Volume 50, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Adult ticks were collected in a rural area of central Greece in order to isolate and identify rickettsiae. A hemolymph test using Gimenez staining was used for detection, while simultaneous isolation was performed using the shell-vial technique. Serologic, antigenic, and genomic characterization of the isolates was achieved by microimmunofluorescence, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and Western blotting, the polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), respectively. Although none of the 242 collected ticks was positive by the hemolymph test, one rickettsial isolate, designated GS, was obtained by the shell-vial technique. This isolate originated from a female . Microimmunofluorescence serologic typing by the method of Philip and others demonstrated that GS belongs to the same serotype as the recently isolated (Mtul). Protein analysis by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting by Western blot revealed similar profiles between the two rickettsiae. Using I, I, and I restriction endonucleases in PCR-RFLP analysis, GS and were found to possess identical restriction sites. However, PFGE showed differences when the two genomes were digested with HII and I restriction endonucleases, in spite of their equal size. In conclusion, the first rickettsial isolation in Greece was found to be antigenically identical and genotypically close to the French isolate , despite small differences showed by PFGE.


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