Journal article

Domestic dogs are mammalian reservoirs for the emerging zoonosis flea-borne spotted fever, caused by Rickettsia felis

Ng-Nguyen Dinh, Hii Sze-Fui, Thi Hoang Minh-Trang, Thi Nguyen Van-Anh, Robert Rees, John Stenos, Rebecca Justine Traub

Scientific Reports | NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP | Published : 2020


Rickettsia felis is an obligate intracellular bacterium that is being increasingly recognized as an etiological agent of human rickettsial disease globally. The agent is transmitted through the bite of an infected vector, the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, however there is to date, no consensus on the pathogen's vertebrate reservoir, required for the maintenance of this agent in nature. This study for the first time, demonstrates the role of the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) as a vertebrate reservoir of R. felis. The ability of dogs to sustain prolonged periods of rickettsemia, ability to remain asymptomatically infected with normal haematological parameters and ability to act as biologi..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This study was funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (LP130100565) in partnership with Bayer Animal Health and the Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory, Geelong, Australia. We are grateful to the Institute of Biotechnology and Environment Tay Nguyen University for providing facilities for this study. We thank Ms. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hien, Ms. Nguyen Kim Thuy for their laboratory work assistance.