Prevalence of Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia and Candidatus Lariskella in Multiple Tick Species from Guizhou Province, China

Lu et al. (2022). Biomolecules 12 (11)
Ca. Rickettsia jingxinensis Ca. Midichloriaceae Ca. Midichloria mitochondrii Ca. Lariskella guizhouensis Ca. Lariskella
Biochemistry Molecular Biology
Rickettsiales (Rickettsia spp., Ehrlichia spp., and Anaplasma spp., etc.) are generally recognized as potentially emerging tick-borne pathogens. However, some bacteria and areas in China remain uninvestigated. In this study, we collected 113 ticks from mammals in Guizhou Province, Southwest China, and screened for the Rickettsiales bacteria. Subsequently, two spotted fever group Rickettsia species and one Candidatus Lariskella sp. were detected and characterized. “Candidatus Rickettsia jingxinensis” was detected in Rhipicephalus microplus (1/1), Haemaphysalis flava (1/3, 33.33%), Haemaphysalis kitaokai (1/3), and Ixodes sinensis (4/101, 3.96%), whereas Rickettsia monacensis was positive in H. flava (1/3), H. kitaokai (2/3), and I. sinensis ticks (74/101, 73.27%). At least two variants/sub-genotypes were identified in the R. monacensis isolates, and the strikingly high prevalence of R. monacensis may suggest a risk of human infection. Unexpectedly, a Candidatus Lariskella sp. belonging to the family Candidatus Midichloriaceae was detected from Ixodes ovatus (1/4) and I. sinensis (10/101, 9.90%). The gltA and groEL gene sequences were successfully obtained, and they show the highest (74.63–74.89% and 73.31%) similarities to “Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii”, respectively. Herein, we name the species “Candidatus Lariskella guizhouensis”. These may be the first recovered gltA and groEL sequences of the genus Candidatus Lariskella.
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