Volume 74, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The presence of , an emerging bacterial pathogen, was investigated in 79 cat flea () pools from Israel (5 to 20 fleas each) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing of 5 different genes. Amplified targets included both metabolic ( and ) and surface antigen (, and the 17-kDa antigen) genes. DNA was detected in 7.6% of the flea pools. Two genotypes similar in their housekeeping gene sequences but markedly different in their surface antigenic genetic milieus were characterized. This is the first detection of this flea-transmitted rickettsia within its vector in Israel and the Middle East. Although no clinical case has been reported in human beings in Israel to date, these findings suggest that this infection is prevalent in Israel.


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  • Received : 03 Aug 2005
  • Accepted : 08 Nov 2005

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