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Vet Res. 2009 Mar-Apr;40(2):34. doi: 10.1051/vetres/2009017. Epub 2009 Apr 10.

The relationship between spotted fever group Rickettsiae and ixodid ticks.

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Unité de Recherche en Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales Emergentes (URMITE), UMR CNRS-IRD 6236, WHO Collaborative Center for Rickettsial diseases and other arthropod-borne bacterial diseases, Faculté de Médecine, 27 Bd Jean Moulin, 13385 Marseille Cedex 5, France.


Spotted fever group Rickettsiae are predominantly transmitted by ticks. Rickettsiae have developed many strategies to adapt to different environmental conditions, including those within their arthropod vectors and vertebrate hosts. The tick-Rickettsiae relationship has been a point of interest for many researchers, with most studies concentrating on the role of ticks as vectors. Unfortunately, less attention has been directed towards the relationship of Rickettsiae with tick cells, tissues, and organs. This review summarizes our current understanding of the mechanisms involved in the relationship between ticks and Rickettsiae and provides an update on the recent methodological improvements that have allowed for comprehensive studies at the molecular level.

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