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Genotypic Characterization of Rickettsia bellii Reveals Distinct Lineages in the United States and South America
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  • Alternative Title:
    Biomed Res Int
  • Description:
    The bacterium | belongs to a basal group of rickettsiae that diverged prior to the pathogenic spotted fever group and typhus group | species. Despite a diverse representation of | across more than 25 species of hard and soft ticks in the American continent, phylogeographical relationships among strains of this basal group-| species are unknown; the work described here explores these relationships. DNA was extracted from 30 | tick isolates: 15 from the United States, 14 from Brazil, and 1 from Argentina. A total of 2,269 aligned nucleotide sites of 3 protein coding genes (|A, |A, and |A) and 2 intergenic regions (|E|A| and |A|) were concatenated and subjected to phylogenetic analysis by Bayesian methods. Results showed a separation of almost all isolates between North and South Americas, suggesting that they have radiated within their respective continents. Phylogenetic positions of the 30 isolates could be a result of not only their geographical origin but also the tick hosts they have coevolved with. Whether | originated with ticks in North or South America remains obscure, as our analyses did not show evidence for greater genetic divergence of | in either continent.

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