Coinfection of Two <i>Rickettsia</i> Species in a Single Tick Species Provides New Insight into <i>Rickettsia</i>-<i>Rickettsia</i> and <i>Rickettsia</i>-Vector Interactions.

Pan, Yu-Sheng, Cui, Xiao-Ming, Du, Li-Feng, Xia, Luo-Yuan, Du, Chun-Hong, Bell-Sakyi, Lesley ORCID: 0000-0002-7305-0477, Zhang, Ming-Zhu, Zhu, Dai-Yun, Dong, Yi, Wei, Wei
et al (show 12 more authors) (2022) Coinfection of Two <i>Rickettsia</i> Species in a Single Tick Species Provides New Insight into <i>Rickettsia</i>-<i>Rickettsia</i> and <i>Rickettsia</i>-Vector Interactions. Microbiology spectrum. e0232322-.

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Rickettsiae are obligate intracellular bacteria that can cause life-threatening illnesses. There is an ongoing debate as to whether established infections by one <i>Rickettsia</i> species preclude the maintenance of the second species in ticks. Here, we identified two <i>Rickettsia</i> species in inoculum from Haemaphysalis montgomeryi ticks and subsequently obtained pure isolates of each species by plaque selection. The two isolates were classified as a transitional group and spotted fever group rickettsiae and named Rickettsia hoogstraalii str CS and Rickettsia rhipicephalii str EH, respectively. The coinfection of these two <i>Rickettsia</i> species was detected in 25.6% of individual field-collected H. montgomeryi. In cell culture infection models, R. hoogstraalii str CS overwhelmed R. rhipicephalii str EH with more obvious cytopathic effects, faster plaque formation, and increased cellular growth when cocultured, and R. hoogstraalii str CS seemed to polymerize actin tails differently from R. rhipicephalii str EH <i>in vitro</i>. This work provides a model to investigate the mechanisms of both <i>Rickettsia</i>-<i>Rickettsia</i> and <i>Rickettsia</i>-vector interactions. <b>IMPORTANCE</b> The rickettsiae are a group of obligate intracellular Gram-negative bacteria that include human pathogens causing an array of clinical symptoms and even death. There is an important question in the field, that is whether one infection can block the superinfection of other rickettsiae. This work demonstrated the coinfection of two <i>Rickettsia</i> species in individual ticks and further highlighted that testing the rickettsial competitive exclusion hypothesis will undoubtedly be a promising area as methods for bioengineering and pathogen biocontrol become amenable for rickettsiae.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Haemaphysalis montgomeryi, coinfection, competition, interference, rickettsiae, tick
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2022 10:37
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 20:36
DOI: 10.1128/spectrum.02323-22
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