First report of Rickettsia asembonensis in small ruminants

Low, Van Lun and Azhar, Siti Sarah and Tan, Tiong Kai and Bathmanaban, Premaalatha and Abu Bakar, Sazaly and Chandrawathani, Panchadcharam and Nizamuddin, Hassan Nizam Quaza and Hanim, Mohd Saeid Faizah and Akma, Ngah Hamid and Norlizan, Mohd Noor and Lim, Yvonne Ai Lian (2022) First report of Rickettsia asembonensis in small ruminants. Veterinary Research Communications, 46 (3). pp. 979-983. ISSN 0165-7380, DOI

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Rickettsioses is a group of emerging infectious diseases in Southeast Asia caused by Gram-negative obligate intracellular bacteria in the Rickettsiae tribe. However, there is limited information regarding the vertebrate hosts of Rickettsia spp. in this region. This study aims to detect and identify Rickettsia agents present in wildlife and domesticated animals in Malaysia using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and sequencing of citrate synthase gene (gltA), followed by genotyping and phylogenetic analysis. Rickettsia sp. was detected in 2 (0.67%) of 300 wildlife and domesticated animal blood samples. The positive samples were derived from a goat (5.56% of 18) and a sheep (2.22% of 45). Both sequences demonstrated 99.64% sequence similarity to Rickettsia asembonensis, a species that is known to infect humans and macaques. This study reported for the first time the detection of R. asembonensis in sheep and goats in Malaysian farms, suggesting this species may be adapting to a wider range of animals, specifically farm animals. Therefore, this bacterium may pose a zoonotic threat to the local community particularly to the farmworkers or animal handlers. The low infection rate of this pathogen across different animals highlighted the need of continuous surveillance of emerging and reemerging pathogens among animal populations.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia, under the Higher Institution Centre of Excellence (HICoE) niche area vector and vector-borne diseases, MO002-2019
Uncontrolled Keywords: Infectious diseases; Rickettsial; Zoonotic pathogens; Malaysia
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine > Parasitology Deparment
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Office > Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2023 09:04
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2023 09:04

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