Isolation of a Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia from the Pacific Coast Tick, Ixodes Pacificus, in Oregon

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  • U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratory, Department of Human Resources, Health Division, Hamilton, Montana 59840

A rickettsia of the spotted fever group was isolated on three occasions from Ixodes pacificus in western Oregon. These isolations, and additional evidence furnished by complement fixation tests on guinea pigs inoculated with other Oregon ticks of this species, indicate that the association of this rickettsia with the Pacific Coast tick may be widespread. This is the first isolation of a spotted fever group rickettsia from I. pacificus. Because the Oregon isolates are mildly virulent for guinea pigs they resemble the Western U and Rickettsia montana strains of rickettsiae. However, preliminary evidence from cross-immunofluorescence tests of mouse antisera suggests the Tillamook and Grants Pass strains are antigenically different from all known spotted fever group agents.