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    Kelly PJ, Lucas H, Eremeeva ME, Dirks KG, Rolain JM, Yowell C, Thomas R, Douglas T, Dasch GA, Raoult D, 2010. Rickettsia felis, West Indies. Emerg Infect Dis 16 : 570571.

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Rickettsia felis in Ctenocephalides felis from Guatemala and Costa Rica

Adriana TroyoDepartamento 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 ÁlvarezDepartamento 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 TaylorDepartamento 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 AbdallaDepartamento 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-ArguedasDepartamento 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. ZambranoDepartamento 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. DaschDepartamento 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 LindbladeDepartamento 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 HunDepartamento 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. EremeevaDepartamento 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 EstévezDepartamento 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.

Rickettsia felis is an emerging pathogen, which was first detected in the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. It was later associated with human disease manifesting with fever, headaches, myalgia, and occasionally rash.1 Even though R. felis has also been detected in domestic and wild animals, their susceptibility to this bacterium and their role as reservoirs has not been well established.2

Rickettsia felis has a cosmopolitan distribution associated with fleas. In the Americas, human disease caused by R. felis has been described from the United States, Mexico, and Brazil.2,3 Furthermore, DNA of R. felis has also been detected in fleas from Peru, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, and more recently in the West Indies, Panamá, and Costa Rica.27 There is no evidence yet of human disease caused by R. felis in Central America, although human exposure to pathogenic spotted fever group rickettsiae different from R. rickettsii, may occur in this region.8,9 As part of an ongoing project to characterize rickettsial diseases in Guatemala and Costa Rica, we assessed the presence of R. felis in sites where cases of rickettsioses have been previously reported.

Entomological surveys were carried out at several locations in Guatemala and Costa Rica throughout 2009 and 2010, including wet and dry seasons. Collection sites in Guatemala were located in the Southeastern region, departments of Santa Rosa (14°16′N, 90°18′W) and Jutiapa (14°16′N, 89°53′W), an area suspected of a spotted fever outbreak in 2007 (Eremeeva ME, unpublished data). In Costa Rica, collections were performed at sites from the Caribbean slope of the country, where cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and uncharacterized spotted fevers have been documented,10 specifically in the districts of Turrialba (9°54′N, 83°41′W), La Virgen (10°23′N, 84°08′W), Limón (9°59′N, 83°02′W), Cahuita (9°44′N, 82°50′W), Guápiles (10°13′N, 83°47′W), Guácimo (10°12′N, 83°41′W), and Jiménez (10°12′N, 83°44′W). Additional samples of C. felis from two locations in San José (9°55′N, 84°04′W), obtained by the laboratory of Medical Arthropodology (University of Costa Rica) through the general public as part of inquiries and identification services, were also analyzed.

At collection locations (households, farms, etc.) fleas were collected from household cats and dogs, and from opossums captured using live animal traps. Ctenocephalides felis were grouped into lots according to host species, collection site, and location.

For the preliminary detection of DNA of Rickettsia spp., pools of 1–10 C. felis from each lot were analyzed using nested and semi-nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays targeting specific fragments of the 17-kDa protein and OmpA genes. Primers R17-122 and R17-500 were used for the primary PCR of Rickettsia-specific 17-kDa protein gene, and nested PCRs were performed using primers TZ15 and TZ16 or RP2 and RPID, which detect fragments specific for Rickettsia of the spotted fever group and typhus group, respectively.11,12 For ompA, primers Rr190-70 and Rr190-701 were used in the first PCR, and Rr190-70 and Rr190-602 for the semi-nested PCR.12 Detection of positive samples was further confirmed in samples from Guatemala using a TaqMan assay for the citrate synthase (gltA) gene that is species specific for detection of R. typhi and R. felis,13 or by the Rickettsia spp. wide-range gltA assay using primers CS-78 and CS-323 in samples from Costa Rica.14

Three-hundred thirty-three C. felis were collected from two sites in Guatemala and grouped into 86 pools, including 73 flea pools from dogs and 13 from cats (Table 1). The DNA of Rickettsia was detected in 55 pools (64%), 54 from Jutiapa (78% collected from dogs and 22% from cats) and one pool from Santa Rosa collected from a dog.

In Costa Rica, a total 439 C. felis was collected from the different sites, all samples collected from dogs and cats (Table 1). Forty-seven pools (58%) contained Rickettsia DNA by positive PCR for at least two of the three genes analyzed, and positivity varied between sites. Forty-four of 74 pools from dogs (59%) and 3 of 7 pools from cats (43%) were positive. No C. felis was found on two Didelphis marsupialis and three Philander opossum captured in Cahuita, Guácimo, Limón, and Turrialba.

Table 1

Rickettsia felis frequency and gltA genotypes in Ctenocephalides felis pools from different areas of Guatemala and Costa Rica

Country Site C. felis collected Flea pools Positive pools (%) Samples sequenced R. felis genotype
Dogs Cats Total
Guatemala Jutiapa 269 57 13 70 54 (77) 22 URRWXCal2
Santa Rosa 64 16 0 16 1 (6) 1* URRWXCal2
All sites 333 73 13 86 55 (65) 23
Costa Rica Cahuita 96 11 1 12 6 (50) 6 Rf2125
Guápiles/Jiménez/Guácimo 107 20 1 21 12 (57) 7 Rf2125
La Virgen 71 11 3 14 3 (21) 2 Rf2125
Limón 59 13 2 15 10 (67) 9 Rf2125
Turrialba 73 14 0 14 13 (93) 11 Rf2125
San José 33 5 0 5 3 (60) 3 URRWXCal2
All sites 416 74 7 81 47 (58) 38

ompA amplicon.

The DNA of R. typhi was not detected during this study. The presence of R. felis DNA in C. felis from Guatemala was confirmed by multiplex TaqMan gltA assay. Only one genetic type of gltA was found by sequencing of the TaqMan product, and it was the same as the URRWXCal2 reference strain of R. felis from California (CP000053). In contrast, two genotypes were identified in fleas from Costa Rica after sequencing gltA amplicons of 38 of 47 positive samples (81%), Rf2125 (AF516333) and URRWXCal2 of R. felis (Table 1). The gltA fragments were identical between the three sequences of R. felis URRWXCal2 analyzed from Costa Rica, and similarity was 99.25% (399 of 402) with the sequence reported in GenBank (CP000053). The only Costa Rican fleas containing R. felis URRWXCal2 were from dogs from the capital city, San José. Two different sequences were detected in gltA fragments of R. felis Rf2125 from positive samples of all other sites in Costa Rica, and they were both 99.25% (399 of 402) similar to the corresponding fragment of the sequence reported in GenBank (AF516333). GenBank accession nos. for fragments of R. felis gltA obtained in this study are JF523341 (Guatemala) and JN982948-JN982950 (Costa Rica).

To our knowledge, we describe the first detection of R. felis in C. felis from Guatemala. This common and widespread occurrence of R. felis in fleas in Costa Rica and Guatemala is similar to findings previously reported from other countries in Latin America.1517 For example, in a study that analyzed pools of C. felis from Iquitos, Peru, 71 of 74 pools contained R. felis.17

In both countries, R. felis was detected in C. felis from both dogs and cats, although more dogs were sampled. Furthermore, R. felis was detected frequently on fleas from dogs, suggesting this may be a relevant host in maintaining C. felis and possibly R. felis in the areas studied. Considering the close relationship with pet owners, dogs may indirectly pose a risk for human infection, because they may promote exposure by transporting the infected fleas to the resident environment. Although Didelphis virginiana opossums have been associated with a life cycle of R. felis in wild-caught C. felis in Texas and California,18 C. felis were not found on the few opossums captured during this study. Therefore, additional trapping of opossums is needed to elucidate their role in circulation of R. felis in Costa Rica and Guatemala.

Human infection with R. felis has not been documented in Central America, although R. felis was reported recently in Panamá and Costa Rica.57 There are previous reports of R. felis Rf2125 in Latin America and other countries, but as no human disease has yet been associated with this genotype, its pathogenic potential warrants further evaluation.19,20 Moreover, this study shows the presence of at least two different genotypes of R. felis, including the pathogenic URRWXCal2 strain, in regions of Central America. Whether either of these genetic types has an adaptive advantage in infecting fleas has not yet been evaluated.

Because C. felis was frequently found on cats and dogs in this study, and substantial numbers of fleas tested were infected with R. felis, humans may have a high probability of exposure to this pathogenic Rickettsia. Clinical signs and symptoms of R. felis infection are very similar to those of other rickettsioses and resemble other more commonly diagnosed tropical diseases, such as dengue and malaria.3,21,22 Therefore, it is likely that infections caused by this pathogen are underestimated and misdiagnosed by the medical community throughout Central America. Because R. felis may cause severe illness in some individuals,3,23 proper physician education, disease awareness, and adequate diagnosis are essential.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:

We thank David Morán, Luis Escobar, and Ramón Medrano from Guatemala, and Adrian Avendaño, Ivan Coronado, Luis Vargas, Greivin Rodriguez, Julio Rojas, and Gilberth Alvarado from Costa Rica, for technical support during entomological surveys. Jusara Ortiz, Carlos Mata, and Carlos Vargas are also acknowledged for technical support during PCR analyses in Costa Rica. We also thank Marcelo B. Labruna for confirmation of Rickettsia genotypes from Costa Rica, and Michael L. Levin and Marcelo Labruna for their helpful guidance and suggestions.

  • 1.

    Pérez-Osorio CE, Zavala-Velázquez JE, Arias León JJ, Zavala-Castro JE, 2008. Rickettsia felis as emergent global threat for humans. Emerg Infect Dis 14 : 10191023.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Reif KE, Macaluso KR, 2009. Ecology of Rickettsia felis: a review. J Med Entomol 46 : 723736.

  • 3.

    Parola P, 2011. Rickettsia felis: from a rare disease in the USA to a common cause of fever in sub-Saharan Africa. Clin Microbiol Infect 17 : 9961000.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Kelly PJ, Lucas H, Eremeeva ME, Dirks KG, Rolain JM, Yowell C, Thomas R, Douglas T, Dasch GA, Raoult D, 2010. Rickettsia felis, West Indies. Emerg Infect Dis 16 : 570571.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Bermúdez CSE, Zaldívar AY, Spolidorio MG, Moraes-Filho J, Miranda RJ, Caballero CM, Mendoza Y, Labruna MB, 2011. Rickettsial infection in domestic mammals and their ectoparasites in el Valle de Antón, Coclé, Panamá. Vet Parasitol 177 : 134138.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Hun L, Troyo A, Taylor L, Barbieri AM, Labruna MB, 2011. First report of the isolation and molecular characterization of Rickettsia amblyommii and Rickettsia felis in Central America. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 11 : 13951397.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Labruna MB, Mattar VS, Nava S, Bermudez S, Venzal JM, Dolz G, Abarca K, Romero L, de Sousa R, Oteo J, Zavala-Castro J, 2011. Rickettsioses in Latin America, Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal. Rev MVZ Córdoba 16 : 24352457.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Chen LH, Wilson ME, 2009. Tick-borne rickettsiosis in traveler returning from Honduras. Emerg Infect Dis 15 : 13211323.

  • 9.

    Peacock MG, Ormsbee RA, Johnson KM, 1971. Rickettsioses of Central America. Am J Trop Med Hyg 20 : 941949.

  • 10.

    Hun L, Cortes X, Taylor L, 2008. Molecular characterization of Rickettsia rickettsii isolated from human clinical samples and from rabbit tick Haemaphysalis leporispalustris collected at different geographic zones in Costa Rica. Am J Trop Med Hyg 79 : 899902.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Massung RF, Davis LE, Slater K, McKechnie DB, Puerzer M, 2001. Epidemic typhus meningitis in the southwestern United States. Clin Infect Dis 32 : 979982.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    Estripeaut D, Aramburú MG, Sáez-Llorens X, Thompson HA, Dasch GA, Paddock CD, Zaki S, Eremeeva ME, 2007. Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Panama. Emerg Infect Dis 13 : 17631765.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    Eremeeva ME, Warashina WR, Sturgeon MM, Buchholz AE, Olmsted GK, Park SY, Effler PV, Karpathy SE, 2008. Rickettsia typhi and R. felis in rat fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis), Oahu, Hawaii. Emerg Infect Dis 14 : 16131615.

    • Search Google Scholar
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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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