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Vet Microbiol. 2002 Sep 2;88(3):233-43.

Detection of Neorickettsia (Ehrlichia) risticii in tissues of mice experimentally infected with cercariae of trematodes by in situ hybridization.

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Bio-safety Research Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 561-756, Korea.


Neorickettsia (Ehrlichia) risticii was demonstrated to occur in cercariae developing in Juga yrekaensis snails by experimental transmission, genetic detection and histopathology. Cercariae were isolated from the digestive glands of snails collected in a fresh stream water area of Siskiyou County, CA, and inoculated into CF1 mice. Mice developed clinical signs, splenomegaly and histopathologic abnormalities. The agent was maintained by serial passages of whole blood in CF1 mice. A 527-bp product of the 16S rRNA gene of N. risticii was serially detected by nested PCR in blood, feces, salivary gland, suprarenal gland, spleen, intestine and bone marrow of inoculated mice. N. risticii DNA was detected by in situ hybridization with DIG-labeled probe in PCR-positive salivary gland, intestine and spleen tissue sections of experimental mice on day 30 after inoculation. Infection in mice was established when cercariae were inoculated by either IP or SC routes but not established following intraoral route. N. risticii was detected by PCR in spleen, intestine and bone marrow even after 73 days post-inoculation whereas blood from the same animals became negative at 58 days. N. risticii was observed by in situ hybridization in salivary gland, spleen and intestine of mice infected by IP or SC inoculation. This ISH protocol should aid investigations on the host range of the Neorickettsiosis and pathogenesis of neorickettiosis in vector, animal or human.

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