Coxiella burnetii and Coxiella-like endosymbionts (CLEs) have been widely discovered in various ticks, animals, and even human beings. To estimate the possible origin of C. burnetii and its relatives CLEs, the prevalence of C. burnetii and CLEs has been intensively surveyed all over the world.
In the present study, the possible infection of C. burnetii and CLEs in host-seeking Haemaphysalis concinna was performed with meta-transcript analysis with tick specimens harvested from Mudanjiang City, Heilongjiang province, China. The meta-transcript results were subsequently confirmed by the specific sequence of partial 16S rRNA.
A total of three arrays of gene transcripts were harvested, including pyrophosphate-fructose 6-phosphate 1-phosphotransferase-eda-thiol-disulfide isomerase and thioredoxin-greA, carB-carA-DnaJ-DnaK-grpE-ppnk, ropC-ropB, and ubiA-non-canonical purine NTP pyrophosphatase-hemK-prfA, which suggest the infection of Candidatus Coxiella mudorwiae in H. concinna. The high identity of the 16S rRNA gene of Candidatus C. mudorwiae achieved in our study strongly supports our meta-transcripts analysis.
The prevalence of Candidatus C. mudorwiae in hard ticks has been discovered in China. More detailed surveys are imperative to clarify the emergence of CLEs and their implication in the epidemiologic characteristics of Q fever.