bsub(s-l) to remove the strand breaks measured by this weak-alkali technqiue has led to the suggestion that some other type of damage to either DNA or another macromolecule may play a major role in determining whether or not the cells survive to proliferate.

  9. Case report: Co-infection of Rickettsia rickettsii and Streptococcus pyogenes: is fatal Rocky Mountain spotted fever underdiagnosed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raczniak, Gregory A; Kato, Cecilia; Chung, Ida H; Austin, Amy; McQuiston, Jennifer H; Weis, Erica; Levy, Craig; Carvalho, Maria da Gloria S; Mitchell, Audrey; Bjork, Adam; Regan, Joanna J

    2014-12-01

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a tick-borne disease caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, is challenging to diagnose and rapidly fatal if not treated. We describe a decedent who was co-infected with group A β-hemolytic streptococcus and R. rickettsii. Fatal cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever may be underreported because they present as difficult to diagnose co-infections. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  10. A Molecular Survey for Francisella tularensis and Rickettsia spp. in Haemaphysalis leporispalustris (Acari: Ixodidae) in Northern California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Tara; Lane, Robert S; Foley, Janet

    2017-03-01

    Francisella tularensis and Rickettsia spp. have been cultured from Haemaphysalis leporispalustris Packard, but their prevalence in this tick has not been determined using modern molecular methods. We collected H. leporispalustris by flagging vegetation and leaf litter and from lagomorphs (Lepus californicus Gray and Sylvilagus bachmani (Waterhouse)) in northern California. Francisella tularensis DNA was not detected in any of 1,030 ticks tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), whereas 0.4% of larvae tested in pools, 0 of 117 individual nymphs, and 2.3% of 164 adult ticks were PCR-positive for Rickettsia spp. Positive sites were Laurel Canyon Trail in Tilden Regional Park in Alameda Contra Costa County, with a Rickettsia spp. prevalence of 0.6% in 2009, and Hopland Research and Extension Center in Mendocino County, with a prevalence of 4.2% in 1988. DNA sequencing revealed R. felis, the agent of cat-flea typhus, in two larval pools from shaded California bay and live oak leaf litter in Contra Costa County and one adult tick from a L. californicus in chaparral in Mendocino County. The R. felis in unfed, questing larvae demonstrates that H. leporispalustris can transmit this rickettsia transovarially. Although R. felis is increasingly found in diverse arthropods and geographical regions, prior literature suggests a typical epidemiological cycle involving mesocarnivores and the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. To our knowledge, this is the first report of R. felis in H. leporispalustris. Natural infection and transovarial transmission of this pathogen in the tick indicate the existence of a previously undocumented wild-lands transmission cycle that may intersect mesocarnivore-reservoired cycles and collectively affect human health risk. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. The occurrence of Spotted Fever Group (SFG) Rickettsiae in Ixodes ricinus ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) in northern Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stańczak, Joanna

    2006-10-01

    Ixodes ricinus, the most commonly observed tick species in Poland, is known vector of microorganisms pathogenic for humans as TBE virus, Borrelia burgdorferi s.1., Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia sp. in this country. Our study aimed to find out whether this tick can also transmit also rickettsiae of the spotted fever group (SFG). DNA extracts from 560 ticks (28 females, 34 males, and 488 nymphs) collected in different wooded areas in northern Poland were examined by PCR for the detection of Rickettsia sp., using a primer set RpCS.877p and RpCS.1258n designated to amplify a 381-bp fragment of gltA gene. A total of 2.9% ticks was found to be positive. The percentage of infected females and males was comparable (10.5% and 11.8%, respectively) and 6.6-7.6 times higher than in nymphs (1.6%). Sequences of four PCR-derived DNA fragments (acc. no. DQ672603) demonstrated 99% similarity with the sequence of Rickettsia helvetica deposited in GenBank. The results obtained suggest the possible role of I. ricinus as a source of a microorganism, which recently has been identified as an agent of human rickettsioses in Europe.

  12. Rickettsia rickettsii infecting Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (Latreille 1806), in high altitude atlantic forest fragments, Ceara State, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Arannadia Barbosa; Duarte, Myrian Morato; da Costa Cavalcante, Robson; de Oliveira, Stefan Vilges; Vizzoni, Vinicius Figueiredo; de Lima Duré, Ana Íris; de Melo Iani, Felipe Campos; Machado-Ferreira, Erik; Gazêta, Gilberto Salles

    2017-09-01

    In Brazil, Spotted Fever (SF) is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii and Rickettsia parkeri strain Atlantic Forest. In recent years, several human cases of a milder SF have been reported from the Maciço de Baturité region of Ceará State. Previous studies in this region found R. parkeri strain Atlantic Forest to be present in Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato and Amblyomma ovale ticks. The present study isolated and identified the Rickettsia spp. present in this new endemic area in Brazil. In March 2015, R. sanguineus s.l. and A. ovale were collected in rural areas of the Maciço de Baturité region, and subjected to the isolation technique. A bacterium was isolated from one R. sanguineus s.l., which phylogenetic analysis clustered to the R. rickettsii group. In conclusion, R. rickettsii bacteria is circulating in the studied area and may in future have an impact on the clinical diagnoses and consequently cause changes in the profile of the disease in the region. In addition, we suggest the increase of epidemiological and environmental surveillance in the area, in order to prevent Brazilian Spotted Fever cases. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. Investigating the Adult Ixodid Tick Populations and Their Associated Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia Bacteria at a Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Hotspot in Western Tennessee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trout Fryxell, Rebecca T; Hendricks, Brain M; Pompo, Kimberly; Mays, Sarah E; Paulsen, Dave J; Operario, Darwin J; Houston, Allan E

    2017-08-01

    Ehrlichiosis and rickettsiosis are two common bacterial tick-borne diseases in the southeastern United States. Ehrlichiosis is caused by ehrlichiae transmitted by Amblyomma americanum and rickettsiosis is caused by rickettsiae transmitted by Amblyomma maculatum and Dermacentor variabilis. These ticks are common and have overlapping distributions in the region. The objective of this study was to identify Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia species associated with questing ticks in a Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) hotspot, and identify habitats, time periods, and collection methods for collecting questing-infected ticks. Using vegetation drags and CO 2 -baited traps, ticks were collected six times (May-September 2012) from 100 sites (upland deciduous, bottomland deciduous, grassland, and coniferous habitats) in western Tennessee. Adult collections were screened for Anaplasma and Ehrlichia (simultaneous polymerase chain reaction [PCR]) and Rickettsia using genus-specific PCRs, and resulting positive amplicons were sequenced. Anaplasma and Ehrlichia were only identified within A. americanum (Ehrlichia ewingii, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Panola Mountain Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma odocoilei sp. nov.); more Ehrlichia-infected A. americanum were collected at the end of June regardless of habitat and collection method. Rickettsia was identified in three tick species; "Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii" from A. americanum, R. parkeri and R. andeanae from A. maculatum, and R. montanensis ( = montana) from D. variabilis. Overall, significantly more Rickettsia-infected ticks were identified as A. americanum and A. maculatum compared to D. variabilis; more infected-ticks were collected from sites May-July and with dragging. In this study, we report in the Tennessee RMSF hotspot the following: (1) Anaplasma and Ehrlichia are only found in A. americanum, (2) each tick species has its own Rickettsia species, (3) a majority of questing-infected ticks are collected May-July, (4) A

  14. Detection of Rickettsia helvetica in Ixodes ricinus infesting wild and domestic animals and in a botfly larva (Cephenemyia stimulator) infesting roe deer in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheid, Patrick; Speck, Stephanie; Schwarzenberger, Rafael; Litzinger, Mark; Balczun, Carsten; Dobler, Gerhard

    2016-10-01

    Ixodes ricinus is a well-known vector of different human pathogens including Rickettsia helvetica. The role of wild mammals in the distribution and probable maintenance of Rickettsia in nature is still to be determined. We therefore investigated various parasites from different wild mammals as well as companion animals for the presence of Rickettsia. A total of 606 I. ricinus, 38 Cephenemyia stimulator (botfly larvae), one Dermacentor reticulatus, 24 Haematopinus suis (hog lice) and 30 Lipoptena cervi (deer flies) were collected from free-ranging animals during seasonal hunting, and from companion animals. Sample sites included hunting leases at three main sampling areas and five additional areas in West and Central Germany. All collected parasites were screened for Rickettsia spp. and I. ricinus were investigated for tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) in addition. While no TBEV was detected, the minimum infection rate (MIR) of I. ricinus with Rickettsia was 4.1% referring to all sampling sites and up to 6.9% at the main sampling site in Koblenz area. Sequencing of a fragment of the ompB gene identified R. helvetica. Approximately one third (29.5%) of the animals carried Rickettsia-positive ticks and the MIR in ticks infesting wild mammals ranged from 4.1% (roe deer) to 9.5%. These data affirm the widespread distribution of R. helvetica in Germany. One botfly larva from roe deer also harboured R. helvetica. Botfly larvae are obligate parasites of the nasal cavity, pharynx and throat of cervids and feed on cell fragments and blood. Based on this one might hypothesise that R. helvetica likely induces rickettsemia in cervids thus possibly contributing to maintenance and distribution of this rickettsia in the field. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. High detection rate of Rickettsia africae in Amblyomma variegatum but low prevalence of anti-rickettsial antibodies in healthy pregnant women in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Christian; Krüger, Andreas; Schwarz, Norbert Georg; Rakotozandrindrainy, Raphael; Rakotondrainiarivelo, Jean Philibert; Razafindrabe, Tsiry; Derschum, Henri; Silaghi, Cornelia; Pothmann, Daniela; Veit, Alexandra; Hogan, Benedikt; May, Jürgen; Girmann, Mirko; Kramme, Stefanie; Fleischer, Bernhard; Poppert, Sven

    2016-02-01

    Tick-borne spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsioses are emerging infectious diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Madagascar, the endemicity of tick-borne rickettsiae and their vectors has been incompletely studied. The first part of the present study was conducted in 2011 and 2012 to identify potential anthropophilic tick vectors for SFG rickettsiae on cattle from seven Malagasy regions, and to detect and characterize rickettsiae in these ticks. Amblyomma variegatum was the only anthropophilic tick species found on 262 cattle. Using a novel ompB-specific qPCR, screening for rickettsial DNA was performed on 111 A. variegatum ticks. Rickettsial DNA was detected in 96 of 111 ticks studied (86.5%). Rickettsia africae was identified as the only infecting rickettsia using phylogenetic analysis of ompA and ompB gene sequences and three variable intergenic spacers from 11 ticks. The second part of the study was a cross-sectional survey for antibodies against SFG rickettsiae in plasma samples taken from healthy, pregnant women at six locations in Madagascar, two at sea level and four between 450 and 1300m altitude. An indirect fluorescent antibody test with Rickettsia conorii as surrogate SFG rickettsial antigen was used. We found R. conorii-seropositives at all altitudes with prevalences between 0.5% and 3.1%. Our results suggest that A. variegatum ticks highly infected with R. africae are the most prevalent cattle-associated tick vectors for SFG rickettsiosis in Madagascar. Transmission of SFG rickettsiosis to humans occurs at different altitudes in Madagascar and should be considered as a relevant cause of febrile diseases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  16. Development and Validation of an Improved PCR Method Using the 23S-5S Intergenic Spacer for Detection of Rickettsiae in Dermacentor variabilis Ticks and Tissue Samples from Humans and Laboratory Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kakumanu, Madhavi L.; Ponnusamy, Loganathan; Sutton, Haley T.; Meshnick, Steven R.; Nicholson, William L.

    2016-01-01

    A novel nested PCR assay was developed to detect Rickettsia spp. in ticks and tissue samples from humans and laboratory animals. Primers were designed for the nested run to amplify a variable region of the 23S-5S intergenic spacer (IGS) of Rickettsia spp. The newly designed primers were evaluated using genomic DNA from 11 Rickettsia species belonging to the spotted fever, typhus, and ancestral groups and, in parallel, compared to other Rickettsia-specific PCR targets (ompA, gltA, and the 17-kDa protein gene). The new 23S-5S IGS nested PCR assay amplified all 11 Rickettsia spp., but the assays employing other PCR targets did not. The novel nested assay was sensitive enough to detect one copy of a cloned 23S-5S IGS fragment from “Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii.” Subsequently, the detection efficiency of the 23S-5S IGS nested assay was compared to those of the other three assays using genomic DNA extracted from 40 adult Dermacentor variabilis ticks. The nested 23S-5S IGS assay detected Rickettsia DNA in 45% of the ticks, while the amplification rates of the other three assays ranged between 5 and 20%. The novel PCR assay was validated using clinical samples from humans and laboratory animals that were known to be infected with pathogenic species of Rickettsia. The nested 23S-5S IGS PCR assay was coupled with reverse line blot hybridization with species-specific probes for high-throughput detection and simultaneous identification of the species of Rickettsia in the ticks. “Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii,” R. montanensis, R. felis, and R. bellii were frequently identified species, along with some potentially novel Rickettsia strains that were closely related to R. bellii and R. conorii. PMID:26818674

  17. Using ESTs for phylogenomics: Can one accurately infer a phylogenetic tree from a gappy alignment?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hartmann Stefanie

    2008-03-01

    sequences and gappy multiple sequence alignments can pose a major problem for phylogenetic analysis. The concern will be greatest for high-throughput phylogenomic analyses, in which Neighbor Joining is often the preferred method due to its computational efficiency. Both approaches can be used to increase the accuracy of phylogenetic inference from a gappy alignment. The choice between the two approaches will depend upon how robust the application is to the loss of sequences from the input set, with alignment masking generally giving a much greater improvement in accuracy but at the cost of discarding a larger number of the input sequences.

  18. Chloroplast phylogenomic analyses resolve deep-level relationships of an intractable bamboo tribe Arundinarieae (poaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Peng-Fei; Zhang, Yu-Xiao; Zeng, Chun-Xia; Guo, Zhen-Hua; Li, De-Zhu

    2014-11-01

    relationships, albeit with low support values. We believe that the inferred phylogeny is robust to taxon sampling. Having resolved the deep-level relationships of Arundinarieae, we illuminate how chloroplast phylogenomics can be used for elucidating difficult phylogeny at low taxonomic levels in intractable plant groups. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Deciphering the complex leaf transcriptome of the allotetraploid species Nicotiana tabacum: a phylogenomic perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bombarely Aureliano

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Polyploidization is an important mechanism in plant evolution. By analyzing the leaf transcriptomes taken from the allotetraploid Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco and parental genome donors, N. sylvesteris (S-Genome and N. tomentosiformis (T-Genome, a phylogenomic approach was taken to map the fate of homeologous gene pairs in this plant. Results A comparison between the genes present in the leaf transcriptomes of N. tabacum and modern day representatives of its progenitor species demonstrated that only 33% of assembled transcripts could be distinguished based on their sequences. A large majority of the genes (83.6% of the non parent distinguishable and 87.2% of the phylogenetic topology analyzed clusters expressed above background level (more than 5 reads showed similar overall expression levels. Homeologous sequences could be identified for 968 gene clusters, and 90% (6% of all genes of the set maintained expression of only one of the tobacco homeologs. When both homeologs were expressed, only 15% (0.5% of the total showed evidence of differential expression, providing limited evidence of subfunctionalization. Comparing the rate of synonymous nucleotide substitution (Ks and non-synonymous nucleotide substitution (Kn provided limited evidence for positive selection during the evolution of tobacco since the polyploidization event took place. Conclusions Polyploidization is a powerful mechanism for plant speciation that can occur during one generation; however millions of generations may be necessary for duplicate genes to acquire a new function. Analysis of the tobacco leaf transcriptome reveals that polyploidization, even in a young tetraploid such as tobacco, can lead to complex changes in gene expression. Gene loss and gene silencing, or subfunctionalization may explain why both homeologs are not expressed by the associated genes. With Whole Genome Duplication (WGD events, polyploid genomes usually maintain a high percentage of

  20. Exploring Phylogenetic Relationships within Myriapoda and the Effects of Matrix Composition and Occupancy on Phylogenomic Reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Rosa; Edgecombe, Gregory D; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2016-09-01

    proteins in the most complete matrices, in conjunction with distance from the root, can act in concert to compromise the estimated relationships within the ingroup. We discuss the implications of these findings in the context of the ever more prevalent quest for completeness in phylogenomic studies. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists.

  1. Using ESTs for phylogenomics: can one accurately infer a phylogenetic tree from a gappy alignment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, Stefanie; Vision, Todd J

    2008-03-26

    major problem for phylogenetic analysis. The concern will be greatest for high-throughput phylogenomic analyses, in which Neighbor Joining is often the preferred method due to its computational efficiency. Both approaches can be used to increase the accuracy of phylogenetic inference from a gappy alignment. The choice between the two approaches will depend upon how robust the application is to the loss of sequences from the input set, with alignment masking generally giving a much greater improvement in accuracy but at the cost of discarding a larger number of the input sequences.

  2. Isolamento de Rickettsia em cultura de células vero

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melles Heloisa Helena Barbosa

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Embora o diagnóstico da febre maculosa baseie-se em sinais e sintomas característicos, o mesmo requer confirmação laboratorial, pois existem alguns diagnósticos diferenciais possíveis como meningococcemia, leptospirose, infecção por enterovírus e febre tifóide. A confirmação laboratorial pode ser feita através da pesquisa de anticorpos específicos, possível somente alguns dias após o aparecimento da doença, através do isolamento do agente em amostras de sangue e/ou biópsia de pele, e ainda, de amostras de carrapatos coletados do paciente ou de animais reservatório. O isolamento a partir de sangue ou biópsia de pele resulta em diagnóstico precoce da doença, pois na fase de rickettsemia ainda não há anticorpos detectáveis no sangue. Assim, com o objetivo de facilitar o diagnóstico precoce da febre maculosa, estabelecemos um método de isolamento de rickettsia em cultura de células vero. Para a padronização foi inoculada amostra padrão de Rickettsia rickettsii, cepa Sheyla Smith, cedida pelo CDC. A identificação foi feita através da reação de imunofluorescência indireta. A presença de microrganismos verdes fluorescentes visualizados no interior do citoplasma das células caracterizou o crescimento do agente. Posteriormente, a metodologia foi confirmada pelo isolamento do agente da febre maculosa em amostras de biópsia de pele de paciente proveniente de área endêmica no Estado de São Paulo, bem como, de amostras de carrapato do gênero Amblyomma, considerado o reservatório e transmissor da doença no Brasil.

  3. Origin and Evolution of Protein Fold Designs Inferred from Phylogenomic Analysis of CATH Domain Structures in Proteomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukhari, Syed Abbas; Caetano-Anollés, Gustavo

    2013-01-01

    The spatial arrangements of secondary structures in proteins, irrespective of their connectivity, depict the overall shape and organization of protein domains. These features have been used in the CATH and SCOP classifications to hierarchically partition fold space and define the architectural make up of proteins. Here we use phylogenomic methods and a census of CATH structures in hundreds of genomes to study the origin and diversification of protein architectures (A) and their associated topologies (T) and superfamilies (H). Phylogenies that describe the evolution of domain structures and proteomes were reconstructed from the structural census and used to generate timelines of domain discovery. Phylogenies of CATH domains at T and H levels of structural abstraction and associated chronologies revealed patterns of reductive evolution, the early rise of Archaea, three epochs in the evolution of the protein world, and patterns of structural sharing between superkingdoms. Phylogenies of proteomes confirmed the early appearance of Archaea. While these findings are in agreement with previous phylogenomic studies based on the SCOP classification, phylogenies unveiled sharing patterns between Archaea and Eukarya that are recent and can explain the canonical bacterial rooting typically recovered from sequence analysis. Phylogenies of CATH domains at A level uncovered general patterns of architectural origin and diversification. The tree of A structures showed that ancient structural designs such as the 3-layer (αβα) sandwich (3.40) or the orthogonal bundle (1.10) are comparatively simpler in their makeup and are involved in basic cellular functions. In contrast, modern structural designs such as prisms, propellers, 2-solenoid, super-roll, clam, trefoil and box are not widely distributed and were probably adopted to perform specialized functions. Our timelines therefore uncover a universal tendency towards protein structural complexity that is remarkable. PMID:23555236

  4. Rickettsia felis in cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis parasitizing opossums, San Bernardino County, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramowicz, K F; Wekesa, J W; Nwadike, C N; Zambrano, M L; Karpathy, S E; Cecil, D; Burns, J; Hu, R; Eremeeva, M E

    2012-12-01

    Los Angeles and Orange Counties are known endemic areas for murine typhus in California; however, no recent reports of flea-borne rickettsioses are known from adjacent San Bernardino County. Sixty-five opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were trapped in the suburban residential and industrial zones of the southwestern part of San Bernardino County in 2007. Sixty out of 65 opossums were infested with fleas, primarily cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché, 1835). The flea minimum infection rate with Rickettsia felis was 13.3% in pooled samples and the prevalence was 23.7% in single fleas, with two gltA genotypes detected. In spite of historic records of murine typhus in this area, no evidence for circulation of R. typhi in fleas was found during the present study. Factors contributing to the absence of R. typhi in these cat fleas in contrast to its presence in cat fleas from Orange and Los Angeles Counties are unknown and need to be investigated further in San Bernardino County. Published 2012. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  5. Evaluation of a Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia Public Health Surveillance System in Tennessee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fill, Mary-Margaret A; Moncayo, Abelardo C; Bloch, Karen C; Dunn, John R; Schaffner, William; Jones, Timothy F

    2017-09-01

    Spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsioses are endemic in Tennessee, with ∼2,500 cases reported during 2000-2012. Because of this substantial burden of disease, we performed a three-part evaluation of Tennessee's routine surveillance for SFG rickettsioses cases and deaths to assess the system's effectiveness. Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) SFG rickettsioses surveillance records were matched to three patient series: 1) patients with positive serologic specimens from a commercial reference laboratory during 2010-2011, 2) tertiary medical center patients with positive serologic tests during 2007-2013, and 3) patients identified from death certificates issued during 1995-2014 with SFG rickettsiosis-related causes of death. Chart reviews were performed and patients were classified according to the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists' case definition. Of 254 SFG Rickettsia -positive serologic specimens from the reference laboratory, 129 (51%) met the case definition for confirmed or probable cases of rickettsial disease after chart review. The sensitivity of the TDH surveillance system to detect cases was 45%. Of the 98 confirmed or probable cases identified from the medical center, the sensitivity of the TDH surveillance system to detect cases was 34%. Of 27 patients identified by death certificates, 12 (44%) were classified as confirmed or probable cases; four (33%) were reported to TDH, but none were correctly identified as deceased. Cases of SFG rickettsioses were underreported and fatalities not correctly identified. Efforts are needed to improve SFG rickettsiosis surveillance in Tennessee.

  6. Rickettsia-like organism infection in a freshwater cultured fish Ophiocephalus argus C.in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GUO Qionglin; JIA Weizhang; HAN Xianpu; CAI Taozhen; GONG Xiaoning; SUN Xiaofeng

    2004-01-01

    From 2001 to 2002,a new and emergent infectious disease of Ophiocephalus argus occurred in a fishery in Hubei Province,China,with an incidence of 60%~70% and a mortality as high as 100%.The diseased fish showed an enlarged abdomen,the millet-like nodules in internal organs,and the swollen kidney which was composed of 5~10 sarcoma-like bodies in cream or gray-white colour or ulcerated into beandregs-like substance.Light microscopic observation revealed the basophilic or acidphilic inclusions in cytoplasm of the cells and the granulomas,a diffusive chronic inflammation in internal organs.Further analysis under an electron microscope indicated that the intracytoplasmic inclusions were rickettsia-like organisms (RLOs) that are either spherical or coccoid,with variable size,ranging from 0.5~1.5 μm in diameter,and enclosed within membrane-bound cytoplasmic vacuoles.RLO had a central nucleoid region with some fine filamentous structures and an electron-dense granule.Its cytoplasm contained abundant ribosomal bodies.Occasionally,RLO appeared to be divided by binary fission.RLOs were also observed in the homogenized tissue of infected fish.The results suggested that the death of cultured O.Argus was caused by RLO infection.

  7. Solution structure of the cold-shock-like protein from Rickettsia rickettsii

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gerarden, Kyle P.; Fuchs, Andrew M.; Koch, Jonathan M.; Mueller, Melissa M.; Graupner, David R.; O’Rorke, Justin T.; Frost, Caleb D.; Heinen, Heather A.; Lackner, Emily R.; Schoeller, Scott J.; House, Paul G.; Peterson, Francis C.; Veldkamp, Christopher T.

    2012-01-01

    The solution structure of the cold-shock-like protein from R. rickettsii, the causative agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, is reported. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii infection. R. rickettsii can be transmitted to mammals, including humans, through the bite of an infected hard-bodied tick of the family Ixodidae. Since the R. rickettsii genome contains only one cold-shock-like protein and given the essential nature of cold-shock proteins in other bacteria, the structure of the cold-shock-like protein from R. rickettsii was investigated. With the exception of a short α-helix found between β-strands 3 and 4, the solution structure of the R. rickettsii cold-shock-like protein has the typical Greek-key five-stranded β-barrel structure found in most cold-shock domains. Additionally, the R. rickettsii cold-shock-like protein, with a ΔG of unfolding of 18.4 kJ mol −1 , has a similar stability when compared with other bacterial cold-shock proteins

  8. Phylogeography of Rickettsia rickettsii genotypes associated with fatal Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paddock, Christopher D; Denison, Amy M; Lash, R Ryan; Liu, Lindy; Bollweg, Brigid C; Dahlgren, F Scott; Kanamura, Cristina T; Angerami, Rodrigo N; Pereira dos Santos, Fabiana C; Brasil Martines, Roosecelis; Karpathy, Sandor E

    2014-09-01

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), a tick-borne zoonosis caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, is among the deadliest of all infectious diseases. To identify the distribution of various genotypes of R. rickettsii associated with fatal RMSF, we applied molecular typing methods to samples of DNA extracted from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue specimens obtained at autopsy from 103 case-patients from seven countries who died of RMSF. Complete sequences of one or more intergenic regions were amplified from tissues of 30 (29%) case-patients and revealed a distribution of genotypes consisting of four distinct clades, including the Hlp clade, regarded previously as a non-pathogenic strain of R. rickettsii. Distinct phylogeographic patterns were identified when composite case-patient and reference strain data were mapped to the state and country of origin. The phylogeography of R. rickettsii is likely determined by ecological and environmental factors that exist independently of the distribution of a particular tick vector. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  9. INFECTION BY Rickettsia felis IN OPOSSUMS (Didelphis sp. FROM YUCATAN, MEXICO

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    Gaspar PENICHE-LARA

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Rickettsia felis is an emergent pathogen and the causative agent of a typhus-like rickettsiosis in the Americas. Its transmission cycle involves fleas as biological vectors (mainly Ctenocephalides felis and multiple domestic and synanthropic mammal hosts. Nonetheless, the role of mammals in the cycle of R. felis is not well understood and many efforts are ongoing in different countries of America to clarify it. The present study describes for the first time in Mexico the infection of two species of opossum (Didelphis virginiana and D. marsupialis by R. felis. A diagnosis was carried out from blood samples by molecular methods through the gltAand 17 kDa genes and sequence determination. Eighty-seven opossum samples were analyzed and 28 were found to be infected (32.1% from five out of the six studied localities of Yucatan. These findings enable recognition of the potential epidemiological implications for public health of the presence of infected synanthropic Didelphis in households.

  10. Clinical Manifestations and Outcomes of Rickettsia australis Infection: A 15-Year Retrospective Study of Hospitalized Patients

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    Adam Stewart

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Queensland tick typhus (QTT; Rickettsia australis is an important cause of community-acquired acute febrile illness in eastern Australia. Cases of QTT were identified retrospectively from 2000 to 2015 at five sites in Northern Brisbane through a pathology database. Those included had a fourfold rise in spotted fever group (SFG-specific serology, a single SFG-specific serology ≥ 256 or SFG-specific serology ≥ 128 with a clinically consistent illness. Cases were excluded on the basis of clinical unlikelihood of QTT infection. Thirty-six cases were included. Fever was found in 34/36 (94% patients. Rash occurred in 83% of patients with maculopapular being the dominant morphology (70%. Thrombocytopenia, lymphopenia, and raised transaminases were common and occurred in 58%, 69%, and 89% of patients, respectively. Thirty-one of 36 (86% patients received antibiotic therapy (usually doxycycline and the time to correct antibiotic (from admission ranged from 3 to 120 h (mean 45.5 h. Four of 36 (11% required intensive care unit (ICU admission for severe sepsis and end-organ support. There were no deaths. QTT has a wide range of clinical and laboratory features. Early and appropriate antimicrobial therapy is important and may prevent severe disease. Further prospective studies are required to identify factors associated with severe infection and sepsis.

  11. [Severe spotted fever by Rickettsia rickettsii, in tourist in the Argentine Northwest].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seijo, Alfredo; Giamperetti, Sergio; Ortiz Mayor, Sonia M; González, María B; Ortega, Eugenia S; González, Rossana C

    On the fifth day after leaving the Parque Nacional El Rey, province of Salta, Argentina, where she made rural tourism, a woman of Italian origin, aged 47, developed an acute fever followed by a petechial and purpuric rash that progressed rapidly to multiorgan failure. She died on the sixth day after hospitalization. There were references to tick bites and a skin lesion similar to tache noire was found. The autopsy showed generalized vasculitis, ascites, pulmonary edema, acute tubular necrosis and portal centrilobular necrosis. Spleen and liver tissue were processed for PCR Rickettsia spp, based on the detection of the gltA gene. The result was positive. The amplicons obtained were sequenced and the results were compared with the preset sequences on the BLAST program, 99% coinciding with R. rickettsii. The low sensitivity of the health system to recognize this disease and the insufficient information generated from tourism-related media are factors that affect the delay to implement effective treatment and appropriate prevention standards.

  12. Flinders Island Spotted Fever Rickettsioses Caused by “marmionii” Strain of Rickettsia honei, Eastern Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsworth, Nathan B.; Graves, Stephen R.; Faa, Antony G.; Cox, G. Erika; Dyer, John R.; Boutlis, Craig S.; Lane, Amanda M.; Shaw, Matthew D.; Robson, Jennifer; Nissen, Michael D.

    2007-01-01

    Australia has 4 rickettsial diseases: murine typhus, Queensland tick typhus, Flinders Island spotted fever, and scrub typhus. We describe 7 cases of a rickettsiosis, with an acute onset and symptoms of fever (100%), headache (71%), arthralgia (43%), myalgia (43%), cough (43%), maculopapular/petechial rash (43%), nausea (29%), pharyngitis (29%), lymphadenopathy (29%), and eschar (29%). Cases were most prevalent in autumn and from eastern Australia, including Queensland, Tasmania, and South Australia. One patient had a history of tick bite (Haemaphysalis novaeguineae). An isolate shared 99.2%, 99.8%, 99.8%, 99.9%, and 100% homology with the 17 kDa, ompA, gltA, 16S rRNA, and Sca4 genes, respectively, of Rickettsia honei. This Australian rickettsiosis has similar symptoms to Flinders Island spotted fever, and the strain is genetically related to R. honei. It has been designated the “marmionii” strain of R. honei, in honor of Australian physician and scientist Barrie Marmion. PMID:17553271

  13. Frequency of antibodies class IgG anti-Rickettsia rickettsii in horses of Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Seropédica campus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matheus Dias Cordeiro

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT. Cordeiro M.D., Raia V.A., Valim J.R.A., Castro G.N.S., Souza C.E. & Fonseca A.H. [Frequency of antibodies class IgG anti-Rickettsia rickettsii in horses of Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Seropédica campus.] Frequência de anticorpos da classe IgG anti-Rickettsia rickettsii em equinos na Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Campus Seropédica. Revista Brasileira de Medicina Veterinária, 37(1:78-82, 2015. Departamento de Epidemiologia e Saúde Pública, Instituto de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Campus Seropédica, BR 465, Km7, Seropédica, RJ 23890-000, Brasil. E-mail: adivaldo@ufrrj.br The aim of this study was to verify, through the indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA, the frequency of anti-Rickettsia rickettsii antibodies in horses at Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ Seropédica campus, state of Rio de Janeiro. We analyzed serum samples from 42 horses from Department of Breeding Equine of UFRRJ. All samples were tested using fixed slides with antigens for R. rickettsii, Rickettsia rhipicephali and Rickettsia parkeri. We observed an overall prevalence of Rickettsia spp. 83.33% (35/42. For the agent R. rickettsii revealed a prevalence of 66.67% (28/42, still being categorized in titers of 1:64 (19/28 and 1:128 (9/28. Nine of the 28 positives horses for R. rickettsii (21.43% were no reactive to other agents, with titers 1:64 (8/9 and 1:128 (1/9. The only tick species found parasitizing horses on the campus of UFRRJ during the collection period were Amblyomma cajennense and Dermacentor nitens. The UFRRJ presents an environment that provides a ideal epidemiological niche for the permanence of Rickettsia bacteria. The high prevalence found in this study indicates that attention to epidemiological agent of Brazilian Spotted Fever in the study area is of utmost importance. The aim of this study was to verify, through the indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA, the

  14. Comparative evaluation of Amblyomma ovale ticks infected and noninfected by Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest, the agent of an emerging rickettsiosis in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krawczak, Felipe S; Agostinho, Washington C; Polo, Gina; Moraes-Filho, Jonas; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2016-04-01

    In 2010, a novel spotted fever group rickettsiosis was reported in the Atlantic rainforest coast of Brazil. The etiological agent was identified as Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest, and the tick Amblyomma ovale was incriminated as the presumed vector. The present study evaluated under laboratory conditions four colonies of A. ovale: two started from engorged females that were naturally infected by Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest (designated as infected groups); the two others started from noninfected females (designated as control groups). All colonies were reared in parallel from F0 engorged female to F2 unfed nymphs. Tick-naïve vesper mice (Calomys callosus) or domestic rabbits were used for feeding of each tick stage. Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest was preserved by transstadial maintenance and transovarial transmission in A. ovale ticks for at least 2 generations (from F0 females to F2 nymphs), because nearly 100% of the tested larvae, nymphs, and adults from the infected groups were shown by PCR to contain rickettsial DNA. All vesper mice and rabbits infested by larvae and nymphs, and 50% of the rabbits infested by adults from the infected groups seroconverted, indicating that these tick stages were vector competent for Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest. Expressive differences in mortality rates and reproductive performance were observed between engorged females from the infected and control groups, as indicated by 75.0% and 97.1% oviposition success, respectively, and significantly lower egg mass weight, conversion efficiency index, and percentage of egg hatching for the infected groups. Our results indicate that A. ovale can act as a natural reservoir for Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest. However, due to deleterious effect caused by this rickettsial agent on engorged females, amplifier vertebrate hosts might be necessary for persistent perpetuation of Rickettsia sp. strain Atlantic rainforest in A. ovale under

  15. A Rickettsia Genome Overrun by Mobile Genetic Elements Provides Insight into the Acquisition of Genes Characteristic of an Obligate Intracellular Lifestyle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joardar, Vinita; Williams, Kelly P.; Driscoll, Timothy; Hostetler, Jessica B.; Nordberg, Eric; Shukla, Maulik; Walenz, Brian; Hill, Catherine A.; Nene, Vishvanath M.; Azad, Abdu F.; Sobral, Bruno W.; Caler, Elisabet

    2012-01-01

    We present the draft genome for the Rickettsia endosymbiont of Ixodes scapularis (REIS), a symbiont of the deer tick vector of Lyme disease in North America. Among Rickettsia species (Alphaproteobacteria: Rickettsiales), REIS has the largest genome sequenced to date (>2 Mb) and contains 2,309 genes across the chromosome and four plasmids (pREIS1 to pREIS4). The most remarkable finding within the REIS genome is the extraordinary proliferation of mobile genetic elements (MGEs), which contributes to a limited synteny with other Rickettsia genomes. In particular, an integrative conjugative element named RAGE (for Rickettsiales amplified genetic element), previously identified in scrub typhus rickettsiae (Orientia tsutsugamushi) genomes, is present on both the REIS chromosome and plasmids. Unlike the pseudogene-laden RAGEs of O. tsutsugamushi, REIS encodes nine conserved RAGEs that include F-like type IV secretion systems similar to that of the tra genes encoded in the Rickettsia bellii and R. massiliae genomes. An unparalleled abundance of encoded transposases (>650) relative to genome size, together with the RAGEs and other MGEs, comprise ∼35% of the total genome, making REIS one of the most plastic and repetitive bacterial genomes sequenced to date. We present evidence that conserved rickettsial genes associated with an intracellular lifestyle were acquired via MGEs, especially the RAGE, through a continuum of genomic invasions. Robust phylogeny estimation suggests REIS is ancestral to the virulent spotted fever group of rickettsiae. As REIS is not known to invade vertebrate cells and has no known pathogenic effects on I. scapularis, its genome sequence provides insight on the origin of mechanisms of rickettsial pathogenicity. PMID:22056929

  16. SWPhylo - A Novel Tool for Phylogenomic Inferences by Comparison of Oligonucleotide Patterns and Integration of Genome-Based and Gene-Based Phylogenetic Trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Xiaoyu; Reva, Oleg N

    2018-01-01

    Modern phylogenetic studies may benefit from the analysis of complete genome sequences of various microorganisms. Evolutionary inferences based on genome-scale analysis are believed to be more accurate than the gene-based alternative. However, the computational complexity of current phylogenomic procedures, inappropriateness of standard phylogenetic tools to process genome-wide data, and lack of reliable substitution models which correlates with alignment-free phylogenomic approaches deter microbiologists from using these opportunities. For example, the super-matrix and super-tree approaches of phylogenomics use multiple integrated genomic loci or individual gene-based trees to infer an overall consensus tree. However, these approaches potentially multiply errors of gene annotation and sequence alignment not mentioning the computational complexity and laboriousness of the methods. In this article, we demonstrate that the annotation- and alignment-free comparison of genome-wide tetranucleotide frequencies, termed oligonucleotide usage patterns (OUPs), allowed a fast and reliable inference of phylogenetic trees. These were congruent to the corresponding whole genome super-matrix trees in terms of tree topology when compared with other known approaches including 16S ribosomal RNA and GyrA protein sequence comparison, complete genome-based MAUVE, and CVTree methods. A Web-based program to perform the alignment-free OUP-based phylogenomic inferences was implemented at http://swphylo.bi.up.ac.za/. Applicability of the tool was tested on different taxa from subspecies to intergeneric levels. Distinguishing between closely related taxonomic units may be enforced by providing the program with alignments of marker protein sequences, eg, GyrA.

  17. SWPhylo – A Novel Tool for Phylogenomic Inferences by Comparison of Oligonucleotide Patterns and Integration of Genome-Based and Gene-Based Phylogenetic Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Xiaoyu; Reva, Oleg N

    2018-01-01

    Modern phylogenetic studies may benefit from the analysis of complete genome sequences of various microorganisms. Evolutionary inferences based on genome-scale analysis are believed to be more accurate than the gene-based alternative. However, the computational complexity of current phylogenomic procedures, inappropriateness of standard phylogenetic tools to process genome-wide data, and lack of reliable substitution models which correlates with alignment-free phylogenomic approaches deter microbiologists from using these opportunities. For example, the super-matrix and super-tree approaches of phylogenomics use multiple integrated genomic loci or individual gene-based trees to infer an overall consensus tree. However, these approaches potentially multiply errors of gene annotation and sequence alignment not mentioning the computational complexity and laboriousness of the methods. In this article, we demonstrate that the annotation- and alignment-free comparison of genome-wide tetranucleotide frequencies, termed oligonucleotide usage patterns (OUPs), allowed a fast and reliable inference of phylogenetic trees. These were congruent to the corresponding whole genome super-matrix trees in terms of tree topology when compared with other known approaches including 16S ribosomal RNA and GyrA protein sequence comparison, complete genome-based MAUVE, and CVTree methods. A Web-based program to perform the alignment-free OUP-based phylogenomic inferences was implemented at http://swphylo.bi.up.ac.za/. Applicability of the tool was tested on different taxa from subspecies to intergeneric levels. Distinguishing between closely related taxonomic units may be enforced by providing the program with alignments of marker protein sequences, eg, GyrA. PMID:29511354

  18. Diversity of Babesia and Rickettsia species in questing Ixodes ricinus: a longitudinal study in urban, pasture, and natural habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overzier, Evelyn; Pfister, Kurt; Thiel, Claudia; Herb, Ingrid; Mahling, Monia; Silaghi, Cornelia

    2013-08-01

    In a previous study, our group investigated the Babesia spp. prevalence in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks from nine city parks in South Germany in the years 2009 and 2010. We showed predominant prevalence of B. venatorum (in previous literature also known as Babesia sp. EU1), especially in those parks in a more natural condition and with occurrence of large wild animals, such as roe deer. To obtain longitudinal data and to broaden the knowledge about this pathogen, further investigations were carried out in 2011 and 2012 in four of those city parks. Two additional habitat types were chosen for comparison of prevalence data and species analysis focusing on occurrence of potential reservoir hosts. A total of 10,303 questing I. ricinus were collected in four city parks, a pasture, and a natural area in Bavaria, and a representative number of samples were investigated for prevalence of DNA of Babesia spp. (n=4381) and Rickettsia spp. (n=2186) by PCR. In the natural and pasture area, a significantly higher Babesia spp. prevalence compared to the urban area was detected. The natural area revealed sequences of B. microti, B. venatorum, and B. capreoli. In the pasture and urban habitat, predominantly B. venatorum was found, whereas B. capreoli was less frequent and only one B. microti-infected tick was found. All B. microti sequences were 100% identical to the zoonotic Jena/Germany strain. For Rickettsia spp., the significantly highest prevalence was also detected in the natural and pasture areas, whereas lower prevalence was found in the urban area. Sequence analysis revealed R. helvetica (98%) and R. monacensis (2%). Prevalence rates and occurrence of Babesia spp. and Rickettsia spp. differed in urban, pasture and natural sites, most likely depending on the habitat structure (natural or cultivated) and therefore on the appearance and availability of reservoir hosts like roe deer or small mammals.

  19. Evidencia serológica de infecciones de Rickettsia en humanos provenientes de tres localidades de Panamá

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    Sergio E. Bermúdez

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Introducción. Desde mediados del siglo pasado, se conocen en Panamá casos de rickettsiosis, cuando fueron reportados brotes de tifus en ratones y de fiebres manchadas. A partir de entonces, poca información se tiene sobre su prevalencia en este país, lo cual se debe principalmente a que son confundidos con otras enfermedades. Objetivos. El objetivo de este trabajo fue demostrar la presencia de rickettsiosis en humanos provenientes de tres localidades de Panamá, que corresponden a zonas agropecuarias, cercanas a bosques, o que trabajaban en zoológicos. Materiales y métodos. Se escogieron tres localidades para este estudio: Tortí (provincia de Panamá, El Valle de Antón (provincia de Coclé y el Parque Municipal Summit en Ciudad de Panamá. Los voluntarios firmaron un consentimiento informado, además de responder un cuestionario. De cada voluntario se extrajo sangre venosa, la que fue analizada por medio de inmunoflorescencia indirecta, utilizando kits comerciales y láminas sensibilizadas con antígenos cultivados de Rickettsia rickettsii y Rickettsia amblyommii. Resultados. Se tomaron muestras de 97 voluntarios, 25 en Tortí, 37 en El Valle de Antón y 35 en el Parque Municipal Summit. De estos, 38 (39 % de las muestras fueron positivas en algunas de las dos técnicas practicadas: 8 (32 % en Tortí, 18 (48 % en El Valle y 12 (34 % en el Parque Municipal Summit. Conclusión. Se demuestra una alta prevalencia de anticuerpos contra Rickettsia del grupo de las fiebres manchadas en las tres áreas de estudio, además de presentarse evidencia de títulos para Rickettsia del grupo tifus en El Valle de Antón. Estas zonas podrían considerarse como endémicas por rickettsiosis, ya que existen condiciones que permiten el mantenimiento de las mismas. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7705/biomedica.v33i0.831

  20. A molecular survey of Rickettsia felis in fleas from cats and dogs in Sicily (Southern Italy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabetta Giudice

    Full Text Available Rickettsia felis, the agent of flea-borne spotted fever, has a cosmopolitan distribution. Its pathogenic role in humans has been demonstrated through molecular and serologic tests in several cases. The cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis is considered the main reservoir and the biological vector. The aim of this study was to assess the presence and occurrence of R. felis in fleas collected from dogs and cats in various sites of Palermo (Sicily. Between August and October 2012, 134 fleas were collected from 42 animals: 37 fleas from 13 dogs and 97 fleas from 29 cats. Two species of fleas were identified: 132 Ctenocephalides felis (98.51% collected on all animals and only two C. canis (1.49% on one dog. Out of 132 C. felis, 34 (25.76%, 12 from dogs (32.43% and 22 (22.68% from cats, were positive for R. felis DNA by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR, confirmed by sequencing. The only two C. canis fleas were negative. About half of examined animals (47.62%, 20/42 were infested with at least one infected flea; in particular 46.15% of dogs (6/13 and 48.28% of cats (14/29. It seems that in the Palermo district there is a peri-domestic cycle, with a relatively high prevalence of R. felis infection in the cat flea, an insect widely diffused in home environments and which can frequently bite humans. The results also suggest that R. felis should be considered in the human differential diagnosis of any spotted-like fever or febrile illness without a clear source of infection in Sicily, especially if the patient is known to have been exposed to flea bites.

  1. Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis and its clinical distinction from Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paddock, Christopher D; Finley, Richard W; Wright, Cynthia S; Robinson, Howard N; Schrodt, Barbara J; Lane, Carole C; Ekenna, Okechukwu; Blass, Mitchell A; Tamminga, Cynthia L; Ohl, Christopher A; McLellan, Susan L F; Goddard, Jerome; Holman, Robert C; Openshaw, John J; Sumner, John W; Zaki, Sherif R; Eremeeva, Marina E

    2008-11-01

    Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis, a recently identified spotted fever transmitted by the Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum), was first described in 2004. We summarize the clinical and epidemiological features of 12 patients in the United States with confirmed or probable disease attributable to R. parkeri and comment on distinctions between R. parkeri rickettsiosis and other United States rickettsioses. Clinical specimens from patients in the United States who reside within the range of A. maculatum for whom an eschar or vesicular rash was described were evaluated by > or =1 laboratory assays at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta, GA) to identify probable or confirmed infection with R. parkeri. During 1998-2007, clinical samples from 12 patients with illnesses epidemiologically and clinically compatible with R. parkeri rickettsiosis were submitted for diagnostic evaluation. Using indirect immunofluorescence antibody assays, immunohistochemistry, polymerase chain reaction assays, and cell culture isolation, we identified 6 confirmed and 6 probable cases of infection with R. parkeri. The aggregate clinical characteristics of these patients revealed a disease similar to but less severe than classically described Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Closer attention to the distinct clinical features of the various spotted fever syndromes that exist in the United States and other countries of the Western hemisphere, coupled with more frequent use of specific confirmatory assays, may unveil several unique diseases that have been identified collectively as Rocky Mountain spotted fever during the past century. Accurate assessments of these distinct infections will ultimately provide a more valid description of the currently recognized distribution, incidence, and case-fatality rate of Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

  2. MicroRNA Signature of Human Microvascular Endothelium Infected with Rickettsia rickettsii

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    Abha Sahni

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs mediate gene silencing by destabilization and/or translational repression of target mRNA. Infection of human microvascular endothelial cells as primary targets of Rickettsia rickettsii, the etiologic agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, triggers host responses appertaining to alterations in cellular gene expression. Microarray-based profiling of endothelial cells infected with R. rickettsii for 3 or 24 h revealed differential expression of 33 miRNAs, of which miRNAs129-5p, 200a-3p, 297, 200b-3p, and 595 were identified as the top five up-regulated miRNAs (5 to 20-fold, p ≤ 0.01 and miRNAs 301b-3p, 548a-3p, and 377-3p were down-regulated (2 to 3-fold, p ≤ 0.01. Changes in the expression of selected miRNAs were confirmed by q-RT-PCR in both in vitro and in vivo models of infection. As potential targets, expression of genes encoding NOTCH1, SMAD2, SMAD3, RIN2, SOD1, and SOD2 was either positively or negatively regulated. Using a miRNA-specific mimic or inhibitor, NOTCH1 was determined to be a target of miRNA 200a-3p in R. rickettsii-infected human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HMECs. Predictive interactome mapping suggested the potential for miRNA-mediated modulation of regulatory gene networks underlying important host cell signaling pathways. This first demonstration of altered endothelial miRNA expression provides new insights into regulatory elements governing mechanisms of host responses and pathogenesis during human rickettsial infections.

  3. Transmission dynamics and control of Rickettsia rickettsii in populations of Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and Amblyomma sculptum.

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    Gina Polo

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Brazilian Spotted Fever (BSF, caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii, is the tick-borne disease that generates the largest number of human deaths in the world. In Brazil, the current increase of BSF human cases has been associated with the presence and expansion of capybaras Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, which act as primary hosts for the tick Amblyomma sculptum, vector of the R. rickettsii in this area.We proposed a semi-discrete-time stochastic model to evaluate the role of capybaras in the transmission dynamics of R. rickettsii. Through a sensitivity analysis, we identified the parameters with significant influence on the R. rickettsii establishment. Afterward, we implemented the Gillespie's algorithm to simulate the impact of potential public health interventions to prevent BSF human cases.The introduction of a single infected capybara with at least one infected attached tick is enough to trigger the disease in a non-endemic area. We found that to avoid the formation of new BSF-endemic areas, it is crucial to impede the emigration of capybaras from endemic areas by reducing their birth rate by more than 58%. Model results were corroborated by ex-situ data generated from field studies, and this supports our proposal to prevent BSF human cases by implementing control strategies focused on capybaras.The proposed stochastic model illustrates how strategies for the control and prevention of vector-borne infectious diseases can be focused on amplifier hosts management practices. This work provides a basis for future prevention strategies for other neglected vector-borne diseases.

  4. Treatment of anxiety in patients with coronary heart disease: Rationale and design of the UNderstanding the benefits of exercise and escitalopram in anxious patients WIth coroNary heart Disease (UNWIND) randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumenthal, James A; Feger, Bryan J; Smith, Patrick J; Watkins, Lana L; Jiang, Wei; Davidson, Jonathan; Hoffman, Benson M; Ashworth, Megan; Mabe, Stephanie K; Babyak, Michael A; Kraus, William E; Hinderliter, Alan; Sherwood, Andrew

    2016-06-01

    Anxiety is highly prevalent among patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), and there is growing evidence that high levels of anxiety are associated with worse prognosis. However, few studies have evaluated the efficacy of treating anxiety in CHD patients for reducing symptoms and improving clinical outcomes. Exercise and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been shown to be effective in treating patients with depression, but have not been studied in cardiac patients with high anxiety. The UNWIND trial is a randomized clinical trial of patients with CHD who are at increased risk for adverse events because of comorbid anxiety. One hundred fifty participants with CHD and elevated anxiety symptoms and/or with a diagnosed anxiety disorder will be randomly assigned to 12 weeks of aerobic exercise (3×/wk, 35 min, 70%-85% VO2peak), escitalopram (5-20 mg qd), or placebo. Before and after 12 weeks of treatment, participants will undergo assessments of anxiety symptoms and CHD biomarkers of risk, including measures of inflammation, lipids, hemoglobin A1c, heart rate variability, and vascular endothelial function. Primary outcomes include post-intervention effects on symptoms of anxiety and CHD biomarkers. Secondary outcomes include clinical outcomes (cardiovascular hospitalizations and all-cause death) and measures of quality of life. The UNWIND trial (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02516332) will evaluate the efficacy of aerobic exercise and escitalopram for improving anxiety symptoms and reducing risk for adverse clinical events in anxious CHD patients. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Experimental infection of the tick Amblyomma cajennense, Cayenne tick, with Rickettsia rickettsii, the agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, J F; Soares, H S; Barbieri, A M; Labruna, M B

    2012-06-01

    In the laboratory, Amblyomma cajennense (Acari: Ixodidae) (Fabricius) larvae, nymphs and adults were exposed to Rickettsia rickettsii by feeding on needle-inoculated animals, and thereafter reared on uninfected guinea pigs or rabbits. Regardless of the tick stage that acquired the infection, subsequent tick stages were shown to be infected (confirming transstadial and transovarial transmissions) and were able to transmit R. rickettsii to uninfected animals, as demonstrated by serological and molecular analyses. However, the larval, nymphal and adult stages of A. cajennense were shown to be partially refractory to R. rickettsii infection, as in all cases, only part of the ticks became infected by this agent, after being exposed to rickettsemic animals. In addition, less than 50% of the infected engorged females transmitted rickettsiae transovarially, and when they did so, only part of the offspring became infected, indicating that vertical transmission alone is not enough to maintain R. rickettsii in A. cajennense for multiple generations. Finally, the R. rickettsii-infected tick groups had lower reproductive performance than the uninfected control group. Our results indicate that A. cajennense have a low efficiency to maintain R. rickettsii for successive generations, as R. rickettsii-infection rates should decline drastically throughout the successive tick generations. © 2011 The Authors. Medical and Veterinary Entomology © 2011 The Royal Entomological Society.

  6. Structure of 3-ketoacyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) reductase from Rickettsia prowazekii at 2.25 Å resolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Subramanian, Sandhya; Abendroth, Jan; Phan, Isabelle Q. H.; Olsen, Christian; Staker, Bart L.; Napuli, A.; Van Voorhis, Wesley C.; Stacy, Robin; Myler, Peter J.

    2011-01-01

    The R. prowazekii 3-ketoacyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) reductase is similar to those from other prokaryotic pathogens but differs significantly from the mammalian orthologue, strengthening its case as a potential drug target. Rickettsia prowazekii, a parasitic Gram-negative bacterium, is in the second-highest biodefense category of pathogens of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, but only a handful of structures have been deposited in the PDB for this bacterium; to date, all of these have been solved by the SSGCID. Owing to its small genome (about 800 protein-coding genes), it relies on the host for many basic biosynthetic processes, hindering the identification of potential antipathogenic drug targets. However, like many bacteria and plants, its metabolism does depend upon the type II fatty-acid synthesis (FAS) pathway for lipogenesis, whereas the predominant form of fatty-acid biosynthesis in humans is via the type I pathway. Here, the structure of the third enzyme in the FAS pathway, 3-ketoacyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) reductase, is reported at a resolution of 2.25 Å. Its fold is highly similar to those of the existing structures from some well characterized pathogens, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Burkholderia pseudomallei, but differs significantly from the analogous mammalian structure. Hence, drugs known to target the enzymes of pathogenic bacteria may serve as potential leads against Rickettsia, which is responsible for spotted fever and typhus and is found throughout the world

  7. Structure of fumarate hydratase from Rickettsia prowazekii, the agent of typhus and suspected relative of the mitochondria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phan, Isabelle; Subramanian, Sandhya; Olsen, Christian; Edwards, Thomas E.; Guo, Wenjin; Zhang, Yang; Van Voorhis, Wesley C.; Stewart, Lance J.; Myler, Peter J.

    2011-01-01

    Fumarate hydratase is an enzyme of the tricarboxylic acid cycle, one of the metabolic pathways characteristic of the mitochondria. The structure of R. prowazekii class II fumarate hydratase is reported at 2.4 Å resolution and is compared with the available structure of the human homolog. Rickettsiae are obligate intracellular parasites of eukaryotic cells that are the causative agents responsible for spotted fever and typhus. Their small genome (about 800 protein-coding genes) is highly conserved across species and has been postulated as the ancestor of the mitochondria. No genes that are required for glycolysis are found in the Rickettsia prowazekii or mitochondrial genomes, but a complete set of genes encoding components of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and the respiratory-chain complex is found in both. A 2.4 Å resolution crystal structure of R. prowazekii fumarate hydratase, an enzyme catalyzing the third step of the tricarboxylic acid cycle pathway that ultimately converts phosphoenolpyruvate into succinyl-CoA, has been solved. A structure alignment with human mitochondrial fumarate hydratase highlights the close similarity between R. prowazekii and mitochondrial enzymes

  8. Detection of Rickettsia helvetica and Candidatus R. tarasevichiae DNA in Ixodes persulcatus ticks collected in Northeastern European Russia (Komi Republic).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kartashov, Mikhail Yu; Glushkova, Ludmila I; Mikryukova, Tamara P; Korabelnikov, Igor V; Egorova, Yulia I; Tupota, Natalia L; Protopopova, Elena V; Konovalova, Svetlana N; Ternovoi, Vladimir A; Loktev, Valery B

    2017-06-01

    The number of tick-borne infections in the northern European regions of Russia has increased considerably in the last years. In the present study, 676 unfed adult Ixodes persulcatus ticks were collected in the Komi Republic from 2011 to 2013 to study tick-borne rickettsioses. Rickettsia spp. DNA was detected by PCR in 51 (7.6%) ticks. The nucleotide sequence analysis of gltA fragments (765bp) from 51 ticks indicated that 60.8% and 39.2% of the ticks were infected with Rickettsia helvetica and Candidatus R. tarasevichiae, respectively. The gltA fragments showed 100% identity with those of Candidatus R. tarasevichiae previously discovered in Siberia and China, whereas R. helvetica showed 99.9% sequence identity with European isolates. The ompB had 8 nucleotide substitutions, 6 of which resulted in amino acid substitutions. In the sca9 gene, 3 nucleotide substitutions were detected, and only one resulted in amino acid substitution. The smpA, ompW, and β-lactamase genes of R. helvetica also showed a high level of sequence identity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  9. Catalase is a determinant of the colonization and transovarial transmission of Rickettsia parkeri in the Gulf Coast tick Amblyomma maculatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budachetri, K; Kumar, D; Karim, S

    2017-08-01

    The Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum) has evolved as a competent vector of the spotted-fever group rickettsia, Rickettsia parkeri. In this study, the functional role of catalase, an enzyme responsible for the degradation of toxic hydrogen peroxide, in the colonization of the tick vector by R. parkeri and transovarial transmission of this pathogen to the next tick generation, was investigated. Catalase gene (CAT) expression in midgut, salivary glands and ovarian tissues exhibited a 2-11-fold increase in transcription level upon R. parkeri infection. Depletion of CAT transcripts using an RNA-interference approach significantly reduced R. parkeri infection levels in midgut and salivary gland tissues by 53-63%. The role of CAT in transovarial transmission of R. parkeri was confirmed by simultaneously blocking the transcript and the enzyme by injecting double-stranded RNA for CAT and a catalase inhibitor (3-amino-1,2,4-triazole) into gravid females. Simultaneous inhibition of the CAT transcript and the enzyme significantly reduced the egg conversion ratio with a 44% reduction of R. parkeri transovarial transmission. These data suggest that catalase is required for rickettsial colonization of the tick vector and transovarial transmission to the next generation. © 2017 The Royal Entomological Society.

  10. Host- and microbe-related risk factors for and pathophysiology of fatal Rickettsia conorii infection in Portuguese patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sousa, Rita de; França, Ana; Dória Nòbrega, Sónia; Belo, Adelaide; Amaro, Mario; Abreu, Tiago; Poças, José; Proença, Paula; Vaz, José; Torgal, Jorge; Bacellar, Fátima; Ismail, Nahed; Walker, David H

    2008-08-15

    The pathophysiologic mechanisms that determine the severity of Mediterranean spotted fever (MSF) and the host-related and microbe-related risk factors for a fatal outcome are incompletely understood. This prospective study used univariate and multivariate analyses to determine the risk factors for a fatal outcome for 140 patients with Rickettsia conorii infection admitted to 13 Portuguese hospitals during 1994-2006 with documented identification of the rickettsial strain causing their infection. A total of 71 patients (51%) were infected with the Malish strain of Rickettsia conorii, and 69 (49%) were infected with the Israeli spotted fever (ISF) strain. Patients were admitted to the intensive care unit (40 [29%]), hospitalized as routine inpatients (95[67%]), or managed as outpatients (5[4%]). Death occurred in 29 adults (21%). A fatal outcome was significantly more likely for patients infected with the ISF strain, and alcoholism was a risk factor. The pathophysiology of a fatal outcome involved significantly greater incidence of petechial rash, gastrointestinal symptoms, obtundation and/or confusion, dehydration, tachypnea, hepatomegaly, leukocytosis, coagulopathy, azotemia, hyperbilirubinemia, and elevated levels of hepatic enzymes and creatine kinase. Some, but not all, of these findings were observed more often in ISF strain-infected patients. Although fatalities and similar clinical manifestations occurred among both groups of patients, the ISF strain was more virulent than the Malish strain. Multivariate analysis revealed that acute renal failure and hyperbilirubinemia were most strongly associated with a fatal outcome.

  11. Rickettsia parkeri invasion of diverse host cells involves an Arp2/3 complex, WAVE complex and Rho-family GTPase-dependent pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Shawna C O; Serio, Alisa W; Welch, Matthew D

    2012-04-01

    Rickettsiae are obligate intracellular pathogens that are transmitted to humans by arthropod vectors and cause diseases such as spotted fever and typhus. Although rickettsiae require the host cell actin cytoskeleton for invasion, the cytoskeletal proteins that mediate this process have not been completely described. To identify the host factors important during cell invasion by Rickettsia parkeri, a member of the spotted fever group (SFG), we performed an RNAi screen targeting 105 proteins in Drosophila melanogaster S2R+ cells. The screen identified 21 core proteins important for invasion, including the GTPases Rac1 and Rac2, the WAVE nucleation-promoting factor complex and the Arp2/3 complex. In mammalian cells, including endothelial cells, the natural targets of R. parkeri, the Arp2/3 complex was also crucial for invasion, while requirements for WAVE2 as well as Rho GTPases depended on the particular cell type. We propose that R. parkeri invades S2R+ arthropod cells through a primary pathway leading to actin nucleation, whereas invasion of mammalian endothelial cells occurs via redundant pathways that converge on the host Arp2/3 complex. Our results reveal a key role for the WAVE and Arp2/3 complexes, as well as a higher degree of variation than previously appreciated in actin nucleation pathways activated during Rickettsia invasion. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  12. Genetic Diversity of the Invasive Gall Wasp Leptocybe invasa (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae and of its Rickettsia Endosymbiont, and Associated Sex-Ratio Differences.

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    Francesco Nugnes

    Full Text Available The blue-gum chalcid Leptocybe invasa Fisher & LaSalle (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae is a gall wasp pest of Eucalyptus species, likely native to Australia. Over the past 15 years it has invaded 39 countries on all continents where eucalypts are grown. The worldwide invasion of the blue gum chalcid was attributed to a single thelytokous morphospecies formally described in 2004. Subsequently, however, males have been recorded in several countries and the sex ratio of field populations has been found to be highly variable in different areas. In order to find an explanation for such sex ratio differences, populations of L. invasa from a broad geographical area were screened for the symbionts currently known as reproductive manipulators, and both wasps and symbionts were genetically characterized using multiple genes. Molecular analyses suggested that L. invasa is in fact a complex of two cryptic species involved in the rapid and efficient spread of the wasp, the first recovered from the Mediterranean region and South America, the latter from China. All screened specimens were infected by endosymbiotic bacteria belonging to the genus Rickettsia. Two closely related Rickettsia strains were found, each infecting one of the two putative cryptic species of L. invasa and associated with different average sex ratios. Rickettsia were found to be localized in the female reproductive tissues and transovarially transmitted, suggesting a possible role of Rickettsia as the causal agent of thelytokous parthenogenesis in L. invasa. Implications for the variation of sex ratio and for the management of L. invasa are discussed.

  13. Seroprevalence of rickettsia spp. and a study of the tick fauna in dogs from the municipality of Seropédica, State of Rio de Janeiro

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    Matheus Dias Cordeiro

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of anti-Rickettsia spp. antibodies, the tick fauna, and the ticks that are carriers of rickettsiae of the spotted fever group (SFG. About 68 (24% of the 283 serum samples tested by indirect immunofluorescence (IFA reacted against the R. rickettsii crude antigen. The titers varied between 1:64 and 1:512. At the time of collection, 189 (64.5% of the 293 dogs included in this study, were infested with ticks. Ticks classified as Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Amblyomma sculptum were identified. None of the ticks examined for SFG rickettsiae using polymerase chain reaction (PCR were positive. The presence of the anti-R. rickettsii antibodies detected by IFA, albeit at low titers, suggests the circulation of SFG rickettsiae, which requires permanent surveillance because there are records on human fatalities related to spotted fever and to avoid any future threats to the students moving extensively in the areas near of the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

  14. Molecular Survey on Rickettsia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato, and Babesia spp. in Ixodes ricinus Ticks Infesting Dogs in Central Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morganti, Giulia; Gavaudan, Stefano; Canonico, Cristina; Ravagnan, Silvia; Olivieri, Emanuela; Diaferia, Manuela; Marenzoni, Maria Luisa; Antognoni, Maria Teresa; Capelli, Gioia; Silaghi, Cornelia; Veronesi, Fabrizia

    2017-11-01

    Dogs are a common feeding hosts for Ixodes ricinus and may act as reservoir hosts for zoonotic tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) and as carriers of infected ticks into human settings. The aim of this work was to evaluate the presence of several selected TBPs of significant public health concern by molecular methods in I. ricinus recovered from dogs living in urban and suburban settings in central Italy. A total of 212 I. ricinus specimens were collected from the coat of domestic dogs. DNA was extracted from each specimen individually and tested for Rickettsia spp., Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Babesia spp., and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, using real-time and conventional PCR protocols, followed by sequencing. Sixty-one ticks (28.8%) tested positive for TBPs; 57 samples were infected by one pathogen, while four showed coinfections. Rickettsia spp. was detected in 39 specimens (18.4%), of which 32 were identified as Rickettsia monacensis and seven as Rickettsia helvetica. Twenty-two samples (10.4%) tested positive for A. phagocytophilum; Borrelia lusitaniae and Borrelia afzelii were detected in two specimens and one specimen, respectively. One tick (0.5%) was found to be positive for Babesia venatorum (EU1). Our findings reveal the significant exposure of dogs to TBPs of public health concern and provide data on the role of dogs in the circulation of I. ricinus-borne pathogens in central Italy.

  15. Molecular surveillance of spotted fever group rickettsioses in wildlife and detection of Rickettsia sibirica in a Topi (Damaliscus lunatus ssp. jimela) in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ndeereh, David; Thaiyah, Andrew; Muchemi, Gerald; Miyunga, Antoinette A

    2017-01-30

    Spotted fever group rickettsioses are a group of tick-borne zoonotic diseases caused by intracellular bacteria of the genus Rickettsia. The diseases are widely reported amongst international travellers returning from most sub-Saharan Africa with fever, yet their importance in local populations largely remains unknown. Although this has started to change and recently there have been increasing reports of the diseases in livestock, ticks and humans in Kenya, they have not been investigated in wildlife. We examined the presence, prevalence and species of Rickettsia present in wildlife in two regions of Kenya with a unique human-wildlife-livestock interface. For this purpose, 79 wild animals in Laikipia County and 73 in Maasai Mara National Reserve were sampled. DNA extracted from blood was tested using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify the intergenic spacer rpmE-tRNAfMet and the citrate synthase-encoding gene gltA. Rickettsial DNA was detected in 2 of the 79 (2.5%) animals in Laikipia and 4 of the 73 (5.5%) in Maasai Mara. The PCR-positive amplicons of the gltA gene were sequenced to determine the detected Rickettsia species. This revealed Rickettsia sibirica in a Topi (Damaliscus lunatus ssp. jimela). This is the first report of spotted fever group rickettsioses in wildlife and the first to report R. sibirica in Kenya. The finding demonstrates the potential role of wild animals in the circulation of the diseases.

  16. Genetic Diversity of the Invasive Gall Wasp Leptocybe invasa (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) and of its Rickettsia Endosymbiont, and Associated Sex-Ratio Differences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nugnes, Francesco; Gebiola, Marco; Monti, Maurilia Maria; Gualtieri, Liberata; Giorgini, Massimo; Wang, Jianguo; Bernardo, Umberto

    2015-01-01

    The blue-gum chalcid Leptocybe invasa Fisher & LaSalle (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) is a gall wasp pest of Eucalyptus species, likely native to Australia. Over the past 15 years it has invaded 39 countries on all continents where eucalypts are grown. The worldwide invasion of the blue gum chalcid was attributed to a single thelytokous morphospecies formally described in 2004. Subsequently, however, males have been recorded in several countries and the sex ratio of field populations has been found to be highly variable in different areas. In order to find an explanation for such sex ratio differences, populations of L. invasa from a broad geographical area were screened for the symbionts currently known as reproductive manipulators, and both wasps and symbionts were genetically characterized using multiple genes. Molecular analyses suggested that L. invasa is in fact a complex of two cryptic species involved in the rapid and efficient spread of the wasp, the first recovered from the Mediterranean region and South America, the latter from China. All screened specimens were infected by endosymbiotic bacteria belonging to the genus Rickettsia. Two closely related Rickettsia strains were found, each infecting one of the two putative cryptic species of L. invasa and associated with different average sex ratios. Rickettsia were found to be localized in the female reproductive tissues and transovarially transmitted, suggesting a possible role of Rickettsia as the causal agent of thelytokous parthenogenesis in L. invasa. Implications for the variation of sex ratio and for the management of L. invasa are discussed. PMID:25970681

  17. Molecular surveillance of spotted fever group rickettsioses in wildlife and detection of Rickettsia sibirica in a Topi (Damaliscus lunatus ssp. jimela in Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Ndeereh

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Spotted fever group rickettsioses are a group of tick-borne zoonotic diseases caused by intracellular bacteria of the genus Rickettsia. The diseases are widely reported amongst international travellers returning from most sub-Saharan Africa with fever, yet their importance in local populations largely remains unknown. Although this has started to change and recently there have been increasing reports of the diseases in livestock, ticks and humans in Kenya, they have not been investigated in wildlife. We examined the presence, prevalence and species of Rickettsia present in wildlife in two regions of Kenya with a unique human–wildlife–livestock interface. For this purpose, 79 wild animals in Laikipia County and 73 in Maasai Mara National Reserve were sampled. DNA extracted from blood was tested using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR to amplify the intergenic spacer rpmE-tRNAfMet and the citrate synthase-encoding gene gltA. Rickettsial DNA was detected in 2 of the 79 (2.5% animals in Laikipia and 4 of the 73 (5.5% in Maasai Mara. The PCR-positive amplicons of the gltA gene were sequenced to determine the detected Rickettsia species. This revealed Rickettsia sibirica in a Topi (Damaliscus lunatus ssp. jimela. This is the first report of spotted fever group rickettsioses in wildlife and the first to report R. sibirica in Kenya. The finding demonstrates the potential role of wild animals in the circulation of the diseases.

  18. A serological and molecular survey of Babesia vogeli, Ehrlichia canis and Rickettsia spp. among dogs in the state of Maranhão, northeastern Brazil

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    Andréa Pereira da Costa

    Full Text Available This study evaluated exposure and infection by tick-borne agents (Babesia vogeli, Ehrlichia canis and Rickettsia spp. in 172 dogs in rural areas and 150 dogs in urban areas of the municipality of Chapadinha, state of Maranhão, northeastern Brazil, using molecular and serological methods. Overall, 16.1% of the sampled dogs (52/322 were seroreactive to B. vogeli, with endpoint titers ranging from 40 to 640. For E. canis, 14.6% of the dogs (47/322 were seroreactive, with endpoint titers from 80 to 163,840. Antibodies reactive to at least one of the five species of Rickettsia were detected in 18.9% of the dogs (61/322, with endpoint titers ranging from 64 to 4,096. High endpoint titers were observed for Rickettsia amblyommii. Three (0.9% and nine (2.8% canine blood samples were PCR-positive for Babesia spp. and E. canis. The ticks collected from urban dogs were all Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato, whereas the rural dogs were infested by R. sanguineus s.l, Amblyomma cajennense sensu lato and Amblyomma ovale. One A. ovale tick was found to be infected by Rickettsia bellii. This study provides an epidemiological background for controlling and preventing canine tick-borne diseases in a neglected region of Brazil.

  19. Ecoepidemiología de la infección por rickettsias en roedores, ectoparásitos y humanos en el noroeste de Antioquia, Colombia

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    Juan Carlos Quintero

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Introducción. Las rickettsias son bacterias patógenas usualmente transmitidas por ectoparásitos, como garrapatas, piojos o pulgas. En la última década se presentaron tres brotes de rickettsiosis con casos fatales en la región noroccidental de Antioquia y en un municipio limítrofe de Córdoba. Objetivo. Describir la ecología y la epidemiología de las infecciones por Rickettsia spp. en el Urabá antioqueño. Materiales y métodos. Se obtuvieron muestras de 354 roedores y se recolectaron 839 ectoparásitos de estos en los municipios de Apartadó, Turbo y Necoclí. Asimismo, se obtuvieron 220 sueros humanos. Estas muestras fueron estudiadas por reacción en cadena de la polimerasa (PCR e inmunofluorescencia indirecta (IFI para la detección de infección por rickettsias. Resultados. Por IFI se detectaron anticuerpos antirickettsias en 130 (43 % de los roedores y en 53 (24% de los sueros humanos estudiados. Además, se amplificaron secuencias del gen gltA específicas del género Rickettsia en 23 (6,8 % muestras de hígado de roedores, las cuales mostraron una similitud del 98,7 % con R. prowazekii. Una secuencia de gltA obtenida de larvas de garrapatas del género Amblyomma sp., tuvo una identidad mayor de 99 % con las secuencias de R. tamurae. Conclusión. Estos resultados demuestran la circulación de rickettsias en roedores, ectoparásitos y humanos en los municipios estudiados.   doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7705/biomedica.v33i0.735

  20. Phylogenomic relationship of feijoa (Acca sellowiana (O.Berg) Burret) with other Myrtaceae based on complete chloroplast genome sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Lilian de Oliveira; Vieira, Leila do Nascimento; Stefenon, Valdir Marcos; Oliveira Pedrosa, Fábio de; Souza, Emanuel Maltempi de; Guerra, Miguel Pedro; Nodari, Rubens Onofre

    2017-04-01

    Given their distribution, importance, and richness, Myrtaceae species comprise a model system for studying the evolution of tropical plant diversity. In addition, chloroplast (cp) genome sequencing is an efficient tool for phylogenetic relationship studies. Feijoa [Acca sellowiana (O. Berg) Burret; CN: pineapple-guava] is a Myrtaceae species that occurs naturally in southern Brazil and northern Uruguay. Feijoa is known for its exquisite perfume and flavorful fruits, pharmacological properties, ornamental value and increasing economic relevance. In the present work, we reported the complete cp genome of feijoa. The feijoa cp genome is a circular molecule of 159,370 bp with a quadripartite structure containing two single copy regions, a Large Single Copy region (LSC 88,028 bp) and a Small Single Copy region (SSC 18,598 bp) separated by Inverted Repeat regions (IRs 26,372 bp). The genome structure, gene order, GC content and codon usage are similar to those of typical angiosperm cp genomes. When compared to other cp genome sequences of Myrtaceae, feijoa showed closest relationship with pitanga (Eugenia uniflora L.). Furthermore, a comparison of pitanga synonymous (Ks) and nonsynonymous (Ka) substitution rates revealed extremely low values. Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference analyses produced phylogenomic trees identical in topology. These trees supported monophyly of three Myrtoideae clades.

  1. The tempo and mode of New World monkey evolution and biogeography in the context of phylogenomic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jameson Kiesling, Natalie M; Yi, Soojin V; Xu, Ke; Gianluca Sperone, F; Wildman, Derek E

    2015-01-01

    The development and evolution of organisms is heavily influenced by their environment. Thus, understanding the historical biogeography of taxa can provide insights into their evolutionary history, adaptations and trade-offs realized throughout time. In the present study we have taken a phylogenomic approach to infer New World monkey phylogeny, upon which we have reconstructed the biogeographic history of extant platyrrhines. In order to generate sufficient phylogenetic signal within the New World monkey clade, we carried out a large-scale phylogenetic analysis of approximately 40 kb of non-genic genomic DNA sequence in a 36 species subset of extant New World monkeys. Maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analysis all converged on a single optimal tree topology. Divergence dating and biogeographic analysis reconstruct the timing and geographic location of divergence events. The ancestral area reconstruction describes the geographic locations of the last common ancestor of extant platyrrhines and provides insight into key biogeographic events occurring during platyrrhine diversification. Through these analyses we conclude that the diversification of the platyrrhines took place concurrently with the establishment and diversification of the Amazon rainforest. This suggests that an expanding rainforest environment rather than geographic isolation drove platyrrhine diversification. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Actinobacteria phylogenomics, selective isolation from an iron oligotrophic environment and siderophore functional characterization, unveil new desferrioxamine traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Morales, Pablo; Ramos-Aboites, Hilda E; Licona-Cassani, Cuauhtémoc; Selem-Mójica, Nelly; Mejía-Ponce, Paulina M; Souza-Saldívar, Valeria; Barona-Gómez, Francisco

    2017-09-01

    Desferrioxamines are hydroxamate siderophores widely conserved in both aquatic and soil-dwelling Actinobacteria. While the genetic and enzymatic bases of siderophore biosynthesis and their transport in model families of this phylum are well understood, evolutionary studies are lacking. Here, we perform a comprehensive desferrioxamine-centric (des genes) phylogenomic analysis, which includes the genomes of six novel strains isolated from an iron and phosphorous depleted oasis in the Chihuahuan desert of Mexico. Our analyses reveal previously unnoticed desferrioxamine evolutionary patterns, involving both biosynthetic and transport genes, likely to be related to desferrioxamines chemical diversity. The identified patterns were used to postulate experimentally testable hypotheses after phenotypic characterization, including profiling of siderophores production and growth stimulation of co-cultures under iron deficiency. Based in our results, we propose a novel des gene, which we term desG, as responsible for incorporation of phenylacetyl moieties during biosynthesis of previously reported arylated desferrioxamines. Moreover, a genomic-based classification of the siderophore-binding proteins responsible for specific and generalist siderophore assimilation is postulated. This report provides a much-needed evolutionary framework, with specific insights supported by experimental data, to direct the future ecological and functional analysis of desferrioxamines in the environment. © FEMS 2017.

  3. Detection of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. in Ticks Associated with Exotic Reptiles and Amphibians Imported into Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andoh, Masako; Sakata, Akiko; Takano, Ai; Kawabata, Hiroki; Fujita, Hiromi; Une, Yumi; Goka, Koichi; Kishimoto, Toshio; Ando, Shuji

    2015-01-01

    One of the major routes of transmission of rickettsial and ehrlichial diseases is via ticks that infest numerous host species, including humans. Besides mammals, reptiles and amphibians also carry ticks that may harbor Rickettsia and Ehrlichia strains that are pathogenic to humans. Furthermore, reptiles and amphibians are exempt from quarantine in Japan, thus facilitating the entry of parasites and pathogens to the country through import. Accordingly, in the current study, we examined the presence of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. genes in ticks associated with reptiles and amphibians originating from outside Japan. Ninety-three ticks representing nine tick species (genera Amblyomma and Hyalomma) were isolated from at least 28 animals spanning 10 species and originating from 12 countries (Ghana, Jordan, Madagascar, Panama, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Uzbekistan, and Zambia). None of the nine tick species are indigenous in Japan. The genes encoding the common rickettsial 17-kDa antigen, citrate synthase (gltA), and outer membrane protein A (ompA) were positively detected in 45.2% (42/93), 40.9% (38/93), and 23.7% (22/93) of the ticks, respectively, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The genes encoding ehrlichial heat shock protein (groEL) and major outer membrane protein (omp-1) were PCR-positive in 7.5% (7/93) and 2.2% (2/93) of the ticks, respectively. The p44 gene, which encodes the Anaplasma outer membrane protein, was not detected. Phylogenetic analysis showed that several of the rickettsial and ehrlichial sequences isolated in this study were highly similar to human pathogen genes, including agents not previously detected in Japan. These data demonstrate the global transportation of pathogenic Rickettsia and Ehrlichia through reptile- and amphibian-associated ticks. These imported animals have potential to transfer pathogens into human life. These results highlight the need to control the international transportation of known and

  4. Detection of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. in Ticks Associated with Exotic Reptiles and Amphibians Imported into Japan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masako Andoh

    Full Text Available One of the major routes of transmission of rickettsial and ehrlichial diseases is via ticks that infest numerous host species, including humans. Besides mammals, reptiles and amphibians also carry ticks that may harbor Rickettsia and Ehrlichia strains that are pathogenic to humans. Furthermore, reptiles and amphibians are exempt from quarantine in Japan, thus facilitating the entry of parasites and pathogens to the country through import. Accordingly, in the current study, we examined the presence of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. genes in ticks associated with reptiles and amphibians originating from outside Japan. Ninety-three ticks representing nine tick species (genera Amblyomma and Hyalomma were isolated from at least 28 animals spanning 10 species and originating from 12 countries (Ghana, Jordan, Madagascar, Panama, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Uzbekistan, and Zambia. None of the nine tick species are indigenous in Japan. The genes encoding the common rickettsial 17-kDa antigen, citrate synthase (gltA, and outer membrane protein A (ompA were positively detected in 45.2% (42/93, 40.9% (38/93, and 23.7% (22/93 of the ticks, respectively, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR. The genes encoding ehrlichial heat shock protein (groEL and major outer membrane protein (omp-1 were PCR-positive in 7.5% (7/93 and 2.2% (2/93 of the ticks, respectively. The p44 gene, which encodes the Anaplasma outer membrane protein, was not detected. Phylogenetic analysis showed that several of the rickettsial and ehrlichial sequences isolated in this study were highly similar to human pathogen genes, including agents not previously detected in Japan. These data demonstrate the global transportation of pathogenic Rickettsia and Ehrlichia through reptile- and amphibian-associated ticks. These imported animals have potential to transfer pathogens into human life. These results highlight the need to control the international transportation of known

  5. Effectiveness of phylogenomic data and coalescent species-tree methods for resolving difficult nodes in the phylogeny of advanced snakes (Serpentes: Caenophidia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyron, R Alexander; Hendry, Catriona R; Chou, Vincent M; Lemmon, Emily M; Lemmon, Alan R; Burbrink, Frank T

    2014-12-01

    Next-generation genomic sequencing promises to quickly and cheaply resolve remaining contentious nodes in the Tree of Life, and facilitates species-tree estimation while taking into account stochastic genealogical discordance among loci. Recent methods for estimating species trees bypass full likelihood-based estimates of the multi-species coalescent, and approximate the true species-tree using simpler summary metrics. These methods converge on the true species-tree with sufficient genomic sampling, even in the anomaly zone. However, no studies have yet evaluated their efficacy on a large-scale phylogenomic dataset, and compared them to previous concatenation strategies. Here, we generate such a dataset for Caenophidian snakes, a group with >2500 species that contains several rapid radiations that were poorly resolved with fewer loci. We generate sequence data for 333 single-copy nuclear loci with ∼100% coverage (∼0% missing data) for 31 major lineages. We estimate phylogenies using neighbor joining, maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and three summary species-tree approaches (NJst, STAR, and MP-EST). All methods yield similar resolution and support for most nodes. However, not all methods support monophyly of Caenophidia, with Acrochordidae placed as the sister taxon to Pythonidae in some analyses. Thus, phylogenomic species-tree estimation may occasionally disagree with well-supported relationships from concatenated analyses of small numbers of nuclear or mitochondrial genes, a consideration for future studies. In contrast for at least two diverse, rapid radiations (Lamprophiidae and Colubridae), phylogenomic data and species-tree inference do little to improve resolution and support. Thus, certain nodes may lack strong signal, and larger datasets and more sophisticated analyses may still fail to resolve them. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Rickettsia parkeri Rickettsiosis in Different Ecological Regions of Argentina and Its Association with Amblyomma tigrinum as a Potential Vector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romer, Yamila; Nava, Santiago; Govedic, Francisco; Cicuttin, Gabriel; Denison, Amy M.; Singleton, Joseph; Kelly, Aubree J.; Kato, Cecilia Y.; Paddock, Christopher D.

    2014-01-01

    Rickettsia parkeri, a newly recognized tick-borne pathogen of humans in the Americas, is a confirmed cause of spotted fever group rickettsiosis in Argentina. Until recently, almost all cases of R. parkeri rickettsiosis in Argentina have originated from the Paraná River Delta, where entomological surveys have identified populations of R. parkeri-infected Amblyomma triste ticks. In this report, we describe confirmed cases of R. parkeri rickettsiosis from Córdoba and La Rioja provinces, which are located several hundred kilometers inland, and in a more arid ecological region, where A. triste ticks do not occur. Additionally, we identified questing A. tigrinum ticks naturally infected with R. parkeri in Córdoba province. These data provide evidence that another human-biting tick species serves as a potential vector of R. parkeri in Argentina and possibly, other countries of South America. PMID:25349376

  7. Development of a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for rapid screening of ticks and fleas for spotted fever group rickettsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noden, Bruce H; Martin, Jaclyn; Carrillo, Yisel; Talley, Justin L; Ochoa-Corona, Francisco M

    2018-01-01

    The importance of tick and flea-borne rickettsia infections is increasingly recognized worldwide. While increased focus has shifted in recent years to the development of point-of-care diagnostics for various vector-borne diseases in humans and animals, little research effort has been devoted to their integration into vector surveillance and control programs, particularly in resource-challenged countries. One technology which may be helpful for large scale vector surveillance initiatives is loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). The aim of this study was to develop a LAMP assay to detect spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsia DNA from field-collected ticks and fleas and compare with published end-point PCR results. A Spotted Fever Group rickettsia-specific loop-mediated isothermal amplification (SFGR-LAMP) assay was developed using primers based on a region of the R. rickettsii 17kDa protein gene. The sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility of the assay were evaluated. The assay was then compared with the results of end-point PCR assays for pooled tick and flea samples obtained from field-based surveillance studies. The sensitivity of the SFGR-LAMP assay was 0.00001 ng/μl (25μl volume) which was 10 times more sensitive than the 17kDa protein gene end-point PCR used as the reference method. The assay only recognized gDNA from SFG and transitional group (TRG) rickettsia species tested but did not detect gDNA from typhus group (TG) rickettsia species or closely or distantly related bacterial species. The SFGR-LAMP assay detected the same positives from a set of pooled tick and flea samples detected by end-point PCR in addition to two pooled flea samples not detected by end-point PCR. To our knowledge, this is the first study to develop a functional LAMP assay to initially screen for SFG and TRG rickettsia pathogens in field-collected ticks and fleas. With a high sensitivity and specificity, the results indicate the potential use as a field

  8. Natural blood feeding and temperature shift modulate the global transcriptional profile of Rickettsia rickettsii infecting its tick vector.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Fernanda B M Galletti

    Full Text Available Rickettsia rickettsii is an obligate intracellular tick-borne bacterium that causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF, the most lethal spotted fever rickettsiosis. When an infected starving tick begins blood feeding from a vertebrate host, R. rickettsii is exposed to a temperature elevation and to components in the blood meal. These two environmental stimuli have been previously associated with the reactivation of rickettsial virulence in ticks, but the factors responsible for this phenotype conversion have not been completely elucidated. Using customized oligonucleotide microarrays and high-throughput microfluidic qRT-PCR, we analyzed the effects of a 10°C temperature elevation and of a blood meal on the transcriptional profile of R. rickettsii infecting the tick Amblyomma aureolatum. This is the first study of the transcriptome of a bacterium in the genus Rickettsia infecting a natural tick vector. Although both stimuli significantly increased bacterial load, blood feeding had a greater effect, modulating five-fold more genes than the temperature upshift. Certain components of the Type IV Secretion System (T4SS were up-regulated by blood feeding. This suggests that this important bacterial transport system may be utilized to secrete effectors during the tick vector's blood meal. Blood feeding also up-regulated the expression of antioxidant enzymes, which might correspond to an attempt by R. rickettsii to protect itself against the deleterious effects of free radicals produced by fed ticks. The modulated genes identified in this study, including those encoding hypothetical proteins, require further functional analysis and may have potential as future targets for vaccine development.

  9. Phylogenomics and Divergence Dating of Fungus-Farming Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae of the Genera Sericomyrmex and Apterostigma.

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    Ana Ješovnik

    Full Text Available Fungus-farming ("attine" ants are model systems for studies of symbiosis, coevolution, and advanced eusociality. A New World clade of nearly 300 species in 15 genera, all attine ants cultivate fungal symbionts for food. In order to better understand the evolution of ant agriculture, we sequenced, assembled, and analyzed transcriptomes of four different attine ant species in two genera: three species in the higher-attine genus Sericomyrmex and a single lower-attine ant species, Apterostigma megacephala, representing the first genomic data for either genus. These data were combined with published genomes of nine other ant species and the honey bee Apis mellifera for phylogenomic and divergence-dating analyses. The resulting phylogeny confirms relationships inferred in previous studies of fungus-farming ants. Divergence-dating analyses recovered slightly older dates than most prior analyses, estimating that attine ants originated 53.6-66.7 million of years ago, and recovered a very long branch subtending a very recent, rapid radiation of the genus Sericomyrmex. This result is further confirmed by a separate analysis of the three Sericomyrmex species, which reveals that 92.71% of orthologs have 99% - 100% pairwise-identical nucleotide sequences. We searched the transcriptomes for genes of interest, most importantly argininosuccinate synthase and argininosuccinate lyase, which are functional in other ants but which are known to have been lost in seven previously studied attine ant species. Loss of the ability to produce the amino acid arginine has been hypothesized to contribute to the obligate dependence of attine ants upon their cultivated fungi, but the point in fungus-farming ant evolution at which these losses occurred has remained unknown. We did not find these genes in any of the sequenced transcriptomes. Although expected for Sericomyrmex species, the absence of arginine anabolic genes in the lower-attine ant Apterostigma megacephala strongly

  10. Phylogenomic analysis of vertebrate thrombospondins reveals fish-specific paralogues, ancestral gene relationships and a tetrapod innovation

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    Adams Josephine C

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Thrombospondins (TSPs are evolutionarily-conserved, extracellular, calcium-binding glycoproteins with important roles in cell-extracellular matrix interactions, angiogenesis, synaptogenesis and connective tissue organisation. Five TSPs, designated TSP-1 through TSP-5, are encoded in the human genome. All but one have known roles in acquired or inherited human diseases. To further understand the roles of TSPs in human physiology and pathology, it would be advantageous to extend the repertoire of relevant vertebrate models. In general the zebrafish is proving an excellent model organism for vertebrate biology, therefore we set out to evaluate the status of TSPs in zebrafish and two species of pufferfish. Results We identified by bioinformatics that three fish species encode larger numbers of TSPs than vertebrates, yet all these sequences group as homologues of TSP-1 to -4. By phylogenomic analysis of neighboring genes, we uncovered that, in fish, a TSP-4-like sequence is encoded from the gene corresponding to the tetrapod TSP-5 gene. Thus, all TSP genes show conservation of synteny between fish and tetrapods. In the human genome, the TSP-1, TSP-3, TSP-4 and TSP-5 genes lie within paralogous regions that provide insight into the ancestral genomic context of vertebrate TSPs. Conclusion A new model for TSP evolution in vertebrates is presented. The TSP-5 protein sequence has evolved rapidly from a TSP-4-like sequence as an innovation in the tetrapod lineage. TSP biology in fish is complicated by the presence of additional lineage- and species-specific TSP paralogues. These novel results give deeper insight into the evolution of TSPs in vertebrates and open new directions for understanding the physiological and pathological roles of TSP-4 and TSP-5 in humans.

  11. Phylogenomic, Pan-genomic, Pathogenomic and Evolutionary Genomic Insights into the Agronomically Relevant Enterobacteria Pantoea ananatis and Pantoea stewartii

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    Pieter De Maayer

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Pantoea ananatis is ubiquitously found in the environment and causes disease on a wide range of plant hosts. By contrast, its sister species, Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii is the host-specific causative agent of the devastating maize disease Stewart’s wilt. This pathogen has a restricted lifecycle, overwintering in an insect vector before being introduced into susceptible maize cultivars, causing disease and returning to overwinter in its vector. The other subspecies of P. stewartii subsp. indologenes, has been isolated from different plant hosts and is predicted to proliferate in different environmental niches. Here we have, by the use of comparative genomics and a comprehensive suite of bioinformatic tools, analyzed the genomes of ten P. stewartii and nineteen P. ananatis strains. Our phylogenomic analyses have revealed that there are two distinct clades within P. ananatis while far less phylogenetic diversity was observed among the P. stewartii subspecies. Pan-genome analyses revealed a large core genome comprising of 3,571 protein coding sequences is shared among the twenty-nine compared strains. Furthermore, we showed that an extensive accessory genome made up largely by a mobilome of plasmids, integrated prophages, integrative and conjugative elements and insertion elements has resulted in extensive diversification of P. stewartii and P. ananatis. While these organisms share many pathogenicity determinants, our comparative genomic analyses show that they differ in terms of the secretion systems they encode. The genomic differences identified in this study have allowed us to postulate on the divergent evolutionary histories of the analyzed P. ananatis and P. stewartii strains and on the molecular basis underlying their ecological success and host range.

  12. Phylogenomic, Pan-genomic, Pathogenomic and Evolutionary Genomic Insights into the Agronomically Relevant Enterobacteria Pantoea ananatis and Pantoea stewartii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Maayer, Pieter; Aliyu, Habibu; Vikram, Surendra; Blom, Jochen; Duffy, Brion; Cowan, Don A; Smits, Theo H M; Venter, Stephanus N; Coutinho, Teresa A

    2017-01-01

    Pantoea ananatis is ubiquitously found in the environment and causes disease on a wide range of plant hosts. By contrast, its sister species, Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii is the host-specific causative agent of the devastating maize disease Stewart's wilt. This pathogen has a restricted lifecycle, overwintering in an insect vector before being introduced into susceptible maize cultivars, causing disease and returning to overwinter in its vector. The other subspecies of P. stewartii subsp. indologenes , has been isolated from different plant hosts and is predicted to proliferate in different environmental niches. Here we have, by the use of comparative genomics and a comprehensive suite of bioinformatic tools, analyzed the genomes of ten P. stewartii and nineteen P. ananatis strains. Our phylogenomic analyses have revealed that there are two distinct clades within P. ananatis while far less phylogenetic diversity was observed among the P. stewartii subspecies. Pan-genome analyses revealed a large core genome comprising of 3,571 protein coding sequences is shared among the twenty-nine compared strains. Furthermore, we showed that an extensive accessory genome made up largely by a mobilome of plasmids, integrated prophages, integrative and conjugative elements and insertion elements has resulted in extensive diversification of P. stewartii and P. ananatis . While these organisms share many pathogenicity determinants, our comparative genomic analyses show that they differ in terms of the secretion systems they encode. The genomic differences identified in this study have allowed us to postulate on the divergent evolutionary histories of the analyzed P. ananatis and P. stewartii strains and on the molecular basis underlying their ecological success and host range.

  13. Complete chloroplast genome of Gracilaria firma (Gracilariaceae, Rhodophyta), with discussion on the use of chloroplast phylogenomics in the subclass Rhodymeniophycidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Poh-Kheng; Lin, Showe-Mei; Lim, Phaik-Eem; Liu, Li-Chia; Chen, Chien-Ming; Pai, Tun-Wen

    2017-01-06

    The chloroplast genome of Gracilaria firma was sequenced in view of its role as an economically important marine crop with wide industrial applications. To date, there are only 15 chloroplast genomes published for the Florideophyceae. Apart from presenting the complete chloroplast genome of G. firma, this study also assessed the utility of genome-scale data to address the phylogenetic relationships within the subclass Rhodymeniophycidae. The synteny and genome structure of the chloroplast genomes across the taxa of Eurhodophytina was also examined. The chloroplast genome of Gracilaria firma maps as a circular molecule of 187,001 bp and contains 252 genes, which are distributed on both strands and consist of 35 RNA genes (3 rRNAs, 30 tRNAs, tmRNA and a ribonuclease P RNA component) and 217 protein-coding genes, including the unidentified open reading frames. The chloroplast genome of G. firma is by far the largest reported for Gracilariaceae, featuring a unique intergenic region of about 7000 bp with discontinuous vestiges of red algal plasmid DNA sequences interspersed between the nblA and cpeB genes. This chloroplast genome shows similar gene content and order to other Florideophycean taxa. Phylogenomic analyses based on the concatenated amino acid sequences of 146 protein-coding genes confirmed the monophyly of the classes Bangiophyceae and Florideophyceae with full nodal support. Relationships within the subclass Rhodymeniophycidae in Florideophyceae received moderate to strong nodal support, and the monotypic family of Gracilariales were resolved with maximum support. Chloroplast genomes hold substantial information that can be tapped for resolving the phylogenetic relationships of difficult regions in the Rhodymeniophycidae, which are perceived to have experienced rapid radiation and thus received low nodal support, as exemplified in this study. The present study shows that chloroplast genome of G. firma could serve as a key link to the full resolution of

  14. A phylogenomic analysis of Marek's disease virus reveals independent paths to virulence in Eurasia and North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimpert, Jakob; Groenke, Nicole; Jenckel, Maria; He, Shulin; Kunec, Dusan; Szpara, Moriah L; Spatz, Stephen J; Osterrieder, Nikolaus; McMahon, Dino P

    2017-12-01

    Virulence determines the impact a pathogen has on the fitness of its host, yet current understanding of the evolutionary origins and causes of virulence of many pathogens is surprisingly incomplete. Here, we explore the evolution of Marek's disease virus (MDV), a herpesvirus commonly afflicting chickens and rarely other avian species. The history of MDV in the 20th century represents an important case study in the evolution of virulence. The severity of MDV infection in chickens has been rising steadily since the adoption of intensive farming techniques and vaccination programs in the 1950s and 1970s, respectively. It has remained uncertain, however, which of these factors is causally more responsible for the observed increase in virulence of circulating viruses. We conducted a phylogenomic study to understand the evolution of MDV in the context of dramatic changes to poultry farming and disease control. Our analysis reveals evidence of geographical structuring of MDV strains, with reconstructions supporting the emergence of virulent viruses independently in North America and Eurasia. Of note, the emergence of virulent viruses appears to coincide approximately with the introduction of comprehensive vaccination on both continents. The time-dated phylogeny also indicated that MDV has a mean evolutionary rate of ~1.6 × 10 -5 substitutions per site per year. An examination of gene-linked mutations did not identify a strong association between mutational variation and virulence phenotypes, indicating that MDV may evolve readily and rapidly under strong selective pressures and that multiple genotypic pathways may underlie virulence adaptation in MDV.

  15. Less is more in mammalian phylogenomics: AT-rich genes minimize tree conflicts and unravel the root of placental mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romiguier, Jonathan; Ranwez, Vincent; Delsuc, Frédéric; Galtier, Nicolas; Douzery, Emmanuel J P

    2013-09-01

    Despite the rapid increase of size in phylogenomic data sets, a number of important nodes on animal phylogeny are still unresolved. Among these, the rooting of the placental mammal tree is still a controversial issue. One difficulty lies in the pervasive phylogenetic conflicts among genes, with each one telling its own story, which may be reliable or not. Here, we identified a simple criterion, that is, the GC content, which substantially helps in determining which gene trees best reflect the species tree. We assessed the ability of 13,111 coding sequence alignments to correctly reconstruct the placental phylogeny. We found that GC-rich genes induced a higher amount of conflict among gene trees and performed worse than AT-rich genes in retrieving well-supported, consensual nodes on the placental tree. We interpret this GC effect mainly as a consequence of genome-wide variations in recombination rate. Indeed, recombination is known to drive GC-content evolution through GC-biased gene conversion and might be problematic for phylogenetic reconstruction, for instance, in an incomplete lineage sorting context. When we focused on the AT-richest fraction of the data set, the resolution level of the placental phylogeny was greatly increased, and a strong support was obtained in favor of an Afrotheria rooting, that is, Afrotheria as the sister group of all other placentals. We show that in mammals most conflicts among gene trees, which have so far hampered the resolution of the placental tree, are concentrated in the GC-rich regions of the genome. We argue that the GC content-because it is a reliable indicator of the long-term recombination rate-is an informative criterion that could help in identifying the most reliable molecular markers for species tree inference.

  16. Phylogenomically guided identification of industrially relevant GH1 β-glucosidases through DNA synthesis and nanostructure-initiator mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heins, Richard A; Cheng, Xiaoliang; Nath, Sangeeta; Deng, Kai; Bowen, Benjamin P; Chivian, Dylan C; Datta, Supratim; Friedland, Gregory D; D'Haeseleer, Patrik; Wu, Dongying; Tran-Gyamfi, Mary; Scullin, Chessa S; Singh, Seema; Shi, Weibing; Hamilton, Matthew G; Bendall, Matthew L; Sczyrba, Alexander; Thompson, John; Feldman, Taya; Guenther, Joel M; Gladden, John M; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Adams, Paul D; Rubin, Edward M; Simmons, Blake A; Sale, Kenneth L; Northen, Trent R; Deutsch, Samuel

    2014-09-19

    Harnessing the biotechnological potential of the large number of proteins available in sequence databases requires scalable methods for functional characterization. Here we propose a workflow to address this challenge by combining phylogenomic guided DNA synthesis with high-throughput mass spectrometry and apply it to the systematic characterization of GH1 β-glucosidases, a family of enzymes necessary for biomass hydrolysis, an important step in the conversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks to fuels and chemicals. We synthesized and expressed 175 GH1s, selected from over 2000 candidate sequences to cover maximum sequence diversity. These enzymes were functionally characterized over a range of temperatures and pHs using nanostructure-initiator mass spectrometry (NIMS), generating over 10,000 data points. When combined with HPLC-based sugar profiling, we observed GH1 enzymes active over a broad temperature range and toward many different β-linked disaccharides. For some GH1s we also observed activity toward laminarin, a more complex oligosaccharide present as a major component of macroalgae. An area of particular interest was the identification of GH1 enzymes compatible with the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C2mim][OAc]), a next-generation biomass pretreatment technology. We thus searched for GH1 enzymes active at 70 °C and 20% (v/v) [C2mim][OAc] over the course of a 24-h saccharification reaction. Using our unbiased approach, we identified multiple enzymes of different phylogentic origin with such activities. Our approach of characterizing sequence diversity through targeted gene synthesis coupled to high-throughput screening technologies is a broadly applicable paradigm for a wide range of biological problems.

  17. Study of infection by Rickettsiae of the spotted fever group in humans and ticks in an urban park located in the City of Londrina, State of Paraná, Brazil Estudo da infecção por Rickettsias do grupo da febre maculosa em humanos e carrapatos de um parque urbano na Cidade de Londrina, Estado do Paraná

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta Santos Toledo

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Spotted fevers are emerging zoonoses caused by Rickettsia species in the spotted fever group (SFG. Rickettsia rickettsii is the main etiologic agent of Brazilian spotted fever (BSF and it is transmitted by Amblyomma spp. ticks. METHODS: The study aimed to investigate SFG rickettsiae in the Arthur Thomas Municipal Park in Londrina, PR, by collecting free-living ticks and ticks from capybaras and blood samples from personnel working in these areas. Samples from A. dubitatum and A. cajennense were submitted for PCR in pools to analyze the Rickettsia spp. gltA (citrate synthase gene. RESULTS: All the pools analyzed were negative. Human sera were tested by indirect immunofluorescence assay with R. rickettsii and R. parkeri as antigens. Among the 34 sera analyzed, seven (20.6% were reactive for R. rickettsii: four of these had endpoint titers equal to 64, 2 titers were 128 and 1 titer was 256. None of the samples were reactive for R. parkeri. An epidemiological questionnaire was applied to the park staff, but no statistically significant associations were identified. CONCLUSIONS: The serological studies suggest the presence of Rickettsiae related to SFG that could be infecting the human population studied; however, analysis of the ticks collected was unable to determine which species may be involved in transmission to humans.INTRODUÇÃO: A febre maculosa é uma zoonose emergente causada por espécies de Rickettsia do grupo febre maculosa (GFM. Rickettsia rickettsii é o principal agente etiológico da febre maculosa brasileira (FMB e é transmitida por Amblyomma spp. MÉTODOS: Com o objetivo de obter informações sobre GFM Rickettsiae no Parque Municipal Arthur Thomas em Londrina, PR, carrapatos de vida livre e de capivaras foram coletados, assim como amostras de sangue das pessoas que trabalham no parque. A. dubitatum e A. cajennense foram submetidos à PCR em pools para analises de Rickettsia spp. gltA (citrate synthase gene

  18. Pan-genome analysis of Aeromonas hydrophila, Aeromonas veronii and Aeromonas caviae indicates phylogenomic diversity and greater pathogenic potential for Aeromonas hydrophila.

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    Ghatak, Sandeep; Blom, Jochen; Das, Samir; Sanjukta, Rajkumari; Puro, Kekungu; Mawlong, Michael; Shakuntala, Ingudam; Sen, Arnab; Goesmann, Alexander; Kumar, Ashok; Ngachan, S V

    2016-07-01

    Aeromonas species are important pathogens of fishes and aquatic animals capable of infecting humans and other animals via food. Due to the paucity of pan-genomic studies on aeromonads, the present study was undertaken to analyse the pan-genome of three clinically important Aeromonas species (A. hydrophila, A. veronii, A. caviae). Results of pan-genome analysis revealed an open pan-genome for all three species with pan-genome sizes of 9181, 7214 and 6884 genes for A. hydrophila, A. veronii and A. caviae, respectively. Core-genome: pan-genome ratio (RCP) indicated greater genomic diversity for A. hydrophila and interestingly RCP emerged as an effective indicator to gauge genomic diversity which could possibly be extended to other organisms too. Phylogenomic network analysis highlighted the influence of homologous recombination and lateral gene transfer in the evolution of Aeromonas spp. Prediction of virulence factors indicated no significant difference among the three species though analysis of pathogenic potential and acquired antimicrobial resistance genes revealed greater hazards from A. hydrophila. In conclusion, the present study highlighted the usefulness of whole genome analyses to infer evolutionary cues for Aeromonas species which indicated considerable phylogenomic diversity for A. hydrophila and hitherto unknown genomic evidence for pathogenic potential of A. hydrophila compared to A. veronii and A. caviae.

  19. Absence of zoonotic Bartonella species in questing ticks: First detection of Bartonella clarridgeiae and Rickettsia felis in cat fleas in the Netherlands

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    Reimerink Johan R

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Awareness for flea- and tick-borne infections has grown in recent years and the range of microorganisms associated with these ectoparasites is rising. Bartonella henselae, the causative agent of Cat Scratch Disease, and other Bartonella species have been reported in fleas and ticks. The role of Ixodes ricinus ticks in the natural cycle of Bartonella spp. and the transmission of these bacteria to humans is unclear. Rickettsia spp. have also been reported from as well ticks as also from fleas. However, to date no flea-borne Rickettsia spp. were reported from the Netherlands. Here, the presence of Bartonellaceae and Rickettsiae in ectoparasites was investigated using molecular detection and identification on part of the gltA- and 16S rRNA-genes. Results The zoonotic Bartonella clarridgeiae and Rickettsia felis were detected for the first time in Dutch cat fleas. B. henselae was found in cat fleas and B. schoenbuchensis in ticks and keds feeding on deer. Two Bartonella species, previously identified in rodents, were found in wild mice and their fleas. However, none of these microorganisms were found in 1719 questing Ixodes ricinus ticks. Notably, the gltA gene amplified from DNA lysates of approximately 10% of the questing nymph and adult ticks was similar to that of an uncultured Bartonella-related species found in other hard tick species. The gltA gene of this Bartonella-related species was also detected in questing larvae for which a 16S rRNA gene PCR also tested positive for "Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii". The gltA-gene of the Bartonella-related species found in I. ricinus may therefore be from this endosymbiont. Conclusions We conclude that the risk of acquiring Cat Scratch Disease or a related bartonellosis from questing ticks in the Netherlands is negligible. On the other hand fleas and deer keds are probable vectors for associated Bartonella species between animals and might also transmit Bartonella spp. to humans.

  20. Prevalence of infection with Rickettsia helvetica in Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on non-rickettsiemic rodent hosts in sylvatic habitats of west-central Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biernat, Beata; Stańczak, Joanna; Michalik, Jerzy; Sikora, Bożena; Wierzbicka, Anna

    2016-02-01

    Ixodes ricinus is the most prevalent and widely distributed tick species in European countries and plays a principal role in transmission of a wide range of microbial pathogens. It is also a main vector and reservoir of Rickettsia spp. of the spotted fever group with the infection level ranging in Poland from 1.3% to 11.4%. Nevertheless, little research has been conducted so far to identify reservoir hosts for these pathogens. A survey was undertaken to investigate the presence of Rickettsia spp. in wild small rodents and detached I. ricinus. Rodents, Apodemus flavicollis mice and Myodes glareolus voles were captured in typically sylvatic habitats of west-central Poland. Blood samples and collected ticks were analyzed by conventional, semi-nested and nested PCRs. Rickettsial species were determined by sequence analysis of obtained fragments of gltA and 16S rRNA genes. A total of 2339 immature I. ricinus (mostly larvae) were collected from 158 animals. Proportion of hosts carrying ticks was 84%, being higher for A. flavicollis than for M. glareolus. Rickettsia helvetica, the only species identified, was detected in 8% of 12 nymphs and in at least 10.7% (MIR) of 804 larvae investigated. Prevalence of infected ticks on both rodent species was comparable (10.8 vs. 9%). None of blood samples tested was positive for Rickettsia spp. The results showed that in sylvatic habitats the level of infestation with larval I. ricinus was higher in A. flavicollis mice in comparison with M. glareolus voles. They show that R. helvetica frequently occurred in ticks feeding on rodents. Positive immature ticks were collected from non-rickettsiemic hosts what might suggest a vertical route of their infection (transovarial and/or transstadial) or a very short-lasting rickettsiemia in rodents. A natural vertebrate reservoir host for R. helvetica remains to be determined. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  1. Detection of Rickettsia Species in Fleas Collected from Cats in Regions Endemic and Nonendemic for Flea-Borne Rickettsioses in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billeter, Sarah A; Diniz, Pedro Paulo Vissotto de Paiva; Jett, Lindsey A; Wournell, Andrea L; Kjemtrup, Anne M; Padgett, Kerry A; Yoshimizu, Melissa Hardstone; Metzger, Marco E; Barr, Margaret C

    2016-03-01

    Rickettsia typhi, transmitted by rat fleas, causes most human flea-borne rickettsioses worldwide. Another rickettsia, Rickettsia felis, found in cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis, has also been implicated as a potential human pathogen. In the continental United States, human cases of flea-borne rickettsioses are reported primarily from the southern regions of Texas and California where the cat flea is considered the principal vector. In California, more than 90% of locally acquired human cases are reported from suburban communities within Los Angeles and Orange counties despite the almost ubiquitous presence of cat fleas and their hosts throughout the state. The objective of this study is to assess the presence and infection rate of Rickettsia species in cat fleas from selected endemic and nonendemic regions of California. Cat fleas were collected from cats in Los Angeles County (endemic region) and Sacramento and Contra Costa counties (nonendemic region). Sequencing of 17 amplicons confirmed the presence of R. felis in both the endemic and non-endemic regions with a calculated maximum likelihood estimation of 131 and 234 per 1000 fleas, respectively. R. typhi was not detected in any flea pools. Two R. felis-like genotypes were also detected in fleas from Los Angeles County; Genotype 1 was detected in 1 flea pool and Genotype 2 was found in 10 flea pools. Genotype 1 was also detected in a single flea pool from Sacramento County. Results from this study show that R. felis is widespread in cat flea populations in both flea-borne rickettsioses endemic and nonendemic regions of California, suggesting that a high prevalence of this bacterium in cat fleas does not predispose to increased risk of human infection. Further studies are needed to elucidate the role of R. felis and the two R. felis-like organisms as etiologic agents of human flea-borne rickettsioses in California.

  2. Two Pathogens and One Disease: Detection and Identification of Flea-Borne Rickettsiae in Areas Endemic for Murine Typhus in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    EREMEEVA, MARINA E.; KARPATHY, SANDOR E.; KRUEGER, LAURA; HAYES, ERICA K.; WILLIAMS, ASHLEY M.; ZALDIVAR, YAMITZEL; BENNETT, STEPHEN; CUMMINGS, ROBERT; TILZER, ART; VELTEN, ROBERT K.; KERR, NELSON; DASCH, GREGORY A.; HU, RENJIE

    2018-01-01

    Results of an environmental assessment conducted in a newly emergent focus of murine typhus in southern California are described. Opossums, Didelphis virginiana Kerr, infested with cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis Buché, in the suburban area were abundant. Animal and flea specimens were tested for the DNA of two flea-borne rickettsiae, Rickettsia typhi and Rickettsia felis. R. felis was commonly detected in fleas collected throughout this area while R. typhi was found at a much lower prevalence in the vicinity of just 7 of 14 case-patient homes identified. DNA of R. felis, but not R. typhi, was detected in renal, hepatic, and pulmonary tissues of opossums. In contrast, there were no hematologic polymerase chain reaction findings of R. felis or R. typhi in opossums, rats, and cats within the endemic area studied. Our data suggest a significant probability of human exposure to R. felis in the area studied; however, disease caused by this agent is not recognized by the medical community and may be misdiagnosed as murine typhus using nondiscriminatory serologic methods. PMID:23270180

  3. Transcriptional regulation of the gltA and tlc genes in Rickettsia prowazekii growing in a respiration-deficient host cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cai, J.; Winkler, H.H.

    1997-01-01

    The regulation of the citrate synthase (gltA) and ATP/ADP translocase (tlc) genes of the obligate intracellular bacterium, Rickettsia prowazekii, was analyzed in rickettsia-infected respiration-deficient G14 cells. The level of the gltA mRNAII and the tlc mRNA was much lower in the total RNA isolated from the infected G 14 cells grown in 1 g/1 glucose (low glucose, GL) medium than in that from infected G 14 cells grown in 4.5 g/l glucose (high glucose, GH) medium. However, the level of the gltA mRNAI relative to 16 S rRNA was the same in GL and GH media. An increase in the level of the gltA mRNAII and the tlc mRNA could be observed as early as 2 hrs after shifting from GL to GH medium. We conclude that, under these experimental conditions, the tlc promoter and the gltA promoter P2, but not gltA promoter P1, were transcriptionally regulated. Key words: Rickettsia prowazekii; gltA gene; tlC gene; transcriptional regulation; G 14 cells (authors)

  4. Seroprevalencia de Hantavirus, Rickettsia y Chikungunya en población indígena del municipio de Tuchín, Córdoba

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    Samia Barrera

    Full Text Available Introducción: La vigilancia de las enfermedades transmitidas por vectores es importante para establecer medidas de control en salud pública. Las poblaciones indígenas de Córdoba viven en condiciones geoclimáticas que favorecen la presencia de vectores que podrían permitir la diseminación y aparición de hantavirosis, rickettsiosis y fiebre por el virus Chikungunya. Objetivo: Establecer la seroprevalencia de Hantavirus, Rickettsia sp. y Chikungunya en la población indígena de Tuchín, Córdoba. Materiales y métodos: Se realizó un estudio descriptivo de corte transversal en 190 individuos del resguardo indígena del municipio de Tuchín; el muestreo fue realizado entre agosto y diciembre del 2012. La detección de anticuerpos IgG contra Hantavirus se llevó a cabo con la prueba IgG DxSelectTM (Focus Technologies, EL1600G, California, EE. UU., anticuerpos IgG contra Rickettsia sp. se determinaron por inmunofluorescencia indirecta y se realizó detección de anticuerpos IgG contra el virus Chikungunya mediante ELISA de captura (Nova-Tec, inmunodiagnostica GmbH, CHIG0590, Alemania. Resultados: De 190 sueros analizados, el 5,2% (10/190 fueron positivos para Rickettsia sp. del grupo de la fiebre manchada, para Hantavirus 7 de 87 (8% fueron positivos y no se encontraron positivos para Chikungunya. No se encontraron diferencias significativas (p = 0,05 entre los seropositivos de Hantavirus y Rickettsia sp. para las variables género, edad y ocupación. Conclusiones: Los hallazgos demuestran exposición previa a Rickettsia sp. y a Hantavirus en la población indígena de Tuchín. Los resultados pueden ser útiles para establecer una alerta sobre estas fiebres hemorrágicas. Aunque no se hallaron seropositivos para Chikungunya, este fue el primer trabajo de vigilancia epidemiológica realizado en Colombia sobre este virus.

  5. Phylogenomic Analysis Reveals an Asian Origin for African Burkholderia pseudomallei and Further Supports Melioidosis Endemicity in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarovich, Derek S; Garin, Benoit; De Smet, Birgit; Kaestli, Mirjam; Mayo, Mark; Vandamme, Peter; Jacobs, Jan; Lompo, Palpouguini; Tahita, Marc C; Tinto, Halidou; Djaomalaza, Innocente; Currie, Bart J; Price, Erin P

    2016-01-01

    Burkholderia pseudomallei, an environmental bacterium that causes the deadly disease melioidosis, is endemic in northern Australia and Southeast Asia. An increasing number of melioidosis cases are being reported in other tropical regions, including Africa and the Indian Ocean islands. B. pseudomallei first emerged in Australia, with subsequent rare dissemination event(s) to Southeast Asia; however, its dispersal to other regions is not yet well understood. We used large-scale comparative genomics to investigate the origins of three B. pseudomallei isolates from Madagascar and two from Burkina Faso. Phylogenomic reconstruction demonstrates that these African B. pseudomallei isolates group into a single novel clade that resides within the more ancestral Asian clade. Intriguingly, South American strains reside within the African clade, suggesting more recent dissemination from West Africa to the Americas. Anthropogenic factors likely assisted in B. pseudomallei dissemination to Africa, possibly during migration of the Austronesian peoples from Indonesian Borneo to Madagascar ~2,000 years ago, with subsequent genetic diversity driven by mutation and recombination. Our study provides new insights into global patterns of B. pseudomallei dissemination and adds to the growing body of evidence of melioidosis endemicity in Africa. Our findings have important implications for melioidosis diagnosis and management in Africa. IMPORTANCE Sporadic melioidosis cases have been reported in the African mainland and Indian Ocean islands, but until recently, these regions were not considered areas where B. pseudomallei is endemic. Given the high mortality rate of melioidosis