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Occurrence and Genotyping of Coxiella burnetii in Ixodid Ticks in Oromia, Ethiopia

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  • Unité de Recherche en Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales Emergentes (URMITE; UM63, CNRS 7278, IRD 198, Inserm 1095), Aix Marseille Université, Faculté de Médecine, Marseille, France

This study was conducted from September 2011 to March 2014 to address the occurrence and genotypes of Coxiella burnetii using molecular methods in ticks collected from domestic animals in Ethiopia. Ticks were tested for C. burnetii by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) targeting two different genes followed by multispacer sequence typing (MST). An overall prevalence of 6.4% (54/842) of C. burnetii was recorded. C. burnetii was detected in 28.6% (14/49) of Amblyomma gemma, 25% (31/124) of Rhipicephalus pulchellus, 7.1% (1/14) of Hyalomma marginatum rufipes, 3.2% (2/62) of Am. variegatum, 3.1% (4/128) of Am. cohaerens, 1.6% (1/63) of Rh. praetextatus, and 0.6% (1/153) of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decoloratus. Significantly higher overall frequencies of C. burnetii DNA were observed in Am. gemma and Rh. pulchellus than in other tick species (Mantel–Haenszel [MH], P < 0.0001). The overall frequency of C. burnetii was significantly higher (MH, P < 0.0001) in ticks from southeastern districts (Arero, Moyale, and Yabelo) than that from other districts. This study demonstrated the presence of C. burnetii genotype MST 18 in ticks in southeastern districts and genotype MST 20 in ticks in central districts. This study highlights the importance of ticks in the epidemiology of C. burnetii in Ethiopia.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Philippe Parola, Unité de Recherche en Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales Emergentes (URMITE; UM63, CNRS 7278, IRD 198, Inserm 1095), Aix Marseille Université, Faculté de Médecine, Marseille, France. E-mail: philippe.parola@univ-amu.fr

Authors' addresses: Bersissa Kumsa, Cristina Socolovschi, Lionel Almeras, and Didier Raoult, Unité de Recherche en Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales Emergentes (URMITE; UM63, CNRS 7278, IRD 198, Inserm 1095), Aix Marseille Université, Faculté de Médecine, Marseille, France, E-mails: bersissak@yahoo.com, cr_socolovschi@yahoo.com, almeras.lionel@gmail.com, and didier.raoult@gmail.com. Philippe Parola, Unité de Recherche en Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales Emergentes (URMITE; UM63, CNRS 7278, IRD 198, Inserm 1095), Aix Marseille Université, Faculté de Médecine, Marseille, France, E-mail: philippe.parola@univ-amu.fr.

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