Volume 77, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Rickettsioses are emerging infectious diseases caused by rickettsiae in association with arthropods. We report the detection of spotted fever group rickettsiae (SFGR) in Taiwan using molecular methods. Phylogenetic analyses of the 17-kd protein and citrate synthase () genes showed that SFGR TwKM01 detected in ticks was most similar to . Three TwKM01 isolates were obtained from three individual ticks. Small, intracellular, coccobacillary bacteria were found in infected L929 cells using immunofluorescence antibody testing and transmission electron microscopy. Two other SFGRs, TwKM02 and TwKM03, identified in chigger mites, were closely related to and URRWXCal, respectively. The TwKM03 strain was also detected in ticks and widely distributed in Hualien, Kinmen, and Lienchiang counties in Taiwan. The endonucleases II and I selected for restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the and 17-kd polymerase chain reaction products, respectively, were useful for genotyping species TwKM01, TwKM02, TwKM03, and other SFGRs. Although their infectivity and pathogenicity for vertebrates are unknown, the finding of SFGRs raises the possibility that bacteria other than , , and may be involved in rickettsial diseases in Taiwan.


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  • Received : 14 Feb 2007
  • Accepted : 02 Aug 2007

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