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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 1994 Jan;13(1):13-24.

Taxonomic position of the rickettsiae: current knowledge.

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Unité des Rickettsies Faculté de Médecine 27, Marseille, France.


The term rickettsiae initially encompassed all intracellular bacteria. Early rickettsial taxonomy was based on a comparison of a few phenotypic characteristics and recently, molecular studies brought new bases for rickettsial taxonomy. All rickettsial species studied so far belong to the alpha and gamma groups of the Proteobacteria. Ehrlichiae complex groups Cowdria ruminantium, Anaplasma marginale and Wolbachia pipientis and the related parthenogenesis and cytoplasmic incompatibility bacteria, whereas Rochalimaea species group with Bartonella bacilliformis. Rickettsia tsutsugamushi may form an independent lineage, whereas molecular data allow to regroup serologically defined typhus and spotted fever group rickettsiae. The true scale of Rickettsia and Coxiella genera remain to be determined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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