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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2011 Aug;11(8):1007-12. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2010.0270. Epub 2011 May 25.

Molecular evidence supports the role of dogs as potential reservoirs for Rickettsia felis.

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School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland, Australia.


Rickettsia felis causes flea-borne spotted fever in humans worldwide. The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, serves as vector and reservoir host for this disease agent. To determine the role of dogs as potential reservoir hosts for spotted fever group rickettsiae, we screened blood from 100 pound dogs in Southeast Queensland by using a highly sensitive genus-specific PCR. Nine of the pound dogs were positive for rickettsial DNA and subsequent molecular sequencing confirmed amplification of R. felis. A high prevalence of R. felis in dogs in our study suggests that dogs may act as an important reservoir host for R. felis and as a potential source of human rickettsial infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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