Short report: isolation and identification of two spotted fever group rickettsial strains from patients in Catalonia, Spain.

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  • 1 Programa Asistencial de Malalties Infeccioses i Secció de Microbiologia, Corporació Sanitària Parc Tauli, Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain.

Two rickettsial strains, 16B (previously isolated) and FB1, were isolated from blood from patients with Mediterranean spotted fever in Catalonia, Spain. These are the only 2 human rickettsial isolates of the spotted fever group obtained so far in Spain. These strains were identified by the polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis of a fragment of the outer membrane protein A (ompA) gene. The partial ompA sequence was found to be 100% identical with that of Rickettsia conorii (Malish 7 strain) for both strains. These results confirm the presence of R. conorii in Catalonia, despite the fact that in a previous study, no R. conorii were isolated, but a new rickettsial strain of the spotted fever group (Bar29) was isolated from dog ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) in Catalonia. Further studies are necessary to get a better knowledge of the epidemiology of rickettsiae in Catalonia.