Identification of an Isolate of Rickettsia Canada from California

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  • Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Department of Entomological Sciences, University of California, Hamilton, Montana 59840

Abstract. A strain of Rickettsia canada was recovered in 1980 from an adult rabbit tick, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, taken from a black-tailed jack rabbit, Lepus californicus, in Mendocino County, California. In all examined biologic characteristics, this isolate, CA410, is indistinguishable from the prototype, strain 2678, isolated in Ontario, Canada, in 1963. These similarities include serologic and immunologic reactivity in laboratory mice and guinea pigs, cultural characteristics in Vero cells, chick embryo cells and embryonated eggs, low pathogenicity for mice, meadow voles and guinea pigs, unusual resistance to streptomycin, morphology by electron microscopy, and molar percentages of guanine plus cytosine of the deoxyribonucleic acids. Recovery of this second strain in the same species of tick, but far removed in time and place from the origin of the prototype, provides evidence that R. canada is an established, ecologically stable, rickettsia in North America.

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