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Volume 15, Number 1—January 2009

Dispatch

Rickettsia helvetica in Dermacentor reticulatus Ticks

Marinko DobecComments to Author , Dragutin Golubic, Volga Punda-Polic, Franz KaeppeliComments to Author , and Martin Sievers
Author affiliations: Medizinische Laboratorien Dr F. Kaeppeli, Zurich, Switzerland (M. Dobec, F. Kaeppeli); University of Split School of Medicine, Split, Croatia (M. Dobec, V. Punda-Polic); County Hospital, Cakovec, Croatia (D. Golubic); Split University Hospital, Split (V. Punda-Polic); Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Waedenswil, Switzerland (M. Sievers)

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Table 2

Identification of Dermacentor, Rickettsia, and Borrelia species by molecular methods

Species Identification method Targeting sequence Confirmation Results
Dermacentor spp. PCR ITS2 (646 bp) Sequencing 13/13 (100%) positive;* 99.8% identical to 
D. reticulatus ITS2 sequence (S83080)
R. helvetica Real-time PCR ompB (162 bp) Sequencing 11/100 (11%) positive;† 100% identical to 
R. helvetica strain C9P9 (AF123725)
R. slovaca Real-time PCR ompA (228 bp) Sequencing 3/100 (3%) positive;† 100% identical to 
R. slovaca strains‡
B. burgdorferi Real-time PCR flaB (p41) Not done (PCR negative) 0/100 positive; not detected in 
Dermacentor spp. ticks§

*Only infected ticks (13 ticks) were identified by molecular methods (PCR and sequencing).
†100 ticks were analyzed; 10 were positive for R. helvetica only, 2 for R. slovaca; 1 was co-infected with R. helvetica and R. slovaca.
‡ GenBank accession nos. EU622810, DQ649052, DQ649051, DQ649050, DQ649049, DQ649048, DQ649047, DQ649046, DQ649045, DQ649030, DQ649029, Q649027, DQ649054, DQ649053, and U43808.
§DNA of B. burgdorferi DSM 4680 and B. afzelii DSM 10508 were used as positive controls.

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