First identification of Rickettsia helvetica in questing ticks from a French Northern Brittany Forest.

Abstract : Tick-borne rickettsiae are considered to be emerging, but data about their presence in western Europe are scarce. Ixodes ricinus ticks, the most abundant and widespread tick species in western Europe, were collected and tested for the presence of several tick-borne pathogens in western France, a region never previously explored in this context. There was a high tick abundance with a mean of 4 females, 4.5 males, and 23.3 nymphs collected per hour per collector. Out of 622 tested ticks, specific PCR amplification showed the presence of tick symbionts as well as low prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi (0.8%), Bartonella spp. (0.17%), and Anaplasma phagocytophilum (0.09%). The most prevalent pathogen was Rickettsia helvetica (4.17%). This is the first time that this bacteria has been detected in ticks in this region, and this result raises the possibility that bacteria other than those classically implicated may be involved in rickettsial diseases in western France.
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Sarah I Bonnet, Richard E L Paul, Emmanuel Bischoff, Martine Cote, Evelyne Le Naour. First identification of Rickettsia helvetica in questing ticks from a French Northern Brittany Forest.. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Public Library of Science, 2017, 11 (3), pp.e0005416. ⟨10.1371/journal.pntd.0005416⟩. ⟨pasteur-01570199⟩

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