Rickettsia felis in Ctenocephalides felis from Guatemala and Costa Rica

Adriana Troyo Departamento de Parasitología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Centro de Estudios en Salud, Instituto de Investigaciones, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala; Departamento de Microbiología e Inmunología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; International Emerging Infectious Diseases Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia

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Danilo Álvarez Departamento de Parasitología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Centro de Estudios en Salud, Instituto de Investigaciones, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala; Departamento de Microbiología e Inmunología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; International Emerging Infectious Diseases Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia

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Lizeth Taylor Departamento de Parasitología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Centro de Estudios en Salud, Instituto de Investigaciones, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala; Departamento de Microbiología e Inmunología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; International Emerging Infectious Diseases Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia

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Gabriela Abdalla Departamento de Parasitología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Centro de Estudios en Salud, Instituto de Investigaciones, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala; Departamento de Microbiología e Inmunología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; International Emerging Infectious Diseases Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia

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Ólger Calderón-Arguedas Departamento de Parasitología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Centro de Estudios en Salud, Instituto de Investigaciones, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala; Departamento de Microbiología e Inmunología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; International Emerging Infectious Diseases Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia

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Maria L. Zambrano Departamento de Parasitología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Centro de Estudios en Salud, Instituto de Investigaciones, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala; Departamento de Microbiología e Inmunología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; International Emerging Infectious Diseases Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia

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Gregory A. Dasch Departamento de Parasitología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Centro de Estudios en Salud, Instituto de Investigaciones, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala; Departamento de Microbiología e Inmunología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; International Emerging Infectious Diseases Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia

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Kim Lindblade Departamento de Parasitología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Centro de Estudios en Salud, Instituto de Investigaciones, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala; Departamento de Microbiología e Inmunología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; International Emerging Infectious Diseases Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia

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Laya Hun Departamento de Parasitología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Centro de Estudios en Salud, Instituto de Investigaciones, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala; Departamento de Microbiología e Inmunología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; International Emerging Infectious Diseases Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia

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Marina E. Eremeeva Departamento de Parasitología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Centro de Estudios en Salud, Instituto de Investigaciones, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala; Departamento de Microbiología e Inmunología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; International Emerging Infectious Diseases Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia

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Alejandra Estévez Departamento de Parasitología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Centro de Estudios en Salud, Instituto de Investigaciones, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala; Departamento de Microbiología e Inmunología, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; International Emerging Infectious Diseases Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia

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Rickettsia felis is an emerging human pathogen associated primarily with the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis. In this study, we investigated the presence of Rickettsia felis in C. felis from Guatemala and Costa Rica. Ctenocephalides felis were collected directly from dogs and cats, and analyzed by polymerase chain reaction for Rickettsia-specific fragments of 17-kDa protein, OmpA, and citrate synthase genes. Rickettsia DNA was detected in 64% (55 of 86) and 58% (47 of 81) of flea pools in Guatemala and Costa Rica, respectively. Sequencing of gltA fragments identified R. felis genotype URRWXCal2 in samples from both countries, and genotype Rf2125 in Costa Rica. This is the first report of R. felis in Guatemala and of genotype Rf2125 in Costa Rica. The extensive presence of this pathogen in countries of Central America stresses the need for increased awareness and diagnosis.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Adriana Troyo, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José 11501, Costa Rica. E-mail: adriana.troyo@ucr.ac.cr

Financial support: This research was supported by NeTropica 9-N-2008, Universidad de Costa Rica 803-A8-127, and Cooperative Agreement No. UO1 GH000028 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Authors' addresses: Adriana Troyo, Lizeth Taylor, Ólger Calderón-Arguedas, and Laya Hun, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica, E-mails: adriana.troyo@ucr.ac.cr, mayra.taylor@ucr.ac.cr, olger.calderon@ucr.ac.cr, and ruchlia.hun@ucr.ac.cr. Danilo Álvarez, Gabriela Abdalla, and Alejandra Estévez, Centro de Estudios en Salud, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala, E-mails: dalvarez@ces.uvg.edu.gt, gabdalla@ces.uvg.edu.gt, and alestevez@yahoo.com. Kim Lindblade, CDC Regional Office for Central America and Panama, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala, E-mail: kil2@cdc.gov. Maria L. Zambrano, and Gregory A. Dasch, Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: mzambrano@cdc.gov and gdasch@cdc.gov. Marina E. Eremeeva, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA, E-mail: meremeeva@georgiasouthern.edu.

Reprint requests: Adriana Troyo, Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José 11501, Costa Rica, Tel: (506) 2511-5430, Fax: (506) 2511 4360, E-mail: adriana.troyo@ucr.ac.cr.

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